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Table of Contents
  1. Estates-General | Definition, Meeting, & History |
  2. The United States, France, and Turkey
  3. Geopolitics broken down into bite-sized chunks
  5. Many Countries Favor Specific Religions, Officially or Unofficially

The Republic legalized divorce and transferred the powers of birth, death, and marriage registration to the state. Most notably, Jean-Baptiste Carrier conducted large-scale drownings of priests and nuns in the river Loire. In , the government established a secular Republican calendar to erase memory of Sundays, saint days and religious holidays, and to increase the number of working days by instituting a 10 days week.

Traditionally, every seventh day — Sunday — was a day of rest, together with numerous other days for celebration and relaxation.

The government tried to end all that; the new calendar only allowed one day in 10 for relaxation. Workers and peasants felt cheated and overworked. The new system disrupted daily routines, reduced work-free days and ended favorite celebrations. When the reformers were overthrown or executed, their radical new calendar was quickly abandoned. Religious minorities—Protestants and Jews—were granted full civil and political rights, which represented a shift towards a more secular government to some, and an attack on the Catholic Church to others. The introduction of the prominent cults during the revolutionary period — the Cult of Reason and the Cult of the Supreme Being — responded to the belief that religion and politics should be seamlessly fused together.

This is a shift from the original Enlightenment ideals of the Revolution that advocated for a secular government with tolerance for various religious beliefs.

Estates-General | Definition, Meeting, & History |

The cults sought to erase the old ways of religion by closing churches, confiscating church bells, and implementing a new Republican Calendar that excluded any days for religious practice. Many churches were converted into Temples of Reason. The Cult of Reason was first to de-emphasize the existence of God, and instead focus on deism, featuring not the sacred, divine, nor eternal, but the natural, earthy, and temporal existence. The Cult of the Supreme Being used religion as political leverage.

Robespierre accused political opponents as hiding behind God and using religion to justify their oppositional stance against the Revolution.

The United States, France, and Turkey

It was a shift in ideology that allowed for the cult to use the new deistic beliefs for political momentum. Following the Thermidorian Reaction the persecutions of Catholic clergy ceased and the role of new cults practically ended. Standard of the deistic Cult of the Supreme Being , one of the proposed state religions to replace Christianity in revolutionary France. Many Catholic churches were turned into Temples of Reason during the Revolution, as recalled by this inscription on a church in Ivry-la-Bataille.

The Catholic Church was badly hurt by the Revolution.

Héritages et actualités

The younger generation had received little religious instruction, and was unfamiliar with traditional worship. However, in response to the external pressures of foreign wars, religious fervor was strong, especially among women. Napoleon took control by and realized that religious divisiveness had to be minimized to unite France. It sought national reconciliation between revolutionaries and Catholics and solidified the Roman Catholic Church as the majority church of France, with most of its civil status restored.

The hostility of devout Catholics against the state had then largely been resolved.

Geopolitics broken down into bite-sized chunks

It did not restore the vast church lands and endowments that had been seized upon during the revolution and sold off. Catholic clergy returned from exile, or from hiding, and resumed their traditional positions in their traditional churches. Very few parishes continued to employ the priests who had accepted the Civil Constitution of the Clergy of the Revolutionary regime.

While the Concordat restored much power to the papacy, the balance of church-state relations tilted firmly in Napoleon's favour. He selected the bishops and supervised church finances. Other religion was tolerated, but Catholicism was favored financially and politically.

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Its lands and financial endowments were not returned, but now the government paid salaries and maintenance costs for normal church activities. The bishops had regained control of Catholic affairs. The aristocracy before the Revolution did not place a high priority on religious doctrine or practice, the decades of exile created an alliance of throne and altar.

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The royalists who returned were much more devout, and much more aware of their need for a close alliance with the Church. They had discarded fashionable skepticism and now promoted the wave of Catholic religiosity that was sweeping Europe, with a new regard to the Virgin Mary, the Saints, and popular religious rituals such as saying the rosary. Devotionalism and was far stronger in rural areas, and much less noticeable in Paris and the other cities. The population of 32 million included about , Protestants, and 60, Jews.

