1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Germany/History


From an archaeological point of view Germany is very far from being a homogeneous whole. Not only has the development of the south differed from that of the north, and the west been subjected to other influences than those affecting the east, but even where the same influences have been at work the period of their operation has often varied widely in the different districts, so that in a general sketch of the whole country the chronology can only be a very rough approximation. In this article the dates assigned to the various periods in south Germany are those given by Sophus Müller, on the lines first laid down by Montelius. As regards north Germany, Müller puts the Northern Bronze age 500 years later than the Southern, but a recent find in Sweden bears out Montelius’s view that southern influence made itself rapidly felt in the North. The conclusions of Montelius and Müller are disputed by W. Ridgeway, who maintains that the Iron age originated in central Europe, and that iron must consequently have been worked in those regions as far back as c. 2000 B.C.

Older Palaeolithic Period.—The earliest traces of man’s handiwork are found either at the end of the pre-Glacial epoch, or in an inter-Glacial period, but it is a disputed point whether the latter is the first of a series of such periods. A typical German find is at Taubach, near Weimar, where almond-shaped stone wedges, small flint knives, and roughly-hacked pieces of porphyry and quartz are found, together with the remains of elephants. There are also bone implements, which are not found in the earliest periods in France.

Palaeolithic Transition Period (Solutré).—More highly developed forms are found when the mammoth has succeeded the elephant. Implements of chipped stone for the purposes of boring and scraping suggest that man worked hides for clothing. Ornaments of perforated teeth and shells are found.

Later Palaeolithic Period (La Madeleine).—The next period is marked by the presence of reindeer. In the Hohlefels in the Swabian Achthal there is still no trace of earthenware, and we find the skull of a reindeer skilfully turned into a drinking-vessel. Saws, needles, awls and bone harpoons are found. It is to be noticed that none of the German finds (mostly in the south and west) show any traces of the highly developed artistic sense so characteristic of the dwellers in France at this period.

The gap in our knowledge of the development of Palaeolithic into Neolithic civilization has recently been partially filled in by discoveries in north Germany and France of objects showing rather more developed forms than those of the former period, but still unaccompanied by earthenware. It is a disputed point whether the introduction of Neolithic civilization is due to a new ethnological element.

Neolithic Age (in south Germany till c. 2000 B.C.).—Neolithic man lived under the same climatic conditions as prevail to-day, but amidst forests of fir. He shows advance in every direction, and by the end of the later Neolithic period he is master of the arts of pottery and spinning, is engaged in agricultural pursuits, owns domestic animals, and makes weapons and tools of fine shape, either ground and polished or beautifully chipped. Traces of Neolithic settlements have been found chiefly in the neighbourhood of Worms, in the Main district and in Thuringia. These dwellings are usually holes in the ground, and presumably had thatched roofs. Our knowledge of the later Neolithic age, as of the succeeding periods, is largely gained from the remains of lake-dwellings, represented in Germany chiefly by Bavarian finds. The lake-dwellings in Mecklenburg, Pomerania and East Prussia are of a different type, and it is not certain that they date back to the Stone age. Typical Neolithic cemeteries are found at Hinkelstein, Alzey and other places in the neighbourhood of Worms. In these graves the skeletons lie flat, while in other cemeteries, as at Flomborn in Rhine-Hessen, and near Heilbronn, they are in a huddled position (hence the name Hockergräber). Necklaces and bracelets of Mediterranean shells point to a considerable amount of commerce. Other objects found in the graves are small flint knives, stone axes, flint and lumps of pyrites for obtaining fire, and, in the women’s graves, hand-mills for grinding corn. The earthenware vessels usually have rounded bottoms. The earliest ornamentation consists of finger-imprints. Later we find two periods of zigzag designs in south Germany with an intermediate stage of spirals and wavy lines, while in north and east Germany the so-called string-ornamentation predominates. Towards the end of the period the inhabitants of north Germany erect megalithic graves, and in Hanover especially the passage-graves.

Bronze Age (in south Germany from c. 2000–1000 B.C.).—In the later Stone age we note the occasional use of copper, and then the gradual appearance of bronze. The bronze civilization of the Aegean seems to have had direct influence along the basins of the Danube and Elbe, while the culture of the western parts of central Germany was transmitted through Italy and France. No doubt the pre-eminence of the north, and especially of Denmark, at this period, was due to the amber trade, causing southern influence to penetrate up the basin of the Elbe to Jutland. The earlier period is characterized by the practice of inhumation in barrows made of clays, stones or sand, according to the district. Bronze is cast, whereas at a later time it shows signs of the hammer. From the finds in Bavarian graves it appears that the chief weapons were the dagger and the long pointed Palstab (palstave), while a short dagger fixed like an axe on a long shaft is characteristic of the North. The women wore two bronze pins, a bracelet on each arm, amber ornaments and a necklace of bronze tubes in spirals. One or two vases are found in each barrow, ornamented with finger-imprints, “string” decoration, &c. The later period is characterized by the practice of cremation, though the remains are still placed in barrows. Swords make their appearance. The women wear more and more massive ornaments. The vases are highly polished and of elegant form, with zigzag decoration.

Hallstatt Period (in Germany 8th–5th century B.C.).—The Hallstatt stage of culture, named after the famous cemetery in upper Austria, is marked by the introduction of iron (see Hallstatt). In Germany its centre is Bavaria, Baden and Württemberg, with the Thuringian forest as the northern boundary. In Brandenburg, Lusatia, Silesia, Posen and Saxony, where there was no strong Bronze age tradition, Hallstatt influence is very noticeable. In west Prussia the urns with human faces deserve notice. The dead are either buried in barrows or cremated, the latter especially in north and east Germany. In Bavaria both practices are resorted to, as at Hallstatt. The pottery develops beautiful form and colour. Fibulae, often of the “kettle-drum” form, take the place of the Bronze age pin.

La Tène Period (4th–1st century B.C.).—Down to this time there is very little evidence concerning the racial affinities of the population. When our records first begin the western and southern portions of Germany seem to have been inhabited by Celtic peoples (see below “Ethnography”). La Tène, in Switzerland, has given its name to the period, of which the earlier part corresponds to the time of Celtic supremacy. It is interesting to note how the Celts absorb Roman and still more Greek culture, even imitating foreign coins, and pass on their new arts to their Teutonic neighbours; but in spite of the strong foreign influence the Celtic civilization can in some sort be termed national. Later it has a less rich development, betraying the political decay of the race. Its centres in Germany are the southern districts as far as Thuringia, and the valleys of the Main and Saar. The ornamentation is of the conventionalized plant type: gold is freely used, and enamel, of a kind different from the Roman enamel used later in Germany, is applied to weapons and ornaments. Chariots are used in war, and fortified towns are built, though we must still suppose the houses to have consisted of a wooden framework coated with clay. In these districts La Tène influence is contemporary with the use of tumuli, but in the (non-Celtic) coast districts it must be sought in urn-cemeteries.

Roman Period (from the 1st century A.D.).—The period succeeding to La Tène ought rather to be called Romano-Germanic, the relation of the Teutonic races to the Roman civilization being much the same as that of the Celts to classical culture in the preceding period. The Rhine lands were of course the centre of Roman civilization, with Roman roads, fortresses, stone and tiled houses and marble temples. By this time the Teutonic peoples had probably acquired the art of writing, though the origin of their national (Runic) alphabet is still disputed. The graves of the period contain urns of earthenware or glass, cremation being the prevalent practice, and the objects found include one or more coins in accordance with Roman usage.

Period of National Migrations (A.D. 300–500).—The grave-finds do not bear out the picture of a period of ceaseless war painted by the Roman historians. On the contrary, weapons are seldom found, at any rate in graves, the objects in which bear witness to a life of extraordinary luxury. Magnificent drinking-vessels, beautifully ornamented dice and draughtsmen, masses of gay beads, are among the commonest grave-finds. A peculiarity of the period is the development of decoration inspired by animal forms, but becoming more and more tortuous and fantastic. Only those eastern parts of Germany which were now occupied by Slavonic peoples remained uninfluenced by this rich civilization.

The Merovingian Period (A.D. 500–800) sees the completion of the work of converting the German tribes to Christianity. Reihengräber, containing objects of value, but otherwise like modern cemeteries, with the dead buried in rows (Reihen), are found over all the Teutonic part of Germany, but some tribes, notably the Alamanni, seem still to have buried their dead in barrows. Among the Franks and Burgundians we find monolithic sarcophagi in imitation of the Romans, and in other districts sarcophagi were constructed out of several blocks of stone—the so-called Plattengräber. The weapons are the spatha, or double-bladed German sword, the sax (a short sword, or long knife, semispathium), the knife, shield, and the favourite German axe, though this latter is not found in Bavaria. The ornaments are beads, earrings, brooches, rings, bracelets, &c., thickly studded with precious stones.

Authorities.—S. Müller, Urgeschichte Europas (1905), and Tierornamentik (1881); O. Montelius, “Chronologie der Bronzezeit in N. Deutschland und Skandinavien,” in Archiv für Anthropologie, vols. xxv. and xxvi.; M. Hoernes, Urgeschichte des Menschen (1892), and Der diluviale Mensch in Europa (1903); M. Much, Kupferzeit in Europa (1893); R. Munro, Lake-dwellings of Europe (1890); J. Naue, Bronzezeit in Ober-Bayern (1894); O. Tischler, Ostpreussische Altertümer (1902); R. Virchow, Über Hünengräber und Pfahlbauten (1866); J. Mestorf, Urnenfriedhöfe in Schleswig-Holstein (1886); A. Lissauer, Prähistorische Denkmäler Preussens (1887); I. Undset, Erstes Auftreten des Eisens in N. Europa (1882); L. Lindenschmit, Handbuch der deutschen Altertumskunde, i. (1880–1889); and W. Ridgeway, Early Age of Greece, i. (1901). Also articles by the above and others, chiefly in Zeitschrift für Ethnologie (Berlin); Archiv für Anthropologie (Brunswick); Globus (Brunswick); Westdeutsche Zeitschrift (Trier); Schriften der physikalisch-ökonomischen Gesellschaft (Königsberg); Nachrichten über deutsche Altertumskunde (Berlin); Verhandlungen der Berliner Gesellschaft für Anthropologie, &c.; Beiträge zur Anthropologie Bayerns (Munich); and Zeitschrift für deutsches Altertum (Berlin).  (B. S. P.) 

Ethnography and Early History

Our direct knowledge of Germany begins with the appointment of Julius Caesar as governor of Gaul in 59 B.C. Long before that time there is evidence of German communication with southern civilization, as the antiquities prove, and occasional travellers from the Mediterranean had made their way into Julius Caesar
in Germany.
those regions (e.g. Pytheas, towards the end of the 4th century), but hardly any records of their journeys survive. The first Teutonic peoples whom the Romans are said to have encountered are the Cimbri and Teutoni, probably from Denmark, who invaded Illyria, Gaul and Italy towards the end of the 2nd century B.C. When Caesar arrived in Gaul the westernmost part of what is now Germany was in the possession of Gaulish tribes. The Rhine practically formed the boundary between Gauls and Germans, though one Gaulish tribe, the Menapii, is said to have been living beyond the Rhine at its mouth, and shortly before the arrival of Caesar an invading force of Germans had seized and settled down in what is now Alsace, 72 B.C. At this time the Gauls were being pressed by the Germans along the whole frontier, and several of Caesar’s campaigns were occupied with operations, either against the Germans, or against Gaulish tribes set in motion by the Germans. Among these we may mention the campaign of his first year of office, 58 B.C., against the German king Ariovistus, who led the movement in Alsace, and that of 55 B.C. in which he expelled the Usipetes and Tencteri who had crossed the lower Rhine. During the period of Caesar’s government he succeeded in annexing the whole of Gaul as far as the Rhine. (For the campaigns see Caesar, Julius.)

After peace had been established in Italy by Augustus, attempts were made to extend the Roman frontier beyond the Rhine. The Roman prince Nero Claudius Drusus (q.v.) in the year 12 B.C. annexed what is now the kingdom of the Netherlands, and constructed a canal (Fossa The campaign of other Roman leaders. Drusiana) between the Rhine and the lake Flevo (Lacus Flevus), which partly corresponded to the Zuyder Zee, though the topography of the district has greatly altered. He also penetrated into regions beyond and crossed the Weser, receiving the submission of the Bructeri, Chatti and Cherusci. After Drusus’ death in 9 B.C., while on his return from an expedition which reached the Elbe, the German command was twice undertaken by Tiberius, who in A.D. 5 received the submission of all the tribes in this quarter, including the Chauci and the Langobardi. A Roman garrison was left in the conquered districts between the Rhine and the Elbe, but the reduction was not thoroughly completed. About the same time the Roman fleet voyaged along the northern coast apparently as far as the north of Jutland, and received the nominal submission of several tribes in that region, including the Cimbri and the Charudes. In A.D. 9 Quintilius Varus, the successor of Tiberius, was surprised in the Saltus Teutobergensis between the Lippe and the Weser by a force raised by Arminius, a chief of the Cherusci, and his army consisting of three legions was annihilated. Germanicus Caesar, during his tenure of the command of the Roman armies on the Rhine, made repeated attempts to recover the Roman position in northern Germany and exact vengeance for the death of Varus, but without real success, and after his recall the Rhine formed for the greater part of its course the boundary of the Empire. A standing army was kept up on the Rhine, divided into two commands, upper and lower Germany, the headquarters of the former being at Mainz, those of the latter at Vetera, near Xanten. A number of important towns grew up, among which we may mention Trier (Augusta Trevirorum), Cologne (Colonia Agrippinensis), Bonn (Bonna), Worms (Borbetomagus), Spires (Noviomagus), Strassburg (Argentoratum) and Augsburg (Augusta Vindelicorum).

At a later date, however, probably under the Flavian emperors, the frontier of upper Germany was advanced somewhat beyond the Rhine, and a fortification, the Pfahlgraben, constructed to protect it. It led from Hönningen on the Rhine, about half-way between Bonn and Coblenz, to Mittenberg above Aschaffenburg on the Main, thence southwards to Lorch in Württemberg, whence it turned east to the junction of the Altmühl with the Danube at Kelheim.

During the wars of Drusus, Tiberius and Germanicus the Romans had ample opportunity of getting to know the tribal geography of Germany, especially the western part, and though most of our authorities lived at a somewhat later period, it is probable that they derived their information very largely from records of that time. It will be convenient, therefore, to give an account of the tribal geography of Germany in the time of Augustus, as our knowledge of the subject is much more complete for his reign than for several centuries later.

Of the Gaulish tribes west of the Rhine, the most important was the Treveri, inhabiting the basin of the Moselle, from whom the city of Trier (Trèves) derives its name. The Rauraci probably occupied the south of Alsace. To the south The German tribes. of the Treveri lay the Mediomatrici, and to the west of them lay the important tribe of the Sequani, who had called in Ariovistus. The Treveri claimed to be of German origin, and the same claim was made by a number of tribes in Belgium, the most powerful of which were the Nervii. The meaning of this claim is not quite clear, as there is some obscurity concerning the origin of the name Germani. It appears to be a Gaulish term, and there is no evidence that it was ever used by the Germans themselves. According to Tacitus it was first applied to the Tungri, whereas Caesar records that four Belgic tribes, namely, the Condrusi, Eburones, Caeraesi and Paemani, were collectively known as Germani. There is no doubt that these tribes were all linguistically Celtic, and it is now the prevailing opinion that they were not of German origin ethnologically, but that the ground for their claim was that they had come from over the Rhine (cf. Caesar, De Bello Gallico ii. 4). It would therefore seem that the name Germani originally denoted certain Celtic tribes to the east of the Rhine, and that it was then transferred to the Teutonic tribes which subsequently occupied the same territory.

There is little doubt that during the last century before the Christian era the Celtic peoples had been pushed considerably farther west by the Teutonic peoples, a process which was still going on in Caesar’s time, when we hear of Their movements. the overthrow of the Menapii, the last Gaulish tribe beyond the Rhine. In the south the same process can be observed. The Boii were expelled from their territories in Bohemia by the Marcomanni in the time of Augustus, and the Helvetii are also recorded to have occupied formerly lands east of the Rhine, in what is now Baden and Württemberg. Caesar also mentions a Gaulish tribe named Volcae Tectosages as living in Germany in his time. The Volcae Arecomici in the south of France and the Tectosages of Galatia were in all probability offshoots of this people. The name of the tribe was adopted in the Teutonic languages as a generic term for all Celtic and Italian peoples (O.H.G. Walha, A.S. Wealas), from which it is probably to be inferred that they were the Celtic people with whom the Teutonic races had the closest association in early times. It has been thought that they inhabited the basin of the Weser, and a number of place-names in this district are supposed to be of Celtic origin. Farther to the south and west Ptolemy mentions a number of place-names which are certainly Celtic, e.g. Mediolanion, Aregelia, Lougidounon, Lokoriton, Segodounon. There is therefore great probability that a large part of western Germany east of the Rhine had formerly been occupied by Celtic peoples. In the east a Gaulish people named Cotini are mentioned, apparently in the upper basin of the Oder, and Tacitus speaks of a tribe in the same neighbourhood, the Osi, who he says spoke the Pannonian language. It is probable, therefore, that in other directions also the Germans had considerably advanced their frontier southwards at a comparatively recent period.

Coming now to the Germans proper, the basin of the Rhine between Strassburg and Mainz was inhabited by the Tribocci, Nemetes and Vangiones, farther down by the Mattiaci about Wiesbaden, and the Ubii in the neighbourhood Tribes in the west and north. of Cologne; beyond them were the Sugambri, and in the Rhine delta the Batavi and other smaller tribes. All these tribes remained in subjection to the Romans. Beyond them were the Tencteri, probably about the basin of the Lahn, and the Usipetes about the basin of the Ruhr. The basin of the Lippe and the upper basin of the Ems were inhabited by the Bructeri, and in the same neighbourhood were the Ampsivarii, who derive their name from the latter river. East of them lay the Chasuarii, presumably in the basin of the Hase. The upper basin of the Weser was inhabited by the Chatti, whose capital was Mattium, supposed to be Maden on the Eder. To the north-west of them were situated the Marsi, apparently between the Diemel and the Lippe, while the central part of the basin of the Weser was inhabited by the Cherusci, who seem to have extended considerably eastward. The lower part of the river-basin was inhabited by the Angrivarii. The coastlands north of the mouth of the Rhine were occupied by the Canninefates, beyond them by the Frisii as far as the mouth of the Ems, thence onward to the mouth of the Elbe by the Chauci. As to the affinities of all these various tribes we have little definite information, but it is worth noting that the Batavi in Holland are said to have been a branch of the Chatti, from whom they had separated owing to a seditio domestica. The basin of the Elbe was inhabited by Suebic tribes, the chief of which were the Marcomanni, who seem to have been settled on the Saale during the latter part of the 1st century B.C., but moved into Bohemia before the beginning of the Christian era, where they at once became a formidable power under their king Maroboduus. The Quadi were settled somewhat farther east about the source of the Elbe. The Hermunduri in the basin of the Saale were in alliance with the Romans and occupied northern Bavaria with their consent. The Semnones apparently dwelt below the junction of the Saale and Elbe. The Langobardi (see Lombards) possessed the land between the territory of the Semnones and the mouth of the river. Their name is supposed to be preserved in Bardengau, south of Hamburg. From later evidence it is likely that another division of the Suebi inhabited western Holstein. The province of Schleswig (perhaps only the west coast) and the islands adjacent were inhabited by the Saxons, while the east coast, at least in later times, was occupied by the Angli. The coast of Mecklenburg was probably inhabited by the Varini (the later Warni). The eastern part of Germany was much less known to the Romans, information being particularly deficient as to the populations of the coast districts, though it seems probable that the Rugii inhabited the eastern part of Pomerania, where a trace of them is preserved in the name Rügenwalde. The lower part of the basin of the Oder was probably occupied by the Burgundiones, and the upper part by a number of tribes collectively known as Lugii, who seem to correspond to the Vandals of later times, though the early Roman writers apparently used the word Vandilii in a wider sense, embracing all the tribes of eastern Germany. Among the Lugii we may probably include the Silingae, who afterwards appear among the Vandals in Spain, and whose name is preserved in Slavonic form in that of the province Silesia. The Goths (Gotones) apparently inhabited the basin of the Vistula about the middle of its course, but the lower part of the basin was inhabited by non-Teutonic peoples, among whom we may mention the Galindi, probably Prussians, and the Aestii, either Prussian or Esthonian, in the coastlands at the mouth of the river, who are known especially in connexion with the amber trade. To the east of the Vistula were the Slavonic tribes (Veneti), and amongst them, perhaps rather to the north, a Finnish population (Fenni), which disappeared in later times.

In the time of Augustus by far the most powerful ruler in Germany was Maroboduus, king of the Marcomanni. His supremacy extended over all the Suebic tribes (except perhaps the Hermunduri), and most of the peoples Domestic wars of the Germans. of eastern Germany, including apparently the Lugii and Goths. But in the year A.D. 17 he became involved in an unsuccessful campaign against Arminius, prince of the Cherusci, in which the Semnones and Langobardi revolted against him, and two years later he was deprived of his throne by a certain Catualda. The latter, however, was soon expelled by Vibilius, king of the Hermunduri, and his power was transferred to Vannius, who belonged to the Quadi. About the same time Arminius met his death while trying to make himself king of the Cherusci. In the year 28 the Frisians revolted from the Romans, and though they submitted again in the year 47, Claudius immediately afterwards recalled the Roman troops to the left bank of the Rhine. In the year 50 Vannius, king of the Suebi, was driven from the throne by Vibilius, king of the Hermunduri, and his nephews Vangio and Sido obtained his kingdom. In the year 58 the Chatti suffered a serious disaster in a campaign against the Hermunduri. They seem, however, to have recovered very soon, and at the end of the 1st century had apparently extended their power at the expense of the Cherusci. During the latter part of the 1st century the Chauci seem to have been enlarging their territories: as early as the year 47 we find them raiding the Roman lands on the lower Rhine, and in 58 they expelled the Ampsivarii, who after several vain attempts to acquire new possessions were annihilated by the neighbouring tribes. During the last years of the 1st century the Angrivarii are found moving westwards, probably under pressure from the Chauci, and the power of the Bructeri was almost destroyed by their attack. In 69 the Roman territory on the lower Rhine was disturbed by the serious revolt of Claudius Civilis, a prince of the Batavi who had served in the Roman army. He was joined by the Bructeri and other neighbouring tribes, but being defeated by Petilius Cerealis (afterwards consular legate in Britain) at Vetera and in other engagements gave up the struggle and arranged a capitulation in A.D. 70. By the end of the 1st century the Chauci and Chatti seem to have become by far the most powerful tribes in western Germany, though the former are seldom mentioned after this time.

After the time of Tacitus our information regarding German affairs becomes extremely meagre. The next important conflict with the Romans was the Marcomannic War (166–180), in which all the Suebic tribes together with the Vandals (apparently the ancient Lugii) and the Sarmatian Iazyges seem to have taken part. Peace was made by the emperor Commodus in A.D. 180 on payment of large sums of money.

About the beginning of the 3rd century we find a forward movement in south-west Germany among a group of tribes known collectively as Alamanni (q.v.) who came in conflict with the emperor Caracalla in the year 213. About the same time the Goths also made their first The Alamanni,
the Goths and
the Franks.
appearance in the south-east and soon became the most formidable antagonists of Rome. In the year 251 they defeated and slew the emperor Decius, and in the reign of Gallienus their fleets setting out from the north of the Black Sea worked great havoc on the coast of the Aegean (see Goths). It is not to be supposed, however, that they had quitted their own lands on the Vistula by this time. In this connexion we hear also of the Heruli (q.v.), who some twenty years later, about 289, make their appearance in the western seas. In 286 we hear for the first time of maritime raids by the Saxons in the same quarter. About the middle of the 3rd century the name Franks (q.v.) makes its first appearance, apparently a new collective term for the tribes of north-west Germany from the Chatti to the mouth of the Rhine.

In the 4th century the chief powers in western Germany were the Franks and the Alamanni, both of whom were in constant conflict with the Romans. The former were pressed in their rear by the Saxons, who at some time before the middle of the 4th century appear to have invaded Arrival of the Huns. and conquered a considerable part of north-west Germany. About the same time great national movements seem to have been taking place farther east. The Burgundians made their appearance in the west shortly before the end of the 3rd century, settling in the basin of the Main, and it is probable that some portions of the north Suebic peoples, perhaps the ancient Semnones, had already moved westward. By the middle of the 4th century the Goths had become the dominant power in eastern Germany, and their King Hermanaric held a supremacy which seems to have stretched from the Black Sea to Holstein. At his death, however, the supremacy of eastern Germany passed to the Huns, an invading people from the east, whose arrival seems to have produced a complete displacement of population in this region. With regard to the course of events in eastern Germany we have no knowledge, but during the 5th century several of the peoples previously settled there appear to have made their way into the lands south of the Carpathians and Riesengebirge, amongst whom (besides the Goths) may be especially mentioned the Rugii and the Gepides, the latter perhaps originally a branch of the Goths. According to tradition the Vandals had been driven into Pannonia by the Goths in the time of Constantine. We do not know how far northward the Hunnish power reached in the time of Attila, but the invasion of this nation was soon followed by a great westward movement of the Slavs.

In the west the Alamanni and the descendants of the Marcomanni, now called Baiouarii (Bavarians), had broken through the frontiers of the Roman provinces of Vindelicia and Noricum at the beginning of the 5th century, while the Vandals together with some of the Suebi The Burgundians and other tribes. and the non-Teutonic Alani from the east crossed the Rhine and invaded Gaul in 406. About 435–440 the Burgundians were overthrown by Attila, and their king Gunthacarius (Gundahar) killed. The remains of the nation shortly afterwards settled in Gaul. About the same time the Franks overran and occupied the modern Belgium, and in the course of the next half-century their dominions were enormously extended towards the south (see Franks). After the death of Attila in 453 the power of the Huns soon collapsed, but the political divisions of Germany in the ensuing period are far from clear.

In the 6th century the predominant peoples are the Franks, Frisians, Saxons, Alamanni, Bavarians, Langobardi, Heruli and Warni. By the beginning of this century the Saxons seem to have penetrated almost, if not quite, to the Rhine in the Netherlands. Farther south, The Franks and others in the
6th century.
however, the old land of the Chatti was included in the kingdom of Clovis. Northern Bavaria was occupied by the Franks, whose king Clovis subdued the Alamanni in 495. To the east of the Franks between the Harz, the Elbe and the Saale lay the kingdom of the Thuringi, the origin of whom is not clear. The Heruli also had a powerful kingdom, probably in the basin of the Elbe, and to the east of them were the Langobardi. The Warni apparently now dwelt in the regions about the mouth of the Elbe, while the whole coast from the mouth of the Weser to the west Scheldt was in the hands of the Frisians. By this time all the country east of the lower Elbe seems to have been Slavonic. In the north, perhaps in the province of Schleswig, we hear now for the first time of the Danes. Theodoric, king of the Ostrogoths, endeavoured to form a confederacy with the Thuringi, Heruli and Warni against Clovis in order to protect the Visigoths in the early years of the 6th century, but very shortly afterwards the king of the Heruli was slain by the Langobardi and their existence as an independent power came to an end. In 531 the Thuringian kingdom was destroyed by the Frankish king Theodoric, son of Clovis, with whom the Saxons were in alliance.

During the 6th and 7th centuries the Saxons were intermittently under Frankish supremacy, but their conquest was not complete until the time of Charlemagne. Shortly after the middle of the 6th century the Franks were The Saxons and
the Franks.
threatened with a new invasion by the Avars. In 567–568 the Langobardi, who by this time had moved into the Danube basin, invaded Italy and were followed by those of the Saxons who had settled in Thuringia. Their lands were given by the Frankish king Sigeberht to the north Suebi and other tribes who had come either from the Elbe basin or possibly from the Netherlands. About the same time Sigeberht was defeated by the Avars, and though the latter soon withdrew from the Frankish frontiers, their course was followed by a movement of the Slavs, who occupied the basin of the Elster and penetrated to that of the Main.

By the end of the 6th century the whole basin of the Elbe except the Saxon territory near the mouth had probably become Slavonic. To the east of the Saale were the Sorbs (Sorabi), and beyond them the Daleminci and Siusli. To the east of the Saxons were the Polabs (Polabi) in the basin of the Elbe, and beyond them the Hevelli about the Havel. Farther north in Mecklenburg were the Warnabi, and in eastern Holstein the Obotriti and the Wagri. To the east of the Warnabi were the Liutici as far as the Oder, and beyond that river the Pomerani. To the south of the Oder were the Milcieni and the Lusici, and farther east the Poloni with their centre in the basin of the Vistula. The lower part of the Vistula basin, however, was in possession of Prussian tribes, the Prussi and Lithuani.

The Warni now disappear from history, and from this time the Teutonic peoples of the north as far as the Danish boundary about the Eider are called Saxons. The conquest of the Frisians by the Franks was begun by Pippin (Pepin) of Heristal in 689 and practically completed by Charles Martel, though they were not entirely brought into subjection until the time of Charlemagne. The great overthrow of the Saxons took place about 772–773 and by the end of the century Charlemagne had extended his conquests to the border of the Danes. By this time the whole of the Teutonic part of Germany had been finally brought under his government.

Authorities.—Caesar, De bello Gallico, especially i. 31 ff., iv. 1-19, vi. 21 ff.; Velleius Paterculus, especially ii. 105 ff.; Strabo, especially pp. 193 ff., 290 ff.; Pliny, Natural History, iv. §§ 99 ff., 106; Tacitus, Annales, i. 38 ff., ii. 5 ff., 44 ff., 62 f., 88; Germania, passim; Histories, iv.; Ptolemy ii. 9, §§ 2 ff., 11, iii. 5, §§ 19 ff.; Dio Cassius, passim; Julius Capitolinus; Claudius Mamertinus; Ammianus Marcellinus, passim; Zosimus; Jordanes, De origine Getarum; Procopius, De bello Gothico; K. Zeuss, Die Deutschen und die Nachbarstämme; O. Bremer in Paul’s Grundriss d. germ. Philologie (2nd ed.), vol. iii. pp. 735 ff.  (F. G. M. B.) 

Medieval and Modern History

When Clovis, or Chlodovech, became king of a tribe of the Salian Franks in 481, five years after the fall of the Western empire, the region afterwards called Germany was divided into five main districts, and its history for the succeeding three centuries is mainly the history Divisions of Germany. of the tribes inhabiting these districts. In the north-east, dwelling between the Rhine and the Elbe, were the Saxons (q.v.), to the east and south of whom stretched the extensive kingdom of Thuringia (q.v.). In the south-west the Alamanni occupied the territory afterwards called Swabia (q.v.), and extended along the middle Rhine until they met the Ripuarian Franks, then living in the northern part of the district which at a later period was called after them, Franconia (q.v.); and in the south-east were the Bavarians, although it was some time before their country came to be known as Bavaria (q.v.).

Clovis was descended from Chlogio, or Clodion, who had ruled over a branch of the Salian Franks from 427 to 447, and whose successors, following his example, had secured an influential position for their tribe. Having obtained possession of that part of Gaul which lay between the The wars of Clovis. Seine and the Loire, Clovis turned his attention to his eastern neighbours, and was soon engaged in a struggle with the Alamanni which probably arose out of a quarrel between them and the Ripuarian Franks for the possession of the middle Rhine. When in 496, or soon afterwards, the Alamanni were defeated, they were confined to what was afterwards known as Swabia, and the northern part of their territory was incorporated with the kingdom of the Franks. Clovis had united the Salian Franks under his rule, and he persuaded, or compelled, the Ripuarian Franks also to accept him as their king; but on his death in 511 his kingdom was divided, and the Ripuarian, or Rhenish, Franks as they are sometimes called, together with some of the Alamanni, came under the rule of his eldest son Theuderich or Theodoric I. This was the first of the many partitions which effectually divided the kingdom of the Franks into an eastern and a western portion, that is to say, into divisions which eventually became Germany and France respectively, and the district ruled by Theuderich was almost identical with that which afterwards bore the name of Austrasia. In 531 Theuderich killed Hermannfried, king of the Thuringians, a former ally, with whom he had quarrelled, conquered his kingdom, and added its southern portion to his own possessions. His son and successor, Theudebert I., exercised a certain supremacy over the Alamanni and the Bavarians, and even claimed authority over various Saxon tribes between whom and the Franks there had been some fighting. After his death in 548, however, the Frankish power in Germany sank to very minute proportions, a result due partly to the spirit of tribal independence which lingered among the German races, but principally to the paralysing effect of the unceasing rivalry between Austrasia and Neustria. From 548 the Alamanni were ruled by a succession of dukes who soon made themselves independent; and in 555 a duke of the Bavarians, who exercised his authority without regard for the Frankish supremacy, is first mentioned. In Thuringia, which now only consisted of the central part of the former kingdom, King Dagobert I. set up in 634 a duke named Radulf who soon asserted his independence of Dagobert and of his successor, Sigebert III. The Saxons for their part did not own even a nominal allegiance to the Frankish kings, whose authority on the right bank of the Rhine was confined to the district actually occupied by men of their own name, which at a later date became the duchy of Franconia. During these years the eastern border of Germany was constantly ravaged by various Slavonic tribes. King Dagobert sent troops to repel these marauders from time to time, but the main burden of defence fell upon the Saxons, Bavarians and Thuringians. The virtual independence of these German tribes lasted until the union of Austrasia and Neustria in 687, an achievement mainly due to the efforts of Pippin of Heristal, who soon became the actual, though not the nominal, ruler of the Frankish realm. Pippin and his son Charles Martel, who was mayor of the palace from 717 to 741, renewed the struggle with the Germans and were soon successful in re-establishing the central power which the Merovingian kings had allowed to slip from their grasp. The ducal office was abolished in Thuringia, a series of wars reduced the Alamanni to strict dependence, and both countries were governed by Frankish officials. Bavaria was brought into subjection about the same time; the Bavarian law, committed to writing between 739 and 748, strongly emphasizes the supremacy of the Frankish king, whose authority it recognizes as including the right to appoint and even to depose the duke of Bavaria. The Saxons, on the other hand, succeeded in retaining their independence as a race, although their country was ravaged in various campaigns and some tribes were compelled from time to time to pay tribute. The rule of Pippin the Short, both before and after his coronation as king, was troubled by constant risings on the part of his East Frankish or German subjects, but aided by his brother Carloman, who for a time administered this part of the Frankish kingdom, Pippin was generally able to deal with the rebels.

After all, however, even these powerful Frankish conquerors had but imperfect success in Germany. When they were present with their formidable armies, they could command obedience; when engaged, as they often were, in distant parts of the vast Frankish territory, they The Saxons remain independent. could not trust to the fulfilment of the fair promises they had exacted. One of the chief causes of their ill-success was the continued independence of the Saxons. Ever since they had acquired the northern half of Thuringia, this warlike race had been extending its power. They were still heathens, cherishing bitter hatred towards the Franks, whom they regarded as the enemies both of their liberties and of their religion; and their hatred found expression, not only in expeditions into Frankish territory, but in help willingly rendered to every German confederation which wished to throw off the Frankish yoke. Hardly any rebellion against the dukes of the Franks, or against King Pippin, took place in Germany without the Saxons coming forward to aid the rebels. This was perfectly understood by the Frankish rulers, who tried again and again to put an end to the evil by subduing the Saxons. They could not, however, attain their object. An occasional victory was gained, and some border tribes were from time to time compelled to pay tribute; but the mass of the Saxons remained unconquered. This was partly due to the fact that the Saxons had not, like the other German confederations, a duke who, when beaten, could be held responsible for the engagements forced upon him as the representative of his subjects. A Saxon chief who made peace with the Franks could undertake nothing for the whole people. As a conquering race, they were firmly compact; conquered, they were in the hands of the victor a rope of sand.

It was during the time of Pippin of Heristal and his son and grandson that the conversion of the Germans to Christianity was mainly effected. Some traces of Roman Christianity still lingered in the Rhine valley and in southern Christianity in Germany. Germany, but the bulk of the people were heathen, in spite of the efforts of Frank and Irish missionaries and the command of King Dagobert I. that all his subjects should be baptized. Rupert, bishop of Worms, had already made some progress in the work of converting the Bavarians and Alamanni, as had Willibrord among the Thuringians when St Boniface appeared in Germany in 717. Appointed bishop of the Germans by Pope Gregory II., and supported by Charles Martel, he preached with much success in Bavaria and Thuringia, notwithstanding some hostility from the clergy who disliked the influence of Rome. He founded or restored bishoprics in Bavaria, Thuringia and elsewhere, and in 742 presided over the first German council. When he was martyred in 755 Christianity was professed by all the German races except the Saxons, and the church, organized and wealthy, had been to a large extent brought under the control of the papacy. The old pagan faith was not yet entirely destroyed, and traces of its influence may still be detected in popular beliefs and customs. But still Christianity was dominant, and soon became an important factor in the process of civilization, while the close alliance of the German church with the papacy was followed by results of the utmost consequence for Germany.

The reign of Charlemagne is a period of great importance in the history of Germany. Under his rule the first signs of national unity and a serious advance in the progress of order and civilization may be seen. The long struggle, The work of Charlemagne. which ended in 804 with the submission of the Saxons to the emperor, together with the extension of a real Frankish authority over the Bavarians, brought the German races for the first time under a single ruler; while war and government, law and religion, alike tended to weld them into one people. The armies of Charlemagne contained warriors from all parts of Germany; and although tribal law was respected and codified, legislation common to the whole empire was also introduced. The general establishment of the Frankish system of government and the presence of Frankish officials helped to break down the barriers of race, and the influence of Christianity was in the same direction. With the conversion of the Saxons the whole German race became nominally Christian; and their ruler was lavish in granting lands and privileges to prelates, and untiring in founding bishoprics, monasteries and schools. Measures were also taken for the security and good government of the country. Campaigns against the Slavonic tribes, if sometimes failing in their immediate object, taught those peoples to respect the power of the Frankish monarch; and the establishment of a series of marches along the eastern frontier gave a sense of safety to the neighbouring districts. The tribal dukes had all disappeared, and their duchies were split up into districts ruled by counts (q.v.), whose tendencies to independence the emperor tried to check by the visits of the missi dominici (q.v.). Some of the results of the government of Charlemagne were, however, less beneficial. His coronation as Roman emperor in 800, although it did not produce at the time so powerful an impression in Germany as in France, was fraught with consequences not always favourable for the former country. The tendencies of the tribe to independence were crushed as their ancient popular assemblies were discouraged; and the liberty of the freemen was curtailed owing to the exigencies of military service, while the power of the church was rarely directed to the highest ends.

The reign of the emperor Louis I. was marked by a number of abortive schemes for the partition of his dominions among his sons, which provoked a state of strife that was largely responsible for the increasing weakness of the Empire. The mild nature of Louis I. and his sons. his rule, however, made Louis popular with his German subjects, to whose support mainly he owed his restoration to power on two occasions. When in 825 his son Louis, afterwards called “the German,” was entrusted with the government of Bavaria and from this centre gradually extended his authority over the Carolingian dominions east of the Rhine, a step was taken in the process by which East Francia, or Germany, was becoming a unit distinguishable from other portions of the Empire; a process which was carried further by the treaty of Verdun in August 843, when, after a struggle between Louis the German and his brothers for their father’s inheritance, an arrangement was made by which Louis obtained the bulk of the lands east of the Rhine together with the districts around Mainz, Worms and Spires on the left bank. Although not yet a single people, the German tribes had now for the first time a ruler whose authority was confined to their own lands, and from this time the beginnings of national life may be traced. For fifty years the main efforts of Louis were directed to defending his kingdom from the inroads of his Slavonic neighbours, and his detachment from the rest of the Empire necessitated by these constant engagements towards the east, gradually gave both him and his subjects a distinctive character, which was displayed and emphasized when, in ratifying an alliance with his half-brother, the West-Frankish king, Charles the Bald, the oath was sworn in different tongues. The East and West Franks were unable to understand each other’s speech, so Charles took the oath in a Romance, and Louis in a German dialect.

Important as is the treaty of Verdun in German history, that of Mersen, by which Louis and Charles the Bald settled in 870 their dispute over the kingdom of Lothair, second son of the emperor Lothair I., is still more important. Louis the German and his successors. The additional territory which Louis then obtained gave to his dominions almost the proportions which Germany maintained throughout the middle ages. They were bounded on the east by the Elbe and the Bohemian mountains, and on the west beyond the Rhine they included the districts known afterwards as Alsace and Lorraine. His jurisdiction embraced the territories occupied by the five ancient German tribes, and included the five archbishoprics of Mainz, Treves (Trier), Cologne, Salzburg and Bremen. When Louis died in 876 his kingdom was divided among his three sons, but as the two elder of these soon died without heirs, Germany was again united in 882 under his remaining son Charles, called “the Fat,” who soon became ruler of almost the whole of the extensive domains of Charlemagne. There was, however, no cohesion in the restored empire, the disintegration of which, moreover, was hastened by the ravages of the Northmen, who plundered the cities in the valley of the Rhine. Charles attempted to buy off these redoubtable invaders, a policy which aroused the anger of his German subjects, whose resentment was accentuated by the king’s indifference to their condition, and found expression in 887 when Arnulf, an illegitimate son of Carloman, the eldest son of Louis the German, led an army of Bavarians against him. Arnulf himself was recognized as German or East-Frankish king, although his actual authority was confined to Bavaria and its neighbourhood. He was successful in freeing his kingdom for a time from the ravages of the Northmen, but was not equally fortunate in his contests with the Moravians. After his death in 899 his kingdom came under the nominal rule of his young son Louis “the Child,” and in the absence of firm rule and a central authority became the prey of the Magyars and other hordes of invaders.

During these wars feudalism made rapid advance in Germany. The different peoples compelled to attend to their own defence appointed dukes for special military services (see Duke); and these dukes, chosen often from members Feudalism in Germany. of the old ducal families, succeeded without much difficulty in securing a more permanent position for themselves and their descendants. In Saxony, for example, we hear of Duke Otto the Illustrious, who also ruled over Thuringia; and during the early years of the 10th century dukes appear in Franconia, Bavaria, Swabia and Lorraine. These dukes acquired large tracts of land of which they gave grants on conditions of military service to persons on whom they could rely; while many independent landowners sought their protection on terms of vassalage. The same process took place in the case of great numbers of freemen of a lower class, who put themselves at the service of their more powerful neighbours in return for protection. In this manner the feudal tenure of land began to prevail in almost all parts of Germany, and the elaborate social system which became known as feudalism was gradually built up. The dukes became virtually independent, and when Louis the Child died in 911, the royal authority existed in name only.

While Louis the Child lived the German dukes were virtually kings in their duchies, and their natural tendency was to make themselves absolute rulers. But, threatened as they were by the Magyars, with the Slavs and Northmen Conrad I. always ready to take advantage of their weakness, they could not afford to do without a central government. Accordingly the nobles assembled at Forchheim, and by the advice of Otto the Illustrious, duke of Saxony, Conrad of Franconia was chosen German king. The dukes of Bavaria, Swabia and Lorraine were displeased at this election, probably because Conrad was likely to prove considerably more powerful than they wished. Rather than acknowledge him, the duke of Lotharingia, or Lorraine, transferred his allegiance to Charles the Simple of France; and it was in vain that Conrad protested and despatched armies into Lorraine. With the help of the French king the duke maintained his ground, and for the time his country was lost to Germany. Bavaria and Swabia yielded, but, mainly through the fault of the king himself, their submission was of brief duration. The rise of the dukes had been watched with extreme jealousy by the leading prelates. They saw that the independence they had hitherto enjoyed would be much more imperilled by powerful local governors than by a sovereign who necessarily regarded it as part of his duty to protect the church. Hence they had done everything they could to prevent the dukes from extending their authority, and as the government was carried on during the reign of Louis the Child mainly by Hatto I., archbishop of Mainz, they had been able to throw considerable obstacles in the way of their rivals. They had now induced Conrad to quarrel with both Swabia and Bavaria, and also with Henry, duke of Saxony, son of the duke to whom he chiefly owed his crown. In these contests the German king met with indifferent success, but the struggle with Saxony was not very serious, and when dying in December 919 Conrad recommended the Franconian nobles to offer the crown to Henry, the only man who could cope with the anarchy by which he had himself been baffled.

The nobles of Franconia acted upon the advice of their king, and the Saxons were very willing that their duke should rise to still higher honours. Henry I., called “the Fowler,” who was chosen German king in May 919, was one of Henry the Fowler. the best of German kings, and was a born statesman and warrior. His ambition was of the noblest order, for he sank his personal interests in the cause of his country, and he knew exactly when to attain his objects by force, and when by concession and moderation. Almost immediately he overcame the opposition of the dukes of Swabia and Bavaria; some time later, taking advantage of the troubled state of France, he accepted the homage of the duke of Lorraine, which for many centuries afterwards remained a part of the German kingdom.

Having established internal order, Henry was able to turn to matters of more pressing moment. In the first year of his reign the Magyars, who had continued to scourge Germany during the reign of Conrad, broke into Henry and the Magyars. Saxony and plundered the land almost without hindrance. In 924 they returned, and this time by good fortune one of their greatest princes fell into the hands of the Germans. Henry restored him to his countrymen on condition that they made a truce for nine years; and he promised to pay yearly tribute during this period. The barbarians accepted his terms, and faithfully kept their word in regard to Henry’s own lands, although Bavaria, Swabia and Franconia they occasionally invaded as before. The king made admirable use of the opportunity he had secured, confining his efforts, however, to Saxony and Thuringia, the only parts of Germany over which he had any control.

In the southern and western German lands towns and fortified places had long existed; but in the north, where Roman influence had only been feeble, and where even the Franks had not exercised much authority until the time of Henry’s work in Saxony. Charlemagne, the people still lived as in ancient times, either on solitary farms or in exposed villages. Henry saw that, while this state of things lasted, the population could never be safe, and began the construction of fortresses and walled towns. Of every group of nine men one was compelled to devote himself to this work, while the remaining eight cultivated his fields and allowed a third of their produce to be stored against times of trouble. The necessities of military discipline were also a subject of attention. Hitherto the Germans had fought mainly on foot, and, as the Magyars came on horseback, the nation was placed at an immense disadvantage. A powerful force of cavalry was now raised, while at the same time the infantry were drilled in new and more effective modes of fighting. Although these preparations were carried on directly under Henry’s supervision, only in Saxony and Thuringia the neighbouring dukes were stimulated to follow his example. When he was ready he used his new troops, before turning them against their chief enemy, the Magyars, to punish refractory Slavonic tribes; and he brought under temporary subjection nearly all the Slavs between the Elbe and the Oder. He proceeded also against the Bohemians, whose duke was compelled to do homage.

The truce with the Magyars was not renewed, whereupon in 933 a body of invaders crossed, as in former years, the frontier of Thuringia. Henry prudently waited until dearth of provisions forced the enemy to divide into two The Magyars return. bands. He then swept down upon the weaker force, annihilated it, and rapidly advanced against the remaining portion of the army. The second battle was more severe than the first, but not less decisive. The Magyars, unable to cope with a disciplined army, were cut down in great numbers, and those who survived rode in terror from the field. The exact scenes of these conflicts are not known, although the date of the second encounter was the 15th of March 933; but few more important battles have ever been fought. The power of the Magyars was not indeed destroyed, but it was crippled, and the way was prepared for the effective liberation of Germany from an intolerable plague. While the Magyars had been troubling Germany on the east and south, the Danes had been irritating her on the north. Charlemagne had established a march between the Eider and the Schlei; but in course of time the Danes had not only seized this territory, but had driven the German population beyond the Elbe. The Saxons had been slowly reconquering the lost ground, and now Henry, advancing with his victorious army into Jutland, forced Gorm, the Danish king, to become his vassal and regained the land between the Eider and the Schlei. But Henry’s work concerned the duchy of Saxony rather than the kingdom of Germany. He concentrated all his energies on the government and defence of northern and eastern Germany, leaving the southern and western districts to profit by his example, while his policy of refraining from interference in the affairs of the other duchies tended to diminish the ill-feeling which existed between the various German tribes and to bring peace to the country as a whole. It is in these directions that the reign of Henry the Fowler marks a stage in the history of Germany.

When this great king died in July 936 every land inhabited by a German population formed part of the German kingdom, and none of the duchies were at war either with him or among themselves. Along the northern and eastern frontier were tributary races, and the country was for the time rid of an enemy The growth of towns. which, for nearly a generation, had kept it in perpetual fear. Great as were these results, perhaps Henry did even greater service in beginning the growth of towns throughout north Germany. Not content with merely making them places of defence, he decreed that they should be centres for the administration of justice, and that in them should be held all public festivities and ceremonies; he also instituted markets, and encouraged traders to take advantage of the opportunities provided for them. A strong check was thus imposed upon the tendency of freemen to become the vassals of great lords. This movement had become so powerful by the troubles of the epoch that, had no other current of influence set in, the entire class of freemen must soon have disappeared. As they now knew that they could find protection without looking to a superior, they had less temptation to give up their independence, and many of them settled in the towns where they could be safe and free. Besides maintaining a manly spirit in the population, the towns rapidly added to their importance by the stimulus they gave to all kinds of industry and trade.

Before his death Henry obtained the promise of the nobles at a national assembly, or diet, at Erfurt to recognize his son Otto as his successor, and the promise was kept, Otto being chosen German king in July 936. Otto I. the Otto the Great. Great began his reign under the most favourable circumstances. He was twenty-four years of age, and at the coronation festival, which was held at Aix-la-Chapelle, the dukes performed for the first time the nominally menial offices known as the arch-offices of the German kingdom. But these peaceful relations soon came to an end. Reversing his father’s policy, Otto resolved that the dukes should act in the strictest sense as his vassals, or lose their dignities. At the time of his coronation Germany was virtually a federal state; he wished to transform it into a firm and compact monarchy. This policy speedily led to a formidable rebellion, headed by Thankmar, the king’s half-brother, a fierce warrior, who fancied that he had a prior claim to the crown, and who secured a number of followers in Saxony. He was joined by Eberhard, duke of Franconia, and it was only by the aid of the duke of Swabia, whom the duke of Franconia had offended, that the rising was put down. This happened in 938, and in 939 a second rebellion, led by Otto’s brother Henry, was supported by the duke of Franconia and by Giselbert, duke of Lorraine. Otto again triumphed, and derived immense advantages from his success. The duchy of Franconia he kept in his own hands, and in 944 he granted Lorraine to Conrad the Red, an energetic and honourable count, whom he still further attached to himself by giving him his daughter for his wife. Bavaria, on the death of its duke in 947, was placed under his brother Henry, who, having been pardoned, had become a loyal subject. The duchy of Swabia was also brought into Otto’s family by the marriage of his son Ludolf with Duke Hermann’s daughter, and by these means Otto made himself master of the kingdom. For the time, feudalism in truth meant that lands and offices were held on condition of service; the king was the genuine ruler, not only of freemen, but of the highest vassals in the nation.

In the midst of these internal troubles Otto was attacked by the French king, Louis IV., who sought to regain Lorraine. However, the German king was soon able to turn his arms against his new enemy; he marched into France Otto’s wars with France and with the Slavs. and made peace with Louis in 942. Otto’s subsequent interventions in the affairs of France were mainly directed towards making peace between Louis and his powerful and rebellious vassal, Hugh the Great, duke of the Franks, both of whom were married to sisters of the German king. Much more important than Otto’s doings in France were his wars with his northern and eastern neighbours. The duke of Bohemia, after a long struggle, was brought to submission in 950. Among the Slavs between the Elbe and the Oder the king was represented by Margrave Gero, a warrior well fitted for the rough work he had to do, loyal to his sovereign, but capable of any treachery towards his enemies, who conquered much of the country north of Bohemia between the Oder and the upper and middle Elbe. Margrave Billung, who looked after the Abotrites on the lower Elbe, was less fortunate, mainly because of the neighbourhood of the Danes, who, after the death of King Henry, often attacked the hated Germans, but some progress was made in bringing this district under German influence. Otto, having profound faith in the power of the church to reconcile conquered peoples to his rule, provided for the benefit of the Danes the bishoprics of Schleswig, Ripen and Aarhus; and among those which he established for the Slavs were the important bishoprics of Brandenburg and Havelberg. In his later years he set up the archbishopric of Magdeburg, which took in the sees of Meissen, Zeitz and Merseburg.

Having secured peace in Germany and begun the real conquest of the border races, Otto was by far the greatest sovereign in Europe; and, had he refused to go beyond the limits within which he had hitherto acted, it is probable Otto in Italy. that he would have established a united monarchy. But a decision to which he soon came deprived posterity of the results which might have sprung from the policy of his earlier years. About 951 Adelaide, widow of Lothair, son of Hugh, king of Italy, having refused to marry the son of Berengar, margrave of Ivrea, was cast into prison and cruelly treated. She appealed to Otto; other reasons called him in the same direction, and in 951 he crossed the Alps and descended into Lombardy. He displaced Berengar, and was so fascinated by Queen Adelaide that within a few weeks he was married to her at Pavia. But Otto’s son, Ludolf, who had received a promise of the German crown, saw his rights threatened by this marriage. He went to an old enemy of his father, Frederick, archbishop of Mainz, and the two plotted together against the king, who, hearing of their proceedings, returned to Germany in 952, leaving Duke Conrad of Lorraine as his representative in Italy. Otto, who did not suspect how deep were the designs of the conspirators, paid a visit to Mainz, where he was seized and was compelled to take certain solemn pledges which, after his escape, he repudiated.

War broke out in 953, and the struggle was the most serious in which he had been engaged. In Lorraine, of which duchy Otto made his brother Bruno, archbishop of Cologne, administrator, his cause was triumphant; but everywhere The civil war. else dark clouds gathered over his head. Conrad the Red hurried from Italy and joined the rebels; in Swabia, in Bavaria, in Franconia and even in Saxony, the native land of the king, many sided with them. It is extremely remarkable that this movement acquired so quickly such force and volume. The explanation, according to some historians, is that the people looked forward with alarm to the union of Germany with Italy. There were still traditions of the hardships inflicted upon the common folk by the expeditions of Charlemagne, and it is supposed that they anticipated similar evils in the event of his empire being restored. Whether or not this be the true explanation, the power of Otto was shaken to its foundations. At last he was saved by the presence of an immense external peril. The Magyars were as usual stimulated to action by the disunion of their enemies; and Conrad and Ludolf made the blunder of inviting their help, a proceeding which disgusted the Germans, many of whom fell away from their side and rallied to the head and protector of the nation. In a very short time Conrad and the archbishop of Mainz submitted, and although Ludolf held out a little longer he soon asked for pardon. Lorraine was given to Bruno; but Conrad, its former duke, although thus punished, was not disgraced, for Otto needed his services Defeat of Magyars. in the war with the Magyars. The great battle against these foes was fought on the 10th of August 955 on the Lechfeld near Augsburg. After a fierce and obstinate fight, in which Conrad and many other nobles fell, the Germans were victorious; the Magyars were even more thoroughly scourged than in the battles in which Otto’s father had given them their first real check. The deliverance of Germany was complete, and from this time, notwithstanding certain wild raids towards the east, the Magyars began to settle in the land they still occupy, and to adapt themselves to the conditions of civilized life.

Entreated by Pope John XII., who needed a helper against Berengar, Otto went a second time to Italy, in 961; and on this occasion he received from the pope at Rome the imperial Otto crowned emperor. crown. In 966 he was again in Italy, where he remained six years, exercising to the full his imperial rights in regard to the papacy, but occupied mainly in an attempt to make himself master of the southern, as well as of the northern half of the peninsula.

By far the most important act of Otto’s eventful life was his assumption of the Lombard and the imperial crowns. His successors steadily followed his example, and the sovereign crowned at Aix-la-Chapelle claimed as his right coronation by the pope in Rome. Thus grew Connexion of Germany with the Empire. up the Holy Roman Empire, that strange state which, directly descending through the empire of Charlemagne from the empire of the Caesars, contained so many elements foreign to ancient life. We are here concerned with it only as it affected Germany. Germany itself never until our own day became an empire. It is true that at last the Holy Roman Empire was in reality confined to Germany; but in theory it was something quite different. Like France, Germany was a kingdom, but it differed from France in this, that its king was also king in Italy and Roman emperor. As the latter title made him nominally the secular lord of the world, it might have been expected to excite the pride of his German subjects; and doubtless, after a time, they did learn to think highly of themselves as the imperial race. But the evidence tends to show that at first at least they had no wish for this honour, and would have preferred their ruler to devote himself entirely to his own people.

There are signs that during Otto’s reign they began to have a distinct consciousness of national life, their use of the word “deutsch” to indicate the whole people being one of these symptoms. Their common sufferings, struggles and triumphs, however, account far more readily for this feeling than the supposition that they were elated by their king undertaking obligations which took him for years together away from his native land. So solemn were the associations of the imperial title that, after acquiring it, Otto probably looked for more intimate obedience from his subjects. They were willing enough to admit the abstract claims of the Empire; but in the world of feudalism there was a multitude of established customs and rights which rudely conflicted with these claims, and in action, remote and abstract considerations gave way before concrete and present realities. Instead of strengthening the allegiance of the Germans towards their sovereign, the imperial title was the means of steadily undermining it. To the connexion of their kingdom with the Empire they owe the fact that for centuries they were the most divided of European nations, and that they have only recently begun to create a genuinely united state. France was made up of a number of loosely connected lands, each with its own lord, when Germany, under Otto, was to a large extent moved by a single will, well organized and strong. But the attention of the French kings was concentrated on their immediate interests, and in course of time they brought their unruly vassals to order. The German kings, as emperors, had duties which often took them away for long periods from Germany. This alone would have shaken their authority, for, during their absence, the great vassals seized rights which were afterwards difficult to recover. But the emperors were not merely absent, they had to engage in struggles in which they exhausted the energies necessary to enforce obedience at home; and, in order to obtain help, they were sometimes glad to concede advantages to which, under other conditions, they would have tenaciously clung. Moreover, the greatest of all their struggles was with the papacy; so that a power outside their kingdom, but exercising immense influence within it, was in the end always prepared to weaken them by exciting dissension among their people. Thus the imperial crown was the most fatal gift that could have been offered to the German kings; apparently giving them all things, it deprived them of nearly everything. And in doing this it inflicted on many generations incalculable and needless suffering.

By the policy of his later years Otto did much to prepare the way for the process of disintegration which he rendered inevitable by restoring the Empire. With the kingdom divided into five great duchies, the sovereign could Otto and the duchies. always have maintained at least so much unity as Henry the Fowler secured; and, as the experience of Otto himself showed, there would have been chances of much greater centralization. Yet he threw away this advantage. Lorraine was divided into two duchies, Upper Lorraine and Lower Lorraine. In each duchy of the kingdom he appointed a count palatine, whose duty was to maintain the royal rights; and after Margrave Gero died in 965 his territory was divided into three marches, and placed under margraves, each with the same powers as Gero. Otto gave up the practice of retaining the duchies either in his own hands or in those of relatives. Even Saxony, his native duchy and the chief source of his strength, was given to Margrave Billung, whose family kept it for many years. To combat the power of the princes, Otto, especially after he became emperor and looked upon himself as the protector of the church, immensely increased the importance of the prelates. They received great gifts of land, were endowed with jurisdiction in criminal as well as civil cases, and obtained several other valuable sovereign rights. The emperor’s idea was that, as church lands and offices could not be hereditary, their holders would necessarily favour the crown. But he forgot that the church had a head outside Germany, and that the passion for the rights of an order may be not less intense than that for the rights of a family. While the Empire was at peace with the popes the prelates did strongly uphold it, and their influence was unquestionably, on the whole, higher than that of rude secular nobles. But with the Empire and the Papacy in conflict, they could not but abide, as a rule, by the authority which had the most sacred claims to their loyalty. From all these circumstances it curiously happened that the sovereign who did more than almost any other to raise the royal power, was also the sovereign who, more than any other, wrought its decay.

Otto II. had been crowned German king at Aix-la-Chapelle and emperor at Rome during his father’s lifetime. Becoming sole ruler in May 973, his troubles began in Lorraine, but were more serious in Bavaria, which was now a Otto II. very important duchy. Its duke, Henry, the brother of Otto I., had died in 955 and had been succeeded by a young son, Henry, whose turbulent career subsequently induced the Bavarian historian Aventinus to describe him as rixosus, or the Quarrelsome. In 973 Burchard II., duke of Swabia, died, and the new emperor refused to give this duchy to Henry, further irritating this duke by bestowing it upon his enemy, Otto, a grandson of the emperor Otto I. Having collected allies Henry rebelled, and in 976 the emperor himself marched against him and drove him into Bohemia. Bavaria was taken from him and given to Otto of Swabia, but it was deprived of some of its importance. The southern part, Carinthia, which had hitherto been a march district, was separated from it and made into a duchy, and the church in Bavaria was made dependent upon the king and not upon the duke. Having arrived at this settlement Otto marched against the Bohemians, but while he was away from Germany war was begun against him by Henry, the new duke of Carinthia, who, forgetting the benefits he had just received, rose to avenge the wrongs of his friend, the deposed duke Henry of Bavaria. The emperor made peace with the Bohemians and quickly put down the rising. Henry of Bavaria was handed over to the keeping of the bishop of Utrecht and Carinthia received another duke.

