Show Summary Details

Quick Reference

(German, “conflict of cultures” or beliefs)

The conflict between the German government headed by Bismarck and the Roman Catholic Church (1872–87) for the control of schools and Church appointments. Bismarck, anxious to strengthen the central power of the German Second empire in which southern Germany, Alsace-Lorraine, and the Polish provinces were predominantly Catholic, issued the May Decrees (1873), restricting the powers of the Catholic Church and providing for the punishment of any opponents. By 1876 1300 parishes had no priest: opponents had become martyrs. Needing Catholic support in the Reichstag, Bismarck repealed many of the anti-Church laws or let them lapse.

Subjects: Literature.

Reference entries

See all related reference entries in Oxford Index »

Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content. Please, subscribe or login to access all content.