ROMAN QUESTION 373
of a German religion the creed of which was to be gattdeamus igitur, one will at least have named things that were never out of sight dur- ing this Kulturkampf. The objective of the attack, of which Bis- marck was the primary cause, was a national Church independent of Rome and subject to the State; the scene was Prussia and Bavaria first of all, and then Hessia, Baden and Wiirtemberg; the means were at the beginning a sequence of laws which cut more or less deeply into the inner life and the rights of the Church, and then, after the German and Prussian episcopacy with which the Centre Party and its leader Windthorst were associated had protested, financial and police meas- ures were resorted to, among them being the exclusion and imprison- ment of several bishops and many priests. There were then twelve Prussian episcopal sees, and in 1877 all but four were vacant. The struggle ended during the following year. The power of the inner life proved itself stronger than mere might in those whom that might could not overwhelm. In addition, inner political questions above all the fight against the Social Democrats compelled the Chancellor to part company with liberalism and to come to terms with the Con- servatives and the Centre.
It was during this period of transition that Leo opened his pontificate with a policy of rapprochement and reconciliation. Step by step, against even the opposition of the bishops and the Centre Party, the Pope reached a measure of peace with the German government, which for its part passed in succession laws that abrogated the greater part of the Kulturkampf legislation. Bismarck restored the Prussian Embassy to the Vatican and in 1885 entrusted the Pope with negotiations to settle amicably the conflict between Spain and Germany over the Caroline Islands. Other signs that the relationship had grown more friendly were the Emperor William Fs gift of a mitre in honour of the Pope's Golden Jubilee as a priest in 1887, and the visit which William II and the Empress paid to the Vatican in 1893.
But this conciliatory policy was not triumphant in every respect. It could not always succeed because its objectives included the restora- tion of the temporal power. The Pope and his Secretary of State, Cardinal Rampolla, pleaded vainly with the great powers for a solu- tion of the Roman question which would combine the national unity of Italy with the sovereign position of the Pope as a monarch of equal