The Pros And Cons Of German Nationalism

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During the Mid- to Late-19th century German people were beginning to call for a nation state. Two opposing parties –the Junkers or Conservatives and the Liberals fought for power in what would become the country of Germany. The Liberals who represented business interest and nationalist sentiment consisting of mainly Protestant ordinary citizens called for a representative government with a constitution, while the Prussian Junkers consisting of mainly aristocratic landowners and religious-minded middle classes supported the monarchy, agrarian farmers, and military tradition. The Liberals soon dominated Germany; however they ignored certain religious liberties of Catholics and Jews when voting for the German constitution in 1871. The Liberal Nationalism that became the majority in Germany due to universal suffrage under Bismarck during the late 19th century witnessed a Kulturkampf. Kulturkampf, or a, “struggle over culture” emerged between the Protestant Liberal Nationalists and the Roman Catholic Church. Liberals associated Catholics with the Pope in Rome, and felt that they did not think for themselves, were backwards, undemocratic, and did the Pope’s bidding. Liberals also attributed Catholics with the absolute rule of monarchies. The Liberals alongside Prime Minister Otto Von Bismarck worked to limit the Catholic clergy’s influence in schools. Through the process of “Germanization” a German nationalist mission to remake Catholics in their own eye began soon
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