In his anxiety to obtain possession of southern Italy, Otto I. had secured as a wife for his son and successor Theophano, daughter of the East Roman emperor, Romanus II., the ruler of much of southern Italy. Otto II., Otto and France. having all his father’s ambition with much of his strength and haughtiness, longed to get away from Germany and to claim these remoter districts. But he was detained for some time owing to the sudden invasion of Lower Lorraine by Lothair, king of France, in 978. So stealthily did the invader advance that the emperor had only just time to escape from Aix-la-Chapelle before the town was seized and plundered. As quickly as possible Otto placed himself at the head of a great army and marched to Paris, but he was compelled to retreat without taking the city, and in 980 peace was made.

At last, after an expedition against the Poles, Otto was able to fulfil the wish of his heart; he went to Italy in 980 and never returned to Germany. His claims to southern Italy were vehemently opposed, and in July 982 he suffered Otto in Italy. a disastrous defeat at the hands of the East Roman emperor’s subjects and their Saracen allies. The news of this crushing blow cast a gloom over Germany, which was again suffering from the attacks of her unruly neighbours. The Saxons were able to cope with the Danes and the German boundary was pushed forward in the south-east; but the Slavs fought with such courage and success that during the reigns of the emperors Otto II. and Otto III. much of the work effected by the margraves Hermann Billung and Gero was undone, and nearly two centuries passed before they were driven back to the position which they had perforce occupied under Otto the Great. Such were the first-fruits of the assumption of the imperial crown.

About six months before his death in Rome, in December 983, Otto held a diet at Verona which was attended by many of the German princes, who recognized his infant son Otto as his successor. Otto was then taken to Otto III. Germany, and after his father’s death he was crowned at Aix-la-Chapelle on Christmas Day 983. Henry of Bavaria was released from his confinement and became his guardian; but as this restless prince showed an inclination to secure the crown for himself, the young king was taken from him and placed in the care of his mother Theophano. Henry, however, gained a good deal of support both within and without Germany and caused much anxiety to Otto’s friends, but in 985 peace was made and he was restored to Bavaria. While Theophano acted as regent, the chief functions of government were discharged by Willigis, archbishop of Mainz (d. 1011), a vigorous prelate who had risen from a humble rank to the highest position in the German Church. He was aided by the princes, each of whom claimed a voice in the administration, and, during the lifetime of Theophano at least, a stubborn and sometimes a successful resistance was offered to the attacks of the Slavs. But under the prevalent conditions a vigorous rule was impossible, and during Otto’s minority the royal authority was greatly weakened. In Saxony the people were quickly forgetting their hereditary connexion with the successors of Henry the Fowler; in Bavaria, after the death of Duke Henry in 995, the nobles, heedless of the royal power, returned to the ancient German custom and chose Henry’s son Henry as their ruler.

In 995 Otto III. was declared to have reached his majority. He had been so carefully trained in all the learning of the time that he was called the “wonder of the world,” and a certain fascination still belongs to his imaginative and The character of Otto. fantastic nature. Imbued by his mother with the extravagant ideas of the East Roman emperors he introduced into his court an amount of splendour and ceremonial hitherto unknown in western Europe. The heir of the western emperors and the grandson of an eastern emperor, he spent most of his time in Rome, and fancied he could unite the world under his rule. In this vague design he was encouraged by Gerbert, the greatest scholar of the day, whom, as Silvester II., he raised to the papal throne. Meanwhile Germany was suffering severely from internal disorders and from the inroads of her rude neighbours; and when in the year 1000 Otto visited his northern kingdom there were hopes that he would smite these enemies with the vigour of his predecessors. But these hopes were disappointed; on the contrary, Otto seems to have released Boleslaus, duke of the Poles, from his vague allegiance to the German kings, and he founded an archbishopric at Gnesen, thus freeing the Polish sees from the authority of the archbishop of Magdeburg.

When Otto III. died in January 1002 there remained no representative of the elder branch of the imperial family, and several candidates came forward for the vacant throne. Among these candidates was Henry of Bavaria, son Henry II. of Duke Henry the Quarrelsome and a great-grandson of Henry the Fowler, and at Mainz in June 1002 this prince was chosen German king as Henry II. Having been recognized as king by the Saxons, the Thuringians and the nobles of Lorraine, the new king was able to turn his attention to the affairs of government, but on the whole his reign was an unfortunate one for Germany. For ten years civil war raged in Lorraine; in Saxony much blood was shed in petty quarrels; and Henry made expeditions against his turbulent vassals in Flanders and Friesland. He also interfered in the affairs of Burgundy, but the acquisition of this kingdom was the work of his successor, Conrad II. During nearly the whole of this reign the Germans were fighting the Poles. Boleslaus of Poland, who was now a very powerful sovereign, having conquered Lusatia and Silesia, brought Bohemia also under his rule and was soon at variance with the German king. Anxious to regain these lands Henry allied himself with some Slavonic tribes, promising not to interfere with the exercise of their heathen religion, while Boleslaus found supporters among the discontented German nobles. The honours of the ensuing war were with Henry, and when peace was made in 1006 Boleslaus gave up Bohemia, but the struggle was soon renewed and neither side had gained any serious advantage when peace was again made in 1013. A third Polish war broke out in 1015. Henry led his troops in person and obtained assistance from the Russians and the Hungarians; peace was concluded in 1018, the Elbe remaining the north-east boundary of Germany. Henry made three journeys to Italy, being crowned king of the Lombards at Pavia in 1004 and emperor at Rome ten years later. Before the latter event, in order to assert his right of sovereignty over Rome, he called himself king of the Romans, a designation which henceforth was borne by his successors until they received the higher title from the pope. Hitherto a sovereign crowned at Aix-la-Chapelle had been “king of the West Franks,” or “king of the Franks and Saxons.” Henry was generous to the church, to which he looked for support, but he maintained the royal authority over the clergy. Although generally unsuccessful he strove hard for peace, and during this reign the principle of inheritance was virtually established with regard to German fiefs.

After Henry’s death the nobles met at Kamba, near Oppenheim, and in September 1024 elected Conrad, a Franconian count, to the vacant throne. Although favoured by the German clergy the new king, Conrad II., had to Conrad II. face some opposition; this, however, quickly vanished and he received the homage of the nobles in the various duchies and seemed to have no reason to dread internal enemies. Nevertheless, he had soon to battle with a conspiracy headed by his stepson, Ernest II., duke of Swabia. This was caused primarily by Conrad’s avowed desire to acquire the kingdom of Burgundy, but other reasons for dissatisfaction existed, and the revolting duke found it easy to gather around him the scattered forces of discontent. However, the king was quite able to deal with the rising, which, indeed, never attained serious proportions, although Ernest gave continual trouble until his death in 1030. With regard to the German duchies Conrad followed the policy of Otto the Great. He wished to control, not to abolish them. In 1026, when Duke Henry of Bavaria died, he obtained the duchy for his son Henry, afterwards the emperor Henry III.; later, despite the opposition of the nobles, he invested the same prince with Swabia, where the ducal family had died out. Franconia was in the hands of Conrad himself; thus Saxony, Thuringia, Carinthia and Lorraine were the only duchies not completely dependent upon the king.

When Conrad ascended the throne the safety of Germany was endangered from three different points. On the north was Denmark ruled by Canute the Great; on the east was the wide Polish state whose ruler, Boleslaus, had just taken the title of The neighbouring countries. king; and on the south-east was Hungary, which under its king, St Stephen, was rapidly becoming an organized and formidable power. Peace was maintained with Canute, and in 1035 a treaty was concluded and the land between the Eider and the Schlei was ceded to Denmark. In 1030 Conrad waged a short war against Hungary, but here also he was obliged to assent to a cession of territory. In Poland he was more fortunate. After the death of Boleslaus in 1025 the Poles plunged into a civil war, and Conrad was able to turn this to his own advantage. In 1031 he recovered Lusatia and other districts, and in 1033 the Polish duke of Mesislaus did homage to him at Merseburg. His authority was recognized by the Bohemians, and two expeditions taught the Slavonic tribes between the Elbe and the Oder to respect his power.

In Italy, whither he journeyed in 1026 and 1036, Conrad was not welcomed. Although as emperor and as king of the Lombards he was the lawful sovereign of that country, the Germans were still regarded as intruders and could Conrad in Italy. only maintain their rights by force. The event which threw the greatest lustre upon this reign was the acquisition of the kingdom of Burgundy, or Arles, which was bequeathed to Conrad by its king, Rudolph III., the uncle of his wife, Gisela. Rudolph died in 1032, and in 1033 Conrad was crowned king at Peterlingen, being at once recognized by the German-speaking population. For about two years his rival, Odo, count of Champagne, who was supported by the Romance-speaking inhabitants, kept up the struggle against him, but eventually all opposition was overcome and the possession of Burgundy was assured to the German king.

This reign is important in the history of Germany because it marks the beginning of the great imperial age, but it has other features of interest. In dealing with the revolt of Ernest of Swabia Conrad was aided by the reluctance The nobles and the land. of the vassals of the great lords to follow them against the king. This reluctance was due largely to the increasing independence of this class of landholders, who were beginning to learn that the sovereign, and not their immediate lord, was the protector of their liberties; the independence in its turn arose from the growth of the principle of heredity. In Germany Conrad did not definitely decree that fiefs should pass from father to son, but he encouraged and took advantage of the tendency in this direction, a tendency which was, obviously, a serious blow at the power of the great lords over their vassals. In 1037 he issued from Milan his famous edict for the kingdom of Italy which decreed that upon the death of a landholder his fief should descend to his son, or grandson, and that no fiefholder should be deprived of his fief without the judgment of his peers. In another direction Conrad’s policy was to free himself as king from dependence upon the church. He sought to regain lands granted to the church by his predecessors; prelates were employed on public business much less frequently than heretofore. He kept a firm hand over the church, but his rule was purely secular; he took little or no interest in ecclesiastical affairs. During this reign the centre and basis of the imperial power in Germany was moved southwards. Saxony, the home of the Ottos, became less prominent in German politics, while Bavaria and the south were gradually gaining in importance.

Henry III., who had been crowned German king and also king of Burgundy during his father’s lifetime, took possession of his great inheritance without the slightest sign of opposition in June 1039. He was without the impulsiveness Henry III. which marred Conrad’s great qualities, but he had the same decisive judgment, wide ambition and irresistible will as his father. During the late king’s concluding years a certain Bretislaus, who had served Conrad with distinction in Lusatia, became duke of Bohemia and made war upon the disunited Poles, easily bringing them into subjection. Thus Germany was again threatened with the establishment of a great and independent Slavonic state upon her eastern frontier. To combat this danger Henry invaded Bohemia, and after two reverses compelled Bretislaus to appear before him as a suppliant at Regensburg. The German king treated his foe generously and was rewarded by receiving to the end of his reign the service of a loyal vassal; he also gained the goodwill of the Poles by helping to bring about the return of their duke, Casimir I., who willingly did homage for his land. The king of Denmark, too, acknowledged Henry as his feudal lord. Moreover, by several campaigns in Hungary the German king brought that country into the position of a fief of the German crown. This war was occasioned by the violence of the Hungarian usurper, Aba Samuel, and formed Henry’s principal occupation from 1041 to 1045.

In Germany itself Henry acquired, during the first ten years of his rule, an authority which had been unknown since the days of Otto the Great. Early in his reign he had made a determined enemy of Godfrey the Bearded, duke of Henry’s internal policy. upper Lorraine, who, in 1044, conspired against him and who found powerful allies in Henry I., king of France, in the counts of Flanders and Holland, and in certain Burgundian nobles. However, Godfrey and his friends were easily worsted, and when the dispossessed duke again tried the fortune of war he found that the German king had detached Henry of France from his side and was also in alliance with the English king, Edward the Confessor. While thus maintaining his authority in the north-east corner of the country by alliances and expeditions, Henry was strong enough to put the laws in motion against the most powerful princes and to force them to keep the public peace. Under his severe but beneficent rule, Germany enjoyed a period of internal quiet such as she had probably never experienced before, but even Henry could not permanently divert from its course the main political tendency of the age, the desire of the great feudal lords for independence.

Cowed, but unpacified and discontented, the princes awaited their opportunity, while the king played into their hands by allowing the southern duchies, Swabia, Bavaria and Carinthia, to pass from under his own immediate Henry’s wars. control. His position was becoming gradually weaker when in 1051 he invaded Hungary, where a reaction against German influence was taking place. After a second campaign in 1052 the Hungarian king, Andrew, was compelled to make peace and to own himself the vassal of the German king. Meanwhile Saxony and Bavaria were permeated by the spirit of unrest, and Henry returned from Hungary just in time to frustrate a widespread conspiracy against him in southern Germany. Encouraged by the support of the German rebels, Andrew of Hungary repudiated the treaty of peace and the German supremacy in that country came to a sudden end. Among the causes which undermined Henry’s strength was the fact that the mediate nobles, who had stood loyally by his father, Conrad, were not his friends; probably his wars made serious demands upon them, and his strict administration of justice, especially his insistence upon the maintenance of the public peace, was displeasing to them.

At the beginning of Henry’s reign the church all over Europe was in a deplorable condition. Simony was universally practised and the morality of the clergy was very low. The Papacy, too, had sunk to a degraded condition and its Henry and the church. authority was annihilated, not only by the character of successive popes, but by the fact that there were at the same time three claimants for the papal throne. Henry, a man of deep, sincere and even rigorous piety, regarded these evils with sorrow; he associated himself definitely with the movement for reform which proceeded from Cluny, and commanded his prelates to put an end to simony and other abuses. Then moving farther in the same direction he resolved to strike at the root of the evil by the exercise of his imperial authority. In 1046 he entered Italy at the head of an army which secured for him greater respect than had been given to any German ruler since Charlemagne, and at Sutri and in Rome he deposed the three rival popes. He then raised to the papal see Suidger, bishop of Bamberg, who, as Pope Clement II., crowned him emperor; after Clement three other German popes—Damasus II., Leo IX. and Victor II.—owed their elevation to Henry. Under these popes a new era began for the church, and in thus reforming the Papacy Henry III. fulfilled what was regarded as the noblest duty of his imperial office, but he also sharpened a weapon whose keen edge was first tried against his son.

The last years of Henry III. form a turning-point in German history. Great kings and emperors came after him, but none of them possessed the direct, absolute authority which he freely wielded; even in the case of the strongest the forms of feudalism more and more interposed themselves between the monarch and the nation, and at last the royal authority virtually disappeared. During this reign the towns entered upon an age of prosperity, and the Rhine and the Weser became great avenues of trade.

When Henry died in October 1056 the decline of the royal authority was accelerated by the fact that his successor was a child. Henry IV., who had been crowned king in 1054, was at first in charge of his mother, the empress The minority of Henry IV. Agnes, whose weak and inefficient rule was closely watched by Anno, archbishop of Cologne. In 1062, however, Anno and other prominent prelates and laymen, perhaps jealous of the influence exercised at court by Henry, bishop of Augsburg (d. 1063), managed by a clever trick to get possession of the king’s person. Deserted by her friends Agnes retired, and forthwith Anno began to rule the state. But soon he was compelled to share his duties with Adalbert, archbishop of Bremen, and a year or two later Adalbert became virtually the ruler of Germany, leaving Anno to attend to affairs in Italy. Adalbert’s rule was very successful. Compelling King Solomon to own Henry’s supremacy he restored the influence of Germany in Hungary; in internal affairs he restrained the turbulence of the princes, but he made many enemies, especially in Saxony, and in 1066 Henry, who had just been declared of age, was compelled to dismiss him. The ambitious prelate, however, had gained great influence over Henry, who had grown up under the most diverse influences. The young king was generous and was endowed with considerable intellectual gifts; but passing as he did from Anno’s gloomy palace at Cologne to Adalbert’s residence in Bremen, where he was petted and flattered, he became wayward and wilful.

Henry IV. assumed the duties of government soon after the fall of Adalbert and quickly made enemies of many of the chief princes, including Otto of Nordheim, the powerful duke of Bavaria, Rudolph, duke of Swabia, and Henry’s personal rule. Berthold of Zähringen, duke of Carinthia. In Saxony, where, like his father, he frequently held his court, he excited intense hostility by a series of injudicious proceedings. While the three Ottos were pursuing the shadow of imperial greatness in Italy, much of the crown land in this duchy had been seized by the nobles and was now held by their descendants. Henry IV. insisted on the restoration of these estates and encroached upon the rights of the peasants. Moreover, he built a number of forts which the people thought were intended for prisons; he filled the land with riotous and overbearing Swabians; he kept in prison Magnus, the heir to the duchy; and is said to have spoken of the Saxons in a tone of great contempt. All classes were thus combined against him, and when he ordered his forces to assemble for a campaign against the Poles the Saxons refused to join the host. In 1073 the universal discontent found expression in a great assembly at Wormesleben, in which the leading part was taken by Otto of Nordheim, by Werner, archbishop of Magdeburg, and by Burkhard II., bishop of Halberstadt. Under Otto’s leadership the Thuringians joined the rising, which soon spread far and wide. Henry was surprised by a band of rebels in his fortress at the Harzburg; he fled to Hersfeld and appealed to the princes for support, but he could not compel them to aid him and they would grant him nothing. After tedious negotiations he was obliged to yield to the demands of his enemies, and peace was made at Gerstungen in 1074. Zealously carrying out the conditions of the peace, the peasants not only battered down the detested forts, they even destroyed the chapel at the Harzburg and committed other acts of desecration. These proceedings alarmed the princes, both spiritual and secular, and Henry, who had gained support from the cities of the Rhineland, was able to advance with a formidable army into Saxony in 1075. He gained a decisive victory, rebuilt the forts and completely restored the authority of the crown.

In 1073, while Germany was in this confused state, Hildebrand had become pope as Gregory VII., and in 1075 he issued his famous decree against the marriage of the clergy and against their investiture by laymen. To the latter Pope Gregory VII. decree it was impossible for any sovereign to submit, and in Germany there were stronger reasons than elsewhere for resistance. A large part of the land of the country was held by the clergy, and most of it had been granted to them because it was supposed that they would be the king’s most efficient helpers. Were the feudal tie broken, the crown must soon vanish, and the constitution of medieval society undergo a radical change. Henry, who hitherto had treated the new pope with excessive respect, now announced his intention of going to Rome and assuming the imperial title. The pope, to whom the Saxons had been encouraged to complain, responded by sending back certain of Henry’s messengers, with the command that the king should do penance for the crimes of which his subjects accused him. Enraged by this unexpected arrogance, Henry summoned a synod of German bishops to Worms in January 1076, and Hildebrand was declared deposed. The papal answer was a bull excommunicating the German king, dethroning him and liberating his subjects from their oath of allegiance.

Never before had a pope ventured to take so bold a step. It was within the memory even of young men that a German king had dismissed three popes, and had raised in turn four of his own prelates to the Roman see. And Effect of Henry’s excommunication. now a pope attempted to drag from his throne the successor of this very sovereign. The effect of the bull was tremendous; no other was ever followed by equally important results. The princes had long been chafing under the royal power; they had shaken even so stern an autocrat as Henry III., and the authority of Henry IV. was already visibly weakened. At this important stage in their contest with the crown a mighty ally suddenly offered himself, and with indecent eagerness they hastened to associate themselves with him. Their vassals and subjects, appalled by the invisible powers wielded by the head of the church, supported them in their rebellion. The Saxons again rose in arms and Otto of Nordheim succeeded in uniting the North and South German supporters of the pope. Henry had looked for no such result as this; he did not understand the influences which lay beneath the surface and was horrified by his unexpected isolation. At a diet in Tribur he humbled himself before the princes, but in vain. They turned from him and decided that the pope should be asked to judge Henry; that if, within a year, the sentence of excommunication were not removed, the king should lose his crown; and that in the meantime he should live in retirement.

Next came the strange scene at Canossa which burned itself into the memory of Europe. For three days the representative of the Caesars entreated to be admitted into the pope’s presence. No other mode of escape than complete Scene at Canossa. subjection to Gregory had suggested itself, or was perhaps possible; but it did not save him. Although the pope forgave him, the German princes, resolved not to miss the chance which fortune had given them, met in March 1077, and deposed him, electing Rudolph, duke of Swabia, as his successor. But Henry’s bitter humiliations transformed his character; they brought out all his latent capacities of manliness.

The war of investitures that followed was the opening of the tremendous struggle between the Empire and the Papacy, which is the central fact of medieval history and which, after two centuries of conflict, ended in the The struggle over investitures. exhaustion of both powers. Its details belong more to the history of Italy than to that of Germany, where it took the form of a fight between two rival kings, but in Germany its effects were more deeply felt. The nation now plucked bitter fruit from the seed planted by Otto the Great in assuming the imperial crown and by a long line of kings and emperors in lavishing worldly power upon the church. In the ambition of the spiritual and the secular princes the pope had an immensely powerful engine of offence against the emperor, and without the slightest scruple this was turned to the best advantage.

When this struggle began it may be said in general that Henry was supported by the cities and the lower classes, while Rudolph relied upon the princes and the opponents of a united Germany; or, to make another division, Henry’s strength lay in the duchies of Franconia and Bavaria, Henry IV. and the anti-kings. Rudolph’s in Swabia and Saxony. In the Rhineland and in southern Germany the cities had been steadily growing in wealth and power, and they could not fail to realize that they had more to fear from the princes than from the crown. Hence when Henry returned to Germany in 1078 Worms, Spires and many other places opened their gates to him and contributed freely to his cause; nevertheless his troops were beaten in three encounters and Pope Gregory thundered anew against him in March 1080. However, the fortune of war soon turned, and in October 1080 Rudolph of Swabia was defeated and slain. Henry then carried the war into Italy; in 1084 he was crowned emperor in Rome by Wibert, archbishop of Ravenna, whom, as Clement III., he had set up as an anti-pope, and in 1085 Gregory died an exile from Rome. Meanwhile in Germany Henry’s opponents had chosen Hermann, count of Luxemburg, king in succession to Rudolph of Swabia. Hermann, however, was not very successful, and when Henry returned to Germany in 1084 he found that his most doughty opponent, Otto of Nordheim, was dead, and that the anti-king had few friends outside Saxony. This duchy was soon reduced to obedience and was treated with consideration, and when the third anti-king, Egbert, margrave of Meissen, was murdered in 1090 there would have been peace if Germany had followed her own impulses.

In the Papacy, however, Henry had an implacable foe; and again and again when he seemed on the point of a complete triumph the smouldering embers of revolt were kindled once more into flame. In Italy his son, Conrad, was stirred up against him and in 1093 was crowned king Henry and the Papacy. at Monza; then ten years later, when Germany was more peaceful than it had been for years and when the emperor’s authority was generally acknowledged, his second son, Henry, afterwards the emperor Henry V., was induced to head a dangerous rebellion. The Saxons and the Thuringians were soon in arms, and they were joined by those warlike spirits of Germany to whom an age of peace brought no glory and an age of prosperity brought no gain. After some desultory fighting Henry IV. was taken prisoner and compelled to abdicate; he had, however, escaped and had renewed the contest when he died in August 1106.

During this reign the first crusade took place, and the German king suffered severely from the pious zeal which it expressed and intensified. The movement was not in the end favourable to papal supremacy, but the early crusaders, and those who sympathized with them, regarded the The First Crusade. enemies of the pope as the enemies of religion.

The early years of Henry V.’s reign were spent in campaigns in Flanders, Bohemia, Hungary and Poland, but the new king was soon reminded that the dispute over investitures was unsettled. Pope Paschal II. did not doubt, now that Henry IV. was dead, that he would speedily Henry V. in Germany. triumph; but he was soon undeceived. Henry V., who with unconscious irony had promised to treat the pope as a father, continued, like his predecessors, to invest prelates with the ring and the staff, and met the expostulations of Paschal by declaring that he would not surrender a right which had belonged to all former kings. Lengthened negotiations took place but they led to no satisfactory result, while the king’s enemies in Germany, taking advantage of the deadlock, showed signs of revolt. One of the most ardent of these enemies was Lothair of Supplinburg, whom Henry himself had made duke of Saxony upon the extinction of the Billung family in 1106. Lothair was humbled in 1112, but he took advantage of the emperor’s difficulties to rise again and again, the twin pillars of his strength being the Saxon hatred of the Franconian emperors and an informal alliance with the papal see. Henry’s chief friends were his nephews, the two Hohenstaufen princes, Frederick and Conrad, to whose father Frederick the emperor Henry IV. had given the duchy of Swabia when its duke Rudolph became his rival. The younger Frederick succeeded to this duchy in 1105, while ten years later Conrad was made duke of Franconia, a country which for nearly a century had been under the immediate government of the crown. The two brothers were enthusiastic imperialists, and with persistent courage they upheld the cause of their sovereign during his two absences in Italy.

At last, in September 1122, the investiture question was settled by the concordat of Worms. By this compromise, which exhaustion forced upon both parties, the right of electing prelates was granted to the clergy, and the emperor surrendered the privilege of investing The concordat
of Worms.
them with the ring and the staff. On the other hand it was arranged that these elections should take place in the presence of the emperor or his representative, and that he should invest the new prelate with the sceptre, thus signifying that the bishop, or abbot, held his temporal fiefs from him and not from the pope. In Germany the victory remained with the emperor, but it was by no means decisive. The Papacy was far from realizing Hildebrand’s great schemes; yet in regard to the question in dispute it gained solid advantage, and its general authority was incomparably more important than it had been half a century before. During this period it had waged war upon the emperor himself. Instead of acknowledging its inferiority as in former times it had claimed to be the higher power; it had even attempted to dispose of the imperial crown as if the Empire were a papal fief; and it had found out that it could at any time tamper, and perhaps paralyse, the imperial authority by exciting internal strife in Germany. Having thus settled this momentous dispute Henry spent his later years in restoring order in Germany, and in planning to assist his father-in-law, Henry I. of England, in France. During this reign under the lead of Otto, bishop of Bamberg (c. 1063–1139), Pomerania began to come under the influence of Germany and of Christianity.

The Franconian dynasty died out with Henry V. in May 1125, and after a protracted contest Lothair, duke of Saxony, the candidate of the clergy, was chosen in the following August to succeed him. The new king’s first enterprise was a disastrous campaign in Bohemia, but The reign of Lothair the Saxon. before this occurrence he had aroused the enmity of the Hohenstaufen princes by demanding that they should surrender certain lands which had formerly been the property of the crown. Lothair’s rebuff in Bohemia stiffened the backs of Frederick and Conrad, and in order to contend with them the king secured a powerful ally by marrying his daughter Gertrude to Henry the Proud, a grandson of Welf, whom Henry IV. had made duke of Bavaria, a duchy to which Henry himself had succeeded in 1126. Henry was perhaps the most powerful of the king’s subjects, nevertheless the dukes of Swabia and Franconia withstood him, and a long war desolated South Germany. This was ended by the submission of Frederick in 1134 and of Conrad in the following year. Lothair’s position, which before 1130 was very weak, had gradually become stronger. He had put down the disorder in Bavaria, in Saxony and in Lorraine; a diet held at Magdeburg in 1135 was attended by representatives from the vassal states of Denmark, Hungary, Bohemia and Poland; and in 1136, when he visited Italy for the second time, Germany was in a very peaceful condition. In June 1133 during the king’s first visit to Italy he had received from Pope Innocent II. the imperial crown and also the investiture of the extensive territories left by Matilda, marchioness of Tuscany; and at this time the pope seems to have claimed the emperor as his vassal, a statement to this effect (post homo fit papae, sumit quo dante coronam) being inscribed in the audience hall of the Lateran at Rome.

Nothing could indicate more clearly than this fact how much of their old power the German kings had lost. It was not past hope that even yet some of their former splendour might be restored, and for a brief period monarchy Decay of the royal power. did again stand high. Still, its foundations were sapped. Incessant war, both at home and in Italy, had deprived it of its force; it had lost moral influence by humiliations, of which the scene at Canossa was an extreme type. Steadily, with unwearied energy, letting no opportunity escape, the princes had advanced towards independence, and they might well look forward to such a bearing in regard to the kings as the kings had formerly adopted in regard to them.

Henry the Proud was confident that he would succeed Lothair, who had died on his return from Italy in December 1137; but, by a hasty and irregular election, Conrad of Hohenstaufen, duke of Franconia, was chosen king in March Conrad III. 1138. Henry the Proud rebelled and was declared to have forfeited his two duchies, Saxony and Bavaria, the former being given to Albert the Bear, margrave of Brandenburg, and the latter to Leopold IV., margrave of Austria. Henry defended his rights with vigour and once again Germany was ravaged by war, for although he was unpopular in Bavaria he was strongly supported by the Saxons, who, since the time of Henry IV., had always been ready to join in an attack on the monarchy, and he had little difficulty in driving Albert the Bear from the land. However, in October 1139 Henry died suddenly, but his young son, Henry the Lion, was recognized at once as duke of Saxony, while his brother, Welf, upheld the fortunes of his house in Bavaria. The struggle went on until May 1142, when peace was made at Frankfort. Saxony, with the assent of Albert the Bear, was granted by Conrad to Henry the Lion, and Bavaria was given to Henry Jasomirgott, who had just succeeded his brother Leopold as margrave of Austria. But this was only a lull in the civil strife, which was renewed after the king had made a successful expedition into Bohemia. The princes clerical and lay were fighting against each other, and the Bavarians were at war with the Hungarians, who gained a great victory in 1146. Notwithstanding the many sources of confusion Conrad was persuaded by the passionate eloquence of Bernard of Clairvaux to take part in the second crusade; he left for the East in 1147 and returned to Germany in 1149, to find Welf again in arms and Henry the Lion claiming Bavaria. The king had done nothing to stem the rising tide of disorder when he died at Bamberg in February 1152. During this reign the work of conquering and Germanizing the Slavonic tribes east of the Elbe was seriously taken in hand under the lead of Albert the Bear and Henry the Lion, and the foundation of the margraviate of Brandenburg by Albert tended to make life and property more secure in the north-east of Germany.

After Conrad’s death Germany passed under the rule of one of the greatest of her sovereigns, Frederick I., called Barbarossa, nephew of the late king and son of Frederick, that duke of Swabia who had fought along with Conrad against Frederick I. becomes king. Henry the Proud. Frederick himself had also been closely associated with Conrad, who advised the princes to choose his nephew as his successor. This was done, and the new king was crowned at Aix-la-Chapelle in March 1152. Allied through his mother to the Welfs of Bavaria, and anxious to put an end to the unrest which dominated Germany, especially to the strife between the families of Welf and Hohenstaufen, Frederick began his reign by promising to secure for Henry the Lion the duchy of Bavaria, and by appeasing Henry’s uncle, Count Welf, by making him duke of Spoleto and margrave of Tuscany. But the new king had another, and perhaps a more potent, reason for wishing to see peace restored in Germany. For his adventurous and imaginative spirit Italy and the imperial title had an irresistible charm, and in 1154, two years after he had ascended the throne, he crossed the Alps, being crowned emperor at Rome in June 1155. After this event the best years of his life were spent in Italy, where, in his long and obstinate struggle with the Lombard cities and with Pope Alexander III., he chiefly acquired his fame. Although on the emperor’s side this struggle was conducted mainly with German troops it falls properly under the history of Italy. In that country the record of this reign is a blood-stained page, while in the history of Germany, on the contrary, Frederick’s name is associated with a peaceful and prosperous period.

The promise that Bavaria should be granted to Henry the Lion was not easily fulfilled, as Henry Jasomirgott refused to give up the duchy. At last, however, in 1156, after his return from his first expedition to Italy, Frederick Bavaria and Saxony. reconciled the latter prince by making Austria into a duchy with certain special privileges, an important step in the process by which that country became the centre of a powerful state. Henry Jasomirgott then renounced Bavaria, and Henry the Lion became its duke. It was, however, in his other duchy of Saxony that the latter duke’s most important work was done. Although he often gave offence by his haughty and aggressive disposition, few German princes have earned so thoroughly the goodwill of posterity. Since the death of Otto the Great the Slavonic lands to the east of the Elbe had been very imperfectly held in subjection by the Germans. Devoting himself to the conquest of the lands lying along the shore of the Baltic, Henry succeeded as no one before him had ever done. But he was not only a conqueror. He built towns and encouraged those which already existed; he founded and restored bishoprics in his new territories; and between the Elbe and the Oder he planted bodies of industrious colonists. While he was thus at work a similar task was being performed to the south-east of Saxony by Albert the Bear, the first margrave of Brandenburg, who, by his energetic rule was preparing this country for its great destinies.

Early in his reign, by settling a dispute over the crown of Denmark, Frederick brought the king of that country once more into the position of a German vassal. Having spent the year 1156 in settling the Bavarian question and Frederick in Poland and Germany. in enforcing order in the Rhineland and elsewhere, the emperor marched into Poland in 1157, compelled its ruler, Boleslaus IV., to do the homage which he had previously refused to perform, and in return for services rendered during the campaign and for promises of future aid, raised the duke of Bohemia to the rank of a king, a change which in no way affected his duties to the German crown, but which gave him a certain precedence over other vassal princes. The king of Hungary, too, although no attempt was made to subdue him, became a useful ally. Thus the fame of Germany in the neighbouring countries, which had been nearly destroyed during the confusion of Henry IV.’s reign, was to a large extent restored. Frederick asserted his authority in Burgundy or, as it was sometimes called, Franche Comté. In Germany itself internal order was established by a strict appliance of the existing laws against those who broke the peace, fresh orders for its observance were issued, and in Frederick the robber nobles found a most implacable enemy. The cities, too, flourished during this reign. The emperor attached them to himself by granting to many of them the very liberties which, by a strained interpretation of his imperial rights, he withheld from the cities of Lombardy. Yet, notwithstanding his policy, in these directions the German nobles appear to have been enthusiastically devoted to Frederick. Time after time they followed him to Italy, enduring serious losses and hardships in order that he might enforce claims which were of no advantage to them, and which, previously, had been a curse to their nation. Their loyalty is well illustrated by the famous scene at Besançon in October 1157. During a meeting of the diet a papal legate read a letter from Pope Adrian IV., which seemed to imply that the Empire was a papal fief. Indignant murmurs rose from the assembled nobles, and the life of the legate was only saved from their fury by the intervention of the emperor himself. The secret of Frederick’s great popularity was partly the national pride excited by his foreign achievements, partly the ascendance over other minds which his genius gave him, and partly the conviction that while he would forego none of his rights he would demand from his vassals nothing more than was sanctioned by the laws of the Empire.

Having suppressed a rising at Mainz Frederick set out in the autumn of 1163 for Italy, which country was now distracted by a papal schism. This incident was bound to affect German politics. After the death of Adrian IV. in Frederick and Alexander III. 1159 the imperial party put forward an anti-pope, Victor IV., against Alexander III., who had been canonically elected. The emperor made stupendous efforts to secure for Victor and then for his successor, Paschal III., recognition by the sovereigns of Europe, but in vain; and almost the only support which the anti-pope received came from the German clergy. In May 1165 Frederick held a diet at Würzburg, where the princes lay and clerical swore to be faithful to Paschal and never to recognize Alexander. But Alexander soon found partisans among the German clergy, hitherto the most loyal of the emperor’s friends; and Frederick retaliated by driving the offending prelates from their sees, a proceeding which tended to disturb the peace of the land. Then in August 1167, in the midst of the struggle in Italy, came the pestilence which destroyed the imperial army in Rome, and drove the emperor as a fugitive across the Alps. After this humiliation Frederick remained for six years in Germany. He was fully occupied in restoring order in Saxony, in the diocese of Salzburg and elsewhere; in adding to his hereditary lands; in negotiating for a better understanding with France and England; and in reminding the vassal states, Hungary, Poland and Bohemia, of their duties towards the Empire. The success with which he carried out this work shows clearly that, in Germany at least, the disaster at Rome had not seriously affected his prestige. Again in Italy in 1174 the contest with the Papacy was abruptly ended by Frederick’s overwhelming defeat at Legnano in May 1176, and by the treaty of Venice made about a year later with Alexander III.

In the later years of his reign the emperor’s chief enemy was Henry the Lion. Rendered arrogant by success and confident that his interests were in northern, and not in southern Europe, the Saxon duke refused to assist Frederick Frederick and Henry the Lion. in the campaign which ended so disastrously at Legnano. Ascribing his defeat to Henry’s defection, Frederick returned to Germany full of anger against the Saxon duke and firmly resolved to punish him. The immediate cause of Henry’s downfall, however, was not his failure to appear in Italy, but his refusal to restore some lands to the bishop of Halberstadt, and it was on this charge that he was summoned before the diet. Three times he refused to appear, and early in 1180 sentence was pronounced against him; he was condemned to lose all his lands and to go into banishment. For some time he resisted, but at length the emperor in person marched against him and he was forced to submit; the only favour he could secure when peace was made at Erfurt in November 1181 was permission to retain Brunswick and Lüneburg, which have remained in the possession of his descendants until our own day. Bavaria was granted to Otto of Wittelsbach, but it lost some of its importance because Styria was taken from it and made into a separate duchy. The extensive duchy of Saxony was completely dismembered. The name was taken by the small portion of the former duchy which was given to Bernard, son of Albert the Bear, the founder of a new Saxon line, and the extensive western part was added to the archbishopric of Cologne. The chief prelates of Saxony and many of the late duke’s most important feudatories were made virtually independent of all control save that of the crown. Frederick’s object in thus breaking up the two greatest duchies in his kingdom was doubtless to strengthen the imperial authority. But in reality he made it certain that the princes would one day shake off the imperial power altogether; for it was perhaps more difficult for the sovereign to contend with scores of petty nobles than with two or three great princes.

Less serious than the struggle with Henry the Lion was Frederick’s struggle with Philip of Heinsberg, archbishop of Cologne (d. 1191), on whom he had just conferred a great part of Saxony. When the emperor went to Italy in 1184 he left the Frederick and Philip of Heinsberg. government of Germany to his son Henry, afterwards the emperor Henry VI., who had been crowned German king in 1169. On all sides, but especially in the north-west, Henry was faced with incipient revolution, and while he was combating this the quarrel between Frederick and the Papacy broke out again in Italy. At this juncture Philip of Cologne united the German and the Italian oppositions. Several princes rallied to his standard and foreign powers promised aid, but although very formidable in appearance the combination had no vestige of popular support. The greater part of the German clergy again proved their loyalty to Frederick, who hurried to Germany only to see the opposition vanish before him. In March 1188 Philip of Cologne submitted at Mainz.

Germany was now at peace. With the accession of Gregory VIII. pope and emperor were reconciled, and by the marriage of his son Henry with Constance, daughter of Roger I., king of Sicily, the emperor had reason to hope that the Frederick’s death. Empire would soon include Naples and Sicily. Resolving that the sunset of his life should be even more splendid than its dawn he decided to go on crusade, and in 1189 he started with a great army for the Holy Land. When the news reached Germany that he had been drowned, an event which took place in Cilicia in June 1190, men felt that evil days were coming upon the country, for the elements of discord would no longer be controlled by the strong hand of the great emperor.

Evil days did not, however, come in the time of Henry VI., who, although without his father’s greatness, had some of his determination and energy, and was at least his equal in ambition. Having in 1190 reduced Henry the Lion Henry VI. once more to submission, the new king set out to take possession of his Sicilian kingdom, being on the way crowned emperor at Rome. At the end of 1191 he returned to Germany, where he was soon faced by two serious risings. The first of these centred round the restless and unruly Welfs; after a time these insurgents were joined by their former enemies, the rulers of Saxony, of Thuringia and of Meissen, who were angered by Henry’s conduct. The Welfs also gained the assistance of Canute VI., king of Denmark. Equally dangerous was a rebellion in the Lower Rhineland, where the emperor made many foes by appointing, regardless of their fitness, his own candidates to vacant bishoprics. At Liége this led to serious complications; and when Bishop Albert, who had been chosen against Henry’s wish, was murdered at Reims in November 1192, the emperor was openly accused of having instigated the crime. At once the rulers of Brabant, of Limburg and of Flanders, with the archbishops of Cologne and Trier, were in arms. In the east of Germany Ottakar I. of Bohemia joined the circle of Henry’s enemies, and the southern duchies, Bavaria, Swabia and Austria, were too much occupied with internal quarrels to send help to the harassed emperor. But formidable as were these risings they were crushed, although not entirely by force of arms. In 1193 Richard I. of England passed as a prisoner into Henry’s keeping, and with rare skill the emperor used him as a means of compelling his enemies to come to terms. Henry the Lion was the last to submit. He made his peace in 1194, when his son Henry was promised the succession to the Rhenish Palatinate. Returning from another visit to Sicily, the emperor was now so powerful that, in pursuance of his plan for making himself the head of a great world monarchy, he put forward the suggestion that the imperial crown should be declared hereditary in his family. This proposal aroused much opposition, but Henry persisted with it; he promised important concessions to the princes, many of whom were induced to consent, and but for his sudden death, which occurred in Sicily in September 1197, it is probable that he would have attained his end.

Great as was Henry’s authority many of the princes, chief among them being Adolph, archbishop of Cologne (d. 1220), refused to recognize his son, Frederick, who had been chosen king of the Romans in 1196. This attitude Philip of Swabia and Otto of Brunswick. was possibly owing to the fact that Frederick was young and inexperienced; it was, however, more probably due to a revival of the fear that the German princes would be entangled in Italian politics. For a time Adolph and his friends, who were mainly princes of the Rhineland, sought in vain for a new king. While they were thus employed the friends of the house of Hohenstaufen, convinced that Frederick’s kingship was not possible, chose the late emperor’s brother, Philip, duke of Swabia, to fill the vacant throne; soon afterwards the enemies of the house found a candidate in the person of Henry the Lion’s son, Otto of Brunswick, who was also chosen German king. Thus the struggle between Welf and Hohenstaufen was renewed and civil war broke out at once. Philip’s supporters were the nobles of southern and eastern Germany, while a few cities in the west owned his authority; Otto’s friends were found mainly in the north and the north-west of the country. The number of available warriors was increased by the return of many crusaders, among them being the famous soldier, Henry von Kalden, who was mainly responsible for the success of Philip’s cause in 1199. If Germany had been unconnected with the Papacy, or even if the Papacy had been as weak as in the days of Henry VI., the issue of the strife would almost certainly have been an early victory for Philip. A majority of the princes were on his side and the French king Philip Augustus was his ally, while his personal character commanded general respect. Otto, whose chief supporter outside Germany was his uncle Richard I. of England, on the other hand was a harsh and violent man. But unfortunately for Germany the papal chair at this time was occupied by Innocent III., a pope who emulated Hildebrand in ambition and in statesmanship. At first vacillating, but by no means indifferent, Innocent was spurred to action when a number of princes met at Spires in May 1200, declared Philip to be the lawful king, and denied the right of the pope to interfere. He was also annoyed by Philip’s attitude with regard to a vacancy in the archbishopric of Cologne, and in March 1201 he declared definitely for Otto. The efforts of the pope helped to rekindle the expiring flames of war, and for a year or two success completely deserted Philip. He lost the support of Ottakar of Bohemia and of Hermann I., landgrave of Thuringia; he was driven from North Germany into Swabia and Otto’s triumph seemed assured. From 1204 onwards, however, fortune again veered round, and Philip’s prospects began to improve. Deserted by Ottakar and even by Adolph of Cologne and his own brother Henry, count palatine of the Rhine, Otto was forced to take refuge in Brunswick, his last line of defence, and was only saved by Philip’s murder, which occurred at Bamberg in June 1208. A feature of this struggle was the reckless way in which the rival kings gave away the property of the crown in order to gain adherents, thus enriching the princes and weakening the central government.

Otto was now again chosen German king, and to aid and mark the general reconciliation he was betrothed to the murdered king’s daughter Beatrix. Nearly all the princes acknowledged him, and as pope and king were at Otto IV. becomes sole king. peace, Germany enjoyed a period of comparative quiet. This however, did not last long. Having secured his coronation at Rome in October 1209, Otto repudiated the many pledges he had made to Innocent and began to act in defiance of the papal wishes. To punish him the pope put forward his own ward, Henry VI.’s son Frederick, who was living in Sicily, as a rival king. While Otto was warring in Italy a number of influential princes met at Nuremberg, at the instigation of Innocent and of his ally Philip Augustus of France, and invited Frederick to come to Germany. Otto then left Italy hurriedly, but he was quickly followed by his young rival, who in the warfare which had already broken out proved himself a formidable opponent. Seeking to mend his failing fortunes, the Welf went to France to support his ally, the English king John, against Philip Augustus, and at the battle of Bouvines (July 27, 1214) memorable in the history alike of Germany, of England and of France, his fate was sealed, although until his death in May 1218 he maintained a desultory warfare against Frederick.

Frederick II. was, if not the strongest, certainly the most brilliant of German kings. With the medieval passion for adventure he combined the intellectual culture and freedom of a modern gentleman. A lover of poetry, of art and of science, Frederick II. he was also a great statesman; he knew how to adapt his policy to changing circumstances and how to move men by appealing at one time to their selfishness and weakness and at another time to the nobler qualities of human nature. For outward splendour his position was never surpassed, and before he died he possessed six crowns, those of the Empire, Germany, Sicily, Lombardy, Burgundy and Jerusalem. But Germany profited neither by his gifts nor by his prestige. After Bouvines he purchased the assistance of Valdemar II., king of Denmark, by ceding to him a large stretch of land along the Baltic coast; and, promising to go on crusade, he secured his coronation at Aix-la-Chapelle in July 1215. Then being generally recognized as king he was able to do something to quell disturbances in various parts of the country, and, in April 1220, to bring about the election of his young son Henry as king of the Romans. But for this favour he had been compelled to pay a high price. Seven years before, at Eger in July 1213, he had made extensive concessions to the church, undertaking to take no part in episcopal elections, thus surrendering the advantages gained by the concordat of Worms, and to allow to German bishops the right of appeal to Rome. Proceeding a step farther in the same direction, he now promised to erect no new toll-centre, or mint, on the lands of the spiritual princes, and to allow no towns to be built thereon. Thus the prelates possessed nearly all the rights of sovereigns, and regarded the pope in Italy and not the king in Germany as their head, a state of affairs which was fatal to the unity, nay, even to the existence of the Empire.

Having made peace with Henry, count palatine of the Rhine and brother of Otto IV., and settled a dispute about the lands of the extinct family of Zähringen in the south-west of the country, Frederick left Germany in August Germany in Frederick’s absence. 1220; engaged in his bitter contest with the Papacy and the Lombard cities, in ruling Sicily, and, after several real or imaginary delays, in fulfilling his crusading vow, he did not return to it for fifteen years. During this period he was represented by his son Henry, in whose name the government of Germany was carried on by the regent Engelbert, archbishop of Cologne. While Engelbert lived the country was in a fairly peaceable condition, although, thanks to the emperor’s concessions, the spiritual princes were predominant, and all possible means were taken to check the growth of the towns, whose interests and aspirations were not favourable to this state of affairs. There was, moreover, a struggle between Valdemar of Denmark and some neighbouring German nobles. But after Engelbert’s murder (November 1225) there was a change for the worse, and the only success which can be placed to the credit of the German arms during the next few years was the regaining of the lands ceded to Denmark in 1215, lands which included the cities of Hamburg and Lübeck. Under the rule of the new regent, Louis I., duke of Bavaria, confusion reigned supreme, and civil war prevailed in nearly every part of the country.

After the treaty of San Germano, which was made with Pope Gregory in 1230, and the consequent lull in the struggle with the Papacy, Frederick was able to devote some little attention to Germany, and in 1231 he sanctioned Rebellion of King Henry. the great Privilege of Worms. This was a reward to the princes for their efforts in bringing about the peace, and an extension of the concessions made in 1220. The princes, now for the first time referred to officially as domini terrae, were given full rights of jurisdiction over their lands and all the inferior officers of justice were made subservient to them. Practically they became independent sovereigns, and to make their victory more complete serious restraints were laid upon the freedom of the towns. Before this date King Henry had begun to take a personal part in the government and was already involved in a quarrel with Otto II., duke of Bavaria. He disliked the Privilege of Worms and, favouring the towns against the princes, his policy was diametrically opposed to that of the emperor; however, in 1232 he went to Italy and promised to obey his father’s commands. But in 1234, at a time of great and increasing disorder in Germany, he rebelled; he appealed publicly to the princes for support, gained some followers, especially in his own duchy of Swabia, and made an alliance with the Lombard cities. Confident of his strength Frederick entered Germany with a few attendants in the middle of 1235, and his presence had the anticipated effect of quelling the insurrection; Henry was sent a prisoner to Italy and disappeared from history. Then, in August 1235, amid surroundings of great splendour, the emperor held a diet at Mainz, which was attended by a large number of princes. This diet is very important in the legal history of Germany, because here was issued that great “land peace” (Landfrieden) which became the model for all subsequent enactments of the kind. By it private war was declared unlawful, except in cases where justice could not be obtained; a chief justiciar was appointed for the Empire; all tolls and mints erected since the death of Henry VI. were to be removed; and other provisions dealt with the maintenance of order.

In 1236, during another short stay in Germany, Frederick in person led the imperial army against Frederick II., duke of Austria, who had defied and overcome his representatives; having taken possession of Vienna and Frederick in Germany. the Austrian duchies he there secured the election of his son Conrad, who had already succeeded his brother as duke of Swabia, as king of the Romans (May 1237). But in spite of these imposing displays of power the princes looked with suspicion upon an emperor who was almost a stranger to their country and who was believed to be a renegade from their faith, and soon after Frederick’s return to Italy the gulf between him and his German subjects was widened by his indifference to a great danger which threatened them. This came from the Mongols who ravaged the eastern frontiers of the country, but the peril was warded off by the efforts of Henry II., duke of Silesia, who lost his life in a fight against these foes near Liegnitz in April 1241, and of Wenceslaus I., king of Bohemia.

The emperor’s attitude with regard to the Mongol invasion is explained by events in Italy where Frederick was engaged in a new and, if possible, a more virulent struggle with the Lombard cities and with Gregory IX. As usual, Frederick and the pope. the course of politics in Germany, which at this time was ruled by King Conrad and by the regent Siegfried, archbishop of Mainz (d. 1249), was influenced by this quarrel. Frederick of Austria had allied himself with Wenceslaus of Bohemia, and spurred on by the papal emissary had tried to set up a rival king; but both the Danish and the French princes who were asked to accept this thankless position declined the invitation, and Frederick and Wenceslaus made their peace, the former receiving back his duchies. After the defeat of the Mongols, however, there was again the danger of a rebellion based upon a union between the princes and the pope. Siegfried of Mainz deserted his master, and visiting Germany in 1242 Frederick found it necessary to purchase the support of the towns by a grant of extensive privileges; but, although this had the desired effect, Conrad could make but little headway against the increasing number of his enemies. At last the Papacy found an anti-king. Having declared Frederick deposed at the council of Lyons in 1245, Gregory’s successor, Innocent IV., induced a number of princes to choose as their king the landgrave of Thuringia, Henry Raspe, who had served as regent of Germany. This happened in May 1246, and the conduct of the struggle against the Pfaffenkönig, as Henry was called, was left to Conrad, who was aided by the Bavarians, until February 1247, when the anti-king died. The papal party then elected William II., count of Holland, as Henry Raspe’s successor, and during the state of anarchy which now prevailed in Germany the emperor died in Italy in December 1250.

Upon his father’s death Conrad IV. was acknowledged by many as king in Germany, but in 1251 he went to Italy, where he was fully occupied in fighting against the enemies Conrad IV. of his house until his death in May 1254. The struggle to maintain the position of the Hohenstaufen in Italy was continued after this event; but in October 1268, by the execution of Conrad’s son Conradin, the family became extinct.

After Conrad’s death William of Holland received a certain allegiance, especially in the north of the country, and was recognized by the Rhenish cities which had just formed a league for mutual protection, a league which The interregnum. for a short time gave promise of great strength and usefulness. In January 1256, however, William was killed, and in the following year there was a double election for the German crown, Alphonso X., king of Castile, a grandson of Philip of Swabia, and Richard, earl of Cornwall, brother of the English king Henry III., being each chosen by parties of electors. Richard was crowned in May 1257, but the majority of his subjects were probably ignorant of his very name; Alphonso did not even visit the country over which he claimed to rule.

During the reign of Frederick II. Prussia was conquered for Christianity and civilization by the knights of the Teutonic Order, who here built up the state which was later, in association with Brandenburg, deeply to influence The Teutonic Order in Prussia. the course of history. This work was begun in 1230. Knights eager to win fame by engaging in the war against the heathen Prussians flocked hither from all lands; towns, Königsberg, Thorn, Kulm and others, were founded; and in alliance with the Brothers of the Sword, the order was soon pressing farther eastwards. Courland and Livonia were brought into subjection, and into these lands also Christian institutions were introduced and German settlers brought the arts of peace.

The age of the Hohenstaufen emperors is, in many respects, the most interesting in the medieval history of Germany. It was a period of great men and great ideas, of dramatic contrasts of character and opinion—on the one side Period of Hohenstaufen dynasty. a broad humanitarianism combined with a gay enjoyment of the world, on the other side an almost superhuman spirituality which sought its ideal in the rejection of all that the world could give. It saw the new-birth of poetry and of art; it witnessed the rise of the friars. The contest between Empire and Papacy was more than a mere struggle for supremacy between two world-powers; it was a war to the death between two fundamentally opposite conceptions of life, which in many respects anticipated and prepared the way for the Renaissance and the Reformation. The emperor Frederick II. himself stands out as the type of the one tendency; Innocent III., Francis of Assisi and Dominic, in their various degrees, are types of the other. Frederick himself, of course, was Italian rather than German, akin to the despots of the Renaissance in his many-sided culture, his tolerant scepticism and his policy of “cruelty well applied.” The culture of which he was the supreme representative, that of Italy and of Provence, took a more serious shade when it penetrated into Germany. The German Minnesinger and romance-writers, whose golden age corresponded with that of the Hohenstaufen, were not content only to sing the joy of life or the chivalrous virtues of courage, courtesy and reverence for women; they in some sort anticipated the underlying ideas of the Reformation by championing the claims of the German nation against the papal monarchy and pure religion, as they conceived it, against the arrogance and corruption of the clergy. In them the medieval lay point of view became articulate, finding perhaps its most remarkable expression in the ideas of religious toleration proclaimed by Walther von der Vogelweide and Wolfram von Eschenbach. In Germany, as elsewhere, the victory of the Papacy was the victory of obscurantism. German culture, after a short revival, perished once more amid the smoke of the fires kindled by Conrad of Marburg and his fellow inquisitors.

In architecture, as in literature, this period was also one of great achievement in Germany. Of the noble palaces which it produced the castle of the Wartburg (q.v.) remains a perfect specimen, while the many magnificent churches dating from this time that still survive, prove the taste, wealth and piety of the burghers. For the science of government, too, much was done, partly by the introduction from Italy of the study of Roman law, partly by the collection of native customs in the Sachsenspiegel compiled by Eike von Repgow early in the 13th century, and the less valuable Deutschenspiegel and Schwabenspiegel. Altogether, Germany has seen no more fascinating epoch, none more full of life, movement and colour.

Yet it was in this age that the German nation utterly lost its political strength. Even after Lothair the Saxon, a line of sovereigns rigidly confining themselves to their own kingdom might have mastered the many influences Political character of Germany settled. which were making for disunion. But the Hohenstaufen family, like their Saxon and Franconian predecessors, would be content with nothing short of universal dominion; and thus the crown which had once been significant of power and splendour gradually sank into contempt. Under the strong rule of Frederick Barbarossa and his son this process was temporarily stopped, but only to advance more rapidly when they were gone. During the confusion of the civil war carried on by Otto IV. and Philip, the princes, being subject to hardly any check, freely obtained crown lands and crown rights, and the mischief was too extensive to be undone by Frederick II. In 1220, in order to secure the adhesion of the church to his son Henry, he formally confirmed the spiritual princes in their usurpations; eleven years later at Worms still more extensive advantages were granted to the princes, both spiritual and secular, and these formal concessions formed the lawful basis of the independence of the princely class. Such authority as the emperor reserved for himself he could exercise but feebly from a distant land in which his energies were otherwise occupied. His immediate successors can hardly be said to have exercised any authority whatever; and they lost hold of the border countries which had hitherto been dependent upon or connected with Germany. Thenceforth Denmark and Poland rendered no homage to the German crown, and Burgundy was gradually absorbed by France.

The country was not now divided into a few duchies which, with skilful management, might still in times of emergency have been made to act together. The age of the great duchies was past. As we have seen, Bavaria Classes of the population. was shorn of extensive lands, over which new dukes were placed, and the duchy of Saxony was altogether broken up. Swabia and Franconia ceased to have dukes, and Lorraine gave place to the duchy of Brabant and other smaller states. Thus there were archbishops, bishops, abbots, dukes, margraves, landgraves, counts—forming together a large body—each of whom claimed to have no superior save the emperor, whose authority they and their predecessors had slowly destroyed. All immediate nobles were not princes; but even petty knights or barons, who possessed little more than the rude towers from which they descended upon passing travellers, if their only lord was the emperor, recognized no law save their own will. Another independent element of the state was composed of the imperial cities. So long as the emperor really reigned, they enjoyed only such liberties as they could wring from him, or as he voluntarily conferred. But when the sovereign’s power decayed, the imperial cities were really free republics, governing themselves according to their own ideas of law and justice (see Commune). Besides the imperial cities, and the princes and other immediate nobles, there were the mediate nobles, the men who held land in fief of the highest classes of the aristocracy, and who, in virtue of this feudal relation, looked down upon the allodial proprietors or freemen, and upon the burghers. There were also mediate towns, acknowledging the supremacy of some lord other than the sovereign. Beneath all these, forming the mass of the agricultural population, were the peasantry and the serfs, the latter attached to the land, the former ground down by heavy taxes. There was another class, large and increasing in number, which was drawn from various sections of society. This was composed of men who, being without land, attached themselves to the emperor or to some powerful noble; they performed services, generally of a military nature, for their lord, and were called Dienstmannen (ministeriales). They were often transformed into “free knights” by the grant of a fief, and the class ultimately became absorbed in that of the knights.

The period from the death of Conrad IV. to the election of Rudolph of Habsburg in 1273 is generally called the Great Interregnum, and it was used by the princes to extend their territories and to increase their authority. On The electors. several occasions it had seemed as if the German crown would become hereditary, but it had been kept elective by a variety of causes, among them being the jealousy of the Papacy and the growing strength of the aristocracy. In theory the election of each king needed the sanction of the whole of the immediate nobles, but in practice the right to choose the king had passed into the hands of a small but varying number of the leading princes. During the 13th century several attempts were made to enumerate these princes, and at the contested election of 1257 seven of them took part. This was the real beginning of the electoral college whose members at this time were the archbishops of Mainz, Cologne and Trier, the duke of Saxony, the duke of Bavaria, who was also count palatine of the Rhine, the margrave of Brandenburg and the king of Bohemia. After this event the electors became a distinct element in the state. They were important because they could maintain the impotence of the crown to check disorder by imposing conditions upon candidates for the throne, and by taking care that no prince powerful enough to be dangerous to themselves should be elected to this position.

Until the time of the interregnum the territories of a prince were rarely divided among his descendants, the reason being that, although the private fiefs of the nobles were hereditary, their offices—margrave, count and the like—were Divisions of the princely lands. in theory at the disposal of the king. There was now a tendency to set this principle aside. Otto II., duke of Bavaria, a member of the Wittelsbach family, had become by marriage ruler of the Rhenish Palatinate, and after his death these extensive lands were ruled in common by his two sons; but in 1255 a formal division took place and the powerful family of Wittelsbach was divided into two branches. About the same time the small duchy of Saxony was divided into two duchies, those of Wittenberg and Lauenburg, the former to the south and the latter to the north of the great mark of Brandenburg, and there were similar divisions in the less important states. It was thus practically settled that the offices and territories, as well as the private fiefs, of the princes were hereditary, to be disposed of by them at their pleasure. This being thoroughly established it would have been hard, perhaps impossible, even for a sovereign of the greatest genius, to reassert in anything like its full extent the royal authority. The process of division and subdivision which steadily went on broke up Germany into a bewildering multitude of principalities; but as a rule the members of each princely house held together against common enemies, and ultimately they learned to arrange by private treaties that no territory should pass from the family while a single representative survived.

The consolidation of the power of the princes was contemporary with the rise of the cities into new importance. Several of them, especially Mainz, Worms and Spires, had received valuable rights from the kings and other lords; they The cities. were becoming self-governing and to some extent independent communities and an important and growing element in the state. The increase of trade and a system of taxation provided the governing body with funds, which were used to fortify the city and in other ways to make life and property more secure. The destruction of imperial authority compelled them to organize their resources, so as to be at all times prepared against ambitious neighbours. They began to form leagues which the greatest princes and combinations of princes could not afford to despise. Of these leagues the chief at this time was the Rhenish Confederation, which has been already mentioned. Great importance was also acquired by the Hanseatic League, which had originated during the interregnum in a treaty of alliance between Lübeck and Hamburg. It ultimately included more than eighty cities and became one of the greatest commercial powers in Europe (see Hanseatic League).

A political system which allowed the princes to do as they pleased was very much to their liking, and if they had followed their own impulse it is possible that they would never have placed a king over their country. But the pope intervened. He found from his troubles in Italy and Rudolph of Habsburg. from his diminished revenues from Germany that it would be still convenient to have in the latter country a sovereign who, like some of his predecessors, would be the protector of the church. Therefore, after the death of Richard of Cornwall in April 1272, Pope Gregory X., ignoring the absent Alphonso of Castile, told the electors that if they did not choose a king he himself would appoint one. The threat was effective. In September 1273 the electors met and raised to the throne a Swabian noble, Rudolph, count of Habsburg, who proved to possess more energy than they had imagined possible. For some time before this event the most powerful prince in Germany had been Ottakar II., king of Bohemia, who by marriage and conquest had obtained large territories outside his native kingdom, including the duchy of Austria and other possessions of the extinct family of Babenberg. Having himself cherished some hopes of receiving the German crown Ottakar refused to do homage to the new sovereign; after a time war broke out between them, and in August 1278 in a battle at Dürnkrut on the March Ottakar was defeated and slain, his lands, save Bohemia, passing into the possession of the victor. Rudolph had been able to give his whole attention to this enterprise owing to the good understanding which had been reached between himself and the pope, to whom he had promised to allow a free hand in Italy.