Revolutions of 1848 in France (Part 2 of 5)

They were tolerated. Anti-clericalism of the sort promoted by the Enlightenment and writers such as Voltaire had not disappeared, but it was in recession. At the elite level, there was a dramatic change in intellectual climate from the dry intellectually oriented classicism to emotionally based romanticism. The book emphasized the power of religion in creating European high culture. Chateaubriand's book:. Napoleon III was a strong supporter of Catholic interest, such as financing, and support for Catholic missionaries in the emerging French Empire.

His primary goal was conciliation of all the religious and anti-religious interests in France, to avoid the furious hatreds and battles that took place during the revolution, and that would reappear after he left office.


In foreign policy, he was the leading supporter of the Pope, especially against the anti-clerical Kingdom of Italy that emerged in , took control of parts of the papal states, and sought to take complete control of Rome. The French army prevented that. In Paris, the Emperor was supported the conservative Gallican bishops to minimize the people role inside France, in the liberal Catholic intellectuals who wanted to use the Church as an instrument of reform. Problem came with Pope Pius IX who reigned to He began as a liberal, but suddenly in the s became the leading champion of reactionary politics in Europe, in opposition to all forms of modern liberalism.

He demanded complete autonomy for the church and religious and educational affairs, and had the First Vatican Council —70 decree papal infallibility. Napoleon III was too committed in foreign-policy to the support of Rome to break with the Pope, but that alliance seriously weakened him at home. When he declared war on Prussia in , he brought his army home, and the kingdom of Italy swallowed up the papal domains and the Pope became the prisoner of the Vatican.

Many Countries Favor Specific Religions, Officially or Unofficially

Vatican statements attacking progress, industrialization, capitalism, socialism, and virtually every new idea not only angered the liberal and conservative Catholic elements in France, but energized the secular liberals including many professionals and anti-clerical socialist movement; they escalated their attacks on church schools. Throughout the lifetime of the Third Republic — , there were battles over the status of the Catholic Church in France among the republicans, monarchists and the authoritarians such as the Napoleonists.

The French clergy and bishops were closely associated with the monarchists and many of its higher hierarchy were from noble families. Republicans were based in the anti-clerical middle class, who saw the Church's alliance with the monarchists as a political threat to republicanism, and a threat to the modern spirit of progress. The republicans were strengthened by Protestant and Jewish support.

Numerous laws were passed to weaken the Catholic Church. In , priests were excluded from the administrative committees of hospitals and boards of charity; in , new measures were directed against the religious congregations; from to came the substitution of lay women for nuns in many hospitals; in , the Ferry school laws were passed.

Napoleon's Concordat of continued in operation, but in , the government cut off salaries to priests it disliked. Republicans feared that religious orders in control of schools—especially the Jesuits and Assumptionists —indoctrinated anti-republicanism into children. Determined to root this out, republicans insisted they needed control of the schools for France to achieve economic and militaristic progress.

Republicans felt one of the primary reasons for the German victory in was their superior education system. The early anti-Catholic laws were largely the work of republican Jules Ferry in Religious instruction in all schools was forbidden, and religious orders were forbidden to teach in them. Funds were appropriated from religious schools to build more state schools. Later in the century, other laws passed by Ferry's successors further weakened the Church's position in French society.

Civil marriage became compulsory, divorce was introduced, and chaplains were removed from the army. In , he told French bishops not to act in a hostile manner toward the State 'Nobilissima Gallorum Gens' [45]. In , he issued an encyclical advising French Catholics to rally to the Republic and defend the Church by participating in republican politics 'Au milieu des sollicitudes' [46].

This attempt at improving the relationship failed. Deep-rooted suspicions remained on both sides and were inflamed by the Dreyfus Affair — Catholics were for the most part anti-Dreyfusard. The Assumptionists published anti-Semitic and anti-republican articles in their journal La Croix. This infuriated republican politicians, who were eager to take revenge. Often they worked in alliance with Masonic lodges. The Waldeck-Rousseau Ministry — and the Combes Ministry —05 fought with the Vatican over the appointment of bishops.

Chaplains were removed from naval and military hospitals in the years and , and soldiers were ordered not to frequent Catholic clubs in Emile Combes , when elected Prime Minister in , was determined to defeat Catholicism thoroughly. After only a short while in office, he closed down all parochial schools in France.

Then he had parliament reject authorisation of all religious orders. This meant that all fifty-four orders in France were dissolved and about 20, members immediately left France, many for Spain. Exposed as the Affaire Des Fiches , the scandal undermined support for the Combes government, and he resigned.