GERMANY (Ger. Deutschland), or, more properly, The German Empire (Deutsches Reich), a country of central Europe. The territories occupied by peoples of distinctively Teutonic race and language are commonly designated as German, and in this sense may be taken to include, besides Germany proper (the subject of the present article), the German-speaking sections of Austria, Switzerland and Holland. But Germany, or the German empire, as it is now understood, was formed in 1871 by virtue of treaties between the North German Confederation and the South German states, and by the acquisition, in the peace of Frankfort (May 10, 1871), of Alsace-Lorraine, and embraces all the countries of the former German Confederation, with the exception of Austria, Luxemburg, Limburg and Liechtenstein. The sole addition to the empire proper since that date is the island of Heligoland, ceded by Great Britain in 1890, but Germany has acquired extensive colonies in Africa and the Pacific (see below, Colonies).

The German empire extends from 47° 16' to 55° 53' N., and from 5° 52' to 22° 52' E. The eastern provinces project so far that the extent of German territory is much greater from south-west to north-east than in any other direction. Tilsit is 815 m. from Metz, whereas Hadersleben, in Schleswig, is only 540 m. from the Lake of Constance. The actual difference in time between the eastern and western points is 1 hour and 8 minutes, but the empire observes but one time - 1 hour E. of Greenwich. The empire is bounded on the S.E. and S. by Austria and Switzerland (for 1659 m.), on the S.W. by France (242 m.), on the W. by Luxemburg, Belgium and Holland (together 558 m.). The length of German coast on the North Sea or German Ocean is 293 m., and on the Baltic 927 m., the intervening land boundary on the north of Schleswig being only 47 m. The eastern boundary is with Russia 843 m. The total length of the frontiers is thus 4569 m. The area, including rivers and lakes but not the haffs or lagoons on the Baltic coast, is 208,830 sq. m., and the population (1905) 60,641,278. In respect of its area, the German empire occupied in 1909 the third place among European countries, and in point of population the second, coming in point of area immediately after Russia and Austria-Hungary, and in population next to Russia.

Political Divisions. - The empire is composed of the following twenty-six states and divisions: the kingdoms of Prussia, Bavaria, Saxony and Württemberg; the grand-duchies of Baden, Hesse, Mecklenburg-Schwerin, Mecklenburg-Strelitz, Oldenburg and Saxe-Weimar; the duchies of Anhalt, Brunswick, Saxe-Altenburg, Saxe-Coburg-Gotha and Saxe-Meiningen; the principalities of Lippe-Detmold, Reuss-Greiz, Reuss-Schleiz, Schaumburg-Lippe, Schwarzburg-Rudolstadt, Schwarzburg-Sondershausen and Waldeck-Pyrmont; the free towns of Bremen, Hamburg and Lübeck, and the imperial territory of Alsace-Lorraine.

Besides these political divisions there are certain parts of Germany which, not conterminous with political boundaries, retain appellations derived either from former tribal settlements or from divisions of the old Holy Roman Empire. These are Franconia (Franken), which embraces the districts of Bamberg, Schweinfurt and Würzburg on the upper Main; Swabia (Schwaben), in which is included Württemberg, parts of Bavaria and Baden and Hohenzollern; the Palatinate (Pfalz), embracing Bavaria west of the Rhine and the contiguous portion of Baden; Rhineland, applied to Rhenish Prussia, Nassau, Hesse-Darmstadt and parts of Bavaria and Baden; Vogtland, [1] the mountainous country lying in the south-west corner of the kingdom of Saxony; Lusatia (Lausitz), the eastern portion of the kingdom of Saxony and the adjacent portion of Prussia watered by the upper Spree; Thuringia (Thüringen), the country lying south of the Harz Mountains and including the Saxon duchies; East Friesland (Ost Friesland), the country lying between the lower course of the Weser and the Ems, and Westphalia (Westfalen), the fertile plain lying north and west of the Harz Mountains and extending to the North Sea and the Dutch frontier.

Coast and Islands. - The length of the coast-line is considerably less than the third part of the whole frontier. The coasts are shallow, and deficient in natural ports, except on the east of Schleswig-Holstein, where wide bays encroach upon the land, giving access to the largest vessels, so that the great naval harbour could be constructed at Kiel. With the exception of those on the east coast of Schleswig-Holstein, all the important trading ports of Germany are river ports, such as Emden, Bremen, Hamburg, Lübeck, Stettin, Danzig, Königsberg, Memel. A great difference, however, is to be remarked between the coasts of the North Sea and those of the Baltic. On the former, where the sea has broken up the ranges of dunes formed in bygone times, and divided them into separate islands, the mainland has to be protected by massive dikes, while the Frisian Islands are being gradually washed away by the waters. On the coast of East Friesland there are now only seven of these islands, of which Norderney is best known, while of the North Frisian Islands, on the western coast of Schleswig, Sylt is the most considerable. Besides the ordinary waste of the shores, there have been extensive inundations by the sea within the historic period, the gulf of the Dollart having been so caused in the year 1276. Sands surround the whole coast of the North Sea to such an extent that the entrance to the ports is not practicable without the aid of pilots. Heligoland is a rocky island, but it also has been considerably reduced by the sea. The tides rise to the height of 12 or 13 ft. in the Jade Bay and at Bremerhaven, and 6 or 7 ft. at Hamburg. The coast of the Baltic, on the other hand, possesses few islands, the chief being Alsen and Fehmarn off the coast of Schleswig-Holstein, and Rügen off Pomerania. It has no extensive sands, though on the whole very flat. The Baltic has no perceptible tides; and a great part of its coast-line is in winter covered with ice, which also so blocks up the harbours that navigation is interrupted for several months every year. Its haffs fronting the mouths of the large rivers must be regarded as lagoons or extensions of the river beds, not as bays. The Pommersche or Oder Haff is separated from the sea by two islands, so that the river flows out by three mouths, the middle one (Swine) being the most considerable. The Frische Haff is formed by the Nogat, a branch of the Vistula, and by the Pregel, and communicates with the sea by means of the Pillauer Tief. The Kurische Haff receives the Memel, called Niemen in Russia, and has its outlet in the extreme north at Memel. Long narrow alluvial strips called Nehrungen, lie between the last two haffs and the Baltic. The Baltic coast is further marked by large indentations, the Gulf of Lübeck, that of Pomerania, east of Rügen, and the semicircular Bay of Danzig between the promontories of Rixhöft and Brüsterort. The German coasts are well provided with lighthouses.

Surface. - In respect of physical structure Germany is divided into two entirely distinct portions, which bear to one another a ratio of about 3 to 4. The northern and larger part may be described as a uniform plain. South and central Germany, on the other hand, is very much diversified in scenery. It possesses large plateaus, such as that of Bavaria, which stretches away from the foot of the Alps, fertile low plains like that intersected by the Rhine, mountain chains and isolated groups of mountains, comparatively low in height, and so situated as not seriously to interfere with communication either by road or by railway.

Mountains and plateaus

Bavaria is the only division of the country that includes within it any part of the Alps, the Austro-Bavarian frontier running along the ridge of the Northern Tirolese or Bavarian Alps. The loftiest peak of this group, the Zugspitze (57 m. S. of Munich), is 9738 ft. in height, being the highest summit in the empire. The upper German plain sloping northwards from the Bavarian Alps is watered by the Lech, the Isar and the Inn, tributaries of the Danube, all three rising beyond the limits of German territory. This plain is separated on the west from the Swiss plain by the Lake of Constance (Bodensee, 1306 ft. above sea-level), and on the east from the undulating grounds of Austria by the Inn. The average height of the plain may be estimated at about 1800 ft., the valley of the Danube on its north border being from 1540 ft. (at Ulm) to 920 ft. (at Passau). The plain is not very fertile. In the upper part of the plain, towards the Alps, there are several lakes, the largest being the Ammersee, the Würmsee or Starnberger See and the Chiemsee. Many portions of the plain are covered by moors and swamps of large extent, called Moose. The left or northern bank of the Danube from Regensburg downwards presents a series of granitic rocks called the Bavarian Forest (Bayrischer Wald), which must be regarded as a branch of the Bohemian Forest (Böhmer Wald). The latter is a range of wooded heights on the frontier of Bavaria and Bohemia, occupying the least known and least frequented regions of Germany. The summits of the Bayrischer Wald rise to the height of about 4000 ft., and those of the Böhmer Wald to 4800 ft., Arber being 4872 ft. The valley of the Danube above Regensburg is flanked by plateaus sloping gently to the Danube, but precipitous towards the valley of the Neckar. The centre of this elevated tract is the Rauhe Alb, so named on account of the harshness of the climate. The plateau continuing to the north-east and then to the north, under the name of the Franconian Jura, is crossed by the valley of the winding Altmühl, and extends to the Main. To the west extensive undulating grounds or low plateaus occupy the area between the Main and the Neckar.

The south-western corner of the empire contains a series of better defined hill-ranges. Beginning with the Black Forest (Schwarzwald), we find its southern heights decline to the valley of the Rhine, above Basel, and to the Jura. The summits are rounded and covered with wood, the highest being the Feldberg (10 m. S.E. of Freiburg, 4898 ft.). Northwards the Black Forest passes into the plateau of the Neckarbergland (average height, 1000 ft.). The heights between the lower Neckar and the Main form the Odenwald (about 1700 ft.); and the Spessart, which is watered by the Main on three sides, is nothing but a continuation of the Odenwald. West of this range of hills lies the valley of the upper Rhine, extending about 180 m. from south to north, and with a width of only 20 to 25 m. In the upper parts the Rhine is rapid, and therefore navigable with difficulty; this explains why the towns there are not along the banks of the river, but some 5 to 10 m. off. But from Spires (Speyer) town succeeds town as far down as Düsseldorf. The western boundary of this valley is formed in the first instance by the Vosges, where granite summits rise from under the surrounding red Triassic rocks (Sulzer Belchen, 4669 ft.). To the south the range is not continuous with the Swiss Jura, the valley of the Rhine being connected here with the Rhone system by low ground known as the Gate of Mülhausen. The crest of the Vosges is pretty high and unbroken, the first convenient pass being near Zabern, which is followed by the railway from Strassburg to Paris. On the northern side the Vosges are connected with the Hardt sandstone plateau (Kalmit, 2241 ft.), which rises abruptly from the plain of the Rhine. The mountains south of Mainz, which are mostly covered by vineyards, are lower, the Donnersberg, however, raising its head to 2254 ft. These hills are bordered on the west by the high plain of Lorraine and the coal-fields of Saarbrücken, the former being traversed by the river Mosel. The larger part of Lorraine belongs to France, but the German part possesses great mineral wealth in its rich layers of ironstone (siderite) and in the coal-fields of the Saar. The tract of the Hunsrück, Taunus and Eifel is an extended plateau, divided into separate sections by the river valleys. Among these the Rhine valley from Bingen to Bonn, and that of the Mosel from Trier to Coblenz, are winding gorges excavated by the rivers. The Eifel presents a sterile, thinly-peopled plateau, covered by extensive moors in several places. It passes westwards imperceptibly into the Ardennes. The hills on the right bank of the Rhine also are in part of a like barren character, without wood; the Westerwald (about 2000 ft.), which separates the valleys of the Sieg and Lahn, is particularly so. The northern and southern limits of the Niederrheinische Gebirge present a striking contrast to the central region. In the south the declivities of the Taunus (2890 ft.) are marked by the occurrence of mineral springs, as at Ems on the Lahn, Nauheim, Homburg, Soden, Wiesbaden, etc., and by the vineyards which produce the best Rhine wines. To the north of this system, on the other hand, lies the great coal basin of Westphalia, the largest in Germany. In the south of the hilly duchy of Hesse rise the isolated mountain groups of the Vogelsberg (2530 ft.) and the Rhön (3117 ft.), separated by the valley of the Fulda, which uniting farther north with the Werra forms the Weser. To the east of Hesse lies Thuringia, a province consisting of the far-stretching wooded ridge of the Thuringian Forest (Thüringerwald; with three peaks upwards of 3000 ft. high), and an extensive elevated plain to the north. Its rivers are the Saale and Unstrut. The plateau is bounded on the north by the Harz, an isolated group of mountains, rich in minerals, with its highest elevation in the bare summit of the Brocken (3747 ft.). To the west of the Harz a series of hilly tracts is comprised under the name of the Weser Mountains, out of which above Minden the river Weser bursts by the Porta Westphalica. A narrow ridge, the Teutoburger Wald (1300 ft.), extends between the Weser and the Ems as far as the neighbourhood of Osnabrück.

To the east the Thuringian Forest is connected by the plateau of the Frankenwald with the Fichtelgebirge. This group of mountains, occupying what may be regarded as ethnologically the centre of Germany, forms a hydrographical centre, whence the Naab flows southward to the Danube, the Main westward to the Rhine, the Eger eastward to the Elbe, and the Saale northward, also into the Elbe. In the north-east the Fichtelgebirge connects itself directly with the Erzgebirge, which forms the northern boundary of Bohemia. The southern sides of this range are comparatively steep; on the north it slopes gently down to the plains of Leipzig, but is intersected by the deep valleys of the Elster and Mulde. Although by no means fertile, the Erzgebirge is very thickly peopled, as various branches of industry have taken root there in numerous small places. Around Zwickau there are productive coal-fields, and mining for metals is carried on near Freiberg. In the east a tableland of sandstone, called Saxon Switzerland, from the picturesque outlines into which it has been eroded, adjoins the Erzgebirge; one of its most notable features is the deep ravine by which the Elbe escapes from it. Numerous quarries, which supply the North German cities with stone for buildings and monuments, have been opened along the valley. The sandstone range of the Elbe unites in the east with the low Lusatian group, along the east of which runs the best road from northern Germany to Bohemia. Then comes a range of lesser hills clustering together to form the frontier between Silesia and Bohemia. The most western group is the Isergebirge, and the next the Riesengebirge, a narrow ridge of about 20 miles' length, with bare summits. Excluding the Alps, the Schneekoppe (5266 ft.) is the highest peak in Germany; and the southern declivities of this range contain the sources of the Elbe. The hills north and north-east of it are termed the Silesian Mountains. Here one of the minor coal-fields gives employment to a population grouped round a number of comparatively small centres. One of the main roads into Bohemia (the pass of Landshut) runs along the eastern base of the Riesengebirge. Still farther to the east the mountains are grouped around the hollow of Glatz, whence the Neisse forces its way towards the north. This hollow is shut in on the east by the Sudetic group, in which the Altvater rises to almost 4900 ft. The eastern portion of the group, called the Gesenke, slopes gently away to the valley of the Oder, which affords an open route for the international traffic, like that through the Mülhausen Gate in Alsace. Geographers style this the Moravian Gate.

The North German plain presents little variety, yet is not absolutely uniform. A row of low hills runs generally parallel to the mountain ranges already noticed, at a distance of 20 to 30 m. to the north. To these belongs the upper Silesian coal-basin, which occupies a considerable area in south-eastern Silesia. North of the middle districts of the Elbe country the heights are called the Fläming hills. Westward lies as the last link of this series the Lüneburger Heide or Heath, between the Weser and Elbe, north of Hanover. A second tract, of moderate elevation, sweeps round the Baltic, without, however, approaching its shores. This plateau contains a considerable number of lakes, and is divided into three portions by the Vistula and the Oder. The most eastward is the so-called Prussian Seenplatte. Spirdingsee (430 ft. above sea-level and 46 sq. m. in area) and Mauersee are the largest lakes; they are situated in the centre of the plateau, and give rise to the Pregel. Some peaks near the Russian frontier attain to 1000 ft. The Pomeranian Seenplatte, between the Vistula and the Oder, extends from S.W. to N.E., its greatest elevation being in the neighbourhood of Danzig (Turmberg, 1086 ft.). The Seenplatte of Mecklenburg, on the other hand, stretches from S.E. to N.W., and most of its lakes, of which the Müritz is the largest, send their waters towards the Elbe. The finely wooded heights which surround the bays of the east coast of Holstein and Schleswig may be regarded as a continuation of these Baltic elevations. The lowest parts, therefore, of the North German plain, excluding the sea-coasts, are the central districts from about 52° to 53° N. lat., where the Vistula, Netze, Warthe, Oder, Spree and Havel form vast swampy lowlands (in German called Brüche), which have been considerably reduced by the construction of canals and by cultivation, improvements due in large measure to Frederick the Great. The Spreewald, to the S.E. of Berlin, is one of the most remarkable districts of Germany. As the Spree divides itself there into innumerable branches, enclosing thickly wooded islands, boats form the only means of communication. West of Berlin the Havel widens into what are called the Havel lakes, to which the environs of Potsdam owe their charms. In general the soil of the North German plain cannot be termed fertile, the cultivation nearly everywhere requiring severe and constant labour. Long stretches of ground are covered by moors, and there turf-cutting forms the principal occupation of the inhabitants. The greatest extent of moorland is found in the westernmost parts of the plain, in Oldenburg and East Frisia. The plain contains, however, a few districts of the utmost fertility, particularly the tracts on the central Elbe, and the marsh lands on the west coast of Holstein and the north coast of Hanover, Oldenburg and East Frisia, which, within the last two centuries, the inhabitants have reclaimed from the sea by means of immense dikes.