Rudolph has often been called the restorer of the German kingdom, but he has little real claim to this honourable title. He marched once or twice against law-breakers, but in all the German duchies there were frequent disturbances which he did very little to check. In his His reign. later years he made some attempts to maintain the public peace, and he distinguished himself by the vigour with which he punished robber barons in Thuringia; he also won back some of the crown lands and dues which had been stolen during the interregnum. But he made no essential change in the condition of Germany. There seemed to be only one way in which a king could hope to overcome the arrogance of the princes, and that was to encourage the towns by forming with them a close and enduring alliance. Rudolph, however, almost invariably favoured the princes and not the towns. The latter had a class of burgher called Pfahlbürger, men who lived in the open country outside the Pfähle, or palisades of the town, but who could claim the protection of the municipal authorities. By becoming Pfahlbürger men were able of escape from the tyranny of the large landholders, and consequently the princes strongly opposed the right of the towns to receive them. Not only did the king take the part of the princes in this important struggle, but he harassed the towns by subjecting them to severe imposts, a proceeding which led to several risings. About this time the princes were gaining influence in another direction. Their assent to all important acts of state, especially to grants of crown property, was now regarded as necessary and was conveyed by means of Willebriefe; henceforward they were not merely the advisers of the king, they were rather partners with him in the business of government.

Rudolph had all the sympathies and prejudices of the noble class, and the supreme object of his life was not to increase the power of the state but to add to the greatness of his own family, a policy which was perhaps justified by the condition of the German kingdom, the ruler of The Habsburg family. which had practically no strength save that which he derived from his hereditary lands. In this he was very successful. Four years after the fall of Ottakar he obtained from the princes a tardy and reluctant assent to the granting of Austria, Styria and Carniola to his own sons, Rudolph and Albert. In 1286 Carinthia was given to Meinhard, count of Tirol, on condition that when his male line became extinct it should pass to the Habsburgs. Thus Rudolph made himself memorable as the real founder of the house of Habsburg.

It was in vain that Rudolph sought to obtain the succession to the crown for one of his sons; the electors would not take a step which might endanger their own rights, and nearly a year after the king’s death in July 1291 they chose Adolph, count of Nassau, and not Rudolph’s Adolph of Nassau. surviving son Albert, as their sovereign. Adolph, an insignificant prince, having been obliged to reward his supporters richly, wished to follow the lines laid down by his predecessor and to secure an extensive territory for his family. Meissen, which he claimed as a vacant fief of the Empire, and Thuringia, which he bought from the landgrave Albert II., seemed to offer a favourable field for this undertaking, and he spent a large part of his short reign in a futile attempt to carry out his plan. In his foreign policy Adolph allied himself with Edward I. of England against Philip IV. of France, but after declaring war on France in August 1294 he did nothing to assist his ally. At home he relieved the cities of some of their burdens and upheld them in the quarrel about the Pfahlbürger; and he sought to isolate Albert of Habsburg, who was treating with Philip of France. But many of the princes were disgusted with him and, led by Albert of Habsburg, Gerhard, archbishop of Mainz, and Wenceslaus II., king of Bohemia, they decided to overthrow him, and at Mainz in June 1298 he was declared deposed. He resisted the sentence, but Albert, who had been chosen his successor, marched against him, and in July 1298, at Göllheim near Worms, Adolph was defeated and killed.

After Adolph’s death Albert was again chosen German king, and was crowned at Aix-la-Chapelle in August 1298. Like his father Rudolph, the new king made it the principal object of his reign to increase the power of his house, but he failed in his attempts to add Bohemia and Thuringia Albert I. to the hereditary lands of the Habsburgs, and he was equally unsuccessful in his endeavour to seize the countries of Holland and Zealand as vacant fiefs of the Empire. In other directions, however, he was more fortunate. He recovered some of the lost crown lands and sought to abolish new and unauthorized tolls on the Rhine; he encouraged the towns and took measures to repress private wars; he befriended the serfs and protected the persecuted Jews. For a time Albert allied himself with Philip IV. of France against Pope Boniface VIII., who had refused to recognize him as king, but in 1303 he made peace with the pope, a step which enabled him to turn his attention to Bohemia and Thuringia. The greatest danger which he had to face during his reign came from a league which was formed against him in 1300 by the four Rhenish electors—the three archbishops and the count palatine of the Rhine—who disliked his foreign policy and resented his action with regard to the tolls. Albert, however, supported by the towns, was victorious; and the revolting electors soon made their peace.

After Albert’s murder, which took place in May 1308, Henry, count of Luxemburg, a brother of Baldwin (1285–1354), the powerful archbishop of Trier, became king as Henry VII. Although fortunate enough to obtain for his son John the crown of Bohemia, the aggrandizement of his Henry VII. family was not the main object of this remarkable sovereign, the last German king of the old, ambitious type. It was the memory of the Empire which stirred his blood; from the beginning of his reign he looked forward to securing the Lombard and the imperial crowns. His purpose to cross the Alps at the head of a great force was hailed with delight by the Ghibellines, whose aspirations found utterance in Dante’s noble prose, but his life was too short for him to fulfil the hopes of his friends. Having restored the Rhine tolls to the Rhenish archbishops and made his peace with the Habsburgs, Henry went to Italy in the autumn of 1310, not, however, with a large army, and remained in the peninsula until his death in August 1313. As in former times the effect of the connexion of Germany with Italy was altogether mischievous, because to expedite his Italian journey the king had added to the great privileges of the princes and had repressed the energies of the towns.

After Henry’s death the electors, again fearing lest the German crown should become hereditary, refused to choose the late king’s young son, John of Bohemia, as their ruler, although the candidature of this prince was supported Louis the Bavarian and Frederick of Austria. by the powerful archbishops Baldwin of Trier and Peter of Mainz. They failed, in fact, to agree upon any one candidate, and after a long delay there was a double election for the throne. This took place in October 1314, when the larger party chose Louis IV., duke of Upper Bavaria, while the smaller party gave their votes to Frederick the Fair, duke of Austria, a son of King Albert I. Although related to each other, Louis and Frederick had come to blows before this event; they represented two rival houses, those of Wittelsbach and Habsburg, and the election only served to feed the flame of their antagonism. A second time war broke out between them. The struggle, marked by numerous raids, sieges and skirmishes, lasted for nine years, being practically ended by Frederick’s decisive defeat at Mühldorf in September 1322. The vanquished king remained in captivity until 1325, when, during the contest between the Empire and the Papacy, Louis came to terms with him. Frederick acknowledged his rival, and later the suggestion was put forward that they should rule Germany jointly, but this arrangement aroused much opposition and it came to nothing. Frederick returned into an honourable captivity and died in January 1330.

The success of Louis in his war with Frederick was to some extent due to the imperial cities, which supported him from the first. Not only did they pay high taxes, but they made splendid voluntary contributions, thus enabling Causes of the success of Louis. the sovereign of their choice to continue the fight. But Louis was perhaps still more indebted for his victory to the memorable conflict between the Swiss and the Habsburgs, the defeat of Leopold of Austria at Morgarten in 1315 striking a heavy blow at his position. Thus this struggle for freedom, although belonging properly to the history of Switzerland, exercised much influence on the course of German history.

Had Louis been wise and prudent, it would have been fairly easy for him to attain a strong position after his victory at Mühldorf. But he threw away his advantages. He offended John of Bohemia, who had aided him at Louis IV. and the pope. Mühldorf, thus converting a useful friend into a formidable foe, and his other actions were hardly more judicious. John was probably alarmed at the increase in the power of the German king, and about the same time a similar fear had begun to possess Pope John XXII. and Charles IV. of France. About 1323 Louis had secured the mark of Brandenburg for his son Louis, and he was eager to aggrandize his family in other directions. It was just at the time when he had estranged John of Bohemia that the pope made his decisive move. Asserting that the German crown could only be worn by one who had received the papal approbation he called upon Louis to lay it down; the answer was an indignant refusal, and in 1324 the king was declared deposed and excommunicate. Thus the ancient struggle between the Papacy and the Empire was renewed, a struggle in which the pen, wielded by Marsiglio of Padua, William of Occam, John of Jandun and others, played an important part, and in which the new ideas in religion and politics worked steadily against the arrogant papal claim. The pope and his French ally, Charles IV., whom it was proposed to seat upon the German throne, had completely misread the signs of the times, and their schemes met with very little favour in Germany. No longer had the princes as in former years any reason to dread the designs of an ambitious king; the destinies of the kingdom were in their own hands and they would not permit them to be controlled by an alien power. Such was the attitude of most of the temporal princes, and many spiritual princes took the same view. As for the electors, they had the strongest possible motive for resisting the papal claim, because if this were once admitted they would quickly lose their growing importance in the state. Lastly, the cities which had stood behind the Empire in the most difficult crises of its contest with Rome were not likely to desert it now.

Thus encouraged, or rather driven forward, by the national sentiment Louis continued to assert the independence of the crown against the pope. In 1327 he marched into Italy, where he had powerful and numerous friends Louis in Italy. in the Ghibelline party, the Visconti family and others; in January 1328 he was crowned emperor at Rome, and after this event he declared Pope John deposed and raised Peter of Corvara to the papal chair as Nicholas V. The concluding stages of this expedition were not favourable to the new emperor, but his humiliation was only slight and it did not appreciably affect the conditions of the controversy.

For a short time after the emperor’s return to Germany there was peace. But this was soon broken by a dispute over the succession to the duchy of Carinthia and the county of Tirol, then ruled by Henry V., who was without Louis in Germany. sons, and whose daughter, Margaret Maultasch, was married to John Henry, margrave of Moravia, a son of John of Bohemia. Upon these lands the three great families in Germany, those of Wittelsbach, of Habsburg and of Luxemburg, were already casting covetous eyes; Carinthia, moreover, was claimed by the Habsburgs in virtue of an arrangement made in 1286. Thus a struggle between the Luxemburgs and the Habsburgs appeared certain, and Louis, anxious to secure for his house a share of the spoil, hesitated for a time between these rivals. In 1335 Duke Henry died and the emperor adjudged his lands to the Habsburgs; wars broke out, and the result was that John Henry secured Tirol while the other contending family added Carinthia to its Austrian possessions.

During this time Louis had been negotiating continually with Pope John and with his successor Benedict XII. to regain the favour of the church, and so to secure a free hand for his designs in Germany. But the pope was not The pope and the electors. equally complaisant, and in 1337 the emperor allied himself with Edward III. of England against Philip VI. of France, whom he regarded as primarily responsible for the unyielding attitude of the Papacy. This move was very popular in Germany, and the papal party received a further rebuff in July 1338 when the electors met at Rense and declared that in no possible manner could they allow any control over, or limitation of, their electoral rights. As a sequel to this declaration the diet, meeting at Frankfort a month later, asserted that the imperial power proceeded from God alone and that the individual chosen by a majority of the electors to occupy this high station needed no confirmation from the pope, or from any one else, to make his election valid. Contrary opinions they denounced as pestifera dogmata.

But in spite of this support Louis threw away his advantages; he abandoned Edward III. in 1341, although this step did not win for him, as he desired, the goodwill of the pope, and he was soon involved in a more serious struggle Louis and the Luxemburgs. with John of Bohemia and the Luxemburgs. With his Bohemian followers John Henry had made himself very unpopular in Tirol, where his wife soon counted herself among his enemies, and in 1341 he was driven from the land, while Margaret announced her intention of repudiating him and marrying the emperor’s son Louis, margrave of Brandenburg. The emperor himself entered heartily into this scheme for increasing the power of his family; he declared the marriage with John Henry void, and bestowed upon his son and his bride Margaret not only Tirol, but also Carinthia, now in the hands of the Habsburgs. Nothing more was needed to unite together all the emperor’s foes, including Pope Clement VI., who, like his predecessors, had rejected the advances of Louis; but in 1345, before the gathering storm broke, the emperor took possession of the counties of Holland, Zealand and Friesland, which had been left without a ruler by the death of his brother-in-law, Count William IV. By this time John of Bohemia and his allies had completed their plans. In July 1346 five of the electors met, and, having declared Louis deposed, they raised John’s son Charles, margrave of Moravia, to the German throne. For a time no serious steps were taken against Louis, but after King John had met his death at Crécy Charles, who succeeded him as king of Bohemia, began to make vigorous preparations for war, and only the sudden death of the emperor (October 1347) saved Germany from civil strife.

Notwithstanding the defects of Louis’s personal character his reign is one of the most important in German history. The claim of the Papacy to political supremacy received in his time its death-blow, and the popes themselves The domestic policy of Louis. sowed the seeds of the alienation from Rome which was effected at the Reformation. With regard to the public peace Louis persistently followed the lines laid down by Albert I. He encouraged the princes to form alliances for its maintenance, and at the time of his death such alliances existed in all parts of the country. To the cities he usually showed himself a faithful friend. In many of them there had been for more than a century a struggle between the old patrician families and the democratic gilds. Louis could not always follow his own impulses, but whenever he could he associated himself with the latter party. Thus in his day the government of the imperial cities became more democratic and industry and trade flourished as they had never before done. The steady dislike of the princes was the best proof of the importance of the cities. They contained elements capable of enormous development; and had a great king arisen he might even yet, by their means, have secured for Germany a truly national life.

In January 1349 the friends of the late emperor elected Günther, count of Schwarzburg, as their king, but before this occurrence Charles of Moravia, by a liberal use of gifts and promises, had won over many of his enemies, prominent among Charles IV. becomes king. whom were the cities. In a few months Günther himself abandoned the struggle, dying shortly afterwards, and about the same time his victorious rival was recognized by Louis of Brandenburg, the head of the Wittelsbach family. As king of Bohemia Charles was an enlightened and capable ruler, but he was indifferent towards Germany, although this country never stood in more urgent need of a strong and beneficent sovereign. In the early years of the reign the people, especially in the south and west, attacked and plundered the Jews; and the consequent disorder was greatly increased by the ravages of the Black Death and by the practices and preaching of the Flagellants, both events serving to spur the maddened populace to renewed outrages on the Jews. In dealing with this outburst of fanaticism many of the princes, both spiritual and secular, displayed vigour and humanity, but Charles saw only in the sufferings of this people an excuse for robbing them of their wealth.

Charles’s most famous achievement was the issue of the Golden Bull (q.v.). Although the principle of election had long been admitted and practised with regard to the German crown, yet it was surrounded by many practical The Golden Bull. difficulties. For instance, if the territory belonging to an electoral family were divided, as was often the case, it had never been settled whether all the ruling princes were to vote, or, if one only were entitled to this privilege, by what principle the choice was to be made. Over these and other similar points many disputes had arisen, and, having been crowned emperor at Rome in April 1355, Charles decided to set these doubts at rest. The Golden Bull, promulgated in January 1356 and again after some tedious negotiations in December of the same year, fixed the number of electors at seven, Saxe-Wittenberg and not Saxe-Lauenburg obtaining the Saxon vote, and the vote of the Wittelsbachs being given to the ruler of the Rhenish Palatinate and not to the duke of Bavaria. The votes of a majority of the electors were held to make an election valid. In order that there might be no possibility of dispute between the princes of a single house, the countries ruled by the four secular electors—Bohemia, the Rhenish Palatinate, Saxony and Brandenburg—were declared to be indivisible and to be heritable only by the accepted rules of primogeniture. The electors were granted full sovereign rights over their lands, and their subjects were allowed to appeal to the royal or the imperial tribunals only in case they could not obtain justice elsewhere. A blow was struck at the cities, which were forbidden to form leagues or to receive Pfahlbürger.

If the Golden Bull be excepted, the true interest of this reign is in the movements beyond the range of the emperor’s influence. It is significant that at this time the Femgerichte, or Fehmic Courts (q.v.), vastly extended the sphere of Fehmic Courts. their activities, and that in the absence of a strong central authority they were respected as a check upon the lawlessness of the princes. The cities, notwithstanding every kind of discouragement, formed new associations for mutual defence or strengthened those which already existed. The Hanseatic League carried on war with Valdemar V., king of Denmark, and his ally, the king of Norway, seventy-seven towns declaring war on these monarchs in 1367, and emerged victorious from the struggle, while its commerce extended to nearly all parts of the known world. In 1376 some Swabian towns formed a league which, in spite of the imperial prohibition, soon became powerful in south-west Germany and defeated the forces of the count of Württemberg at Reutlingen in May 1377. The emperor, meanwhile, was occupied in numerous intrigues to strengthen his personal position and to increase the power of his house. In these he was very fortunate, managing far more than his predecessors to avoid conflicts with the Papacy and the princes. The result was that when he died in November 1378 he wore the crowns of the Empire, of Germany, of Bohemia, of Lombardy and of Burgundy; he had added Lower Lusatia and parts of Silesia to Bohemia; he had secured the mark of Brandenburg for his son Wenceslaus in 1373; and he had bought part of the Upper Palatinate and territories in all parts of Germany.

After the death of Charles, his son Wenceslaus, who had been crowned German king in July 1376, was recognized by the princes as their ruler, but the new sovereign was careless and indolent and in a few years he left Germany Wenceslaus. to look after itself. During his reign the struggle between the princes and the cities reached its climax. Following the example set by the electors at Rense both parties formed associations for protection, prominent among these being the Swabian League on the one side and the League of the Lion (Löwenbund)[1] on the other. The result was that the central authority was almost entirely disregarded. Wenceslaus favoured first one of the antagonists and then the other, but although he showed some desire to put an end to the increasing amount of disorder he was unable, or unwilling, to take a strong and definite line of action. The cities entered upon the approaching contest at a considerable disadvantage. Often they were separated one from the other by large stretches of territory under the rule of a hostile prince and their trade was peculiarly liable to attack by an adventurous body of knights. The citizens, who were called upon to fight their battles, were usually unable to contend successfully with men whose whole lives had been passed in warfare; the isolation of the cities was not favourable to the creation or mobilization of an active and homogeneous force; and, moreover, at this time many of them were disturbed by internal troubles. However, they minimized this handicap by joining league to league; in 1381 the Swabian and the Rhenish cities formed an alliance for three years, while the Swabian League obtained promises of help from the Swiss.

The Swiss opened the fight. Attacked by the Habsburgs they defeated and killed Duke Leopold of Austria at Sempach in July 1386 and gained another victory at Näfels two years later; but their allies, the Swabian cities, General disorder in Germany. were not equally prompt or equally fortunate. The decisive year was 1388, when the strife became general all over south-west Germany. In August 1388 the princes, under Count Eberhard of Württemberg, completely defeated their foes at Döffingen, while in the following November Rupert II., elector palatine of the Rhine, was equally successful in his attack on the forces of the Rhenish cities near Worms. Exhaustion soon compelled the combatants to come to terms, and greatly to the disadvantage of the cities peace was made in 1389. The main result of this struggle was everywhere to strengthen the power of the princes and to incite them to fresh acts of aggression. During the same time the Hanse towns were passing through a period of difficulty. They were disturbed by democratic movements in many of the cities and they were threatened by the changing politics of the three northern kingdoms, Norway, Sweden and Denmark, and by their union in 1397; their trading successes had raised up powerful enemies and had embroiled them with England and with Flanders, and the Teutonic Order and neighbouring princes were not slow to take advantage of their other difficulties.

Towards the close of the century the discontent felt at the incompetent and absent German king took a decided form. The movement was led by the four Rhenish electors, and after some preliminary proceedings these princes met in August 1400; having declared Wenceslaus Rupert chosen king. dethroned they chose one of their number, the elector palatine Rupert III., in his stead, and the deposed monarch accepted the sentence almost without demur. Rupert was an excellent elector, and under more favourable circumstances would have made a good king, but so serious were the jealousies and divisions in the kingdom that he found little scope for his energies outside the Palatinate. In spite of the peace of 1389 the cities had again begun to form leagues for peace; but, having secured a certain amount of recognition in the south and west of Germany, the new king turned aside from the pressing problems of government and in 1401 made a futile attempt to reach Rome, an enterprise which covered him with ridicule. After his return to Germany he had to face the hostility of many of the princes, and this contest, together with vain attempts to restore order, occupied him until his death in May 1410.

After's Rupert’s death two cousins, Jobst, margrave of Moravia, and Sigismund, king of Hungary, were in the autumn of 1410 both chosen to fill the vacant throne by opposing parties; and the position was further complicated by the fact that the deposed king, Wenceslaus, was Sigismund is chosen king. still alive. Jobst, however, died in January 1411, and in the succeeding July Sigismund, having come to terms with Wenceslaus, was again elected king and was generally recognized. The commanding questions of this reign were ecclesiastical. It was the age of the great schism, three popes claiming the allegiance of Christendom, and of the councils of Constance and of Basel; in all ranks of the Church there was an urgent cry for reform. Unfortunately the council of Constance, which met mainly through the efforts of Sigismund in 1414, marred its labours by the judicial murders of John Huss and of Jerome of Prague. This act greatly incensed the Bohemians, who broke into revolt in 1419, and a new and fiercer outburst occurred in 1420 when Sigismund, who had succeeded his brother Wenceslaus as king of Bohemia in the preceding August, announced his intention of crushing the Hussites. Led by their famous general, John Žižka, the Bohemians won several battles and spread havoc and terror through the neighbouring German lands. During the progress of this revolt Germany was so divided and her king was so poor that it was impossible to collect an army of sufficient strength to crush the malcontents. At the diet of Nuremberg in 1422 and at that of Frankfort in 1427 Sigismund endeavoured to raise men and money by means of contributions from the estates, but the plan failed owing to mutual jealousies and especially to the resistance of the cities. He secured some help from Frederick of Brandenburg, from Albert of Austria, afterwards the German king Albert II., and from Frederick of Meissen, to whom he granted the electoral duchy of Saxe-Wittenberg; but it was only when the Hussites were split into two factions, and when Žižka was dead, that Germany was in any way relieved from a crushing and intolerable burden.

The continual poverty which hindered the successful prosecution of the war against the Hussites, and which at times placed Sigismund in the undignified position of having to force himself as an unwelcome guest upon princes and cities, had, however, one good result. In 1415 he granted, or rather sold, the mark Brandenburg and the Hohenzollerns. of Brandenburg to his friend Frederick of Hohenzollern, burgrave of Nuremberg, this land thus passing into the hands of the family under whom it was destined to develop into the kingdom of Prussia. During this reign the princes, especially the electors, continued their endeavours to gain a greater share in the government of Germany, and to some extent they succeeded. Sigismund, on his part, tried to enforce peace upon the country by forming leagues of the cities, but to no purpose; in fact all his plans for reform came to nothing.

Sigismund, who died in December 1437, was succeeded on the German throne and also in Hungary and Bohemia by his son-in-law Albert of Austria, and from this time, although remaining in theory elective, the German crown was always conferred upon a member of the house Albert II. of Habsburg until the extinction of the male line of this family in 1740. The reign of Albert II. was too short to enable him to do more than indicate his good intentions; he acted in general with the electors in observing a neutral attitude with regard to the dispute between the council of Basel and Pope Eugenius IV., and he put forward a scheme to improve the administration of justice. He died in October 1439, and was succeeded by his kinsman Frederick, duke of Styria, who became German king as Frederick IV. and, after his coronation at Rome in 1452, emperor as Frederick III.

The first concern of the new king was with the papal schism. The council of Basel was still sitting, and had elected an anti-pope, Felix V., in opposition to Eugenius IV., while the electors, adhering to their neutral attitude, sought to bring Frederick into line with them on this question. Frederick III. and
the Papacy.
Some years were occupied in negotiations, but the king soon showed himself anxious to come to terms with Eugenius, and about 1446 the electors ceased to act together. At length peace was made. The consent of several of the electors having been purchased by concessions, Frederick signed with Pope Nicholas V., the successor of Eugenius, in February 1448 the concordat of Vienna, an arrangement which bound the German Church afresh to Rome and perpetuated the very evils from which earnest churchmen had been seeking deliverance. Thus Germany lost the opportunity of reforming the Church from within, and the upheaval of the 16th century was rendered inevitable.

Frederick’s reign is one of great importance in the history of Austria and of the house of Habsburg, but under him the fortunes of Germany sank to the lowest possible point. Without any interference from the central authority wars were waged in every part of the country, and disputes of Germany under Frederick. every kind were referred to the decision of the sword. The old enmity between the cities and the princes blazed out afresh; grievances of every kind were brought forward and many struggles were the result. Perhaps the most famous of these was one between a confederation of Franconian and Swabian cities under the leadership of Nuremberg on the one side, and Albert Achilles, afterwards elector of Brandenburg, and a number of princes on the other. The war was carried on with great barbarity for about four years (1449–1453), and was in every respect a critical one. If the cities had gained the day they might still have aimed at balancing the power of the princes, but owing partly to their imperfect union, partly to the necessity of fighting with hired troops, they did not gain any serious advantage. On the whole, indeed, in spite of temporary successes, they decidedly lost ground, and on the conclusion of peace there was no doubt that the balance of power in the state inclined to the princes. Frederick meanwhile was involved in wars with the Swiss, with his brother Albert and his Austrian subjects, and later with the Hungarians. He had no influence in Italy; in Burgundy he could neither stop Duke Philip the Good from adding Luxemburg to his possessions, nor check the towering ambition of Charles the Bold; while after the death of Charles in 1477 he was equally unable to prevent the king of France from seizing a large part of his lands. Torn by dissensions the Teutonic Order was unsuccessful in checking the encroachments of the Poles, and in 1466 the land which it had won in the north-east of Germany passed under the suzerainty of Poland, care being taken to root out all traces of German influence therein. Another loss took place in 1460, when Schleswig and Holstein were united with Denmark. In Germany itself the king made scarcely any pretence of exercising the supreme authority; for nearly thirty years he never attended the imperial diet, and the suggestions which were made for his deposition failed only because the electors could not agree upon a successor. In his later years he became more of a recluse than ever, and even before February 1486, when his son Maximilian was chosen German king, he had practically ceased to take any part in the business of the Empire, although he survived until August 1493.

During the reign of Frederick the electors and the greater princes continued the process of consolidating and increasing their power. Lands under their rule, which were technically imperial fiefs, were divided and devised The power of the princes. by them at will like other forms of private property; they had nearly all the rights of a sovereign with regard to levying tolls, coining money, administering justice and granting privileges to towns; they were assisted in the work of government by a privy council, while their courts with their numerous officials began to resemble that of the king or emperor. They did not, however, have everything their own way. During this century their power was limited by the formation of diets in many of the principalities. These bodies were composed of the mediate prelates, the mediate nobles and representatives of the mediate cities. They were not summoned because the princes desired their aid, but because arms could only be obtained from the nobles and money from the cities, at least on an adequate scale. Once having been formed these local diets soon extended their functions. They claimed the right of sanctioning taxation; they made their voice heard about the expenditure of public money; they insisted, although perhaps not very effectually, on justice being administered. Such institutions as these were clearly of the highest importance, and for two centuries they did something to atone for the lack of a genuine monarchy.

During this reign the conditions of warfare began to change. The discovery of gunpowder made small bodies of men, adequately armed, more than a match for great forces equipped in medieval fashion. Hence the custom of Methods of warfare. hiring mercenary troops was introduced, and a prince could never be certain, however numerous his vassals might be, that the advantage would not rest with his opponent. This fact, added to the influence of the local diets, made even the princes weary of war, and a universal and continuous demand arose for some reform of the machinery of government. Partly at the instance of the emperor a great Swabian confederation was formed in 1488. This consisted of both princes and cities and was intended to enforce the public peace in the south-western parts of Germany. Its effects were excellent; but obviously no partial remedy was sufficient. It was essential that there should be some great reform which would affect every part of the kingdom, and for the present this was not to be secured.

Maximilian came to the throne in 1486 with exceptional advantages. He was heir to the extensive Austrian lands, and as the widowed husband of Charles the Bold’s daughter Mary he administered the Netherlands. Although Maximilian I. he soon gave up these provinces to his son Philip, the fact that they were in the possession of his family added to his influence, and this was further increased when Philip married Joanna, the heiress of the Spanish kingdoms. From Maximilian’s accession the Empire exercised in the affairs of Europe an authority which had not belonged to it for centuries. The reason for this was not that the Empire was stronger, but that its crown was worn by a succession of princes who were great sovereigns in their own right.

Having in 1490 driven the Hungarians from Vienna and recovered his hereditary lands, and having ordered the affairs of the Netherlands, Maximilian turned his attention to Italy, whither he was drawn owing to the invasion of that country by Reforms in Germany. 1495. Charles VIII. of France in 1494. But before he could take any steps to check the progress of Charles pecuniary necessities compelled him to meet the diet. At this time the German, or imperial, diet consisted of three colleges, one of the electors, another of the princes, both spiritual and secular, and a third of representatives of the free cities, who had, however, only just gained the right to sit beside the other two estates. The diet was an extremely clumsy instrument of government, and it was perhaps never more discredited or more impotent than when it met Maximilian at Worms in March 1495. But in spite of repeated rebuffs the party of reform was valorous and undaunted; its members knew that their case was overwhelmingly strong. Although disappointed in the hope which they had nourished until about 1490 that Maximilian himself would lead them, they had found a capable head in Bertold, elector of Mainz. The king lost no time in acquainting the diet with his demands. He wished for men and money to encounter the French in Italy and to resist the Turks. Bertold retorted that redress of grievances must precede supply, and Maximilian and the princes were soon discussing the proposals put forward by the sagacious elector. His first suggestion that a council nominated by the estates should be set up with the power of vetoing the acts of the king was abandoned because of the strenuous opposition of Maximilian; but Bertold was successful in getting the diet to proclaim an eternal Landfriede, that is, to forbid private war without any limitation of time, and it was agreed that the diet should meet annually to advise the king on matters of moment. The idea of a council, however, was not given up although it took a different form. An imperial court of justice, the Reichskammergericht, was established; this consisted of sixteen members nominated by the estates and a president appointed by the king. Its duties were to judge between princes of the Empire and to act as the supreme court of appeal in cases where humbler persons were concerned. Partly to provide for the expenses of this court, partly to furnish Maximilian with the promised monetary aid, a tax called the common penny was instituted, this impost taking the form both of a property tax and of a poll tax. Such in outline were the reforms effected by the important diet of Worms.

The practical difficulties of the reformers, however, were only just beginning. Although Maximilian took some interest in the collection of the common penny it was difficult, and from some classes impossible, to obtain payment Difficulties and further reforms. of this tax, and the king was persistently hostile to the imperial court of justice, his hostility and the want of money being indeed successful in preventing that institution for a time from doing any real service to Germany. In 1497 he set up a new Aulic council or Hofrat, the members of which were chosen by himself, and to this body he gave authority to deal with all the business of the Empire. Thus he undermined the foundations of the Reichskammergericht and stole a march upon Bertold and his friends. A series of diets between 1495 and 1499 produced only mutual recriminations, and then Maximilian met with a serious rebuff. The Swiss refused to pay the common penny and to submit to the jurisdiction of the imperial court of justice. Consequently, in 1499, Maximilian sent such troops as he could collect against them, but his forces were beaten, and by the peace of Basel he was forced to concede all the demands made by the Swiss, who became virtually independent of the Empire. Heartened by this circumstance Bertold and his followers returned to the attack when the diet met at Augsburg in 1500. The common penny as a means of taxation fell into the background, and in its place a scheme was accepted which it was thought would provide the king with an army of about 30,000 men. But more important perhaps was the administrative council, or Reichsregiment, which was established by the diet at this time. A revival of the idea put forward by the elector of Mainz at Worms in 1495, this council was to consist of twenty members appointed by the electors and other princes and by representatives of the cities, with a president named by the king. Its work was practically that of governing Germany, and it was the most considerable encroachment which had yet been made on the power of the king. It is not surprising therefore that Maximilian hated the new body, to the establishment of which he had only consented under great pressure.

In 1500 the Reichsregiment met at Nuremberg and began at once to treat for peace with France. Maximilian was not slow to resent this interference; he refused to appoint a president, and soon succeeded in making the meetings Maximilian hampers the reformers. of the council impossible. The relations between the king and the princes were now very strained. Bertold called the electors together to decide upon a plan of campaign; Maximilian on his part tried to destroy the electoral union by winning over individual members. The result was that when the elector of Mainz died in 1504 the king’s victory was complete. The Reichskammergericht and the Reichsregiment were for all practical purposes destroyed, and greater authority had been given to the Hofrat. Henceforward it was the king who put forward schemes of reform and the diet which modified or rejected them. When the diet met at Cologne in 1505 Maximilian asked for an army and the request was granted, the necessary funds being raised by the old plan of a levy on the estates. At Constance, two years later, the diet raised men and money in a similar fashion, and on this occasion the imperial court of justice was restored, with some slight alteration in the method of appointing its members. After Maximilian had taken the novel step of assuming the title of Roman emperor at Trent in 1508 the last of the reforming diets met at Cologne in 1512. In 1500 Germany had been divided into six circles (Kreise) or districts, for the purpose of sending representatives to the Reichsregiment. These circles were now increased in number to ten and an official (Hauptmann) was placed over each, his duties being to enforce the decisions of the Reichskammergericht. But it was some time before the circles came into working order; the only permanent reform of the reign was the establishment of the imperial court of justice, and even this was not entirely satisfactory, Maximilian’s remaining diets loudly denouncing it for delay and incompetence. The period marked by the attempted reform of Bertold of Mainz was that of the last struggle between the supporters of a united Germany and those who preferred a loose confederation of states. Victory remained with the latter party. Maximilian himself had done a great deal to promote the unity of his Austrian lands and, incidentally, to cut them off from the remainder of the German kingdom, and other princes were following his example. This movement spelled danger to the small principalities and to the free cities, but it gave a powerful impetus to the growth of Brandenburg, of Saxony, of Bavaria and of the Palatinate, and the future of the country seemed likely to remain with the particularist and not with the national idea.

During the period of these constitutional struggles the king’s chief energies were spent in warring against the French kings Charles VIII. and Louis XII. in Italy, where he hoped to restore the claims, dormant, perhaps even extinct, Maximilian’s wars in Italy. of the German kings. In 1508 he helped to promote the league of Cambrai, formed to despoil Venice, but he soon returned to his former policy of waging war against France, and he continued to do this until peace was made in 1516. The princes of Germany showed themselves singularly indifferent to this struggle, and their king’s battles were largely fought with mercenary troops. Maximilian gained his most conspicuous success in his own kingdom in 1504, when he interfered in a struggle over the succession to the duchy of Bavaria-Landshut. He gained some additions of territory, but his victory was more important because it gave him the prestige which enabled him to break down the opposition of the princes and to get his own way with regard to his domestic policy.

In many respects the reign of Maximilian must be regarded as the end of the middle ages. The feudal relation between the king and the princes and between the princes and their vassals had become purely nominal. No real control was exerted by the Decay of feudal relations. crown over the heads of the various states, and, now that war was carried on mainly by mercenary troops, the mediate nobles did not hold their lands on condition of military service. The princes were sovereigns, not merely feudal lords; and by the institution of local diets in their territories an approach was made to modern conceptions of government. The age of war was far indeed from being over, but men were at least beginning to see that unnecessary bloodshed is an evil, and that the true outlet for the mass of human energies is not conflict but industry. By the growth of the cities in social, if not in political, importance the products of labour were more and more widely diffused; and it was easier than at any previous time for the nation to be moved by common ideas and impulses. The discovery of America, the invention of printing, the revival of learning and many other causes had contributed to effect a radical change in the point of view from which the world was regarded; and the strongest of all medieval relations, that of the nation to the Church, was about to pass through the fiery trial of the Reformation. This vast movement, which began in the later years of Maximilian, definitely severed the medieval from the modern world.

The seeds of the Reformation were laid during the time of the great conflict between the Papacy and the Empire. The arrogance and the ambition of the popes then stamped upon the minds of the people an impression that was The Reformation. never effaced. During the struggle of Louis IV. with the popes of his day the feeling revived with fresh intensity; all classes, clerical as well as lay, looked upon resistance to papal pretensions as a necessity imposed by the national honour. At the same time the spiritual teaching of the mystics awakened in many minds an aspiration which the Church, in its corrupt state, could not satisfy, and which was in any case unfavourable to an external authority. The Hussite movement further weakened the spell of the Church. Still more powerful, because touching other elements of human nature and affecting a more important class, was the influence of the Renaissance, which, towards the end of the 15th century, passed from Italy to the universities of Germany. The men of the new learning did not sever themselves from Christianity, but they became indifferent to it; its conceptions seemed to them dim and faded, while there was a constantly increasing charm in literature, in philosophy and in art. No kind of effort was made by the Church to prepare for the storm. The spiritual princes, besides displaying all the faults of the secular princes, had special defects of their own; and as simony was universally practised, the lives of multitudes of the inferior clergy were a public scandal, while their services were cold and unimpressive. The moral sense was outraged by such a pope as Alexander VI.; and neither the military ambition of Julius II. nor the refined paganism of Leo X. could revive the decaying faith in the spirituality of their office. Pope Leo, by his incessant demands for money and his unscrupulous methods of obtaining it, awakened bitter hostility in every class of the community.

The popular feeling for the first time found expression when Luther, on All Saints’ day 1517, nailed to a church door in Wittenberg the theses in which he contested the doctrine which lay at the root of the scandalous traffic in indulgences Luther. carried on in the pope’s name by Tetzel and his like. This episode, derided at first at Rome as the act of an obscure Augustinian friar intent on scoring a point in a scholastic disputation, was in reality an event of vast significance, for it brought to the front, as the exponent of the national sentiment, one of the mightiest spirits whom Germany has produced. Under the influence of Luther’s strong personality the most active and progressive elements of the nation were soon in more or less open antagonism to the Papacy.

When Maximilian died in January 1519 his throne was competed for by his grandson Charles, king of Spain, and by Francis I. of France, and after a long and costly contest the former was chosen in the following June. By the time Charles reached Charles V. and Luther. Germany and was crowned at Aix-la-Chapelle (October 1520) Luther had confronted the cardinal legate Cajetan, had passed through his famous controversy at Leipzig with Johann Eck, and was about to burn the bull of excommunication. After this daring step retreat was impossible, and with keen excitement both the reformer’s followers and his enemies waited for the new sovereign to declare himself on one side or on the other. Charles soon made up his mind about the general lines of his policy, although he was completely ignorant of the strength of the feeling which had been aroused. He fancied that he had to deal with a mere monkish quarrel; at one time he even imagined that a little money would set the difficulty at rest. It was not likely, however, in any case that he would turn against the Roman Church, and that for various reasons. He was by far the most important ruler of the time, and the peoples under his direct sway were still adherents of the old faith. He was king of Spain, of Sicily, of Naples and of Sardinia; he was lord of the Netherlands, of the free county of Burgundy and of the Austrian archduchies; he had at his command the immense resources of the New World; and he had been chosen king of Germany, thus gaining a title to the imperial crown. Following the example set by Maximilian he called himself emperor without waiting for the formality of a coronation at Rome. Now the protection of the Church had always been regarded as one of the chief functions of the emperors; Charles could not, therefore, desert it when it was so greatly in need of his services. Like his predecessors he reserved to himself the right to resist it in the realm of politics; in the realm of faith he considered that he owed to it his entire allegiance. Moreover, he intended to undertake the subjugation of northern Italy, a task which had baffled his imperial grandfather, and in order to realize this scheme it was of the highest importance that he should do nothing to offend the pope. Thus it came about that at the diet of Worms, which met in January 1521, without any thorough examination of Luther’s position, Charles issued the famous edict, drawn up by Cardinal Aleandro, which denounced the reformer and his followers. This was accepted by the diet and Luther was placed under the imperial ban.

When Charles was chosen German king he was obliged to make certain promises to the electors. Embodied in a Wahlkapitulation, as it was called, these were practically the conditions on which the new sovereign was allowed Charles and the movement for reform. to take the crown, and the precedent was followed at subsequent elections. At the diet of Worms steps were taken to carry these promises into effect. By his Wahlkapitulation Charles had promised to respect the freedom of Germany, for the princes looked upon him as a foreigner. He was neither to introduce foreign troops into the country, nor to allow a foreigner to command German soldiers; he must use the German language and every diet must meet on German soil. An administrative council, a new Reichsregiment, must be established, and other reforms were to be set on foot. The constitution and powers of this Reichsregiment were the chief subject of difference between Charles and the princes at the diet. Eventually it was decided that this council should consist of twenty-two members with a president named by the emperor; but it was only to govern Germany during the absence of the sovereign, at other times its functions were merely advisory. The imperial chamber was restored on the lines laid down by Bertold of Mainz in 1495 (it survived until the dissolution of the Empire in 1806), and the estates undertook to aid the emperor by raising and paying an army. In April 1521 Charles invested his brother Ferdinand, afterwards the emperor Ferdinand I., with the Austrian archduchies, and soon afterwards he left Germany to renew his long struggle with Francis I. of France.

While the emperor was thus absent great disturbances took place in Germany. Among Luther’s friends was one, Ulrich von Hutten, at once penetrated with the spirit of the Renaissance and emphatically a man of action. The class to which Hutten and Sickingen’s rising. his friend, Franz von Sickingen, a daring and ambitious Rhenish baron, belonged, was that of the small feudal tenants in chief, the Ritterschaft or knights of the Empire. This class was subject only to the emperor, but its members lacked the territorial possessions which gave power to the princes; they were partly deprived of their employment owing to the suppression of private wars, and they had suffered through the substitution of Roman law for the ancient feudal laws and customs. They had no place in the constitution or in the government of Germany, and they had already paralysed the administration by refusing to pay the taxes. They were intensely jealous of the princes, and it occurred to Hutten and Sickingen that the Reformation might be used to improve the condition of the knights and to effect a total change in the constitution of the Empire. No general reform, they maintained, either in church or state, could be secured while the country was divided into a number of principalities, and their plan was to combine with all those who were discontented with the existing order to attack the princes and to place the emperor at the head of a united nation. Sickingen, who has been compared to Wallenstein, and who doubtless hoped to secure a great position for himself, had already collected a large army, which by its very presence had contributed somewhat to the election of Charles at Frankfort in 1519. He had also earned renown by carrying on feuds with the citizens of Worms and of Metz, and now, with a view to realizing his larger ambitions, he opened the campaign (August 1522) by attacking the elector of Trier, who, as a spiritual prince, would not, it was hoped, receive any help from the religious reformers. For a moment it seemed as if Hutten’s dream would be realized, but it was soon evident that it was too late to make so great a change. Luther and other persons of influence stood aloof from the movement; on the other hand, several princes, including Philip, landgrave of Hesse, united their forces against the knights, and in May 1523 Sickingen was defeated and slain. A few weeks later Hutten died on an island in the lake of Zürich.

This war was followed by another of a much more serious nature. The German peasants had grievances compared with which those of the knights and lesser barons were imaginary. For about a century several causes had The causes of the Peasants’ War. tended to make their condition worse and worse. While taxes and other burdens were increasing the power of the king to protect them was decreasing; with or without the forms of law they were plundered by every other class in the community; their traditional privileges were withdrawn and, as in the case of the knights, their position had suffered owing to the introduction of Roman law into Germany. In the west and south-west of the country especially, opportunities of migration and of expansion had been gradually reduced, and to provide for their increasing numbers they were compelled to divide their holdings again and again until these patches of land became too small for the support of a household. Thus, solely under the influence of social and economic conditions, various risings of the peasants had taken place during the latter part of the 15th century, the first one being in 1461, and at times the insurgents had combined their forces with those of the lower classes in the towns, men whose condition was hardly more satisfactory than their own. In the last decade of the 15th and the first decade of the 16th century there were several insurrections in the south-west of Germany, each of which was called a Bundschuh, a shoe fastened upon a pole serving as the standard of revolt. In 1514 Württemberg was disturbed by the rising of “poor Conrad,” but these and other similar revolts in the neighbourhood were suppressed by the princes. These movements, however, were only preludes to the great revolution, which is usually known as the Peasants’ War (Bauernkrieg).

The Renaissance and the Reformation were awakening extravagant hopes in the minds of the German peasants, and it is still a matter of controversy among historians to what extent Luther and the reformers were responsible for The Peasants’ War. their rising. It may, however, be stated with some certainty that their condition was sufficiently wretched to drive them to revolt without any serious pressure from outside. The rising was due primarily neither to religious nor to political, but to economic causes. The Peasants’ War, properly so called, broke out at Stühlingen in June 1522. The insurgents found a leader in Hans Müller of Bulgenbach, who gained some support in the surrounding towns, and soon all Swabia was in revolt. Quickly the insurrection became general all over central and southern Germany. In the absence of the emperor and of his brother, the archduke Ferdinand, the authorities in these parts of the country were unable to check the movement and, aided by many knights, prominent among whom was Götz von Berlichingen, the peasants were everywhere victorious, while another influential recruit, Ulrich, the dispossessed duke of Württemberg, joined them in the hope of recovering his duchy. Ulrich’s attempt, which was made early in 1525, was, however, a failure, and about the same time the peasants drew up twelve articles embodying their demands. These were sufficiently moderate. They asked for a renewal of their ancient rights of fishing and hunting freely, for a speedier method of obtaining justice, and for the removal of new and heavy burdens. In many places the lords yielded to these demands, among those who granted concessions being the elector palatine of the Rhine, the bishops of Bamberg and of Spires, and the abbots of Fulda and of Hersfeld. But meanwhile the movement was spreading through Franconia to northern Germany and was especially formidable in Thuringia, where it was led by Thomas Münzer. Here again success attended the rebel standards. But soon the victorious peasants became so violent and so destructive that Luther himself urged that they should be sternly punished, and a number of princes, prominent among whom was Philip of Hesse, banded themselves together to crush the rising. Münzer and his followers were defeated at Frankenhausen in May, the Swabian League gained victories in the area under its control, successes were gained elsewhere by the princes, and with much cruelty the revolt of the peasants was suppressed. The general result was that the power of the territorial lords became greater than ever, although in some cases, especially in Tirol and in Baden, the condition of the peasants was somewhat improved. Elsewhere, however, this was not the case; many of the peasants suffered still greater oppression and some of the immediate nobles were forced to submit to a detested yoke.

Before the suppression of this rising the Reichsregiment had met with very indifferent success in its efforts to govern Germany. Meeting at Nuremberg early in 1522 it voted some slight assistance for the campaign against the invading The Reichsregiment. Turks, but the proposals put forward for raising the necessary funds aroused much opposition, an opposition which came mainly from the large and important cities. The citizens appealed to Charles V., who was in Spain, and after some hesitation the emperor decided against the Reichsregiment. Under such disheartening conditions it is not surprising that this body was totally unable to cope with Sickingen’s insurrection, and that a few weeks after its meeting at Nuremberg in 1524 it succumbed to a series of attacks and disappeared from the history of Germany. But the Reichsregiment had taken one step, although this was of a negative character. It had shown some sympathy with the reformers and had declined to put the edict of Worms into immediate execution. Hardly less lukewarm, the imperial diet ordered the edict to be enforced, but only as far as possible, and meanwhile the possibilities of accommodation between the two great religious parties were becoming more and more remote. A national assembly to decide the questions at issue was announced to meet at Spires, but the emperor forbade this gathering. Then the Romanists, under the guidance of Cardinal Campeggio and the archduke Ferdinand, met at Regensburg and decided to take strong and aggressive measures to destroy Lutheranism, while, on the other hand, representatives of the cities met at Spires and at Ulm, and asserted their intention of forwarding and protecting the teaching of the reformed doctrines. All over the country and through all classes of the people men were falling into line on one side or the other, and everything was thus ready for a long and bitter religious war.

During these years the religious and political ideas of the Reformation were rapidly gaining ground, and, aided by a vigorous and violent polemic literature, opposition to Rome was growing on every side. Instigated by George of Saxony Progress of the Reformation. the Romanist princes formed a defensive league at Dessau in 1525; the reforming princes took a similar step at Gotha in 1526. Such were the prevailing conditions when the diet met at Spires in June 1526 and those who were still loyal to the Roman Church clamoured for repressive measures. But on this occasion the reformers were decidedly in the ascendant. Important ecclesiastical reforms were approved, and instructions forbidding all innovations and calling upon the diet to execute the edict of Worms, sent by the emperor from Spain, were brushed aside on the ground that in the preceding March when this letter was written Charles and the pope were at peace, while now they were at war. Before its dissolution the diet promulgated a decree providing that, pending the assembly of a national council, each prince should order the ecclesiastical affairs of his own state in accordance with his own conscience, a striking victory for the reformers and incidentally for separatist ideas. The three years which elapsed between this diet and another important diet which met in the same city are full of incident. Guided by Luther and Melanchthon, the principal states and cities in which the ideas of the reformers prevailed—electoral Saxony, Brandenburg, Hesse and the Rhenish Palatinate, Strassburg, Nuremberg, Ulm and Augsburg—began to carry out measures of church reform. The Romanists saw the significance of this movement and, fortunately for them, were able to profit by the dissensions which were breaking out in the ranks of their opponents, especially the doctrinal differences between the followers of Luther and those of Zwingli. Persecutions for heresy had begun, the feeling between the two great religious parties being further embittered by some revelations made by Otto von Pack (q.v.) to Philip of Hesse. Pack’s stories, which concerned the existence of a powerful league for the purpose of making war upon the reformers, were proved to be false, but the soreness occasioned thereby remained. The diet met in February 1529 and soon received orders from the emperor to repeal the decree of 1526. The supporters of the older faith were now predominant and, although they were inclined to adopt a somewhat haughty attitude towards Charles, they were not averse from taking strong measures against the reformers. The decree of the diet, formulated in April, forbade the reformers to make further religious changes, while the toleration which was conceded to Romanists in Lutheran states was withheld from Lutherans in Romanist states. This decree was strongly resented by the reforming princes and cities. They drew up a formal protest against it (hence the name “Protestant”), which they presented to the archduke Ferdinand, setting forward the somewhat novel theory that the decree of 1526 could not be annulled by a succeeding diet unless both the parties concerned assented thereto. By this decree they declared their firm intention to abide.

The untiring efforts of Philip of Hesse to unite the two wings of the Protestant forces met with very little success, and the famous conference at Marburg in the autumn of 1529, for which he was responsible, revealed the fact that it The diet of Augsburg. was practically impossible for the Lutherans and the Zwinglians to act together even when threatened by a common danger, while a little later the alliance between the Lutheran states of north Germany and the Zwinglian cities of the south was destroyed by differences upon points of doctrine. In 1530 the emperor, flushed with success in Italy and at peace with his foreign foes, came to Germany with the express intention of putting an end to heresy. In June he opened the diet at Augsburg, and here the Lutherans submitted a summary of their doctrines, afterwards called the Augsburg Confession. Drawn up by Melanchthon, this pronouncement was intended to widen the breach between the Lutherans and the Zwinglians, and to narrow that between the Lutherans and the Romanists; from this time it was regarded as the chief standard of the Lutheran faith. Four Zwinglian cities, Strassburg, Constance, Lindau and Memmingen, replied with a confession of their own and the Romanists also drew up an answer. The period of negotiation which followed served only to show that no accommodation was possible. Charles himself made no serious effort to understand the controversy; he was resolved, whether the Lutherans had right on their side or not, that they should submit, and he did not doubt but that he would be able to awe them into submission by an unwonted display of power. But to his surprise the Lutheran princes who attended the diet refused to give way. They were, however, outnumbered by their enemies, and it was the Romanist majority which dictated the terms of the decree, which was laid before the diet in September, enjoining a return to religious conformity within seven months. The Protestant princes could only present a formal protest and leave Augsburg. Finally the decree of the diet, promulgated in November, ordered the execution of the edict of Worms, the restoration of all church property, and the maintenance of the jurisdiction of the bishops. The duty of enforcing the decree was especially entrusted to the Reichskammergericht; thus by the processes of law the Protestant princes were to be deprived of much of their property, and it seemed probable that if they did not submit the emperor would have recourse to arms.

For the present, however, fresh difficulties with France and an invasion by the Turks, who had besieged Vienna with an immense army in the autumn of 1529, forced Charles to mask his designs. Meanwhile some of the Lutherans, The league of Schmalkalden. angered and alarmed by the decisions of the Reichskammergericht, abandoned the idea that resistance to the imperial authority was unlawful and, meeting in December 1530, laid the foundation of the important league of Schmalkalden, among the first members of the confederation being the rulers of Saxony and Hesse and the cities of Bremen and Magdeburg. The league was soon joined by other strong cities, among them Strassburg, Ulm, Constance, Lübeck and Goslar; but it was not until after the defeat and death of Zwingli at Kappel in October 1531 that it was further strengthened by the adhesion of those towns which had hitherto looked for leadership to the Swiss reformer. About this time the military forces of the league were organized, their heads being the elector of Saxony and the landgrave of Hesse. But the league had a political as well as a religious aspect. It was an alliance between the enemies of the house of Habsburg, and on this side it gained the support of the duke of Bavaria and treated with Francis I. of France. To this its rapid growth was partly due, but more perhaps to the fact that the Reformation in Germany was above all things a popular movement, and thus many princes who would not have seceded from the Roman Church of their own accord were compelled to do so from political motives. They had been strong enough to undermine the imperial power; they were not strong enough to resist the pressure put upon them by a majority of their subjects. It was early in 1532, when faced with the necessity of resisting the Turkish advance, that Charles met the diet at Regensburg. He must have men and money for this purpose even at the price of an arrangement with the Protestants. But the Lutherans were absent from the diet, and the Romanists, although they voted help, displayed a very uncompromising temper towards their religious foes. Under these circumstances the emperor took the matter into his own hands, and his negotiations with the Protestants resulted in July 1532 in the religious peace of Nuremberg, a measure which granted temporary toleration to the Lutherans and which was repeatedly confirmed in the following years. Charles’s reward was substantial and immediate. His subjects vied with each other in hurrying soldiers to his standard, and in a few weeks the great Turkish host was in full retreat.

While the probability of an alliance between Pope Clement VII. and Francis I. of France, together with other international complications, prevented the emperor from following up his victory over the Turks, or from reducing the Internal affairs of Germany. dissenters from the Roman religion to obedience, Protestantism was making substantial progress in the states, notably in Anhalt and in Pomerania, and in the cities, and in January 1534 the Protestant princes were bold enough to declare that they did not regard the decisions of the Reichskammergericht as binding upon them. About this time Germany witnessed three events of some importance. Through the energy of Philip of Hesse, who was aided by Francis I., Ulrich of Württemberg was forcibly restored to his duchy. The members of the Romanist league recently founded at Halle would not help the Habsburgs, and in June 1534, by the treaty of Cadan, King Ferdinand was forced to recognize the restoration as a fait accompli; at the same time he was compelled to promise that he would stop all proceedings of the Reichskammergericht against the members of the league of Schmalkalden. The two other events were less favourable for the new religion, or rather for its orthodox manifestations. After a struggle, the Anabaptists obtained control of Münster and for a short time governed the town in accordance with their own peculiar ideas, while at Lübeck, under the burgomaster Jürgen Wullenweber, a democratic government was also established. But the bishop of Münster and his friends crushed the one movement, and after interfering in the affairs of Denmark the Lübeckers were compelled to revert to their former mode of government. The outbreak of the war between the Empire and France in 1536 almost coincided with the enlargement of the league of Schmalkalden, the existence of which was prolonged for ten years. All the states and cities which subscribed to the confession of Augsburg were admitted to it, and thus a large number of Protestants, including the duchies of Württemberg and Pomerania and the cities of Augsburg and Frankfort, secured a needful protection against the decrees of the Reichskammergericht, which the league again repudiated. Among the new members of the confederation was Christian III., king of Denmark. About the same time (May 1536) an agreement between the Lutherans and the Zwinglians was arranged by Martin Bucer, and was embodied in a document called the Concord of Wittenberg, and for the present the growing dissensions between the heads of the league, John Frederick, elector of Saxony, and Philip of Hesse, were checked. Thus strengthened the Protestant princes declared against the proposed general council at Mantua, while as a counterpoise to the league of Schmalkalden the imperial envoy, Mathias Held (d. 1563), persuaded the Romanist princes in June 1538 to form the league of Nuremberg. But, although he had made a truce with France at Nice in this very month, Charles V. was more conciliatory than some of his representatives, and at Frankfort in April 1539 he came to terms with the Protestants, not, however, granting to them all their demands. In 1539, too, the Protestants received a great accession of strength, the Lutheran prince Henry succeeding his Romanist brother George as duke of Saxony. Ducal Saxony was thus completely won for the reformed faith, and under the politic elector Joachim II. the same doctrines made rapid advances in Brandenburg. Thus practically all North Germany was united in supporting the Protestant cause.

In 1542, when Charles V. was again involved in war with France and Turkey, who were helped by Sweden, Denmark and Scotland, the league of Schmalkalden took advantage of his occupations to drive its stubborn foe, Henry, Successes of the Protestants. duke of Brunswick-Wolfenbüttel, from his duchy and to enthrone Protestantism completely therein. But this was not the only victory gained by the Protestants about this time. The citizens of Regensburg accepted their doctrines, which also made considerable progress in the Palatinate and in Austria, while the archbishop of Cologne, Hermann von Wied, and William, duke of Gelderland, Cleves and Juliers, announced their secession from the Roman religion. The Protestants were now at the height of their power, but their ascendancy was about to be destroyed, and that rather by the folly and imprudence of their leaders than by the skill and valour of their foes. The unity and the power of the league of Schmalkalden Their defeats. were being undermined by two important events, the bigamy of Philip of Hesse, which for political reasons was condoned by the Lutheran divines, and the dissensions between John Frederick, the ruler of electoral, and Maurice, the new ruler of ducal Saxony. To save himself from the consequences of his double marriage, which had provided him with powerful enemies, Philip in June 1541 came to terms with the emperor, who thus managed to spike the guns of the league of Schmalkalden, although the strength of this confederation did not fail until after the campaign against Henry of Brunswick. But while on the whole the fortunes of the European war, both in the east and in the west, were unfavourable to the imperialists, Charles V. found time in 1543 to lead a powerful force against William of Gelderland, who had joined the circle of his foreign foes. William was completely crushed; Gelderland was added to the hereditary lands of the Habsburgs, while the league of Schmalkalden impotently watched the proceedings. This happened about a year after war between the two branches of the Saxon house had only been averted by the mediation of Luther and of Philip of Hesse. The emperor, however, was unable, or unwilling, to make a more general attack on the Protestants. In accordance with the promises made to them at Frankfort in 1539, conferences between the leaders of the two religious parties were held at Hagenau, at Worms and at Regensburg, but they were practically futile. The diets at Regensburg and at Nuremberg gave very little aid for the wars, and did nothing to solve the religious difficulties which were growing more acute with repeated delays. At the diet of Spires in 1544 Charles purchased military assistance from the Protestants by making lavish promises to them. With a new army he marched against the French, but suddenly in September 1544 he concluded the treaty of Crépy with Francis I. and left himself free to begin a new chapter in the history of Germany.

Charles was now nearly ready to crush the Protestants, whose influence and teaching had divided Germany and weakened the imperial power, and were now endangering the supremacy of the Habsburgs in the Netherlands and Victory of Charles over the league of Schmalkalden. in Alsace. His plan was to bring about the meeting of a general council to make the necessary reforms in the church, and then at whatever cost to compel the Protestants to abide by its decisions. While Pope Paul III., somewhat reluctantly, summoned the council which ultimately met at Trent, Charles made vigorous preparations for war. Having made peace with the Turks in October 1545 he began to secure allies. Assistance was promised by the pope; the emperor purchased the neutrality of Duke William of Bavaria, and at a high price the active aid of Maurice of Saxony; he managed to detach from the league of Schmalkalden those members who were without any enthusiasm for the Protestant cause and also those who were too timid to enter upon a serious struggle. Meanwhile the league was inactive. Its chiefs differed on questions of policy, one section believing that the emperor did not intend to proceed to extremities, and for some time no measures were taken to meet the coming peril. At last, in June 1546, during the meeting of the diet at Regensburg, Philip and John Frederick of Saxony realized the extent of the danger and began to muster their forces. They were still much more powerful than the emperor, but they did not work well together, or with Sebastian Schärtlin von Burtenbach, who led their troops in South Germany. In July 1546 they were placed under the imperial ban, and the war began in the valley of the Danube. Charles was aided by soldiers hurried from Italy and the Netherlands, but he did not gain any substantial successes until after October 1546, when his ally Maurice invaded electoral Saxony and forced John Frederick to march northwards to its defence. The Lutheran cities of southern and central Germany, among them Strassburg, Augsburg, Ulm and Frankfort, now submitted to the emperor, while Ulrich of Württemberg and the elector palatine of the Rhine, Frederick II., followed their example. Having restored Roman Catholicism in the archbishopric of Cologne and seen Henry of Brunswick settled in his duchy early in 1547, Charles led his men against his principal enemies, Philip of Hesse and John Frederick, who had quickly succeeded in driving Maurice from his electorate. At Mühlberg in April 1547 he overtook the army of the Saxon elector. His victory was complete. John Frederick was taken prisoner, and a little later Philip of Hesse, after vainly prolonging the struggle, was induced to surrender. The rising in the other parts of northern Germany was also put down, and the two leaders of political Lutheranism were prisoners in the emperor’s hands.

