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1-THE UNIFICATION OF GERMANY
BY ALBERT BUSHNELL HART
PROFESSOR OF GOVERNMENT AT HARVARD UNIVERSITY
VERMAN Ideas of Unity. In the whole power ; equal in his field to the Pope in his
history of mankind there has never field, the two together being “the two
been such an example of the terrific swords" ordained by the Saviour of men. impact of millions of human beings, united It was not in the German blood to accept under one flag, with one purpose, in one military such a sovereign as actual supreme ruler organization, with one controlling will power, over the people of their tongue. They set as in the present Germany. The Empire up counter-emperors, and then combinations seems a bolt of forged steel, every fiber of of other puissant lords, who at last wove a which is instinct with the conception that in net in which the Emperor was held fast. union, and in union only, are strength and Seven of them took upon themselves the victory. Yet a hundred and fifty years ago right to name the Emperor and to tie up the there was nowhere in the Western world a candidates with promises to waive great porgroup of people speaking the same language tions of their royal powers if elected. From and having the same national origin and 1300 to 1789 the development in Germany traditions who seemed so far from a common was that of territorial princes, large and national life. The process by which out of small, among which were counted scores of Germans came Germany is one of the live- free cities. liest of historical dramas; and it especially After the Hapsburgs came to have the interests us because of the effect upon that presumptive right to be elected Emperors process of the success of our own great the dignity declined. The Imperial Diet, federation in America.
which met at Regensburg, squabbled endlessly The first people who wrote about the Ger- over unimportant questions. The Imperial mans found them anything but unified. Their courts were ignored by the princes. The chief pursuits seemed to be drinking mead Empire could not protect its own borders. and fighting their neighbors; or, if there The Low Countries and northern Switzerwere no neighbors handy, fighting each other. land slipped out of its grasp.
It was a The first unifying principle came from with- curious medley. Austria was the forefront out. When the Germans conquered Rome, of the Empire, but nearly half the Austrian Rome conquered the Germans, for the Em- dominions were not in the Empire. Little pire hypnotized them with its magnificent states were divided and subdivided until and still unrivaled system of world govern- toward the end there was one full-grown ment. The German chieftain, who perhaps independent country which was under legal got his place by annihilating his predecessor obligation to furnish seventeen men in case (something like a modern American post- the Empire went to war. The French Revomaster), was dazzled by Rome and planned lution sent to the scrap-heap this piece of to be a king who could lay down the law to obsolete machinery. The larger units “inhis fellow-citizens. So kingdoms were built corporated” their small neighbors, and in up of Lombards and Franks, till Charle- 1806 the Empire ceased to be. magne came along and personated the unique Advance of Prussia. Though the ancient conception of one king for the Germans, German Empire died, Germany lived as a who should at the same time be Emperor of great vital force, half smothered in its own the world.
confusion of governments jealous of each Holy Roman Empire. Thus was founded other. There was one German people speakthe Holy Roman Empire with one head, ing one court and literary language ; one the “German Emperor in the Realm,” who general German literature; and yet even after claimed, and sometimes exercised, dominion the pruning of the Napoleonic period there over Italy as well as Germany; who made were thirty-nine governmental units, includdukes, reigning princes, and even kings; ing four independent city states—Hamburg, who was the splendid center of temporal Lübeck, Bremen, and Frankfort; the Kingdoms of Saxony, Bavaria, Wurtemberg, and Bismarck's Preparations. The defeat of Hanover, mostly of Napoleon's creation ; the Austrians by the French at Solferino in the Grand Duchy of Baden ; and various 1859 suggested that the Austrian military smaller fragments of duchies and principali- power had been overrated; and against it ties. The two leading and rival powers in the Germans unexpectedly recruited a whole Germany were the Kingdom of Prussia and grand army in the single person of Count the Empire of Austria. The latter had lost Otto von Bismarck. One of the stumblingthe shadow title of German Emperor, but blocks in the way of German progress was was President of the German Confederation the expectation that the country was to be formed in 1815, and by its military might and pulled out of its low estate by a Hohenzollern its control over small German states exer- or by the titled aristocracy. It was therefore cised its will on questions involving the Ger- an unwelcome shock when the new King man-speaking peoples.