Rivers. - Nine independent river-systems may be distinguished: those of the Memel, Pregel, Vistula (Weichsel), Oder, Elbe, Weser, Ems, Rhine and Danube. Of these the Pregel, Weser and Ems belong entirely, and the Oder mostly, to the German empire. The Danube has its sources on German soil; but only a fifth part of its course is German. Its total length is 1750 m., and the Bavarian frontier at Passau, where the Inn joins it, is only 350 m. distant from its sources. It is navigable as far as Ulm, 220 m. above Passau; and its tributaries the Lech, Isar, Inn and Altmühl are also navigable. The Rhine is the most important river of Germany, although neither its sources nor its mouths are within the limits of the empire. From the Lake of Constance to Basel (122 m.) the Rhine forms the boundary between the German empire and Switzerland; the canton of Schaffhausen, however, is situated on the northern bank of the river. From Basel to below Emmerich the Rhine belongs to the German empire - about 470 m. or four-sevenths of its whole course. It is navigable all this distance as are also the Neckar from Esslingen, the Main from Bamberg, the Lahn, the Lippe, the Ruhr, the Mosel from Metz, with its affluents the Saar and Sauer. Sea-going vessels sail up the Ems as far as Halte, and river craft as far as Greven, and the river is connected with a widely branching system of canals, as the Ems-Jade and Dortmund-Ems canals. The Fulda, navigable for 63 m., and the Werra, 38 m., above the point where they unite, form by their junction the Weser, which has a course of 271 m., and receives as navigable tributaries the Aller, the Leine from Hanover, and some smaller streams. Ocean-going steamers, however, cannot get as far as Bremen, and unload at Bremerhaven. The Elbe, after a course of 250 m., enters German territory near Bodenbach, 490 m. from its mouth. It is navigable above this point through its tributary, the Moldau, to Prague. Hamburg may be reached by vessels of 17 ft. draught. The navigable tributaries of the Elbe are the Saale (below Naumburg), the Havel, Spree, Elde, Sude and some others. The Oder begins to be navigable almost on the frontier at Ratibor, 480 m. from its mouth, receiving as navigable tributaries the Glatz Neisse and the Warthe. Only the lower course of the Vistula belongs to the German empire, within which it is a broad, navigable stream of considerable volume. On the Pregel ships of 3000 tons reach Königsberg, and river barges reach Insterburg; the Alle, its tributary, may also be navigated. The Memel is navigable in its course of 113 m. from the Russian frontier. Germany is thus a country abounding in natural waterways, the total length of them being estimated at 7000 m. But it is only the Rhine, in its middle course, that has at all times sufficient volume of water to meet the requirements of a good navigable river.

Lakes. - The regions which abound in lakes have already been pointed out. The Lake of Constance or Bodensee (204 sq. m.) is on the frontier of the empire, portions of the northern banks belonging severally to Bavaria, Württemberg and Baden. In the south the largest lakes are the Chiemsee (33 sq. m.); the Ammersee and the Würmsee. A good many smaller lakes are to be found in the Bavarian Alps. The North German plain is dotted with upwards of 500 lakes, covering an area of about 2500 sq. m. The largest of these are the three Haffs - the Oder Haff covering 370 sq. m., the Frische Haff, 332, and the Kurische Haff, 626. The lakes in the Prussian and Pomeranian provinces, in Mecklenburg and in Holstein, and those of the Havel, have already been mentioned. In the west the only lakes of importance are the Steinhuder Meer, 14 m. north-west of Hanover, and the Dümmersee on the southern frontier of Oldenburg.

(P. A. A.)

Geology. - Germany consists of a floor of folded Palaeozoic rocks upon which rest unconformably the comparatively little disturbed beds of the Mesozoic system, while in the North German plain a covering of modern deposits conceals the whole of the older strata from view, excepting some scattered and isolated outcrops of Cretaceous and Tertiary beds. The rocks which compose the ancient floor are thrown into folds which run approximately from W.S.W. to E.N.E. They are exposed on the one hand in the neighbourhood of the Rhine and on the other hand in the Bohemian massif. With the latter must be included the Frankenwald, the Thüringerwald, and even the Harz. The oldest rocks, belonging to the Archaean system, occur in the south, forming the Vosges and the Black Forest in the west, and the greater part of the Bohemian massif, including the Erzgebirge, in the east. They consist chiefly of gneiss and schist, with granite and other eruptive rocks. Farther north, in the Hunsrück, the Taunus, the Eifel and Westerwald, the Harz and the Frankenwald, the ancient floor is composed mainly of Devonian beds. Other Palaeozoic systems are, however, included in the folds. The Cambrian, for example, is exposed at Leimitz near Hof in the Frankenwald, and the important coal-field of the Saar lies on the southern side of the Hunsrück, while Ordovician and Silurian beds have been found in several localities. Along the northern border of the folded belt lies the coal basin of the Ruhr in Westphalia, which is the continuation of the Belgian coal-field, and bears much the same relation to the Rhenish Devonian area that the coal basin of Liége bears to the Ardennes. Carboniferous and Devonian beds are also found south-east of the Bohemian massif, where lies the extensive coal-field of Silesia. The Permian, as in England, is not involved in the folds which have affected the older beds, and in general lies unconformably upon them. It occurs chiefly around the masses of ancient rock, and one of the largest areas is that of the Saar.

Between the old rocks of the Rhine on the west and the ancient massif of Bohemia on the east a vast area of Triassic beds extends from Hanover to Basel and from Metz to Bayreuth. Over the greater part of this region the Triassic beds are free from folding and are nearly horizontal, but faulting is by no means absent, especially along the margins of the Bohemian and Rhenish hills. The Triassic beds must indeed have covered a large part of these old rock masses, but they have been preserved only where they were faulted down to a lower level. Along the southern margin of the Triassic area there is a long band of Jurassic beds dipping towards the Danube; and at its eastern extremity this band is continuous with a synclinal of Jurassic beds, running parallel to the western border of the Bohemian massif, but separated from it by a narrow strip of Triassic beds. Towards the north, in Hanover and Westphalia, the Triassic beds are followed by Jurassic and Cretaceous deposits, the latter being here the more important. As in the south of England, the lower beds of the Cretaceous are of estuarine origin and the Upper Cretaceous overlaps the Lower, lying in the valley of the Ruhr directly upon the Palaeozoic rocks. In Saxony also the upper Cretaceous beds rest directly upon the Palaeozoic or Archaean rocks. Still more to the east, in the province of Silesia, both Jurassic and Cretaceous beds are again met with, but they are to a large extent concealed by the recent accumulations of the great plain. The Eocene system is unknown in Germany except in the foothills of the Alps; but the Oligocene and Miocene are widely spread, especially in the great plain and in the depression of the Danube. The Oligocene is generally marine. Marine Miocene occurs in N.W. Germany and the Miocene of the Danube valley is also in part marine, but in central Germany it is of fluviatile or lacustrine origin. The lignites of Hesse, Cassel, etc., are interstratified with basaltic lava-flows which form the greater part of the Vogelsberg and other hills. The trachytes of the Siebengebirge are probably of slightly earlier date. The precise age of the volcanoes of the Eifel, many of which are in a very perfect state of preservation, is not clear, but they are certainly Tertiary or Post-tertiary. Leucite and nepheline lavas are here abundant. In the Siebengebirge the little crater of Roderberg, with its lavas and scoriae of leucite-basalt, is posterior to some of the Pleistocene river deposits.

A glance at a geological map of Germany will show that the greater part of Prussia and of German Poland is covered by Quaternary deposits. These are in part of glacial origin, and contain Scandinavian boulders; but fluviatile and aeolian deposits also occur. Quaternary beds also cover the floor of the broad depression through which the Rhine meanders from Basel to Mainz, and occupy a large part of the plain of the Danube. The depression of the Rhine is a trough lying between two faults or system of faults. The very much broader depression of the Danube is associated with the formation of the Alps, and was flooded by the sea during a part of the Miocene period.

(P. La.)

Climate. - The climate of Germany is to be regarded as intermediate between the oceanic and continental climates of western and eastern Europe respectively. It has nothing in common with the Mediterranean climate of southern Europe, Germany being separated from that region by the lofty barrier of the Alps. Although there are very considerable differences in the range of temperature and the amount of rainfall throughout Germany, these are not so great as they would be were it not that the elevated plateaus and mountain chains are in the south, while the north is occupied by low-lying plains. In the west no chain of hills intercepts the warmer and moister winds which blow from the Atlantic, and these accordingly influence at times even the eastern regions of Germany. The mean annual temperature of south-western Germany, or the Rhine and Danube basins, is about 52° to 54° F., that of central Germany 48° to 50°, and that of the northern plain 46° to 48°. In Pomerania and West Prussia it is only 44° to 45°, and in East Prussia 42° to 44°. The mean January temperature varies between 22° and 34° (in Masuren and Cologne respectively); the mean July temperature, between 61° in north Schleswig and 68° at Cologne. The extremes of cold and heat are, as recorded in the ten years 1895-1905, 7° in Königsberg and 93° in Heidelberg (the hottest place in Germany). The difference in the mean annual temperature between the south-west and north-west of Germany amounts to about 3°. The contrasts of heat and cold are furnished by the valley of the Rhine above Mainz, which has the greatest mean heat, the mildest winter and the highest summer temperature, and the lake plateau of East Prussia, where Arys on the Spirdingsee has a like winter temperature to the Brocken at 3200 ft. The Baltic has the lowest spring temperature, and the autumn there is also not characterized by an appreciably higher degree of warmth. In central Germany the high plateaus of the Erz and Fichtelgebirge are the coldest regions. In south Germany the upper Bavarian plain experiences an inclement winter and a cold summer. In Alsace-Lorraine the Vosges and the plateau of Lorraine are also remarkable for low temperatures. The warmest districts of the German empire are the northern parts of the Rhine plain, from Karlsruhe downwards, especially the Rheintal; these are scarcely 300 ft. above the sea-level, and are protected by mountainous tracts of land. The same holds true of the valleys of the Neckar, Main and Mosel. Hence the vine is everywhere cultivated in these districts. The mean summer temperature there is 66° and upwards, while the average temperature of January does not descend to the freezing point (32°). The climate of north-western Germany (west of the Elbe) shows a predominating oceanic character, the summers not being too hot (mean summer temperature 60° to 62°), and snow in winter remaining but a short time on the ground. West of the Weser the average temperature of January exceeds 32°; to the east it sinks to 30°, and therefore the Elbe is generally covered with ice for some months of the year, as are also its tributaries. The farther one proceeds to the east the greater are the contrasts of summer and winter. While the average summer warmth of Germany is 60° to 62°, the January temperature falls as low as 26° to 28° in West Prussia, Posen and Silesia, and 22° to 26° in East Prussia and upper Silesia. The navigation of the rivers is regularly interrupted by frost. Similarly the upper basin of the Danube, or the Bavarian plain, has a rather inclement climate in winter, the average for January being 25° to 26°.

As regards rainfall, Germany belongs to those regions where precipitation takes place at all seasons, but chiefly in the form of summer rains. In respect to the quantity of rain the empire takes a middle position between the humidity of north-western Europe and the aridity of the east. There are considerable differences between particular places. The rainfall is greatest in the Bavarian tableland and the hilly regions of western Germany. For the Eifel, Sauerland, Harz, Thuringian Forest, Rhön, Vogelsberg, Spessart, the Black Forest, the Vosges, etc., the annual average may be stated at 34 in. or more, while in the lower terraces of south-western Germany, as in the Erzgebirge and the Sudetic range, it is estimated at 30 to 32 in. only. The same average obtains also on the humid north-west coast of Germany as far as Bremen and Hamburg. In the remaining parts of western Germany, on the shores of farther Pomerania, and in East Prussia, it amounts to upwards of 24 in. In western Germany there is a district famous for the scarcity of rain and for producing the best kind of wine: in the valley of the Rhine below Strassburg, in the Palatinate, and also in the valley of the Main, no more than from 16 to 20 in. fall. Mecklenburg, Brandenburg and Lusatia, Saxony and the plateau of Thuringia, West Prussia, Posen and lower Silesia are also to be classed among the more arid regions of Germany, the annual rainfall being 16 to 20 in. Thunderstorms are most frequent in July, and vary between fifteen and twenty-five in the central districts, descending in the eastern provinces of Prussia to ten annually.

Flora. - The flora of Germany comprises 3413 species of phanerogamic and 4306 cryptogamic plants. The country forms a section of the central European zone, and its flora is largely under the influence of the Baltic and Alpine elements, which to a great degree here coalesce. All plants peculiar to the temperate zone abound. Wheat, rye, barley and oats are cultivated everywhere, but spelt only in the south and buckwheat in the north and north-west. Maize only ripens in the south. Potatoes grow in every part of the country, those of the sandy plains in the north being of excellent quality. All the commoner sorts of fruit - apples, pears, cherries, etc. - grow everywhere, but the more delicate kinds, such as figs, apricots and peaches, are confined to the warmer districts. The vine flourishes as far as the 51° N., but only yields good wine in the districts of the Rhine and Danube. Flax is grown in the north, and hemp more particularly in the central districts. Rape can be produced everywhere when the soil permits. Tobacco is cultivated on the upper Rhine and in the valley of the Oder. The northern plain, especially in the province of Saxony, produces beet (for sugar), and hops are largely grown in Bavaria, Württemberg, Alsace, Baden and the Prussian province of Posen.


Speaking generally, northern Germany is not nearly so well wooded as central and southern Germany, where indeed most of the lower mountains are covered with timber, as is indicated by the frequent use of the termination wald affixed to the names of the mountain ranges (as Schwarzwald, Thüringerwald, etc.). The "Seenplatten" are less wooded than the hill country, but the eastern portion of the northern lowlands is well provided with timber. A narrow strip along the shores of the Baltic is covered with oaks and beeches; farther inland, and especially east of the Elbe, coniferous trees are the most prevalent, particularly the Scotch fir; birches are also abundant. The mountain forests consist chiefly of firs, pines and larches, but contain also silver firs, beeches and oaks. Chestnuts and walnuts appear on the terraces of the Rhine valley and in Swabia and Franconia. The whole north-west of Germany is destitute of wood, but to compensate for this the people have ample supplies of fuel in the extensive stretches of turf.

Fauna. - The number of wild animals in Germany is not very great. Foxes, martens, weasels, badgers and otters are to be found everywhere; bears are found in the Alps, wolves are rare, but they find their way sometimes from French territory to the western provinces, or from Poland to Prussia and Posen. Among the rodents the hamster and the field-mouse are a scourge to agriculture. Of game there are the roe, stag, boar and hare; the fallow deer and the wild rabbit are less common. The elk is to be found in the forests of East Prussia. The feathered tribes are everywhere abundant in the fields, woods and marshes. Wild geese and ducks, grouse, partridges, snipe, woodcock, quails, widgeons and teal are plentiful all over the country, and in recent years preserves have been largely stocked with pheasants. The length of time that birds of passage remain in Germany differs considerably with the different species. The stork is seen for about 170 days, the house-swallow 160, the snow-goose 260, the snipe 220. In northern Germany these birds arrive from twenty to thirty days later than in the south.

The waters of Germany abound with fish; but the genera and species are few. The carp and salmon tribes are the most abundant; after them rank the pike, the eel, the shad, the roach, the perch and the lamprey. The Oder and some of the tributaries of the Elbe abound in crayfish, and in the stagnant lakes of East Prussia leeches are bred. In addition to frogs, Germany has few varieties of Amphibia. Of serpents there are only two poisonous kinds, the common viper and the adder (Kreuzotter).

Population. - Until comparatively recent times no estimate of the population of Germany was precise enough to be of any value. At the beginning of the 19th century the country was divided into some hundred states, but there was no central agency for instituting an exact census on a uniform plan. The formation of the German Confederation in 1815 effected but little change in this respect, and it was left to the different states to arrange in what manner the census should be taken. On the foundation, however, of the German customs union, or Zollverein, between certain German states, the necessity for accurate statistics became apparent and care was taken to compile trustworthy tables. Researches show the population of the German empire, as at present constituted, to have been: (1816) 24,833,396; (1855) 36,113,644; and (1871) 41,058,792. The following table shows the population and area of each of the states included in the empire for the years 1871, 1875, 1900 and 1905: -

Area and Population of the German States.

