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CHAP. The position of Hesse was a peculiar one, as one
half of her territory was north of the Main, and was 1866–71.
therefore included in the North German Confederation, while the southern half maintained an independent position. She concluded a military convention with Prussia, by which she placed all her troops under the command of the latter; she also placed the administration of her posts and telegraphs. in the hands of this Power. The Upper Chamber of Hesse, however, refused to agree to the proposals of the Lower House that Hesse should, in its entirety, join the North German Confederation. Baden was anxious to enter the newly-formed Confederation, but did not wish to do so by herself. It was manifest that the exclusion of the South German States was only temporary, and that some great event alone was needed to weld the whole of Germany together.
Although there was some discontent in the provinces. annexed provinces, it did not extend very widely,
and the central Power was too strong to admit of this discontent taking any active form. Germany had not been accustomed to see the principle of legitimacy violated, and it was not in their own States alone that the deposed sovereigns found sympathy. In Hanover a plot was discovered for forming a legion, which, in case of a war between France and Germany, was to rise in arms against the Fatherland, and endeavour to reinstate King George upon his throne. Many arrests, and the
THE LUXEMBURG QUESTION.
flight of many of those implicated to France, /whither" y CHAP. the legion transferred its activity, were the resálts,
1866–716) Prussia pursued a conciliatory policy towards the i States which she had annexed. She attempted to conciliate their particular interests with the measures she was forced to take for the consolidation of the new Confederation. The new army organization was perhaps the innovation which created the greatest opposition. The severe discipline and the liability of everyone to military service brought home to each individual the price he had to pay for his political ideal. Many who had cried loudly for national unity would now have preferred to return to the old order of things rather than have their liberty of action fettered. It was now that emigration drained Germany of many of her sons, and grew to dimensions which gave, and still give, the Government cause for reflection. A question now
arose which at one time The Luxthreatened to produce serious complications. At
question. the Congress of Vienna, Luxemburg had been given to the King of Holland, but not absolutely. It was to be a member of the German Confederation; the town was to be considered a Federal fortress, and to have a Prussian garrison. After the war of 1866, Luxemburg ceased to be a member of the German Confederation, and the King of the Netherlands, wishing to find an ally to support him in case of need against his powerful neighbour, turned to France, who seizing upon the opportunity
CHAP. to get a footing in Germany undertook to take over
Luxemburg, and to pay Holland a sum of money 1866–71.
for the acquisition. As soon as this agreement was made public there was a loud outcry in Germany against a former Federal State being sold to a Foreign Power, and the determination was expressed on no account to allow the agreement to be carried out. The question was referred to a Congress which met in London in May, 1867, and it was decided that the five great Powers should guarantee the neutrality of Luxemburg, which was to remain in personal union with Holland ; that the fortifications were to be razed, and the Prussian garrison withdrawn. Luxemburg still remained in the Customs Union, but was only regarded as a foreign land adhering to the Union, and not represented either in the Customs Federal Council or in the Customs Parliament. The other portion of the King of Holland's dominions, Limburg, which had formed part of the German Confederation, was also released from its connection with Germany. In language, customs, feelings, and descent the inhabitants of Limburg were totally distinct from the Germans.
The Luxemburg incident was the only question political of foreign policy which during the four
ing the Seven Weeks' War gave the North German statesmen cause for uneasiness.
The question having been peacefully solved they could now devote the whole of their attention to the great
work of the reorganization of Germany. The opening of the new Parliament had given a great
1866-71. stimulus to political life in Germany. Although their sphere was narrowed, and they had almost descended to the position of mere vestries, the Assemblies of the different States showed an increased activity and a heartier interest in the work on which they were engaged. The political societies became more numerous, and in the case of those of the social democratic party, which was making many converts, bolder and more exacting in their demands. The newly-acquired rights of freedom of speech and freedom of the press were, naturally, in many cases misused.
In the early part of the session of February a Baden motion was brought forward by Herr Laske, in the North GerReichstag for the admission of Baden into the Con- federation. federation. Baden was most anxious to enter the North German Confederation, but Count Bismarck successfully combated the idea by pointing out that Baden was of more benefit to the Confederation in her present position than if she was received within the fold. She was the only one of the South German States thoroughly imbued with national ideas, and she could therefore be a most effectual instrument in aiding the developinent of a national policy in the South, while if she were withdrawn
1 This motion was not really against the Constitution, as it arose
ally uring the discussion of a treaty between the Confederation and Baden, and was not of a formal nature.
and the other Southern States left to themselves,
this great work would be impeded and delayed. 1866–71.
We are now on the threshold of the great Franco-German War. This war is of such very recent occurrence, the causes which led to it have been so often discussed, that I consider it superfluous to do more than mention the fact of the
declaration of war, and pass on to the moment when The South the representatives of the South German States arrived States ad. in Versailles to negotiate for the admission of these North Ger- States into the North German Confederation. This
step was a natural one, and it was patent to all that after the successes of the German army it would be impossible for the connection between North and South Germany to rest merely on offensive and defensive alliances. It was from Bavaria that the proposal came to place the Imperial Crown on the head of the King of Prussia, and to secure the succession to his descendants ; and she thereby took the position to which she was entitled, of the second Power in Germany. The negotiations with Bavaria alone offered any difficulties, but these were soon conquered, and on November 24, 1870, the treaties were laid before the Reichstag for their approval, the necessary two-thirds majority in the Federal Council having already given their consent.
The Reichstag agreed to the treaties; and also to the King of Prussia receiving the title of German Emperor,"
1 It is unfortunate that there is so much carelessness in England with regard to the title to be given to the German Emperor. He is