BISMARCK 265 were to lose the duchies, he desired that Prussia should to renewing the old friendship with Austria, and insisted acquire them, and to recognize the Augustenburg claims (even with the threat of resignation) that no territory would make this impossible. His resistance to the national should be demanded. The southern states he treated with desire made him appear a traitor to his country. To check equal moderation, and thereby was able to arrange an the agitation he turned for help to Austria; and an alliance offensive and defensive alliance with them. On the other of the two joint Powers, so lately at variance, was formed. hand, in order to secure the complete control of North He then falsified all the predictions of the opposition by Germany, which was his immediate object, he required that going to war with Denmark, not, as they had required, in the whole of Hanover, Hesse Cassel, Hesse Nassau, and support of Augustenburg, but on the ground that the king the city of Frankfort, as well as the Elbe duchies, should of Denmark had violated his promise not to oppress his be absorbed in Prussia. He then formed a separate conGerman subjects. Austria continued to act with Prussia, federation of the North German states, but did not and, after the defeat of the Danes, at the Peace of Vienna attempt to unite the whole of Germany, partly because of the sovereignty of the duchies was surrendered to the the internal difficulties which this would have produced, two allies—the first step towards annexation by Prussia. paitly because it would have brought about a war with There is no part of Bismarck’s diplomatic work which France. In the new confederation he became sole respondeserves such careful study as these events. Watched as sible minister, with the title Bundes-Kanzler ; this position he was by countless enemies at home and abroad, a single he held till 1890, in addition to his former post of premier false step would have brought ruin and disgrace on him- min ister. In 18/1 the title was altered to Btichs-Kanzlev. self ; the growing national excitement would have burst The reconciliation with the Prussian parliament he effected through all restraint, and again, as fifteen years before, by bringing in a bill of indemnity for the money which had Germany divided and unorganized would have had to been spent without leave of parliament. The Radicals capitulate to the orders of foreign Powers. still continued their opposition, but he thereby made The Peace of Vienna left him once more free to return possible the formation of a large party of moderate to his older policy. For the next eighteen months he Liberals, who thenceforward supported him in his new occ u jiecl War with . l war preparing for war with Austria. Nationalist policy. He also, in the constitution for the Austria. ^or he was alone responsible; he new confederation, introduced a general Diet elected by undertook it deliberately as the only means of universal suffrage. This was the chief demand of the securing Prussian ascendancy in Germany. The actual revolutionists in 1848 ; it was one to which in his early life cause of dispute was the disposition of the conquered he had been strongly opposed. His experience at Frankduchies, for Austria now wished to put Augustenburg in fort had diminished his dislike of popular representation, as duke, a plan to which Bismarck would not assent. In and it was probably to the advice of Lassalle that his 1865 a provisional arrangement was made by the treaty adoption of universal suffrage was due. He first publicly of Gastein, for Bismarck was not yet ready. He would not proposed it just before the war; by carrying it out, notrisk a war unless he was certain of success, .and for this he withstanding the apprehensions of many Liberal politicians, required the alliance of Italy and French support; both he placed the new constitution on a firmer base than would he secured during the next year. In October 1865 he otherwise have been possible. visited Napoleon at Biarritz and Paris. No formal treaty Up to 1866 he had always appeared to be an opponent was made, but Napoleon promised to regard favourably an of the National party in Germany, now he became their extension of Prussian power in Germany; while Bismarck leader. His next task was to complete the work which led the emperor to believe that Prussia would help him in was half-finished, and it was this which brought about the • extending the frontier of France. A treaty of alliance second of the great wars which he undertook. with Italy was arranged in the spring of 1866; and The relations with Napoleon form one of the most interBismarck then with much difficulty overcame the reluct- esting but obscurest episodes in Bismarck’s career. We ance of the king to embark in a war with his old ally. have seen that he did not share the common The results of the war entirely justified his calculations. prejudice against co-operation with France. He Bismarck Prussia, though opposed by all the German states except a found Napoleon willing to aid Prussia as he had ^a oieon few principalities in the north, completely defeated all her aided Piedmont, and was ready to accept his ap° e°a enemies, and at the end of a few weeks the whole of assistance. There was this difference, that he asked only Germany lay at her feet. for neutrality, not armed assistance, and it is improbable The war of 1866 is more than that of 1870 the crisis that he ever intended to alienate any German territory; of modern German history. It finally settled the contro- he showed himself, however, on more than one occasion Settlement which had begun more than a hundred ready to discuss plans for extending French territory on ofl866.en years before, and left Prussia the dominant the side, of Belgium and Switzerland. Napoleon, who had power in Germany. It determined that the not anticipated the rapid success of Prussia, after the unity of Germany should be brought about not by revo- battle of Kbniggratz at the request of Austria came forlutionary means as in 1848, not as in 1849 had been ward as mediator, and there were a few days during which attempted by voluntary agreement of the princes, not by it was probable that Prussia would have to meet a French Austria, but by the sword of Prussia. This was the great attempt to dictate terms of peace. Bismarck in this crisis work of Bismarck’s life; he had completed the programme by deferring to the emperor in appearance avoided the foreshadowed in his early speeches, and finished the work danger, but he knew that he had been deceived, and the of Frederick the Great. It is also the turning-point in cordial understanding was never renewed. Immediately Bismarck’s own life. Having secured the dominance of after an armistice had been arranged, Benedetti, at the the crown in Prussia and of Prussia in Germany, he could orders of the French Government, demanded as recomafford to make a reconciliation with the parties which had pense a large tract of German territory on the left bank of been his chief opponents, and turn to them for help in the Rhine. This Bismarck peremptorily refused, declaring building up a new Germany. The settlement of 1866 that he would rather have war. Benedetti then made was peculiarly his work. We must notice, first, how in another proposal, submitting a draft treaty by which arranging the terms of peace he opposed the king and the France was to support Prussia in adding the South German military party who wished to advance on Vienna and annex states to the new confederation, and Germany was to suppart of Austrian Silesia; with greater foresight he looked port France in the annexation of Luxemburg and Belgium. S. II. — 34
Page:1902 Encyclopædia Britannica - Volume 26 - AUS-CHI.pdf/299
This page needs to be proofread.