States of the Empire. Area
Sq. m. Population. Density
Sq. m.
1871. 1875. 1900. 1905.
Kingdoms -
Prussia 134,616 24,691,433 25,742,404 34,472,509 37,293,324 277.3
Bavaria 29,292 4,863,450 5,022,390 6,176,057 6,524,372 222.7
Saxony 5,789 2,556,244 2,760,586 4,202,216 4,508,601 778.8
Württemberg 7,534 1,818,539 1,881,505 2,169,480 2,302,179 305.5
Grand-Duchies -
Baden 5,823 1,461,562 1,507,179 1,867,944 2,010,728 345.3
Hesse 2,966 852,894 884,218 1,119,893 1,209,175 407.6
Mecklenburg-Schwerin 5,068 557,897 553,785 607,770 625,045 123.3
Saxe-Weimar 1,397 286,183 292,933 362,873 388,095 277.8
Mecklenburg-Strelitz 1,131 96,982 95,673 102,602 103,451 91.5
Oldenburg 2,482 314,459 319,314 399,180 438,856 176.8
Duchies -
Brunswick 1,418 311,764 327,493 464,333 485,958 342.5
Saxe-Meiningen 953 187,957 194,494 250,731 268,916 282.2
Saxe-Altenburg 511 142,122 145,844 194,914 206,508 404.1
Saxe-Coburg-Gotha 764 174,339 182,599 229,550 242,432 317.3
Anhalt 888 203,437 213,565 316,085 328,029 369.4
Principalities -
Schwartzburg-Sondershausen 333 75,523 76,676 80,898 85,152 255.7
Schwartzburg-Rudolstadt 363 67,191 67,480 93,059 96,835 266.7
Waldeck 433 56,224 54,743 57,918 59,127 136.5
Reuss-Greiz 122 45,094 46,985 68,396 70,603 578.7
Reuss-Schleiz 319 89,032 92,375 139,210 144,584 453.2
Schaumburg-Lippe 131 32,059 33,133 43,132 44,992 343.4
Lippe 469 111,135 112,452 138,952 145,577 310.4
Free Towns -
Lübeck 115 52,158 56,912 96,775 105,857 920.5
Bremen 99 122,402 142,200 224,882 263,440 2661.0
Hamburg 160 338,974 388,618 768,349 874,878 5467.9
Imperial Territory -
Alsace-Lorraine 5,604 1,549,738 1,531,804 1,719,470 1,814,564 323.8
German Empire 208,780 41,058,792 42,727,360 56,367,178 60,641,278 290.4

The population of the empire has thus increased, since 1871, by 19,582,486 or 47.6%. The increase of population during 1895-1900 was greatest in Hamburg, Bremen, Lübeck, Saxony, Prussia and Baden, and least in Mecklenburg-Strelitz and Waldeck. Of the total population in 1900, 54.3% was urban (i.e. living in towns of 2000 inhabitants and above), leaving 45.7% to be classified as rural. On the 1st of December 1905, of the total population 29,884,681 were males and 30,756,597 females; and it is noticeable that the male population shows of late years a larger relative increase than the female, the male population having in five years increased by 2,147,434 and the female by only 2,126,666. The greater increase in the male population is attributable to diminished emigration and to the large increase in immigrants, who are mostly males. In 1905, 485,906 marriages were contracted in Germany, being at the rate of 8.0 per thousand inhabitants. In the same year the total number of births was 2,048,453. Of these, 61,300 were stillborn and 174,494 illegitimate, being at the rate, respectively, of 3% and 8.5% of the total. Illegitimacy is highest in Bavaria (about 15%), Berlin (14%), and over 12% in Saxony, Mecklenburg-Schwerin and Saxe-Meiningen. It is lowest in the Rhine Province and Westphalia (3.9 and 2.6 respectively). Divorce is steadily on the increase, being in 1904, 11.1 per 10,000 marriages, as against 8.1, 8.1, 9.3 and 10.1 for the four preceding years. The average deaths for the years 1901-1905 amounted to 1,227,903; the rate was thus 20.2 per thousand inhabitants, but the death-rate has materially decreased, the total number of deaths in 1907 standing at 1,178,349; the births for the same year were 2,060,974. In connexion with suicides, it is interesting to observe that the highest rates prevail in some of the smaller and more prosperous states of the empire - for example, in Saxe-Weimar, Saxe-Coburg-Gotha and Saxe-Altenburg (on a three years' average of figures), while the Roman Catholic country Bavaria, and the impoverished Prussian province of Posen show the most favourable statistics. For Prussia the rate is 20, and for Saxony it is as high as 31 per 100,000 inhabitants. The large cities, notably Berlin, Hamburg, Breslau and Dresden, show, however, relatively the largest proportion.

In 1900 the German-speaking population of the empire amounted to 51,883,131. Of the inhabitants speaking other languages there were: Polish, 3,086,489; French (mostly in Lorraine), 211,679; Masurian, 142,049; Danish, 141,061; Lithuanian, 106,305; Cassubian, 100,213; Wendish, 93,032; Dutch, 80,361; Italian, 65,961; Moravian, 64,382; Czech, 43,016; Frisian, 20,677; English, 20,217; Walloon, 11,841. In 1905 there were resident within the empire 1,028,560 subjects of foreign states, as compared with 778,698 in 1900. Of these 17,293 were subjects of Great Britain and Ireland, 17,184 of the United States of America and 20,584 of France. The bulk of the other foreigners residing in the country belonged to countries lying contiguous, such as Austria, which claimed nearly the half, Russia and Italy.

Languages. - The German-speaking nations in their various branches and dialects, if we include the Dutch and the Walloons, extend in a compact mass along the shores of the Baltic and of the North Sea, from Memel in the east to a point between Gravelines and Calais near the Straits of Dover. On this northern line the Germans come in contact with the Danes who inhabit the northern parts of Schleswig within the limits of the German empire. A line from Flensburg south-westward to Joldelund and thence northwestward to Hoyer will nearly give the boundary between the two idioms. [2] The German-French frontier traverses Belgium from west to east, touching the towns of St Omer, Courtrai and Maastricht. Near Eupen, south of Aix-la-Chapelle, it turns southward, and near Arlon south-east as far as the crest of the Vosges mountains, which it follows up to Belfort, traversing there the watershed of the Rhine and the Doubs. In the Swiss territory the line of demarcation passes through Bienne, Fribourg, Saanen, Leuk and Monte Rosa. In the south the Germans come into contact with Rhaeto-Romans and Italians, the former inhabiting the valley of the Vorder-Rhein and the Engadine, while the latter have settled on the southern slopes of the Alps, and are continually advancing up the valley of the Adige. Carinthia and Styria are inhabited by German people, except the valley of the Drave towards Klagenfurt. Their eastern neighbours there are first the Magyars, then the northern Slavs and the Poles. The whole eastern frontier is very much broken, and cannot be described in a few words. Besides detached German colonies in Hungary proper, there is a considerable and compact German (Saxon) population in Transylvania. The river March is the frontier north of the Danube from Pressburg as far as Brünn, to the north of which the German regions begin near Olmütz, the interior of Bohemia and Moravia being occupied by Czechs and Moravians. In these countries the Slav language has been steadily superseding the German. In the Prussian provinces of Silesia and Posen the eastern parts are mixed territories, the German language progressing very slowly among the Poles. In Bromberg and Thorn, in the valley of the Vistula, German is prevalent. In West Prussia some parts of the interior, and in East Prussia a small region along the Russian frontier, are occupied by Poles (Cassubians in West Prussia, Masurians in East Prussia). The total number of German-speaking people, within the boundaries wherein they constitute the compact mass of the population, may be estimated, if the Dutch and Walloons be included, at 65 millions.

The geographical limits of the German language thus do not quite coincide with the German frontiers. The empire contains about 31/3 millions of persons who do not make use of German in everyday life, not counting the resident foreigners.

Apart from the foreigners above mentioned, German subjects speaking a tongue other than German are found only in Prussia, Saxony and Alsace-Lorraine. The following table shows roughly the distribution of German-speaking people in the world outside the German empire: -

Austria-Hungary 12,000,000 Other European Countries 2,300,000
Netherlands (Dutch) 5,200,000 America 13,000,000
Belgium (Walloon) 4,000,000 Asia 100,000
Luxemburg 200,000 Africa 600,000
Switzerland 2,300,000 Australia 150,000
France 500,000

According to the census of the 1st of December 1900 there were 51,634,757 persons speaking commonly one language and 248,374 speaking two languages. In the kingdom of Saxony, according to the census of 1900, there were 48,000 Wends, mostly in Lusatia. With respect to Alsace-Lorraine, detailed estimates (but no census) gave the number of French in the territory of Lorraine at about 170,000, and in that of Alsace at about 46,000.

The Poles have increased very much, owing to a greater surplus of births than in the case of the German people in the eastern provinces of Prussia, to immigration from Russia, and to the Polonization of many Germans through clerical and other influences (see History). The Poles are in the majority in upper Silesia (Government district of Oppeln; 55%) and the province of Posen (60%). They are numerous in West Prussia (34%) and East Prussia (14%).

The Wends are decreasing in number, as are also the Lithuanians on the eastern border of East Prussia, Czechs are only found in Silesia on the confines of Bohemia.

Russians flocked to Germany in thousands after the Russo-Japanese War and the insurrections in Russia, and the figures given for 1900 had been doubled in 1907. Males preponderate among the various nationalities, with the exception of the British, the larger proportion of whom are females either in domestic service or engaged in tuition.

Chief Towns. - According to the results of the census of the 1st of December 1905 there were within the empire 41 towns with populations exceeding 100,000, viz.: -

State. Population.
Berlin Prussia 2,040,148
Hamburg Hamburg 802,793
Munich Bavaria 538,393
Dresden Saxony 516,996
Leipzig " 502,570
Breslau Prussia 470,751
Cologne " 428,503
Frankfort-on-Main " 334,951
Nuremberg Bavaria 294,344
Düsseldorf Prussia 253,099
Hanover " 250,032
Stuttgart Württemberg 249,443
Chemnitz Saxony 244,405
Magdeburg Prussia 240,661
Charlottenburg " 239,512
Essen " 231,396
Stettin " 224,078
Königsberg " 219,862
Bremen Bremen 214,953
Duisburg Prussia 192,227
Dortmund " 175,575
Halle " 169,899
Altona " 168,301
Strassburg Alsace-Lorraine 167,342
Kiel Prussia 163,710
Elberfeld " 162,682
Mannheim Baden 162,607
Danzig Prussia 159,685
Barmen " 156,148
Rixdorf " 153,650
Gelsenkirchen " 147,037
Aix-la-Chapelle " 143,906
Schöneberg " 140,992
Brunswick Brunswick 136,423
Posen Prussia 137,067
Cassel " 120,446
Bochum " 118,455
Karlsruhe Baden 111,200
Crefeld Prussia 110,347
Plauen Saxony 105,182
Wiesbaden Prussia 100,953

Density of Population. - In respect of density of population, Germany with (1900) 269.9 and (1905) 290.4 inhabitants to the square mile is exceeded in Europe only by Belgium, Holland and England. Apart from the free cities, Hamburg, Bremen and Lübeck, the kingdom of Saxony is the most, and Mecklenburg-Strelitz the least, closely peopled state of the empire. The most thinly populated districts are found, not as might be expected in the mountain regions, but in some parts of the plains. Leaving out of account the small centres, Germany may be roughly divided into two thinly and two densely populated parts. In the former division has to be classed all the North German plain. There it is only in the valleys of the larger navigable rivers and on the southern border of the plain that the density exceeds 200 inhabitants per square mile. In some places, indeed, it is far greater, e.g. at the mouths of the Elbe and the Weser, in East Holstein, in the delta of the Memel and the environs of Hamburg. This region is bordered on the south by a densely peopled district, the northern boundary of which may be defined by a line from Coburg via Cassel to Münster, for in this part there are not only very fertile districts, such as the Goldene Aue in Thuringia, but also centres of industry. The population is thickest in upper Silesia around Beuthen (coal-fields), around Ratibor, Neisse and Waldenburg (coal-fields), around Zittau (kingdom of Saxony), in the Elbe valley around Dresden, in the districts of Zwickau and Leipzig as far as the Saale, on the northern slopes of the Harz and around Bielefeld in Westphalia. In all these the density exceeds 400 inhabitants to the square mile, and in the case of Saxony rises to 750. The third division of Germany comprises the basin of the Danube and Franconia, where around Nuremberg, Bamberg and Würzburg the population is thickly clustered. The fourth division embraces the valleys of the upper Rhine and Neckar and the district of Düsseldorf on the lower Rhine. In this last the proportion exceeds 1200 inhabitants to the square mile.

Emigration. - There have been great oscillations in the actual emigration by sea. It first exceeded 100,000 soon after the Franco-German War (1872, 126,000), and this occurred again in the years 1880 to 1892. Germany lost during these thirteen years more than 1,700,000 inhabitants by emigration. The total number of those who sailed for the United States from 1820 to 1900 may be estimated at more than 4,500,000. The number of German emigrants to Brazil between 1870 and 1900 was about 52,000. The greater number of the more recent emigrants was from the agricultural provinces of northern Germany - West Prussia, Posen, Pomerania, Mecklenburg, Schleswig-Holstein and Hanover, and sometimes the emigration reached 1% of the total population of these provinces. In subsequent years the emigration of native Germans greatly decreased and, in 1905, amounted only to 28,075. But to this number must be added 284,787 foreigners who in that year were shipped from German ports (notably Hamburg and Bremen) to distant parts. Of the above given numbers of purely German emigrants 26,007 sailed for the United States of America; 243 to Canada; 333 to Brazil; 674 to the Argentine Republic; 7 to other parts of America; 57 to Africa; and 84 to Australia.

Agriculture. - Despite the enormous development of industries and commerce, agriculture and cattle-rearing still represent in Germany a considerable portion of its economic wealth. Almost two-thirds of the soil is occupied by arable land, pastures and meadows, and of the whole area, in 1900, 91% was classed as productive. Of the total area 47.67% was occupied by land under tillage, 0.89% by gardens, 11.02% by meadow-land, 5.01% by pastures, and 0.25% by vineyards. The largest estates are found in the Prussian provinces of Pomerania, Posen and Saxony, and in East and West Prussia, while in the Prussian Rhine province, in Baden and Württemberg small farms are the rule.

The same kinds of cereal crops are cultivated in all parts of the empire, but in the south and west wheat is predominant, and in the north and east rye, oats and barley. To these in some districts are added spelt, buckwheat, millet, rice-wheat, lesser spelt and maize. In general the soil is remarkably well cultivated. The three years' rotation formerly in use, where autumn and spring-sown grain and fallow succeeded each other, has now been abandoned, except in some districts, where the system has been modified and improved. In south Germany the so-called Fruchtwechsel is practised, the fields being sown with grain crops every second year, and with pease or beans, grasses, potatoes, turnips, etc., in the intermediate years. In north Germany the mixed Koppelwirthschaft is the rule, by which system, after several years of grain crops, the ground is for two or three seasons in pasture.

Taking the average of the six years 1900-1905, the crop of wheat amounted to 3,550,033 tons (metric), rye to 9,296,616 tons, barley to 3,102,883 tons, and oats to 7,160,883 tons. But, in spite of this considerable yield in cereals, Germany cannot cover her home consumption, and imported on the average of the six years 1900-1905 about 4 million tons of cereals to supply the deficiency. The potato is largely cultivated, not merely for food, but for distillation into spirits. This manufacture is prosecuted especially in eastern Germany. The number of distilleries throughout the German empire was, in 1905-1906, 68,405. The common beet (Beta vulgaris) is largely grown in some districts for the production of sugar, which has greatly increased of recent years. There are two centres of the beet sugar production: Magdeburg for the districts Prussian Saxony, Hanover, Brunswick, Anhalt and Thuringia, and Frankfort-on-Oder at the centre of the group Silesia, Brandenburg and Pomerania. Flax and hemp are cultivated, though not so much as formerly, for manufacture into linen and canvas, and also rape seed for the production of oil. The home supply of the former no longer suffices for the native demand. The cultivation of hops is in a very thriving condition in the southern states of Germany. The soil occupied by hops was estimated in 1905 at 98,000 acres - a larger area than in Great Britain, which had in the same year about 48,000 acres. The total production of hops was 29,000 tons in 1905, and of this over 25,000 were grown in Bavaria, Württemberg, Baden and Alsace-Lorraine. Almost the whole yield in hops is consumed in the country by the great breweries.

