The War and Democracy eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 349 pages of information about The War and Democracy.

BOLTON KING. Mazzini. 1903.  Dent, Temple Biographies. 4s. 6d. net.

BISMARCK. Reflections and Reminiscences. 2 vols. 1898.  Smith Elder.

Out of print.  To be bought second-hand.

BUeLOW. Imperial Germany. 1914.  Cassell. 2s. net.

The last two are indispensable for a true understanding of the principles which underlie the German Empire.

T.J.  LAWRENCE. Principles of International Law. 1910. 12s. 6d. net.

A useful text-book.  See also Cambridge Mod.  Hist. vol. xii. chap. xxii.

CHAPTER III

GERMANY

“The Germans are vigorously submissive.  They employ philosophical reasonings to explain what is the least philosophic thing in the world, respect for force and the fear which transforms that respect into admiration.”—­MADAME DE STAEL (1810).

“Greatness and weakness are both inseparable from the race whose powerful and turbid thought rolls on—­the largest stream of music and poetry at which Europe comes to drink.”—­ROMAIN ROLLAND (Jean Christophe).

Sec.1. The German State.—­The German Nation is one of the oldest in Europe:  the German State is almost the youngest—­of the great States quite the youngest.

Englishmen sometimes wonder why there are so many Royal princes in Germany—­why it is that when a vacant throne has to be filled, or a husband to be found for a princess of royal standing, Germany seems to provide such an inexhaustible choice.  The reason is that Germany consisted, until recently, not of one State but of a multitude of States, each of which had a court and a dynasty and sovereign prerogatives of its own.  In 1789, at the outbreak of the French Revolution, there were 360 of these States of every sort and size and variety.  Some were Kingdoms, like Prussia, some were Electorates, like Hanover (under our English George III.), some were Grand Duchies, some were Bishoprics, some were Free Cities, and some were simply feudal estates in which, owing to the absence of a central authority, noble families had risen to the rank of independent powers.  These families were the descendants of those “robber-barons” whose castles on the Rhine and all over South and West Germany the tourist finds so picturesque.  Prince William of Wied, the first Prince of Albania, is a member of one of them, and is thus entitled to rank with the royalties of Europe:  the father-in-law of ex-King Manoel of Portugal, the Prince of Hohenzollern-Sigmaringen, a branch of the Kaiser’s own family, is another familiar recent instance.  And every one remembers Prince Albert of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha, the husband of Queen Victoria.

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