Unable to shake the allegiance of John Frederick to the Lutheran faith, Charles kept him and Philip of Hesse in captivity and began to take advantage of his triumph, although Magdeburg was still offering a stubborn resistance The “Interim.” to his allies. By the capitulation of Wittenberg the electorate of Saxony was transferred to Maurice, and in the mood of a conqueror the emperor met the diet at Augsburg in September 1547. His proposals to strengthen and reform the administration of Germany were, however, not acceptable to the princes, and the main one was not pressed; but the Netherlands were brought under the protection of the Empire and some minor reforms were carried through. A serious quarrel with the pope, who had moved the council from Trent to Bologna, only increased the determination of Charles to establish religious conformity. In consultation with both Romanist and Lutheran divines a confession of faith called the Interim was drawn up; this was in the nature of a compromise and was issued as an edict in May 1548, but owing to the opposition of the Romanist princes it was not made binding upon them, only upon the Lutherans. There was some resistance to the Interim, but force was employed against Augsburg and other recalcitrant cities, and soon it was generally accepted. Thus all Germany seemed to lie at the emperor’s feet. The Reformation had enabled him to deal with the princes and the imperial cities in a fashion such as no sovereign had dealt with them for three centuries.

Being now at the height of his power Charles wished to secure the succession to the imperial throne to his son Philip, afterwards Philip II. of Spain. This intention produced The imperial succession. dissensions among the Habsburgs, especially between the emperor and his brother Ferdinand, and other causes were at work, moreover, to undermine the former’s position. The Romanist princes were becoming alarmed at his predominance, the Protestant princes resented his arbitrary measures and disliked the harsh treatment meted out to John Frederick and to Philip of Hesse; all alike, irritated by the presence of Spanish soldiers in their midst, objected strongly to take Philip for their king and to any extension of Spanish influence in Germany. Turkey and France were again threatening war, and although the council had returned to Trent it seemed less likely than ever to satisfy the Protestants. The The revolt of Maurice of Saxony. general discontent found expression in the person of Maurice of Saxony, a son-in-law of Philip of Hesse, whose services to Charles against the league of Schmalkalden had made him very unpopular in his own country. Caring little or nothing about doctrinal disputes, but a great deal about increasing his own importance, Maurice now took the lead in plotting against the emperor. He entered into an alliance with John, margrave of Brandenburg-Cüstrin, with another Hohenzollern prince, Albert Alcibiades of Bayreuth, and with other Lutheran leaders, and also with Henry II. of France, who eagerly seized this opportunity of profiting by the dissensions in the Empire and who stipulated for a definite reward. Charles knew something of these proceedings, but his recent victory had thrown him partly off his guard. The treaty with France was signed in January 1552; in March Henry II. invaded Germany as the protector of her liberties, while Maurice seized Augsburg and marched towards Innsbruck, where the emperor was residing, with the intention of making him a prisoner. An attempt at accommodation failed; Charles fled into Carinthia; and at one stroke all the advantages which he had gained by his triumph at Mühlberg were lost. Masters of the situation, Maurice and his associates met their opponents at Passau in May 1552 and arranged terms of peace, although the emperor did not assent to them until July. The two captive princes were released, but the main point agreed upon was that a diet should be called for the purpose of settling the religious difficulty, and that in the meantime the Lutherans were to enjoy full religious liberty.

Delayed by the war with France and Turkey, the diet for the settlement of the religious difficulty did not meet at Augsburg until February 1555. Ferdinand represented his brother, and after a prolonged discussion conditions The peace of Augsburg. of peace were arranged. Romanists and Lutherans were placed upon an equal footing, but the toleration which was granted to them was not extended to the Calvinists. Each secular prince had the right to eject from his land all those who would not accept the form of religion established therein; thus the principle of cujus regio ejus religio was set up. Although the Lutherans did not gain all their demands, they won solid advantages and were allowed to keep all ecclesiastical property secularized before the peace of Passau. A source of trouble, however, was the clause in the treaty usually called the ecclesiastical reservation. This required an ecclesiastical prince, if he accepted the teaching of the confession of Augsburg, or in other words became a Lutheran, forthwith to resign his principality. The Lutherans denied the validity of this clause, and notwithstanding the protests of the Roman Catholics several prelates became Lutheran and kept their territories as secular possessions. The peace of Augsburg can hardly be described as a satisfactory settlement. Individual toleration was not allowed, or only allowed in unison with exile, and in the treaty there was abundant material for future discord.

After Maurice of Saxony had made terms with Charles at Passau he went to help Ferdinand against the Turks, but one of his allies, Henry II. of France, continued the war in Germany while another, Albert Alcibiades, entered End of the reign. upon a wild campaign of plunder in Franconia. The French king seized Metz, which was part of the spoil promised to him by his allies, and Charles made an attempt to regain the city. For this purpose he took Albert Alcibiades into his service, but after a stubborn fight his troops were compelled to retreat in January 1553. Albert then renewed his raids, and these became so terrible that a league of princes, under Maurice of Saxony, was formed to crush him; although Maurice lost his life at Sievershausen in July 1553, this purpose was accomplished, and Albert was driven from Germany. After the peace of Augsburg, which was published in September 1555, the emperor carried out his intention of abdicating. He entrusted Spain and the Netherlands to Philip, while Ferdinand took over the conduct of affairs in Germany; although it was not until 1558 that he was formally installed as his brother’s successor.

Ferdinand I., who like all the German sovereigns after him was recognized as emperor without being crowned by the pope, made it a prime object of his short reign to defend and enforce the religious peace of Augsburg for which Ferdinand I. he was largely responsible. Although in all probability numerically superior at this time to the Romanists, the Protestants were weakened by divisions, which were becoming daily more pronounced and more serious, and partly owing to this fact the emperor was able to resist the demands of each party and to moderate their excesses. He was continually harassed by the Turks until peace was made in 1562, and connected therewith were troubles in Bohemia and especially in Hungary, two countries which he had acquired through marriage, while North Germany was disturbed by the wild schemes of Wilhelm von Grumbach (q.v.) and his associate John Frederick, duke of Saxony. With regard to the religious question efforts were made to compose the differences among the Protestants; but while these ended in failure the Roman Catholics were gaining ground. Ferdinand sought earnestly to reform the church from within, and before he died in July 1564 the Counter-Reformation, fortified by the entrance of the Jesuits into Germany and by the issue of the decrees of the council of Trent, had begun.

Under Ferdinand’s rule there were some changes in the administration of the Empire. Lutherans sat among the judges of the Reichskammergericht, and the Aulic Council, or Hofrat, established by Maximilian I. for the Austrian Administrative changes. lands, extended its authority over the Empire and was known as the Reichshofrat. Side by side with these changes the imperial diet was becoming more useless and unwieldy, and the electors were gaining power, owing partly to the Wahlkapitulation, by which on election they circumscribed the power of each occupant of the imperial throne.

Ferdinand’s son and successor, the emperor Maximilian II., was a man of tolerant views; in fact at one time he was suspected of being a Lutheran, a circumstance which greatly annoyed the Habsburgs and delayed his own Maximilian II. election as king of the Romans. However, having given to the electors assurances of his fidelity to the Roman Church, he was chosen king in November 1562, and became ruler of Germany on his father’s death nearly two years later. Like other German sovereigns Maximilian pursued the phantom of religious union. His first diet, which met at Augsburg in 1566, was, however, unable, or unwilling, to take any steps in this direction, and while the Roman Catholics urged the enforcement of the decrees of the council of Trent the serious differences among the Protestants received fresh proof from the attempt made to exclude the Calvinist prince Frederick III., elector palatine of the Rhine, from the benefits of the peace of Augsburg. After this Frederick and the Calvinists looked for sympathy more and more to the Protestants in France and the Netherlands, whom they assisted with troops, while the Lutherans, whose chief prince was Augustus, elector of Saxony, adopted a more cautious policy and were anxious not to offend the emperor. There were, moreover, troubles of a personal and private nature between these two electors and their families, and these embittered their religious differences. But these divergences of opinion were not only between Roman Catholic and Lutheran or between Lutheran and Calvinist, they were, in electoral and ducal Saxony at least, between Lutheran and Lutheran. Thus the Protestant cause was weakened just when it needed strengthening, as, on the other side, the Roman Catholics, especially Albert, duke of Bavaria, were eagerly forwarding the progress of the older faith, which towards the end of this reign was restored in the important abbey of Fulda. In secular affairs Maximilian had, just after his accession, to face a renewal of the Turkish war. Although his first diet voted liberal assistance for the defence of the country, and a large and splendid army was collected, he had gained no advantage when the campaign ended. The diet of Spires, which met in 1570, was mainly occupied in discussing measures for preventing the abuses caused by the enlistment by foreigners of German mercenary troops, but nothing was done to redress this grievance, as the estates were unwilling to accept proposals which placed more power in the emperor’s hands. Maximilian found time to make earnest but unavailing efforts to mediate between his cousin, Philip II. of Spain, and the revolted Netherlands, and also to interfere in the affairs of Poland, where a faction elected him as their king. He was still dealing with this matter and hoping to gain support for it from the diet of Regensburg when he died (October 1576).

Maximilian’s successor was his son, Rudolph II., who had been chosen king of the Romans in October 1575, and who in his later years showed marked traces of insanity. The new emperor had little of his father’s tolerant spirit, Rudolph II. and under his feeble and erratic rule religious and political considerations alike tended to increase the disorder in Germany. The death of the Calvinist leader, the elector palatine Frederick III., in October 1576 and the accession of his son Louis, a prince who held Lutheran opinions, obviously afforded a favourable opportunity for making another attempt to unite the Protestants. Under the guidance of Augustus of Saxony a Lutheran confession of faith, the Formula concordiae, was drawn up; but, although this was accepted by 51 princes and 35 towns, others—like the landgraves of Hesse and the cities of Madgdeburg and Strassburg—refused to sign it, and thus it served only to emphasize the divisions among the Protestants. Moreover, the friendship between the Saxon and the Palatine houses was soon destroyed; for, when the elector Louis died in 1583, he was succeeded by a minor, his son Frederick IV., who was under the guardianship of his uncle John Casimir (1543–1592), a prince of very marked Calvinist sympathies and of some military experience. Just before this time much unrest in the north-west of Germany had been caused by the settlement there of a number of refugees from the Netherlands. Spreading their advanced religious views, these settlers were partly responsible for two serious outbreaks of disorder. At Aix-la-Chapelle the Protestants, not being allowed freedom of worship, took possession of the city in 1581. The matter came before the diet, which was opened at Augsburg in July 1582, but the case was left undecided; afterwards, however, the Reichshofrat declared against the insurgents, although it was not until 1598 that Protestant worship was abolished and the Roman Catholic governing body was restored. At Cologne the archbishop, Gebhard Truchsess von Waldburg, married and announced his intention of retaining his spiritual office. Had this proceeding passed unchallenged, the Protestants, among whom Gebhard now counted himself, would have had a majority in the electoral college. The Roman Catholics, however, secured the deposition of Gebhard and the election in his stead of Ernest, bishop of Liége, and war broke out in 1583. Except John Casimir, the Protestant princes showed no eagerness to assist Gebhard, who in a short time was driven from his see, and afterwards took up his residence in Strassburg, where also he instigated a rebellion on a small scale. Thus these quarrels terminated in victories for the Roman Catholics, who were successful about this time in restoring their faith in the bishoprics of Würzburg, Salzburg, Bamberg, Paderborn, Minden and Osnabrück. Another dispute also ended in a similar way. This was the claim made by the administrator of the archbishopric of Magdeburg, a Hohenzollern prince, Joachim Frederick, afterwards elector of Brandenburg, to sit and vote in the imperial diet; it was not admitted, and the administrator retired from Augsburg, a similar fate befalling a similar claim made by several other administrators some years later.

After the death of Augustus of Saxony in February 1586 there was another brief alliance between the Protestant parties, although on this occasion the lead was taken not by the Saxon, but by the Palatine prince. Less strict in his adherence to the tenets of Lutheranism than The Protestant grievances. Augustus, the new elector of Saxony, Christian I., fell under the influence of John Casimir. The result was that Protestant princes, including the three temporal electors, united in placing their grievances before the emperor; obtaining no redress they met at Torgau in 1591 and offered help to Henry IV. of France, a proceeding which was diametrically opposed to the past policy of Saxony. But this alliance, like its forerunner, was of very short duration. Christian I. died in 1591, and under Christian II. electoral Saxony re-established a rigid Lutheranism at home and pursued a policy of moderation and neutrality abroad. A short time afterwards the militant party among the Protestants suffered a heavy loss by the death of their leader, John Casimir, whose policy, however, was continued by his nephew and pupil, the elector Frederick IV. But neither desertion nor death was able to crush entirely the militant Protestants, among whom Christian, prince of Anhalt (1568–1630), was rapidly becoming the most prominent figure. They made themselves very troublesome at the diet of Regensburg in 1593, and also at the diet held in the same city four years later, putting forward various demands for greater religious freedom and seeking to hinder, or delay, the payment of the grant for the Turkish war. Moreover, in 1598 they put forward the theory that the vote of a majority in the diet was not binding upon the minority; they took up the same position at Regensburg in 1603, when they raised strong objections to the decisions of the Reichshofrat and afterwards withdrew from the diet in a body. Thus, under Maximilian of Bavaria and Christian of Anhalt respectively the two great parties were gaining a better idea of their own needs and of each other’s aims and were watching vigilantly the position in the duchies of Cleves, Jülich and Berg, where a dispute over the succession was impending. While wars and rumours of wars were disturbing the peace in the west of Germany the Turks were again harassing the east. The war between them and the Empire, which was renewed in 1593, lasted almost without interruption until November 1606, when peace was made, the tribute long paid by the emperor to the sultan being abandoned. This peace was concluded not by Rudolph, but by his brother, the archduke Matthias, who owing to the emperor’s mental incapacity had just been declared by his kinsman the head of the house of Habsburg. Rudolph resented this indignity very greatly, and until his death in January 1612 the relations between the brothers were very strained, but this mainly concerns the history of Hungary and of Bohemia, which were sensibly affected by the fraternal discord.

By this time however, there were signs of substantial progress on the part of the great Catholic reaction, which was to have important consequences for Germany. This was due mainly to the persistent zeal of the Jesuits. For a long time the Protestants had absorbed the intellectual The Counter-Reformation. strength of the country, but now many able scholars and divines among the Jesuits could hold their own with their antagonists. These devoted missionaries of the church gave their attention mainly to the young, and during the reign of Rudolph II. they were fortunate enough to make a deep impression upon two princes, each of whom was destined to play a great part in the events of his time. These princes were Maximilian, duke of Bavaria, and Ferdinand, archduke of Styria, the former a member of the house of Wittelsbach, and the latter of the house of Habsburg. Maximilian became prominent in 1607 by executing an imperial mandate against the free city of Donauwörth, where a religious riot had taken place, and afterwards treating it as his own. Rendered suspicious by this arbitrary act, the Protestant princes in 1608 formed a confederation known as the Evangelical Union, and in response the Roman Catholics, under the guidance of Maximilian, united in a similar confederation afterwards called the Catholic League. This was founded at Munich in July 1609. As the Union was headed by the elector palatine of the Rhine, Frederick IV., who was a Calvinist, many Lutherans, among them the elector of Saxony, were by no means enthusiastic in its support. It acquired, however, immense importance through its alliance with Henry IV. of France, who, like Henry II., wished to profit by the quarrels in Germany, and who interfered in the disputed succession to the duchies of Cleves and Jülich. War seemed about to break out between the two confederations and their foreign allies over this question, but after the murder of the French king in May 1610 the Union did not venture to fight.

Ferdinand was even more vigorous than Maximilian in defence of his religion. On assuming the government of Styria he set to work to extirpate Protestantism, which had made considerable progress in the Austrian archduchies. Soon afterwards he was selected by the Habsburgs Ferdinand II. as the heir of the childless emperor Matthias, and on coming to Vienna after the death of that sovereign in March 1619 he found himself in the midst of hopeless confusion. The Bohemians refused to acknowledge him as their king and elected in his stead Frederick V., the elector palatine of the Rhine, a son-in-law of the English king James I., and the Hungarians and the Austrians were hardly less disaffected. As Ferdinand II., however, he succeeded in obtaining the imperial crown in August 1619, and from that time he was dominated by a fixed resolve to secure the triumph of his church throughout the Empire, a resolve which cost Germany the Thirty Years’ War.

He began with Bohemia. Although supported by Spain he could not obtain from this quarter an army sufficiently strong to crush the Bohemians, and for some time he remained powerless and inactive in Vienna. Then at the beginning of 1620 he came to terms with Maximilian The congress
in Bohemia.
of Bavaria, who, after carefully securing his own interests, placed the army of the League, commanded by the celebrated Tilly, at his disposal. Conditionally the Union promised assistance to Frederick, but he wasted several months and vaguely hoped that the English king would help him out of his embarrassments. Meanwhile Tilly advanced into Bohemia, and in November 1620 Frederick’s army was utterly routed at the battle of the White Hill, near Prague, and the unfortunate elector had just time to escape from the kingdom he had rashly undertaken to govern. Ferdinand drove to the uttermost the advantages of his victory. The Union being destroyed and the Bohemian revolution crushed, attention was turned to the hereditary lands of the elector palatine. The Spanish troops and the army of the League invaded the Rhenish Palatinate, which was defended by Frederick’s remaining adherents, Christian of Brunswick and Count Ernst von Mansfeld, but after several battles it passed completely into the possession of the imperialists. Having been placed under the imperial ban Frederick became an exile from his inheritance, and the electorate which he was declared to have forfeited was conferred on Maximilian.

Thus ended the first stage of the Thirty Years’ War, although some desultory fighting continued between the League and its opponents. The second began in 1625 with the formation, after much fruitless negotiation, of a Protestant combination, which had the support of Danish interference in the war. England, although its leading member was Christian IV., king of Denmark, who as duke of Holstein was a prince of the Empire, and who like other Lutherans was alarmed at the emperor’s successes. It was in this war that Europe first became familiar with the great name of Wallenstein. Unable himself to raise and equip a strong army, and restive at his dependence on the League, Ferdinand gladly accepted Wallenstein’s offer to put an army into the field at no cost to himself. After Wallenstein had beaten Mansfeld at the bridge of Dessau in April 1626, and Tilly had defeated Christian of Denmark at Lutter in the succeeding August, the two generals united their forces. Denmark was invaded, and Wallenstein, now duke of Friedland, was authorized to govern the conquered duchies of Mecklenburg and Pomerania; but his ambitious scheme of securing the whole of the south coast of the Baltic was thwarted by the resistance of the city of Stralsund, which for five months he vainly tried to take. Denmark, however, was compelled to conclude peace at Lübeck in May 1629.

Intoxicated by success, Ferdinand had issued two months before the famous Edict of Restitution. This ordered the restoration of all ecclesiastical lands which had come into the possession of the Protestants since the peace of Passau in 1552, and, as several archbishoprics Dismissal of Wallenstein. and bishoprics had become Protestant, it struck a tremendous blow at the emperor’s foes and stirred among them intense and universal opposition. A little later, yielding to Maximilian and his colleagues in the League, Ferdinand dismissed Wallenstein, whose movements had aroused their resentment, from his service. A more inauspicious moment could not have been chosen for these two serious steps, because in the summer of 1630 Gustavus Adolphus left Sweden at the head of a strong army for the purpose of sustaining the Protestant cause in Germany. At first this great king was coldly received by the Protestants, who were ignorant of his designs and did not want a stranger to profit by the internal disputes of their country. A mistake at the outset would probably have been fatal to him, but he saw the dangers of his position and moved so warily that in less than a year he had obtained the alliance of the elector of Saxony, a consequence of the terrible sack of Magdeburg by the imperialists in May 1631 and of the devastation of the electorate by Tilly. He had also obtained on his own terms the assistance of France, and was ready to enter upon his short but brilliant campaign.

Having captured Frankfort-on-Oder and forced the hesitating elector of Brandenburg, George William, to grant him some assistance, Gustavus Adolphus added the Saxon army to his own, and in September 1631 he met Tilly, at the head of nearly the whole force of the League, at Breitenfeld, The campaign of Gustavus Adolphus. near Leipzig, where he gained a victory which placed North Germany entirely at his feet. So utterly had he shattered the emperor’s power that he could doubtless have marched straight to Vienna; he preferred, however, to proceed through central into southern Germany, while his Saxon ally, the elector John George, recovered Silesia and Lusatia and invaded Bohemia. Würzburg and Frankfort were among the cities which opened their gates to the Swedish king as the deliverer of the Protestants; several princes sought his alliance, and, making the captured city of Mainz his headquarters, he was busily engaged for some months in resting and strengthening his army and in negotiating about the future conduct of the war. Early in 1632 he led his troops into Bavaria. In April he defeated Tilly at the crossing of the Lech, the imperialist general being mortally wounded during this fight, and then he took possession of Augsburg and of Munich. Before these events Ferdinand had realized how serious had been his mistake in dismissing Wallenstein, and after some delay his agents persuaded the great general to emerge from his retirement. The conditions, however, upon which Wallenstein consented to come to the emperor’s aid were remarkably onerous, but Ferdinand had perforce to assent to them. He obtained sole command of the imperial armies, with the power of concluding treaties and of granting pardons, and he doubtless insisted on the withdrawal of the Edict of Restitution, although this is not absolutely certain; in brief, the only limits to his power were the limits to the strength of his army. Having quickly assembled this, he drove the Saxons from Bohemia, and then marched towards Franconia, with the intention of crossing swords with his only serious rival, Gustavus Adolphus, who had left Munich when he heard that this foe had taken the field. The Swedes and their allies occupied Nuremberg, while the imperialists fortified a great camp and blockaded the city. Gustavus made an attempt to storm these fortifications, but he failed to make any impression on them; he failed also in inducing Wallenstein to accept battle, and he was forced to abandon Nuremberg and to march to the protection of Saxony. Wallenstein followed, and the two armies faced each other at Lützen on the 16th of November 1632. Here the imperialists were beaten, but the victory was even more disastrous to the Protestant cause than a defeat, for the Swedish king was among the slain.

The Swedes, whose leader was now the chancellor Oxenstjerna, were stunned by this catastrophe, but in a desultory fashion they maintained the struggle, and in April 1633 a new league was formed at Heilbronn between them and the representatives of four of the German circles, The league of Heilbronn and the death of Wallenstein. while by a new agreement France continued to furnish monetary aid. Of this alliance Sweden was the predominant member, but the German allies had a certain voice in the direction of affairs, the military command being divided between the Swedish general Horn and Bernhard, duke of Saxe-Weimar. About this time some discontent arose in the allied army, and to allay this Bernhard was granted the bishoprics of Würzburg and of Bamberg, with the title of duke of Franconia, but on the strange condition that he should hold the duchy as the vassal of Sweden, not as a vassal of the Empire. The war, thus revived, was waged principally in the valleys of the Danube and the Rhine, the Swedes, seizing Alsace while Bernhard captured Regensburg. Meanwhile Wallenstein was again arousing the suspicions of his nominal allies. Instead of attacking the enemy with his accustomed vigour, he withdrew into Bohemia and was engaged in lengthy negotiations with the Saxon soldier and diplomatist, Hans Georg von Arnim (1581–1641); his object being doubtless to come to terms with Saxony and Brandenburg either with or without the emperor’s consent. His prime object was, however, to secure for himself a great territorial position, possibly that of king of Bohemia, and it is obvious that his aims and ambitions were diametrically opposed to the ends desired by Ferdinand and by his Spanish and Bavarian allies. At length he set his troops in motion. Having gained some successes in the north-east of Germany he marched to succour the hardly pressed elector of Bavaria; then suddenly abandoning this purpose he led his troops back to Bohemia and left Bernhard of Saxe-Weimar in possession of the Danube valley. It is not surprising that a cry, louder than ever, now arose for his dismissal. Ferdinand did as he was required. In January 1634 he declared Wallenstein deposed from his command, but he was still at the head of an army when he was murdered in the following month at Eger. Commanded now by the king of Hungary, afterwards the emperor Ferdinand III., the imperialists retook Regensburg and captured Donauwörth; then, aided by some Spanish troops, they gained a victory at Nördlingen in September 1634, the results of which were as decisive and as satisfactory for them as the results of Breitenfeld had been for their foes two years before.

The demoralization of the Swedes and their allies, which was a consequence of the defeat at Nördlingen, was the opportunity of France. Having by clever diplomacy placed garrisons in several places in Alsace and the Palatinate, France takes part in the war. the king of France, or rather Cardinal Richelieu, now entered the field as a principal, made a definite alliance with Sweden at Compiègne in April 1635, and in the following month declared war and put four armies in motion. But the thoughts of many had already turned in the direction of peace, and in this manner John George of Saxony took the lead, signing in May 1635 the important treaty of Prague with the emperor. The vexed and difficult question of the ownership of the ecclesiastical lands was settled by fixing November 1627 as the deciding date; those who were in possession then were to retain them for forty years, during which time it was hoped a satisfactory arrangement would be reached. The Saxon elector gained some additions of territory and promised to assist Ferdinand to recover any lands which had been taken from him by the Swedes, or by other foes. For this purpose a united army was to serve under an imperial general, and all leagues were to be dissolved. In spite of the diplomatic efforts of Sweden the treaty of Prague was accepted almost at once by the elector of Brandenburg, the duke of Württemberg and other princes, and also by several of the most important of the free cities. It was only, in fact, the failure of Saxony and Sweden to come to terms which prevented a general peace in Germany. The Thirty Years’ War now took a different form. Its original objects were almost forgotten and it was continued mainly to further the ambitions of France, thus being a renewal of the great fight between the houses of Habsburg and of Bourbon, and to secure for Sweden some recompense for the efforts which she had put forward.

While the signatories of the peace of Prague were making ready to assist the emperor the only Germans on the other side were found in the army under Bernhard of Saxe-Weimar. The final stage of the war opened with considerable Bernhard of Saxe-Weimar. Swedish successes in the north of Germany, especially the signal victory gained by them over the imperialists and the Saxons at Wittstock in October 1636. At the same time good fortune was attending the operations of the French in the Rhineland, where they were aided by Bernhard of Saxe-Weimar, a satisfactory financial arrangement between these parties having been reached in the autumn of 1635. The year 1638 was an especially fortunate one for France and her allies. Bernhard’s capture of Rheinfelden and of Breisach gave them possession of the surrounding districts, but dissensions arose concerning the division of the spoil; these, however, were stopped by the death of Bernhard in July 1639, when France took his army into her pay. Thus the war continued, but the desire for peace was growing stronger, and this was reflected in the proceedings of the diet which met at Regensburg in 1640. Under Count Torstenssen the Swedes defeated the imperialists at Breitenfeld in 1642; three years later they gained another victory at Jankau and advanced almost to Vienna, and then the last decisive move of the war was made by the great French general, Turenne. Having been successful in the Rhineland, where he had captured Philippsburg and Worms, Turenne joined his forces to those of Sweden under Wrangel and advanced into Bavaria. Ravaging the land, they compelled the elector Maximilian to sign a truce and to withdraw his troops from the imperial army. When, however, the allied army had retired Maximilian repented of his action. Again he joined the emperor, but his punishment was swift and sure, as Turenne and Wrangel again marched into the electorate and defeated the Bavarians at Zusmarshausen, near Augsburg, in May 1648. A few minor operations followed, and then came the welcome news of the conclusion of the treaty of Westphalia.

The preliminary negotiations for peace were begun at Hamburg and Cologne before the death of the emperor Ferdinand II. in 1637. By a treaty signed at Hamburg in December 1641 it was agreed that peace conferences should meet The peace of Westphalia. at Münster and at Osnabrück in March 1642, the emperor treating with France in the former, and with Sweden in the latter city. The Roman Catholic princes of the Empire were to be represented at Münster and the Protestants at Osnabrück. Actually the conferences did not meet until 1645, when the elector of Brandenburg had made, and the elector of Saxony was about to make, a truce with Sweden, these two countries being withdrawn from the ravages of the war. In three years the many controversial questions were discussed and settled, and in October 1648 the treaty of Westphalia was signed and the Thirty Years’ War was at an end.

The Thirty Years’ War settled once for all the principle that men should not be persecuted for their religious faith. It is true that the peace of Westphalia formally recognized only the three creeds, Catholicism, Lutheranism and Effects of the Thirty Years’ War. Calvinism, but so much suffering had been caused by the interference of the state with individual conviction, that toleration in the largest sense, so far as law was concerned, was virtually conceded. This was the sole advantage gained from the war by the Protestants. The Catholics insisted at first on keeping all the ecclesiastical lands which had been taken from them before the Edict of Restitution in 1629. The Protestants responded by demanding that they should lose nothing which they had held before 1618, when the war began. A compromise was at last effected by both parties agreeing to the date 1624, an arrangement which secured to the Catholics their gains in Bohemia and the other territories of the house of Habsburg. The restoration of the elector palatine to part of his lands, and his reinstatement in the electoral office, were important concessions; but on the other hand, the duke of Bavaria kept the Upper Palatinate, the elector palatine becoming the eighth and junior member of the electoral college.

The country suffered enormous territorial losses by the war. Up to this time the possession of Metz, Toul and Verdun by France had never been officially recognized; now these bishoprics were formally conceded to her. She Loss of territory. also received as much of Alsace as belonged to Austria. To the Swedes were granted Western Pomerania, with Stettin, and the archbishopric of Bremen and the bishopric of Verden. These acquisitions, which surpassed the advantages Gustavus Adolphus had hoped to win, gave Sweden the command both of the Baltic and of the North Sea. In virtue of her German possessions Sweden became a member of the Empire; but France obtained absolute control of her new territories. There was a further diminution of Germany by the recognition of the independence of Switzerland and the United Provinces. Both had long been virtually free; they now for the first time took the position of distinct nations.

In the political constitution of Germany the peace of Westphalia did not so much make changes as sanction those already effected. The whole tendency of the Reformation had been to relax the bonds which united the various The Reformation and the political constitution. elements of the state to each other and to their head. It divided the nation into two hostile parties, and the emperor was not able to assume towards them a perfectly impartial position. His imperial crown imposed upon him the necessity of associating himself with the Roman Catholics; so that the Protestants had a new and powerful reason for looking upon him with jealousy, and trying to diminish his authority. The Roman Catholics, while maintaining their religion, were willing enough to co-operate with them for this object; and Germany often saw the strange spectacle of princes rallying round the emperor for the defence of the church, and at the same time striking deadly blows at his political influence. The diet was a scene of perpetual quarrelling between the two factions, and their differences made it impossible for the imperial chamber to move beyond the region of official routine. Thus before the Thirty Years’ War the Empire had virtually ceased to exist, Germany having become a loose confederation of principalities and free cities. For a moment the emperor Ferdinand appeared to have touched the ideal of Charles V. in so far, at least, as it related to Germany, but only for a moment. The stars in their courses fought against him, and at the time of his death he saw how far beyond his power were the forces with which even Charles had been unable to contend. The state of things which actually existed the peace of Westphalia made legal. So nearly complete was the independence of the states that each received the right to form alliances with any of the others, or with foreign powers, nominally on condition that their alliances should not be injurious to the emperor or to the Empire. Any authority which still lawfully belonged to the emperor was transferred to the diet. It alone had now the power of making laws, of concluding treaties in the name of Germany, and of declaring war and re-establishing peace. No one, however, expected that it would be of any real service. From 1663 it became a permanent body, and was attended only by the representatives of the princes and the cities; and from that time it occupied itself mainly with trifles, leaving the affairs of each state to be looked after by its own authorities, and those of the country generally to such fortunes as chance should determine.

It would not have been strange if so shadowy an Empire had been brought altogether to an end. Some slight bond of connexion was, however, necessary for defence against common dangers; and the Empire had existed so long, Continuance of the empire. and so many great associations were connected with it, that it seemed to all parties preferable to any other form of union. Moreover, Sweden, and other states which were now members of the Empire, warmly supported it; and the house of Habsburg, on which it reflected a certain splendour, would not willingly have let it die. An Austrian ruler, even when he spoke only in the name of Austria, derived authority from the fact that as emperor he represented many of the greatest memories of European history.

The effect of the Thirty Years’ War on the national life was disastrous. It had not been carried on by disciplined armies, but by hordes of adventurers whose sole object was plunder. The cruelties they inflicted on their victims National life. are almost beyond conception. Before the war the population was nearly twenty millions; after it the number was probably about six millions. Whole towns and villages were laid in ashes, and vast districts turned into deserts. Churches and schools were closed by hundreds, and to such straits were the people often reduced that cannibalism is said to have been not uncommon. Industry and trade were so completely paralysed that in 1635 the Hanseatic League was virtually broken up, because the members, once so wealthy, could not meet the necessary expenditure. The population was not only impoverished and reduced in numbers but broken in spirit. It lost confidence in itself, and for a time effected in politics, literature, art and science little that is worthy of serious study.

The princes knew well how to profit by the national prostration. The local diets, which, as we have seen, formed a real check on petty tyranny, and kept up an intimate relation between the princes and their subjects, were nearly The princes. all destroyed. Those which remained were injurious rather than beneficial, since they often gave an appearance of lawfulness to the caprices of arbitrary sovereigns. After the Thirty Years’ War it became fashionable for the heirs of principalities to travel, and especially to spend some time at the court of France. Here they readily imbibed the ideas of Louis XIV., and in a short time nearly every petty court in Germany was a feeble imitation of Versailles. Before the Reformation, and even for some time after it, the princes were thorough Germans in sympathies and habits; they now began to be separated by a wide gulf from their people. Instead of studying the general welfare, they wrung from exhausted states the largest possible revenue to support a lavish and ridiculous expenditure. The pettiest princeling had his army, his palaces, his multitudes of household officers; and most of them pampered every vulgar appetite without respect either to morality or to decency. Many nobles, whose lands had been wasted during the war, flocked to the little capitals to make their way by contemptible court services. Beneath an outward gloss of refinement these nobles were, as a class, coarse and selfish, and they made it their chief object to promote their own interests by fostering absolutist tendencies. Among the people there was no public opinion to discourage despotism; the majority accepted their lot as inevitable, and tried rather to reproduce than to restrain the vices of their rulers. Even the churches offered little opposition to the excesses of persons in authority, and in many instances the clergy, both Protestant and Catholic, acquired an unenviable notoriety for their readiness to overlook or condone actions The cities. which outraged the higher sentiments of humanity. In the free imperial cities there was more manliness of tone than elsewhere, but there was little of the generous rivalry among the different classes which had once raised them to a high level of prosperity. Most of them resigned their liberties into the hands of oligarchies, and others allowed themselves to be annexed by ambitious princes. (A. W. H.*)

Ferdinand III. succeeded to the throne when the fortunes of his house were at a low ebb, and he continued the Thirty Years’ War, not in the hope of re-establishing the Roman Catholic religion or of restoring the imperial Ferdinand III.
Leopold I.
authority, but of remedying as far as he could the havoc caused by his father’s recklessness. After the conclusion of peace nothing happened to make his reign memorable. His son Leopold I. was a man of narrow intellect and feeble will; yet Germany seldom so keenly felt the need of a strong emperor, for she had during two generations to contend with a watchful and grasping rival. For more than a century it had been the policy of France to strengthen herself by fostering the internal dissensions of Germany. This was now easy, and Louis XIV. made unscrupulous use of the advantages his predecessors had helped to gain for Louis XIV. of France. him. Germany, as a whole, could not for a long time be induced to resist him. His schemes directly threatened the independence of the princes; but they were too indolent to unite against his ambition. They grudged even the contributions necessary for the maintenance of the frontier fortresses, and many of them stooped to accept the bribes he offered them on condition that they should remain quiet. In his war with the United Provinces and Spain, begun in 1672, he was opposed by the emperor as ruler of Austria, and by Frederick William, the elector of Brandenburg; and in 1675 the latter gained a splendid victory at Fehrbellin over his allies, the Swedes. At the end of the war, in 1678, by the peace of Nijmwegen, Louis took care that Frederick William should be deprived of the fruits of his victory, and Austria had to resign Freiburg im Breisgau to the French. Under the pretence that when France gained the Austrian lands in Alsace she also acquired a right to all places that had ever been united to them, Louis began a series of systematic robberies of German towns and territories. “Chambers of Reunion” were appointed to give an appearance of legality to these proceedings, which culminated, in 1681, in the seizure of Strassburg. Germans of all states and ranks were indignant at so gross a humiliation, but even the loss of Strassburg did not suffice to move the diet. The emperor himself might probably have interfered, but Louis had provided him with ample employment by stirring up against him the Hungarians and the Turks. So complete was his hold over the majority of the princes that when the Turks, in 1683, surrounded Vienna, and appeared not unlikely to advance into the heart of Germany, they looked on indifferently, and allowed the emperor to be saved by the promptitude and courage of John Sobieski, king of Poland. At last, when, in 1689, on the most frivolous pretext, Louis poured into southern Germany armies which were guilty of shameful outrages, a number of princes came forward and aided the emperor. This time France was sternly opposed by the league of which William III. of England was the moving spirit; and although at the end of the war he kept Strassburg, he had to give up Freiburg, Philipsburg, Breisach, and the places he War of Spanish Succession. had seized because of their former connexion with Alsace. In the War of the Spanish Succession two powerful princes, the elector of Bavaria and the elector of Cologne, joined Louis; but as the states of the Empire declared war against him in 1702, the other princes, more or less loyally, supported the emperor and his allies. Leopold died during the progress of this war, but it was vigorously continued by his son Joseph I.

Joseph’s brother and successor, Charles VI., also went on with it; and such were the blows inflicted on France by the victories of Blenheim, Ramillies and Malplaquet that the war was generally expected to end in her utter discomfiture. But the conclusion of the treaty of Utrecht by England, in 1713, Charles VI. so limited the military power of Charles VI. that he was obliged to resign the claims of Austria to the Spanish throne, and to content himself with the Spanish Netherlands, Milan, Naples and Sardinia. He cared so little for Germany, as distinguished from Austria, that he allowed Louis to compel the diet to cede the imperial fortress of Landau. At a later stage in his reign he was guilty of an act of even grosser selfishness; for after the War of the Polish Succession, in which he supported the claims of Augustus III., elector of Saxony, he yielded Lorraine to Stanislaus Leszczynski, whose claims had been defended by France, and through whom France ultimately secured this beautiful German Pragmatic sanction. province. Having no son, Charles drew up in 1713 the pragmatic sanction, which ordained that, in the event of an Austrian ruler being without male heirs, his hereditary lands and titles should pass to his nearest female relative. The aim of his whole policy was to secure for this measure, which was proclaimed as a fundamental law in 1724, the approval of Europe; and by promises and threats he did at last obtain the guarantee of the states of the Empire and the leading European powers.

Germany was now about to be aroused from the torpor into which she had been cast by the Thirty Years’ War; but her awakening was due, not to the action of the Empire, which was more and more seen to be practically dead, but to the rivalry of two great German states, Austria Growth of Prussia. and Prussia. The latter had long been laying the foundations of her power. Brandenburg, the centre of the Prussian kingdom, was, as we have seen, granted in the 15th century by the emperor Sigismund to Frederick, count of Hohenzollern. In his hands, and in those of his prudent successors, it became one of the most flourishing of the North-German principalities. At the time of the Reformation Albert, a member of a subordinate branch of the house of Hohenzollern, happened to be grand master of the Teutonic Order. He became a Protestant, dissolved the order, and received in fief of the king of Poland the duchy of Prussia. In 1611 this duchy fell by inheritance to the elector of Brandenburg, and by the treaty of Wehlau, in 1657, in the time of Frederick William, the Great Elector, it was declared independent of Poland. By skill, foresight and courage Frederick William managed to add largely to his territories; and in an age of degenerate sovereigns he was looked upon as an almost model ruler. His son, Frederick, aspired to royal dignity, and in 1701, having obtained the emperor’s assent, was crowned king of Prussia. The extravagance of Frederick drained the resources of his state, but this was amply atoned for by the rigid economy of Frederick William I., who not only paid off the debts accumulated by his father, but amassed an enormous treasure. He so Maria Theresa. organized all branches of the public service that they were brought to a point of high efficiency, and his army was one of the largest, best appointed and best trained in Europe (see Prussia: History). He died in 1740, and within six months, when Frederick II. was on the Prussian throne, Maria Theresa claimed, in virtue of the pragmatic sanction, the lands and hereditary titles of her father Charles VI.

Frederick II., a young, ambitious and energetic sovereign, longed not only to add to his dominions but to play a great part in European politics. His father had guaranteed the pragmatic sanction, but as the conditions on which the guarantee had Frederick the Great.
First Silesian War.
been granted had not been fulfilled by Charles VI., Frederick did not feel bound by it, and revived some old claims of his family on certain Silesian duchies. Maria Theresa would not abate her rights, but before she could assert them Frederick had entered Silesia and made himself master of it. Meanwhile, the elector of Bavaria had come forward and disputed Maria Theresa’s right to the succession, and the elector of Saxony had also put in a claim to the Austrian lands. Taking advantage of these disputes, France formed an alliance with the two electors and with the king of Prussia against Austria; and in the war which followed the allies were at first so successful that the elector of Bavaria, through the influence of France, was crowned emperor as Charles VII. (1742–1745). Maria Theresa, a woman of a noble and undaunted spirit, appealed, with her infant son, afterwards Joseph II., Charles VII.
Second Silesian War.
in her arms, to the Hungarian diet, and the enthusiastic Magyars responded chivalrously to her call. To be more at freedom she concluded peace with Frederick, and ceded Silesia to him, although greatly against her will. Saxony also was pacified and retired from the struggle. After this Maria Theresa, supported by England, made way so rapidly and so triumphantly that Frederick became alarmed for his new possessions; and in 1742 he once more proclaimed war against her, nominally in aid of the emperor, Charles VII. Ultimately, in 1748, she was able to conclude an honourable peace at Aix-la-Chapelle; but she had been forced, as before, to rid herself of Frederick by confirming him in the sovereignty of the territory he had seized.

After the death of Charles VII., Francis, grand duke of Tuscany, Maria Theresa’s husband, was elected emperor. Francis I. (1745–1765), an amiable nonentity, with the instincts of a shopkeeper, made no pretence of discharging Francis I. important imperial duties, and the task of ruling the hereditary possessions of the house of Habsburg fell wholly to the empress-queen. She executed it with discretion and vigour, so that Austria in her hands was known to be one of the most formidable powers in the world. Her rival, Frederick II., was, if possible, still more active. It did not occur to him, any more than to the other German sovereigns of the 18th century, to associate his people with him in the government of the country; he was in every respect a thoroughly absolute sovereign. But he shared the highest ideas of the age respecting the responsibilities of a king, and throughout his long reign acted in the main faithfully as “the first servant of the state.” The army he always kept in readiness for war; but he also encouraged peaceful arts, and diffused throughout his kingdom so much of his own alert and aggressive spirit that the Prussians became more intelligent and more wealthy than they had ever before been. He excited the admiration of the youth of Germany, and it was soon the fashion among the petty princes to imitate his methods of government. As a rule, they succeeded only in raising far larger armies than the taxpayers could afford to maintain.

Maria Theresa never gave up the hope of winning back Silesia, and, in order to secure this object, she laid aside the jealousies of her house, and offered to conclude an alliance with France. Frederick had excited the envy of surrounding sovereigns, and had embittered them against him by stinging sarcasms. Not only France, therefore, but Russia, Saxony and ultimately Sweden, willingly came to terms with Austria, and the aim of their union was nothing short of the partition of Prussia. The Seven Years’ War, 1756–1763. Frederick, gaining knowledge of the plot, turned to England, which had in the previous war helped Austria. At the close of 1755 his offer of an alliance was acceded to; and in the following year, hoping by vigorously taking the initiative to prevent his enemies from united action, he invaded Saxony, and began the Seven Years’ War (q.v.), the result of which was to confirm Prussia in the possession of Silesia.

Prussia now took rank as one of the leading European powers, and by her rise a new element was introduced into the political life of Germany. Austria, although associated with the Empire, could no longer feel sure of her predominance, and it was inevitable that the jealousies of the two states should lead to a final conflict for supremacy. Even before the Seven Years’ War there were signs that the German people were beginning to tire of incessant imitation of France, for in literature they welcomed the early efforts of Klopstock, Wieland and Lessing; but the movement received a powerful impulse from the great deeds of Frederick. The nation, as a whole, was proud of him, and began, for the first time since the Thirty Years’ War, to feel that it might once more assume a commanding place in the world.

In 1772 the necessities of Frederick’s position compelled him to join Russia and Austria in the deplorable partition of Poland, whereby he gained West Prussia, exclusive of Danzig and Thorn, and Austria acquired West Silesia. After this he had to watch closely the movements of the Partition of Poland.

Joseph II.
emperor Joseph II., who, although an ardent admirer of Frederick, was anxious to restore to Austria the greatness she had partially lost. The younger branch of the Wittelsbach line, which had hitherto possessed Bavaria, having died out in 1777, Joseph asserted claims to part of its territory. Frederick intervened, and although no battle was fought in the nominal war which followed, the emperor was obliged to content himself with a very unimportant concession. He made a second attempt in 1785, but Frederick again came forward. This time he formed a league (Fürstenbund) for the defence of the imperial constitution, and it was joined by the majority of the small states. The memory of this league was almost blotted out by the tremendous events which soon absorbed the attention of Germany and the world, but it truly indicated the direction of the political forces which were then at work beneath the surface, and which long afterwards triumphed. The formation of the league was a distinct attempt on the part of Prussia to make herself the centre for the national aspirations both of northern and of southern Germany.

The French Revolution was hailed by many of the best minds of Germany as the opening of a new era. Among the princes it excited horror and alarm, and in 1792 the emperor Leopold II. and Frederick William II., the unworthy successor of Frederick the Great, met at Pillnitz, French Revolution. and agreed to support by arms the cause of the French king. A more important resolution was never taken. It plunged Europe into a conflict which cost millions of lives, and which overthrew the entire states system of the continent. Germany herself was the principal sufferer. The structure which the princes had so laboriously built up crumbled into ruins, and the mistakes of centuries were expiated in an agony of disaster and humiliation.

The states of the Empire joined Austria and Prussia, and, had there been hearty co-operation between the allies, they could scarcely have failed of success. While the war was in progress, in 1793, Prussia joined Russia in the second partition of Poland. Austria considered herself overreached, and began negotiations with Russia for the third and final partition, which was effected by the three powers in 1795. Prussia, irritated by the proceedings of her rival, did as little as possible in the war with France; and in 1795 she retired from the struggle, and by the treaty of Basel ceded to the French republic her possessions on the left bank of the Rhine. The war was continued by Austria, but her power was so effectually shattered by blow after blow that in 1797 she was forced to conclude the peace of Campo Formio. Napoleon Bonaparte, to whose genius the triumph of France was mainly due, began separate negotiations with the states of the Empire at Rastadt; but, before terms could be agreed upon, war again began in 1799, Austria acting on this occasion as the ally of Great Britain and Russia. She was beaten, and the peace of Lunéville added fresh humiliations to those imposed upon her by the previous war. France now obtained the whole of the left bank of the Rhine, the dispossessed princes being compensated by grants of secularized church lands and of mediatized imperial cities (1803). The contempt of Napoleon for the Empire was illustrated by his occupation of Hanover in 1803, and by his seizure of the duke of Enghien on imperial territory in 1804. In 1805 Austria once more appealed to arms in association with her former allies, but in vain. By the peace of Presburg she accepted more disastrous terms than ever, and for the moment it seemed as if she could not again hope to rise to her former splendour. In this war she was opposed not only by France, but by Bavaria, Württemberg and Baden, all of which were liberally rewarded for their services, the rulers of the two former countries being proclaimed kings. The degradation of Germany was completed by the formation, in 1806, of the Confederation of the Rhine, which was composed of the chief central and southern states. The welfare of the End of the Holy Roman Empire. Empire was asserted to be its object, but a body of which Napoleon was the protector existed, of course, for no other purpose than to be a menace to Austria and Prussia. Francis II., who had succeeded Leopold II. in 1792 and in 1804 had proclaimed himself hereditary emperor of Austria, as Francis I., now resigned the imperial crown, and thus the Holy Roman Empire and the German kingdom came to an end. The various states, which had for centuries been virtually independent, were during the next few years not connected even by a nominal bond.  (J. Si.) 

Frederick William III. (1797–1840) of Prussia, the successor of Frederick William II., had held aloof from the struggle of Austria with France. This attitude had been dictated partly by his constitutional timidity, partly by the desire to annex Hanover, to which Austria and Russia Prussia defeated
at Jena.
would never have assented, but which Napoleon was willing to concede in return for a Prussian alliance. The Confederation of the Rhine, however, was a menace to Prussia too serious to be neglected; and Frederick William’s hesitations were suddenly ended by Napoleon’s contemptuous violation of Prussian territory in marching three French brigades through Ansbach without leave asked. The king at once concluded a convention with the emperor Alexander I. of Russia and declared war on France. The campaign that ended in the disastrous battle of Jena (October 14, 1806) followed; and the prestige of the Prussian arms, created by Frederick the Great, perished at a blow. With the aid of Russia Frederick William held out a while longer, but after Napoleon’s decisive victory at Friedland (June 14, 1807) the tsar came to terms with the French emperor, sacrificing the interests of his ally. By the treaty of Tilsit (July 9) the king of Prussia was stripped of the best part of his dominions and more than half his subjects.

Germany now seemed fairly in the grip of Napoleon. Early in November 1806 he had contemptuously deposed the elector of Hesse and added his dominions to Jerome’s kingdom of Westphalia; on the 21st of the same month he issued from Berlin the famous decree establishing the Napoleon in power. “continental system,” which, by forbidding all trade with England, threatened German commerce with ruin. His triumph seemed complete when, on the 11th of October 1807, Metternich signed at Fontainebleau, on behalf of Austria, a convention that conceded all his outstanding claims, and seemed to range the Habsburg monarchy definitely on his side. There was, however, to be one final struggle before Napoleon’s supremacy was established. The submission of Austria had been but an expedient for gaining time; under Count Stadion’s auspices she set to work increasing and reorganizing her forces; and when it became clear from Napoleon’s resentment that he was meditating fresh designs against her she declared war (1809). The campaign ended in the crushing defeat of Wagram (July 6) and the humiliating treaty of peace dictated by Napoleon at the palace of Schönbrunn in Vienna (October 14). Austria, shorn of her fairest provinces, robbed of her oversea commerce, bankrupt and surrounded on all sides by the territories of the French emperor and his allies, seemed to exist only on sufferance, and had ceased to have any effective authority in Germany—now absolutely in the power of Napoleon, who proved this in 1810 by annexing the whole of the northern coast as far as the Elbe to his empire.

The very completeness of the humiliation of Germany was the means of her deliverance. She had been taught self-respect by Frederick II., and by her great writers in literature and philosophy; it was felt to be intolerable that in politics she should do the bidding of a foreign Revival of Germany. master. Among a large section of the community patriotism became for the first time a consuming passion, and it was stimulated by the counsels of several manly teachers, among whom the first place belongs to the philosopher Fichte. The governments cautiously took advantage of the national movement to strengthen their position. Even in Austria, where on the 8th of October 1809 Metternich had become minister for foreign affairs and the dominant influence in the councils of the empire, some timely concessions were made to the various populations. Prussia, under the guidance of her great minister Stein, reorganized her entire administration. She abolished serfdom, granted municipal rights to the cities, established an admirable system of elementary and secondary education, and invited all classes to compete for civil offices; and ample means were provided for the approaching struggle by drastic military reform. Napoleon had extracted an engagement that the Prussian army should be limited to 42,000 men. This was fulfilled in the letter, but in spirit set aside, for one body of men was trained after another until the larger part of the male population were in a position, when a fitting opportunity should occur, to take up arms for their country.

The disastrous retreat of the French from Moscow in 1812 gave Germany the occasion she desired. In 1813 King Frederick William, after an agony of hesitation, was forced by the patriotic initiative of General Yorck, who concluded with the Russians the convention of Tauroggen on War of Liberation. his own responsibility, and by the pressure of public opinion supported by Queen Louise and by Hardenberg, to enter into an alliance with Russia. All now depended on the attitude of Austria; and this was for some time doubtful. The diplomacy of Metternich (q.v.), untouched by the patriotic fervour which he disliked and distrusted, was directed solely to gaining time to enable Austria to intervene with decisive effect and win for the Habsburg monarchy the position it had lost. When the time came, after the famous interview with Napoleon at Dresden, and the breakdown of the abortive congress of Prague, Austria threw in her lot with the allies. The campaign that followed, after some initial reverses, culminated in the crushing victory of the allies at Leipzig (October 16–18, 1813), and was succeeded by the joint invasion of France, during which the German troops wreaked vengeance on the unhappy population for the wrongs and violences of the French rule in Germany.

Long before the issue of the War of Liberation had been finally decided, diplomacy had been at work in an endeavour to settle the future constitution of Germany. In this matter, as in others, the weakness of the Prussian government played into the hands of Austria. Metternich had been allowed to take the initiative in negotiating with the princes of the Confederation of the Rhine, and the price of their adhesion to the cause of the allies had been the guarantee by Austria of their independent sovereignty. The guarantee had been willingly given; for Metternich had no desire to see the creation of a powerful unified German empire, but aimed at the establishment of a loose confederation of weak states over which Austria, by reason of her ancient imperial prestige and her vast non-German power, would exercise a dominant influence. This, then, was the view that prevailed, and by the treaty of Chaumont (March 1, 1814) it was decided that Germany should consist of a confederation of sovereign states.

The new constitution of Germany, as embodied in the Final Act of the congress of Vienna (June 9, 1815) was based on this principle. It was the work of a special committee of the congress, presided over by Metternich; and, owing to the panic created by Napoleon’s return from The German confederation. Elba (March 5), it remained a mere sketch, the hasty output of a few hurried sessions, of which the elaboration was reserved for the future. In spite of the clamour of the mediatized princes for the restoration of their “liberties,” no attempt was made to reverse the essential changes in the territorial disposition of Germany made during the revolutionary epoch. Of the 300 odd territorial sovereignties under the Holy Empire only 39 survived, and these were readjusted on the traditional principles of “compensations,” “rectification of frontiers” and “balance of power.” The most fateful arrangements were naturally those that affected the two leading powers, Austria and Prussia. The latter had made strenuous efforts, supported by Alexander I. of Russia, to obtain the annexation of the whole of Saxony, a project which was defeated by the opposition of Great Britain, Austria and France, an opposition which resulted in the secret treaty of the 3rd of January 1815 for eventual armed intervention. She received, however, the northern part of Saxony, Swedish Pomerania, Posen and those territories—formerly part of the kingdom of Westphalia—which constitute her Rhine provinces. While Prussia was thus established on the Rhine, Austria, by exchanging the Netherlands for Lombardo-Venetia and abandoning her claims to the former Habsburg possessions in Swabia, definitively resigned to Prussia the task of defending the western frontier of Germany, while she strengthened her power in the south-east by recovering from Bavaria, Salzburg, Vorarlberg and Tirol. Bavaria, in her turn, received back the greater part of the Palatinate on the left bank of the Rhine, with a strip of territory to connect it with the main body of her dominions. For the rest the sovereigns of Württemberg and Saxony retained the title of king bestowed upon them by Napoleon, and this title was also given to the elector of Hanover; the dukes of Weimar, Mecklenburg and Oldenburg became grand dukes; and Lübeck, Bremen, Hamburg and Frankfort were declared free cities.

As the central organ of this confederation (Bund) was established the federal diet (Bundestag), consisting of delegates of the several states. By the terms of the Final Act this diet had very wide powers for the development of the mutual relations of the governments in all The federal diet. matters of common interest. It was empowered to arrange the fundamental laws of the confederation; to fix the organic institutions relating to its external, internal and military arrangements; to regulate the trade relations between the various federated states. Moreover, by the famous Article 13, which enacted that there were to be “assemblies of estates” in all the countries of the Bund, the constitutional liberties of the German people seemed to be placed under its aegis. But the constitution of the diet from the first condemned its debates to sterility. In the so-called narrower assembly (Engere Versammlung), for the transaction of ordinary business, Austria, Prussia, Bavaria, Saxony, Hanover, Württemberg, Baden, Hesse-Cassel, Hesse-Darmstadt, Holstein and Luxemburg had one vote each; while the remaining twenty-eight states were divided into six curiae, of which each had but a single vote. In this assembly a vote of the majority decided. Questions of more than usual importance were, however, to be settled in the general assembly (Plenum) where a two-thirds majority was necessary to carry a resolution. In this assembly the voting power was somewhat differently distributed; but the attempt to make it bear some proportion to the importance of the various states worked out so badly that Austria had only four times the voting power of the tiny principality of Liechtenstein. Finally it was laid down by Article 7 that a unanimous vote was necessary for changing “fundamental laws, organic institutions, individual rights, or in matters of religion,” a formula wide enough to embrace every question of importance with which the diet might be called upon to deal. Austria, in virtue of her tradition, received the perpetual presidency of the diet. It was clear that in such a governing body neither Austria nor Prussia would be content with her constitutional position, and that the internal politics of Germany would resolve themselves into a diplomatic duel for ascendancy between the two powers, for which the diet would merely serve as a convenient arena.

In this duel the victory of Austria was soon declared. The Prussian government believed that the effective government of Germany could only be secured by a separate understanding between the two great powers; and the indiscretion of the Prussian plenipotentiary revealed to the diet a plan for what meant practically the division of Germany into Prussian and Austrian spheres of influence. This threw the lesser princes, already alarmed at the growth of Prussian military power, into the arms of Austria, which thus secured a permanent majority in the diet. To avoid any possible modification of a situation so satisfactory, Count Buol, the Austrian president of the diet, was instructed to announce that the constitution as fixed by the Final Act, and guaranteed by Europe, must be regarded as final; that it might be interpreted, but not altered.

The conception of the diet as a sort of international board of control, responsible in the last resort not to Germany but to Europe, exactly suited Metternich’s policy, in which the interests of Germany were subordinate to the wider ambitions of the Habsburg monarchy. It was, moreover, largely justified by the constituent elements of the diet itself. Of the German states represented in it even Prussia, by the acquisition of Posen, had become a non-German power; the Habsburg monarchy was predominantly non-German; Hanover was attached to the crown of Great Britain, Holstein to that of Denmark, Luxemburg to that of the Netherlands. The diet, then, properly controlled, was capable of being converted into an effective instrument for furthering the policy of “stability” which Metternich sought to impose upon Europe. Its one effort to make its authority effective as the guardian of the constitution, in the matter of the repudiation of the Westphalian debt and of the sale of the domains by the elector of Hesse, was crushed by the indignant intervention of Austria. Henceforth its sole effective function was to endorse and promulgate the decrees of the government of Vienna.

In this respect the diet fairly reflected the place of Germany in Europe. The constitution was the work of the powers, which in all matters arising out of it constituted the final court of appeal. The result was not wholly one-sided. The question of constitutions. Until the congress of Troppau in 1820 “Jacobinism” was still enthroned in high places in the person of Alexander I. of Russia, whose “divine mission,” for the time, included a not wholly disinterested advocacy of the due carrying out of Article 13 of the Final Act. It was not to Russia’s interest to see Austrian influence supreme in the confederation. The lesser German princes, too, were quick to grasp at any means to strengthen their position against the dominant powers, and to this end they appealed to the Liberal sentiment of their peoples. Not that this sentiment was very deep or widespread. The mass of the people, as Metternich rightly observed, wished for rest, not constitutions; but the minority of thoughtful men—professors, students, officials, many soldiers—resented the dashing of the hopes of German unity aroused by the War of Liberation, and had drunk deep of the revolutionary inspiration. This sentiment, since it could not be turned to the uses of a united Germany, might be made to serve the purposes of particularism. Prussia, in spite of the promises of Frederick William in the hour of need, remained without a central constitution; all the more reason why the states of second rank should provide themselves with one. Charles Augustus, the enlightened grand duke of Weimar, set the example, from the best of motives. Bavaria, Baden, Württemberg and others followed, from motives less disinterested. Much depended on the success of these experiments.

To Metternich they were wholly unwelcome. In spite of the ring-fence of censors, and custom-house officers, there was danger of the Liberal infection spreading to Austria, with disintegrating results; and the pose of the tsar as Metternich and the constitutions. protector of German liberties was a perpetual menace. The zeal and inexperience of German Liberals played into his hands. The patriotism and Pan-Germanism of the gymnastic societies (Turnvereine) and students’ associations (Burschenschaften) expressed themselves with more noise than discretion; in the South-German parliaments the platitudes and catchwords of the Revolution were echoed. Soon, in Baden, in Württemberg, in Bavaria, the sovereigns and the chambers were at odds, united only in a common opposition to the central authority. To sovereigns whose nerves had been shattered by the vicissitudes of the revolutionary epoch these symptoms were in the highest degree alarming; and Metternich was at The Wartburg festival, 1818. pains to exaggerate their significance. The “Wartburg festival” of October 1818, which issued in nothing worse than the solemn burning, in imitation of Dr Martin Luther, of Kamptz’s police law, a corporal’s cane and an uhlan’s stays, was magnified into a rebellion; drew down upon the grand duke of Weimar a collective protest of the powers; and set in motion the whole machinery of reaction. The murder of the dramatist Kotzebue, as an agent of this reaction, in the following year, by a fanatical student named Karl Sand, clinched the matter; it became obvious to the governments that a policy of rigorous repression was necessary if a fresh revolution were to be avoided. In October, after a preliminary meeting between Metternich and Hardenberg, in the course of which the latter signed a convention pledging Prussia to Austria’s system, a meeting of German ministers was held at Carlsbad, the discussion of which issued in the famous Carlsbad Decrees (October 17, 1819). These contained elaborate provisions for supervising the universities and muzzling the press, laying down that no constitution “inconsistent with the monarchical principle” should be granted, and setting up a central commission at Mainz to inquire into the machinations of the great revolutionary secret society which existed only in the imagination of the authorities. The Carlsbad Decrees, hurried through the diet under Austrian pressure, excited considerable opposition among the lesser sovereigns, who resented the claim of the diet to interfere in the internal concerns of their states, and whose protests at Frankfort had been expunged from the records. The king of Württemberg, ever the champion of German “particularism,” gave expression to his feelings by issuing a new constitution to his kingdom, and appealed to his relative, the emperor Alexander, who had not yet been won over by Metternich to the policy of war à outrance against reform, and took this occasion to issue a fresh manifesto of his Liberal creed.