Tobacco forms a most productive and profitable object of culture in many districts. The total extent under this crop in 1905 was about 35,000 acres, of which 45% was in Baden, 12% in Bavaria, 30% in Prussia, and the rest in Alsace and Hesse-Darmstadt. In the north the plant is cultivated principally in Pomerania, Brandenburg and East and West Prussia. Of late years the production has somewhat diminished, owing to the extensive tobacco manufacturing industries of Bremen and Hamburg, which import almost exclusively foreign leaves.

Ulm, Nuremberg, Quedlinburg, Erfurt, Strassburg and Guben are famed for their vegetables and garden seeds. Berlin is noted for its flower nurseries, the Rhine valley, Württemberg and the Elbe valley below Dresden for fruit, and Frankfort-on-main for cider.


The culture of the vine is almost confined to southern and western Germany, and especially to the Rhine district. The northern limits of its growth extend from Bonn in a north-easterly direction through Cassel to the southern foot of the Harz, crossing 52° N. on the Elbe, running then east some miles to the north of that parallel, and finally turning sharply towards the south-west on the Warthe. In the valley of the Saale and Elbe (near Dresden), and in lower Silesia (between Guben and Grünberg), the number of vineyards is small, and the wines of inferior quality; but along the Rhine from Basel to Coblenz, in Alsace, Baden, the Palatinate and Hesse, and above all in the province of Nassau, the lower slopes of the hills are literally covered with vines. Here are produced the celebrated Rüdesheimer, Hochheimer and Johannisberger. The vines of the lower Main, particularly those of Würzburg, are the best kinds; those of the upper Main and the valley of the Neckar are rather inferior. The Moselle wines are lighter and more acid than those of the Rhine. The total amount produced in Germany is estimated at 1000 million gallons, of a value of £4,000,000; Alsace-Lorraine turning out 400 millions; Baden, 175; Bavaria, Württemberg and Hesse together, 300; while the remainder, which though small in quantity is in quality the best, is produced by Prussia.

Live stock

The cultivation of grazing lands in Germany has been greatly improved in recent times and is in a highly prosperous condition. The provinces of Schleswig-Holstein, Pomerania, Hanover (especially the marsh-lands near the sea) and the grand-duchy of Mecklenburg-Schwerin are particularly remarkable in this respect. The best meadow-lands of Bavaria are in the province of Franconia and in the outer range of the Alps, and those of Saxony in the Erzgebirge. Württemberg, Hesse and Thuringia also yield cattle of excellent quality. These large cattle-rearing centres not only supply the home markets but export live stock in considerable quantities to England and France. Butter is also largely exported to England from the North Sea districts and from Schleswig-Holstein and Mecklenburg. The breeding of horses has attained a great perfection. The main centre is in East and West Prussia, then follow the marsh districts on the Elbe and Weser, some parts of Westphalia, Oldenburg, Lippe, Saxony and upper Silesia, lower Bavaria and Alsace-Lorraine. Of the stud farms Trakehnen in East Prussia and Graditz in the Prussian province of Saxony enjoy a European reputation. The aggregate number of sheep has shown a considerable falling off, and the rearing of them is mostly carried on only on large estates, the number showing only 9,692,501 in 1900, and 7,907,200 in 1904, as against 28,000,000 in 1860. As a rule, sheep-farming is resorted to where the soil is of inferior quality and unsuitable for tillage and the breeding of cattle. Far more attention is accordingly given to sheep-farming in northern and north-eastern Germany than in Schleswig-Holstein, Westphalia, the Rhineland and south Germany. The native demand for wool is not covered by the home production, and in this article the export from the United Kingdom to Germany is steadily rising, having amounted in 1905 to a value of £1,691,035, as against £742,632 in 1900. The largest stock of pigs is in central Germany and Saxony, in Westphalia, on the lower Rhine, in Lorraine and Hesse. Central Germany (especially Gotha and Brunswick) exports sausages and hams largely, as well as Westphalia, but here again considerable importation takes place from other countries. Goats are found everywhere, but especially in the hilly districts. Poultry farming is a considerable industry, the geese of Pomerania and the fowls of Thuringia and Lorraine being in especial favour. Bee-keeping is of considerable importance, particularly in north Germany and Silesia.

On the whole, despite the prosperous condition of the German live-stock farming, the consumption of meat exceeds the amount rendered available by home production, and prices can only be kept down by a steady increase in the imports from abroad.

Fisheries. - The German fisheries, long of little importance, have been carefully fostered within recent years. The deep-sea fishing in the North Sea, thanks to the exertions of the German fishing league (Deutscher Fischereiverein) and to government support, is extremely active. Trawlers are extensively employed, and steamers bring the catches directly to the large fish markets at Geestemünde and Altona, whence facilities are afforded by the railways for the rapid transport of fish to Berlin and other centres. The fish mostly caught are cod, haddock and herrings, while Heligoland yields lobsters, and the islands of Föhr, Amrum and Sylt oysters of good quality. The German North Sea fishing fleet numbered in 1905 618 boats, with an aggregate crew of 5441 hands. Equally well developed are the Baltic fisheries, the chief ports engaged in which are Danzig, Eckernförde, Kolberg and Travemünde. The principal catch is haddock and herrings. The catch of the North Sea and Baltic fisheries in 1906 was valued at over £700,000, exclusive of herrings for salting. The fisheries do not, however, supply the demand for fish, and fresh, salt and dried fish is imported largely in excess of the home yield.

Mines and Minerals. - Germany abounds in minerals, and the extraordinary industrial development of the country since 1870 is largely due to its mineral wealth. Having left France much behind in this respect, it now rivals Great Britain and the United States.

Germany produces more silver than any other European state, and the quantity is annually increasing. It is extracted from the ores in the mines of Freiburg (Saxony), the Harz Mountains, upper Silesia, Merseburg, Aix-la-Chapelle, Wiesbaden and Arnsberg. gold is found in the sand of the rivers Isar, Inn and Rhine, and also, to a limited extent, on the Harz. The quantity yielded in 1905 was, of silver, about 400 tons of a value of £1,600,000, and gold, about 4 tons, valued at about £548,000.

Lead is produced in considerable quantities in upper Silesia, the Harz Mountains, in the Prussian province of Nassau, in the Saxon Erzgebirge and in the Sauerland. The yield in 1905 amounted to about 153,000 tons; of which 20,000 tons were exported.

Copper is found principally in the Mansfeld district of the Prussian province of Saxony and near Arnsberg in the Sauerland, the ore yielding 31,713 tons in 1905, of which 5000 tons were exported.

About 90% of the zinc produced in Europe is yielded by Belgium and Germany. It is mostly found in upper Silesia, around Beuthen, and in the districts of Wiesbaden and Aix-la-Chapelle. In 1905 no less than 198,000 tons of block zinc were produced, of which 16,500 tons were exported.

Of other minerals (with the exceptions of coal, iron and salt treated below) nickel and antimony are found in the upper Harz; cobalt in the hilly districts of Hesse and the Saxon Erzgebirge; arsenic in the Riesengebirge; quicksilver in the Sauerland and in the spurs of the Saarbrücken coal hills; graphite in Bavaria; porcelain clay in Saxony and Silesia; amber along the whole Baltic coast; and lime and gypsum in almost all parts.


Coal-mining appears to have been first practised in the 14th century at Zwickau (Saxony) and on the Ruhr. There are six large coal-fields, occupying an area of about 3600 sq. m., of which the most important occupies the basin of the Ruhr, its extent being estimated at 2800 sq. m. Here there are more than 60 beds, of a total thickness of 150 to 200 ft. of coal; and the amount in the pits has been estimated at 45,000 millions of tons. Smaller fields are found near Osnabrück, Ibbenbüren and Minden, and a larger one near Aix-la-Chapelle. The Saar coal-field, within the area enclosed by the rivers Saar, Nahe and Blies (460 sq. m.), is of great importance. The thickness of 80 beds amounts to 250 ft., and the total mass of coal is estimated at 45,400 million tons. The greater part of the basin belongs to Prussia, the rest to Lorraine. A still larger field exists in the upper Silesian basin, on the borderland between Austria and Poland, containing about 50,000 million tons. Beuthen is the chief centre. The Silesian coal-fields have a second centre in Waldenburg, east of the Riesengebirge. The Saxon coal-fields stretch eastwards for some miles from Zwickau. Deposits of less consequence are found in upper Bavaria, upper Franconia, Baden, the Harz and elsewhere.

The following table shows the rapidly increasing development of the coal production. That of lignite is added, the provinces of Saxony and Brandenburg being rich in this product: -

Production of Coal and Lignite.

Year. Coal. Lignite.
Quantities. Value. Hands. Quantities. Value. Hands.
Mill. Tons. Mill. Mks. Mill. Tons. Mill. Mks.
1871 29.4 218.4 . . 8.5 26.2 . .
1881 48.7 252.3 180,000 12.8 38.1 25,600
1891 73.7 589.5 283,000 20.5 54.2 35,700
1899 101.6 789.6 379,000 34.2 78.4 44,700
1900 109.3 966.1 414,000 40.5 98.5 50,900
1905 121.2 1049.9 490,000 52.5 122.2 52,800

This production permits a considerable export of coal to the west and south of the empire, but the distance from the coal-fields to the German coast is such that the import of British coal cannot yet be dispensed with (1905, over 7,000,000 tons). Besides this, from 7,000,000 to 8,000,000 tons of lignite come annually from Bohemia. In north Germany peat is also of importance as a fuel; the area of the peat moors in Prussia is estimated at 8000 sq. m., of which 2000 are in the north of Hanover.

The iron-fields of Germany fall into three main groups: those of the lower Rhine and Westphalia, of which Dortmund and Düsseldorf are the centres; those of Lorraine and the Saar; and those of upper Silesia. The output of the ore has enormously increased of recent years, and the production of pig iron, as given for 1905, amounted to 10,875,000 tons of a value of £28,900,000.

Germany possesses abundant salt deposits. The actual production not only covers the home consumption, but also allows a yearly increasing exportation, especially to Russia, Austria and Scandinavia. The provinces of Saxony and Hanover, with Thuringia and Anhalt, produce half the whole amount. A large salt-work is found at Strzalkowo (Posen), and smaller ones near Dortmund, Lippstadt and Minden (Westphalia). In south Germany salt abounds most in Württemberg (Hall, Heilbronn, Rottweil); the principal Bavarian works are at the foot of the Alps near Freilassing and Rosenheim. Hesse and Baden, Lorraine and the upper Palatinate have also salt-works. The total yield of mined salt amounted in 1905 to 6,209,000 tons, including 1,165,000 tons of rock salt. The production has made great advance, having in 1850 been only 5 million cwts.

Manufactures. - In no other country of the world has the manufacturing industry made such rapid strides within recent years as in Germany. This extraordinary development of industrial energy embraces practically all classes of manufactured articles. In a general way the chief manufactures may be geographically distributed as follows. Prussia, Alsace-Lorraine, Bavaria and Saxony are the chief seats of the iron manufacture. Steel is produced in Rhenish Prussia. Saxony is predominant in the production of textiles, though Silesia and Westphalia manufacture linen. Cotton goods are largely produced in Baden, Bavaria, Alsace-Lorraine and Württemberg, woollens and worsteds in Saxony and the Rhine province, silk in Rhenish Prussia (Elberfeld), Alsace and Baden. Glass and porcelain are largely produced in Bavaria; lace in Saxony; tobacco in Bremen and Hamburg; chemicals in the Prussian province of Saxony; watches in Saxony (Glashütte) and Nuremberg; toys in Bavaria; gold and silver filagree in Berlin and Aschaffenburg; and beer in Bavaria and Prussia.

It is perhaps more in respect of its iron industry than of its other manufactures that Germany has attained a leading position in the markets of the world. Its chief centres are in Westphalia and the Rhine province (auf roter Erde), in upper Silesia, in Alsace-Lorraine and in Saxony. Of the total production of pig iron in 1905 amounting to over 10,000,000 tons, more than the half was produced in the Rhineland and Westphalia. Huge blast furnaces are in constant activity, and the output of rolled iron and steel is constantly increasing. In the latter the greatest advance has been made. The greater part of it is produced at or around Essen, where are the famous Krupp works, and Bochum. Many states have been for a considerable time supplied by Krupp with steel guns and battleship plates. The export of steel (railway) rails and bridges from this part is steadily on the increase.

Hardware also, the production of which is centred in Solingen, Heilbronn, Esslingen, etc., is largely exported. Germany stands second to Great Britain in the manufacture of machines and engines. There are in many large cities of north Germany extensive establishments for this purpose, but the industry is not limited to the large cities. In agricultural machinery Germany is a serious competitor with England. The locomotives and wagons for the German railways are almost exclusively built in Germany; and Russia, as well as Austria, receives large supplies of railway plant from German works. In shipbuilding, likewise, Germany is practically independent, yards having been established for the construction of the largest vessels.

Cotton and textiles

Before 1871 the production of cotton fabrics in France exceeded that in Germany, but as the cotton manufacture is pursued largely in Alsace, the balance is now against the former country. In 1905 there were about 9,000,000 spindles in Germany. The export of the goods manufactured amounted in this year to an estimated value of £19,600,000. Cotton spinning and weaving are not confined to one district, but are prosecuted in upper Alsace (Mülhausen, Gebweiler, Colmar), in Saxony (Zwickau, Chemnitz, Annaberg), in Silesia (Breslau, Liegnitz), in the Rhine province (Düsseldorf, Münster, Cologne), in Erfurt and Hanover, in Württemberg (Reutlingen, Cannstatt), in Baden, Bavaria (Augsburg, Bamberg, Bayreuth) and in the Palatinate.

Although Germany produces wool, flax and hemp, the home production of these materials is not sufficient to meet the demand of manufactures, and large quantities of them have to be imported. In 1895 almost a million persons (half of them women) were employed in this branch of industry, and in 1897 the value of the cloth, buckskin and flannel manufacture was estimated at £18,000,000. The chief seats of this manufacture are the Rhenish districts of Aix-la-Chapelle, Düren, Eupen and Lennep, Brandenburg, Saxony, Silesia and lower Lusatia, the chief centres in this group being Berlin, Cottbus, Spremberg, Sagan and Sommerfeld.

The manufacture of woollen and half-woollen dress materials centres mainly in Saxony, Silesia, the Rhine province and in Alsace. Furniture covers, table covers and plush are made in Elberfeld and Chemnitz, in Westphalia and the Rhine province (notably in Elberfeld and Barmen); shawls in Berlin and the Bavarian Vogtland; carpets in Berlin, Barmen and Silesia. In the town of Schmiedeberg in the last district, as also in Cottbus (Lusatia), oriental patterns are successfully imitated. The chief seats of the stocking manufacture are Chemnitz and Zwickau in Saxony, and Apolda in Thuringia. The export of woollen goods from Germany in 1905 amounted to a value of £13,000,000.

Although linen was formerly one of her most important articles of manufacture, Germany is now left far behind in this industry by Great Britain, France and Austria-Hungary. This branch of textile manufacture has its principal centres in Silesia, Westphalia, Saxony and Württemberg, while Hirschberg in Silesia, Bielefeld in Westphalia and Zittau in Saxony are noted for the excellence of their productions. The goods manufactured, now no longer, as formerly, coarse in texture, vie with the finer and more delicate fabrics of Belfast. In the textile industry for flax and hemp there were, in 1905, 276,000 fine spindles, 22,300 hand-looms and 17,600 power-looms in operation, and, in 1905, linen and jute materials were exported of an estimated value of over £2,000,000. The jute manufacture, the principal centres of which are Berlin, Bonn, Brunswick and Hamburg, has of late attained considerable dimensions.

Raw silk can scarcely be reckoned among the products of the empire, and the annual demand has thus to be provided for by importation. The main centre of the silk industry is Crefeld and its neighbourhood; then come Elberfeld and Barmen, Aix-la-Chapelle, as well as Berlin, Bielefeld, Chemnitz, Stuttgart and the district around Mülhausen in Alsace.


The manufacture of paper is prosecuted almost everywhere in the empire. There were 1020 mills in operation in 1895, and the exports in 1905 amounted to more than £3,700,000 sterling, as against imports of a value of over £700,000. The manufacture is carried on to the largest extent in the Rhine province, in Saxony and in Silesia. Wall papers are produced chiefly in Rhenish Prussia, Berlin and Hamburg; the finer sorts of letter-paper in Berlin, Leipzig and Nuremberg; and printing-paper (especially for books) in Leipzig, Berlin and Frankfort-on-Main.


