In the Kulturkampf he took an active part on the ultramontane side.
It was also the view universally taken by the German governments which supported the Kulturkampf in a greater or less degree.
Upon the outbreak of the Prussian Kulturkampf the Left had pressed the Right to introduce an Italian counterpart to the Prussian May laws, especially as the attitude of Thiers and the hostility of the French Clericals obviated the need for sparing French susceptibilities.
That the Kulturkampf had followed so rapidly upon the war was the greatest piece of good fortune that could have befallen the Holy See.
His policy towards all governments outside Italy was to support them wherever they represented social order; and it was with difficulty that he persuaded French Catholics to be united in defence of the republic. The German Kulturkampf was ended by his exertions.
Leader of the Fortschrittspartei, and the expression Kulturkampf had, it is believed, its origin in one of his electoral manifestoes.
Owing to these circumstances, the rise and further development of the Kulturkampf were viewed in Jesuit and Vatican circles with feelings of the utmost complacency.
Among the numerous orders he received we may mention that he was the first Protestant on whom the pope bestowed the order of Christ; this was done after the cessation of the Kulturkampf and the reference of the dispute with Spain concerning the Caroline Islands to the arbitration of the pope.
Thiswasfollowedbythemeasures to which the name Kulturkampf really applied(an expression used first by Virchow to imply that it was a struggle of principle between the teaching of the Church and that of modern society).
He had quarrelled with Austria; Russia was persecuting its Catholic subjects; France was under the spell of Gambetta and his doctrine that clericalism was the enemy; Spain and Belgium followed France; even Switzerland was waging a Kulturkampf on a small scale.