The present study concerns church policies in Baden between 1878 and 1918. The relationship between state and Catholic Church in that period was decisively affected by legislation that restricted the
Church’s sphere of legal influence. The Catholic Church held firm in its protest against the substance of the Kulturkampf laws and struggled, successfully, to reduce the effectiveness of the most
drastic of these laws, the 1874 Examination Law (Examengesetz). Consequently, as in Prussia, tensions could be relaxed only if the state backed down.
The process by which the Kulturkampf came to an end in Baden began with negotiations between government and church authorities in 1879/80. It continued with efforts to reopen Catholic boys’ boarding
schools in the years 1887/88 and to win permission for members of Catholic orders to assist in pastoral care in 1894. The decades-long conflict over authorization for monasteries, the dismantling of the
anti-clerical penal laws in 1908, and the revision of the Examination Law in 1918 represent further milestones in the process.
In his discussion of church-political issues, Stadelhofer also succeeds in illuminating key aspects of the history of Baden’s political parties. He demonstrates convincingly that the rise of
Baden's Center Party owed in large part to adroit manipulation of the Church's position within the state. The slogan »regaining confessional freedom« proved a highly effective motivator time and
Stadelhofer’s study also reveals that the liberals who wanted to subordinate the church to state laws reacted very sensitively to any attempt by the Catholic Church
to delineate respective areas of jurisdiction for church and state through bilateral agreements between government and church leadership, and stressed the primacy of parliamentary bodies in the realm of