The chief seat of the leather industry is Hesse-Darmstadt, in which Mainz and Worms produce excellent material. In Prussia large factories are in operation in the Rhine province, in Westphalia and Silesia (Brieg). Boot and shoe manufactures are carried on everywhere; but the best goods are produced by Mainz and Pirmasens. Gloves for export are extensively made in Württemberg, and Offenbach and Aschaffenburg are renowned for fancy leather wares, such as purses, satchels and the like.

Berlin and Mainz are celebrated for the manufacture of furniture; Bavaria for toys; the Black Forest for clocks; Nuremberg for pencils; Berlin and Frankfort-on-Main for various perfumes; and Cologne for the famous eau-de-Cologne.


The beetroot sugar manufacture is very considerable. It centres mainly in the Prussian province of Saxony, where Magdeburg is the chief market for the whole of Germany, in Anhalt, Brunswick and Silesia. The number of factories was, in 1905, 376, and the amount of raw sugar and molasses produced amounted to 2,643,531 metric tons, and of refined sugar 1,711,063 tons.

Beer is produced throughout the whole of Germany. The production is relatively greatest in Bavaria. The Brausteuergebiet (beer excise district) embraces all the states forming the Zollverein, with the exception of Bavaria, Württemberg, Baden and Alsace-Lorraine, in which countries the excise duties are separately collected. The total number of breweries in the beer excise district was, in 1905-1906, 5995, which produced 1017 million gallons; in Bavaria nearly 6000 breweries with 392 million gallons; in Baden over 700 breweries with 68 million gallons; in Württemberg over 5000 breweries with 87 million gallons; and in Alsace-Lorraine 95 breweries with about 29 million gallons. The amount brewed per head of the population amounted, in 1905, roughly to 160 imperial pints in the excise district; to 450 in Bavaria; 280 in Württemberg; 260 in Baden; and 122 in Alsace-Lorraine. It may be remarked that the beer brewed in Bavaria is generally of darker colour than that produced in other states, and extra strong brews are exported largely into the beer excise district and abroad.

Commerce. - The rapid development of German trade dates from the Zollverein (customs union), under the special rules and regulations of which it is administered. The Zollverein emanates from a convention originally entered into, in 1828, between Prussia and Hesse, which, subsequently joined by the Bavarian customs-league, by the kingdom of Saxony and the Thuringian states, came into operation, as regards the countries concerned, on the 1st of January 1834. With progressive territorial extensions during the ensuing fifty years, and embracing the grand-duchy of Luxemburg, it had in 1871, when the German empire was founded, an area of about 209,281 sq. m., with a population of 40,678,000. The last important addition was in October 1888, when Hamburg and Bremen were incorporated. Included within it, besides the grand-duchy of Luxemburg, are the Austrian communes of Jungholz and Mittelberg; while, outside, lie the little free-port territories of Hamburg, Cuxhaven, Bremerhaven and Geestemünde, Heligoland, and small portions of the districts of Constance and Waldshut, lying on the Baden Swiss frontier. Down to 1879 Germany was, in general, a free-trade country. In this year, however, a rigid protective system was introduced by the Zolltarifgesetz, since modified by the commercial treaties between Germany and Austria-Hungary, Italy, Switzerland and Belgium, of the 1st of February 1892, and by a customs tariff law of the 25th of December 1902. The foreign commercial relations of Germany were again altered by the general and conventional customs tariff, which came into force on the 1st of March 1906. The Zolltarifgesetz of the 15th of July 1879, while restricting the former free import, imposed considerable duties. Exempt from duty were now only refuse, raw products, scientific instruments, ships and literary and artistic objects; forty-four articles - notably beer, vinegar, sugar, herrings, cocoa, salt, fish oils, ether, alum and soda - were unaffected by the change, while duties were henceforth levied upon a large number of articles which had previously been admitted duty free, such as pig iron, machines and locomotives, grain, building timber, tallow, horses, cattle and sheep; and, again, the tariff law further increased the duties leviable upon numerous other articles. Export duties were abolished in 1865 and transit dues in 1861. The law under which Great Britain enjoyed the "most favoured nation treatment" expired on the 31st of December 1905, but its provisions were continued by the Bundesrat until further notice. The average value of each article is fixed annually in Germany under the direction of the Imperial Statistical Office, by a commission of experts, who receive information from chambers of commerce and other sources. There are separate valuations for imports and exports. The price fixed is that of the goods at the moment of crossing the frontier. For imports the price does not include customs duties, cost of transport, insurance, warehousing, etc., incurred after the frontier is passed. For exports, the price includes all charges within the territory, but drawbacks and bounties are not taken into account. The quantities are determined according to obligatory declarations, and, for imports, the fiscal authorities may actually weigh the goods. For packages an official tax is deducted. The countries whence goods are imported and the ultimate destination of exports are registered. The import dues amounted in the year 1906, the first year of the revised tariff, to about £31,639,000, or about 10s. 5d. per head of population.

Statistics relating to the foreign trade of the Empire are necessarily confined to comparatively recent times. The quantities of such imported articles as are liable to duty have, indeed, been known for many years; and in 1872 official tables were compiled showing the value both of imports and of exports. But when the results of these tables proved the importation to be very much greater than the exportation, the conviction arose that the valuation of the exports was erroneous and below the reality. In 1872 the value of the imports was placed at £173,400,000 and that of the exports at £124,700,000. In 1905 the figures were - imports, £371,000,000, and exports, £292,000,000, including precious metals.

Table A following shows the classification of goods adopted before the tariff revision of 1906. From 1907 a new classification has been adopted, and the change thus introduced is so great that it is impossible to make any comparisons between the statistics of years subsequent to and preceding the year 1906. Table B shows imports and exports for 1907 and 1908 according to the new classification adopted.

Table A. - Classes of Imports and Exports, 1905.

Import. Export.
Refuse £6,866,250 £1,170,200
Cotton and cottons 23,488,750 22,949,600
Lead and by-products 996,300 979,400
Brush and sieve makers' goods 102,400 515,450
Drugs, chemists' and oilmen's colours 15,896,900 23,196,250
Iron and iron goods 3,156,500 33,126,400
Ores, precious metals, asbestos, etc. 28,834,050 9,899,450
Flax and other vegetable spinning
materials except cotton 6,794,100 1,235,700
Grain and agricultural produce 59,136,200 7,496,500
Glass 538,050 2,743,900
Hair, feathers, bristles 3,218,600 1,848,150
Skins 18,965,500 9,548,450
Wood and wooden wares 16,940,850 6,056,150
Hops 913,150 2,135,600
Instruments, machines, etc. 4,351,500 17,898,250
Calendars 34,300 74,700
Caoutchouc, etc. 7,379,600 4,616,400
Clothes, body linen, millinery 739,900 7,321,050
Copper and copper goods 8,273,400 10,307,050
Hardware, etc. 2,042,400 12,610,550
Leather and leather goods 3,567,950 9,665,300
Linens 1,750,100 1,904,950
Candles 11,150 42,350
Literary and works of art 3,066,050 9,025,500
Groceries and confectionery 41,446,400 17,585,000
Fats and oils 12,510,600 2,631,600
Paper goods 1,086,800 7,158,800
Furs 265,700 720,200
Petroleum 5,036,600 132,300
Silks and silk goods 9,523,300 8,889,000
Soap and perfumes 151,600 768,200
Playing cards 400 18,950
Stone goods 2,822,000 2,110,550
Coal, lignite, coke and peat 10,136,800 15,096,450
Straw and hemp goods 561,650 262,100
Tar, pitch, resin 2,504,400 834,100
Animals, and animal products 9,926,200 590,700
Earthenware goods 391,650 5,076,350
Cattle 11,366,200 725,100
Oilcloth 43,150 177,300
Wools and woollen textiles 25,290,200 21,562,900
Zinc and zinc goods 682,250 2,413,600
Tin and japanned goods 1,770,550 744,100
Goods insufficiently declared . . 806,300
Total. £352,317,250 £284,626,900

Table B. - Classes of Imports and Exports, 1907 and 1908.

Groups of Articles. Imports. Exports.
Value in £1000. Value in £1000.
1907. 1908.* 1907. 1908.*
Agricultural and forest produce** 215,532 205,512 45,796 50,324
Agricultural produce*** 93,253 102,954 10,369 15,168
Colonial produce and substitutes for the same 12,151 12,328 84 108
Southern fruit and fruit peel 3,214 3,262 20 23
Forest produce 28,166 26,299 4,066 3,967
Resins 8,216 8,209 2,500 2,325
Animals and animal products** 63,283 61,794 9,607 9,676
Hides and skins 16,920 17,699 5,383 5,453
Meat, oil, sugar, beverages 21,523 20,404 20,284 20,048
Mineral and fossil raw materials, mineral oils 47,575 45,540 26,166 26,208
Earths and stones 6,541 7,542 3,250 3,006
Ores, slag, cinders 16,465 15,451 1,407 1,206
Mineral fuel 16,895 14,910 19,445 20,020
Mineral oils and other fossil raw materials 7,168 7,209 558 491
Coal-tar, coal-tar oils 506 428 1,506 1,485
Chemical and pharmaceutical products, colours 14,784 14,850 28,116 26,845
Chemical primary materials, acids, salts 9,226 9,550 9,661 9,832
Colours and dyeing materials 951 879 11,630 10,518
Varnish, lacquer 189 158 206 221
Ether, alcohol not included elsewhere,
essential oils, perfumery and cosmetics 1,979 1,918 1,118 1,004
Artificial manures 992 1,001 1,303 1,236
Explosives of all kinds 86 74 1,612 1,269
Other chemical and pharmaceutical products 1,361 1,270 2,586 2,765
Animal and vegetable textile
materials and wares thereof 98,540 92,105 78,086 70,343
Silk and silk goods 13,533 13,704 13,324 11,364
Wool 33,260 31,195 27,114 24,918
Unworked wool 19,975 19,309 2,647 2,561
Worked wool 4,625 4,961 3,799 3,393
Wares of spun wool 8,660 6,925 20,668 18,964
Cotton 38,543 34,456 29,004 26,201
Unworked cotton 27,705 26,167 3,264 2,987
Worked cotton 980 950 912 891
Cotton wares 9,858 7,338 24,828 22,324
Other vegetable textile materials 10,783 10,411 3,777 3,471
Unworked 7,923 7,819 1,125 1,211
Worked 166 168 122 137
Wares thereof 2,685 2,423 2,531 2,124
Leather and leather wares, furriers' wares 6,695 6,657 16,778 17,835
Leather 2,658 2,804 7,503 8,328
Leather wares 1,332 1,176 4,016 3,867
Furriers' wares 2,698 2,672 5,237 5,616
Caoutchouc wares 694 754 2,328 2,325
Wares of soft caoutchouc 670 735 1,694 1,723
Hardened caoutchouc and wares thereof 24 19 634 602
Wares of animal or vegetable material for
carving or moulding 2,448 2,068 4,260 4,131
Wooden wares 859 769 1,707 1,666
Paper, cardboard and wares thereof 1,349 1,205 9,342 9,111
Books, pictures, paintings 1,992 2,036 4,667 4,765
Earthenware 467 377 5,224 4,612
Glass and glassware 747 728 5,671 5,149
Precious metals and wares thereof 13,281 21,243 18,629 6,858
gold 11,616 19,295 15,898 6,151
gold 11,184 18,873 11,071 2,897
gold wares 432 422 4,827 3,254
Silver 1,665 1,948 2,731 2,707
Silver 1,434 1,716 1,206 1,418
Silver wares 231 232 1,525 1,289
Base metals and wares thereof 26,035 26,398 57,146 58,895
Iron and iron wares 5,903 4,472 38,899 40,162
Pig iron (including non-malleable alloys) 1,601 912 966 905
Iron wares 4,302 3,560 37,933 39,257
Aluminium and aluminium wares 546 453 368 273
Raw aluminium 529 433 152 77
Aluminium wares 17 20 216 196
Lead and lead wares 1,438 1,484 945 985
Raw lead (including waste) 1,427 1,470 525 568
Lead wares 11 14 420 417
Zinc and zinc wares 727 847 2,433 2,489
Raw zinc (including waste) 706 825 1,631 1,784
Zinc wares 21 22 802 705
Tin and tin wares 2,405 2,629 1,380 1,236
Raw tin (including waste) 2,357 2,581 787 688
Tin wares 48 48 593 548
Nickel and nickel wares 400 540 246 298
Raw nickel 375 527 160 233
Nickel wares 25 13 86 65
Copper and copper wares 13,803 15,088 7,998 8,470
Raw copper (including copper coin, brass,
tombac, etc.) 12,995 14,192 2,204 2,014
Copper wares 808 896 5,794 6,456
Instruments of precision 813 885 4,877 4,982
Machinery, vehicles 7,093 5,489 33,117 34,653
Machinery 4,090 3,451 19,041 20,684
Electro-technical products 411 451 8,227 9,107
Vehicles and vessels 2,562 1,587 5,849 4,862
Firearms, clocks, musical instruments, toys 1,732 1,424 8,704 7,505
Clocks and watches 1,382 1,134 1,296 1,210
Musical instruments 223 170 3,176 2,780
Toys 39 35 3,949 3,273
Total 442,663 429,636 349,114 336,347
* Provisional figures only.
** Excluding vegetable and animal textile materials.
*** Excluding vegetable textile materials.

The following table shows the commercial intercourse in imports and exports, exclusive of bullion and coin, between Germany and the chief countries of the world in 1905, 1906 and 1907.


Country. 1905. 1906. 1907.
£1000. Percentage
Imports. Value
£1000. Percentage
Imports. Value
£1000. Percentage
Belgium 13,439 3.8 14,315 3.6 14,586 3.4
Denmark 5,986 1.7 6,302 1.6 6,050 1.4
France 19,772 5.6 21,306 5.4 22,302 5.2
United Kingdom 35,320 10.1 40,531 10.3 48,014 11.2
Italy 10,350 3 11,851 3 14,030 3.3
Netherlands 12,077 3 11,864 3 11,187 2.6
Austria-Hungary 36,974 10.6 39,814 10.1 39,939 9.3
Rumania 4,568 1.3 5,774 1.5 7,365 1.7
Russia 47,816 13.6 52,528 13.4 54,447 12.7
Sweden 5,887 1.7 7,359 1.9 8,457 2
Switzerland 8,980 2.6 10,659 2.9 10,366 2.4
Spain 5,742 1.6 7,410 1.9 6,878 1.6
British South Africa 1,769 0.5 1,766 0.4 2,258 0.5
Dominion of Canada 481 0.1 463 0.1 483 0.1
New Zealand 75 .. 87 .. 94 ..
British West Africa 2,562 0.7 2,731 0.7 3,601 0.8
India 13,657 3.9 15,842 4 20,016 4.7
Dutch Indies 5,848 1.7 7,002 1.8 9,199 2.1
Argentine Republic 18,150 5.2 18,302 4.7 21,756 5.1
Brazil 8,454 2.4 9,246 2.4 9,636 2.2
Chile 6,536 1.9 7,131 1.8 7,074 1.6
United States 48,770 13.9 60,787 15.4 64,864 15.1
Commonwealth of Australia 7,690 2.2 8,619 2.2 11,209 2.6


Country. 1905. 1906. 1907.
£1000. Percentage
Exports. Value
£1000. Percentage
Exports. Value
£1000. Percentage
Belgium 15,364 5.5 17,509 5.6 16,861 5
Denmark 8,668 3.1 9,699 3.1 10,182 3
France 14,420 5.1 18,815 6 22,080 6.6
United Kingdom 51,253 18.2 52,473 16.8 52,135 15.5
Italy 8,045 2.9 11,354 3.6 14,893 4.4
Netherlands 21,295 7.6 21,799 7 22,232 6.6
Norway 3,447 1.2 3,573 1.2 4,211 1.3
Austria-Hungary 28,526 10.1 31,926 10.2 35,231 10.5
Rumania 2,144 0.8 3,140 1 3,372 1
Russia 17,027 6 19,962 6.4 21,531 6.4
Sweden 7,653 2.7 8,675 2.8 9,177 2.7
Switzerland 17,649 6.3 18,367 5.9 21,948 6.5
Spain 2,609 0.9 2,838 0.9 3,228 1
British South Africa 1,687 0.6 1,607 0.5 1,422 0.4
Dominion of Canada 1,071 0.4 1,203 0.4 1,456 0.4
New Zealand 227 0.1 244 0.1 263 0.1
Turkey 3,484 1.3 3,357 1.1 4,011 1.2
India 4,226 1.5 5,011 1.6 4,868 1.4
China 3,727 1.3 3,331 1.1 3,105 0.9
Japan 4,158 1.5 4,328 1.4 5,036 1.5
Argentine Republic 6,463 2.3 8,367 2.7 8,810 2.6
Brazil 3,525 1.3 4,364 1.4 5,118 1.5
United States 26,660 9.5 31,281 10 32,070 9.5
Commonwealth of Australia 2,264 0.8 2,863 0.9 3,004 0.9

The commerce of Germany shows an upward tendency, which progresses pari passu with its greatly increased production. The export of ships from the United Kingdom to the empire decreased during two years, 1903 (£305,682) and 1904 (£365,062), almost to a vanishing point, German yards being able to cope with the demands made upon them for the supply of vessels of all classes, including mercantile vessels and ships of war. In 1905 and subsequent years, however, the degree of employment in German yards increased to such an extent, principally owing to the placing of the Admiralty contracts with private builders, that the more urgent orders for mercantile vessels were placed abroad.

