Bismarck And The Foundation Of The German Empire (Paperback) ~ H... Cover Art

Bismarck and the Foundation of the German Empire (Paperback)

By: Headlam James Wycliffe (Author)

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Purchase of this book includes free trial access to where you can read more than a million books for free. This is an OCR edition with typos. Excerpt from book: CHAPTER III. THE REVOLUTION. 1847-1852. BISMARCK was a subject of the King of Prus- .sia, but Prussia was after all only one part of a larger unit; it was a part of Germany. At this time, however, Germany was little more than a geographical expression. The medieval emperors had never succeeded in establishing permanent authority over the whole nation; what unity there had been was completely broken down at the Reformation, and at the Revolution the Empire itself, the symbol of a union which no longer existed, had been swept away. At the restoration in 1815 the reorganisation of Germany was one of the chief tasks before the Congress of Vienna. It was a task in which the statesmen failed. All proposals to restore the Empire were rejected, chiefly because Francis, who had taken the style of Emperor of Austria, did not desire to resume his old title. Germany emerged from the Revolution divided into thirty-nine different States ; Austria was one of the largest and most populous monarchies in Europe, but more than half the Austriau Empire consisted ofItalian, Slavonic, and Hungarian provinces. The Emperor of Austria ruled over about 20,000,000 Germans. The next State in size and importance was Prussia. Then came four States, the Kingdoms of Saxony, Hanover, Bavaria, and Wiirtemberg, varying in size from five to two million inhabitants ; below them were some thirty principalities of which the smallest contained only a few thousand inhabitants. By the principles adopted in the negotiations which preceded the Congress of Vienna, every one of these States was recognised as a complete independent monarchy, with its own laws and constitutions. The recognition of this independence made any common government impossible. Neither Austria nor Prussia would submit to any external author...

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