Why was the Protestant-Catholic divide not as prominent in Germany as in Ireland?

Oct 2014
49
Toronto
In Ireland (specifically Northern Ireland) there is a wide divide between the catholic communities and protestant communities with some sections of cities needing to be walled-off from each other because the two groups just do not get along, in Germany a similar divide exists between the southern Bavarian regions which are mainly catholic and the northern regions part of the former Prussia which are mainly protestant. Yet since German unification in 1870 up until present day there never was a problem with German protestants and German catholics getting along.

Why is there a difference in dynamics between Germany and Ireland, both regions in Europe with a mix of protestant and catholic populations?
 
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M9Powell

Ad Honorem
Oct 2014
4,455
appalacian Mtns
Because at least originally the Catholics were the original Irish who were disposed by the foreign invaders who were protestant.
 
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betgo

Ad Honorem
Jul 2011
6,427
Because at least originally the Catholics were the original Irish who were disposed by the foreign invaders who were protestant.
Yes, there are ethnic issues in Ireland. The Northern Ireland protestants were moved into an area that had rebelled against English rule. The Irish Catholics suffered because they supported Charles I, Charles II, and James II against protestant republicans and usurpers. Plus in the 18th and 19th centuries Ireland was run by a protestant elite, mostly Anglican whereas the Ulster protestants are mostly Scottish Presbyterian.
 
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Dec 2017
312
Regnum Teutonicum
There were problems. For a long time catholic and protestants didn't marry each other and up into the 1970's it was complicated and hard for a protestant and catholic to marry each other.
The biggest reasons that they didn't have to be physically separated, was the traumatic event of the Thirty Years War. It had essentially started as a civil war of protestants and catholics, when foreign powers used this opportunity to intervene in the most brutal way imaginable. It was a darwinian event and the worst war in German history. It burned so deep into the german psyche, that it has ramifications even today. So german catholics and protestants had both suffered and both even at the hands of foreign fellow catholics/protestants. So Germans learned to never be weak from this war or this will repeat (and fighting with each other was a sure way to get weak).
Another contrast to Ireland: there was a non-christian great power at the border, which had invaded and sieged one of the capitals before and would do so afterwards. In Ireland there was nothing more foreign than the other side under religious aspects.
The federalist tradition also helped, so the towns and regions and tribes and states and religious communities could always do the things their way, as long as they did not cross certain lines in the sand. And if one of them had a point and success in something, the other side most likely would follow and this would homogenize things again (e.g. protestants succeeding with church services in German instead Latin or catholics succeeding with not burning religious art).
Additionally the Holy Roman Empire helped. To quote Neil MacGregor "The Empire survived from 800 to 1800, for thousand years and it allowed a kind of diversity, that no other European state was able to match. ...Three objects - judaism, catholicism, protestantism, all held together under the Holy Roman Empire, it was a model for the whole of Europe. A model that survived until the end of the 18th century, the french invasions and then the whole thing was destroyed by Napoleon.


Last, but not least: Don't reduce catholic Germans to Bavarians, because Badeners, Wuerttembergers, Bavarian-Swabians, Franks, Palatinians, Saarlaenders and Rhinelaenders will not be amused. It is like equating Canadians and Quebecois - it is what most people think of Canadians, but it is not correct.
 
Jun 2017
2,974
Connecticut
In Ireland (specifically Northern Ireland) there is a wide divide between the catholic communities and protestant communities with some sections of cities needing to be walled-off from each other because the two groups just do not get along, in Germany a similar divide exists between the southern Bavarian regions which are mainly catholic and the northern regions part of the former Prussia which are mainly protestant. Yet since German unification in 1870 up until present day there never was a problem with German protestants and German catholics getting along.

Why is there a difference in dynamics between Germany and Ireland, both regions in Europe with a mix of protestant and catholic populations?
It was wide. Very wide. There were problems with the two groups getting along all the way from the Reformation until the 20th century. So much so that the Centre Party a party established generally to give the Catholic population a voice(against the anti Catholic Bismarck) became one of Germany's major parties.

Northern Ireland and Ireland's situation in particular is more similar to the Subetenland(except the opposite, Catholic Germans being sent into Northern Bohemia, versus Protestants being sent into Northern Ireland) where the ruler sends transplants to a foreign(non continious) dissenting province that ended up causing problems centuries later.
 
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Devdas

Ad Honorem
Apr 2015
4,970
India
Irish and mainland Brits are different people and the Protests were brought in Ulsters during Ulster Plantations to subdue native Irish.
 

Larrey

Ad Honorem
Sep 2011
5,807
1648. Far from a perfect solution, but it did defuse things sufficiently. The German lands that had Protestant lords were to be Protestant, and the Catholic ones Catholic. Unlike Ireland there weren't foreign groups of people of a different religious denomination brought in to provide a loyal minority population among a dissenting majority. People in wherever were either Catholic or Protestant, and no direct lording it over a bunch of religious dissidents required.
 

Kevinmeath

Ad Honoris
May 2011
14,062
Navan, Ireland
I am afraid its little more complex than simply 17th century wars of religion.

At the end of the 18th century start of the 19th when Nationalism was starting to develop throughout Europe Irish nationalism and the Gaelic revival was pioneered by Irish protestants (Davies etc), it was they who objected to the acts of Union for instance.

But as the 19th century developed the notion took hold ,very much encouraged by the church, that to be Irish you had to be Catholic, to be Protestant meant non Irish or not proper Irish.

England was the source of immorality and Protestants that the church needed to defend good Catholic Ireland from, you might say that England was the source of modernity and that was what the church was frightened of.
 

Frank81

Ad Honorem
Feb 2010
5,118
Canary Islands-Spain
Tensions in Germany were much intense than in Ireland at first, but they were settled in the 17th century

The real question is how the religious issue got intermigled with ethnic, class (estates) and land ownership, and how these problems couldn't be fixed through centuries. It is impossible to understand the religious problems in Ireland without the Plantations of the 16-17th centuries