Und heilig ist der Sieg im Streit : Die interkonfessionelle Ehe als Streitmittel im Restaurationspreußen
In a society where one s religion represented one s identity, the decision of the Congress of Vienna (1815) to give the catholic regions of the Rhineland and Westphalia to protestant Prussia was a politically expedient act that could only lead to trouble. Indeed tensions between ruler and subject began to rise almost immediately, as Prussia proved unable to set aside its own identity to govern its new lands in a culturally sensitive way. During this time the Catholic Church also began recovering from the Napoleonic onslaught and a new conservative movement began to form, which put the beliefs of the church before the laws of secular rulers. Its members eventually came to blows with the Prussian government over the issue of interdenominational, or mixed marriage and the result was a period of unrest known as the Kölner Wirren (the Cologne Troubles). My work attempts to reveal how this mixed marriage debate of the early 19th century both demonstrated and exemplified the kinds of tensions and divisions that split Prussia during the Restoration/Vormärz Period. The arrest of Archbishop Clemens August von Droste zu Vischering of Cologne by Prussia in late 1837 after his refusal to follow their mild mixed marriage policy sparked unrest across the catholic provinces of Prussia, both in the West and in Poland, which the Prussian government proved unable to check. Only with the death of the Prussian king and his replacement with a more liberal-minded monarch were the two sides able to arrive at a truce in 1842 after Prussia capitulated to most of the Catholic Church s demands. This capitulation meant that the problems were not resolved, but merely shoved back under the political rug. Indeed, the same issues resurfaced in the 1870s during the Kulturkampf of Otto von Bismarck, and many can still be seen today.