At the conference of ministers which met at Vienna, on the 20th of November, for the purpose of “developing and completing the Federal Act of the congress of Vienna,” Metternich found himself face to face with a more formidable opposition than at Carlsbad. The “middle” states, headed by Württemberg, had drawn together, to form the nucleus of an inner league of “pure German States” against Austria and Prussia, and of “Liberal particularism” against the encroachments of the diet. With Russia and, to a certain extent, Great Britain sympathetic, it was impossible to ignore their opposition. Moreover, Prussia was hardly prepared to endorse a policy of greatly strengthening the authority of the diet, which might have been fatal to the Customs Union of which she was laying the foundation. Metternich realized the situation, and yielded so gracefully that he gave his temporary defeat the air of a victory. The result was that the Vienna Final Act (May 15,1820), which received the sanction of the diet on the 8th of June, was not unsatisfactory to the lesser states while doing nothing to lessen Austrian prestige. This instrument merely defined more clearly the principles of the Federal Act of 1815. So far from enlarging the powers of the diet, it reaffirmed the doctrine of non-intervention; and, above all, it renewed the clause forbidding any fundamental modification of the constitution without a unanimous vote. On the vexed question of the interpretation of Article 13 Metternich recognized the inexpediency of requiring the South German states to revise their constitutions in a reactionary sense. By Articles 56 and 57, however, it was laid down that constitutions could only be altered by constitutional means; that the complete authority of the state must remain united in its head; and that the sovereign could be bound to co-operate with the estates only in the exercise of particular rights. These provisions, in fact, secured for Metternich all that was necessary for the success of his policy: the maintenance of the status quo. So long as the repressive machinery instituted by the Carlsbad Decrees worked smoothly, Germany was not likely to be troubled by revolutions.

The period that followed was one, outwardly at least, of political stagnation. The Mainz Commission, though hampered by the jealousy of the governments (the king of Prussia refused to allow his subjects to be haled before it), was none the less effective enough in preventing all free expression of opinion; while at the universities the official “curators” kept Liberal enthusiasts in order. The exuberance of the epoch of Liberation gave place to a dull lethargy in things political, relieved only by the Philhellenism which gave voice to the aspirations of Germany under the disguise of enthusiasm for Greece. Even the July revolution of 1830 in Paris reacted but partially and spasmodically Revolutions of 1830. on Germany. In Hanover, Brunswick, Saxony and Hesse-Cassel popular movements led to the granting of constitutions, and in the states already constitutional Liberal concessions were made or promised. But the governments of Prussia and Austria were unaffected; and when the storm had died down Metternich was able, with the aid of the federal diet, to resume his task of holding “the Revolution” in check. No attempt was, indeed, made to restore the deposed duke of Brunswick, who by universal consent had richly deserved his fate; but the elector of Hesse could reckon on the sympathy of the diet in his struggle with the chambers (see Hesse-Cassel), and when, in 1837, King Ernest Augustus of Hanover inaugurated his reign by restoring the old illiberal constitution abolished in 1831, the diet refused to interfere. It was left to the seven professors of Göttingen to protest; who, deprived of their posts, became as famous in the constitutional history of Germany as the seven bishops in that of England.

Yet this period was by no means sterile in developments destined to produce momentous results. In Prussia especially the government continued active in organizing and consolidating the heterogeneous elements introduced into the monarchy by the settlement of 1815. The The Prussian system. task was no easy one. There was no sense of national unity between the Catholics of the Rhine provinces, long submitted to the influence of liberal France, and the Lutheran squires of the mark of Brandenburg, the most stereotyped class in Europe; there was little in common between either and the Polish population of the province of Posen. The Prussian monarchy, the traditional champion of Protestant orthodoxy, found the new Catholic elements difficult to assimilate; and premonitory symptoms were not wanting of a revival of the secular contest between the spiritual and temporal powers which was to culminate after the promulgation of the dogma of papal infallibility (1870) in the Kulturkampf. These conditions formed the excuse for the continual postponement of the promised constitution. But the narrow piety of Frederick William III. was less calculated to promote the success of a benevolent despotism than the contemptuous scepticism of Frederick the Great, and a central parliament would have proved a safety valve for jarring passions which the mistaken efforts of the king to suppress, by means of royal decrees and military coercion, only served to embitter. Yet the conscientious tradition of Prussian officialism accomplished much in the way of administrative reform.

Above all it evolved the Customs-Union (Zollverein), which gradually attached the smaller states, by material interests if not by sympathy, to the Prussian system. A reform of the tariff conditions in the new Prussian monarchy had been from the first a matter of urgent necessity, The Prussian Zollverein. and this was undertaken under the auspices of Baron Heinrich von Bülow (1792–1846), minister in the foreign department for commerce and shipping, and Karl Georg Maassen (1769–1834), the minister of finance. When they took office there were in Prussia sixty different tariffs, with a total of nearly 2800 classes of taxable goods: in some parts importation was free, or all but free; in others there was absolute prohibition, or duties so heavy as to amount to practical prohibition. Moreover, the long and broken line of the Prussian frontier, together with the numerous enclaves, made the effective enforcement of a high tariff impossible. In these circumstances it was decided to introduce a system of comparative free trade; raw materials were admitted free; a uniform import of 10% was levied on manufactured goods, and 20% on “colonial wares,” the tax being determined not by the estimated value, but by the weight of the articles. It was soon realized, however, that to make this system complete the neighbouring states must be drawn into it; and a beginning was made with those which were enclaves in Prussian territory, of which there were no less than thirteen. Under the new tariff laws light transit dues were imposed on goods passing through Prussia; and it was easy to bring pressure to bear on states completely surrounded by Prussian territory by increasing these dues or, if need were, by forbidding the transit altogether. The small states, though jealous of their sovereign independence, found it impossible to hold out. Schwarzburg-Sondershausen was the first to succumb (1819); Schwarzburg-Rudolstadt (1822), Saxe-Weimar and Anhalt-Bernburg (1823), Lippe-Detmold and Mecklenburg-Schwerin (1826) followed suit so far as their “enclaved” territories were concerned; and in 1826 Anhalt-Dessau and Anhalt-Cöthen, after several years’ resistance, joined the Prussian Customs-Union. In 1828 Hesse-Cassel entered into a commercial treaty with Prussia. Meanwhile, alarmed at this tendency, and hopeless of obtaining any general system from the federal diet, the “middle” states had drawn together; by a treaty signed on the 18th of January 1828 Württemberg and Bavaria formed a tariff union, which was joined in the following year by the Hohenzollern principalities; and on the 24th of September 1828 was formed the so-called “Middle German Commercial Union” (Handelsverein) between Hanover, Hesse-Cassel, the Saxon duchies, Brunswick, Nassau, the principalities of Reuss and Schwarzburg, and the free cities of Frankfort and Bremen, the object of which was to prevent the extension of the Prussian system and, above all, any union of the northern Zollverein with that of Bavaria and Württemberg. It was soon, however, found that these separate systems were unworkable; on the 27th of May 1829 Prussia signed a commercial treaty with the southern union; the Handelsverein was broken up, and one by one the lesser states joined the Prussian Customs-Union. Finally, on the 22nd of March 1833, the northern and southern unions were amalgamated; Saxony and the Thuringian states attached themselves to this union in the same year; and on the 1st of January 1834 the German Customs- and Commercial-Union (Deutscher Zoll- und Handelsverein) came into existence, which included for tariff purposes within a single frontier the greater part of Germany. Outside this, though not in hostility to it, Hanover, Brunswick, Oldenburg and Schaumburg-Lippe formed a separate customs-union (Steuerverein) by treaties signed on the 1st of May 1834 and the 7th of May 1836, and to this certain Prussian and Hessian enclaves were attached. Subsequently other states, e.g. Baden and Nassau (1836), Frankfort and Luxemburg (1842), joined the Prussian Zollverein, to which certain of the members of the Steuerverein also transferred themselves (Brunswick and Lippe, 1842). Finally, as a counter-move to the Austrian efforts to break up the Zollverein, the latter came to terms with the Steuerverein, which, on the 1st of January 1854, was absorbed in the Prussian system. Hamburg was to remain outside until 1883; but practically the whole of what now is Germany was thus included in a union in which Prussia had a predominating influence, and to which, when too late, Austria in vain sought admission.[2]

Even in the earlier stages of its development the Zollverein had a marked effect on the condition of the country. Its growth coincided with the introduction of railways, and enabled the nation to derive from them the full benefit; so that, in spite of the confusion of political powers, material prosperity increased, together with the consciousness of national unity and a tendency to look to Berlin rather than to Vienna as the centre of this unity.

This tendency was increased by the accession to the throne of Prussia, in 1840, of Frederick William IV., a prince whose conspicuous talents and supposed “advanced” views raised the hopes of the German Liberals in the same Frederick William IV. degree as they excited the alarm and contempt of Metternich. In the end, however, the fears were more justified than the hopes. The reign began well, it is true, notably in the reversal of the narrow ecclesiastical policy of Frederick William III. But the new king was a child of the romantic movement, with no real understanding of, and still less sympathy with, the modern Liberal point of view. He cherished the idea of German unity, but could conceive of it only in the form of the restored Holy Empire under the house of Habsburg; and so little did he understand the growing nationalist temper of his people that he seriously negotiated for a union of the Lutheran and Anglican churches, of which the sole premature offspring was the Protestant bishopric of Jerusalem.

Meanwhile the Unionist and Liberal agitation was growing in strength, partly owing to the very efforts made to restrain it. The emperor Nicholas I. of Russia, kept informed by his agents of the tendencies of opinion, thought it right to warn his kinsman of Prussia of the approach of danger. But Frederick William, though the tsar’s influence over him was as great as over his father, refused to be convinced. He even thought the time opportune for finishing “the building begun by Papa” by summoning the central assembly of the diets, and wrote to the tsar to this effect (December 31, 1845); and he persevered in this intention in spite of the tsar’s paternal remonstrances. On the 13th of February 1847 was issued a patent summoning the united diet of Prussia. But, as Metternich had prophesied, this only provided an organ for giving voice to larger constitutional aspirations. The result was a constitutional dead-lock; for the diet refused to sanction loans until its “representative” character was recognized; and the king refused to allow “to come between Almighty God in heaven and this land a blotted parchment, to rule us with paragraphs, and to replace the ancient, sacred bond of loyalty.” On the 26th of June the diet was dissolved, nothing having been done but to reveal the widening gulf between the principle of monarchy and the growing forces of German Liberalism.

The strength of these forces was revealed when the February revolution of 1848 in Paris gave the signal for the outbreak of popular movements throughout Europe. The effect of the revolution in Vienna, involving the fall of Metternich (May 13) and followed by the nationalist movements in Hungary and Bohemia, was stupendous in Germany. Accustomed to look to Austria for guidance and material support, the princes everywhere found themselves helpless in face of the popular clamour. The only power which might have stemmed the tide was Prussia. But Frederick William’s emotional and kindly temperament little fitted him to use “the mailed fist”; though the riot which broke out in Berlin on the 15th of March was suppressed by the troops with but little bloodshed, the king shrank with horror from the thought of fighting his “beloved Berliners,” and when on the night of the 18th the fighting was renewed, he entered into negotiation with the insurgents, negotiations that resulted in the withdrawal of the troops from Berlin. The next day, Frederick William, with characteristic histrionic versatility, was heading a procession round the streets of Berlin, wrapped in the German tricolour, and extolling in a letter to the indignant tsar the consummation of “the glorious German revolution.”

The collapse of the Prussian autocracy involved that of the lesser German potentates. On the 30th of March the federal diet hoisted the German tricolour and authorized the assembling of the German national parliament at German nationalism. Frankfort. Arrangements for this had already been made without official sanction. A number of deputies, belonging to different legislative assemblies, taking it upon themselves to give voice to the national demands, had met at Heidelberg, and a committee appointed by them had invited all Germans who then were, or who had formerly been, members of diets, as well as some other public men, to meet at Frankfort for the purpose of considering the question of national reform. About 500 representatives accepted the invitation. They constituted themselves a preliminary parliament (Vorparlament), and at once began to provide for the election of a national assembly. It was decided that there should be a representative for every group of 50,000 inhabitants, and that the election should be by universal suffrage. A considerable party wished that the preliminary parliament should continue to act until the assembly should be formed, but this was overruled, the majority contenting themselves with the appointment of a committee of 50, whose duty it should be in the interval to guard the national interests. Some of those who were discontented with this decision retired from the preliminary parliament, and a few of them, of republican sympathies, called the population of Upper Baden to arms. The rising was put down by the troops of Baden, but it did considerable injury by awakening the fears of the more moderate portion of the community. Great hindrances were put in the way of the elections, but, as the Prussian and Austrian governments were too much occupied with their immediate difficulties to resist to the uttermost, the parliament was at last chosen, and met at Frankfort on the 18th May. The old diet, without being formally dissolved, (an omission that was to have notable consequences) broke up, and the national representatives had before them a clear field. Their task would in any case have been one of extreme difficulty. Frankfort parliament. The new-born sentiment of national unity disguised a variety of conflicting ideals, as well as deep-seated traditional local antagonisms; the problem of constructing a new Germany out of states, several of which, and those the most powerful, were largely composed of non-German elements, was sure to lead to international complications; moreover, the military power of the monarchies had only been temporarily paralysed, not destroyed. Yet, had the parliament acted with promptitude and discretion it might have been successful. Neither Austria nor Prussia was for some time in a position to thwart it, and the sovereigns of the smaller states were too much afraid of the revolutionary elements manifested on all sides to oppose its will. But the Germans had had no experience of free political life. Nearly every deputy had his own theory of the course which ought to be pursued, and felt sure that the country would go to ruin if it were not adopted. Learned professors and talkative journalists insisted on delivering interminable speeches and on examining in the light of ultimate philosophical principles every proposal laid before the assembly. Thus precious time was lost, violent antagonisms were called forth, the patience of the nation was exhausted, and the reactionary forces were able to gather strength for once more asserting themselves. The very first important question brought out the weaknesses of the deputies. This related to the nature of the central provisional executive. A committee appointed to discuss the matter suggested that there should be a directory of three members, appointed by the German governments, subject to the approval of the parliament, and ruling by means of ministers responsible to the latter body. This elaborate scheme found favour with a large number of members, but others insisted that there should be a president or a central committee, appointed by the parliament, while another party pleaded that the parliament itself should exercise executive as well as legislative functions. At last, after a vast amount of tedious and useless discussion, it was agreed that the parliament should appoint an imperial vicar (Reichsverweser) who should carry on the government by means of a ministry selected by himself; and on the motion of Heinrich von Gagern the archduke John of Austria was chosen by a large majority for the office. With as little delay as possible he formed an imperial cabinet, and there were hopes that, as his appointment was generally approved both by the sovereigns and the people, more rapid progress would be made with the great and complicated work in hand. Unfortunately, however, it was necessary to enter upon the discussion of the fundamental laws, a subject presenting many opportunities for the display of rhetoric and intellectual subtlety. It was soon obvious that beneath all varieties of individual opinion there were two bitterly hostile tendencies—republican and constitutionalist. These two parties attacked each other with constantly growing animosity, and in a few weeks sensible men outside the parliament gave up all hope of their dealing satisfactorily with the problem they had been appointed to solve.

In the midst of these disputes the attention of the nation was occupied by a question which had arisen before the outbreak of the revolutionary movements—the so-called “Schleswig-Holstein question” (q.v.). In 1846 Schleswig-Holstein. Christian VIII. of Denmark had officially proclaimed that Schleswig and the greater part of Holstein were indissolubly connected with the Danish monarchy. This excited vehement opposition among the Germans, on the ground that Holstein, although subject to the king of Denmark, was a member of the German confederation, and that in virtue of ancient treaties it could not be severed from Schleswig. In 1848 the German party in the duchies, headed by Prince Frederick of Augustenburg, rose against the Danish government. Frederick VII., who had just succeeded Christian VIII., put down the rebellion, but Prussia, acting in the name of the confederation, despatched an army against the Danes, and drove them from Schleswig. The Danes, who were supported by Russia, responded by blockading the Baltic ports, which Germany, having no navy, was unable effectually to defend. By the mediation of Great Britain an armistice was concluded, and the Prussian troops evacuated the northern districts of Schleswig. As the Danes soon afterwards took possession of Schleswig again, the Prussians once more drove them back, but, in view of the threatening attitude of the powers, Frederick William summoned up courage to flout the opinion of the German parliament, and on the 26th of August, without the central government being consulted, an armistice of seven months was agreed upon at Malmoe.

The full significance of this event was not at once realized. To indignant patriots it seemed no more than a piece of perfidy, for which Prussia should be called to account by united Germany. The provisional government of the duchies Disputes in the Frankfort assembly. appealed from Prussia to the German regent; and the Frankfort parliament hotly took up its cause. A large majority voted an order countermanding the withdrawal of the Prussian troops, in spite of the protest of the ministry, who saw that it would be impossible to make it effective. The ministry resigned, but no other could be found to take its place; and the majority began to realize the situation. The central government depended ultimately on the armed support of the two great powers; to quarrel with those would be to ruin the constitution, or at best to play into the hands of the extreme revolutionists. On the 14th of September the question of the convention of Malmoe again came up for discussion, and was angrily debated. The democrats called their adherents to arms against the traitors who were preparing to sell the Schleswig-Holsteiners. The Moderates took alarm; they had no stomach for an open war with the governments; and in the end the convention was confirmed by a sufficient majority. The result was civil war in the streets of Frankfort; two deputies were murdered; and the parliament, which could think of no better way of meeting the crisis than by continuing “with imposing calm” to discuss “fundamental rights,” was only saved from the fury of the mob by Prussian troops. Its existence was saved, but its prestige had vanished; and the destinies of the German people were seen to be in the hands that held the sword.

While these events were in progress, it seemed not impossible that the Austrian empire would fall to pieces. Bohemia and the Italian states were in revolt, and the Hungarians strove with passionate earnestness for independence. The revolution in Austria. Towards the end of 1848 Vienna was completely in the hands of the revolutionary party, and it was retaken only after desperate fighting. A reactionary ministry, headed by Prince Schwarzenberg, was then raised to power, and in order that a strong policy might be the more vigorously pushed forward, the emperor Ferdinand resigned, and was succeeded by his nephew, Francis Joseph.

The prospects of reform were not much more favourable in Prussia. The assembly summoned amid the revolutionary excitement of March met on the 22nd of May. Demands for a constitutional system were urged with Reform in Prussia. great force, and they would probably have been granted but for the opposition due to the violence of politicians out of doors. The aristocratic class saw ruin before it if the smallest concession were made to popular wishes, and it soon recovered from the terror into which it had been plunged at the outbreak of the revolution. Extreme antagonism was excited by such proposals as that the king should no longer be said to wear his crown “by the grace of God”; and the animosity between the liberal and the conservative sections was driven to the highest pitch by the attack of the democratic majority of the diet on the army and the attempt to remodel it in the direction of a national militia. Matters came to a crisis at the end of October when the diet passed a resolution calling on the king to intervene in favour of the Viennese revolutionists. When, on the evening of the 30th, a mob surrounded the palace, clamouring for the king to give effect to this resolution, Frederick William lost patience, ordered General Wrangel to occupy Berlin with troops, and on the 2nd of November placed Count Brandenburg, a scion of the royal house and a Prussian of the old school, at the head of a new ministry. On the pretext that fair deliberation was impossible in the capital, the assembly was now ordered to meet in Brandenburg, while troops were concentrated near Berlin and a state of siege was proclaimed. In vain the assembly protested and continued its sittings, going even so far as to forbid the payment of taxes while it was subjected to illegal treatment. It was forced in the end to submit. But the discussions in Brandenburg were no more successful than those in Berlin; and at last, on the 5th of December, the king dissolved the assembly, granted a constitution about which it had not been consulted, and gave orders for the election of a representative chamber.

About the time that the Prussian parliament was thus created, and that the emperor Ferdinand resigned, the Frankfort parliament succeeded in formulating the fundamental laws, which were duly proclaimed to be those of Germany The question of the constitution. as it was now to be constituted. The principal clauses of the constitution then began to be discussed. By far the most difficult question was the relation in which Austria should stand to the Germany of the future. There was a universal wish that the Austrian Germans should be included in the German state; on the other hand, it was felt that if all the various nationalities of Austria formed a united monarchy, and if this monarchy as a whole were included in the confederation, it would necessarily overshadow Germany, and expose her to unnecessary external dangers. It was therefore resolved that, although a German country might be under the same ruler as non-German lands, it could not be so joined to them as to form with them a single nation. Had the parliament adopted this resolution at once, instead of exhausting itself by pedantic disquisitions on the abstract principles of jurisprudence, it might have hoped to triumph; but Austria was not likely to submit to so severe a blow at the very time when she was strong enough to appoint a reactionary government, and had nearly re-established her authority, not only in Vienna, but in Bohemia and in Italy. Prince Schwarzenberg took the earliest opportunity to declare that the empire could not assent to any weakening of its influence. Bitter strife now broke out in the parliament between the Great German (Gross-Deutsch) and Little German (Klein-Deutsch) parties. Two of the ministers resigned, and one of those who took their place, Heinrich von Gagern (q.v.), proposed that, since Austria was to be a united state, she should not enter the confederation, but that her relations to Germany should be regulated by a special act of union. This of course meant that Prussia should be at the head of Germany, and recommended itself to the majority of the constitutional party. It was resisted by the Austrian members, who were supported by the ultramontanes and the democrats, both of whom disliked Prussia, the former because of her Protestantism, the latter because of her bureaucratic system. Gagern’s proposal was, however, adopted. Immediately afterwards the question as to the character of the executive was raised. Some voted that a directory of princes should be appointed, others that there should be a president, eligible from the whole German nation; but the final decision was that the headship of the state should be offered by the parliament to some particular German prince, and that he should bear the title of German emperor.

The whole subject was as eagerly discussed throughout the country as in Frankfort. Austria firmly opposed the idea of a united German state, insisting that the Austrian emperor could not consent to be subordinate to any Proposed empire. other prince. She was supported by Bavaria, but on the other side were Prussia, Brunswick, Baden, Nassau, Mecklenburg and various other countries, besides the Hanseatic towns. For some time Austria offered no counter scheme, but she ultimately proposed that there should be a directory of seven princes, the chief place being held alternately by a Prussian and an Austrian imperial vicar. Nothing came of this suggestion, and in due time the parliament proceeded to the second reading of the constitution. It was revised in a democratic sense, but the imperial title was maintained, and a narrow majority decided that it should be hereditary. Frederick William IV. of Prussia was then chosen emperor.

All Germany awaited with anxiety the reply of Frederick William. It was thought not improbable that he would accept the honour offered him, for in the early part of his reign he had spoken of German unity as enthusiastically as of liberty, and, besides, the opportunity was surprisingly favourable. The larger number of the North-German states were at least not unwilling to submit to the arrangement; and Austria, whose opposition in ordinary circumstances would have been fatal, was paralysed by her struggle with Hungary. Frederick William, however, whose instincts were far from democratic, refused “to pick up a crown out of the gutter”; and the deputation which waited upon him was dismissed with the answer that he could not assume the imperial title without the full sanction of the princes and the free cities.

This answer was in reality a death-blow to the hopes of German patriots, but the parliament affected to believe that its cause was not yet lost, and appointed a committee to see that the provisions of the constitution were carried End of Frankfort parliament. out. A vigorous agitation began in the country for the acceptance of the constitution by the governments. The king of Württemberg was forced to accede to it; and in Saxony, Baden and Rhenish Bavaria armed multitudes kept the sovereigns in terror. Prussia, which, following the example of Austria, had recalled her representatives from Frankfort, sent her troops to put down these risings, and on the 21st of May 1849 the larger number of the deputies to the parliament voluntarily resigned their seats. A few republican members held on by it, and transferred the sittings to Stuttgart. Here they even elected an imperial government, but they had no longer any real influence, and on the 18th of June they were forcibly dispersed by order of the Württemberg ministry.

Although Frederick William had refused to become emperor, he was unwilling to miss altogether the opportunity afforded by the difficulties of Austria. He invited the states to send representatives to Berlin to discuss the condition The Prussian Union. of Germany; and he concluded a treaty with the kings of Saxony and Hanover. Two days afterwards the three allies agreed upon a constitution which was in many respects identical with that drawn up by the Frankfort parliament. The functions of the executive were, however, extended, the electoral law was made less democratic, and it was decided that, instead of an emperor, there should be merely a supreme chief aided by a college of princes. This constitution was accepted by a number of states, which assumed the name of “The Union,” and on the 20th of March 1850 a parliament consisting of two houses met in Erfurt. Both houses accepted the constitution; and, immediately after they broke up, the members of the Union assembled in Berlin, and a provisional college of princes was elected. By that time, however, the whole situation of Germany had changed. In the autumn of 1849 Austria had succeeded, by the help of Russia, in quelling Policy of Austria. the Hungarian insurrection, and she was then in no mood to let herself be thrust aside by Prussia. Encouraged by her, Hanover and Saxony had severed themselves from the Union, and Saxony, Württemberg and Bavaria arrived at an understanding as to a wholly new constitution. Afterwards all four states, with several others, accepted the invitation of Austria to consider the propriety of re-establishing the Confederation. The representatives of the states favourable to this proposal, i.e. Austria, Luxemburg, Denmark and the four kingdoms, came together in Frankfort on the 4th of September 1850, constituted themselves a Plenum of the old diet and refused to admit the other states except under the terms of the act of 1815.

Thus the issue to which the events of about a century had been pointing was apparently raised; Germany was divided into two hostile parties, one set of states grouping themselves around Austria, another around Prussia. Disturbance in Hesse-Cassel. A difficulty which arose in Hesse-Cassel almost compelled the powers to bring their differences to the test of war. In this small state the liberal movement of 1848 had been followed by reaction, and the elector ventured to replace Hassenpflug, the unpopular minister who had been driven from power. Hassenpflug, being detested by the chamber, dissolved it in June 1850; but the new one was not less hostile, and refused to sanction the collection of the taxes until it had considered the budget. For this offence it also was dissolved, and orders were issued for the raising of the taxes without its consent. Many officials refused to obey; the judges remained loyal to the constitution; and when attempts were made to solve the difficulty by the army, the officers instructed to act resigned in a body. Meanwhile, Hassenpflug had appealed to the representatives in Frankfort who claimed to be the restored diet, and under the influence of Austria they resolved to support him. Prussia, on the other hand, announced its determination to carry out the principles of the Union and to maintain the Hessian constitution. Austrian and Bavarian troops having entered Hesse, a Prussian army immediately occupied Cassel, and war appeared to be imminent. Prussia, however, was wholly unprepared for war; and, when this was realized, Radowitz, the foreign minister, who had so far pursued a vigorous policy, retired, and was replaced by Manteuffel, who, although the whole Prussian army was mobilized, began by making concessions. The Union was dissolved; and after Austria had despatched an ultimatum formulating her demands, Baron Manteuffel met Prince Schwarzenberg at Olmütz, and, by a convention signed on the 29th of November 1850, virtually yielded everything he insisted upon. The difficulty in Hesse was to be left to the decision of the German governments; and as soon as possible ministerial conferences were to be held in Dresden, with a view to the settlement of the German constitution.

The Austrian government strove to secure the appointment of a stronger executive than had hitherto existed; but its proposals met with steady opposition from Prussia. Every Prussian scheme was in like manner resisted Diet restored. by Austria. Thus, from the sheer inability of the assembled ministers to devise a plan on which all could agree, Prussia and the states that had joined her in the Union were compelled to recognize the Frankfort diet. From the 12th of June 1851 its sittings went on as if nothing had occurred since it was dispersed.

This wretched fiasco was hardly less satisfactory to the majority of Germans than the manner in which the national claims in Schleswig-Holstein were maintained. The armistice of Malmoe having expired in March 1849, the war with Denmark was resumed. A considerable army was despatched against the Danes by the Frankfort government, but on the 10th of July an armistice was signed at Berlin for six months, and a year afterwards Prussia concluded peace. The inhabitants of the duchies, however, continued the war. During the interview at Olmütz between Manteuffel and Schwarzenberg it was agreed that, like the affairs of Hesse-Cassel, those of Schleswig-Holstein should be submitted to the decision of all German states, but that, in the meantime, Prussia and Austria should act together. By the intervention of Austrian troops peace was restored; and when, early in 1852, the government of Denmark, in providing a constitution for the whole monarchy, promised to appoint separate ministers for Schleswig and Holstein, and to do equal justice to the German and the Danish populations, the two powers declared themselves satisfied and the Austrian forces were withdrawn. The diet also, after some delay, professed to be content with this arrangement. While it was discussing the subject, a conference of the European powers met in London, and by the protocol of May 28, 1852, settled that Frederick VII. of Denmark should be succeeded by Christian, duke of Glücksburg, and that the duchies should be indissolubly united to the Danish monarchy. Austria and Prussia accepted the protocol, but it was not signed by the diet.

In all these later events the first place had been taken by Austria. The temporary dissolution of the Zollverein in 1851 gave her an opportunity of trying to extend her influence; she demanded that a union should be formed Austria and the Zollverein. of which she should be the leading member. A congress of all German states, with the exception of Prussia and one or two states which sympathized with her, was held in Vienna; and it was followed by several other congresses favourable to Austrian pretensions. Prussia, however, being here on strong ground, refused to give way; and not only was the customs union restored in accordance with her wishes, but Austria concluded with her in 1853 a treaty of commerce which embodied some important concessions.

Germany had now fairly entered a period which, although it did not last very long, was, in some respects, as humiliating as any in her history. The popular movement, from which great things had been hoped, had on some Political reaction. occasions almost touched its goal; and, as might have been expected, a reaction set in, which the princes knew how to turn to the fullest advantage. The Austrian government, after the subjection of Hungary, withdrew every concession it had made under pressure, and established a thorough despotism, trampling upon the rights of the individual nationalities, and forcing all its subjects into a common political mould. In Prussia the parliament, summoned by the king on the 5th of December 1848, met early in the following year. Although the democrats had declined to vote, it was not conservative enough for the court, and not till the 31st of January 1850 was an understanding arrived at respecting the constitution. The system thus established was repeatedly revised, and always with the same object—to reduce to a minimum the power of the national representatives, and to exalt and extend that of the government. At the same time the ministry persecuted the press, and allowed hardly a whisper of discontent to pass unpunished. The smaller states followed with alacrity in the steps of the two leading powers. The Liberal ministries of 1848 were dismissed, the constitutions were changed or abolished, and new chambers were elected under a severely restricted suffrage. Had the battle been fairly fought out between the governments and the people, the latter would still have triumphed; but the former had now, in the Frankfort diet, a mightier instrument than ever against freedom. What it could do was seen too clearly from the case of Hesse-Cassel. After the settlement of Olmütz, federal troops occupied that country, and federal execution was carried out with shameful harshness. Martial law was everywhere proclaimed; officers, and all classes of officials who had incurred the displeasure of the government, were subjected to arbitrary penalties; and such was the misery of the people that multitudes of them were compelled to emigrate. The constitution having been destroyed by the Bund, the elector proclaimed one of his own making; but even the chamber elected under the provisions of this despotic scheme could not tolerate his hateful tyranny, and there were incessant disputes between it and the government. The Bund interfered in a like spirit in Hanover, although with less disastrous results, after the accession of George V. in 1851. For the whole of Germany this was emphatically the period of petty despotism; and not only from Hesse, but from all parts of the country there was a vast stream of emigration, mainly to the New World.

The outbreak of the Crimean War profoundly moved the German nation. The sympathies of Austria were necessarily with the Western powers, and in Prussia the majority of the people took the same side; but the Prussian Crimean War. government, which was at this time completely under the control of Russia, gave its moral support to the tsar. It did, indeed, assent to a treaty—afterwards signed on behalf of the confederation—by which Prussia and Austria guaranteed each other, but it resolutely opposed the mobilization of the confederate army. The Prussian people were keenly irritated by the cordial relations between their court and the most despotic power in Europe. They felt that they were thus most unjustly separated from the main stream of Western progress.

During the Crimean War the political reaction continued with unabated force. In Prussia the government appeared resolved to make up for its temporary submission to the popular will by the utmost violence on which it could venture. A general election took place in the autumn of 1855, and so harshly was the expression of opinion restrained that a chamber was returned with scarcely a single liberal element of serious importance. The feudalists called for a still further revision of the constitution, and urged that even the reforms effected by Stein should be undone. In Bavaria a chamber elected about the same time as that of Prussia was rather less docile; but the government shared to the full the absolutist tendencies of the day, and energetically combated the party which stood up for law and the constitution. The Hanoverian government, backed by the Frankfort diet, was still more successful in its warfare with the moderate reformers whom it was pleased to treat as revolutionists; and in Austria the feudalists so completely gained the upper hand that on the 18th of August 1855 the government signed a concordat, by which the state virtually submitted itself to the control of the church.

The German people seemed to have lost both the power and the will to assert their rights; but in reality they were deeply dissatisfied. And it was clear to impartial observers that, in the event of any great strain upon the power Prussia and Switzerland. of the governments, the absolutist system would break down. The first symptom that the reaction had attained its utmost development displayed itself in Prussia, whose attention was for a time distracted from home politics by a quarrel with Switzerland. The Swiss authorities had imprisoned some foolish royalists of Neuchâtel, in which the house of Hohenzollern had never resigned its rights. War was threatened by Prussia, but when the prisoners were set free, the two states entered upon negotiations, and in the summer of 1857 King Frederick William withdrew all claims to the principality.

Soon after this, the mental condition of the king made it necessary that his duties should be undertaken by a substitute, and his brother William, the prince of Prussia, took his place for three months. In October 1858 the prince Regency of William of Prussia. became regent. The accession to power of the new regent was universally recognized as involving a change of system. The temper of William, in contradistinction to that of his brother, was pre-eminently practical; and he had the reputation of a brave, piously orthodox Prussian soldier. The nickname “cartridge-prince” (Kartätschenprinz) bestowed upon him during the troubles of ’48 was undeserved; but he was notoriously opposed to Liberalism and, had he followed his own instincts, he would have modified the constitution in a reactionary sense. Fortunately, however, he was singularly open to conviction, and Otto von Bismarck, though not yet in office, was already in his confidence. Bismarck realized that, in the struggle with Austria which he foresaw, Prussia could only be weakened were she to take up an attitude of opposition to the prevailing Liberal sentiment, and that to tamper with the constitution would not only be inexpedient, but useless, since special measures could always be resorted to, to meet special circumstances. The interests of Prussia, he urged, had been too often sacrificed to abstract ideas. William listened and was convinced. He not only left the constitution intact, but he dismissed Manteuffel’s “feudal” ministry and replaced it with moderate Liberals.

The change was more revolutionary in appearance than in reality. Manteuffel and his policy were associated in the regent’s mind with the humiliation of Olmütz, and the dismissal of the ministry symbolized the reversal of this policy. William believed with his whole soul in the unification of Germany, and in Prussia as its instrument; and, if he doubted, it was only as to the how and when. Of one thing he was certain—that whoever aspired to rule over Germany must be prepared to seize it (letter to von Natzmer, May 20, 1849). This attitude had little in common with the Liberal appeal to the voice of the people. Such a revolutionary foundation might be good enough for the ephemeral empires of France; the appeal of Prussia should be to the God of battles alone.

The antagonism between these conflicting principles was not long in revealing itself. In Germany the relations between Austria and Prussia were becoming unpleasantly strained in the question of the admission of the Habsburg Prussia and the Austro-Italian War. monarchy to the Zollverein, in that of the elector of Hesse and his parliament, in that of the relation of the Elbe duchies to the crown of Denmark. But for the outbreak of the Italian war of 1859 the struggle of 1866 might have been anticipated. The outcome of the war increased the prestige of Prussia. She had armed, not with the idea of going to the aid of a German power in difficulties, but in order, at the right moment, to cast her sword into the scale wherein her own interests might for the time lie. At the menace of her armaments, concentrated on the Rhine, Napoleon had stopped dead in the full career of victory; Austria, in the eyes of German men, had been placed under an obligation to her rival; and Italy realized the emergence of a new military power, whose interests in antagonism to Austria were identical with her own.

So striking an object lesson was not lost on the Prussian regent, and he entered on a vigorous policy of reforming and strengthening the army, General von Roon being appointed minister of war for this purpose. To the Liberal Military reforms and constitutional crisis in Prussia. ministers, however, and to the Liberal majority in the Prussian diet, this was wholly objectionable. Schemes were under discussion for reforming the constitution of the Confederation and drawing the German states closer together on a Liberal basis; the moment seemed singularly inopportune for Prussia, which had not shown herself particularly zealous for the common interests, to menace the other German governments by increasing her separate armaments. When, therefore, on the 10th of February 1860, the bills necessary for carrying out the reform of the army were introduced into the diet, they met with so strenuous an opposition that they had to be withdrawn. Supplies were, however, granted for fourteen months, and the regent took this as justifying him in proceeding with his plans. On the 1st of January 1861 the standards of the new regiments were solemnly blessed; on the next day Frederick William IV. died, and the new king was face to face with a constitutional crisis.

Austria, meanwhile, had been making the first tentative essays in constitutional concession, which culminated, in May 1861, in the establishment at Vienna of a Reichsrat for the whole empire, including Hungary. The popularity she thus gained among German Liberals and Nationalists was helped by the course of events at Berlin. The Prussian diet of 1862 was no whit more tractable than its predecessor, but fell to attacking the professional army and advocating the extension of the militia (Landwehr) system; on the 11th of March the king dissolved it in disgust, whereupon the Liberal ministry resigned, and was succeeded by the Conservative cabinet of Prince Hohenlohe. Public opinion was now violently excited against the government; the new elections resulted (May 6) in the return of a yet larger Liberal majority; on the 22nd of August the army estimates were thrown out. Hohenlohe now declared himself incapable of carrying on the government, and King William entrusted it to Otto von Bismarck.

In choosing this man of iron will as his instrument during the actual crisis the king’s instinct had not betrayed him. For nine years Prussian delegate at the diet of Frankfort, Bismarck was intimately acquainted with all the issues Bismarck. of the German problem; with his accustomed calculated bluntness he had more than once openly asserted that this problem could only be settled by Austria ceasing to influence the German courts and transferring “her centre of gravity towards Budapest”; with equal bluntness he told the committee on the budget, on the 30th of September 1862, that the problem could not be solve “by parliamentary decrees,” but only “by blood and iron.” For the supreme moment of this solution he was determined that Prussia should be fully prepared; and this meant that he must defy the majority within the diet and public opinion without. Some sort of constitutional pretence was given to the decision of the government to persevere with the military reforms by the support of the Upper House, and of this Bismarck availed himself to raise the necessary taxes without the consent of the popular assembly. He regretted the necessity for flouting public opinion, which he would have preferred to carry with him; in due course he would make his peace with Liberal sentiment, when success should have justified his defiance of it. His plans were singularly helped by international developments. The Polish rising of 1863 came just in time to prevent a threatened Franco-Russian alliance; the timid and double-faced attitude of both France and Austria during the revolt left them isolated in Europe, while Bismarck’s ready assistance to Russia assured at least the benevolent neutrality in the coming struggle with the Habsburg power.

Meanwhile, among the German people the object lesson of the Italian war had greatly stimulated the sentiment of national unity. As to the principle, however, on which this unity was to be based, the antagonism that had been Views as to Germany unity. fatal in 1849 still existed. The German National Union (Deutscher Nationalverein), organized in the autumn of 1859, favoured the exclusion of Austria and the establishment of a federation under the hegemony of Prussia; it represented the views of the so-called “Gothaer,” the political heirs of the rump of the Frankfort parliament which had reassembled at Gotha in June 1849, and supported the Prussian Union and the Erfurt parliament. To counteract this, a conference of five hundred “Great Germans” assembled at Frankfort and, on the 22nd of October 1862, founded the German Reform Union (Deutscher Reformverein), which, consisting mainly of South German elements, supported the policy of Austria and the smaller states. The constitutional crisis in Prussia, however, brought both societies into line, and in 1863 the National Union united with the Reform Union in an attempt to defeat Prussian policy in the Schleswig-Holstein question.

This anti-Prussian feeling Austria now tried to exploit for her own advantage. On the 2nd of August the emperor Francis Joseph proposed to King William, during a meeting at Gastein, to lay before an assembly of the German The “Fürstentag” of Frankfort. princes a scheme for the reconstitution of the Bund. The king neither accepted nor refused; but, without waiting for his assent, invitations were sent out to the other princes, and on the 14th the congress (Fürstentag) opened at Frankfort. Of the German sovereign states but four were unrepresented—Anhalt-Bernburg, Holstein, Lippe and Prussia; but the absence of Prussia was felt to be fatal; the minor princes existed by reason of the balance between the two great powers, and objected as strongly to the exclusion of the one as of the other from the Confederation; an invitation to King William was therefore signed by all present and carried by the king of Saxony in person to Berlin. Bismarck, however, threatened to resign if the king accepted; and the congress had to do the best it could without Prussian co-operation. On the 1st of September it passed, with some slight modifications, the Austrian proposals for the reconstruction of the Bund under a supreme Directory, an assembly of delegates from the various parliaments, a federal court of appeal and periodical conferences of sovereigns. Everything now depended on the attitude of Prussia, and on the 22nd her decision was received. “In any reform of the Bund,” it ran, “Prussia, equally with Austria, must have the right of vetoing war; she must be admitted, in the matter of the presidency, to absolute equality with Austria; and, finally, she will yield no tittle of her rights save to a parliament representing the whole German nation.”

Prussia thus made a bid for the sympathy of the democracy at the same time as she declared war against the dynasties; and her power was revealed by the fact that her veto was sufficient to wreck a proposal seconded by the all but unanimous vote of the German sovereigns. The Austrian stroke had failed, and worse than failed, for Napoleon III., who had been filled with alarm at this attempt to create on his flank an “empire of 70,000,000,” saw in Prussia’s attitude no more than a determination to maintain for her own ends the division and weakness of Germany; and this mistaken diagnosis of the situation determined his attitude during the crisis that followed.

This crisis was due to the reopening of a fresh acute phase of the Schleswig-Holstein question by the accession of the “protocol-king” Christian IX. to the throne of Denmark (November 15, 1863), and his adhesion to the The Schleswig-Holstein question, 1863. new constitution, promulgated two days before, which embodied the principle of the inalienable union of the Elbe duchies with the Danish body politic. The news of this event caused vast excitement in Germany; and the federal diet was supported by public opinion in its decision to uphold the claims of Prince Frederick of Augustenburg to the succession of the duchies. An agitation in his favour had already begun in Holstein and, after the promulgation of the new Danish constitution, this was extended to Schleswig. On the 24th of December Saxon and Hanoverian troops occupied Holstein in the name of the German Confederation, and supported by their presence and the favour of the population the prince of Augustenburg, as Duke Frederick VIII., assumed the government.

From these proceedings Prussia and Austria held rigorously aloof. Both had signed the protocol of 1852, and both realized that, if the European powers were to be given no excuse to intervene, their attitude must be scrupulously “correct”; and this involved the recognition of King Christian’s rights in the duchies. On the other hand, the constitution of the 13th of November had been in flat contradiction to the protocol of London, which recognized the separate rights of the duchies; and if the two great German powers chose to make this violation of an agreement to which they had been parties a casus belli, Europe would have no right to interfere. Prussia had begun to mobilize in November; and Austria also soon realized that action must speedily be taken if the lesser German governments were not to be allowed to get out of hand. Russia and Great Britain had already protested against the occupation of Holstein and the support given to the Augustenburg claimant; and now Beust, the Saxon minister, was proposing that the federal diet, which had been no party to the protocol, should formally recognize his claim. Bismarck, then, had no difficult task in persuading Austria that the time for action had come. A last attempt of the two powers to carry the diet with them in recognizing the protocol having failed, they formally announced that they would act in the matter as Austro-Prussian alliance. independent European powers. On the 16th of January 1864 the agreement between them was signed, an article, drafted by Austria, intended to safeguard the settlement of 1852, being replaced at the instance of Prussia by another, which stated that the contracting powers would decide only in concert upon the relations of the duchies, and that in no case would they determine the succession save by mutual consent. A clause was also inserted provisionally recognizing the principle of the integrity of Denmark.

Whatever Austria’s ulterior views may have been, Bismarck certainly from the first had but one aim before him. He saw clearly what the possession of the duchies would mean to Germany, their vast importance for the future of German sea-power; already he had a vision of the great war-harbour of Kiel and the canal connecting the Baltic and the North seas; and he was determined that these should be, if not wholly Prussian, at least wholly under Prussian control. Annexation was the goal which from the beginning he kept steadily before his eyes (Reminiscences, ii. 10). As for treaties to the contrary, he was to avow in his Reminiscences that these have little force when no longer reinforced by the interests of the contracting parties. His main fear was that the Danes might refuse to fight and appeal instead to a European congress; and, to prevent this, he led the Copenhagen government to believe that Great Britain had threatened to intervene in the event of Prussia going to war, “though, as a matter of fact, England did nothing of the kind.” This sufficed to provoke the defiance of the Danes, Danish War of 1864. and on the 1st of February 1864 the Austrian and Prussian troops crossed the Eider. The issue of a war between powers so ill-matched was a foregone conclusion; the famous rampart of the Dannewerk (q.v.), on which the Danish defence chiefly relied, was turned, and after a short campaign, in which the Danes fought with distinguished courage, peace was concluded by the treaty of Vienna (August 1, 1864), by which Schleswig, Holstein and Lauenburg were ceded to Austria and Prussia jointly.

The Austro-Prussian alliance had been only an interlude in the great drama in which the two powers were playing rival parts. To the other causes of friction between them had been added, just before the war, a renewed quarrel as to Austria, Prussia and the Zollverein. Austria’s relation to the Zollverein. In 1862, in the name of the customs union, Prussia had concluded with France a commercial treaty, based mainly on free trade principles. This treaty most of the small states refused to sign, and they were supported in their objections by Austria, which loudly complained that Prussia had given to a foreign power what she had denied to a sister state of the Bund. Prussia, however, remained firm, and declared that, were the treaty rejected, she would break up the Zollverein. After the war Bismarck in fact succeeded in obtaining the signature of the smaller states to the treaty; and Austria, her protests having proved unavailing, was fain to sign a commercial treaty with the Zollverein, essentially the same as that of 1853. Treaties concluded with Great Britain and Belgium, about the same time, also tended to enhance Prussian prestige.

Austria now sought in the question of the Elbe duchies an occasion for re-establishing her influence in Germany. The ambitions of Prussia were notorious, and Austria had no wish to see her rival still further strengthened by Convention of Gastein. the annexation of the duchies. In this attitude she was sure of the support of the German princes, and of German public opinion, which was enthusiastically in favour of the Augustenburg claimant. She therefore took up the cause of Duke Frederick, and under her influence a small majority of the federal diet decided to request the two powers to invest him with the sovereignty of Holstein. Bismarck’s reply was to deny the competency of the diet to interfere; and in the Prussian parliament the minister of war moved for a special grant for the creation of a war-harbour at Kiel. Against this Austria protested, as having the same right as Prussia to Kiel; an angry correspondence followed; but neither power was quite prepared for war, and on the 20th of August 1865 the convention of Gastein, to use Bismarck’s phrase, “papered over the cracks.” Pending a settlement, Schleswig was to be occupied and administered by Prussia, Holstein by Austria; while Lauenburg was made over absolutely to Prussia in return for a money payment. This was so far a diplomatic victory for Prussia, as it ignored entirely the claims of the duke of Augustenburg.

Bismarck had consented to the convention of Gastein in order to gain time to prepare the ground for the supreme struggle with Austria for the hegemony of Germany. He had no intention of postponing the issue long; for the circumstances of the two powers were wholly favourable to Prussia. The Prussian army had attained an unprecedented excellence of organization and discipline; the Prussian people, in spite of the parliamentary deadlock, were loyal and united; while in Austria army and state were alike disorganized by nationalist discontent and the breakdown of the centralized system. But there were other factors to be considered. The attitude of Napoleon was dubious; the active alliance of Italy was necessary to the certainty of Prussian success; and the policy of Italy depended ultimately upon that of France. Lastly, the conscience of King William, though since the acquisition of Lauenburg he had “developed a taste for conquest,” shrank from provoking war with a German power. The news of the convention of Gastein, which seemed Hostile attitude of France. to re-cement the union of Germany, had been received in France with clamorous indignation; and on the 29th of August, under pressure of public opinion, the French government issued a circular note denouncing it as an outrage on national liberty and European law, the protest being backed by note of the 14th of September circulated by Lord John Russell on behalf of the British government. But Napoleon was himself little inclined to use the warlike tone of his people; and Bismarck found it easy to win him over to his views by explaining the temporary nature of the convention, and by dropping hints at the famous interview at Biarritz (September 30, 1865) of possible “compensations” to France in the event of a Prussian victory over Austria; the probability of a prolonged struggle in Germany between two powers apparently evenly matched, moreover, held out to the French emperor the prospect of his being able to intervene at the proper moment with overwhelming effect.

Napoleon having been successfully hoodwinked, Bismarck turned to Italy. His previous advances had been interrupted by the Gastein convention, which seemed to the Italian government a betrayal of the Italian cause. Italy End of the Austro-Prussian understanding. attempted to negotiate with Austria for the purchase of Venetia; but the offer was curtly refused by the emperor Francis Joseph, and the counter-proposal of a commercial rapprochement was forestalled by Prussia, which with the aid of most of the lesser states, angered by the betrayal of their interests by Austria at Gastein, arranged a commercial treaty between Italy and the Zollverein, an act which involved the recognition of the Italian kingdom. The counter-stroke of Austria was to embarrass Prussia by allowing full play in Holstein to the agitation in favour of the Augustenburg claimant. To the protests of Prussia, Austria replied that she had a full right to do what she liked in the duchy, and that she still adhered to the declaration of the princes, made on the 28th of May 1864, in favour of Duke Frederick. This “perfidy” removed the last scruples of King William; and the Austro-Prussian alliance came to an end with the declaration of Bismarck that Prussia “must win full freedom for her own entire policy” and his refusal to continue the correspondence.

War, though still postponed, was now certain; and with this certainty the desire of the Italians for the Prussian alliance, now recommended by Napoleon, revived. By the 16th of March 1866 the Austrian war preparations were so far advanced that Count Mensdorff thought it safe to send an ultimatum to Prussia and, at the same time, a circular note to the princes declaring that, in the event of an evasive reply, Austria would move in the diet for the mobilization of the federal forces. On the 24th Bismarck in his turn issued a circular note stating that, in view of the Austrian war preparations, Prussia must take measures for her defence; at the same time he laid before the princes the outline of the Prussian scheme for the reform of the Confederation, a scheme which included a national parliament to be elected by universal suffrage, “as offering surer guarantees for conservative action than limitations that seek to determine the majority beforehand.” Clearly Prussia meant war, and the Italian government thought it safe to sign, on the 8th of April 1866, a treaty of alliance. By this instrument it was agreed that in Prusso-Italian alliance. the event of her proposals for the reform of the federal constitution being rejected by the German princes, Prussia should declare war “in order to give effect to her proposals,” and that, in that case, Italy would also declare war against Austria. As a result of the war Venetia was to be added to Italy and an equivalent amount of territory in North Germany to Prussia. The agreement, however, was only to hold good if war broke out within three months.

On the day after the signature of the treaty the Prussian project of reform was presented to the federal diet. It was, however, no more than a bid for the support of public opinion on the part of Bismarck; for even while it was Prussian scheme for the reform of the “Bund.” under discussion an angry correspondence was being carried on between Berlin and Vienna on the question of armaments, and by the beginning of May both powers were making undisguised preparations for war. On the 21st of April, the very day when the discussion of the Prussian proposals began in the diet, Austria, alarmed at a threatened attack by Garibaldi on Venetia, began to mobilize in defiance of an agreement just arrived at with Prussia. Five days later, in spite of this, she sent an ultimatum to Berlin, demanding the continuance of the Prussian disarmament and an immediate settlement of the Schleswig-Holstein question. The supreme issue was, however, delayed for a few weeks by the intervention of Napoleon, who, urged on by the loud alarm of the French people at the prospective aggrandizement of Prussia, attempted to detach Italy from the Prussian alliance by persuading Austria to a cession of Venetia. The negotiations broke down on the refusal of Italy to throw over her ally, and Napoleon’s proposal of a European congress, to reconsider the whole settlement under the treaties of 1815, proved equally abortive. Meanwhile the preparations for war had been continued, and on the 1st of June Austria flung down the gage by declaring her intention of submitting the whole question of the duchies to the federal diet and of summoning a meeting of the Holstein estates. This was denounced by Bismarck in a circular note to the powers as a breach of the convention of Gastein and of the treaty of January 16, 1864, by which Austria and Prussia had agreed to govern the duchies in common. At the same time he handed in the formal protest of Prussia to the federal diet. Prussia, he said, would only recognize the right of a reformed federal power to settle the Schleswig-Holstein question, and this power must be based on a German parliament, which alone could guarantee Prussia that any sacrifices she might make would be for the good of Germany and not of the dynasties. The Prussian plan of reform laid before the diet included the exclusion of Austria from the Confederation; the creation of a federal navy; the division of the supreme command of the army between Prussia and Bavaria; a parliament elected by manhood suffrage; the regulation of the relations between the Confederation and Austria by a special treaty. In the event of the actual constitution of the Bund being shattered by war, the German states were asked whether they would be prepared to join this new organization. On the 9th of June Prussian troops had already marched into Holstein, the Austrians, with Duke Frederick, falling back on Altona. On the 14th the Prussian scheme of reform was laid before the diet, together with Austria’s counter-proposal for a decree of federal execution against Prussia. In the event of the rejection of Prussia’s motion, Bismarck had made it clear that Prussia withdraws from the “Bund.” Prussia would withdraw from the Confederation, and that in the event of her being victorious in the ensuing war those states of northern Germany that voted against her would cease to exist. In spite of this, the Austrian motion was carried by nine votes to six. The Prussian delegate at once withdrew from the diet, and on the following day (June 15) the Prussian troops advanced over the Saxon frontier.

The war that followed, conveniently called the Seven Weeks' War (q.v.), culminated before a month had passed, on the 3rd Austro-Prussian War of 1866. of July, in the crushing Prussian victory of Königgrätz. The rapidity and overwhelming character of the Prussian success ensured the triumph of Bismarck’s policy. The intervention which Napoleon had planned resolved itself into diplomatic pourparlers of which the result was wholly insignificant; and even before the war was ended Bismarck was preparing for an understanding with Austria and with the South German states that should minimize the risk of a French attack. By the preliminary treaty of peace signed at Nikolsburg on the 26th of July the great objects for which Treaty of Prague, August 23. Prussia had fought were fully secured. By Article I. the integrity of the Austrian monarchy was preserved, with the exception of Lombardo-Venetia; by Article II. Austria consented to “a new organization of Germany without the participation of the empire of Austria,” consented to “the closer union” to be founded by the king of Prussia to the north of the Main, and to the German states south of the Main entering into a union, the national relations of which with the North German Confederation were to be “the subject of an ulterior agreement between the two parties”; by Article III. Austria transferred all her rights in Schleswig and Holstein to Prussia, reserving the right of the people of north Schleswig to be again united to Denmark should they “express a desire to be so by a vote freely given”; by Article V. the territory of Saxony was to remain intact. These Articles, enmbodying the more important terms, were included with slight verbal alterations in the treaty of peace signed at Prague on the 23rd of August. Separate treaties of peace had been signed with Württemberg on the 13th, with Baden on the 17th and with Bavaria on the 22nd of August; treaties with Hesse-Darmstadt Aggrandizement of Prussia. followed on the 3rd of September, with Saxe-Meiningen on the 8th of October and with Saxony on the 21st. The other unfortunate North German states which had sided with Austria were left to their fate, and on the 20th of September King William issued a decree annexing Hanover, Hesse-Cassel, Nassau and the free city of Frankfort to the Prussian monarchy, and bringing them under the Prussian constitution.

The return of King William to his capital had been a triumphal progress; and Bismarck had shared to the full the new-born popularity of his master. He seized the occasion to make his peace with Liberal sentiment, and the bill Federal constitution. of indemnity for past ministerial breaches of the constitution was carried in the new Prussian diet with enthusiasm. On the 24th of February 1867 the constituent diet of the confederation, elected by universal suffrage and the ballot, met in Berlin, and soon accepted in its essential features the constitution submitted to it. It was arranged that the headship of the confederation should be hereditary, that it should belong to the king of Prussia, and that legislative functions should be exercised by a federal council (Bundesrat), representative of the various governments, and by a diet (Bundestag) elected by the whole people.

The federal parliament began at once the task of consolidating the new institutions. In the sessions of 1869 and 1870 it established a supreme tribunal of commerce, sitting in Leipzig, and passed a new penal code. Great as were National Liberals. these results, they did not satisfy the aspirations of patriotic Germans, who, having so suddenly and so unexpectedly approached unity, longed that the work should be completed. A party called the National Liberals was formed, whose main object was to secure the union of South with North Germany, and it at once entered into peculiar relations with Bismarck, who, in spite of his native contempt for parliaments and parliamentary government, was quite prepared to make use of any instruments he found ready to his hand. There was, indeed, plentiful need for some show of concession to Liberal sentiment, if a union of hearts was to be established between the South and North Germans. The states south of the Main had issued from the war as sovereign and independent powers, and they seemed in no great haste to exchange this somewhat precarious dignity either for a closer alliance among each other or with the North German Confederation. The peoples, too, fully shared the dislike of their rulers to the idea of a closer union with North Germany. The democrats hated Prussia as “the land of the corporal’s stick,” and Bismarck as the very incarnation of her spirit. The Roman Catholics hated her as the land par excellence of Protestantism and free thought. Nothing but the most powerful common interests could have drawn the dissevered halves of Germany together. This sense of common interests it was Bismarck’s study to create. An important Customs parliament.
South German hostility to union.
step was taken in 1867 by the conclusion of a treaty with the southern states, by which it was agreed that all questions of customs should be decided by the federal council and the federal diet, and that, for the consideration of such questions, the southern states should send representatives to Berlin. In reality, however, the customs parliament (Zollparlament) was of little service beyond the limits of its special activity. In the election to the customs parliament in 1868, Württemberg did not return a single deputy who was favourable to the national cause; in Bavaria the anti-nationalists had a large majority; and even in Baden and Hesse-Darmstadt, where the opposition to Prussia was less severe, a powerful minority of the deputies had no liking for Bismarck and his ways. Thus the customs parliament was kept rigidly to the objects for which it was founded, greatly to the disappointment of patriots who had not doubted that it would become an effective instrument for the attainment of far larger purposes. Had the completion of unity depended wholly on internal causes, it certainly would Irritation of France. not have been soon achieved; but other forces, not altogether unexpectedly, came to Bismarck’s aid. France had been irritated by the enormous increase of Prussian power, and even before the treaty of Prague was signed the emperor Napoleon III. indicated a wish to be “compensated” with the left bank of the Rhine. This was a claim exactly calculated to play into Bismarck’s hands. The communication of the French emperor’s original proposals to the South German governments, whose traditional policy had been to depend on France to save them from the ambitions of the German great powers, was enough to throw them into the arms of Prussia. The treaties of peace between Prussia and the South German states were accompanied by secret treaties of offensive and defensive alliance, under which the supreme command in war was to be given to the Prussian king. A common war against a common enemy now appeared the surest means of welding the dissevered halves of Germany together, and for this war Bismarck steadily prepared. There were soon plentiful signs of where this enemy was to be sought. On the 14th of March 1867 Thiers in the French Chamber gave voice to the indignation of France at the bungling policy that had suffered the aggrandizement of Prussia. The reply of Bismarck was to publish (March 19) the secret treaties with the South German states. War was now only a question of time, and the study of Bismarck was to bring it on at the moment most favourable to Germany, and by a method that should throw upon France the appearance of being the aggressor. The European situation was highly favourable. France was hampered by the Roman question, which divided her own counsels while it embroiled her with Italy; the Luxemburg question, arising out of her continued demand for “compensation,” had only served to isolate her still further in Europe. French patriotic feeling, suspicious, angry and alarmed, needed only a slight provocation to cause it to blaze up into an uncontrollable fever for war.

The provocation was supplied at the right moment by the candidature of the prince of Hohenzollern for the vacant crown of Spain. To bring the Peninsula under French influence had been for centuries the ambition of French statesmen; The Hohenzollern candidature. it was intolerable that it should fall to a “Prussian” prince and that France should be threatened by this new power not only from the east but from the south. High language was used at Paris; and the French ambassador, Count Benedetti, was instructed to demand from the king of Prussia the withdrawal of the Hohenzollern candidature. The demand was politely but firmly refused, and Bismarck, judging that the moment had come for applying the match to the powder magazine, published an “edited” version of the telegram from the king describing the episode, a version which “without the addition of a single word” turned the refusal into an insult. The “Ems telegram” made the continuance Franco-German War.