The following tables give the value of trade between the United Kingdom and Germany in 1900 and 1905: -

Staple Imports into the United
Kingdom from Germany. 1900. 1905.
£ £
Sugar 9,164,573 10,488,085
Glass and manufactures 1,078,648 1,108,117
Eggs 1,017,119 764,966
Cottons and yarn 992,244 1,476,385
Woollens and yarn 1,312,671 1,984,475
Iron and steel and manufactures 1,012,376 379,479
Machinery 411,178 735,536
Paper 523,544 528,946
Musical instruments 660,777 676,391
Toys 644,690 714,628
Zinc and manufactures 461,023 673,602
Wood and manufactures 1,470,839 1,109,584
Chemicals 513,200 735,830

Principal Articles exported by
Great Britain to Germany. 1900. 1905.
£ £
Cottons and yarn 3,843,917 4,941,917
Woollens and yarn 3,743,842 3,795,591
Alpaca, etc., yarn 1,022,259 1,325,519
Wool 742,632 1,691,035
Ironwork 2,937,055 1,500,414
Herrings 1,651,441 2,042,483
Machinery 2,040,797 2,102,835
Coals, cinders 4,267,172 3,406,535
New ships 1,592,865 1,377,081

Navigation. - The seamen of Frisia are among the best in the world, and the shipping of Bremen and Hamburg had won a respected name long before a German mercantile marine, properly so called, was heard of. Many Hamburg vessels sailed under charter of English and other houses in foreign, especially Chinese, waters. Since 1868 all German ships have carried a common flag - black, white, red; but formerly Oldenburg, Hanover, Bremen, Hamburg, Lübeck, Mecklenburg and Prussia had each its own flag, and Schleswig-Holstein vessels sailed under the Danish flag. The German mercantile fleet occupies, in respect of the number of vessels, the fourth place - after Great Britain, the United States of America and Norway; but in respect of tonnage it stands third - after Great Britain and the United States only.

The following table shows its distribution on the 1st of January of the two years 1905 and 1908: -

Baltic Ports. North Sea Ports. Total Shipping.
Number. Tonnage. Number. Tonnage. Number. Tonnage.
1905 -
Sailing vessels 386 19,067 2181 559,436 2567 578,503
Steamers 486 236,509 1171 1,537,563 1657 1,774,072
Totals 872 255,576 3352 2,096,999 4224 2,352,575
1908 -
Sailing vessels 394 17,472 2255 516,180 2649 533,652
Steamers 521 274,952 140l 1,981,831 1922 2,256,783
Totals 915 292,424 3656 2,498,011 4571 2,790,435

In 1905, 2136 vessels of 283,171 tons, and in 1908, 2218 vessels of 284,081 tons, belonged to Prussian ports, and the number of sailors of the mercantile marine was 60,616 in 1905 and 71,853 in 1908.

The chief ports are Hamburg, Stettin, Bremen, Kiel, Lübeck, Flensburg, Bremerhaven, Danzig (Neufahrwasser), Geestemünde and Emden; and the number and tonnage of vessels of foreign nationality entering and clearing the ports of the empire, as compared with national shipping, were in 1906: -

Foreign Ships. Number
in Cargo. Tonnage. Number
in Cargo. Tonnage.
Danish 5917 1,589,346 5059 1,219,388
British 5327 5,129,017 3211 2,552,268
Swedish 4891 1,164,431 3317 747,656
Dutch 2181 458,401 1973 316,562
Norwegian 1565 817,483 720 347,811
Russian 720 250,564 439 143,983

The ports of Hamburg and Bremen, which are the chief outlets for emigration to the United States of America, carry on a vast commercial trade with all the chief countries of the world, and are the main gates of maritime intercourse between the United Kingdom and Germany.

The inland navigation is served by nearly 25,000 river, canal and coasting vessels, of a tonnage of about 4,000,000.

Railways. - The period of railway construction was inaugurated in Germany by the opening of the line (4 m. in length) from Nuremberg to Fürth in 1835, followed by the main line (71 m.) between Leipzig and Dresden, opened throughout in 1839. The development of the railway system was slow and was not conceived on any uniform plan. The want of a central government operated injuriously, for it often happened that intricate negotiations and solemn treaties between several sovereign states were required before a line could be constructed; and, moreover, the course it was to take was often determined less by the general exigencies of commerce than by many trifling interests or desires of neighbouring states. The state which was most self-seeking in its railway politics was Hanover, which separated the eastern and western parts of the kingdom of Prussia. The difficulties arising to Prussia from this source were experienced in a still greater degree by the seaports of Bremen and Hamburg, which were severely hampered by the particularism displayed by Hanover.

The making of railways was from the outset regarded by some German states as exclusively a function of the government. The South German states, for example, have only possessed state railways. In Prussia numerous private companies, in the first instance, constructed their systems, and the state contented itself for the most part with laying lines in such districts only as were not likely to attract private capital.

The development of the German railway system falls conveniently into four periods. The first, down in 1840, embraces the beginnings of railway enterprise. The next, down to 1848, shows the linking-up of various existing lines and the establishment of inter-connexion between the chief towns. The third, down to 1881, shows the gradual establishment of state control in Prussia, and the formation of direct trunk lines. The fourth begins from 1881 with the purchase of practically all the railways in Prussia by the government, and the introduction of a uniform system of interworking between the various state systems. The purchase of the railways by the Prussian government was on the whole equably carried out, but there were several hard cases in the expropriation of some of the smaller private lines.

The majority of the German railways are now owned by the state governments. Out of 34,470 m. of railway completed and open for traffic in 1906, only 2579 m. were the property of private undertakings, and of these about 150 were worked by the state. The bulk of the railways are of the normal 4 ft. 8 in. gauge. Narrow-gauge (2 ft.) lines - or light railways - extended over 1218 m. in 1903, and of these 537 m. were worked by the state.

The board responsible for the imperial control over the whole railway system in Germany is the Reichseisenbahnamt in Berlin, the administration of the various state systems residing, in Prussia, in the ministry of public works; in Bavaria in the ministry of the royal house and of the exterior; in Württemberg in the ministry of the exterior; in Saxony in the ministry of the interior; in Baden and Hesse-Darmstadt in commissions of the ministry of finance; and in Alsace-Lorraine in the imperial ministry of railways.

The management of the Prussian railway system is committed to the charge of twenty "directions," into which the whole network of lines is divided, being those of Altona, Berlin, Breslau, Bromberg, Danzig, Elberfeld, Erfurt, Essen a.d. Ruhr, Frankfort-on-Main, Halle a.d. Saale, Hanover, Cassel, Kattowitz, Cologne, Königsberg, Magdeburg, Münster, Posen, Saarbrücken and Stettin. The entire length of the system was in 1906 20,835 m., giving an average of about 950 m. to each "direction." The smallest mileage controlled by a "direction" is Berlin, with 380 m., and the greatest, Königsberg, with 1200 m.

The Bavarian system embraces 4642 m., and is controlled and managed, apart from the "general direction" in Munich, by ten traffic boards, in Augsburg, Bamberg, Ingolstadt, Kempten, Munich, Nuremberg, Regensburg, Rosenheim, Weiden and Würzburg.

The system of the kingdom of Saxony has a length of 1616 m., and is controlled by the general direction in Dresden.

The length of the Württemberg system is 1141 m., and is managed by a general direction in Stuttgart.

Baden (state) controls 1233, Oldenburg (state) 382, Mecklenburg-Schwerin 726 and Saxe-Weimar 257 m. respectively. Railways lying within the other smaller states are mostly worked by Prussia.

Alsace-Lorraine has a separate system of 1085 m., which is worked by the imperial general direction in Strassburg.

By the linking-up of the various state systems several grand trunk line routes have been developed - notably the lines Berlin-Vienna-Budapest; Berlin-Cologne-Brussels and Paris; Berlin-Halle-Frankfort-on-Main-Basel; Hamburg-Cassel-Munich and Verona; and Breslau-Dresden-Bamberg-Geneva. Until 1907 no uniform system of passenger rates had been adopted, each state retaining its own fares - a condition that led to much confusion. From the 1st of May 1907 the following tariff came into force. For ordinary trains the rate for first class was fixed at 1d. a mile; for second class at .7d.; for third class at d., and for fourth class at d. a mile. For express trains an extra charge is made of 2s. for distances exceeding 93 m. (150 kils.) in the two superior classes, and 1s. for a lesser distance, and of 1s. and 6d. respectively in the case of third class tickets. Fourth class passengers are not conveyed by express trains. The above rates include government duty; but the privilege of free luggage (as up to 56 lb) has been withdrawn, and all luggage other than hand baggage taken into the carriages is charged for. In 1903 371,084,000 metric tons of goods, including animals, were conveyed by the German railways, yielding £68,085,000 sterling, and the number of passengers carried was 957,684,000, yielding £29,300,000.

The passenger ports of Germany affording oversea communications to distant lands are mainly those of Bremen (Bremerhaven) and Hamburg (Cuxhaven) both of which are situate on the North Sea. From them great steamship lines, notably the North German Lloyd, the Hamburg-American, the Hamburg South American and the German East African steamship companies, maintain express mail and other services with North and South America, Australia, the Cape of Good Hope and the Far East. London and other English ports, French, Italian and Levant coast towns are also served by passenger steamboat sailings from the two great North Sea ports. The Baltic ports, such as Lübeck, Stettin, Danzig (Neufahrwasser) and Königsberg, principally provide communication with the coast towns of the adjacent countries, Russia and Sweden.

Waterways. - In Germany the waterways are almost solely in the possession of the state. Of ship canals the chief is the Kaiser Wilhelm canal (1887-1895), 61 m. long, connecting the North Sea and the Baltic; it was made with a breadth at bottom of 72 ft. and at the surface of 213 ft., and with a depth of 29 ft. 6 in., but in 1908 work was begun for doubling the bottom width and increasing the depth to 36 ft. In respect of internal navigation, the principal of the greater undertakings are the Dortmund-Ems and the Elbe-Trave canals. The former, constructed in 1892-1899, has a length of 150 m. and a mean depth of 8 ft. The latter, constructed 1895-1900, has a length of 43 m. and a mean depth of about 7 ft. A project was sanctioned in 1905 for a canal, adapted for vessels up to 600 tons, from the Rhine to the Weser at Hanover, utilizing a portion of the Dortmund-Ems canal; for a channel accommodating vessels of similar size between Berlin and Stettin; for improving the waterway between the Oder and the Vistula, so as to render it capable of accommodating vessels of 400 tons; and for the canalization of the upper Oder.

On the whole, Germany cannot be said to be rich in canals. In South Germany the Ludwigs canal was, until the annexation of Alsace-Lorraine, the only one of importance. It was constructed by King Louis I. of Bavaria in order to unite the German Ocean and the Black Sea, and extends from the Main at Bamberg to Kelheim on the Danube. Alsace-Lorraine had canals for connecting the Rhine with the Rhone and the Marne, a branch serving the collieries of the Saar valley. The North German plain has, in the east, a canal by which Russian grain is conveyed to Königsberg, joining the Pregel to the Memel, and the upper Silesian coalfield is in communication with the Oder by means of the Klodnitz canal. The greatest number of canals is found around Berlin; they serve to join the Spree to the Oder and Elbe, and include the Teltow canal opened in 1906. The canals in Germany (including ship canals through lakes) have a total length of about 2600 m. Navigable and canalized rivers, to which belong the great water-systems of the Rhine, Elbe and Oder, have a total length of about 6000 m.

Roads. - The construction of good highways has been well attended to in Germany only since the Napoleonic wars. The separation of the empire into small states was favourable to road-making, inasmuch as it was principally the smaller governments that expended large sums for their network of roads. Hanover and Thuringia have long been distinguished for the excellence of their roads, but some districts suffer even still from the want of good highways. The introduction of railways for a time diverted attention from road-making, but this neglect has of late been to some extent remedied. In Prussia the districts (Kreise) have undertaken the charge of the construction of the roads; but they receive a subsidy from the public funds of the several provinces. Turnpikes were abolished in Prussia in 1874 and in Saxony in 1885. The total length of the public roads is estimated at 80,000 m.

Posts and Telegraphs. - With the exception of Bavaria and Württemberg, which have administrations of their own, all the German states belong to the imperial postal district (Reichspostgebiet). Since 1874 the postal and telegraphic departments have been combined. Both branches of administration have undergone a surprising development, especially since the reduction of the postal rates. Germany, including Bavaria and Württemberg, constitutes with Austria-Hungary a special postal union (Deutsch-Osterreichischer Postverband), besides forming part of the international postal union. There are no statistics of posts and telegraphs before 1867, for it was only when the North German union was formed that the lesser states resigned their right of carrying mails in favour of the central authority. Formerly the prince of Thurn-and-Taxis was postmaster-general of Germany, but only some of the central states belonged to his postal territory. The seat of management was Frankfort-on-Main.

The following table shows the growth in the number of post offices for the whole empire: -

Year. Post Offices. Men employed.
1872 7,518 . .
1880 9,460 . .
1890 24,952 128,687
1899 36,388 206,945
1904 38,658 261,985
1907 40,083 319,026

In 1872 there were 2359 telegraph offices; in 1880, 9980; in 1890, 17,200; and in 1907, 37,309. There were 188 places provided with telephone service in 1888, and 13,175 in 1899. The postal receipts amounted for the whole empire in 1907 to £33,789,460, and the expenditure to £31,096,944, thus showing a surplus of £2,692,516.

Constitution. - The constitution of the German empire is, in all essentials, that of the North German Confederation, which came into force on the 7th of June 1867. Under this the presidency (Praesidium) of the confederation was vested in the king of Prussia and his heirs. As a result of the Franco-German war of 1870 the South German states joined the confederation; on the 9th of December 1870 the diet of the confederation accepted the treaties and gave to the new confederation the name of German Empire (Deutsche Reich), and on the 18th of January 1871 the king of Prussia was proclaimed German emperor (Deutscher Kaiser) at Versailles. This was a change of style, not of functions and powers. The title is "German emperor," not "emperor of Germany," being intended to show that the Kaiser is but primus inter pares in a confederation of territorial sovereigns; his authority as territorial sovereign (Landesherr) extends over Prussia, not over Germany.

The imperial dignity is hereditary in the line of Hohenzollern, and follows the law of primogeniture. The emperor exercises the imperial power in the name of the confederated states. In his office he is assisted by a federal council (Bundesrat), which represents the governments of the individual states of Germany. The members of this council, 58 in number, are appointed for each session by the governments of the individual states. The legislative functions of the empire are vested in the emperor, the Bundesrat, and the Reichstag or imperial Diet. The members of the latter, 397 in number, are elected for a space of five years by universal suffrage. Vote is by ballot, and one member is elected by (approximately) every 150,000 inhabitants.

As regards its legislative functions, the empire has supreme and independent control in matters relating to military affairs and the navy, to the imperial finances, to German commerce, to posts and telegraphs, and also to railways, in so far as these affect the common defence of the country. Bavaria and Württemberg, however, have preserved their own postal and telegraphic administration. The legislative power of the empire also takes precedence of that of the separate states in the regulation of matters affecting freedom of migration (Freizügigkeit), domicile, settlement and the rights of German subjects generally, as well as in all that relates to banking, patents, protection of intellectual property, navigation of rivers and canals, civil and criminal legislation, judicial procedure, sanitary police, and control of the press and of associations.

The executive power is in the emperor's hands. He represents the empire internationally, and can declare war if defensive, and make peace as well as enter into treaties with other nations; he also appoints and receives ambassadors. For declaring offensive war the consent of the federal council must be obtained. The separate states have the privilege of sending ambassadors to the other courts; but all consuls abroad are officials of the empire and are named by the emperor.

