« ПредишнаНапред »
In placing before the public this sketch of the Constitution of the German Empire, I by no means lay claim to having done adequate justice to so important a subject. My object has been merely to give English readers some idea of how a country, holding so prominent a position in Europe, is governed. Germany now occupies so much the attention of public men in all countries, that I thought a short explanation of the form of its Constitution might be acceptable to those who have neither the leisure nor the inclination to wade through the elaborate works which German writers have published on the subject. To those who are anxious to acquire a thorough knowledge of the Constitution I would recommend the following books for perusal: 'Das Verfassungsrecht des Deutschen Reiches,' by Rönne; ‘Die Verfassung des Deutschen Reiches,' by Von der Heydt ; Das Verfassungsrecht des Norddeutschen Bundes,' by Thudichum; "Die
Verwaltungseinrichtungen in Elsass-Löthringen,' and · Die Annalen des Deutschen Reiches,' by Hirth.
To render the origin of the Constitution, and the cause which led to its establishment, clear to my readers, I found it necessary to give a rapid survey of the events which occurred in Germany from the year 1815 to the year 1871, and to avoid a break in the narrative I placed the sketch of the Constitution of 1867 after the chapter on the events from 1867–1871, though, chronologically speaking, it should have preceded it. The present Constitution is, with a few exceptions, identic with that of 1867; I have therefore devoted more space to the former, and then pointed out the alterations which were rendered necessary by the admission of the South German States into the North German Confederation, and by the transformation of the latter into the German Empire. I must, therefore, beg my readers to remember that in reading of the Constitution of 1867, they have the present Constitution before them, and not to imagine that, because I have been compelled to use the past tense throughout, the Constitution has been in any way altered, except in the instances which are afterwards mentioned.