William in 1861 made Bismarck his adviser Prussia, though classed as one of the five and support. Never was there such a crushgreat Powers of Europe, was terribly impov- ing disproof of the theory of sovereignty by erished, weakened, and dispirited by the Na- divine right. Bismarck came of an obscure poleonic wars. The little kingdom had lost family of the Junker class—that is, the counmany thousands of its men. Its kings were try landed aristocracy. He had been Prusbelow the average of the Hohenzollern sover- sian observer at the Frankfort Parliament eigns, and it had been deliberately weakened and had learned to detest the smallstatism" by assigning to it provinces on the left bank of Germany. This big and boisterous man, of the Rhine which had never been Prussian, brought up on his country estate and in the which were permeated by French political little rural University of Göttingen, was the principles, and which were cut off from the one German who understood the causes of old Brandenburg provinces by the intervening his country's weakness and could contrive a Kingdom of Hanover and other unfriendly remedy. From this point for about thirty German states. Little did the crafty diplo years he was the greatest figure in Europe. mats of the Congress of Vienna realize Bismarck's mind fathomed the inherent that they were thus compelling the Prussians difficulty of the
difficulty of the situation—namely, that to annex the bridge between the two ends of Austria-Hungary, with a population of nine their dominions or to be stifled. It was fifty million Germans and twenty-six million nonyears before Prussia contested the primacy Germans, was in control of the policies of thirtyof Austria over the rest of Germany ; though, five million Germans outside her boundaries. beginning about 1830, it drew the neighbor- The first thing to do was to smash Austria ; ing states together in a Zollverein, a customs but that required a new military tool, which union, of which some vestiges still exist in Bismarck and King William proceeded to the German Empire.
forge. This was universal military service, A golden moment seemed to come in by which every able-bodied young German 1848, when a German National Parliament could be called to serve for a fixed period was held at Frankfort with the purpose of (eventually two years) in the army. The forming a general German constitution. And proposition raised an uproar in the Prussian almost at the same moment a Slavic con- Landtag, the lower house of which absolutely gress was held in Prague, with a view to refused to vote the necessary taxes; wherebring together the various Slav elements in upon his Majesty, upon Bismarck's advice, the Austrian Empire in opposition to the levied the tax upon the same scale as in the Germans. This Frankfort Parliament split previous year, without any vote of the Landon the fundamental question whether the tag. General von Roon took in hand the German Austrians were to be included. A troops thus raised and made them an army. formal offer was made to King Frederick Prussia and Austria were the most powerWilliam of Prussia that he should take the ful members of the German Confederation. headship of the new confederation, with the The next step was to prove that Prussia was title of Emperor of the Germans. Neither to take the lead in that combination. The Austria nor the South German states were occasion was found in the attempt of the ready for such a step, and Frederick William people of Schleswig-Holstein to throw off had not the military force to compel them to Danish rule. It used to be said that Benjacome in. With shame and sorrow the Prus- min Disraeli was the one man in Europe sians let the opportunity pass.
who understood that complicated question.
Bismarck did not attempt to understand it; berg, and Baden were incorporated into a all he meant to do was to use it. Accord- North German Confederation, for which an ingly a joint army of Prussians and Austrians elaborate federal constitution was drawn seized the territory in dispute, and Prussia (1867). On every page can be seen the influtook part of the plunder. In addition the ence of the United States, and especially of the Prussians got most of the military glory and recent success of the American federation in proved to Germany that the new army could subduing an attempt to break up the Union. fight
A Bundesrath was set up which has some War with Austria. The next step was to of the features of the United States Senate; prove the same thing to the Austrians, who and a Reichstag which much resembles the rather played into the hands of the Prussians House of Representatives.