Both the Bundesrat and the Reichstag meet in annual sessions convoked by the emperor who has the right of proroguing and dissolving the Diet; but the prorogation must not exceed 60 days, and in case of dissolution new elections must be ordered within 60 days, and the new session opened within 90 days. All laws for the regulation of the empire must, in order to pass, receive the votes of an absolute majority of the federal council and the Reichstag.

Alsace-Lorraine is represented in the Bundesrat by four commissioners (Kommissäre), without votes, who are nominated by the Statthalter (imperial lieutenant).

The fifty-eight members of the Bundesrat are nominated by the governments of the individual states for each session; while the members of the Reichstag are elected by universal suffrage and ballot for the term of five years. Every German who has completed his twenty-fifth year is prima facie entitled to the suffrage in the state within which he has resided for one year. Soldiers and those in the navy are not thus entitled, so long as they are serving under the colours. Excluded, further, are persons under tutelage, bankrupts and paupers, as also such persons who have been deprived of civil rights, during the time of such deprivation. Every German citizen who has completed his twenty-fifth year and has resided for a year in one of the federal states is eligible for election in any part of the empire, provided he has not been, as in the cases above, excluded from the right of suffrage. The secrecy of the ballot is ensured by special regulations passed on the 28th of April 1903. The voting-paper, furnished with an official stamp, must be placed in an envelope by the elector in a compartment set apart for the purpose in the polling room, and, thus enclosed, be handed by him to the presiding officer. An absolute majority of votes decides the election. If (as in the case of several candidates) an absolute majority over all the others has not been declared, a test election (Stichwahl) takes place between the two candidates who have received the greatest number of votes. In case of an equal number of votes being cast for both candidates, the decision is by lot.

The subjoined table gives the names of the various states composing the empire and the number of votes which the separate states have in the federal council. Each state may appoint as many members to the federal council as it has votes. The table also gives the number of the deputies in the Reichstag.

States of the Empire. No. of
Members in
Bundesrat. No. of
Members in
Kingdom of Prussia 17 236
Kingdom of Bavaria 6 48
Kingdom of Saxony 4 23
Kingdom of Württemberg 4 17
Grand duchy of Baden 3 14
Grand duchy of Hesse 3 9
Grand duchy of Mecklenburg-Schwerin 2 6
Grand duchy of Saxe-Weimar 1 3
Grand duchy of Mecklenburg-Strelitz 1 1
Grand duchy of Oldenburg 1 3
Duchy of Brunswick 2 3
Duchy of Saxe-Meiningen 1 2
Duchy of Saxe-Altenburg 1 1
Duchy of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha 1 2
Duchy of Anhalt 1 2
Principality of Schwarzburg-Sondershausen 1 1
Principality of Schwarzburg-Rudolstadt 1 1
Principality of Waldeck 1 1
Principality of Reuss-Greiz 1 1
Principality of Reuss-Schleiz 1 1
Principality of Schaumburg-Lippe 1 1
Principality of Lippe 1 1
Free town of Lübeck 1 1
Free town of Bremen 1 1
Free town of Hamburg 1 3
Imperial territory of Alsace-Lorraine . . 15
Total 58 397

The Reichstag must meet at least once in each year. Since November 1906 its members have been paid (see Payment of Members).

The following table shows its composition after the elections of 1903 and 1907: -

Parties. 1903. 1907.
Centre 100 108
Social Democrats 81 43
Conservatives 51 60
National Liberals 49 57
Freisinnige Volkspartei 27 33
Reichspartei 19 22
Alsatians, Guelphs and Danes 18 5
Poles 16 20
Wirtschaftliche Vereinigung (Reform Partei) 12 21
Freisinnige Vereinigung 9 16
Wilde (no party) 9 5
Bund der Landwirte 3 6
Bauernbund 3 1

All the German states have separate representative assemblies, except Alsace-Lorraine and the two grand-duchies of Mecklenburg. The six larger states have adopted the two-chamber system, but in the composition of the houses great differences are found. The lesser states also have chambers of representatives numbering from 12 members (in Reuss-Greiz) to 48 members (in Brunswick), and in most states the different classes, as well as the cities and the rural districts, are separately represented. The free towns have legislative assemblies, numbering from 120 to 200 members.

Imperial measures, after passing the Bundesrat and the Reichstag, must obtain the sanction of the emperor in order to become law, and must be countersigned, when promulgated, by the chancellor of the empire (Reichskanzler). All members of the federal council are entitled to be present at the deliberations of the Reichstag. The Bundesrat, acting under the direction of the chancellor of the empire, is also a supreme administrative and consultative board, and as such it has nine standing committees, viz.: for army and fortresses; for naval purposes; for tariffs, excise and taxes; for trade and commerce; for railways, posts and telegraphs; for civil and criminal law; for financial accounts; for foreign affairs; and for Alsace-Lorraine. Each committee includes representatives of at least four states of the empire.

For the several branches of administration a considerable number of imperial offices have been gradually created. All of them, however, either are under the immediate authority of the chancellor of the empire, or are separately managed under his responsibility. The most important are the chancery office, the foreign office and the general post and telegraph office. But the heads of these do not form a cabinet.

The Chancellor of the Empire (Reichskanzler). - The Prussian plenipotentiary to the Bundesrat is the president of that assembly; he is appointed by the emperor, and bears the title Reichskanzler. This head official can be represented by any other member of the Bundesrat named in a document of substitution. The Reichskanzler is the sole responsible official, and conducts all the affairs of the empire, with the exception of such as are of a purely military character, and is the intermediary between the emperor, the Bundesrat and the Reichstag. All imperial rescripts require the counter-signature of the chancellor before attaining validity. All measures passed by the Reichstag require the sanction of the majority of the Bundesrat, and only become binding on being proclaimed on behalf of the empire by the chancellor, which publication takes place through the Reichsgesetzblatt (the official organ of the chancellor).

Government Offices. - The following imperial offices are directly responsible to the chancellor and stand under his control: -

1. The foreign office, which is divided into three departments: (i.) the political and diplomatic; (ii.) the political and commercial; (iii.) the legal. The chief of the foreign office is a secretary of state, taking his instructions immediately from the chancellor.

2. The colonial office (under the direction of a secretary of state) is divided into (i.) a civil department; (ii.) a military department; (iii.) a disciplinary court.

3. The ministry of the interior or home office (under the conduct of a secretary of state). This office is divided into four departments, dealing with (i.) the business of the Bundesrat, the Reichstag, the elections, citizenship, passports, the press, and military and naval matters, so far as the last concern the civil authorities; (ii.) purely social matters, such as old age pensions, accident insurance, migration, settlement, poor law administration, etc.; (iii.) sanitary matters, patents, canals, steamship lines, weights and measures; and (iv.) commercial and economic relations - such as agriculture, industry, commercial treaties and statistics.

4. The imperial admiralty (Reichsmarineamt), which is the chief board for the administration of the imperial navy, its maintenance and development.

5. The imperial ministry of justice (Reichsjustizamt), presided over by a secretary of state. This office, not to be confused with the Reichsgericht (supreme legal tribunal of the empire) in Leipzig, deals principally with the drafting of legal measures to be submitted to the Reichstag.

6. The imperial treasury (Reichsschatzamt), or exchequer, is the head financial office of the empire. Presided over by a secretary of state, its functions are principally those appertaining to the control of the national debt and its administration, together with such as in the United Kingdom are delegated to the board of inland revenue.

7. The imperial railway board (Reichseisenbahnamt), the chief official of which has the title of "president," deals exclusively with the management of the railways throughout the empire, in so far as they fall under the control of the imperial authorities in respect of laws passed for their harmonious interworking, their tariffs and the safety of passengers conveyed.

8. The imperial post office (Reichspostamt), under a secretary of state, controls the post and telegraph administration of the empire (with the exception of Bavaria and Württemberg), as also those in the colonies and dependencies.

9. The imperial office for the administration of the imperial railways in Alsace-Lorraine, the chief of which is the Prussian minister of public works.

10. The office of the accountant-general of the empire (Rechnungshof), which controls and supervises the expenditure of the sums voted by the legislative bodies, and revises the accounts of the imperial bank (Reichsbank).

11. The administration of the imperial invalid fund, i.e. of the fund set apart in 1871 for the benefit of soldiers invalided in the war of 1870-71; and

12. The imperial bank (Reichsbank), supervised by a committee of four under the presidency of the imperial chancellor, who is a fifth and permanent member of such committee.

The heads of the various departments of state do not form, as in England, the nucleus of a cabinet. In so far as they are secretaries of state, they are directly responsible to the chancellor, who represents all the offices in his person, and, as has been said, is the medium of communication between the emperor and the Bundesrat and Reichstag.

Colonies. - The following table gives some particulars of the dependencies of the empire: -

Name. Date of
Acquisition. Area
sq. m. Pop.
In Africa -
Togoland 1884 33,700 1,000,000
Cameroon 1884 190,000 3,500,000
S.W. Africa 1884 322,450 200,000
East Africa 1885 364,000 7,000,000
Total in Africa 910,150 11,700,000
In the Pacific -
German New Guinea 1884 70,000 110,000(?)
Bismarck Archipelago 1884 20,000 188,000
Caroline, Pelew and Mariana Islands 1899 800 41,600
Solomon Islands 1886 4,200 45,000
Marshall Islands 1885 160 15,000
Samoan Islands 1899 985 33,000
Total in Pacific 96,145 432,600
In Asia -
Kiao-chow 1897 117 60,000
Total dependencies 1884-1899 1,006,412 12,192,600

Except Kiao-chow, which is controlled by the admiralty, the dependencies of the empire are under the direction of the colonial office. This office, created in 1907, replaced the colonial department of the foreign office which previously had had charge of colonial affairs. The value of the trade of the colonies with Germany in 1906 was: imports into Germany, £1,028,000; exports from Germany, £2,236,000. For 1907 the total revenue from the colonies was £849,000; the expenditure of the empire on the colonies in the same year being £4,362,000. (See the articles on the various colonies.)

Local Government. - In the details of its organization local self-government differs considerably in the various states of the German empire. The general principle on which it is based, however, is that which has received its most complete expression in the Prussian system: government by experts, checked by lay criticism and the power of the purse, and effective control by the central authorities. In Prussia at least the medieval system of local self-government had succumbed completely to the centralizing policy of the monarchy, and when it was revived it was at the will and for the purposes of the central authorities, as subsidiary to the bureaucratic system. This fact determined its general characteristics. In England the powers of the local authorities are defined by act of parliament, and within the limits of these powers they have a free hand. In Germany general powers are granted by law, subject to the approval of the central authorities, with the result that it is the government departments that determine what the local elected authorities may do, and that the latter regard themselves as commissioned to carry out, not so much the will of the locality by which they are elected, as that of the central government. This attitude is, indeed, inevitable from the double relation in which they stand. A Bürgermeister, once elected, becomes a member of the bureaucracy and is responsible to the central administration; even the headman of a village commune is, within the narrow limits of his functions, a government official. Moreover, under the careful classification of affairs into local and central, many things which in England are regarded as local (e.g. education, sanitary administration, police) are regarded as falling under the Sphere of the central government, which either administers them directly or by means of territorial delegations consisting either of individuals or of groups of individuals. These may be purely official (e.g. the Prussian Regierung), a mixture of officials and of elected non-official members approved by the government (e.g. the Bezirksausschuss), or may consist wholly of authorities elected for another purpose, but made to act as the agents of the central departments (e.g. the Kreisausschuss). That this system works without friction is due to the German habit of discipline; that it is, on the whole, singularly effective is a result of the peculiarly enlightened and progressive views of the German bureaucracy. [3]

The unit of the German system of local government is the commune (Gemeinde, or more strictly Ortsgemeinde). These are divided into rural communes (Landgemeinden) and urban communes (Stadtgemeinden), the powers and functions of which, though differing widely, are based upon the same general principle of representative local self-government. The higher organs of local government, so far as these are representative, are based on the principle of a group or union of communes (Gemeindeverband). Thus, in Prussia, the representative assembly of the Circle (Kreistag) is composed of delegates of the rural communes, as well as of the large landowners and the towns, while the members of the provincial diet (Provinziallandtag) are chosen by the Kreistage and by such towns as form separate Kreise.

In Prussia the classes of administrative areas are as follows: (1) the province, (2) the government district (Regierungsbezirk), (3) the rural circle (Landkreis) and urban circle (Stadtkreis), (4) the official district (Amtsbezirk), (5) the town commune (Stadtgemeinde) and rural commune (Landgemeinde). Of these areas the provinces, circles and communes are for the purposes both of the central administration and of local self-government, and the bodies by which they are governed are corporations. The Regierungsbezirke and Amtsbezirke, on the other hand, are for the purposes of the central administration only and are not incorporated. The Prussian system is explained in greater detail in the article Prussia (q.v.). Here it must suffice to indicate briefly the general features of local government in the other German states, as compared with that in Prussia. The province, which usually covers the area of a formerly independent state (e.g. Hanover) is peculiar to Prussia. The Regierungsbezirk, however, is common to the larger states under various names, Regierungsbezirk in Bavaria, Kreishauptmannschaft in Saxony, Kreis in Württemberg. Common to all is the president (Regierungspräsident, Kreishauptmann in Saxony), an official who, with a committee of advisers, is responsible for the oversight of the administration of the circles and communes within his jurisdiction. Whereas in Prussia, however, the Regierung is purely official, with no representative element, the Regierungsbezirk in Bavaria has a representative body, the Landrat, consisting of delegates of the district assemblies, the towns, large landowners, clergy and - in certain cases - the universities; the president is assisted by a committee (Landratsausschuss) of six members elected by the Landrat. In Saxony the Kreishauptmann is assisted by a committee (Kreisausschuss).

Below the Regierungsbezirk is the Kreis, or Circle, in Prussia, Baden and Hesse, which corresponds to the Distrikt in Bavaria, the Oberamt in Württemberg [4] and the Amtshauptmannschaft in Saxony. The representative assembly of the Circle (Kreistag, Distriktsrat in Bavaria, Amtsversammlung in Württemberg, Bezirksversammlung in Saxony) is elected by the communes, and is presided over by an official, either elected or, as in the case of the Prussian Landrat, nominated from a list submitted by the assembly. So far as their administrative and legislative functions are concerned the German Kreistage have been compared to the English county councils or the Hungarian comitatus. Their decisions, however, are subject to the approval of their official chiefs. To assist the executive a small committee (Kreisausschuss, Distriktsausschuss, etc.) is elected subject to official approval. The official district (Amtsbezirk), a subdivision of the circle for certain administrative purposes (notably police), is peculiar to Prussia.

Rural Communes. - As stated above, the lowest administrative area is the commune, whether urban or rural. The laws as to the constitution and powers of the rural communes vary much in the different states. In general the commune is a body corporate, its assembly consisting either (in small villages) of the whole body of the qualified inhabitants (Gemeindeversammlung), or of a representative assembly (Gemeindevertretung) elected by them (in communes where there are more than forty qualified inhabitants). At its head is an elected headman (Schulze, Dorfvorsteher, etc.), with a small body of assistants (Schöffen, etc.). He is a government official responsible, inter alia, for the policing of the commune. Where there are large estates these sometimes constitute communes of themselves. For common purposes several communes may combine, such combinations being termed in Württemberg Bürgermeistereien, in the Rhine province Amtsverbände. In general the communes are of slight importance. Where the land is held by small peasant proprietors, they display a certain activity; where there are large ground landlords, these usually control them absolutely.

Towns. - The constitution of the towns (Städteverfassung) varies more greatly in the several states than that of the rural communes. According to the so-called Stein'sche Städteverfassung (the system introduced in Prussia by Stein in 1808), which, to differentiate between it and other systems, is called the Magistratsverfassung (or magisterial constitution), the municipal communes enjoy a greater degree of self-government than do the rural. In the magisterial constitution of larger towns and cities, the members of the Magistrat, i.e. the executive council (also called Stadtrat, Gemeinderat), are elected by the representative assembly of the citizens (Stadtverordnetenversammlung) out of their own body.

In those parts of Germany which come under the influence of French legislation, the constitution of the towns and that of the rural communes (the so-called Bürgermeistereiverfassung) is identical, in that the members of the communal executive body are, in the same way as those of the communal assembly, elected to office immediately by the whole body of municipal electors.

The government of the towns is regulated in the main by municipal codes (Städteordnungen), largely based upon Stein's reform of 1808. This, superseding the autonomy severally enjoyed by the towns and cities since the middle ages (see Commune), aimed at welding the citizens, who had hitherto been divided into classes and gilds, into one corporate whole, and giving them all an active share in the administration of public affairs, while reserving to the central authorities the power of effective control.

