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Bismarck founded the German Empire in 1871 and led the empire as first chancellor for the next nineteen years Bismarck skillfully sought policies in overseas affairs and along with the help of representatives of other nations managed to maintain the peace and harmony in Europe for the next twenty years However it was Bismarcks domestic policies which made him appear to be less gentle He failed to overcome the authoritarian tendencies to the class of which he was born and attempted to subdue two forces he saw as hostile to the Kaiserreich From 1866 until 1878 Bismarck had allied himself with National Liberals Side by side they created a civil and criminal code for the newly founded empire and moved more towards free trade Bismarck had rejected his conservative background and Liberals viewed him as a friend He had gone against many conservative regimes and adopted policies which promoted quick industrialization In the year of 1870 Pope Pius IX an extreme conservative called a meeting of the Vatican Council The result of the meeting held was the decree of Papal Infallibility which stated that in matters of faith and morals the Pope cannot be wrong and therefore must be obeyed by the Roman Catholics Bismarck misinterpreted the decrees as he saw this as an assault on German sovereignty by a foreign power as by this time the Vatican was an independent stateHe was looking for an excuse to step up his bid against the Catholics and eventually got one Some German Catholics did not like the decrees which had been issued The people appealed to Bismarck for help and with Bismarck was anxious to ensure that national identity was given higher priority than religious persuasion Bismarcks first tactic was proof that he was driven by a desire to protect Germany and had very little to do with a desire to persecute Roman Catholics When the Italians occupied Rome the Pope became a prisoner
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