Proclamation of the German empire.
of peace impossible; on the 14th of July Napoleon III. signed the declaration of war; and on the 2nd of August the affair of Saarbrücken opened the struggle which was to cause the downfall of the French and the creation of the German empire (see Franco-German War). On the 18th of January 1871, ten days before the capitulation of Paris, William I., king of Prussia, was proclaimed German emperor in the great hall of the palace of Versailles, on the initiative of the king of Bavaria, the most powerful of the South German sovereigns, the traditional ally of France. The cession of Alsace and the greater part of Lorraine, wrested two centuries before by Louis XIV. from the Holy Empire, was the heaviest part of the price that France had to pay for peace (treaty of Frankfort, May 10, 1871).  (W. A. P.) 

The foundation of the empire in 1871 begins a new era in the history of Germany. The rivalry of the dynasties to which for so long the interests of the nation had been sacrificed now ceased. By the treaties of Versailles the kingdoms of Bavaria and Württemberg, and the The new empire, 1871. grand-duchy of Baden, as well as the southern provinces of the grand-duchy of Hesse, were added to the North German Confederation. Henceforward all the German states that had survived the struggle of 1866, with the exception of the empire of Austria, the grand-duchy of Luxemburg, and the principality of Liechtenstein, were incorporated in a permanent federal state under the leadership of Prussia. The revision in 1871 made no important alterations in the constitution of 1867. The states retained their autonomy except in those matters which were expressly transferred to the imperial authorities; the princes retained their sovereignty; the king of Prussia, though he now took the title of German emperor, was only primus inter pares; he was president of the confederation, but had no suzerainty over the other princes. None the less, from this time the acts of the state governments and parliaments have ceased to have more than a local importance; the history of the nation is centred in Berlin, in the Bundesrat or federal council, in which the interests of the individual states are represented; in the Reichstag, in which the feelings and wishes of the nation are expressed; and above all, in the Prussian government and imperial executive.

The new constitution has stood the test. The number of states of which the empire consists has remained unaltered;[3] occasional disputes have been settled harmoniously in a legal manner. The special rights reserved to Bavaria and Württemberg have not proved, as was feared, a danger The empire and the states. to the stability of the empire. Much apprehension had been caused by the establishment of a permanent committee for foreign affairs in the Bundesrat, over which the Bavarian representative was to preside; but the clause remained a dead letter. There is no record that the committee ever met until July 1900, when it was summoned to consider the situation in China; and on that occasion it probably formed a useful support to the government, and helped to still apprehension lest a too adventurous policy should be pursued. Another clause determined that in a division in the Reichstag on any law which did not concern the whole empire, the representatives of those states which were not concerned should not vote. This, had it been retained, would have destroyed the coherence of the Reichstag as representative of the whole nation. It was repealed in 1873. The permission to maintain diplomatic missions has been equally harmless: most of the states have recalled all their diplomatic representatives; Saxony, Bavaria and Württemberg have maintained only those at Vienna, the Vatican and at St Petersburg. Bavaria has even voluntarily adopted many imperial laws from which it was legally exempted; for instance, the laws of settlement.

If the states have been loyal to the empire, the imperial government has also respected the constitutional privileges of the states. The harmonious working of the constitution depends on the union of policy between the empire and Prussia, for it is the power of Prussia which gives strength to Prussia and the empire. the empire. This was practically secured by the fact that the emperor, who is king of Prussia, appoints the chancellor, and the chancellor is generally president of the Prussian ministry as well as minister of foreign affairs—in his person the government of the two is identified. For twenty years the double office was held by Bismarck, who, supported as he was by the absolute confidence of the emperor, and also of the allied princes, held a position greater than that ever attained by any subject in modern Europe since the time of Richelieu. For ten months in 1873 he, indeed, resigned the office of minister-president to Roon; and in the same way Caprivi, during the years 1893–1894, held the chancellorship alone; but in neither case was the experiment successful, and Hohenlohe and Bülow adhered to the older plan. So important is the practical co-operation of the imperial administration and the Prussian government, that it has become customary to appoint to seats in the Prussian ministry the more important of the secretaries of state who administer imperial affairs under the chancellor. Delbrück, head of the imperial chancery, had held this position since 1868; in 1877 Bülow, secretary of state for foreign affairs, was appointed Prussian minister, and this has become the ordinary practice. One result of this is to diminish the control which the Prussian parliament is able to maintain over the Prussian ministry.

In the federal council Prussian policy nearly always prevails, for though Prussia has only seventeen votes out of fifty-eight, the smaller states of the North nearly always support her; practically she controls the vote of Waldeck and since 1885 those of Brunswick. A definite defeat of Prussia on an important question of policy must bring about a serious crisis; it is generally avoided because, as the meetings are secret, an arrangement or compromise can be made. Bismarck, knowing that nothing would more impede the consolidation of the empire than an outbreak of local patriotism, always so jealous of its rights, generally used his influence to avoid constitutional disputes, and discouraged the discussion of questions which would require an authoritative interpretation of the constitution. It was, however, opposition in the Bundesrat which obliged him to abandon his scheme for imperial railways, and when, in 1877, it was necessary to determine the seat of the new supreme court of justice, the proposal of the government that Berlin should be chosen was out-voted by thirty to twenty-eight in favour of Leipzig. On this occasion Bismarck accepted the decision, but when important interests were at stake he showed himself as ready to crush opposition as in the older days, as in the case of Hamburg and Bremen.

The great personal qualities of the reigning emperors and the widely extended family connexions of the house of Hohenzollern have enabled them to hold with ease their position as leaders among the ruling families. So far as is known, with one or two unimportant exceptions, the other princes loyally accepted their new position. It is only as regards the house of Brunswick that the older dynastic questions still have some political importance.

The other princes who were dispossessed in 1866 have all been reconciled to Prussia. The elector of Hesse and the duke of Nassau have formally relinquished their claims. In 1883 the daughter of the duke of Augustenburg, the former claimant to the duchies of Schleswig and Holstein, Hanover. married the heir to the Prussian throne, who became William II. On the other hand, the royal family of Hanover has never ceased to protest against the acts by which they were deprived of their dominions. King George to the end of his days, whether in Austria or in France, still regarded himself as in a state of war with Prussia. As he had used his large personal property to organize a regiment in order to regain his possessions, the Prussian government had sequestrated that part of his income, amounting to some £50,000, over which they had control, and used it as secret service money chiefly for controlling the press; to this fund the name “Welfen-Fond” was commonly given. After 1870 the Hanoverian regiment was disbanded, but the sequestration continued. The death of the old king in 1878 made no difference, for his son in a letter to the king of Prussia announced that he assumed and maintained all his father’s rights, and that he did not recognize the legal validity of the acts by which he was, as a matter of fact, prevented from enjoying them. His protest was supported by a considerable number of his former subjects, who formed a party in the Reichstag. The marriage of the duke of Cumberland (the title by which the king called himself till he could come into his possessions) with Princess Thyra of Denmark in the same year was made the occasion of a great demonstration, at which a deputation of the Hanoverian nobility assured the duke of their continued attachment to his house.

After Bismarck’s retirement the emperor attempted to bring about a reconciliation with the duke and the Hanoverians. His attention had been drawn to the bad moral effect of the use to which the Welfen-Fond was applied, and on the duke of Cumberland writing him a letter, in which, while maintaining his claims to the throne of Hanover, he recognized the empire and undertook not to support any enterprise against the empire or Prussia, with the consent of the Prussian parliament the sequestration of his property was removed. The attitude of passive resistance is, however, still maintained, and has affected the position of the duchy of Brunswick.

In 1884 William, duke of Brunswick, died after a reign of fifty-four years. The younger son of the duke who fell at Quatre Bras, he had been called to the throne in 1831 to take the place of his elder brother Charles, who had Duchy of Brunswick. been deposed. Duke Charles had died at Geneva in 1873, and as both brothers were childless the succession went to the duke of Cumberland as head of the younger branch of the house of Brunswick-Lüneburg. Duke William before his death had arranged that the government should be carried on by a council of regency so long as the heir was prevented from actually assuming the government; at the end of a year a regent was to be chosen from among the non-reigning German princes. He hoped in this way to save his duchy, the last remnant of the dominions of his house, from being annexed by Prussia. As soon as he died the town was occupied by the Prussian troops already stationed therein; the duke of Cumberland published a patent proclaiming his succession; the council of state, however, declared, in agreement with the Bundesrat, that the relations in which he stood to the kingdom of Prussia were inconsistent with the alliances on which the empire was based, and that therefore he could not assume the government. The claim of the duke of Cambridge as the only male heir of full age was referred to the Bundesrat, but the duke refused to bring it before that body, and after a year the Brunswick government elected as regent Prince Albert of Hohenzollern, to hold office so long as the true heir was prevented from entering on his rights. On the death of Prince Albert in September 1906, the Brunswick diet petitioned the Bundesrat to allow the youngest son of the duke of Cumberland to succeed to the duchy on renouncing his personal claims to the crown of Hanover. This was refused, and on the 28th of May 1907 Duke John Albert of Mecklenburg-Schwerin was elected regent by the diet. Under the regency of Prince Albert, Brunswick, which had hitherto steadily opposed all attempts to assimilate and subordinate its institutions to those of Prussia, though it retained formal independence, was brought into very close dependence upon Prussia, as is the case with all the other northern states. In them the armies are incorporated in the Prussian army; the railways are generally merged in the Prussian system; indirect taxation, post office, Waldeck. and nearly the whole of the judicial arrangements are imperial. None, however, has yet imitated the prince of Waldeck, who in 1867, at the wish of his own subjects, transferred the administration of his principality to Prussia. The local estates still meet, and the principality still forms a separate administrative district, but it is managed by a director appointed by Prussia. The chief reason for this act was that the state could not meet the obligations laid upon it under the new system, and the responsibility for any deficit now rests with Prussia.

A curious difficulty, a relic of an older state of society, arose in the principality of Lippe, in consequence of the extinction of the elder ruling line and a dispute as to the succession Lippe. (see Lippe). Some political importance attached to the case, for it was not impossible that similar difficulties might occur elsewhere, and the open support given by the emperor to the prince of Schaumburg-Lippe, who had married his sister, caused apprehension of Prussian aggression.

A much more serious question of principle arose from the peculiar circumstances of Mecklenburg. The grand-duchies, which, though divided between two lines of the ducal house, had a common constitution, were the only The Mecklenburg constitution. state in Germany in which the parliament still took the form of a meeting of the estates—the nobility and the cities—and had not been altered by a written constitution. Repeated attempts of the grand-dukes to bring about a reform were stopped by the opposition of the Ritterschaft. Büffing, one of the Mecklenburg representatives in the Reichstag, therefore proposed to add to the imperial constitution a clause that in every state of the confederation there should be a parliamentary assembly. This was supported by all the Liberal party and carried repeatedly; of course it was rejected by the Bundesrat, for it would have established the principle that the constitution of each state could be revised by the imperial authorities, which would have completely destroyed their independence. It is noticeable that in 1894 when this motion was introduced it was lost; a striking instance of the decay of Liberalism.

The public political history of Germany naturally centres around the debates in the Reichstag, and also those in the Prussian parliament. In the Prussian parliament are discussed questions of education, local government, Public affairs: political parties. religion and direct taxation, and though of course it is only concerned with Prussian affairs, Prussia is so large a part of Germany that its decisions have a national importance. A very large number of the members of the Reichstag and of the Prussian parliament sit in both, and the parties in the two are nearly identical. In fact, the political parties in the Reichstag are generally directly descended from the older Prussian parties.

The first place belongs to the Conservatives, who for twenty years had been the support of the Prussian government. The party of the feudal aristocracy in North Germany, they were strongest in the agricultural districts east of the Conservatives. Elbe; predominantly Prussian in origin and in feeling, they had great influence at court and in the army, and desired to maintain the influence of the orthodox Lutheran Church. To them Bismarck had originally belonged, but the estrangement begun in 1866 constantly increased for the next ten years. A considerable number of the party had, however, seceded in 1867 and formed a new union, to which was given the name of the Deutsche Reichspartei (in the Prussian House they were called the Frei Conservativen). These did not include any prominent parliamentary leaders, but many of the most important ministers and officials, including Moltke and some of the great nobles. They were essentially a government party, and took no part in the attacks on Bismarck, which came from the more extreme Conservatives, the party of the Kreuzzeitung.

The events of 1866 had brought about a similar division among the Progressives. A large section, including the most important leaders, determined to support Bismarck in his national policy and to subordinate to this, National Liberals. though not to surrender, the struggle after constitutional development. Under the name of National-Liberal-Partei they became in numbers as in ability the strongest party both in Prussia and the empire. Essentially a German, not a Prussian, party, they were joined by the Nationalists from the annexed provinces of Hanover and Hesse; in 1871 they were greatly strengthened by the addition of the National representatives from the southern states; out of fourteen representatives from Baden twelve belonged to them, seventeen out of eighteen Württemberger, and a large majority of the Bavarians. It was on their support that Bismarck depended in building up the institutions of the empire. The remainder of the Progressives, the Fortschrittspartei, maintained their protest against the military and monarchical elements in the state; they voted against the constitution in 1867 on the ground that it did not provide sufficient guarantees for popular liberty, and in 1871 against the treaty with Bavaria because it left too much independence to that state. Their influence was strongest in Berlin, and in the towns of East Prussia; they have always remained characteristically Prussian.

These great parties were spread over the whole of Germany, and represented the great divisions of political thought. To them must be added others which were more local, as the Volkspartei or People’s party in Württemberg, which kept alive the extreme democratic principles of 1848, but was opposed to Socialism. They had been opposed to Prussian supremacy, and in 1870 for the time completely lost their influence, though they were to regain it in later years.

Of great importance was the new party of the Centre. Till the year 1863 there had been a small party of Catholics in the Prussian parliament who received the name of the Centrum, from the part of the chamber in which they sat. They had diminished during the years of conflict and disappeared in 1866. In December 1870 it was determined The Centre. to found a new party which, while not avowedly Catholic, practically consisted entirely of Catholics. The programme required the support of a Christian-Conservative tendency; it was to defend positive and historical law against Liberalism, and the rights of the individual states against the central power. They were especially to maintain the Christian character of the schools. Fifty-four members of the Prussian parliament at once joined the new party, and in the elections for the Reichstag in 1871 they won sixty seats. Their strength lay in Westphalia and on the Rhine, in Bavaria and the Polish provinces of Prussia. The close connexion with the Poles, the principle of federalism which they maintained, the support given to them by the Bavarian “patriots,” their protest against the “revolution from above” as represented equally by the annexation of Hanover and the abolition of the papal temporal power, threw them into strong opposition to the prevailing opinion, an opposition which received its expression when Hermann von Mallincrodt (1821–1874), the most respected of their parliamentary leaders, declared that “justice was not present at the birth of the empire.” For this reason they were generally spoken of by the Nationalist parties as Reichsfeindlich.

This term may be more properly applied to those who still refuse to recognize the legality of the acts by which the empire was founded. Of these the most important were the so-called Guelphs (Welfen), described by themselves as the Hannoverische Rechtspartei, member of the old Hanoverian nobility who represented the rural districts of Hanover and still regarded the deposed King George V. and, after his death, the duke of Cumberland as their lawful sovereign. In the elections of 1898 they still returned nine members to the Reichstag, but in those of 1903 their representation had sunk to six, and in 1907 it had practically disappeared. A similar shrinkage has been displayed in the case of the protesting Alsace-Lorrainers, who returned only two deputies in 1907. A pleasant concession to Hanoverian feeling was made in 1899, when the emperor ordered that the Hanoverian regiments in the Prussian army should be allowed to assume the names and so continue the traditions of the Hanoverian army which was disbanded in 1866.

The government has also not succeeded in reconciling to the empire the alien races which have been incorporated in the kingdom of Prussia. From the Polish districts of West Prussia, Posen and Silesia a number of representatives have continued to be sent to Berlin to protest against Poles. their incorporation in the empire. Bismarck, influenced by the older Prussian traditions, always adopted towards them an attitude of uncompromising opposition. The growth of the Polish population has caused much anxiety; supported by the Roman Catholic Church, the Polish language has advanced, especially in Silesia, and this is only part of the general tendency, so marked throughout central Europe, for the Slavs to gain ground upon the Teutons. The Prussian government has attempted to prevent this by special legislation and severe administrative measures. Thus in 1885 and 1886 large numbers of Austrian and Russian Poles who had settled in these provinces were expelled. Windthorst thereupon raised the question in the Reichstag, but the Prussian government refused to take any notice of the interpolation on the ground that there was no right in the constitution for the imperial authority to take cognizance of acts of the Prussian government. In the Prussian parliament Bismarck introduced a law taking out of the hands of the local authorities the whole administration of the schools and giving them to the central authority, so as to prevent instruction being given in Polish. A further law authorized the Prussian government to spend £5,000,000 in purchasing estates from Polish families and settling German colonists on the land. The commission, which was appointed for the purpose, during the next ten years bought land to the amount of about 200,000 acres and on it settled more than 2000 German peasants. This policy has not, however, produced the intended effect; for the Poles founded a society to protect their own interests, and have often managed to profit by the artificial value given to their property. It has merely caused great bitterness among the Polish peasants, and the effect on the population is also counteracted by the fact that the large proprietors in purely German districts continue to import Polish labourers to work on their estates.

In the general change of policy that followed after the retirement of Bismarck an attempt was made by the emperor to conciliate the Poles. Concessions were made to them in the matter of schools, and in 1891 a Pole, Florian von Stablewski (1841–1906), who had taken a prominent part in the Kulturkampf, was accepted by the Prussian government as archbishop of Posen-Gnesen. A moderate party arose among the Poles which accepted their position as Prussian subjects, gave up all hopes of an immediate restoration of Polish independence, and limited their demands to that free exercise of the religion and language of their country which was enjoyed by the Poles in Austria. They supported government bills in the Reichstag, and won the commendation of the emperor. Unfortunately, for reasons which are not apparent, the Prussian government did not continue a course of conciliation; in 1901 administrative edicts still further limited the use of the Polish language; even religious instruction was to be given in German, and an old royal ordinance of 1817 was made the pretext for forbidding private instruction in Polish.

All these efforts have been in vain. The children in the schools became the martyrs of Polish nationality. Religious instruction continued to be given to them in German, and when they refused to answer questions which they did not understand, they were kept in and flogged. In 1906, as a protest, the school children to the number of 100,000 struck throughout Prussian Poland; and, as a result of a pastoral issued by the archbishop, Polish parents withdrew their children from religious instruction in the schools. The government responded by fining and imprisoning the parents. The efforts of the government were not confined to the forcible Germanization of the children. Polish newspapers were confiscated and their editors imprisoned, fines were imposed for holding Polish meetings, and peasants were forbidden to build houses on their own land. The country gentlemen could not have a garden party without the presence of a commissary of police.

The climax, however, was reached in 1907 when Prince Bülow, on the 26th of November, introduced into the Prussian parliament a bill to arm the German Colonization Committee in Posen with powers of compulsory expropriation. He pointed out that though the commission had acquired 815,000 acres of land and settled upon it some 100,000 German colonists, nearly 250,000 acres more had passed from German into Polish hands. He proposed, therefore, to set aside a credit of £17,500,000 for this purpose. On the 26th of February 1908 the discussion on this bill was continued, Count Arnim defending it on the ground that “conciliation had failed and other measures must now be tried!” The Poles were aiming at raising their standard of civilization and learning and thus gradually expelling the Germans, and this, together with the rapid growth of the Polish population, constituted a grave danger. These arguments were reinforced by an appeal of Prince Bülow to the traditions of Bismarck, and in spite of a strenuous and weighty opposition, the bill with certain modifications passed by 143 votes to 111 in the Upper House, and was accepted by the Lower House on the 13th of March. A bill forbidding the use of any language but German at public meetings, except by special permission of the police, had been laid before the Reichstag in 1907 by Prince Bülow at the same time as he had introduced the Expropriation Bill into the Prussian parliament. The bill, with certain drastic amendments limiting its scope, passed the House on the 8th of April by a majority of 200 to 179. This law gave increased freedom in the matter of the right of association and public meeting; but in the case of the Poles it was applied with such rigidity that, in order to evade it they held “mute” public meetings, resolutions being written up in Polish on a blackboard and passed by show of hands, without a word being said.[4]

Compared with the Polish question, that of the Danes in North Schleswig is of minor importance; they number less than 150,000, and there is not among them, as among the Poles, the constant encroachment along an extended line of Danes. frontier; there is also no religious question involved. These Danish subjects of Germany have elected one member to the Reichstag, whose duty is to demand that they should be handed over to Denmark. Up to the year 1878 they could appeal to the treaty of Prague; one clause in it determined that the inhabitants of selected districts should be allowed to vote whether they should be Danish or German. This was inserted merely to please Napoleon; after his fall there was no one to demand its execution. In 1878, when the Triple Alliance was concluded, Bismarck, in answer to the Guelphic demonstration at Copenhagen, arranged with Austria, the other party to the treaty of Prague, that the clause should lapse. Since then the Prussian government, by prohibiting the use of Danish in the schools and public offices, and by the expulsion from the country of the numerous Danish optants who had returned to Schleswig, has used the customary means for compelling all subjects of the king to become German in language and feeling.[5]

The attempt to reconcile the inhabitants of Alsace-Lorraine to their condition proved equally difficult. The provinces had been placed under the immediate rule of the emperor and the chancellor, who was minister for them; laws Alsace-Lorraine. were to be passed by the Reichstag. In accordance with the treaty of Frankfort, the inhabitants were permitted to choose between French and German nationality, but all who chose the former had to leave the country; before the 1st of October 1872, the final day, some 50,000 had done so. In 1874, for the first time, the provinces were enabled to elect members for the Reichstag; they used the privilege to send fifteen Elsasser, who, after delivering a formal protest against the annexation, retired from the House; they joined no party, and took little part in the proceedings except on important occasions to vote against the government. The same spirit was shown in the elections for local purposes. It seemed to be the sign of a change when a new party, the Autonomisten, arose, who demanded as a practical concession that the dictatorship of the chancellor should cease and local self-government be granted. To some extent this was done in 1879; a resident governor or Statthalter was appointed, and a local representative assembly, which was consulted as to new laws. All the efforts of Field marshal Edwin von Manteuffel, the first governor, to win the confidence of the people failed; the anti-German feeling increased; the party of protestors continued in full numbers. The next governor, Prince Hohenlohe, had to use more stringent measures, and in 1888, to prevent the agitation of French agents, an imperial decree forbade any one to cross the frontier without a passport. Since 1890 there has been, especially in the neighbourhood of Strassburg, evidence of a spread of national German feeling, probably to a great extent due to the settlement of Germans from across the Rhine.

The presence of these anti-German parties, amounting sometimes to one-tenth of the whole, in the Reichstag added greatly to the difficulty of parliamentary government. Gradually, however, as a new generation grew up their influence declined. In the Reichstag of 1907, Guelphs, Alsace-Lorrainers and Danes together could muster only five members.

The great work since 1870 has been that of building up the institutions of the empire. For the first time in the history of Germany there has been a strong administration ordering, directing and arranging the life of the whole The period 1870 to 1878. nation. The unification of Germany was not ended by the events of 1866 and 1871; it was only begun. The work has throughout been done by Prussia; it has been the extension of Prussian principles and Prussian administrative energy over the whole of Germany. It naturally falls into two periods; the first, which ends in 1878, is that in which Bismarck depended on the support of the National Liberals. They were the party of union and uniformity. The Conservatives were attached to the older local diversities, and Bismarck had therefore to turn for help to his old enemies, and for some years an alliance was maintained, always precarious but full of results.

The great achievement of the first period was legal reform. In nothing else was legislation so much needed. Forty-six districts have been enumerated, each of which enjoyed a separate legal system, and the boundaries of these Legal reform. districts seldom coincided with the frontiers of the states. Everywhere the original source of law was the old German common law, but in each district it had been wholly or partly superseded by codes, text-books and statutes to a great extent founded on the principles of the Roman civil law. Owing to the political divisions, however, this legislation, which reached back to the 14th century, had always been carried out by local authorities. There had never been any effective legislation applicable to the whole nation. There was not a state, not the smallest principality, in which some authoritative but imperfect law or code had not been published. Every free city, even an imperial village, had its own “law,” and these exist down to the present time. In Bremen the foundation of the civil code was still the statutes of 1433; in Munich, those of 1347. Most of the states by which these laws had been published had long ago ceased to exist; probably in every case their boundaries had changed, but the laws remained valid (except in those cases in which they had been expressly repealed) for the whole of the district for which they had been originally promulgated. Let us take a particular case. In 1591 a special code was published for the upper county of Katzellenbogen. More than a hundred years ago Katzellenbogen was divided between the neighbouring states. But till the end of the 19th century this code still retained its validity for those villages in Hesse, and in the Prussian province of Hesse, which in old days had been parts of Katzellenbogen. The law, however, had to be interpreted so as to take into consideration later legislation by the kingdom of Westphalia, the electorate of Hesse, and any other state (and they are several) in which for a short time some of these villages might have been incorporated.

In addition to these earlier imperfect laws, three great codes have been published, by which a complete system was applied to a large district: the Prussian Code of 1794, the Austrian Code of 1811 and the Code Napoléon, which applied to all Germany left of the Rhine; for neither Prussia, nor Bavaria, nor Hesse had ever ventured to interfere with the French law. In Prussia therefore the older provinces came under the Prussian Code, the Rhine provinces had French law, the newly annexed provinces had endless variety, and in part of Pomerania considerable elements of Swedish law still remained, a relic of the long Swedish occupation. On the other hand, some districts to which the Prussian Code applied no longer belonged to the kingdom of Prussia—for instance, Anspach and Bayreuth, which are now in Bavaria. In other parts of Bavaria in the same way Austrian law still ran, because they had been Austrian in 1811. In two states only was there a more or less uniform system: in Baden, which had adopted a German translation of the Code Napoléon; and in Saxony, which had its own code, published in 1865. In criminal law and procedure there was an equal variety. In one district was trial by jury in an open court; in another the old procedure by written pleadings before a judge. In many districts, especially in Mecklenburg and some of the Prussian provinces, the old feudal jurisdiction of the manorial courts survived.

The constant changes in the law made by current legislation in the different states really only added to the confusion, and though imperial laws on these points with which the central government was qualified to deal superseded the state laws, it is obvious that to pass occasional acts on isolated points would have been only to introduce a further element of complication. It was therefore convenient, so far as was possible, to allow the existing system to continue until a full and complete code dealing with the whole of one department of law could be agreed upon, and thus a uniform system (superseding all older legislation) be adopted. Legislation, therefore, has generally taken the form of a series of elaborate codes, each of which aims at scientific completeness, and further alterations have been made by amendments in the original code. The whole work has been similar in character to the codification of French law under Napoleon; in most matters the variety of the older system has ceased, and the law of the empire is now comprised in a limited number of codes.

A beginning had been made before the foundation of the empire; as early as 1861 a common code for trade, commerce and banking had been agreed upon by the states included in the Germanic Confederation. It was adopted by the new confederation of 1869. In 1897 it was replaced by a new code. In 1869 the criminal law had been codified for the North German Confederation, and in 1870 there was passed the Gewerbeordnung, an elaborate code for the regulation of manufactures and the relations of masters to workmen. These were included in the law of the empire, and the work was vigorously continued.

In 1871 a commission was appointed to draw up regulations for civil and criminal procedure, and also to frame regulations for the organization of the law courts. The draft code of civil procedure, which was published in December 1872, introduced many important reforms, especially by substituting public and verbal procedure for the older German system, under which the proceedings were almost entirely carried on by written documents. It was very well received. The drafts for the other two laws were not so successful. Protests, especially in South Germany, were raised against the criminal procedure, for it was proposed to abolish trial by jury and substitute over the whole empire the Prussian system, and a sharp conflict arose as to the method of dealing with the press. After being discussed in the Reichstag, all three projects were referred to a special commission, which after a year reported to the diet, having completely remodelled the two latter laws. After further amendment they were eventually accepted, and became law in 1877. By these and other supplementary laws a uniform system of law courts was established throughout the whole empire; the position and pay of the judges, the regulations regarding the position of advocates, and costs, were uniform, and the procedure in every state was identical. To complete the work a supreme court of appeal was established in Leipzig, which was competent to hear appeals not only from imperial law, but also from that of the individual states.

By the original constitution, the imperial authorities were only qualified to deal with criminal and commercial law; the whole of the private law, in which the variety was greatest, was withdrawn from their cognizance. Lasker, to remedy this defect, proposed, therefore, an alteration in the constitution, which, after being twice carried against the opposition of the Centre, was at last accepted by the Bundesrat. A commission was then appointed to draw up a civil code. They completed the work by the end of 1887; the draft which they then published was severely criticized, and it was again submitted for revision to a fresh commission, which reported in 1895. In its amended form this draft was accepted by the Reichstag in 1896, and it entered into force on the 1st of January 1900. The new Civil Code deals with nearly all matters of law, but excludes those concerning or arising out of land tenure and all matters in which private law comes into connexion with public law; for instance, the position of government officials, and the police: it excludes also the relations of master and servant, which in most points are left to the control of individual states. It was accompanied by a revision of the laws for trade and banking.

Equal in importance to the legal was the commercial reform, for this was the condition for building up the material prosperity of the country. Germany was a poor country, but the poverty was to a great extent the result of political Commercial reform. causes. Communication, trade, manufactures, were impeded by the political divisions, and though the establishment of a customs union had preceded the foundation of the empire, the removal of other barriers required imperial legislation. A common system of weights and measures was introduced in 1868. The reform of the currency was the first task of the empire. In 1871 Germany still had seven different systems; the most important was the Thaler and the Groschen, which prevailed over most of North Germany, but even within this there were considerable local differences. Throughout the whole of the south of Germany and in some North German states the gulden and kreuzer prevailed. Then there were other systems in Hamburg and in Bremen. Everywhere, except in Bremen, the currency was on a silver basis. In addition to this each state had its own paper money, and there were over 100 banks with the right of issuing bank-notes according to regulations which varied in each state. In 1871 a common system for the whole empire was established, the unit being the Mark (= 11¾d.), which was divided into a hundred Pfennige: a gold currency was introduced (Doppel-Kronen = 20 M.; Kronen = 10 M.); no more silver was to be coined, and silver was made a legal tender only up to the sum of twenty marks. The gold required for the introduction of the new coinage was provided from the indemnity paid by France. Great quantities of thalers, which hitherto had been the staple of the currency, were sold. The right of coinage was, however, left to the individual states, and as a special concession it was determined that the rulers of the states should be permitted to have their head placed on the reverse of the gold coins. All paper currency, except that issued by the empire, ceased, and in 1873 the Prussian Bank was converted into the Imperial Bank (Reichsbank).

Closely connected with the reform of the currency and the codification of the commercial law was the reform of the banking laws. Here the tendency to substitute uniform imperial laws for state laws is clearly seen. Before Banking laws. 1870 there had been over 100 banks with the right of issue, and the conditions on which the privilege was granted varied in each state. By the Bank Act of March 14, 1875, which is the foundation of the existing system, the right of granting the privilege is transferred from the governments of the states to the Bundesrat. The existing banks could not be deprived of the concessions they had received, but unless they submitted to the regulations of the new law their notes were not to be recognized outside the limits of the state by which the concession had been granted. All submitted to the conditions except the Brunswick Bank, which remained outside the banking system of the empire until the Bank Act of June 5, 1906, was passed, when it surrendered its right to issue notes. The experience of Germany in this matter has been different from that of England, for nearly all the private banks have now surrendered their privilege, and there remain only five banks, including the Reichsbank, which still issue bank notes. The other four are situated in Bavaria, Saxony, Württemberg and Baden. The total note-issue was fixed by the law of 1875, a proposal being assigned to each bank. Any part of this issue assigned to private banks which might be withdrawn from circulation, owing to a deficiency in the legal reserve funds, was to be transferred to the Reichsbank. The result has been the tendency of the latter gradually to absorb the whole note-issue. By the law of 1906 the Reichsbank was authorized to issue 20 M. and 50 M. notes. Treasury notes (Reichs-Kassenscheine) for these amounts were no longer to be issued; but the state reserved the right to circulate notes of the value of 5 M. and 10 M.

The organization of the imperial post-office was carried out with great success by Herr von Stephan (q.v.), who remained at the head of this department from its creation till his death in 1897. Proposals were also made to Bavaria and Württemberg to surrender their special rights, but these were not accepted.

The unification of the railways caused greater difficulties. Nearly every state had its own system; there was the greatest variety in the methods of working and in the tariffs, and the through traffic, so important for the commercial Railways. prosperity of the country, was very ineffective. In Baden, Württemberg and Hanover the railways were almost entirely the property of the state, but in all other parts public and private lines existed side by side, an arrangement which seemed to combine the disadvantages of both systems. In 1871 three-quarters of the railway lines belonged to private companies, and the existence of these powerful private corporations, while they were defended by many of the Liberals, was, according to the national type of thought, something of an anomaly. Bismarck always attached great importance to the improvement of the railway service, and he saw that uniformity of working and of tariffs was very desirable. In the constitution of the empire he had introduced several clauses dealing with it. The independent administration of its lines by each state was left, but the empire received the power of legislating on railway matters; it could build lines necessary for military purposes even against the wish of the state in whose territory they lay, and the states bound themselves to administer their lines as part of a common system. In order to carry out these clauses a law was passed on the 27th of June 1873 creating an imperial railway office (Reichseisenbahnamt) for the purpose of exercising a general control over the railways. This office has done much in the matter of unifying the systems of various railways and of regulating their relations to the military, postal and telegraph organizations; it also took a leading part in the framing of the international laws regarding goods traffic; but the imperial code of railway law which it drafted has never been laid before the Reichstag. It effectively controls only the privately owned lines in Prussia. Yet, in setting it up, Bismarck had in mind the ultimate acquisition of all the railways by the empire. He found, however, that it was impossible to carry any Bill enforcing this. He therefore determined to begin by transferring to the imperial authority the Prussian state railways; had he been able to carry this out the influence of the imperial railways would have been so great that they would gradually have absorbed those of the other states. The Bill was carried through the Prussian parliament, but the opposition aroused in the other states was so great that he did not venture even to introduce in the Bundesrat a law empowering the empire to acquire the Prussian railways. In many of the state parliaments resolutions were carried protesting against the system of imperial railways, and from that time the preservation of the local railway management has been the chief object towards which, in Saxony, Bavaria and Württemberg, local feeling has been directed. The only imperial railways are those in Alsace-Lorraine.

The result of the legal reform and other laws has been greatly to diminish the duties of the state governments, for every new imperial law permanently deprives the local parliaments of part of their authority. Generally there remains to them the control of education and religion—their most important duty—police, all questions connected with land tenure, local government, the raising of direct taxes, and, in the larger states, the management of railways. The introduction of workmen’s insurance, factory legislation, and other measures dealing with the condition of the working classes by imperial legislation, was at a later period still further to limit the scope of state legislation.

Meanwhile the government was busy perfecting the administration of the national defences. From the war indemnity large sums had been expended on coast defence, on fortifications and on replacing the equipment and stores Army organization. destroyed during the war. A special fund, producing annually about a million pounds, was put aside, from which pensions to the wounded, and to the widows and orphans of those who had fallen, should be provided. It was also desirable to complete the military organization. It must be remembered that technically there is no German army, as there is no German minister of war. Each state, however small, maintains its own contingent, subject to its own prince, who has the right and the obligation of administering it according to the provisions of the treaty by which he entered the federation. Practically they are closely tied in every detail of military organization. The whole of the Prussian military system, including not only the obligation to military service, but the rules for recruiting, organization, drill and uniforms, has to be followed in all the states; all the contingents are under the command of the emperor, and the soldiers have to swear obedience to him in addition to the oath of allegiance to their own sovereign. It is therefore not surprising that, having so little freedom in the exercise of their command, all the princes and free cities (with the exception of the three kings) arranged separate treaties with the king of Prussia, transferring to him (except for certain formal rights) the administration of their contingents, which are thereby definitely incorporated in the Prussian army. The first of these treaties was arranged with Saxe-Coburg Gotha in 1861; those with the other North German states followed at short intervals after 1866. The last was that with Brunswick, which was arranged in 1885; Duke William had always refused to surrender the separate existence of his army. Owing to the local organization, this does not prevent the contingent of each state from preserving its separate identity; it is stationed in its own district, each state contributing so many regiments.

In 1872 a common system of military jurisprudence was introduced for the whole empire except Bavaria (a revised code of procedure in military courts was accepted by Bavaria in 1898); finally, in February 1874, an important The Septennat. law was laid before the Reichstag codifying the administrative rules. This superseded the complicated system of laws and royal ordinances which had accumulated in Prussia during the fifty years that had elapsed since the system of short service had been introduced; the application to other states of course made a clearer statement of the laws desirable. Most of this was accepted without opposition or debate. On one clause a serious constitutional conflict arose. In 1867 the peace establishment had been provisionally fixed by the constitution at 1% of the population, and a sum of 225 thalers (£33, 15s.) had been voted for each soldier. This arrangement had in 1871 been again continued to the end of 1874, and the peace establishment fixed at 401,659. The new law would have made this permanent. If this had been done the power of the Reichstag over the administration would have been seriously weakened; its assent would no longer have been required for either the number of the army or the money. The government attached great importance to the clause, but the Centre and the Liberal parties combined to throw it out. A disastrous struggle was averted by a compromise suggested by Bennigsen. The numbers were fixed for the next seven years (the so-called Septennat); this was accepted by the government, and carried against the votes of the Centre and some of the Progressives. On this occasion the Fortschrittpartei, already much diminished, split up into two sections. The principle then established has since been maintained; the periodical votes on the army have become the occasion for formally testing the strength of the Government.

The influence of Liberalism, which served the government so well in this work of construction, brought about also the conflict with the Roman Catholic Church which distracted Germany for many years. The causes were, indeed, Kulturkampf. partly political. The Ultramontane party in Austria, France and Bavaria had, after 1866, been hostile to Prussia; there was some ground to fear that it might still succeed in bringing about a Catholic coalition against the empire, and Bismarck lived in constant dread of European coalitions. The Polish sympathies of the Church in Germany made him regard it as an anti-German power, and the formation of the Catholic faction in parliament, supported by Poles and Hanoverians, appeared to justify his apprehensions. But besides these reasons of state there was a growing hostility between the triumphant National parties and the Ultramontanes, who taught that the pope was greater than the emperor and the Church than the nation. The conflict had already begun in Baden. As in every other country, the control of the schools was the chief object of contention, but the government also claimed a control over the education and training of the clergy. With the formation of the empire the conflict was transferred from Baden to Prussia, where there had been for thirty years absolute peace, a peace gained, indeed, by allowing to the Catholics complete freedom; the Prussian constitution ensured them absolute liberty in the management of ecclesiastical affairs; in the ministry for religion and education there was a separate department for Catholic affairs, and (owing to the influence of the great family of the Radziwills) they enjoyed considerable power at court.

The latent opposition was aroused by the Vatican decrees. A small number of Catholics, including several men of learning and distinction, refused to accept Papal Infallibility. They were encouraged by the Bavarian court, which Old Catholics. maintained the Febronian tradition and was jealous of any encroachment of the Papacy (see Febronianism); but besides this the Protestants throughout Germany and all opponents of the Papacy joined in the agitation. They made it the occasion for an attack on the Jesuits; even in 1869 there had been almost a riot in Berlin when a chapel belonging to a religious order was opened there. During 1870 and 1871 meetings were held by the Gustavus Adolphus Verein, and a great Protestant conference was called, at which resolutions were passed demanding the expulsion of the Jesuits and condemning the Vatican decrees. As the leaders in these meetings were men like Virchow and Bluntschli, who had been lifelong opponents of Catholicism in every form, the result was disastrous to the Liberal party among the Catholics, for a Liberal Catholic would appear as the ally of the bitterest enemies of the Church; whatever possibility of success the Old Catholic movement might have had was destroyed by the fact that it was supported by those who avowedly wished to destroy the influence of Catholicism. No bishop joined it in Germany or in Austria, and few priests, though the governments were ready to protect them in the enjoyment of the privileges secured to Catholics, and to maintain them in the use of the temporalities. There was no great following among the people; it was only in isolated places that priests and congregation together asserted their rights to refuse to accept the decrees of the Church. Without the help of the bishops, the leaders had no legal basis; unsupported by the people, they were generals without an army, and the attempt to use the movement for political purposes failed.

None the less this was the occasion for the first proceedings against the Catholics, and curiously enough the campaign began in Bavaria. The archbishop of Munich had published the Vatican decrees without the Regium placetum, which was required by the constitution, and the government continued to treat Old Catholics as members of the Church. In the controversy which ensued, Lutz, the chief member of the ministry, found himself confronted by an Ultramontane majority, and the priests used their influence to stir up the people. He therefore turned for help to the imperial government, and at his instance a clause was added to the penal code forbidding priests in their official capacity to deal with political matters. (This law, which still exists, is popularly known as the Kanzlei or Pulpit-paragraph.) It was of course opposed by the Centre, who declared that the Reichstag had no right to interfere in what was after all a religious question, and the Bavarian Opposition expressed much indignation that their government should turn for help to the Protestants of the North in order to force upon the Catholics of Bavaria a law which they could not have carried in that state.

For twenty years the Old Catholics continued to be a cause of contention in Bavaria, until the struggle ended in the victory of the Ultramontanes. In 1875 the parliament which had been elected in 1869 for six years came to an end. In order to strengthen their position for the new elections, the Liberal ministry, who owed their position chiefly to the support of the king, by royal ordinance ordered a redistribution of seats. By the constitution this was within their power, and by clever manipulation of the constituencies they brought it about that the Ultramontane majority was reduced to two. It does not appear that this change represented any change of feeling in the majority of the people. The action of the government, however, caused great indignation, and in a debate on the address an amendment was carried petitioning the king to dismiss his ministry. They offered their resignation, but the king refused to accept it, publicly expressed his confidence in them, and they continued in office during the lifetime of the king, although in 1881 the growing reaction gave a considerable majority to the Ultramontane party. After the death of the king the prince-regent, Luitpold, still retained the old administration, but several concessions were made to the Catholics in regard to the schools and universities, and in 1890 it was decided that the claim of the Old Catholics to be regarded officially as members of the Church should no longer be recognized.

Meanwhile at Berlin petitions to the Reichstag demanded the expulsion of the Jesuits, and in 1872 an imperial law to this effect was carried; this was again a serious interference with the control over religious matters reserved to May Laws. the states. In Prussia the government, having determined to embark on an anti-Catholic policy, suppressed the Catholic division in the ministry, and appointed a new minister, Falk, a Liberal lawyer of uncompromising character. A law was carried placing the inspection of schools entirely in the hands of the state; hitherto in many provinces it had belonged to the clergy, Catholic or Protestant. This was followed by the measures to which the name Kulturkampf really applied (an expression used first by Virchow to imply that it was a struggle of principle between the teaching of the Church and that of modern society). They were measures in which the state no longer, as in the school inspection law or in the introduction of civil marriage, defended its prerogatives against the Church, but assumed itself a direct control over ecclesiastical matters.

At the end of 1872 and the beginning of 1873 Falk laid before the Prussian Lower House the draft of four laws. Of these, one forbade ministers of religion from abusing ecclesiastical punishment; the second, which was the most important, introduced a law already adopted in Baden, that no one should be appointed to any office in the Church except a German, who must have received his education in a German gymnasium, have studied for three years in a German university, and have passed a state examination in philosophy, history, German literature and classics; all ecclesiastical seminaries were placed under the control of the state, and all seminaries for boys were forbidden. Moreover, every appointment to an ecclesiastical benefice was to be notified to the president of the province, and the confirmation could be refused on the ground that there were facts which could support the assumption that the appointment would be dangerous to public order. The third law appointed a court for trying ecclesiastical offences, to which was given the right of suspending both priests and bishops, and a fourth determined the procedure necessary for those who wished to sever their connexion with the Roman Catholic Church.

As these laws were inconsistent with those articles of the Prussian constitution which guaranteed to a religious corporation the independent management of its own affairs, it was therefore necessary to alter the constitution. This was done, and a later law in 1875 repealed the articles altogether.

The opposition of the bishops to these laws was supported even by many Protestants, especially by the more orthodox Lutherans, who feared the effect of this increased subjection of all churches to the state; they were opposed also by the Conservative members of the Upper House. All, however, was unavailing. Bismarck in this case gave the Liberals a free hand, and the laws eventually were carried and proclaimed on the 15th of May 1873; hence they got the name of the May laws, by which they are always known. The bishops meanwhile had held a meeting at Fulda, at the tomb of St Boniface, whence they addressed a protest to the king, and declared that they would be unable to recognize the laws as valid. They were supported in this by the pope, who addressed a protest personally to the emperor. The laws were put into force with great severity. Within a year six Prussian bishops were imprisoned, and in over 1300 parishes the administration of public worship was suspended. The first sufferer was the cardinal archbishop of Posen, Count Ledochowski. He refused to report to the president of the province appointments of incumbents; he refused also to allow the government commissioners to inspect the seminaries for priests, and when he was summoned before the new court refused to appear. He was then deprived of the temporalities of his office; but the Polish nobles continued to support him, and he continued to act as bishop. Heavy fines were imposed upon him, but he either could not or would not pay them, and in March 1874 he was condemned to imprisonment for two years, and dismissed from his bishopric. The bishop of Trier, the archbishop of Cologne, and other bishops soon incurred a similar fate. These measures of the government, however, did not succeed in winning over the Catholic population, and in the elections for the Reichstag in January 1874 the party of the Centre increased in number from 63 to 91; 1,443,170 votes were received by them. In Bavaria the Ultramontanes won a complete victory over the more moderate Catholics. The Prussian government proceeded to further measures. According to the ordinary practice towards parties in opposition, public meetings were broken up on the smallest pretence, and numerous prosecutions for insult to government officials (Beamtenbeleidigung) were brought against members of the party. The Catholic agitation was, however, carried on with increased vigour throughout the whole empire; over a hundred newspapers were founded (three years before there had been only about six Catholic papers in the whole of Germany), and great numbers of pamphlets and other polemical works were published. The bishops from their prisons continued to govern the dioceses; for this purpose they appointed representatives, to whom they transferred their rights as ordinary and secretly authorized priests to celebrate services and to perform the other duties of an incumbent. To meet this a further law was passed in the Prussian parliament, forbidding the exercise of ecclesiastical offices by unauthorized persons, and it contained a provision that any one who had been convicted under the law could be deprived of his rights of citizenship, ordered to live in a particular district, or even expelled from the kingdom. The result was that in numerous parishes the police were occupied in searching for the priest who was living there among the people; although his habitation was known to hundreds of people, the police seldom succeeded in arresting him. Bismarck confesses that his doubts as to the wisdom of this legislation were raised by the picture of heavy but honest gens d’armes pursuing light-footed priests from house to house. This law was followed by one authorizing the government to suspend, in every diocese where the bishop continued recalcitrant, the payment of that contribution to the Roman Catholic Church which by agreement had been given by the state since 1817. The only result of this was that large sums were collected by voluntary contribution among the Roman Catholic population.

The government tried to find priests to occupy the vacant parishes; few consented to do so, and the Staatskatholiken who consented to the new laws were avoided by their parishioners. Men refused to attend their ministrations; in some cases they were subjected to what was afterwards called boycotting, and it was said that their lives were scarcely safe. Other laws excluded all religious orders from Prussia, and civil marriage was made compulsory; this law, which at first was confined to Prussia, was afterwards passed also in the Reichstag.

These laws were all peculiar to Prussia, but similar legislation was carried out in Baden and in Hesse, where in 1871, after twenty-one years of office, the particularist and Conservative government of Dalwigk[6] had come to an end and after the interval of a year been succeeded by a Liberal ministry. In Württemberg alone the government continued to live peaceably with the bishops.

The government had used all its resources; it had alienated millions of the people; it had raised up a compact party of nearly a hundred members in parliament. The attempt of the Liberals to subjugate the Church had given to the Papacy greater power than it had had since the time of Wallenstein.

The ecclesiastical legislation and other Liberal measures completed the alienation between Bismarck and the Conservatives. In the Prussian parliament seventy-three members broke off from the rest, calling themselves the “old Conservatives”; they used their position at court to intrigue against him, and hoped to Reaction against Liberalism. bring about his fall; Count Arnim (q.v.) was looked upon as his successor. In 1876, however, the party in Prussia, reunited on a programme which demanded the maintenance of the Christian character of the schools, cessation of the Kulturkampf, limitation of economic liberty, and repression of social democracy, and this was accepted also by the Conservatives in the Reichstag. This reunion of the Conservatives became the nucleus of a great reaction against Liberalism. It was not confined to any one department of life, but included Protection as against Free Trade, State Socialism as against individualism, the defence of religion as against a separation of Church and State, increased stress laid on the monarchical character of the state, continued increase of the army, and colonial expansion.

The causes of the change in public opinion, of which this was to be the beginning, are too deep-seated to be discussed here. We must note that it was not peculiar to Germany; it was part of that great reaction against Liberal doctrine which marked the last quarter of the 19th century in so many countries. In Germany, however, it more rapidly attained political importance than elsewhere, because Bismarck used it to carry out a great change of policy. He had long been dissatisfied with his position. He was much embarrassed by the failure of his ecclesiastical policy. The alliance with the Liberals had always been half-hearted, and he wished to regain his full freedom of action; he regarded as an uncontrollable bondage all support that was not given unconditionally. The alliance had been of the nature of a limited co-operation between two hostile powers for a definite object; there had always been suspicion and jealousy on either side, and a rupture had often been imminent, as in the debates on the military bill and the law reform. Now that the immediate object had been attained, he wished to pass on to other projects in which they could not follow him. Political unity had been firmly established; he desired to use the whole power of the imperial government in developing the material resources of the country. In doing this he placed himself in opposition to both the financial and the economic doctrines of the Liberals.

The new period which now begins was introduced by some alterations in the official organization. Hitherto almost the whole of the internal business had been concentrated in the imperial chancery (Reichskanzleramt), and Bismarck had allowed great freedom of action to Delbrück, the head of the office. Delbrück, however, had resigned Official changes. in 1876, justly foreseeing that a change of policy was imminent in which he could no longer co-operate with Bismarck. The work of the office was then divided between several departments, at the head of each of which was placed a separate official, the most important receiving the title of secretary of state. Bismarck, as always, refused to appoint ministers directly responsible either to the emperor or to parliament; the new officials in no way formed a collegiate ministry or cabinet. He still retained in his own hands, as sole responsible minister, the ultimate control over the whole imperial administration. The more important secretaries of state, however, are political officials, who are practically almost solely responsible for their department; they sit in the Bundesrat, and defend their policy in the Reichstag, and they often have a seat in the Prussian ministry. Moreover, a law of 1878, the occasion of which was Bismarck’s long absence from Berlin, empowered the chancellor to appoint a substitute or representative (Stellvertreter) either for the whole duties of his office or for the affairs of a particular department. The signature of a man who holds this position gives legal validity to the acts of the emperor.

This reorganization was a sign of the great increase of work which had already begun to fall on the imperial authorities, and was a necessary step towards the further duties which Bismarck intended to impose upon them.

Meanwhile the relations with the National Liberals reached a crisis. Bismarck remained in retirement at Varzin for nearly a year; before he returned to Berlin, at the end of 1877, he was visited by Bennigsen, and the Liberal leader was offered the post of vice-president of the Prussian ministry and vice-president of the Bundesrat. The negotiations broke down, apparently because Bennigsen refused to accept office unless he received a guarantee that the constitutional rights of the Reichstag should be respected, and unless two other members of the party, Forckenbeck and Stauffenberg, were given office. Bismarck would not assent to these conditions, and, even if he had been willing to do so, could hardly have overcome the prejudices of the emperor. On the other hand, Bennigsen refused to accept Bismarck’s proposal for a state monopoly of tobacco. From the beginning the negotiations were indeed doomed to failure, for what Bismarck appears to have aimed at was to detach Bennigsen from the rest of his party and win his support for an anti-Liberal policy.

The session of 1878, therefore, opened with a feeling of great uncertainty. The Liberals were very suspicious of Bismarck’s intentions. Proposals for new taxes, especially one on tobacco, were not carried. Bismarck took the opportunity Period after 1878. of avowing that his ideal was a monopoly of tobacco, and this statement was followed by the resignation of Camphausen, minister of finance. It was apparent that there was no prospect of his being able to carry through the great financial reform which he contemplated. He was looking about for an opportunity of appealing to the country on some question which would enable him to free himself from the control of the Liberal majority. The popular expectations were expressed in the saying attributed to him, that he would “crush the Liberals against the wall.” The opportunity was given by the Social Democrats.

The constant increase of the Social Democrats had for some years caused much uneasiness not only to the government, but also among the middle classes. The attacks on national feeling, the protest against the war of 1870, Social democracy. the sympathy expressed for the Communards, had offended the strongest feelings of the nation, especially as the language used was often very violent; the soldiers were spoken of as murderers, the generals as cut-throats. Attacks on religion, though not an essential part of the party programme, were common, and practically all avowed Social Democrats were hostile to Christianity. These qualities, combined with the open criticism of the institutions of marriage, of monarchy, and of all forms of private property, joined to the deliberate attempt to stir up class hatred, which was indeed an essential part of their policy, caused a widespread feeling that the Social Democrats were a serious menace to civilization. They were looked upon even by many Liberals as an enemy to be crushed; much more was this the case with the government. Attempts had already been made to check the growth of the party. Charges of high treason were brought against some. In 1872 Bebel and Liebknecht were condemned to two years’ imprisonment. In 1876 Bismarck proposed to introduce into the Criminal Code a clause making it an offence punishable with two years’ imprisonment “to attack in print the family, property, universal military service, or other foundation of public order, in a manner which undermined morality, feeling for law, or the love of the Fatherland.” The opposition of the Liberals prevented this from being carried. Lasker objected to these “elastic paragraphs,” an expression for which in recent years there has been abundant use. The ordinary law was, however, sufficient greatly to harass the Socialists. In nearly every state there still existed, as survivals of the old days, laws forbidding the union of different political associations with one another, and all unions or associations of working men which followed political, socialistic or communistic ends. It was possible under these to procure decisions in courts of justice dissolving the General Union of Workers and the coalitions and unions of working men. The only result was, that the number of Socialists steadily increased. In 1874 they secured nine seats in the Reichstag, in 1877 twelve, and nearly 500,000 votes were given to Socialist candidates.

There was then no ground for surprise that, when in April 1878 an attempt was made on the life of the emperor, Bismarck used the excuse for again bringing in a law expressly directed against the Socialists. It was badly drawn up Legislation against the Socialists. and badly defended. The National Liberals refused to vote for it, and it was easily defeated. The Reichstag was prorogued; six days later a man named Nobiling again shot at the emperor, and this time inflicted dangerous injuries. It is only fair to say that no real proof was brought that the Socialists had anything to do with either of these crimes, or that either of the men was really a member of the Socialist party; nevertheless, a storm of indignation rose against them. The government seized the opportunity. So great was the popular feeling, that a repressive measure would easily have been carried; Bismarck, however, while the excitement was at its height, dissolved the Reichstag, and in the elections which took place immediately, the Liberal parties, who had refused to vote for the first law, lost a considerable number of seats, and with them their control over the Reichstag.

The first use which Bismarck made of the new parliament was to deal with the Social Democrats. A new law was introduced forbidding the spread of Socialistic opinions by books, newspapers or public meetings, empowering the police to break up meetings and to suppress newspapers. The Bundesrat could proclaim a state of siege in any town or district, and when this was done any individual who was considered dangerous by the police could be expelled. The law was carried by a large majority, being opposed only by the Progressives and the Centre. It was applied with great severity. The whole organization of newspapers, societies and trades unions was at once broken up. Almost every political newspaper supported by the party was suppressed; almost all the pamphlets and books issued by them were forbidden; they were thereby at once deprived of the only legitimate means which they had for spreading their opinions. In the autumn of 1878 the minor state of siege was proclaimed in Berlin, although no disorders had taken place and no resistance had been attempted, and sixty-seven members of the party were excluded from the city. Most of them were married and had families; money was collected in order to help those who were suddenly deprived of their means of subsistence. Even this was soon forbidden by the police. At elections every kind of agitation, whether by meetings of the party or by distribution of literature, was suppressed. The only place in Germany where Socialists could still proclaim their opinions was in the Reichstag. Bismarck attempted to exclude them from it also. In this, however, he failed. Two members who had been expelled from Berlin appeared in the city for the meeting of the Reichstag at the end of 1878. The government at once asked permission that they should be charged with breaking the law. The constitution provided that no member of the House might be brought before a court of justice without the permission of the House, a most necessary safeguard. In this case the permission was almost unanimously refused. Nor did they assent to Bismarck’s proposal that the Reichstag should assume power to exclude from the House members who were guilty of misusing the liberty of speech which they enjoyed there. Bismarck probably expected, and it is often said that he hoped, to drive the Socialists into some flagrant violation of the law, of such a kind that it would be possible for him completely to crush them. This did not happen. There were some members of the party who wished to turn to outrage and assassination. Most, a printer from Leipzig, who had been expelled from Berlin, went to London, where he founded the Freiheit, a weekly paper, in which he advocated a policy of violence. He was thereupon excluded from the party, and after the assassination of the emperor Alexander II. of Russia had to leave England for Chicago. A similar expulsion befell others who advocated union with the Anarchists. As a whole, however, the party remained firm in opposition to any action which would strengthen the hands of their opponents. They carried on the agitation as best they could, chiefly by distributing reports of speeches made in the Reichstag. A weekly paper, the Social-Democrat, was established at Zürich. Its introduction into Germany was of course forbidden, but it was soon found possible regularly to distribute thousands of copies every week in every part of the country, and it continued to exist till 1887 at Zürich, and till 1890 in London. In August of 1880 a congress of Socialists was held at the castle of Wyden, in Switzerland, at which about eighty members of the party met, discussed their policy, and separated before the police knew anything of it. Here it was determined that the members of the Reichstag, who were protected by their position, should henceforward be the managing committee of the party, and arrangements were made for contesting the elections of 1881. A similar meeting was held in 1883 at Copenhagen, and in 1887 at St Gallen, in Switzerland. Notwithstanding all the efforts of the government, though every kind of public agitation was forbidden, they succeeded in winning twelve seats in 1881. The law, which had obviously failed, was renewed in 1881; the state of siege was applied to Hamburg, Leipzig and Stettin, but all to no purpose; and though the law was twice more renewed, in 1886 and in 1888, the feeling began to grow that the Socialists were more dangerous under it than they had been before.

The elections of 1878, by weakening the Liberal parties, enabled Bismarck also to take in hand the great financial reform which he had long contemplated.

At the foundation of the North German Confederation it had been arranged that the imperial exchequer should receive the produce of all customs duties and also of excise. It depended chiefly on the taxes on salt, tobacco, brandy, beer and sugar. So far as the imperial expenses were not covered by these sources of revenue, until imperial taxes Financial reform. were introduced, the deficit had to be covered by “matricular” contributions paid by the individual states in proportion to their population. All attempts to introduce fresh imperial taxes had failed. Direct taxation was opposed by the governments of the states, which did not desire to see the imperial authorities interfering in those sources of revenue over which they had hitherto had sole control; moreover, the whole organization for collecting direct taxes would have had to be created. At the same time, owing to the adoption of free trade, the income from customs was continually diminishing. The result was that the sum to be contributed by the individual states constantly increased, and the amount to be raised by direct taxation, including local rates, threatened to become greater than could conveniently be borne. Bismarck had always regarded this system with disapproval, but during the first four or five years he had left the care of the finances entirely to the special officials, and had always been thwarted in his occasional attempts to introduce a change. His most cherished project was a large increase in the tax on tobacco, which at this time paid, for homegrown tobacco, the nominal duty of four marks per hundred kilo. (about a farthing a pound), and on imported tobacco twenty-four marks. Proposals to increase it had been made in 1869 and in 1878, and on the latter occasion Bismarck for the first time publicly announced his desire for a state monopoly, a project which he never gave up, but for which he never was able to win any support. Now, however, he was able to take up the work. At his invitation a conference of the finance ministers met in July at Heidelberg; they agreed to a great increase in the indirect taxes, but refused to accept the monopoly on tobacco. At the beginning of the autumn session a union of 204 members of the Reichstag was formed for the discussion of economic questions, and they accepted Bismarck’s reforms. In December he was therefore able to issue a memorandum explaining his policy; it included a moderate duty, about 5%, on all imported goods, with the exception of raw material required for German manufactures (this was a return to the old Prussian principle); high finance duties on tobacco, beer, brandy and petroleum; and protective duties on iron, corn, cattle, wood, wine and sugar. The whole of the session of 1879 was occupied with the great struggle between Free Trade and Protection, and it ended with Protection. a decisive victory for the latter. On the one side were the seaports, the chambers of commerce, and the city of Berlin, the town council of which made itself the centre of the opposition. The victory was secured by a coalition between the agricultural interests and the manufacturers; the latter promised to vote for duties on corn if the landlords would support the duties on iron. In the decisive vote the duty on iron was carried by 218 to 88, on corn by 226 to 109. The principle of protection was thus definitely adopted, though considerable alterations have been made from time to time in the tariff. The result was that the income from customs and excise rose from about 230 million marks in 1878–1879 to about 700 millions in 1898–1899, and Bismarck’s object in removing a great burden from the states was attained.

