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Was the Kulturkampf Bismarck's most serious mistake in domestic policy?

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Introduction

Was the Kulturkampf Bismarck's most serious mistake in domestic policy? Introduction Otto von Bismarck was chancellor of Germany from 1862-1890; he went through three wars and eventually united all the German states to make a unified Germany. As chancellor he dealt with domestic policies in Germany and some were successful but some were disastrous. From the defeat of Austria in 1866 until 1878 Bismarck was allied primarily with the National Liberals. Together they created a civil and criminal code for the new empire and accomplished Germany's adoption of the gold standard and move toward free trade. Just as they had earlier written off Bismarck as an arch conservative, liberals now viewed him as a comrade, a man who had rejected his conservative roots. As Prussian prime minister and German chancellor, he was determined to unite all of Prussia and make a new Second Reich. In this struggle, he sought to make Germany the greatest power in Europe, but realized that to achieve this goal, national unity was essential. Thus, he and the National Liberals introduced measurers into the country that dealt with threats of division. ...read more.

Middle

Although this was impossible, Falk began his tasks by trying to get the school inspection provisions made law. On 1872, the School Inspection Law was passed. Intended as a warning to the Roman Catholic Church, it became represented later as the first stroke in the Kulturkampf. After this the conflict between Bismarck and the Catholics spread, and in 1872 they brought in a law against the Jesuits, the liberals traditional enemy, who had established themselves in education, and this law expelled Jesuits and institutions from Germany. Then in 1873, Falk introduced the May Laws. . The strictest of measures yet, these laws were intended to remove all the priests from state service, separate Church and State, remove Catholic influences on marriage and education, and make the inclusion of political propaganda in sermons illegal. The conflict finally came to a head on July 13 1874, as Bismarck rode by in his carriage in Kissingen. A catholic attempted to assassinate the Chancellor, but Bismarck was only wounded in his right hand, he used this to charge the Catholic Centre Party with inspiring the would-be-assassin. ...read more.

Conclusion

As a result of his hatred he banned the Social Democratic Party from the Reichstag in 1878, the ban was renewed until 1890. Again he made an error and put a stop to a party becoming a big influence in everyday Germany, like he tried to do with the Catholics. Although this was a serious matter it still doesn't compare with the laws he set on the Catholic Centre Party, which were a large percentage of the population. But all in all the Kulturkampf was the most serious mistake due to the fact that he toiled with religious affairs, the Pope, and a majority of the population, which was the Catholics. He abused his authority as Chancellor and because he had a concern about the growing votes the Catholics were getting and the views of the Pope, he simply brought in a law to alter all affairs and change the shape of the economy. This made many enemies for Bismarck and was shown when there was an attempt to assassinate him. Kulturkampf was an abuse of power and a serious mistake, a mistake that was the most serious of Bismarck's career. Daniel Pearson History Essay ...read more.

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