At the general elections of March I9o9, over a score of Clerical deputies were returned, Clericals of a very mild tone who had no thought of the temporal power and were supporters of the monarchy and anti-socialists; where no Clerical candidate was in the field the Catholic voters plumped for the constitutional candidate against all representatives of the Extreme Left.
In October 1904, after the September strikes, the Chamber was dissolved, and at the general elections in November a ministerial majority was returned, while the deputies of the Extreme Left (Socialists, Republicans and Radicals) were reduced from 107 to 94, and a few mild clericals elected.
Notwithstanding the concessions, obstruction was continued by the Clericals and the extreme Independents, partly in the hope of compelling the crown to grant the Magyar words of command and partly out of antipathy towards the person of the young calvinist premier.
By the help of the Clericals they won enough seats to put the Liberals in a minority in the Reichsrath, and it would be possible to revise the constitution if the Czechs consented to come.
Before the combination of Clericals and Federalists the ministry broke down; they were divided among themselves; Counts Taaffe and Alfred Potocki, the minister of agriculture, wished to conciliate the Slav races - a policy recommended 1 The documents are printed in Baron de Worms, op. cit.
The Radicals of Serbia being conservative in all but name, made a working alliance with the clericals of Zagreb and Ljubljana, and under the leadership of Protic favoured decentralization, combined with concessions to the expropriated landowners.
The Slovenes - clericals no less than progressives - became increasingly active in the Yugoslav movement, and their press began to demand the abandonment of the distinctive Slovene dialect as a hindrance to unity..
The real desire of the Clericals was an alteration of the school law, by which the control of the schools should be restored to the Church and the period of compulsory education reduced.
On the one hand, there were grounds for believing that the Clericals and Conservatives in both countries were acting together; and, on the other, it was expected that President Castro of Venezuela would not be sorry to unite his own countrymen, and to divert their attention from internal affairs, by a war against Colombia.
The Clericals started an agitation because Wahrmund, the professor of canon law at the university of Innsbruck, subjected the dogma of the Immaculate Conception to critical examination.