Following the collapse of the Bismarckian Empire, historians have increasingly directed their interest toward the structural problems that arose from the political and social
compromises made at the time of the Reich’s foundation in 1870/71. This historical baggage continued to burden the course of German history in the first half of the 20th century. In confessionally
divided Germany, the relationship between church and state, religious affiliation and nation played a constitutive role in the formation of the »small German« nation state. Using the paradigmatic case of
the »model liberal state« of Baden, Josef Becker analyzes the tense conflicts and Kulturkampf altercations in the years 1860-76. He pays special attention to the interconfessional social inequalities
that fueled these conflicts (and which fascinated Max Weber before him), as well as their problematic influence on the process of stabilizing a pre-parliamentary state and society in the Bismarck era.
The book thereby contributes to our understanding of that »partial modernity« that characterized the Bismarckian Reich, exemplified by the political and social compromises institutionalized at the birth
of the new Prussian-German, great power.