The natural course when the new source of income had been obtained would have been simply to relieve the states of part or all of their contribution. This, however, was not done. The Reichstag raised difficulties on the constitutional question. The Liberals feared that if the government received so large a permanent source of State contributions. revenue it would be independent of parliament; the Centre, that if the contributions of the states to the imperial exchequer ceased, the central government would be completely independent of the states. Bismarck had to come to an agreement with one party or the other; he chose the Centre, probably for the reason that the National Liberals were themselves divided on the policy to be pursued, and therefore their support would be uncertain; and he accepted an amendment, the celebrated Franckenstein Clause, proposed by Georg Arbogast Freiherr von Franckenstein (1825–1890), one of the leaders of the Centre, by which all proceeds of customs and the tax on tobacco above 130 million marks should be paid over to the individual states in proportion to their population. Each year a large sum would be paid to the states from the imperial treasury, and another sum as before paid back to meet the deficit in the form of state contributions. From 1871 to 1879 the contribution of the states had varied from 94 to 67 million marks; under the new system the surplus of the contributions made by the states over the grant by the imperial treasury was soon reduced to a very small sum, and in 1884–1885 payments of the empire to the states exceeded the contributions of the states to the empire by 20 million marks, and this excess continued for many years; so that there was, as it were, an actual grant in relief of direct taxation. In Prussia, by the Lex Huene, from 1885 to 1895, all that sum paid to Prussia, so far as it exceeded 15 million marks, was handed over to the local authorities in relief of rates. The increased expenditure on the navy after 1897 again caused the contributions required from the states to exceed the grants to them from the imperial exchequer. In 1903 Baron von Stengel, who succeeded Baron von Thielmann as finance minister in this year, proposed that the matricular contributions of the several states, instead of varying as heretofore with the exigencies of the annual budget, should be fixed by law. This plan, originally suggested by Dr von Miquel, was adopted by the Reichstag in May 1904. The deficits in the imperial budget, however, continued. In 1909 the whole system of German imperial finance was once more in the melting-pot, and, in spite of the undoubted wealth of the country, the conflict of state and party interests seemed to make it practically impossible to remould it on a satisfactory basis.

The acceptance by Bismarck of the principle of Protection and his alliance with the Catholic Centre were followed by the disruption of the National Liberal party and a complete Party changes. change in the parliamentary situation. Already the Liberal ministers, Falk and Hobrecht, had resigned, as well as Max von Forckenbeck the president, and Stauffenberg the vice-president of the Reichstag; in their place there were chosen a Conservative, and the Catholic Baron von Franckenstein. The whole party had voted against the Franckenstein Clause, but a few days later fifteen of the right wing left the party and transferred their support to the government. For another year the remainder kept together, but there was no longer any real harmony or co-operation; in 1880 nineteen, including most of the ablest leaders, Lasker, Forckenbeck, Bamberger and Bunsen, left the party altogether. The avowed cause of difference was commercial policy; they were the Free Traders, but they also justly foresaw that the reaction would extend to other Secessionists. matters. They took the name of the Liberale Vereinigung, but were generally known as the Sezessionisten; they hoped to become the nucleus of a united Liberal party in which all sections should join together on the principles of Free Trade and constitutional development. At the elections of 1881 they secured forty-seven seats, but they were not strong enough to maintain themselves, and with great reluctance in 1884 formed a coalition with the Progressives (Freisinnigen), who had gained greatly in strength owing to the breach among the government parties. They did so reluctantly, because they would thereby condemn themselves to assume that attitude of purely negative criticism which, during the great days of their prosperity, they had looked down upon with contempt, and were putting themselves under the leadership of Eugen Richter, whom they had long opposed. The new party, the Deutschfreisinnige, Freisinnige. had no success; at the election of 1884 they secured only sixty-seven seats, a loss of thirty-nine; they were subjected to all inconveniences which belonged to opposition; socially, they were boycotted by all who were connected with the court or government; they were cut off from all hope of public activity, and were subjected to constant accusations for Bismarck Beleidigung. Their only hope was in the time when the crown prince, who had shown great sympathy with them, should succeed. They were popularly known as the crown prince’s party. Lasker soon died; others, such as Forckenbeck and Bunsen, retired from public life, unable to maintain their position at a time when the struggle of class interests had superseded the old conflicts of principle. At the election of 1887 they lost more than half their seats, and in 1893 the party again broke up.

The remainder of the National Liberals only won forty-five seats in 1881, and during the next three years they were without influence on the government; and even Bennigsen, unable to follow Bismarck in his new policy, disgusted at the proposals for biennial budgets and the misuse of government influence at the elections, retired from political life. In 1884 a new development took place: under the influence of Miquel a meeting was held at Heidelberg of the South German members of the party, who accepted the commercial and social policy of the government, including the Socialist law; their programme received Bismarck’s approval, and was accepted by the rest of the party, so that they henceforward were taken into favour by the government; but they had won the position by sacrificing almost all the characteristics of the older Liberalism; the hope of a reunion for all the different sections which had hitherto kept the name of Liberal was at an end.

These events had a very unfortunate effect on the character of the parliament. From 1878 to 1887 there was no strong party on which Bismarck could depend for support. After 1881 the parties of opposition were considerably strengthened. Alsatians Political reaction. and Poles, Guelphs, Clericals and Radicals were joined in a common hostility to the government. Parliamentary history took the form of a hostile criticism of the government proposals, which was particularly bitter because of the irreconcilable opposition of the Free Traders. Few of the proposals were carried in their entirety, many were completely lost; the tobacco monopoly and the brandy monopoly were contemptuously rejected by enormous majorities; even an increase of the tax on tobacco was refused; the first proposals for a subsidy to the Norddeutsche Lloyd were rejected. The personal relations of the chancellor to Parliament were never so bitter. At the same time, in Prussia there was a tendency to make more prominent the power of the king and to diminish the influence of the parliament. A proposal to introduce biennial budgets was for this reason regarded with great suspicion by the Opposition as a reactionary measure, and rejected. The old feelings of suspicion and jealousy were again aroused; the hostility which Bismarck encountered was scarcely less than in the old days of the conflict. After the elections of 1881 a protest was raised against the systematic influence exercised by Prussian officials. Puttkammer, who had now become minister of the interior, defended the practice, and a royal edict of 4th January 1882 affirmed the monarchical character of the Prussian constitution, the right of the king personally to direct the policy of the state, and required those officials who held appointments of a political nature to defend the policy of the government, even at elections.

One result of the new policy was a reconciliation with the Centre. Now that Bismarck could no longer depend on the support of the Liberals, it would be impossible to carry on the government if the Catholics maintained their End of the Kulturkampf. policy of opposition to all government measures. They had supported him in his commercial reform of 1878, but by opposing the Septennate in 1880 they had shown that he could not depend upon them. It was impossible to continue to treat as enemies of the state a party which had supplied one of the vice-presidents to the Reichstag, and which after the election of 1881 outnumbered by forty votes any other single party. Moreover, the government, which was now very seriously alarmed at the influence of the Social Democrats, was anxious to avail itself of every influence which might be used against them. In the struggle to regain the adherence of the working men it seemed as though religion would be the most valuable ally, and it was impossible to ignore the fact that the Roman Catholic priests had alone been able to form an organization in which hundreds of thousands of working men had been enlisted. It was therefore for every reason desirable to remedy a state of things by which so many parishes were left without incumbents, a condition the result of which must be either to diminish the hold of Christianity over the people, or to confirm in them the belief that the government was the real enemy of Christianity. It was not easy to execute this change of front with dignity, and impossible to do so without forsaking the principles on which they had hitherto acted. Ten years were to pass before the work was completed. But the cause of the conflict had been rather in the opinions of the Liberals than in the personal desire of Bismarck himself. The larger political reasons which had brought about the conflict were also no longer valid; the fears to which the Vatican decrees had given rise had not been fulfilled; the failure of the Carlists in Spain and of the Legitimists in France, the consolidation of the new kingdom in Italy, and the alliance with Austria had dispelled the fear of a Catholic league. The growth of the Catholic democracy in Germany was a much more serious danger, and it proved to be easier to come to terms with the pope than with the parliamentary Opposition. It would clearly be impossible to come to any agreement on the principles. Bismarck hoped, indeed, putting all questions of principle aside, to establish a modus vivendi; but even this was difficult to attain. An opportunity was given by the death of the pope in 1878. Leo XIII. notified his accession to the Prussian government in a courteous despatch; the interchange of letters was followed by a confidential discussion between Bismarck and Cardinal Franchi at Kissingen during the summer of 1878. The hope that this might bring about some agreement was frustrated by the sudden death of the cardinal, and his successor was more under the influence of the Jesuits and the more extreme party. Bismarck, however, was not discouraged.

The resignation of Falk in July 1879 was a sign of the change of policy; he was succeeded by Puttkammer, who belonged to the old-fashioned Prussian Conservatives and had no sympathy with the Liberal legislation. The way was further prepared by a lenient use of the penal laws. On the 24th of February 1880 the pope, in a letter to the ex-archbishop of Cologne, said he was willing to allow clerical appointments to be notified if the government withdrew the obnoxious laws. In 1880 a provisional Bill was submitted to parliament giving the crown discretionary power not to enforce the laws. It was opposed by the Liberals on the ground that it conceded too much, by the Clericals that it granted too little, but, though carried only in a mutilated form, it enabled the priests who had been ejected to appoint substitutes, and religious worship was restored in nearly a thousand parishes. In the elections of 1881 the Centre gained five more seats, and in 1883 a new law was introduced prolonging and extending that of 1881. Meanwhile a Prussian envoy had again been appointed at the Vatican; all but three of the vacant bishoprics were filled by agreement between the pope and the king, and the sequestrated revenues were restored. Finally, in 1886, a fresh law, besides other concessions, did away with the Kultur Examen, and exempted seminaries from state control. It also abolished the ecclesiastical court, which, in fact, had proved to be almost unworkable, for no priests would appeal to it. By this, the real Kulturkampf, the attempt of the state to control the intellect and faith of the clergy, ceased. A further law of 1887 permitted the return to Prussia of those orders which were occupied in charitable work.

As permanent results of the conflict there remain only the alteration in the Prussian constitution and the expulsion of the Jesuits; the Centre continued to demand the repeal of this, and to make it the price of their support of government measures; in 1897 the Bundesrat permitted the return of the Redemptorists, an allied order. With these exceptions absolute religious peace resulted; the Centre to a great extent succeeded to the position which the National Liberals formerly held; in Bavaria, in Baden, in Prussia they obtained a dominant position, and they became a government party.

Meanwhile Bismarck, who was not intimidated by the parliamentary opposition, irritating and embarrassing though it was, resolutely proceeded with his task of developing the material resources of the empire. In order to do so Nationalization of railways. the better, he undertook, in addition to his other offices, that of Prussian minister of commerce. He was now able to carry out, at least partially, his railway schemes, for he could afford to ignore Liberal dislike to state railways, and if he was unable to make all the lines imperial, he could make most of them Prussian. The work was continued by his successors, and by the year 1896 there remained only about 2000 kilometres of private railways in Prussia; of these none except those in East Prussia belonged to companies of any great importance. More than this, Bismarck was able to obtain Prussian control of the neighbouring states; in 1886 the Brunswick railways were acquired by the Prussian government, and in 1895 the private lines in Thuringia. The imperial railways in Alsace-Lorraine are managed in close connexion with the Prussian system, and in 1895 an important step was taken towards extending Prussian influence in the south. A treaty was made between Prussia and Hesse by which the two states together bought up the Hesse-Ludwig railway (the most important private company remaining in Germany), and in addition to this agreed that they would form a special union for the joint administration of all the lines belonging to either state. What this means is that the Hessian lines are managed by the Prussian department, but Hesse has the right of appointing one director, and the expenses and profits are divided between the two states in proportion to their population. Thus a nucleus and precedent has been formed similar to that by which the Zollverein was begun, and it was hoped that it might be possible to arrange similar agreements with other states, so that in this way a common management for all lines might be established. There is, however, strong opposition, especially in South Germany, and most of the states cling to the separate management of their own lines. Fearful that Prussia might obtain control over the private lines, they have imitated Prussian policy and acquired all railways for the state, and much of the old opposition to Prussia is revived in defence of the local railways.

A natural supplement to the nationalization of railways was the development of water communication. This is of great importance in Germany, as all the chief coal-fields and manufacturing districts—Silesia, Saxony, Westphalia Canals. and Alsace—are far removed from the sea. The most important works were the canal from Dortmund to the mouth of the Ems, and the Jāhde canal from the Ems to the Elbe, which enables Westphalian coal to reach the sea, and so to compete better with English coal. In addition to this, however, a large number of smaller works were undertaken, such as the canalization of the Main from Frankfort to the Rhine; and a new canal from the Elbe to Lübeck. The great ship canal from Kiel to the Elbe, which was begun in 1887 and completed in 1896, has perhaps even more importance for naval than for commercial purposes. The Rhine, so long the home of romance, has become one of the great arteries of traffic, and lines of railways on both sides have caused small villages to become large towns. The Prussian government also planned a great scheme by which the Westphalian coal-fields should be directly connected with the Rhine in one direction and the Elbe in the other by a canal which would join together Minden, Hanover and Magdeburg. This would give uninterrupted water communication from one end of the country to the other, for the Elbe, Oder and Vistula are all navigable rivers connected by canals. This project, which was a natural continuation of Bismarck’s policy, was, however, rejected by the Prussian parliament in 1899. The opposition came from the Agrarians and extreme Conservatives, who feared that it would enable foreign corn to compete on better terms with German corn; they were also jealous of the attention paid by the government to commercial enterprise in which they were not immediately interested. The project was again laid by the government before the Prussian Landtag on the 14th of April 1901 and was again rejected. In 1904 it was once more introduced in the modified form of a proposal of a canal from the Rhine to Leine in Hanover, with a branch from Datteln to Ham, and also of a canal from Berlin to Stettin. This bill was passed in February 1905.

Equally important was the action of the government in developing foreign trade. The first step was the inclusion of Hamburg and Bremen in the Zollverein; this was necessary if German maritime enterprise was to become Hamburg and Bremen. a national and not merely a local concern, for the two Hansa cities practically controlled the whole foreign trade and owned three-quarters of the shipping; but so long as they were excluded for the Customs Union their interests were more cosmopolitan than national. Both cities, but especially Hamburg, were very reluctant to give up their privileges and the commercial independence which they had enjoyed almost since their foundation. As a clause in the constitution determined that they should remain outside the Customs Union until they voluntarily offered to enter it, there was some difficulty in overcoming their opposition. Bismarck, with characteristic energy, proposed to take steps, by altering the position of the imperial customs stations, which would practically destroy the commerce of Hamburg, and some of his proposals which seemed contrary to the constitution aroused a very sharp resistance in the Bundesrat. It was, however, not necessary to go to extremities, for in 1881 the senate of Hamburg accepted an agreement which, after a keen struggle, was ratified by the citizens. By this Hamburg was to enter the Zollverein; a part of the harbour was to remain a free port, and the empire contributed two million pounds towards rearranging and enlarging the harbour. A similar treaty was made with Bremen, the free port of that city being situated near the mouth of the Weser at Bremerhaven; and in 1888, the necessary works having been completed, the cities entered the Customs Union. They have had no reason to regret the change, for no part of the country profited so much by the great prosperity of the following years, notwithstanding the temporary check caused by the serious outbreak of cholera at Hamburg in 1892.

During the first years of the empire Bismarck had occasionally been asked to interest himself in colonial enterprise. He had refused, for he feared that foreign complications might ensue, and that the country might weaken itself Colonies. by dissipation of energy. He was satisfied that the Germans should profit by the commercial liberty allowed in the British colonies. Many of the Germans were, however, not contented with this, and disputes regarding the rights of German settlers in Fiji caused some change of feeling. The acquisition of German colonies was really the logical and almost necessary sequel of a protective policy. For that reason it was always opposed by the extreme Liberal party.

The failure of the great Hamburg house of Godefroy in 1879 threatened to ruin the growing German industries in the South Seas, which it had helped to build up. Bismarck therefore consented to apply to the Reichstag for a state guarantee to a company which would take over its great plantations in Samoa. This was refused, chiefly owing to the influence of the Liberal party. Bismarck therefore, who took this rebuff much to heart, said he would have nothing more to do with the matter, and warned those interested in colonies that they must depend on self-help; he could do nothing for them. By the support of some of the great financial firms they succeeded in forming a company, which carried on the business and undertook fresh settlements on the islands to the north of New Guinea. This event led also to the foundation of a society, the Deutscher Kolonial Verein, under the presidency of the prince of Hohenlohe-Langenburg, to educate public opinion. Their immediate object was the acquisition of trading stations. The year 1884 brought a complete change. Within a few months Germany acquired extended possessions in several parts both of Africa and the South Seas. This was rendered possible owing to the good understanding which at that time existed between Germany and France. Bismarck therefore no longer feared, as he formerly had, to encounter the difficulties with Great Britain which would be the natural result of a policy of colonial expansion.

His conversion to the views of the colonial party was gradual, as was seen in his attitude to the proposed acquisition of German stations in South-West Africa. In Namaqualand and Damaraland, British influence, exercised from Cape Africa. Colony, had long been strong, but the British government had refused to annex the country even when asked so to do by the German missionaries who laboured among the natives. In 1882 F. A. Lüderitz, a Bremen tobacco merchant, approached Bismarck on the question of establishing a trading station on the coast at Angra Pequeña. The chancellor, while not discouraging Lüderitz, acted with perfect fairness to Great Britain, and throughout 1883 that country might have acted had she known her mind. She did not, and in the summer of 1884 Bismarck decided no longer to await her pleasure, and the south-west coast of Africa from the frontier of the Portuguese possessions to the Orange river, with the exception of Walfish Bay, was taken under German protection. During the same year Dr Nachtigal was despatched to the west coast, and stealing a march on his British and French rivals he secured not only Togoland but Cameroon for the Germans. On the east coast Bismarck acted decisively without reference to British interests. A company, the Gesellschaft für deutsche Kolonization, was founded early in 1884 by Dr Carl Peters, who with two companions went off to the east coast of Africa and succeeded in November of that year in negotiating treaties with various chiefs on the mainland who were alleged to be independent of Zanzibar. In this region British opposition had to be considered, but in February 1885 a German protectorate over the territory acquired by Peters was proclaimed.

Similar events took place in the South Seas. The acquisition of Samoa, where German interests were most extensive, was prevented (for the time being) by the arrangement made in 1879 with Great Britain and the United States. But in 1884 and The Pacific. 1885 the German flag was hoisted on the north of New Guinea (to which the name Kaiser Wilhelmsland has been given), on several parts of the New Britain Archipelago (which afterwards became the Bismarck Archipelago), and on the Caroline Islands. The last acquisition was not kept. The Spanish government claimed the islands, and Bismarck, in order to avoid a struggle which would have been very disastrous to monarchical government in Spain, suggested that the pope should be asked to mediate. Leo XIII. accepted the offer, which was an agreeable reminiscence of the days when popes determined the limits of the Spanish colonial empire, all the more gratefully that it was made by a Protestant power. He decided in favour of Spain, Germany being granted certain rights in the islands. The loss of the islands was amply compensated for by the political advantages which Bismarck gained by this attention to the pope, and, after all, not many years elapsed before they became German.

Bismarck in his colonial policy had repeatedly explained that he did not propose to found provinces or take over for the government the responsibility for their administration; he intended to leave the responsibility for their material development to the merchants, and even to entrust to them the actual government. He avowedly wished to imitate the older form of British colonization by means of chartered companies, which had been recently revived in the North Borneo Company; the only responsibility of the imperial government was to be their protection from foreign aggression. In accordance with this policy, the territories were not actually incorporated in the empire (there would also have been constitutional difficulties in doing that), and they were officially known as Protectorates (Schutzgebiete), a word which thus acquired a new signification. In 1885 two new great companies were founded to undertake the government. The Deutsch-Ost-Afrika Gesellschaft, with a capital of £200,000, took over the territories acquired by Dr Peters, and for the South Seas the Neu-Guinea Gesellschaft, founded by an amalgamation of a number of firms in 1884, received a charter in 1885. It was not, however, possible to limit the imperial responsibility as Bismarck intended. In East Africa the great revolt of the Arabs in 1888 drove the company out of all their possessions, with the exception of the port of Dar-es-Salam. The company was not strong enough to defend itself; troops had to be sent out by the emperor under Captain Wissmann, who as imperial commissioner took over the government. This, which was at first a temporary arrangement, was afterwards made permanent.

The New Guinea Company had less formidable enemies to contend with, and with the exception of a period of three years between 1889 and 1892, they maintained a full responsibility for the administration of their territory till the year 1899, when an agreement was made and ratified in the Reichstag, by which the possession and administration was transferred to the empire in return for a subsidy of £20,000 a year, to be continued for ten years. The whole of the colonies have therefore now come under the direct administration of the empire. They were at first placed under the direction of a special department of the Foreign Office, and in 1890 a council of experts on colonial matters was instituted, while in 1907 a separate office for colonial affairs was created. In 1887 the two chief societies for supporting the colonial movement joined under the name of the Deutsche Kolonialgesellschaft. This society takes a great part in forming public opinion on colonial matters.

This new policy inevitably caused a rivalry of interests with other countries, and especially with Great Britain. In every spot at which the Germans acquired territory they found themselves in opposition to British interests. The settlement of Angra Germany and Great Britain. Pequeña caused much ill-feeling in Cape Colony, which was, however, scarcely justified, for the Cape ministry was equally responsible with the British government for the dilatoriness which led to the loss of what is now German South-West Africa. In Togoland and Cameroon British traders had long been active, and the proclamation of British sovereignty was impending when the German flag was hoisted. The settlement in East Africa menaced the old-established British influence over Zanzibar, which was all the more serious because of the close connexion between Zanzibar and the rulers of the Persian Gulf; and Australia saw with much concern the German settlement in New Guinea, especially as a British Protectorate (which in the view of Australians should have included the whole of what Germany was allowed to take) had previously been established in the island. In Africa Britain and France proceeded to annex territory adjacent to the German acquisitions, and a period followed during which the boundaries of German, French and British possessions were determined by negotiation. The overthrow of Jules Ferry and the danger of war with France made a good understanding with Great Britain of more importance. Bismarck, by summoning a conference to Berlin (1884–1885) to discuss African questions, secured for Germany a European recognition which was very grateful to the colonial parties; and in 1888, by lending his support to the anti-slavery movement of Cardinal Lavigerie, he won the support of the Centre, who had hitherto opposed the colonial policy. Finally a general agreement for the demarcation of Africa was made in 1890 (see Africa, § 5). A similar agreement had been made in 1886 regarding the South Seas. It was made after Bismarck had retired from office, and he, as did the colonial party, severely criticized the details; for the surrender of Zanzibar and Witu cut short the hopes which had been formed of building up a great German empire controlling the whole of East Africa. Many of the colonial party went further, and criticized not only the details, but the principle. They were much offended by Caprivi’s statement that no greater injury could be done to Germany than to give her the whole of Africa, and they refused to accept his contention that “the period of flag-hoisting was over,” and that the time had come for consolidating their possessions. It must, however, be recognized that a continuation of the ambitious policy of the last few years might easily have involved Germany in dangerous disputes.

It appeared a small compensation that Great Britain surrendered to Germany the island of Heligoland, which she had taken from the Danes in the Napoleonic wars. It was annexed to Prussia; the natives born before the year 1880 were exempted from military service, and till the year 1901 no additional import duties were to be imposed. Heligoland. It has been strongly fortified and made a naval station.

It was easy for the Opposition to criticize the colonial policy. They could point out that, with the exception of parts of South-West Africa, no territory had been acquired in which any large number of German emigrants could live and rear families. They went as a rule to the United States and South America, or to territories under the Progress of German colonial expansion. British flag. As markets for German products the colonies remained of small importance; in 1907 the whole value of the trade, import and export, between Germany and her colonies was less than £3,300,000, and the cost of administration, including the grant to the shipping companies, often exceeded the total trade. Many mistakes were made in the administration, and cases of misconduct by individual officials formed the text for attacks on the whole system. Generally, however, these criticisms were premature; it was surely wise, while the opportunity was still open, to take care that Germany, in the partition of the world among European races, should not alone go entirely without a share. The lack of colonial experience, and, often, the lack of sympathy with, or understanding of, the negro and other races over whom they had assumed a protectorate, were contributory causes in the slow development of Germany’s African colonies. The unwillingness of the Reichstag to sanction the expenditure of any large sums on railways and other public works also hindered the exploitation of the economic resources of very large areas. Yet at the close of the first twenty-five years’ existence of the colonial empire it might be said that the initial difficulties had been overcome, and sufficient knowledge gained to ensure Germany a return fairly commensurate with the efforts she had put forth. The necessity to enlist the interests of the natives on the side of the government, if any progress was to be made in industry or trade, was a lesson slowly learned. After the Arab Colonial wars. The Herero rising. opposition had been crushed on the east coast of Africa, there still remained the native states to be dealt with, and few tribes voluntarily submitted to European control. There was a serious rising in 1905–1906, when thousands of lives were lost. In Togoland there were disturbances of a comparatively minor character; in the Cameroon hinterland campaigns were undertaken against the Fulu and Bornuese princes. It was, however, in South-West Africa that the Germans had their chief and most bitter experience in colonial warfare. Though “annexed” in 1884 it was not till ten years later, after protracted fighting, that the Hottentots of Namaqualand recognized Germany. After another decade of comparative peace war again broke out (1903) and spread from the Hottentots to the Herero. The Anglo-Boer War had then but recently ended, and in Germany generally, and especially in military circles, it had provoked much adverse criticism on the inability of the British to bring the contest to a speedier conclusion. To their surprise the Germans now found that, against an inferior foe operating in a more restricted area, they were unable to do as well as the British army had done. The story of the war is told elsewhere (see German South-West Africa); it lasted well into 1908 and the Germans were indebted to the Cape Mounted Police for material help in bringing it to an end. As it progressed the Germans adopted many of the methods employed by the British in their colonial wars, and they learned to appreciate more accurately the immensity of the task which Lord Kitchener accomplished in overcoming the guerrilla warfare in the Boer republics.

It was obviously little use acquiring colonies and creating manufactures if German foreign trade was to be in the hands of other nations. As early as 1881 the government had published a proposal for a subvention to German shipping; it was criticized with peculiar energy by Bamberger and the Free Traders; a Bill introduced in 1884 was Enlarged industrial policy. abandoned, but in 1885 Bismarck succeeded in carrying a vote by which, for fifteen years, four million marks could annually be devoted to helping a line of mail steamers to the Pacific and Australia and a branch line in the Mediterranean. An agreement was made with the Norddeutsche Lloyd, one clause of which was that all the new steamers were to be built in Germany; in 1890 a further vote was passed for a line to Delagoa Bay and Zanzibar. This far from exhausts the external activity of the nation and the government: the establishment of studentships for the study of oriental languages enabled Germans to make their way in the Turkish and Persian empires, and to open up a fresh market for German goods; by the great excavations at Pergamum and Olympia Germany entered with great distinction on a field in which the way had been shown by France and Great Britain. The progress of technical studies and industrial enterprise enabled Germany to take a leading place in railway and shipbuilding, in the manufacture of military weapons, in chemical experiments, and in electrical work.

It was a part of the new policy not only to combat Social Democracy by repression, but to win the confidence of the working men by extending to them the direct protection of the state. Recent legislation, culminating in the Gewerbeordnung of 1869, had, in accordance with the principles of the Liberal Economists, or, as the Germans called Social reforms. it, the Manchester School, instituted freedom from state control in the relations between employers and workmen. The old gilds had been destroyed, compulsory apprenticeship had ceased; little protection, however, was given to the working men, and the restrictions on the employment of women and children were of little use, as there was no efficient system of factory inspection. It was difficult for the men by their own exertions to improve their condition, for the masters had full liberty of association, which the law refused to the workmen. Even before 1870 a protest was raised against this system among the Roman Catholics, who were chiefly concerned for the preservation of family life, which was threatened by the growth of the factory system and also by the teaching of the Social Democrats. Baron von Ketteler, archbishop of Mainz, had maintained that it was the duty of the state to secure working men work and provision during sickness and old age. The general interest of the Church in the social question was recognized by a congress of the bishops at Fulda. Ketteler’s work was continued by Canon Moufang, and Catholics brought forward motions in the Reichstag demanding Christian socialism. new factory legislation. The peculiar importance of the Catholic movement is that it alone was able to some extent to meet the Socialists on their own ground. The Catholics formed societies which were joined by large numbers of workmen. Originated by Father Kolping on the Rhine, they soon spread over the whole of Catholic Germany. Herr von Schorlemer-Ast, a Catholic landed proprietor from Westphalia, formed similar associations among the peasants. The result of this has been that the Social Democrats have failed to conquer the Catholic as they have the Protestant districts. A similar movement began among the Protestants after the commercial crisis of 1873, which forms an epoch in German thought, since it was from that year that men first began to question the economic doctrines of Liberalism, and drew attention to the demoralization which seemed to arise from the freedom of speculation and the influence of the stock exchange—a movement which in later years led to some remarkable attempts to remedy the evil by legislation. A minister, Rudolph Todt, and Rudolph Meyer criticized the moral and economic doctrines of Liberalism; his writings led to the foundation of the Christlich-Soziale-Arbeiterverein, which for a few years attained considerable notoriety under the leadership of Adolph Stöcker. The Protestant movement has not succeeded in attaining the same position as has the Catholic among the working men; but it received considerable support among the influential classes at court, and part of the programme was adopted by the Conservative party, which in 1876 demanded restriction of industrial liberty and legislation which would prevent the ruin of the independent artizans.

In a country where learned opinion has so much influence on public affairs it was of especial importance that several of the younger teachers separated themselves from the dominant Manchester School and asserted the duty of the state actively to promote the well-being of the working classes. At a congress held in Erfurt in 1873, Schmoller, Wagner, Brentano and others founded the Verein für Sozial-Politik, which by its publications has had much influence on German thought.

The peculiar social conditions brought it about that in many cases the Christian Social movement took the form of Anti-Semitism (q.v.). Nearly all the bankers and stockbrokers in Germany were Jews. Many of the leaders Anti-Semites. of the Liberal parties, e.g. Bamberger and Lasker, were of Jewish origin; the doctrines of Liberalism were supported by papers owned and edited by Jews; hence the wish to restore more fully the avowedly Christian character of the state, coinciding with the attack on the influence of finance, which owed so much to the Liberal economic doctrines, easily degenerated into attacks on the Jews. The leader in this was Stöcker. During the years 1879 to 1881 the anti-Semite agitation gained considerable importance in Berlin, Breslau and other Prussian cities, and it culminated in the elections of that year, leading in some cases to riots and acts of violence.

So long as the government was under the influence of the National Liberals, it was indifferent, if not hostile to these movements. The Peasants’ Union had actually been forbidden by the police; Bismarck himself was violently attacked for his reputed connexion with a great Jewish firm of bankers. He had, however, kept himself informed regarding these movements, chiefly by means of Hermann Wagener, an old editor of the Kreuzzeitung, and in the year 1878 he felt himself free to return in this matter to his older opinions. The new policy suggested in that year was definitely announced at the opening of the session in the spring of 1881, and at the meeting of the new Reichstag in November 1881. It was explained in a speech from the throne, which, as the emperor could not be present, became an imperial message. This is generally spoken of as the beginning of a new era. The help of the Reichstag was asked for “healing social evils by means of legislation ... based on the moral foundation of Christianity.” Compulsory insurance, the creation of corporate unions among working men under the protection of the state, and the introduction of indirect taxes, were the chief elements in the reform.

The condition of parties was such that Bismarck could not hope to win a majority for his schemes, especially as he could not obtain the monopoly on tobacco on which he depended to cover the expense. The first reform was the restoration of the gilds, to which the Conservatives attached great importance. Since 1869 they continued to exist only as voluntary associations with no public duties; many had been dissolved, and this is said to have brought about bad results in the management of lodging-houses, the condition of apprentices, support during illness, and the maintenance of labour bureaus. It was supposed that, if they could be restored, the corporate spirit would prevent the working men from falling under the influence of the Socialists. The law of 1881, while it left membership voluntary, gave to them many duties of a semi-public nature, especially that of arbitration between masters and men. These were extended by a further law in 1884.

The really important element was the scheme for a great imperial system by which all working men and women should be provided for in case of sickness, accident or old age. Bismarck hoped by this to relieve the parishes of the Compulsory insurance. burden of the poor-rate, which would be transferred to the empire; at the same time the power of the government would be greatly extended. The first proposal in March 1881 was for compulsory insurance against accidents. Every one employed on railways, mines and factories was to be insured in an imperial office; the premium was to be divided equally between masters, workmen and the state. It was bitterly opposed by the Liberals, especially by Bamberger; all essential features were altered by the Reichstag, and it was withdrawn by the government after it had passed the third reading.

In 1882 a fresh scheme was laid before the newly elected Reichstag dealing with insurance against accident and against sickness. The two parts were separated by the Reichstag; the second, which was the necessary prelude to the other, was passed in 1883. The law was based on an old Prussian principle; insurance was made compulsory, but the state, instead of doing the work itself, recognized the existing friendly and other societies; they were still to enjoy their corporate existence and separate administration, but they were placed under state control, and for this purpose an imperial insurance department was created in the office of the secretary of state for the interior. Uniform regulations were to be followed in all trades and districts; one-third of the premium was paid by the employer, two-thirds by the workmen.

The Accident Law of 1883 was rejected, for it still included the state contribution to which the Reichstag would not assent, and also contributions from the workmen. A new law, drafted according to their wishes, was passed in 1884. It applied only to those occupations, mines and factories, in which the use of machinery was common; it threw the whole burden of compensation on to the masters; but, on the other hand, for the first thirteen weeks after an accident the injured workman received compensation from the sick fund, so that the cost only fell on the masters in the more serious cases. The masters were compelled to insure themselves against the payments for which they might become liable, and for this purpose had to form trades associations, self-governing societies, which in each district included all the masters for each particular trade. The application of this law was subsequently extended to other trades. It was not till 1889 that the greatest innovation, that of insurance against old age, was carried. The obligation to insure rested on all who were in receipt of wages of not more than two pounds a week. Half the premium, according to the wages received, was paid by the master. The pension began at the age of seventy, the amount varying by very complicated rules, but the state paid a fixed sum of two pounds ten shillings annually in addition to the pension. These measures worked well. They were regarded with satisfaction by masters and men alike. Alterations have been made in detail, and further alterations demanded, but the laws have established themselves in practice. The large amount of self-administration has prevented an undue increase of bureaucratic power. The co-operation of masters and men in the administration of the societies has a good effect on the relations of the classes.

Except in the matter of insurance, the total result, however, for the moment was small. The demands repeatedly made by the Centre and the Conservatives for effective factory legislation and prohibition of Sunday labour were not successful. Bismarck did not wish to lay heavier burdens on the capitalists, and it was not till a later period that they were carried out.

During all this period Bismarck’s authority was so great, that in the conduct of foreign affairs he was freed from the criticism and opposition which so often hampered him in his internal policy, and he was able to establish Foreign affairs: the Triple Alliance. that system of alliances on which for so many years the political system of Europe depended. The close union of the three empires which had existed since the meeting of the emperors in 1872 did not survive the outbreak of disturbances in the East. Bismarck had maintained an attitude of neutrality, but after the congress of Berlin he found himself placed between the alternatives of friendship with Austria or Russia. Movements of Russian troops on the western frontier threatened Austria, and the tsar, in a letter to the German emperor, stated that peace could only be maintained if Germany gave her support to Russia. Bismarck, now that the choice was forced upon him, determined in favour of Austria, and during a visit to Vienna in October, arranged with Count Andrássy an alliance by which in the event of either being attacked by Russia the other was to assist; if either was attacked by any power other than Russia, the other was to preserve benevolent neutrality unless the attacking power was helped by Russia. The effect of this was to protect Austria from attack by Russia, and Germany from the danger of a combined attack by France and Russia. Bismarck with some difficulty procured the consent of the emperor, who by arranging a meeting with the tsar had attempted to preserve the old friendship. From that time the alliance with Austria has continued. In 1883 it was joined by Italy, and was renewed in 1887, and in 1891 for six years, and if not then denounced, for twelve.

In 1882, after the retirement of Gorchakov, the relations with Russia again improved. In 1884 there was a meeting of the three emperors, and at the same time Bismarck came to a close understanding with France on colonial questions. The period of quiet did not last long. The disaster in Tongking brought about a change of ministry in France, and Bulgarian affairs again alienated Austria and Russia. Bismarck with great skill used the growing foreign complications as a means of freeing himself from parliamentary difficulties at the same time that he secured the position of Germany in Europe.

To meet the increase in the French army, and the open menaces in which the Russian press indulged, a further increase in the German army seemed desirable. The Septennate would expire in 1888. In the autumn of 1886 a proposal Elections of 1887. was laid before the Reichstag to increase the peace establishment for the next seven years to 468,409 men. The Reichstag would not assent to this, but the opposition parties offered to vote the required increase for three years. Bismarck refused to accept this compromise, and the Reichstag was dissolved. Under his influence the Conservatives and National Liberals formed a coalition or Cartel by which each agreed to support the candidates of the other. The elections caused greater excitement than any which had taken place since 1870. The numbers who went to the poll were much larger, and all the opposition parties, except the Catholics, including even the Socialists, suffered severe loss. Bismarck, in order to win the support of the Centre, appealed directly to the pope, but Windthorst took the responsibility of refusing to obey the pope’s request on a matter purely political. The National Liberals again became a government party, but their position was much changed. They were no longer, as in the old days, the leading factor. They had to take the second place. They were subordinate to the Conservatives. They could no longer impose their will upon the government. In the new parliament the government proposals were accepted by a majority of 223 to 48 (seven members of the Centre voted for it, the others abstained). The opposition consisted chiefly of Socialists and Radicals (Freisinnigen).

The fall of Boulanger removed the immediate danger from France, but for the rest of the year the relations with Russia caused serious apprehensions. Anti-German articles appeared in Russian newspapers. The growth of the Relations with Russia. Nationalist party in Russia led to measures injurious to German trade and German settlers in Russia. German vessels were forbidden to trade on the Niemen. The increase of the duties on iron injured German trade. Stringent measures were taken to stamp out German nationality in the Baltic provinces, similar to those used by the Germans against the Poles. Foreigners were forbidden to hold land in Russia. The German government retaliated by a decree of the Reichsbank refusing to deal with Russian paper. Large accumulations of troops on the western frontier excited alarm in Germany and Austria. During a short visit paid by the emperor of Russia to Berlin in November Bismarck discovered that forged despatches misrepresenting the policy of Germany in the Eastern Question had been communicated to him. This did not seem to remove all danger, and in February 1888 the government introduced an amendment to the imperial Military Law extending the obligation for service from twelve to eighteen years. In this way it was possible to increase the war establishment, excluding the Landsturm, by about half a million men without adding to the burden in time of peace. Another law authorized a loan of £14,000,000 for military equipment. At the same time the text of the Triple Alliance was published. The two laws were adopted without opposition. Under the effect of one of Bismarck’s speeches, the Military Bill was unanimously passed almost without debate.

It was probably at the meeting of 1884 that a secret treaty, the existence of which was not known for many years, was arranged between Germany and Russia. The full text has never been published, and the exact date is uncertain. Secret treaty with Russia. Either state pledged itself to observe benevolent neutrality in case the other were attacked by a third power. Apparently the case of an attack by France on Germany, or by Austria on Russia, was expressly mentioned. The treaty lapsed in 1890, and owing to Bismarck’s dismissal was not renewed. Caprivi refused to renew it because it was doubtful whether by increasing the number of treaties the value of them was not diminished. Under this system it was to be apprehended that if war broke out between Austria and Russia, Austria would claim the support of Germany under the Triple Alliance, Russia neutrality under this treaty. The decision of Germany would theoretically have to depend on the question which party was the aggressor—a question which notoriously is hardly ever capable of an answer. (For this treaty see the debate in the Reichstag of the 16th of November 1896; the Hamburger Nachrichten of 24th October in the same year; and Schulthess, Europäisches Geschichtskalendar, 1896.)

The emperor William died on the 9th of March 1888. He was succeeded by his son, who took the title of Frederick III. In Italy the older title of king of Piedmont has been absorbed in the newer kingdom of Italy; this is not Reign of Frederick III. the case in Germany, where the title German emperor is merely attached to and not substituted for that of king of Prussia. The events of this short reign, which lasted only ninety-nine days, have chiefly a personal interest, and are narrated under the articles Frederick III. and Bismarck. The illness and death of the emperor, however, destroyed the last hope of the Liberals that they might at length succeed to power. For a generation they had waited for his accession, and bitter was their disappointment, for it was known that his son was more inclined to follow the principles of Bismarck than those of his own father. The emperor, crippled and dying though he was, showed clearly how great a change he would, had he lived, have introduced in the spirit of the government. One of his first acts was severely to reprimand Puttkammer for misusing government influence at elections. The minister sent in his resignation, which was accepted, and this practice, which had been deliberately revived during the last ten years, was thereby publicly disavowed. Bismarck’s own position would naturally have been seriously affected by the fall of a colleague with whom he was closely connected, and another point of internal policy showed also how numerous were the differences between the chancellor and the emperor. Laws had been passed prolonging the period of both the Prussian and Imperial parliaments from three to five years; when they were laid before the emperor for his signature he said that he must consider them. Bismarck then pointed out that the constitution of the empire did not authorize the emperor to withhold his assent from a law which had passed both the Reichstag and the Bundesrat; he could as king of Prussia oppose it by his representatives in the federal council, but when it had been accepted there, it was his duty as emperor to put the law into execution. The emperor accepted this exposition of the constitution, and after some delay eventually gave his consent also to the Prussian law, which he was qualified to reject.

He was succeeded by his eldest son, William II. (q.v.). The first year of the new reign was uneventful. In his public speeches the emperor repeatedly expressed his reverence for the memory of his grandfather, and his determination William II. to continue his policy; but he also repudiated the attempt of the extreme Conservatives to identify him with their party. He spent much time on journeys, visiting the chief courts of Europe, and he seemed to desire to preserve close friendship with other nations, especially with Russia and Great Britain. Changes were made in the higher posts of the army and civil service, and Moltke resigned the office of chief of the staff, which for thirty years he had held with such great distinction.

The beginning of the year 1890 brought a decisive event. The period of the Reichstag elected in 1887 expired, and the new elections, the first for a quinquennial period, would take place. The chief matter for decision was the fate of Fall of Bismarck. the Socialist law; this expired on the 30th of September 1890. The government at the end of 1889 introduced a new law, which was altered in some minor matters, and which was to be permanent. The Conservatives were prepared to vote for it; the Radicals and Centre opposed it; the decision rested with the National Liberals, and they were willing to accept it on condition that the clause was omitted which allowed the state governments to exclude individuals from districts in which the state of siege had been proclaimed. The final division took place on the 25th of February 1890. An amendment had been carried omitting this clause, and the National Liberals therefore voted for the bill in its amended form. The Conservatives were ready to vote as the government wished; if Bismarck was content with the amended bill, they would vote for it, and it would be carried; no instructions were sent to the party; they therefore voted against the bill, and it was lost. The House was immediately dissolved. It was to have been expected that, as in 1878, the government would appeal to the country to return a Conservative majority willing to vote for a strong law against the Socialists. Instead of this, the emperor, who was much interested in social reform, published two proclamations. In one addressed to the chancellor he declared his intention, as emperor, of bettering the lot of the working classes; for this purpose he proposed to call an international congress to consider the possibility of meeting the requirements and wishes of the working men; in the other, which he issued as king of Prussia, he declared that the regulation of the time and conditions of labour was the duty of the state, and the council of state was to be summoned to discuss this and kindred questions. Bismarck, who was less hopeful than the emperor, and did not approve of this policy, was thereby prevented from influencing the elections as he would have wished to do; the coalition parties, in consequence, suffered severe loss; Socialists, Centre and Radicals gained numerous seats. A few days after the election Bismarck was dismissed from office. The difference of opinion between him and the emperor was not confined to social reform; beyond this was the more serious question as to whether the chancellor or the emperor was to direct the course of the government. The emperor, who, as Bismarck said, intended to be his own chancellor, required Bismarck to draw up a decree reversing a cabinet order of Frederick William IV., which gave the Prussian minister-president the right of being the sole means of communication between the other ministers and the king. This Bismarck refused to do, and he was therefore ordered to send in his resignation.

Among those more immediately connected with the government his fall was accompanied by a feeling of relief which was not confined to the Opposition, for the burden of his rule had pressed heavily upon all. There was, however, Chancellorship of Count von Caprivi. no change in the principles of government or avowed change in policy; some uncertainty of direction and sudden oscillations of policy showed the presence of a less experienced hand. Bismarck’s successor, General von Caprivi, held a similar combination of offices, but the chief control passed now into the hands of the emperor himself. He aspired by his own will to direct the policy of the state; he put aside the reserve which in modern times is generally observed even by absolute rulers, and by his public speeches and personal influence took a part in political controversy. He made very evident the monarchical character of the Prussian state, and gave to the office of emperor a prominence greater than it had hitherto had.

One result of this was that it became increasingly difficult in political discussions to avoid criticizing the words and actions of the emperor. Prosecutions for lèse-majesté became commoner than they were in former reigns, and the difficulty was much felt in the conduct of parliamentary debate. The rule adopted was that discussion was permitted on those speeches of the emperor which were officially published in the Reichsanzeiger. It was, indeed, not easy to combine that respect and reverence which the emperor required should be paid to him, with that open criticism of his words which seemed necessary (even for self-defence) when the monarch condescended to become the censor of the opinions and actions of large parties and classes among his subjects. The attempts to combine personal government with representative institutions was one of much interest; it was more successful than might have been anticipated, owing to the disorganization of political parties and the absence of great political leaders; in Germany, as elsewhere, the parliaments had not succeeded in maintaining public interest, and it is worth noting that even the attendance of members was very irregular. There was below the surface much discontent and subdued criticism of the exaggeration of the monarchical power, which the Germans called Byzantinismus; but after all the nation seemed to welcome the government of the emperor, as it did that of Bismarck. The uneasiness which was caused at first by the unwonted vigour of his utterances subsided, as it became apparent how strong was his influence for peace, and with how many-sided an activity he supported and encouraged every side of national life. Another result of the personal government by the emperor was that it was impossible, in dealing with recent history, to determine how far the ministers of state were really responsible for the measures which they defended, and how far they were the instruments and mouthpieces of the policy of the emperor.

The first efforts of the “New course,” as the new administration was termed, showed some attempt to reconcile to the government those parties and persons whom Bismarck had kept in opposition. The continuation of social reform was to win over the allegiance of the working men to the person of the emperor; an attempt was made to reconcile the Guelphs, and even the Poles were taken into favour; Windthorst was treated with marked distinction. The Radicals alone, owing to their ill-timed criticism on the private relations of the imperial family, and their continued opposition to the army, were excluded. The attempt, however, to unite and please all parties failed, as did the similar attempt in foreign policy. Naturally enough, it was social reform on which at first activity was concentrated, and the long-delayed factory legislation was now carried out. In 1887 and 1888 the Clerical and Conservative majority had carried through Factory laws. the Reichstag laws restricting the employment of women and children and prohibiting labour on Sundays. These were not accepted by the Bundesrat, but after the International Congress of 1890 an important amendment and addition to the Gewerbeordnung was carried to this effect. It was of even greater importance that a full system of factory inspection was created. A further provision empowered the Bundesrat to fix the hours of labour in unhealthy trades; this was applied to the bakeries by an edict of 1895, but the great outcry which this caused prevented any further extension.

These acts were, however, accompanied by language of great decision against the Social Democrats, especially on the occasion of a great strike in Westphalia, when the emperor warned the men that for him every Social Democrat Progress of Socialism. was an enemy to the empire and country. None the less, all attempts to win the working men from the doctrinaire Socialists failed. They continued to look on the whole machinery of government, emperor and army, church and police, as their natural enemies, and remained completely under the bondage of the abstract theories of the Socialists, just as much as fifty years ago the German bourgeois were controlled by the Liberal theories. It is strange to see how the national characteristics appeared in them. What began as a great revolutionary movement became a dogmatic and academic school of thought; it often almost seemed as though the orthodox interpretation of Marx’s doctrine was of more importance than an improvement in the condition of the working men, and the discussions in the annual Socialist Congress resembled the arguments of theologians rather than the practical considerations of politicians. The party, however, prospered, and grew in strength beyond all anticipation. The repeal of the Socialist law was naturally welcome to them as a great personal triumph over Bismarck; in the elections of 1890 they won thirty-five, in 1893 forty-four, in 1898 fifty-six seats. Their influence was not confined to the artisans; among their open or secret adherents were to be found large numbers of government employés and clerks. In the autumn of 1890 they were able, for the first time, to hold in Germany a general meeting of delegates, which was continued annually. In the first meetings it appeared that there were strong opposing tendencies within the party which for the first time could be brought to public discussion. On the one side there was a small party, die Jungen, in Berlin, who attacked the parliamentary leaders on the ground that they had lent themselves to compromise and had not maintained the old intransigeant spirit. In 1891, at Erfurt, Werner and his followers were expelled from the party; some of them drifted into anarchism, others disappeared. On the other hand, there was a large section, the leader of whom was Herr von Vollmar, who maintained that the social revolution would not come suddenly, as Bebel and the older leaders had taught, but that it would be a gradual evolution; they were willing to co-operate with the government in remedial measures by which, within the existing social order, the prosperity and freedom of the working classes might be advanced; their position was very strong, as Vollmar had succeeded in extending Socialism even in the Catholic parts of Bavaria. An attempt to treat them as not genuine Socialists was frustrated, and they continued in co-operation with the other branch of the party. Their position would have been easier were it not for the repeated attempts of the Prussian government to crush the party by fresh legislation and the supervision exercised by the police. It was a sign of most serious import for the future that in 1897 the electoral law in the kingdom of Saxony was altered with the express purpose of excluding the Socialists from the Saxon Landtag. This and other symptoms caused serious apprehension that some attempt might be made to alter the law of universal suffrage for the Reichstag, and it was policy of this kind which maintained and justified the profound distrust of the governing classes and the class hatred on which Social democracy depends. On the other hand, there were signs of a greater willingness among the Socialists to co-operate with their old enemies the Liberals.

In foreign affairs a good understanding with Great Britain was maintained, but the emperor failed at that time to preserve the friendship of Russia. The close understanding between France and Russia, and the constant increase Military legislation. in the armies of these states, made a still further increase of the German army desirable. In 1890, while the Septennate had still three more years to run, Caprivi had to ask for an additional 20,000 men. It was the first time that an increase of this kind had been necessary within the regular period. When, in 1893, the proposals for the new period were made, they formed a great change. Compulsory service was to be made a reality; no one except those absolutely unfit was to escape it. To make enlistment of so large an additional number of recruits possible, the period of service with the colours was reduced to two years. The parliamentary discussion was very confused; the government eventually accepted an amendment giving them 557,093 for five and a half years instead of the 570,877 asked for; this was rejected by 210 to 162, the greater part of the Centre and of the Radicals voting against it. Parliament was at once dissolved. Before the elections the Radical party broke up, as about twenty of them determined to accept the compromise. They took the name of the Freisinnige Vereinigung, the others who remained under the leadership of Richter forming the Freisinnige Volkspartei. The natural result of this split was a great loss to the party. The Liberal opposition secured only twenty-three seats instead of the sixty-seven they had held before. It was, so far as now can be foreseen, the final collapse of the old Radical party. Notwithstanding this the bill was only carried by sixteen votes, and it would have been thrown out again had not the Poles for the first time voted for the government, since the whole of the Centre voted in opposition.

This vote was a sign of the increasing disorganization of parties and of growing parliamentary difficulties which were even more apparent in the Prussian Landtag. Miquel, as minister of finance, succeeded indeed in carrying a reform by which the proceeds of the tax on land and buildings were transferred to the local government authorities, and the loss to the state exchequer made up by increased taxation of larger incomes and industry. The series of measures which began in 1891, and were completed in 1895, won a more general approbation than is usual, and Miquel in this successfully carried out his policy of reconciling the growing jealousies arising from class interests.

Caprivi’s administration was further remarkable for the arrangement of commercial treaties. In 1892 treaties with Austria-Hungary, Italy, Belgium and Switzerland for twelve years bound together the greater part of the Commercial treaties. continent, and opened a wide market for German manufactures; the idea of this policy was to secure, by a more permanent union of the middle European states, a stable market for the goods which were being excluded owing to the great growth of Protection in France, Russia and America. These were followed by similar treaties with Rumania and Servia, and in 1894, after a period of sharp customs warfare, with Russia. In all these treaties the general principle was a reduction of the import duties on corn in return for advantages given to German manufactures, and it is this which brought about the struggle of the government with the Agrarians which after 1894 took the first place in party politics.

The agricultural interests in Germany had during the middle of the 19th century been in favour of Free Trade. The reason of this was that, till some years after the foundation of the empire, the production of corn and food-stuffs Agrarians. was more than sufficient for the population; as long as they exported corn, potatoes and cattle, they required no protection from foreign competition, and they enjoyed the advantages of being able to purchase colonial goods and manufactured articles cheaply. Mecklenburg and Hanover, the purely agricultural states, had, until their entrance into the Customs Union, followed a completely Free Trade policy. The first union of the Agrarian party, which was formed in 1876 under the name of the Society for the Reform of Taxation, did not place protection on their programme; they laid stress on bimetallism, on the reform of internal taxation, especially of the tax on land and buildings, and on the reform of the railway tariff, and demanded an increase in the stamp duties. These last three points were all to some extent attained. About this time, however, the introduction of cheap corn from Russia began to threaten them, and it was in 1879 that, probably to a great extent influenced by Bismarck, they are first to be found among those who ask for protection.

After that time there was a great increase in the importation of food-stuffs from America. The increase of manufactures and the rapid growth of the population made the introduction of cheap food from abroad a necessity. In the youth of the empire the amount of corn grown in Germany was sufficient for the needs of its inhabitants; the amount consumed in 1899 exceeded the amount produced by about one-quarter of the total. At the same time the price, making allowance for the fluctuations owing to bad harvests, steadily decreased, notwithstanding the duty on corn. In twenty years the average price fell from about 235 to 135 marks the 1000 kilo. There was therefore a constant decrease in the income from land, and this took place at a time when the great growth of wealth among the industrial classes had made living more costly. The agriculturists of the north and east saw themselves and their class threatened with loss, and perhaps ruin; their discontent, which had long been growing, broke out into open fire during the discussion of the commercial treaties. As these would inevitably bring about a large increase in the importation of corn from Rumania and Russia, a great agitation was begun in agricultural circles, and the whole influence of the Conservative party was opposed to the treaties. This brought about a curious situation, the measures being only carried by the support of the Centre, the Radicals, and the Socialists, against the violent opposition of those classes, especially the landowners in Prussia, who had hitherto been the supporters of the government. In order to prevent the commercial treaty with Russia, a great agricultural league was founded in 1893, the Bund der Landwirte; some 7000 landowners joined it immediately. Two days later the Peasants’ League, or Deutsche Bauernbund, which had been founded in 1885 and included some 44,000 members, chiefly from the smaller proprietors in Pomerania, Posen, Saxony and Thuringia, merged itself in the new league. This afterwards gained very great proportions. It became, with the Social Democrats, the most influential society which had been founded in Germany for defending the interests of a particular class; it soon numbered more than 200,000 members, including landed proprietors of all degrees. Under its influence a parliamentary union, the Wirtschaftsvereinigung, was founded to ensure proper consideration for agricultural affairs; it was joined by more than 100 members of the Reichstag; and the Conservative party fell more and more under the influence of the Agrarians.

Having failed to prevent the commercial treaties, Count Kanitz introduced a motion that the state should have a monopoly of all imported corn, and that the price at which it was to be sold should be fixed by law. On the first occasion, in 1894, only fifty members were found to vote for this, but in the next year ninety-seven supported the introduction of the motion, and it was considered worth while to call together the Prussian council of state for a special discussion. The whole agitation was extremely inconvenient to the government. The violence with which it was conducted, coming, as it did, from the highest circles of the Prussian nobility, appeared almost an imitation of Socialist methods; but the emperor, with his wonted energy, personally rebuked the leaders, and warned them that the opposition of Prussian nobles to their king was a monstrosity. Nevertheless they were able to overthrow the chancellor, who was specially obnoxious to them. In October 1894 he was dismissed suddenly, without warning, and almost without cause, while the emperor was on a visit to the Eulenburgs, one of the most influential families of the Prussian nobility.

Caprivi’s fall, though it was occasioned by a difference between him and Count Eulenburg, and was due to the direct act of the emperor, was rendered easier by the weakness of his parliamentary position. There was no party on whose Fall of Caprivi. help he could really depend. The Military Bill had offended the prejudices of conservative military critics; the British treaty had alienated the colonial party; the commercial treaties had only been carried by the help of Poles, Radicals and Socialists; but it was just these parties who were the most easily offended by the general tendencies of the internal legislation, as shown in the Prussian School Bill. Moreover, the bitter and unscrupulous attacks of the Bismarckian press to which Caprivi was exposed made him unpopular in the country, for the people could not feel at ease so long as they were governed by a minister of whom Bismarck disapproved. There was therefore no prospect of forming anything like a stable coalition of parties on which he could depend.

The emperor was fortunate in securing as his successor Prince Chlodwig von Hohenlohe. Though the new chancellor once more united with this office that of Prussian minister-president, his age, and perhaps also his character, Chancellor Prince v. Hohenlohe. prevented him from exercising that constant activity and vigilance which his two predecessors had displayed. During his administration even the secretary of state for foreign affairs, Baron Marschall von Bieberstein, and afterwards Count von Bülow, became the ordinary spokesman of the government, and in the management of other departments the want of a strong hand at the head of affairs was often missed. Between the emperor, with whom the final direction of policy rested, and his subordinates, the chancellor often appeared to evade public notice. The very first act of the new chancellor brought upon him a severe rebuff. At the opening of the new buildings which had been erected in Berlin for the Reichstag, cheers were called for the emperor. Some of the Socialist members remained seated. It was not clear that their action was deliberate, but none the less the chancellor himself came down to ask from the House permission to bring a charge of lèse-majesté against them, a request which was, of course, almost unanimously refused.

The Agrarians still maintained their prominent position in Prussia. They opposed all bills which would appear directly or indirectly to injure agricultural interests. They looked with suspicion on the naval policy of the emperor, for they disliked all that helps industry and commerce. They would only give their support to the Navy Bills of 1897 and 1900 in return for large concessions limiting the importation of margarine and American preserved meat, and the removal of the Indemnitäts Nachweis acted as a kind of bounty on the export of corn. They successfully opposed the construction of the great canal from Westphalia to the Elbe, on the ground that it would facilitate the importation of foreign corn. They refused to accept all the compromises which Miquel, who was very sympathetic towards them, suggested, and thereby brought about his retirement in May 1901.

The opposition of the Agrarians was for many reasons peculiarly embarrassing. The franchise by which the Prussian parliament is elected gave the Conservatives whom they controlled a predominant position. Any alteration of the franchise was, however, out of the question, for that would admit the Socialists. It was, moreover, the tradition of the Prussian court and the Prussian government (and it must be remembered that the imperial government is inspired by Prussian traditions) that the nobility and peasants were in a peculiar way the support of the crown and the state. The old distrust of the towns, of manufacturers and artisans, still continued. The preservation of a peasant class was considered necessary in the interests of the army. Besides, intellectual and social prejudices required a strong Conservative party. In the south and west of Germany, however, the Conservative party was practically non-existent. In these parts, owing to the changes introduced at the revolution, the nobility, who hold little land, are, comparatively speaking, without political importance. In the Catholic districts the Centre had become absolutely master, except so far as the Socialists threaten their position. Those of the great industrialists who belonged to the National Liberals or the Moderate Conservatives did not command that influence which men of their class generally hold in Great Britain, because the influence of Social Democracy banded together the whole of the working men in a solid phalanx of irreconcilable opposition, the very first principle of which was the hostility of classes. The government, therefore, were compelled to turn for support to the Centre and the Conservatives, the latter being almost completely under the influence of the old Prussian nobility from the north-east. But every attempt to carry out the policy supported by these parties aroused an opposition most embarrassing to the government.

The Conservatives distrusted the financial activity which centred round the Exchanges of Berlin and other towns, and in this they had the sympathy of Agrarians and Anti-Semites, as well as of the Centre. The Agrarians Exchange regulations. believed that the Berlin Exchange was partly responsible for the fall of prices in corn; the Anti-Semites laid stress on the fact that many of the financiers were of Jewish extraction; the Centre feared the moral effects of speculation. This opposition was shown in the demand for additional duties on stamps (this was granted by Bismarck), in the opposition to the renewal of the Bank Charter, and especially in the new regulations for the Exchange which were carried in 1896. One clause in this forbade the dealing in “futures” in corn, and at the same time a special Prussian law required that there should be representatives of agriculture on the managing committee of the Exchange. The members of the Exchanges in Berlin and other towns refused to accept this law. When it came into effect they withdrew and tried to establish a private Exchange. This was prevented, and after two years they were compelled to submit and the Berlin Bourse was again opened.

