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Discuss the consequences of the Kulturkampf

The Kulturkampf, also known as the battle for modern civilization, was a conflict between the Otto Von Bismarck, chancellor of the German Empire, and the Catholic Church. Bismarck was the main political person in the German Empire at the time and the consequences of the Kulturkampf were nor in his favor. The consequences of the Kulturkampf showed how disloyal Bismarck was, the churches could not be overcome, and it culturally split the northern and southern parts of the German Empire.

Bismarck showed he was disloyal to anyone by switching political sides to suit himself. Bismarck had a history of switching sides and not staying loyal to anyone for long. During the Revolution of 1848 he switched sides twice; he began by allying with the Austrians, then became a Nationalist, and then sided with the Prussians. After the Kulturkampf, Bismarck went from being a National Liberal to being a Conservative and siding with the Catholic Church in order to battle the growing Socialist party. People began to realize Bismarck was not a loyal or trustworthy man and began to stay away and not make deals with him. Bismarck lost his friends, allies, and confidants because they never knew when he would turn on them. As a consequence of the Kulturkampf, Bismarck began to lose his allies and started to lose power.

The churches, especially the Catholic Church, stood their ground during the Kulturkampf and proved they could not be overcome. Bismarck instituted several anti-clerical laws during the Kulturkampf as well as expelling many Jesuits and Catholic bishops. The southern part of the German Empire, which is mostly Catholic, rallied behind the Church and called for the end of the Kulturkampf. After several years of constant struggle, Bismarck realized the battle was fruitless and gave up. Bismarck realized the Catholic Church was strong and decided he needed their help to help get rid of the rising Socialist party so he made peace with the Catholics and switched from being a National Liberal to siding with the Conservatives and the Catholic Church. Bismarck then initiated protective tariffs, which gave the industrial revolution a little boost and helped give rise to the much-disliked (by Bismarck and the Church) Socialist party. The Kulturkampf made Bismarck realize the Church could not be eradicated and decided it would be nice to have them on his side to fight the Socialists.

The Kulturkampf helped widen a cultural split between the northern and southern parts of the German Empire. The North was mostly Protestant and they did not get along with the South because it is mostly Catholic. The South was hit the hardest during the Kulturkampf and they began to hate the North for hurting their church so much. Even though Bismarck ended the Kulturkampf and allied with the Catholics later, it did not get rid of the hatred the South felt towards the North. The Catholics had to ally with Bismarck because they both disliked Socialism and it could later be bad for the Catholics if they did not ally with the Chancellor. The Kulturkampf helped to create a larger schism between the Catholic South and the Protestant North.

The consequences of the Kulturkampf were not helpful or good for anybody. Bismarck was especially hurt after his Kulturkampf was over. It did not help to unify Germany as Bismarck had wanted and did not accomplish anything. Bismarck showed he was a disloyal, untrustworthy man, the Church was badly beaten but showed it was indestructible, and a larger division between the South and the North was formed.