When the quesby raising frivolous questions in the Diet tion arose of suffrage for the Reichstag, the of the Confederation. The Prussians had example of the United States prevailed. All adopted as their service rifle a breech-loading grown men throughout the Confederation weapon known as the needle-gun, with a were entitled to vote at their places of resirange considerably beyond that of the old
Prussia, though it had seven-eighths fashioned smooth-bore musket. When a of the population of the new Federation, zealous young Austrian officer reported this modestly accepted the dignity of the “ Presifact to his superiors, the only answer was, dency.” The new nation began to make “ The serried battalions of Austria will sweep treaties, to send ambassadors, and to away those piff-paff soldiers like dust." ganize the whole Federation into one customs
In 1866 the opportunity to sweep them system on the plan of the United States. away came about. Prussia forced the war, The French War. Still the work of unifiand was supported on the south by Italy; and cation was incomplete, for three independent the actual hostilities lasted only about thirty South German states existed, subject to the days. At the battle of Königgrätz the Aus- influence of Austria on the east and France trians could not get within range of those on the west. The Austrians took their * piff-paff soldiers," and their army was medicine and set themselves to reorganizing broken up. Meantime the old German Con- their own Empire. Napoleon III, Emperor federation had declared war on Prussia ; of the French, had steered a devious course. as a result, Saxony, Hanover, Bavaria, Wur- He could not fathom Bismarck's plans nor temberg, and Hesse put armies in the field. understand the adhesive spirit of the GerThey were all defeated by the Prussians mans, but he had a military force which with their marvelous clock-work military sys- might be used to prevent a conquest of South tem. General von Moltke came forward Germany by North Germany. The next step as the strategist without a peer, who laid out was, therefore, to put France into a condition his campaigns in his study years in advanc in which she could no longer interfere with and saw them come out as he had designed. the complete union of the Germans. France
Here came the critical moment in the was, or supposedly was, the strongest military combinations of Bismarck. The military power in Europe ; but Prussia had no fear authorities were determined to take a strip of a single-handed war. Austria deeply reof the Bohemian frontier till the mighty man sented the failure of the French to aid them broke down in a torrent of weeping. To in 1866 and stood aloof. The South German leave such a thorn in the side of the Aus- states had their eyes opened when Bismarck trians would, he declared, wreck all his plans. laid before them certain propositions made He brought conviction to William, and the by Napoleon looking toward an expansion of only penalty exacted from Austria was an France at their expense.
With or without absolute retirement from German affairs, immediate cause, Prussia was ready to strike leaving Prussia free to make new arrange- at what it believed the only obstacle to a ments.
German nation. North German Confederation.
Inside An excuse arose in a trumpery quarrel Germany Bismarck was now free to make a over the supposed desire of Spain to take a new map. Hanover, Hesse, and the city of king from one of the collateral branches of Frankfort were extinguished by annexing the Hohenzollern family. Bismarck made them to Prussia, which thus at last built the up his mind that the psychical moment had bridge from east to west. All the other come, and deliberately telegraphed a clipped states of Germany except Bavaria, Wurtem- and roughened account of a supposed insult to the Emperor of Germany by the French a tariff. On the other side, new and vast Ambassador Benedetti. War was declared manufacturing interests sprang up, and the July 19, 1870, within thirteen days of the operatives demanded cheap food. For Bisdate when war again broke out between marck was created the great office of ChanFrance and Germany forty-four years later. cellor of the Empire, the incumbent of which, The South German states were instantly under the Constitution, was “to be responswept into the struggle. Within six weeks sible." The Reichstag thought that meant the French Empire fell and a Republic was that he was to be responsible to them and to proclaimed. Within eight weeks began the resign if he could not accept their policy. siege of Paris, which lasted four months He insisted that he was responsible to his longer. Then the resistance of France was Emperor alone. The Reichstag constantly absolutely crushed. Before the new Germany brought forward the power of the civil govcould be constituted it had been enlarged by ernment, while the Emperor and the Chanthe annexation of the provinces of Alsace cellor emphasized the military power. and Lorraine.
Throughout the Empire, especially in the The German Empire. Territorially the industrial centers and large cities, Socialists work was done. All the German-speaking made great headway; they elected a group peoples of Europe, with the exception of a of members to the Reichstag and took it few in the Baltic provinces of Germany, the upon themselves to bait the Chancellor at Austrians, and the northern Swiss, were now every opportunity. As late as last year they incorporated into one nation. It remained elected a member from the district in which to give final shape to that combination. A the Imperial residence is situated. The South communication was sent to King William of German states and people felt submerged in Prussia by the King of Bavaria (we now the new Empire, for Prussia through its votes know that it was drawn up by Bismarck), and those of the small states which it conasking him to become Emperor of Germany. trols always has a majority in the BundesThe name corresponded with the dignity and rath, which means practically a veto on all traditions of the nation. On January 18, 1871, measures; and the Emperor has in military in the great hall of the Palace at Versailles, matters another veto on all propositions to then occupied by the German army, William alter existing conditions. formally took the Imperial crown under the Nevertheless great steps have been taken title of “German Emperor." The Constitu- in the actual unification of the national aspition of the North German Confederation was rations of the Germans. Most of them are changed to correspond, though to the three
eager for colonies.