Political parties now came to represent interests rather than principles. The government, in order to pass its measures, was obliged to purchase the votes by class legislation, and it bought those with whom it could make the best Political bargaining. bargain—these being generally the Centre, as the ablest tacticians, and the Conservatives, as having the highest social position and being boldest in declaring their demands. No great parliamentary leader took the place of Windthorst, Lasker and Bennigsen; the extra-parliamentary societies, less responsible and more violent, grew in influence. The Anti-Semites gained in numbers, though not in reputation. The Conservatives, hoping to win votes, even adopted an anti-Semite clause in their programme. The general tendency among the numerous societies of Christian Socialism, which broke up almost as quickly as they appeared, was to drift from the alliance with the ultra-Conservatives and to adopt the economic and many of the political doctrines of the Social Democrats. The National-Sozialer Verein defended the union of Monarchy and Socialism. Meanwhile the extreme spirit of nationality was fostered by the All-deutscher Verein, the policy of which would quickly involve Germany in war with every other nation. More than once the feelings to which they gave expression endangered the relations of Germany and Austria-Hungary. The persecution of the Poles in Prussia naturally aroused indignation in Austria, where the Poles had for long been among the strongest elements on which the government depended; and it was not always easy to prevent the agitation on behalf of the Germans in Bohemia from assuming a dangerous aspect.

In the disintegration of parties the Liberals suffered most. The unity of the Conservatives was preserved by social forces and the interests of agriculture; the decay of the Liberals was the result of universal suffrage. Originally the opponents of the landed interest and the nobility, they were the party of the educated middle class, of the learned, of the officials and finance. They never succeeded in winning the support of the working men. They had identified themselves with the interests of the capitalists, and were not even faithful to their own principles. In the day of their power they showed themselves as intolerant as their opponents had been. They resorted to the help of the government in order to stamp out the opinions with which they disagreed, and the claims of the artisans to practical equality were rejected by them, as in earlier days the claims of the middle class had been by the nobles.

The Centre alone maintained itself. Obliged by their constitution to regard equally the material interests of all classes—for they represent rich and poor, peasants and artisans—they were the natural support of the government when it attempted to find a compromise between the clamour of opposing interests. Their own demands were generally limited to the defence of order and religion, and to some extent coincided with the wishes of the emperor; but every attempt to introduce legislation in accordance with their wishes led to a conflict with the educated opinion of the country, which was very detrimental to the authority of the government. In the state parliaments of Bavaria, Baden and Hesse their influence was very great. There was, moreover, a tendency for local parties to gain in numbers and influence—the Volkspartei in Württemberg, the Anti-Semites in Hesse, and the Bauernbund (Peasants’ League) in Bavaria. The last demanded that the peasants should be freed from the payment to the state, which represented the purchase price for the remission of feudal burdens. It soon lost ground, however, partly owing to personal reasons, and partly because the Centre, in order to maintain their influence among the peasants, adopted some features of their programme.

Another class which, seeing itself in danger from the economic changes in society, agitated for special legislation was the small retail traders of the large towns. They demanded additional taxation on the vast shops and stores, the Mittelstandpolitik. growth of which in Berlin, Munich and other towns seemed to threaten their interests. As the preservation of the smaller middle class seemed to be important as a bulwark against Socialism, they won the support of the Conservative and Clerical parties, and laws inspired by them were passed in Bavaria, Württemberg and Prussia. This Mittelstand-Politik, as it is called, was very characteristic of the attitude of mind which was produced by the policy of Protection. Every class appealed to the government for special laws to protect itself against the effects of the economic changes which had been brought about by the modern industrial system. Peasants and landlords, artisans and tradesmen, each formed their own league for the protection of their interests, and all looked to the state as the proper guardian of their class interests.

After the fall of Caprivi the tendency of the German government to revert to a strong Conservative policy in matters of religion, education, and in the treatment of political discussions became very marked. The complete Moral and religious policy. alienation of the working classes from Christianity caused much natural concern, combined as it was with that indifference to religion which marks the life of the educated classes in the large towns, and especially in Berlin. A strong feeling arose that social and political dangers could only be avoided by an increase in religious life, and the emperor gave the authority of his name to a movement which produced numerous societies for home mission work, and (at least in Berlin) led to the erection of numerous churches. Unfortunately, this movement was too often connected with political reaction, and the working classes were inclined to believe that the growth of religion was valued because it afforded an additional support to the social and political order. The situation was somewhat similar to that which existed during the last years of Frederick William IV., when the close association of religion with a Conservative policy made orthodoxy so distasteful to large sections of society. The government, which had not taken warning by the fate of the School Bill, attempted to carry other measures of the same kind. The emperor had returned to Bismarck’s policy of joining social reform with repressive legislation. In a speech at Königsberg in November 1894, he summoned the nobles of Prussia to support him in the struggle for religion, for morality, for order, against the parties of Umsturz, or Revolution, and shortly afterwards an amendment of the Criminal Code, commonly Umsturz-Vorlage. called the Umsturz-Vorlage, was introduced, containing provisions to check attempts to undermine the loyalty of the soldiers, and making it a crime punishable with three years’ imprisonment to attack religion, monarchy, marriage, the family or property by abusive expressions in such a manner as to endanger public peace. The discussion of this measure occupied most of the session of 1895; the bill was amended by the Centre so as to make it even more strongly a measure for the defence of religion; and clauses were introduced to defend public morality, by forbidding the public exhibition of pictures or statues, or the sale of writings, which, “without being actually obscene, might rudely offend the feeling of modesty.” These Clerical amendments aroused a strong feeling of indignation. It was represented that the freedom of art and literature was being endangered, and the government was obliged to withdraw the bill. The tendency towards a stricter censorship was shown by a proposal which was carried through the Prussian parliament for controlling the instruction given at the universities by the Privatdozenten. Some of the Conservative leaders, especially Baron von Stumm, the great manufacturer (one of Bismarck’s chief advisers on industrial matters), demanded protection against the teaching of some of the professors with whose economic doctrines they did not agree; pastors who took part in the Christian-Social movement incurred the displeasure of the government; and Professor Delbrück was summoned before a disciplinary court because, in the Preussische Jahrbücher, which he edited, he had ventured to criticize the policy of the Prussian government towards the Danes in Schleswig. All the discontent and suspicion caused by this Lex Heinze. policy broke out with greater intensity when a fresh attempt was made in 1900 to carry those clauses of the old Umsturz-Vorlage which dealt with offences against public morality. The gross immoralities connected with prostitution in Berlin had been disclosed in the case of a murderer called Heinze in 1891; and a bill to strengthen the criminal law on the subject was introduced but not carried. The measure continued, however, to be discussed, and in 1900 the government proposed to incorporate with this bill (which was known as the Lex Heinze) the articles from the Umsturz-Vorlage subjecting art and literature to the control of the criminal law and police. The agitation was renewed with great energy. A Goethe-Verein was founded to protect Kultur, which seemed to be in danger. In the end the obnoxious clauses were only withdrawn when the Socialists used the forms of the House to prevent business from being transacted. It was the first time that organized obstruction had appeared in the Reichstag, and it was part of the irony of the situation that the representatives of art and learning owed their victory to the Socialists, whom they had so long attacked as the great enemies of modern civilization.

These were not the only cases in which the influence of the parties of reaction caused much discontent. There was the question of the right of combination. In nearly every state there still existed old laws forbidding political societies to unite with one another. These laws had been passed in the years immediately after the revolution Law of combination. of 1848, and were quite out of place under modern conditions. The object of them was to prevent a network of societies from being formed extending over large districts, and so acquiring political power. In 1895 the Prussian police used a law of 1850 as a pretext for dissolving the Socialist organization in Berlin, as had been done twenty years before. A large majority of the Reichstag demanded that an imperial law should be passed repealing these laws and establishing the right of combination, and they refused to pass the revised Civil Code until the chancellor promised that this should be done. Instead of this course being adopted, however, special laws were introduced in most of the states, which, especially in Prussia and Saxony, while they gave the right of combination, increased the power of the police to forbid assemblies and societies. It was apparent that large and influential parties still regarded political meetings as something in themselves dangerous and demoralizing, and hence the demand of the Conservatives that women and young persons should be forbidden to attend. In Prussia a majority of the Upper House and a very large minority of the Lower House (193 to 206) voted for an amendment expressly empowering the police to break up meetings in which anarchistic, socialistic or communistic doctrines were defended in such a manner as to be dangerous to society; the Saxon Conservatives demanded that women at least should be forbidden to attend socialistic meetings, and it remained illegal for any one under twenty-one years of age to be present at a political meeting. In consequence of the amendments in the Upper House the Prussian law was lost; and at last, in 1899, a short imperial law was carried to the effect that “societies of every kind might enter into union with one another.” This was at once accepted by the chancellor; it was the time when the Navy Bill was coming on, and it was necessary to win votes. The general feeling of distrust which this prolonged controversy aroused was, however, shown by the almost contemptuous rejection in 1899 of a Bill to protect artisans who were willing to work against intimidation or violence (the Zuchthaus-Vorlage), a vote which was the more significant as it was not so much occasioned by the actual provisions of the bill, but was an expression of the distrust felt for the motives by which the government was moved and the reluctance to place any further powers in their hands.

Meanwhile the emperor had set himself the task of doing for the German fleet what his grandfather had done for the army. The acquisition of Heligoland enabled a new naval station to be established off the mouth of the Elbe; the completion of the canal from Kiel to the mouth of the Elbe, by enabling ships of war to pass from the Baltic to the North Sea greatly increased the strategic strength of the fleet. In 1890 a change in the organization separated the command of the fleet from the office of secretary of state, who was responsible for the representation of the admiralty in the Reichstag, and the emperor was brought into more direct connexion with the navy. During the first five years of the reign four line-of-battle ships were added and several armoured cruisers for the defence of commerce and colonial interests. With the year 1895 began a period of expansion abroad and great naval activity. The note was given in a speech of the emperor’s on the twenty-fifth anniversary of the foundation of the empire, in which he said, “the German empire has become Welt-Politik. a world empire.” The ruling idea of this new Welt-Politik was that Germany could no longer remain merely a continental power; owing to the growth of population she depended for subsistence on trade and exports; she could not maintain herself amid the rivalry of nations unless the government was able actively to support German traders in all parts of the world. The extension of German trade and influence has, in fact, been carried out with considerable success. There was no prospect of further territory in Equatorial Africa, and the hope of bringing about a closer union with the South African Republic was not fulfilled. On the Pacific, however, there were great gains;[7] long-established plans for obtaining a port in China which might serve as a base for the growing trade at Tientsin were carried out at the end of 1897; the murder of two Catholic missionaries was made the pretext for landing The “mailed fist.” troops in the bay of Kiao-chau; and in amends China granted the lease of some 50 sq. m. of territory, and also a concession for building railways. The emperor showed his strong personal interest by sending his brother, Prince Henry, in command of a squadron to take possession of this territory, and the visit of a German prince to the emperor of China strongly appealed to the popular imagination. The emperor’s characteristically rhetorical speeches on this occasion—particularly his identification of his brother with the “mailed fist” of Germany—excited considerable comment. In Turkey the government, helped again by the personal interest of the emperor, who himself visited the sultan at Constantinople, gained important concessions for German influence and German commerce. The Turkish armies were drilled and commanded by German officers, and in 1899 a German firm gained an important concession for building a railway to Baghdad. In Brazil organized private enterprise established a considerable settlement of German emigrants, and though any political power was for the time impossible, German commerce increased greatly throughout South America.

Encouraged by the interest which the events in China had aroused, a very important project was laid before the Reichstag in November 1897, which would enable Germany to take a higher place among the maritime powers. A completely new procedure was introduced. Instead Naval programme, 1897. of simply proposing to build a number of new ships, the bill laid down permanently the number of ships of every kind of which the navy was to consist. They were to be completed by 1904; and the bill also specified how often ships of each class were to be replaced. The plan would establish a normal fleet, and the Reichstag, having once assented, would lose all power of controlling the naval budget. The bill was strongly opposed by the Radicals; the Centre was divided; but the very strong personal influence of the emperor, supported by an agitation of the newly-formed Flottenverein (an imitation of the English Navy League), so influenced public opinion that the opposition broke down. A general election was imminent, and no party dared to go to the country as the opponents of the fleet.

Scarcely had the bill been carried when a series of events took place which still more fully turned public attention to colonial affairs, and seemed to justify the action of the government. The war between the United States and Spain showed how necessary an efficient fleet was under Hostility to England. modern conditions, and also caused some feeling of apprehension for the future arising from the new policy of extension adopted by the United States. And the brewing of the storm in South Africa, where the Boers were preparing to resist British suzerainty, helped to make the nation regret that their fleet was not sufficiently strong to make German sympathies effective. The government used with great address the bitter irritation against Great Britain which had become one of the most deep-seated elements in modern German life. This feeling had its origin at first in a natural reaction against the excessive admiration for English institutions which distinguished the Liberals of an older generation. This reaction was deliberately fostered during Bismarck’s later years for internal reasons; for, as Great Britain was looked upon as the home of parliamentary government and Free Trade, a less favourable view might weaken German belief in doctrines and institutions adopted from that country. There also existed in Germany a curious compound of jealousy and contempt, natural in a nation the whole institutions of which centred round the army and compulsory service, for a nation whose institutions were based not on military, but on parliamentary and legal institutions. It came about that in the minds of many Germans the whole national regeneration was regarded as a liberation from British influence. This feeling was deliberately fostered by publicists and historians, and was intensified by commercial rivalry, since in the struggle for colonial expansion and trade Germans naturally came to look on Great Britain, who held the field, as their rival. The sympathy Pro-Boer movement. which the events of 1896 and 1899 awakened for the Boers caused all these feelings, which had long been growing, to break out in a popular agitation more widespread than any since the foundation of the empire. It was used by the Nationalist parties, in Austria as well as in Germany, to spread the conception of Pan-Germanism; the Boers as Low Germans were regarded as the representatives of Teutonic civilization, and it seemed possible that the conception might be used to bring about a closer friendship, and even affiance, with Holland. In 1896 the emperor, by despatching a telegram of congratulation to President Kruger after the collapse of the Jameson Raid, had appeared to identify himself with the national feeling. When war broke out in 1899 it was obviously impossible to give any efficient help to the Boers, but the government Navy Bill, 1900. did not allow the moment to pass without using it for the very practical purpose of getting another bill through the Reichstag by which the navy was to be nearly doubled. Some difficulties which arose regarding the exercise by the British government of the right of search for contraband of war were also used to stimulate public feeling. The Navy Bill was introduced in January 1900. There were some criticisms of detail, but the passing of the bill was only a matter of bargaining. Each party wished in return for its support to get some concessions from the government. The Agrarians asked for restrictions on the importation of food; the Centre for the Lex Heinze and the repeal of the Jesuit law; the Liberals for the right of combination.

The murder of the German ambassador, Baron von Ketteler, at Peking in 1900 compelled the government to take a leading part in the joint expedition of the powers to China. A force of over 20,000 men was organized by voluntary enlistment from among the regular army; and the Von Bülow, chancellor. supreme command was obtained by the emperor for Count von Waldersee, who had succeeded Moltke as chief of the staff. The government was, however, sharply criticized for not first consulting the Reichstag in a matter involving the first military expedition since the foundation of the empire. It was desirable in such circumstances that a younger and more vigorous statesman than Prince Hohenlohe should be placed at the head of affairs before the Reichstag met; and on the 17th of October he resigned, and was succeeded as chancellor by Herr von Bülow, the foreign secretary.  (J. W. He.; W. A. P.) 

It remains only to sketch the main features of German history in later years. In spite of the denunciation by the Social Democratic leaders of what they stigmatized as a “policy of brag,” the general popularity of the idea of establishing a strong sea power was proved by the rapid Naval progress. extension of the Navy League, which in 1904 had already 3595 branches. For an increase in the navy there was, indeed, sufficient excuse in the enormous expansion of German oversea commerce and the consequent growth of the mercantile marine; the value of foreign trade, which in 1894 was £365,000,000, had risen in 1904 to £610,000,000, and in the same period the tonnage of German merchant shipping had increased by 234%. In the session of 1901 Admiral von Tirpitz, the minister of marine, admitted in answer to a Socialist interpellation that the naval programme of 1900 would have to be enlarged. In 1903 Count Bülow declared in the Reichstag that the government was endeavouring to pursue a middle course between “the extravagant aspirations of the Pan-Germans and the parochial policy of the Social Democrats, which forgets that in a struggle for life and death Germany’s means of communication might be cut off.” At the same time the emperor presented to the Reichstag a comparative table, drawn up by his own hand, showing the relative strength of the British and German navies. An inspired article in the Grenzboten declared the object of this to be to moderate at once the aggressive attitude of the Pan-Germans towards Great Britain and British alarms at the naval development of Germany. This gave a fresh impetus to the naval agitation and counter-agitation. In 1904 Count Bülow again found it necessary, in reply to the Socialist leader Bebel, to declare that the German naval armaments were purely defensive. “I cannot conceive,” he said, “that the idea of an Anglo-German war should be seriously entertained by sensible people in either country.” On the 16th of November 1905 a new Navy Bill amplifying the programme of 1900 was accepted by the Federal Diet. The Navy League, encouraged by its success, now redoubled its exertions and demanded that the whole programme should be completed by 1912 instead of 1917. Bebel denounced this agitation as obviously directed against England; and the government thought it expedient to disavow the action of its too zealous allies. A telegram addressed by the emperor William to the presidents of the League, Generals Keim and Menges, led to their resignation; but the effect of this was largely counteracted by the presence of Prince Henry of Prussia and the king of Württemberg at the annual congress of the League at Stuttgart in May, while at the Colonial Congress in the autumn the necessity for a powerful navy was again one of the main themes of discussion. That the government was, in fact, at one with the League as to the expediency of pushing on the naval programme was proved by the revelations of the first lord of the admiralty, Mr McKenna, in the debate on the naval estimates in the British parliament of 1909. From these it was clear that the German government had for some time past been pressing on its naval armaments with little regard to the ostensible programme, and that in the matter of the newest types of battleships, Great Britain had to reckon with the fact that, before the date fixed for the completion of the programme, Germany might establish at least an equality.

The same determined spirit which characterized German naval policy was evident also in her relations with the other powers. The suspicions as to the stability of the Triple Alliance produced, indeed, for some years a kind of nervousness Foreign policy. in the attitude of the government, whose determination to assert for Germany a leading international rôle tended to isolate her in Europe. This nervousness was, in 1903 and 1904, especially evident in the efforts to weaken the Franco-Russian alliance by the policy of what Bebel denounced as Germany “crawling on her stomach before Russia.” Germany not only backed up Russian policy in the East, and at the outbreak of the Russo-Japanese War took up towards her an attitude of more than benevolent neutrality, but the cabinets of Berlin and St Petersburg entered into an agreement under which political offenders against either government were to be treated as traitors to both. This arrangement, which made the Prussian police the active allies of the Third Section in the persecution of The Königsberg trial. political suspects, created vast indignation among all shades of Liberal opinion in Germany, an indignation which culminated with the famous Königsberg trial. This was a prosecution of nine German subjects for sedition, conspiracy and lèse-majesté against the Russian emperor, and for the circulation of books and pamphlets attacking him and his government. The defendants were poor smugglers from the Esthonian border marshes, who in the course of their ordinary avocations had carried bales of revolutionary tracts into Russia without troubling as to their contents. The trial, which took place in July 1904, excited widespread attention. The prosecution was conducted with all the force of the government; the defence was undertaken by some of the most brilliant Liberal advocates of Germany and developed in effect into an elaborate indictment, supported by a great weight of first-hand evidence, of the iniquities of the Russian régime. The verdict of the court was a serious rebuff for the government; after a preliminary investigation of nine months, and a public trial of a fortnight, the major charges against the prisoners were dismissed, and six of them were condemned only to short terms of imprisonment for conspiracy.

The progress of the Russo-Japanese War, however, soon relieved Germany of all anxiety as to the safety of her eastern frontiers, and produced a corresponding change in her attitude. The Russian disasters in Manchuria at the beginning of 1905 were followed by an extraordinary demonstration of the emperor William’s ideas as to “the world-wide dominion of the Hohenzollerns,” in a sort of imperial progress in the East, made for the purpose of impressing the Mahommedan world with the power of Germany. In 1904 the German attitude towards Great Britain had been in the highest degree conciliatory; the Anglo-French agreement as to Egypt was agreed to at Berlin; a visit of King Edward VII. to Kiel was reciprocated by that of the German squadron to Plymouth; in July a treaty of arbitration was signed between the two countries, while in the Reichstag the chancellor declared that, Germany’s interests in Morocco being purely commercial, the understanding between France and England as to that country, embodied in the convention of the 8th of April 1904, did not immediately concern her. This attitude was now changed. On the 31st of March 1905 the emperor William landed at Tangier, and is reported on this occasion to have used language which in effect amounted to a promise to support the sultan of Morocco in resisting French control. His visit to the Holy Land and the solemn pilgrimage to Jerusalem were, in the same way, a striking coup de théâtre designed to strengthen the influence won by Germany in the councils of the Ottoman empire, an influence which she had been careful not to weaken by taking too active a part in the concert of the powers engaged in pressing on the question of Macedonian reform.

Meanwhile pressure was being put upon France to admit the German claim to a voice in the affairs of North Africa, a claim fortified by the mission of Count von Tattenbach, German minister at Lisbon, to Fez for the purpose of securing from the sherifian government special privileges for Germany. This aggressive policy was firmly resisted by M. Delcassé, the French minister of foreign affairs, and for a while war seemed to be inevitable. At Berlin powerful influences, notably that of Herr von Holstein—that mysterious omnipotence behind the throne—were working for this end; the crippling of Russia seemed too favourable an opportunity to be neglected for crushing the menace of French armaments. That an actual threat of war was conveyed to the French government (through the German ambassador at Rome, it is said) there can be no doubt. That war was prevented was due partly to the timidity of French ministers, partly to the fact that at the last moment Herr von Holstein shrank from the responsibility of pressing his arguments to a practical conclusion. The price of peace, however, was the resignation of M. Delcassé, who had been prepared to maintain a bold front. Germany had perhaps missed an opportunity for putting an end for ever to the rivalry of France; but she had inflicted a humiliation on her rival, and proved her capacity to make her voice heard in the councils of Europe.[8] The proceedings of the conference of Algeciras (see Morocco) emphasized the restored confidence of Germany in her international position. It was notably the part played by Austria in supporting the German point of view throughout at the conference that strengthened the position of Germany in Europe, by drawing closer the bonds of sympathy between the two empires. How strong this position had become was demonstrated during the crisis that arose after the revolution in Turkey and the annexation of Bosnia and Herzegovina by Austria in October 1908. The complete triumph of Baron von Aehrenthal’s policy, in the face of the opposition of most of the European powers, was due to German support, and Germany suddenly appeared as the arbiter of the affairs of the European continent (see Europe: History). German nervousness, which had seen British intrigues everywhere, and suspected in the beneficent activities of King Edward VII. a Machiavellian plan for isolating Germany and surrounding her with a net of hostile forces, gave way to a spirit of confidence which could afford to laugh at the terror of Germany which, to judge from the sensational reports of certain popular British journals, had seized upon Great Britain.

The great position gained by the German empire in these years was won in the face of great and increasing internal difficulties. These difficulties were, in the main, the outcome of the peculiar constitution of the empire, of Internal difficulties. the singular compromise which it represented between the traditional medieval polity and the organization of a modern state, and of the conflicts of ideals and of interests to which this gave rise; these being complicated by the masterful personality of the emperor William, and his tendency to confuse his position as German emperor by the will of the princes with his position as king of Prussia by the grace of God.

In general, Germany had passed since the war through a social and economic revolution similar to that undergone by Great Britain during the earlier half of the 19th century, though on a greater scale and at a much accelerated pace. A country mainly agricultural, and in parts purely feudal, was changed into one of vast industries and of great concentrations of population; and for the ferment created by this change there was no such safety-valve in the representative system as had existed in England since the Reform Bill. In spite of the election of the Reichstag by manhood suffrage, there existed, as Count Bülow pointed out in 1904, no real parliamentary system in Germany, and “owing to the economic, political, social and religious structure of the nation” there could never be one. Of the numerous groups composing the German parliament no one ever secured a majority, and in the absence of such a majority the imperial government, practically independent of parliament, knew how to secure its assent to its measures by a process of bargaining with each group in turn. This system had curious and very far-reaching results. The only group which stood outside it, in avowed hostility to the whole principle on which the constitution was based, was that of the Social Democrats, “the only great party in Germany which,” so the veteran Mommsen declared in 1901, “has any claim to political respect.” The consequence was the rapid extension and widening of the chasm that divided the German people. The mass of the working-class population in the Protestant parts of Germany belonged to the Social Democracy, an inclusive term covering variations of opinion from the doctrinaire system of Marx to a degree of Radicalism which in England would not be considered a bar to a peerage. To make head against this, openly denounced by the emperor himself as a treasonable movement, the government was from time to time forced to make concessions to the various groups which placed their sectional interests in the forefront of their programmes. To conciliate the Catholic Centre party, numerically the strongest of all, various concessions were from time to time made to the Roman Catholic Church, e.g. the repeal in 1904 of the clause of the Anti-Jesuit Law forbidding the settlement of individual members of the order in Germany. The Conservative Agrarians were conciliated by a series of tariff acts placing heavy duties on the importation of agricultural produce and exempting from duty agricultural implements.

The first of these tariffs, which in order to overcome Socialist obstruction was passed en bloc on December 13-14, 1902, led to an alarming alteration in the balance of parties in the new Reichstag of 1903, the Socialists—who Social Democracy. had previously numbered 58—winning 81 seats, a gain of 23. Of the other groups only one, and that hostile to the government—the Poles—had gained a seat. This startling victory of the Social Democracy, though to a certain extent discounted by the dissensions between the two wings of the party which were revealed at the congress at Dresden in the same year, was in the highest degree disconcerting to the government; but in the actual manipulation of the Reichstag it facilitated the work of the chancellor by enabling him to unite the other groups more readily against the common enemy. The most striking effect of the development of this antagonism was the gradual disappearance as a factor in politics of the Liberals, the chief builders of the Empire. Their part henceforth was to vote blindly with the Conservative groups, in a common fear of the Social Democracy, or to indulge in protests, futile because backed by no power inside or outside the parliament; their impotence was equally revealed when in December 1902 they voted with the Agrarians for the tariff, and in May 1909 when they withdrew in dudgeon from the new tariff committee, and allowed the reactionary elements a free hand. The political struggle of the future lay between the Conservative and Clerical elements in the state, alike powerful forces, and the organized power of the Social Democracy. In the elections of 1907, indeed, the Social Democratic party, owing to the unparalleled exertion of the government, had a set-back, its representation in parliament sinking to 43; but at the International Socialist Congress, which met at Stuttgart on the 18th of August, Herr Bebel was able to point out that, in spite of its defeat at the polls, the Socialist cause had actually gained strength in the country, their total poll having increased from 3,010,771 in 1903 to 3,250,000.

In addition to the political strife and anxiety due to this fundamental cleavage within the nation, Germany was troubled during the first decade of the 20th century by friction and jealousies arising out of the federal constitution Prussia and the Empire. of the Empire and the preponderant place in it of Prussia. In the work of pressing on the national and international expansion of Germany the interests and views of the lesser constituent states of the Empire were apt to be overlooked or overridden; and in the southern states there was considerable resentment at the unitarian tendency of the north, which seemed to aim at imposing the Prussian model on the whole nation. This resentment was especially conspicuous in Bavaria, which clings more tenaciously than the other states to its separate traditions. When, on the 1st of April 1902, a new stamp, with the superscription “Deutsches Reich,” was issued for the Empire, including Württemberg, Bavaria refused to accept it, retaining the stamp with the Bavarian lion, thus emphasizing her determination to retain her separate postal establishment. On the 23rd of October 1903 Baron Podevils, the new premier, addressing the Bavarian diet, declared that his government “would combat with all its strength” any tendency to assure the future of the Empire on any lines other than the federative basis laid down in the imperial constitution.

This protest was the direct outcome of an instance of the tendency of the emperor to interfere in the affairs of the various governments of the Empire. In 1902 the Clerical majority in the Bavarian diet had refused to vote Personal intervention of the emperor. £20,000 asked by the government for art purposes, whereupon the emperor had telegraphed expressing his indignation and offering to give the money himself, an offer that was politely declined. Another instance of the emperor’s interference, constitutionally of more importance as directly affecting the rights of the German sovereigns, was in the question of the succession to the principality of Lippe (see Lippe). The impulsive character of the emperor, which led him, with the best intentions and often with excellent effect, to interfere everywhere and in everything and to utter opinions often highly inconvenient to his ministers, was the subject of an interpellation in the Reichstag on the 20th of January 1903 by the Socialist Herr von Vollmar, himself a Bavarian. Count Bülow, in answer to his criticisms, declared that “the German people desired, not a shadow, but an emperor of flesh and blood.” None the less, the continued “indiscretions” of the emperor so incensed public opinion that, five years later, the chancellor himself was forced to side with it in obtaining from the emperor an undertaking to submit all his public utterances previously to his ministers for approval (see William II., German emperor).

Meanwhile, the attempt to complete the Germanization of the frontier provinces of the Empire by conciliation or repression continued. In this respect progress was made especially in Alsace-Lorraine. In May 1902, in return for the The non-German nationalities. money granted by the Reichsländer for the restoration of the imperial castle of Hohekönigsburg in the Vosges, the emperor promised to abolish the Diktaturparagraphen; the proposal was accepted by the Reichstag, and the exceptional laws relating to Alsace-Lorraine were repealed. Less happy were the efforts of the Prussian government at the Germanization of Prussian Poland and Schleswig. In the former, in spite of, or perhaps because of, the attempt to crush the Polish language and spirit, the Polish element continuously increased, reinforced by immigrants from across the frontier; in the latter the Danish language more than held its own, for similar reasons, but the treaty signed on the 11th of January 1907 between Prussia and Denmark, as to the status of the Danish “optants” in the duchies, removed the worst grievance from which the province was suffering (see Schleswig-Holstein Question).

Of more serious import were the yearly and increasing deficits in the imperial budget, and the consequent enormous growth of the debt. This was partly due to the commercial and industrial depression of the early years of the century, partly was another Resignation of Prince von Bülow. outcome of the federal constitution, which made it difficult to adjust the budget to the growing needs of the Empire without disarranging the finances of its constitutent states. The crisis became acute when the estimates for the year 1909 showed that some £25,000,000 would have to be raised by additional taxes, largely to meet the cost of the expanded naval programme. The budget presented to the Reichstag by Prince Bülow, which laid new burdens upon the landed and capitalist classes, was fiercely opposed by the Agrarians, and led to the break-up of the Liberal-Conservative bloc on whose support the chancellor had relied since the elections of 1906. The budget was torn to pieces in the committee selected to report on it; the Liberal members, after a vain protest, seceded; and the Conservative majority had a free hand to amend it in accordance with their views. In the long and acrimonious debates that followed in the Reichstag itself the strange spectacle was presented of the chancellor fighting a coalition of the Conservatives and the Catholic Centre with the aid of the Socialists and Liberals. The contest was from the first hopeless, and, but for the personal request of the emperor that he would pilot the Finance Bill through the House in some shape or other, Prince Bülow would have resigned early in the year. So soon as the budget was passed he once more tendered his resignation, and on the 14th of July a special edition of the Imperial Gazette announced that it had been accepted by the emperor. The post of imperial chancellor was at the same time conferred on Theobald von Bethmann-Hollweg, the imperial secretary of state for the interior.[9] (W. A. P.) 

Bibliography of German History.—Although the authorities for the history of Germany may be said to begin with Caesar, it is Tacitus who is especially useful, his Germania being an invaluable mine of information about the early inhabitants of the country. In the dark and disordered centuries which followed there are only a few scanty notices of the Germans, mainly in the works of foreign writers like Gregory of Tours and Jordanes; and then the 8th and 9th centuries, the time of the revival of learning which is associated with the name of Charlemagne, is reached. By the end of this period Christianity had been firmly established among most of the German tribes; the monks were the trustees of the new learning, and we must look mainly, although not exclusively, to the monasteries for our authorities. The work of the monks generally took the form of Annales or Chronica, and among the numerous German monasteries which are famous in this connexion may be mentioned Fulda, Reichenau, St Gall and Lorsch. For contemporary history and also for the century or so which preceded the lifetimes of their authors these writings are fairly trustworthy, but beyond this they are little more than collections of legends. There are also a large number of lives of saints and churchmen, in which the legendary element is still more conspicuous.

With regard to the Annales and Chronica three important considerations must be mentioned. They are local, they are monastic, and they are partisan. The writer in the Saxon abbey of Corvey, or in the Franconian abbey of Fulda, knows only about events which happened near his own doors; he records, it is true, occurrences which rumour has brought to his ears, but in general he is trustworthy only for the history of his own neighbourhood. The Saxon and the Franconian annalists know nothing of the distant Bavarians; there is even a gulf between the Bavarian and the Swabian. Then the Annals are monastic. To their writers the affairs of the great world are of less importance than those of the monastery itself. The Saxon Widukind, for instance, gives more space to the tale of the martyrdom of St Vitus than he does to several of the important campaigns of Henry the Fowler. Lastly, the annalist is a partisan. One is concerned to glorify at all costs the Carolingian house; another sacrifices almost everything to attack the emperor Henry IV. and to defend the Papacy; while a third holds a brief for some king or emperor, like Louis the Pious or Otto the Great.

Two difficulties are met with in giving an account of the sources of German history. In the 7th, 8th and 9th centuries it is hard, if not impossible, to disentangle the history of Germany from that of the rest of the Frankish empire of which it formed part; in fact it is not until the time of the dissensions between the sons of the emperor Louis I. that there are any signs of demarcation between the East and the West Franks, or, in other words, any separate history of Germany. The second difficulty arises later and is due to the connexion of Germany with the Empire. Germany was always the great pillar of the imperial power; for several centuries it was the Empire in everything but in name, and yet its political history is often overshadowed by the glamour of events in Italy. While the chroniclers were recording the deeds of Frederick I. and of Frederick II. in the peninsula, the domestic history of Germany remained to a large extent unwritten.

Among the early German chroniclers the Saxon Widukind, the author of the Res gestae Saxonicae, is worthy of mention. He was a monk of Corvey, and his work is the best authority for the early history of Saxony. Lambert, a monk of Hersfeld, and Widukind’s countryman, Bruno, in his De bello Saxonico, tell the story of the great contest between the emperor Henry IV. and Pope Gregory VII., with special reference to the Saxon part of the struggle. But perhaps the ablest and the most serviceable of these early writers is Otto of Freising, a member of the Babenberg family. Otto was also related to the great house of Hohenstaufen, a relationship which gave him access to sources of information usually withheld from the ordinary monastic annalist, and his work is very valuable for the earlier part of the career of Frederick I. Something is learned, too, from biographies written by the monks, of which Einhard’s Vita Karoli Magni is the greatest and the best, and Wipo’s life of the emperor Conrad II. is valuable, while another Carolingian courtier, Nithard, has a special interest as, almost alone among these early chroniclers, being a soldier and not a monk.

The monastic writers remain our chief authorities until the great change brought about by the invention of printing, although a certain amount of work was done by clerical writers attached to the courts of various rulers. Parallel with this event the revival of learning was producing a great number of men who could write, and, more important still, of men who were throwing off the monastic habits of thought and passing into a new intellectual atmosphere. The Renaissance was followed by the fierce controversies aroused by the Reformation, and the result was the output of an enormous mass of writings covering every phase of the mighty combat and possessing every literary virtue save that of impartiality. But apart from these polemical writings, many of which had only an ephemeral value, the Renaissance was the source of another stream of historical literature. Several princes and other leading personages, foremost among whom was the emperor Maximilian I., had spent a good deal of time and money in collecting the manuscripts of the medieval chroniclers, and these now began to be printed. The chronicle of Otto of Freising, which appeared in 1515, and the Vita of Einhard, which appeared six years later, are only two among the many printed at this time. The publication of collections of chronicles began in 1529, and the uncritical fashion in which these were reproduced made forgeries easy and frequent. There was, indeed, more than a zeal for pure learning behind this new movement; for both parties in the great religious controversy of the time used these records of the past as a storehouse of weapons of offence. The Protestants eagerly sought out the writings which exposed and denounced the arrogance of the popes, while the Romanists attempted to counter them with the numerous lives of the saints.

But before the raw material of history thus began to increase enormously in bulk, it had already begun to change its character and to assume its modern form. The Chronicle still survived as a medium of conveying information, though more often than not this was now written by a layman; but new stores of information were coming into existence, or rather the old stores were expanding and taking a different form. Very roughly these may be divided into six sections. (1) Official documents issued by the emperors and other German rulers. (2) Treaties concluded between Germany and other powers and also between one German state and another. (3) Despatches sent to England, Spain and other countries by their representatives in various parts of Germany. (4) Controversial writings or treatises written to attack or defend a given position, largely the product of the Reformation period. (5) The correspondence of eminent and observant persons. (6) An enormous mass of personal impressions taking the form of Commentaries, Memoirs and Diaries (Tagebücher). Moreover, important personages still find eulogistic biographers and defenders, e.g. the fanciful writings about the emperor Maximilian I. or Pufendorf’s De rebus gestis Friderici Wilhelmi Magni electoris Brandenburgici.

Through the dust aroused by the great Reformation controversy appear the dim beginnings of the scientific spirit in the writing of history, and in this connexion the name of Aventinus, “the Bavarian Herodotus,” may be mentioned. But for many years hardly any progress was made in this direction. Even if they possessed the requisite qualifications the historiographers attached to the courts of the emperor Charles V. and of lesser potentates could not afford to be impartial. Thus new histories were written and old ones unearthed, collected and printed, but no attempt was made to criticize and collate the manuscripts of the past, or to present two sides of a question in the writings of the present. Among the collections of authorities made during the 16th and 17th centuries those of J. Pistorius (Frankfort, 1583–1607), of E. Lindenbrog (Frankfort, 1609) and of M. Freher (Frankfort, 1600–1611), may be noticed, although these were only put together and printed in the most haphazard and unconnected fashion. Passing thus through these two centuries we reach the beginning of the 18th century and the work done for German historical scholarship by the philosopher Leibnitz, who sought to do for his own country what Muratori was doing for Italy. For some years it had been recognized that the collection and arrangement of the authorities for German history was too great an undertaking for any one man, and societies under very influential patronage were founded for this purpose. But very slight results attended these elaborate schemes, although their failure did not deter Leibnitz from pursuing the same end. The two chief collections which were issued by the philosopher are the Accessiones historicae (1698–1700) and the Scriptores rerum Brunsvicensium; the latter of these, containing documents centring round the history of the Welf family, was published in three volumes at Hanover (1707–1711). Leibnitz worked at another collection, the Origines Guelficae, which was completed and issued by his pupils (Hanover, 1750–1780), and also at Annales imperii occidentis Brunsvicenses, which, although the most valuable collection of the kind yet made, was not published until edited by G. H. Pertz (Hanover, 1843–1846). Other collections followed those of Leibnitz, among which may be mentioned the Corpus historicum medii aevi of J. G. Eccard (Leipzig, 1723) and the Scriptores rerum Germanicarum of J. B. Mencke (Leipzig, 1728). But these collections are merely heaps of historical material, good and bad; the documents therein were not examined and they are now quite superseded. They give, however, evidence of the great industry of their authors, and are the foundations upon which modern German scholarship has built.

In the 19th century the scientific spirit received a great impetus from the German system of education, one feature of which was that the universities began to require original work for some of their degrees. In this field of scientific research the Germans were the pioneers, and in it they are still pre-eminent, with Ranke as their most famous name and the Monumenta Germaniae historica as their greatest production. The Monumenta is a critical and ordered collection of documents relating to the history of Germany between 500 and 1500. It owes its origin mainly to the efforts of the statesman Stein, who was responsible for the foundation of the Gesellschaft für ältere deutsche Geschichtskunde, under the auspices of which the work was begun. The Gesellschaft was established in 1819, and, the editorial work having been entrusted to G. H. Pertz, the first volume of the Monumenta was published in 1826. The work was divided into five sections: Scriptores, Leges, Diplomata, Epistolae and Antiquitates, but it was many years before anything was done with regard to the two last-named sections. In the three remaining ones, however, folio volumes were published regularly, and by 1909 thirty folio volumes of Scriptores, five of Leges and one of Diplomata imperii had appeared. But meanwhile a change of organization had taken place. When Pertz resigned his editorial position in 1874 and the Gesellschaft was dissolved, twenty-four folio volumes had been published. The Prussian Academy of Sciences now made itself responsible for the continuance of the work, and a board of direction was appointed, the presidents of which were successively G. Waitz, W. Wattenbach, E. Dümmler and O. Holder-Egger. Soon afterwards as money became more plentiful the scope of work was extended; the production of the folio volumes continued, but the five sections were subdivided and in each of these a series of quarto volumes was issued. The titles of these new sections give a sufficient idea of their contents. The Scriptores are divided into Auctores antiquissimi, Scriptores rerum Merovingicarum, Scriptores rerum Langobardicarum et Italicarum, Libelli de lite imperatorum et pontificum, Gesta pontificum Romanorum and Deutsche Chroniken, or Scriptores qui vernacula lingua usi sunt. The Leges are divided into Leges nationum Germanicarum, Capitularia regum Francorum, Concilia, Constitutiones imperatorum et regum and Formulae. Three quarto volumes of Diplomata regum et imperatorum Germaniae and one of Diplomata Karolingorum had been published by 1909. Work was also begun upon the Antiquitates and the Epistolae. The sections of the former are Poëtae Latini medii aevi, Libri confraternitatum and Necrologia Germaniae, and of the latter Epistolae saeculi XIII. and Epistolae Merovingici et Karolini aevi. Meanwhile the publication of the Scriptores proper continues, although the thirty-first and subsequent volumes are in quarto and not in folio, and the number of volumes in the whole undertaking is continually being increased. The archives of the Gesellschaft have been published in twelve volumes, and a large number of volumes of the Neues Archiv have appeared. Some of the MSS. have been printed in facsimile, and an index to the Monumenta, edited by O. Holder-Egger and K. Zeumer, appeared in 1890. The writings of the more important chroniclers have been published separately, and many of them have been translated into German.

It will thus be seen that the ground covered by the Monumenta is enormous. The volumes of the Scriptores contain not only the domestic chroniclers, but also selections from the work of foreign writers who give information about the history of Germany—for example, the Englishman Matthew Paris. In the main these writings are arranged in chronological order. Each has been edited by an expert, and the various introductions give evidence of the number of MSS. collated and the great pains taken to ensure textual accuracy on the part of the different editors, among whom may be mentioned Mommsen and Lappenberg. Other great names in German historical scholarship have also assisted in this work. In addition to Waitz the Leges section has enjoyed the services of F. Bluhme and of H. Brunner, and the Diplomata section of T. Sickel, H. Bresslau and E. Mühlbacher.

The progress of the Monumenta stimulated the production of other works of a like nature, and among the smaller collections of authorities which appeared during the 19th century two are worthy of mention. These are the Fontes rerum Germanicarum, edited by J. F. Böhmer (Stuttgart, 1843–1868), a collection of sources of the 12th, 13th and 14th centuries, and the Bibliotheca rerum Germanicarum, edited by Ph. Jaffé (Berlin, 1864–1873). Another development followed the production of the Monumenta, this being the establishment in most of the German states of societies the object of which was to foster the study of local history. Reference may be made to a Verein for this purpose in Saxony and to others in Silesia and in Mecklenburg. Much has also been done in Prussia, in Brandenburg, in Bavaria, in Hanover, in Württemberg and in Baden, and collections of authorities have been made by competent scholars, of which the Geschichtsquellen der Provinz Sachsen und angrenzender Gebiete (Halle, 1870, fol.), which extends to forty volumes, the smaller Scriptores rerum Prussicarum (Leipzig, 1861–1874), and the seventy-seven volumes of the Publikationen aus den königlichen preussischen Staatsarchiven, veranlasst und unterstützt durch die königliche Archiverwaltung (Leipzig, 1878, fol.), may be cited as examples. The cities have followed the same path and their archives are being thoroughly examined. In 1836 an Urkundenbuch of Frankfort was published, and this example has been widely followed, the work done in Cologne, in Bremen and in Mainz being perhaps specially noticeable. Moreover an historical commission at Munich has published twenty-eight volumes in the series Die Chroniken der deutschen Städte vom 14. bis ins 16. Jahrhundert (Leipzig, 1862, fol.). Lastly, many documents relating to the great families of Germany, among them those of Hohenzollern and of Wittelsbach, have been carefully edited and given to the world.

With this great mass of material collected, sifted and edited by scholars of the highest standing it is not surprising that modern works on the history of Germany are stupendous in number and are generally of profound learning, and this in spite of the fact that some German historians—Gregorovius, Pauli and Lappenberg, for example—have devoted their time to researches into the history of foreign lands.

The earliest period is dealt with by K. Zeuss in Die Deutschen und die Nachbarstämme (Munich, 1837; new ed., Göttingen, 1904); and then by F. Dahn in his Urgeschichte der germanischen und romanischen Völker (Berlin, 1880–1889) and his Die Könige der Germanen, volumes of which have appeared at intervals between 1861 and 1909.

The Carolingian time is covered by E. Dümmler’s Geschichte des ostfränkischen Reichs (Leipzig, 1887–1888), and then follow Ranke’s Jahrbücher des deutschen Reichs unter dem sächsischen Hause (Berlin, 1837–1840), W. von Giesebrecht’s Geschichte der deutschen Kaiserzeit (1855–1888), and F. Raumer’s Geschichte der Hohenstaufen.

For the reigns of Lothair the Saxon and Conrad III. P. Jaffé’s books, Geschichte des deutschen Reiches unter Lothar dem Sachsen (Berlin, 1843) and Geschichte des deutschen Reiches unter Conrad III. (Hanover, 1845), may be consulted.

The chief histories on the period between the fall of the Hohenstaufen and the Renaissance are: T. Lindner, Deutsche Geschichte unter den Habsburgern und Luxemburgern (Stuttgart, 1888–1893); O. Lorenz, Deutsche Geschichte im 13. und 14. Jahrhundert (Vienna, 1863–1867); J. Aschbach, Geschichte Kaiser Sigmunds (Hamburg, 1838–1845); K. Fischer, Deutsches Leben und deutsche Zustände von der Hohenstaufenzeit bis ins Reformationszeitalter (Gotha, 1884); V. von Kraus, Deutsche Geschichte im Ausgange des Mittelalters (Stuttgart, 1888–1905), and A. Bachmann, Deutsche Reichsgeschichte im Zeitalter Friedrichs III. und Maximilians I. (Leipzig, 1884–1894).

The two greatest works on the Reformation period are L. von Ranke’s Deutsche Geschichte im Zeitalter der Reformation (Leipzig, 1882) and J. Janssen’s Geschichte des deutschen Volkes seit dem Ausgang des Mittelalters (1897–1903). Other works which may be mentioned are: F. B. von Bucholtz, Geschichte der Regierung Ferdinands I. (Vienna, 1831–1838); C. Egelhaaf, Deutsche Geschichte im Zeitalter der Reformation (Berlin, 1893), and F. von Bezold, Geschichte der deutschen Reformation (Berlin, 1890).

For the years after the Reformation we have Ranke, Zur deutschen Geschichte—Vom Religionsfrieden bis zum 30-jährigen Kriege (Leipzig, 1888); M. Ritter, Deutsche Geschichte im Zeitalter der Gegenreformation und des dreissigjährigen Krieges (Stuttgart, 1887, fol.); G. Droysen, Geschichte der Gegenreformation (Berlin, 1893); A. Gindely, Rudolf II. und seine Zeit (Prague, 1862–1868) and Geschichte des dreissigjährigen Krieges (Prague, 1869–1880). Gindely’s book is, of course, only one among an enormous number of works on the Thirty Years’ War.

For the period leading up to the time of Frederick the Great we have B. Erdmannsdörffer, Deutsche Geschichte vom Westfälischen Frieden bis zum Regierungsantritt Friedrichs des Grossen (Berlin, 1892–1893); and then follow Ranke, Zur Geschichte von Österreich und Preussen zwischen den Friedensschlüssen von Aachen und Hubertusburg (Leipzig, 1875) and Die deutschen Mächte und der Fürstenbund (Leipzig, 1871–1872); K. Biedermann, Deutschland im 18. Jahrhundert (Leipzig, 1854–1880); W. Oncken, Das Zeitalter Friedrichs des Grossen (Berlin, 1880–1882); A. von Arneth, Geschichte Maria Theresias (Vienna, 1863–1879); L. Häusser, Deutsche Geschichte vom Tode Friedrichs des Grossen bis zur Gründung des Deutschen Bundes (Berlin, 1861–1863), and K. T. von Heigel, Deutsche Geschichte vom Tode Friedrichs des Grossen bis zur Auflösung des alten Reichs (Stuttgart, 1899, fol.).

For the 19th century we may mention: H. von Treitschke, Deutsche Geschichte im 19. Jahrhundert (Leipzig, 1879–1894); H. von Sybel, Die Begründung des deutschen Reiches durch Wilhelm I. (Munich, 1889–1894); G. Kaufmann, Politische Geschichte Deutschlands im 19. Jahrhundert (Berlin, 1900), and H. von Zwiedeneck-Südenhorst, Deutsche Geschichte von der Auflösung des alten bis zur Gründung des neuen Reiches (Stuttgart, 1897–1905). These are perhaps the most important, but there are many others of which the following is a selection: K. Fischer, Die Nation und der Bundestag (Leipzig, 1880); K. Klüpfel, Geschichte der deutschen Einheitsbestrebungen bis zu ihrer Erfüllung (Berlin, 1872–1873); H. Blum, Die deutsche Revolution 1848–1849 (Florence, 1897) and Das deutsche Reich zur Zeit Bismarcks (Leipzig, 1893); W. Maurenbrecher, Gründung des deutschen Reiches (Leipzig, 1892); H. Friedjung, Der Kampf um die Vorherrschaft in Deutschland 1859–1866 (Stuttgart, 1897); C. von Kaltenborn, Geschichte der deutschen Bundesverhältnisse und Einheitsbestrebungen von 1806–1856 (Berlin, 1857); J. Jastrow, Geschichte des deutschen Einheitstraumes und seiner Erfüllung (Berlin, 1885), and P. Klöppel, Dreissig Jahre deutscher Verfassungsgeschichte (Leipzig, 1900).

For the most recent developments of German politics see H. Schulthess, Europäischer Geschichtskalender (Nördlingen, 1861, fol., a work similar to the English Annual Register); W. Müller and K. Wippermann, Politische Geschichte der Gegenwart (Berlin, 1868, fol.); the Statistisches Jahrbuch des deutschen Reichs, and A. L. Lowell, Governments and Parties in Continental Europe (1896).

A good general history of Germany is the Bibliothek deutscher Geschichte, edited by H. von Zwiedeneck-Südenhorst (Stuttgart, 1876, fol.). Other general histories, although on a smaller scale, are K. Lamprecht, Deutsche Geschichte (Berlin, 1891–1896); O. Kämmel, Deutsche Geschichte (Dresden, 1889); K. Biedermann, Deutsche Volks- und Kulturgeschichte (Wiesbaden, 1885); T. Lindner, Geschichte des deutschen Volks (Stuttgart, 1894); the Handbuch der deutschen Geschichte, edited by B. Gebhardt (Stuttgart, 1901), and K. W. Nitzsch, Geschichte des deutschen Volkes bis zum Augsburger Religionsfrieden (Leipzig, 1883–1885).

Special reference is deservedly made to three works of the highest value. These are J. G. Droysen’s great Geschichte der preussischen Politik (Berlin, 1855–1886); the Deutsche Reichstagsakten, the first series of which was published at Munich (1867, fol.) and the second at Gotha (1893–1901); and the collection known as the Regesta imperii, which owes its existence to the labours of J. F. Böhmer. Nearly the whole of the period between 751 and 1347 is covered by these volumes; the charters and other documents of some of the German kings being edited by Böhmer himself, and new and enlarged editions of certain sections have been brought out by J. Ficker, E. Winkelmann and others. Much useful information on the history of different periods is contained in the lives of individual emperors and others. Among these are H. Prutz, Kaiser Friedrich I. (Danzig, 1871–1874); F. W. Schirrmacher, Kaiser Friedrich II. (Göttingen, 1859–1865); H. Ulmann, Kaiser Maximilian I. (Stuttgart, 1884–1891); F. von Hurter, Geschichte Kaiser Ferdinands II. (Schaffhausen, 1857–1864), and H. Blum, Fürst Bismarck und seine Zeit (Munich, 1895). There is also the great series of volumes, primary and supplementary, forming the Allgemeine deutsche Biographie (Leipzig, 1875, fol.), in which the word deutsche is interpreted in the widest possible sense.

Apart from political histories there are useful collections of laws and other official documents of importance, and also a large number of valuable works on the laws and constitutions of the Germans and on German institutions generally. Among the collections are M. Goldast, Collectio constitutionum imperialium (1613; new and enlarged edition, 1673); the Capitulationes imperatorum et regum Romana-Germanorum (Strassburg, 1851) of Johann Limnäus, and the Corpus juris Germanici antiqui (Berlin, 1824) of F. Walter. Collections dealing with more recent history are J. C. Glaser’s Archiv des norddeutschen Bundes. Sammlung aller Gesetze, Verträge und Aktenstücke, die Verhältnisse des norddeutschen Bundes betreffend (Berlin, 1867); W. Jungermann’s Archiv des deutschen Reiches (Berlin, 1873, fol.), and the Acta Borussica. Denkmäler der preussischen Staatsverwaltung im 18. Jahrhundert (Berlin, 1892, fol.). Mention may also be made of C. C. Homeyer’s edition of the Sachsenspiegel and L. A. von Lassberg’s edition of the Schwabenspiegel; the many volumes of Wallenstein’s letters and papers; the eighteen volumes of the Urkunden und Aktenstücke zur Geschichte des Kurfürsten Friedrich Wilhelm von Brandenburg (Berlin, 1864, fol.); and the thirty volumes of the Politische Korrespondenz Friedrichs des Grossen (Berlin, 1879–1905). Modern writers on these subjects distinguished for their learning are G. Waitz (Deutsche Verfassungsgeschichte, Kiel and Berlin, 1844, fol.) and G. L. von Maurer (Geschichte der Städteverfassung in Deutschland, Erlangen, 1869–1871, and other cognate writings), their works being valuable not only for the early institutions of the Germans, but also for those of other Teutonic peoples. Other works on the German constitution and German laws are K. F. Eichhorn, Deutsche Staats- und Rechtsgeschichte (Göttingen, 1843–1844); R. Schröder, Lehrbuch der deutschen Rechtsgeschichte (Leipzig, 1889 and again 1902); H. Brunner, Deutsche Rechtsgeschichte (Leipzig, 1887–1892), and Grundzüge der deutschen Rechtsgeschichte (Leipzig, 1901–1903), and E. Mayer, Deutsche und französische Verfassungsgeschichte vom 9.-11. Jahrhundert (Leipzig, 1899).

Manners and customs are dealt with in J. Scherr’s Deutsche Kultur- und Sittengeschichte (Leipzig, 1852–1853); J. Lippert’s Deutsche Sittengeschichte (Vienna and Prague, 1889); O. Henne am Rhyn’s Kulturgeschichte des deutschen Volkes (Berlin, 1886); the Geschichte des deutschen Volkes und seiner Kultur im Mittelalter (Leipzig, 1891–1898) of H. Gerdes, and F. von Löher’s Kulturgeschichte der Deutschen im Mittelalter (Munich, 1891–1894). Among the works on husbandry may be mentioned: K. Bücher, Die Entstehung der Volkswirtschaft (Tübingen, 1893); K. T. von Inama-Sternegg, Deutsche Wirtschaftsgeschichte (Leipzig, 1879–1901), and K. Lamprecht, Deutsches Wirtschaftsleben im Mittelalter (Leipzig, 1886). For antiquities see M. Heyne, Fünf Bücher deutscher Hausaltertümer von den ältesten geschichtlichen Zeiten bis zum 16. Jahrhundert (Leipzig, 1899–1903), and L. Lindenschmit, Handbuch der deutschen Altertumskunde (Brunswick, 1880–1889). For the history of the German church see A. Hauck, Kirchengeschichte Deutschlands (Leipzig, 1887–1903); F. W. Rettberg, Kirchengeschichte Deutschlands (Göttingen, 1846–1848), and J. Friedrich, Kirchengeschichte Deutschlands (Bamberg, 1867–1869). For finance see K. D. Hüllmann, Deutsche Finanzgeschichte des Mittelalters (1805); for the administration of justice, O. Franklin, Das Reichshofgericht im Mittelalter (Weimar, 1867–1869), and A. Stölzel, Die Entwicklung des gelehrten Richtertums in deutschen Territorien (Stuttgart, 1872); for the towns and their people see J. Jastrow, Die Volkszahl deutscher Städte zu Ende des Mittelalters und zu Beginn der Neuzeit (Berlin, 1886); F. W. Barthold, Geschichte der deutschen Städte und des deutschen Bürgertums (Leipzig, 1850–1854), and K. Hegel, Städte und Gilden der germanischen Völker im Mittelalter (Leipzig, 1891); and for manufactures and commerce see J. Falke, Die Geschichte des deutschen Handels (Leipzig, 1859–1860); H. A. Mascher, Das deutsche Gewerbewesen von der frühesten Zeit bis auf die Gegenwart (Potsdam, 1866); F. W. Stahl, Das deutsche Handwerk (Giessen, 1874); the numerous writings on the history of the Hanseatic League and other works. The nobles and the other social classes have each their separate histories, among these being C. F. F. von Strantz, Geschichte des deutschen Adels (Breslau, 1845), and K. H. Roth von Schreckenstein, Die Ritterwürde und der Ritterstand (Freiburg, 1866).

The Germans have produced some excellent historical atlases, among them K. von Spruner’s Historisch-geographischer Handatlas (Gotha, 1853); a new edition of this by T. Menke called Handatlas für die Geschichte des Mittelalters und der neueren Zeit (Gotha, 1880), and G. Droysen’s Allgemeiner historischer Handatlas (Leipzig, 1886). The historical geography of Germany is dealt with in B. Knüll’s Historische Geographie Deutschlands im Mittelalter (Breslau, 1903); in F. H. Müller’s Die deutschen Stämme und ihre Fürsten (Hamburg, 1852), and in many other works referring to the different parts of the country.

English books on the history of Germany are not very numerous. There is a short History of Germany by James Sime (1874), another by E. F. Henderson (1902), and A History of Germany 1715–1815 by C. T. Atkinson (1909). H. A. L. Fisher’s Medieval Empire (1898) is very useful for the earlier period, and J. Bryce’s Holy Roman Empire is indispensable. There is a translation of Janssen’s Geschichte by M. A. Mitchell and A. M. Christie (1896, fol.), and there are useful chapters in the different volumes of the Cambridge Modern History. Two English historians have distinguished themselves by their work on special periods: Carlyle with his History of Friedrich II., called the Great (1872–1873), and W. Robertson with his History of the Reign of Charles V. (1820). There is also E. Armstrong’s Charles V. (London, 1902). Among German historical periodicals are the Historische Zeitschrift, long associated with the name of H. von Sybel, and the Historisches Jahrbuch.

In guides to the historical sources and to modern historical works Germany is well served. There is the Quellenkunde der deutschen Geschichte (Leipzig, 1906) of Dahlmann-Waitz, a most compendious volume, and the learned Deutschlands Geschichtsquellen im Mittelalter (Berlin, 1893–1894) of W. Wattenbach; A. Potthast’s Bibliotheca historica medii aevi (Berlin, 1896), and the Deutschlands Geschichtsquellen seit der Mitte des 13. Jahrhunderts (Berlin, 1886–1887) of O. Lorenz and A. Goldmann.  (A. W. H.*) 

Emery Walker sc.

Emery Walker sc.

  1. So called from the badge worn by the knights (Löwenritter) who composed it.
  2. The best account, in English, of the development of the Zollverein is in Percy Ashley’s Modern Tariff History (London, 1904).
  3. The only formal change is that the duchy of Lauenburg, which since 1865 had been governed by the king of Prussia as a separate principality (but without a vote in the Bundesrat), was in 1876 incorporated in the Prussian province of Schleswig-Holstein.
  4. See Annual Register (1908), pp. 289 et seq.
  5. The whole question is exhaustively treated from the Danish point of view in La Question de Slesvig (Copenhagen, 1906), a collective work edited by F. de Jessens.
  6. Reinhard Karl Friedrich von Dalwigk (1802–1880). Though a Lutheran, he had been accused in 1854 of an excessive subserviency to the Roman Catholic Church. He was responsible for the policy which threatened to involve the grand-duchy of Hesse in the fate of the Electorate in 1866. But it was due to his diplomatic skill that Upper Hesse was saved for the grand-duke.
  7. In 1899, following the Spanish-American War, Germany purchased the Caroline, Pelew and Marianne Islands from Spain; in 1899–1900 by agreement with Great Britain and America she acquired the two largest of the Samoan islands, renouncing in favour of Britain her protectorate over certain of the Solomon islands.
  8. The elevation of Count Bülow to the rank of prince immediately after the crisis was significantly compared with the same honour bestowed on Bismarck at Versailles in 1871.
  9. He was born on November 29, 1856, the son of a wealthy Rhenish landowner, and grandson of Moritz August von Bethmann-Hollweg (1795–1877), professor of law at Bonn, ennobled in 1840, and from 1858 to 1862 minister of education and religion at Berlin. Herr von Bethmann-Hollweg studied law at Strassburg, Leipzig and Berlin, entered the Prussian civil service in 1882, and, passing successfully through the various stages of a German administrative career, became governor (Oberpräsident) of the province of Brandenburg in 1899. In 1905 he became Prussian minister of the interior. Two years later he succeeded Count Posadowsky as imperial secretary of state for the interior and representative of the imperial chancellor, and was at the same time made vice-president of the council of Prussian ministers, an office and title which had been in abeyance for some years and were now again suppressed.