By Martin Conway
The heritage of Catholic political routine has lengthy been a lacking size of the background of Europe throughout the 20th century. Martin Conway explores the interesting heritage of Catholic political pursuits in Europe among 1918 and 1945, demonstrating the the most important function which Catholics performed within the upward push of fascism in Italy and Germany, the occasions of the Spanish Civil battle and of the second one international struggle. Drawing at the findings of modern examine, Conway indicates how Catholic political pursuits shaped a necessary part of the political lifetime of Europe throughout the inter-war years. In international locations as assorted as France, Germany, Italy, Spain and Austria, in addition to extra east in Poland, Slovakia, Croatia, and Lithuania, Catholic political events flourished. encouraged via the values of Catholicism, those activities fought for his or her personal political beliefs; opposed to either liberal democracy and totalitarian fascism, Catholics have been a 'third strength' in eu politics. in the course of the moment global struggle, Catholic political pursuits endured to pursue their very own objectives; a few selected to struggle along the German armies, different teams joined Resistance routine to struggle opposed to German oppression and for a brand new social and political order in accordance with Catholic ideas. Catholic Politics in Europe will supply an unique key element of reference for 20th century heritage, for comparability with fascist and communist activities of the interval, and may provide perception into the present-day personality of Catholicism.
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Additional resources for Catholic Politics in Europe, 1918-1945 (Historical Connections)
More importantly, the new priorities espoused by Catholic Action groups and by the papacy accorded greater importance to spiritual and proselytising campaigns than to political action. The primarily defensive priorities of the pre-1914 Catholic parties no longer accorded with the more militant and triumphalist rhetoric of post-war Catholicism and, especially in the eyes of some younger intellectuals, even the notion of a Catholic party protecting the Church and the faithful appeared to be the outmoded legacy of a past era.
Much more so than the social Catholic movements of the pre-1914 years, the Catholic working-class groups of the 1920s combined their ambition for a more just society with a commitment to democratic political structures. The nostalgia for a pre-industrial ancien régime, evident in social Catholic groups at the turn of the century, had been swept away by the First World War. Nevertheless, it would be wrong to exaggerate the similarities between these organisations and the Christian Democrat parties established in much of western Europe after the Second World War.
The bitter legacy of those years cast a long shadow over the politics of the 1920s and ensured that the Republic was always regarded by much of the Catholic population of provincial Austria as an alien imposition by Viennese revolutionaries. The Christian Social Party exploited this provincial hostility to Vienna. It carefully protected the material interests of its predominantly rural electorate and in many areas of provincial Austria worked closely with the right-wing paramilitary groups, the Heimwehr (Home Guard), which had been founded after the First World War.
Catholic Politics in Europe, 1918-1945 (Historical Connections) by Martin Conway