If a poll could have South German states were left their post- been taken last July, it would probably have office, military organization in time of peace, been found that most of them felt that Holand the barren right to exchange ministers land or Belgium or both were logically exand consuls with foreign countries. Bis- pansions of the German seacoast. All of marck's work seemed done ; he' had accom- them (except the three million Poles in the plished the impossible. He had not “re- eastern provinces) believed that they had a stored ” the German Empire, for never in its mission to extend the German language, most glorious days had the Holy Roman culture, prestige, and authority for the good Empire approached the strength and power of mankind. All of them recognized the of the new German combination. What he dangerous situation of their fellow-Germans did was
to place a new Empire along- in Austria-Hungary. All of them stood side Russia and Austria-Hungary. He had ready at any time to accept the decision of made himself undeniably the greatest Ger- their War Lord and his counselors that the man since Charlemagne.
country was in danger. No one can doubt Effects of Unification. In reality, when that the German nation is completely unified the outside obstacles were all removed, new in its determination to push the present war difficulties sprang up within the country. with every means, usual and unusual, for the First of all came the opposition of economic defense of Fatherland and the expansion of forces; the Junker element was strong in the the German Empire. Defeat would never Imperial Government and insisted that its destroy the German Empire or shake the agricultural products should be protected by unification of the German people.
BY C. A. HIBBARD
AGOSHIMA, whose five hundred youth that there are nobler forms of bravery
years of history boast many interest- than those prompted by revenge. “Does
ing events, is the old castle town of every one in Japan do this on this evening ?” the Satsuma barons. Situated at the south- "Oh, no. Only in Kagoshima. The ern extremity of the southernmost island of students in the sha do this. They like very the Japanese archipelago, it is still free from much Soga kyodai." many influences that have trammeled the This unique ceremony made me interested feudalism of the other provinces. Here it to learn something of the organization and was that, one evening soon after my arrival, purpose of an institution so evidently fosterI first made acquaintance with the sha, who ing the ideas of past centuries. may be called the Boy Scouts of Feudal On leaving the academy grounds one afterJapan.
noon, I caught up with a group of students Returning from a jaunt into the country- swinging along in my direction. Each of the side, I found an unwonted bustle in the lads wore the skirt-like hakama and carried streets and was startled by an almost instan- over his shoulder a fencing foil from which taneous bursting forth of flames in a score of were suspended different fencing parapherplaces throughout the city. The first blaze nalia. To their polite salutation with reproved to be a bonfire of torn and crippled moved caps I replied with the strictly Japapaper umbrellas. It was surrounded by twenty nese greeting, “Where are you going ?” or thirty boys, several of whom, as I ap- “ To our sha, sir, for fencing. proached, doffed their caps in salutation of “ Well, that's good sport. Might I go with their new teacher. " Good-evening, sensei.”
“Yes, please, only our sha is a very poor "Good-evening. Why the fires ?”
building and you will see nothing interesting "Oh, it was this night, many years ago,
there." a very brave deed was done,” replied the With this I fell in with them. After a few eldest of the boys.
minutes' walk through the narrow streets ** Yes. And what was the deed ?"
lined by high stone walls in a manner peculiar "Well, a very bad man had killed a very to the southern city, we turned in through a good man named Soga. This Soga had two gateway and entered a spacious compound sons (we say Soga kyodai-Soga brothers, which at the time presented a scene of panthat means), and one dark night in spring—it demonium. was very, very dark night; the wind was A lively place it is. The playground is full very, very noisy- these brothers went out of lads clustered in groups around the conto kill the man who had killed their father." testants in their favorite sports. One group - And was this in Kagoshima ?”
shuts in a couple of lithe-limbed lads, naked “No, not Kagoshima-a small place near except for loin-cloths, who are tussling and Mount Fuji. It was very dark, bad night, and tugging in the clumsy Japanese wrestling. these boys could not see to go to this bad In another section of the yard the jiu-jitsu man's house. They had no chochin—you enthusiasts are tripping and throwing each known chochin? That is Japanese lantern other silently, while the more noisy fencers we use at night. They had no lantern, so scattered over the exercise ground are inthey burned their paper umbrellas, and then closed by little knots of spectators who every they found this bad man's house and killed now and then give vent to short, jerky exhim with their swords. So we on this day, clamations of encouragement and praise. always in fifth month-we burn kasa so we Over all is heard the clash of the bamboo not forget this brave deed. You like this broadswords used by the combatants. ustom?"
After a few interesting moments watching * I think it is well to remember brave the different sports, my guides invited me to deeds of the past. But revenge—" and see their house. The building, a low, onebere I stopped, fearing the deep water ahead story structure of the customary Japanese for a man attempting to explain to a Satsuma style of architecture, was given over almost