Date of Award


Degree Type

Master's Essay - Restricted

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)



First Advisor

Robert W. Reichert


During the Second Empire liberal Catholics opposed the government of Louis Napoleon Bonaparte. At first this liberal Catholic minority accepted the government with reservation. Later the authoritarian policies of Louis Napoleon violated their liberal principles. The immediate background of liberal Catholicism was more recent than Bonapartism. Like many other modern "isms" it originated in France. Joseph, the comte de Maistre, the father of the Catholic revival of the nineteenth century, had attributed the decline of Catholicism in France and in Europe, and especially the evils which had fallen on France, to Gallicanism. To solve these problems he advocated the reestablishment of the absolute supremacy of the Holy See in all matters pertaining to the Church.