The system which obtains in all the old Prussian provinces (with the exception of Rügen and Vorpommern or Hither Pomerania) and in Westphalia is that of Stein, modified by subsequent laws - notably those of 1853 and 1856 - which gave the state a greater influence, while extending the powers of the Magistrat. In Vorpommern and Rügen, and thus in the towns of Greifswald, Stralsund and Bergen, among others, the old civic constitutions remain unchanged. In the new Prussian provinces, Frankfort-on-Main received a special municipal constitution in 1867 and the towns of Schleswig-Holstein in 1869. The province of Hanover retains its system as emended in 1858, and Hesse-Nassau, with the exception of Frankfort-on-Main, received a special corporate system in 1897. The municipal systems of Bavaria, Württemberg and Saxony are more or less based on that of Stein, but with a wider Sphere of self-government. In Mecklenburg there is no uniform system. In Saxe-Coburg, the towns of Coburg and Neustadt have separate and peculiar municipal constitutions. In almost all the other states the system is uniform. The free cities of Lübeck, Hamburg and Bremen, as sovereign states, form a separate class. Their constitutions are described in the articles on them.

Where the "magisterial" constitution prevails, the members of the Magistrat, i.e. the executive council (also called variously Stadtrat, Gemeindevorstand, etc.), are as a rule elected by the representative assembly of the burgesses (Stadtverordnetenversammlung; also Gemeinderat, städtischer Ausschuss, Kollegium der Bürgervorsteher, Stadtältesten, etc.). The Magistrat consists of the chief burgomaster (Erster Bürgermeister or Stadtschultheiss, and in the large cities Oberbürgermeister), a second burgomaster or assessor, and in large towns of a number of paid and unpaid town councillors (Ratsherren, Senatoren, Schöffen, Ratsmänner, Magistratsräte), together with certain salaried members selected for specific purposes (e.g. Baurat, for building). Over this executive body the Stadtverordneten, who are elected by the whole body of citizens and unpaid, exercise a general control, their assent being necessary to any measures of importance, especially those involving any considerable outlay. They are elected for from three to six years; the members of the Magistrat are chosen for six, nine or twelve years, sometimes even for life. In the large towns the burgomasters must be jurists, and are paid. The police are under the control of the Magistrat, except in certain large cities, where they are under a separate state department.

The second system mentioned above (Bürgermeistereiverfassung) prevails in the Rhine province, the Bavarian Palatinate, Hesse, Saxe-Weimar, Anhalt, Waldeck and the principalities of Reuss and Schwarzburg. In Württemberg, Baden and Hesse-Nassau the system is a compromise between the two; both the town and rural communes have a mayor (Bürgermeister or Schultheiss, as the case may be) and a Gemeinderat for administrative purposes, the citizens exercising control through a representative Gemeindeausschuss (communal committee).

Justice. - By the Judicature Act - Gerichtsverfassungsgesetz - of 1879, the so-called "regular litigious" jurisdiction of the courts of law was rendered uniform throughout the empire, and the courts are now everywhere alike in character and composition; and with the exception of the Reichsgericht (supreme court of the empire), immediately subject to the government of the state in which they exercise jurisdiction, and not to the imperial government. The courts, from the lowest to the highest, are Amtsgericht, Landgericht, Oberlandesgericht and Reichsgericht. There are, further, Verwaltungsgerichte (administrative courts) for the adjustment of disputes between the various organs of local government, and other special courts, such as military, consular and arbitration courts (Schiedsgericht). In addition to litigious business the courts also deal with non-litigious matters, such as the registration of titles to land, guardianship and the drawing up and custody of testamentary dispositions, all which are almost entirely within the province of the Amtsgerichte. There are uniform codes of criminal law (Strafgesetzbuch), commercial law and civil law (Bürgerliches Gesetzbuch), the last of which came into force on the 1st of January 1900. The criminal code, based on that of Prussia anterior to 1870, was gradually adopted by all the other states and was generally in force by 1872. It has, however, been frequently emended and supplemented.

The lowest courts of first instance are the Amtsgerichte, each presided over by a single judge, and with jurisdiction in petty criminal and civil cases, up to 300 marks (£15). They are also competent to deal with all disputes as to wages, and letting and hiring, without regard to the value of the object in dispute. Petty criminal cases are heard by the judge (Amtsrichter) sitting with two Schöffen - assessors - selected by lot from the jury lists, who are competent to try prisoners for offences punishable with a fine, not exceeding 600 marks (£30) or corresponding confinement, or with imprisonment not exceeding three months. The Landgerichte revise the decisions of the Amtsgerichte, and have also an original jurisdiction in criminal and civil cases and in divorce proceedings. The criminal chamber of the Landgericht is composed of five judges, and a majority of four is required for a conviction. These courts are competent to try cases of felony punishable with a term of imprisonment not exceeding five years. The preliminary examination is conducted by a judge, who does not sit on the bench at the trial. Jury courts (Schwurgerichte) are not permanent institutions, but are periodically held. They are formed of three judges of the Landgericht and a jury of twelve; and a two-thirds majority is necessary to convict. There are 173 Landgerichte in the empire, being one court for every 325,822 inhabitants. The first court of second instance is the Oberlandesgericht, which has an original jurisdiction in grave offences and is composed of seven judges. There are twenty-eight such courts in the empire. Bavaria alone has an Oberstes Landesgericht, which exercises a revising jurisdiction over the Oberlandesgerichte in the state. The supreme court of the German empire is the Reichsgericht, having its seat at Leipzig. The judges, numbering ninety-two, are appointed by the emperor on the advice of the federal council (Bundesrat). This court exercises an appellate jurisdiction in civil cases remitted, for the decision of questions of law, by the inferior courts and also in all criminal cases referred to it. It sits in four criminal and six civil senates, each consisting of seven judges, one of whom is the president. The judges are styled Reichsgerichtsräte (counsellors of the imperial court).

In the Amtsgericht a private litigant may conduct his own case; but where the object of the litigation exceeds 300 marks (£15), and in appeals from the Amtsgericht to the Landgericht, the plaintiff (and also the defendant) must be represented by an advocate - Rechtsanwalt.

A Rechtsanwalt, having studied law at a university for four years and having passed two state examinations, if desiring to practise must be admitted as "defending counsel" by the Amtsgericht or Landgericht, or by both. These advocates are not state officials, but are sworn to the due execution of their duties. In case a client has suffered damage owing to the negligence of the advocate, the latter can be made responsible. In every district of the Oberlandesgericht, the Rechtsanwälte are formed into an Anwaltkammer (chamber of advocates), and the council of each chamber, sitting as a court of honour, deals with and determines matters affecting the honour of the profession. An appeal lies from this to a second court of honour, consisting of the president, three judges of the Reichsgericht and of three lawyers admitted to practice before that court.

Criminal prosecutions are conducted in the name of the crown by the Staatsanwälte (state attorneys), who form a separate branch of the judicial system, and initiate public prosecutions or reject evidence as being insufficient to procure conviction. The proceedings in the courts are, as a rule, public. Only in exceptional circumstances are cases heard in camera.

Military offences come before the military court and serious offences before the Kriegsgericht. The court-martial is, in every case, composed of the commander of the district as president, and four officers, assisted by a judge-advocate (Kriegsgerichtsrat), who conducts the case and swears the judges and witnesses. In the most serious class of cases, three officers and two judge-advocates are the judges. The prisoner is defended by an officer, whom he may himself appoint, and can be acquitted by a simple majority, but only be condemned by a two-thirds majority. There are also Kaufmanns- and Gewerbegerichte (commercial and industrial courts), composed of persons belonging to the classes of employers and employees, under the presidency of a judge of the court. Their aim is the effecting of a reconciliation between the parties. From the decision of these courts an appeal lies to the Landgericht where the amount of the object in dispute exceeds 100 marks (£5).

The following table shows the number of criminal cases tried before the courts of first instance, with the number and sex of convicted persons, and the number of the latter per 10,000 of the civil population over twelve years of age: -

Year. Cases tried. Persons convicted. Total. Convictions
per 10,000
Amtsgericht. Landgericht. Males. Females.
1900 1,143,687 94,241 396,975 72,844 469,819 119.5
1901 1,205,558 101,471 419,592 77,718 497,310 125.6
1902 1,221,080 104,434 431,257 81,072 512,329 127.3
1903 1,251,662 105,241 424,813 80,540 505,353 123.4
1904 1,287,686 105,457 435,191 81,785 516,976 124.2
Of those convicted in 1904, 225,326 had been previously convicted.

Poor Law. - A law passed by the North German Confederation of the 6th of June 1870, and subsequently amended by an imperial law of the 12th of March 1894, laid down rules for the relief of the destitute in all the states composing the empire, with the exception of Bavaria and Alsace-Lorraine. According to the system adopted, the public relief of the poor is committed to the care of local unions (Ortsarmenverbände) and provincial unions (Landarmenverbände), the former corresponding, generally, to the commune, and the latter to a far wider area, a circle or a province. Any person of eighteen years, who has continuously resided with a local union for the space of two years, there acquires his domicile. But any destitute German subject must be relieved by the local union in which he happens to be at the time, the cost of the relief being defrayed by the local or provincial union in which he has his domicile. The wife and children have also their domicile in the place where the husband or father has his. [5]

Relief of the poor is one of the chief duties of the organs of local self-government. The moneys for the purpose are mainly derived from general taxation (poor rates per se being but rarely directly levied), special funds and voluntary contributions. In some German states and communes certain dues (such as the dog tax in Saxony), death duties and particularly dues payable in respect of public entertainments and police court fines, are assigned to the poor-relief chest. In some large towns the Elberfeld system of unpaid district visitors and the interworking of public and private charity is in force. The imperial laws which introduced the compulsory insurance of all the humbler workers within the empire, and gave them, when incapacitated by sickness, accident and old age, an absolute right to pecuniary assistance, have greatly reduced pauperism and crime.

Workmen's Insurance. - On June 15, 1883, the Reichstag, as the result of the policy announced by the emperor William I. in his speech from the throne in 1881, passed an act making insurance against sickness, accident, and incapacity compulsory on all workers in industrial pursuits. By further laws, in 1885 and 1892, this obligation was extended to certain other classes of workers, and the system was further modified by acts passed in 1900 and 1903. Under this system every person insured has a right to assistance in case of sickness, accident, or incapacity, while in case of death his widow and children receive an annuity.

1. Insurance against sickness is provided for under these laws partly by the machinery already existing, i.e. the sick benefit societies, partly by new machinery devised to meet the new obligation imposed. The sick-funds (Krankenkassen) are thus of seven kinds: (1) free assistance funds (Freie Hilfskassen), either registered under the law of 1876, as modified in 1884 (Eingeschriebene Hilfskassen), or established under the law of the separate states (landesrechtliche Hilfskassen); (2) Betriebs- or Fabrikkrankenkassen, funds established by individual factory-owners; (3) Baukrankenkasse, a fund established for workmen engaged on the construction (Bau) of particular engineering works (canal-digging, etc.), by individual contractors; (4) gild sick funds (Innungskrankenkassen), established by the gilds for the workmen and apprentices of their members; (5) miners' sick fund (Knappschaftskasse); (6) local sick fund (Ortskrankenkasse), established by the commune for particular crafts or classes of workmen; (7) Gemeindekrankenversicherung, i.e. insurance of members of the commune as such, in the event of their not subscribing to any of the other funds. Of these, 2, 3, 6 and 7 were created under the above-mentioned laws.

The number of such funds amounted in 1903 to 23,271, and included 10,224,297 workmen. The Ortskrankenkassen, with 4,975,322 members, had the greatest, and the Baukrankenkassen, with 16,459, the smallest number of members. The Ortskrankenkassen, which endeavour to include workmen of a like trade, have to a great extent, especially in Saxony, fallen under the control of the Social Democrats. The appointment of permanent doctors (Kassenärzte) at a fixed salary has given rise to much difference between the medical profession and this local sick fund; and the insistence on "freedom of choice" in doctors, which has been made by the members and threatens to militate against the interest of the profession, has been met on the part of the medical body by the appointment of a commission to investigate cases of undue influence in the selection.

According to the statistics furnished in the Vierteljahreshefte zur Statistik des deutschen Reiches for 1905, the receipts amounted to upwards of £10,000,000 for 1903, and the expenditure to somewhat less than this sum. Administrative changes were credited with nearly £600,000, and the invested funds totalled £9,000,000. The workmen contribute at the rate of two-thirds and the employers at the rate of one-third; the sum payable in respect of each worker varying from 1-3% of the earnings in the "communal sick fund" to at most l-4% in the others.

2. Insurance against old age and invalidity comprehends all persons who have entered upon their 17th year, and who belong to one of the following classes of wage-earners: artisans, apprentices, domestic servants, dressmakers, charwomen, laundresses, seamstresses, housekeepers, foremen, engineers, journeymen, clerks and apprentices in shops (excepting assistants and apprentices in chemists' shops), schoolmasters, schoolmistresses, teachers and governesses, provided the earnings do not exceed £100 per annum. The insured are arranged in five classes, according to the amount of their yearly earnings: viz. £17, 10s.; £27, 10s.; £47, 10s.; £57, 10s.; and £100. The contributions, affixed to a "pension book" in stamps, are payable each week, and amount, in English money, to 1.45d., 2.34d., 2.82d., 3.30d. and 4.23d. Of the contribution one half is paid by the employer and the other by the employee, whose duty it is to see that the amount has been properly entered in the pension book. The pensions, in case of invalidity, amount (including a state subsidy of £2, 10s. for each) respectively to £8, 8s.; £11, 5s.; £13, 10s.; £15, 15s.; and £18. The old-age pensions (beginning at 70 years) amount to £5, 10s.; £7; £8, 10s.; £10; and £11, 10s. The old-age and invalid insurance is carried out by thirty-one large territorial offices, to which must be added nine special unions. The income of the forty establishments was, in 1903, £8,500,000 (including £1,700,000 imperial subsidy). The capital collected was upwards of £50,000,000.

It may be added that employees in mercantile and trading houses, who have not exceeded the age of 40 years and whose income is below £150, are allowed voluntarily to share in the benefits of this insurance.

3. Accident Insurance (Unfallversicherung). - The insurance of workmen and the lesser officials against the risks of accident is effected not through the state or the commune, but through associations formed ad hoc. These associations are composed of members following the same or allied occupations (e.g. foresters, seamen, smiths, etc.), and hence are called "professional associations" (Berufsgenossenschaften). They are empowered, subject to the limits set by the law, to regulate their own business by means of a general meeting and of elected committees. The greater number of these associations cover a very wide field, generally the whole empire; in such cases they are empowered to divide their spheres into sections, and to establish agents in different centres to inquire into cases of accident, and to see to the carrying out of the rules prescribed by the association for the avoidance of accidents. Those associations, of which the area of operations extends beyond any single state, are subordinate to the control of the imperial insurance bureau (Reichsversicherungsamt) at Berlin; those that are confined to a single state (as generally in the case of foresters and husbandmen) are under the control of the state insurance bureau (Landesversicherungsamt).

So far as their earnings do not exceed £150 per annum, the following classes are under the legal obligation to insure: labourers in mines, quarries, dockyards, wharves, manufactories and breweries; bricklayers and navvies; post-office, railway, and naval and military servants and officials; carters, raftsmen and canal hands; cellarmen, warehousemen; stevedores; and agricultural labourers. Each of these groups forms an association, which within a certain district embraces all the industries with which it is connected. The funds for covering the compensation payable in respect of accidents are raised by payments based, in agriculture, on the taxable capital, and in other trades and industries on the earnings of the insured. Compensation in respect of injury or death is not paid if the accident was brought about through the culpable negligence or other delict of the insured. In case of injury, involving incapacity for more than thirteen weeks (for the earlier period the Krankenkassen provide), the weekly sum payable during complete or permanent incapacity is fixed at the ratio of two-thirds of the earnings during the year preceding the accident, and in case of partial disablement, at such a proportion of the earnings as corresponds to the loss through disablement. In certain circumstances (e.g. need for paid nursing) the sum may be increased to the full rate of the previous earnings. In case of death, as a consequence of injury, the following payments are made: (1) a sum of at least £2, 10s. to defray the expenses of interment; (2) a monthly allowance of one-fifth of the annual earnings as above to the widow and each child up to the age of 15.

Life Insurance. - There were forty-six companies in 1900 for the insurance of life. The number of persons insured was 1,446,249 at the end of that year, the insurances amounting to roughly £320,000,000. Besides these are sixty-one companies - of which forty-six are comprised in the above life insurance companies - paying subsidies in case of death or of military service, endowments, etc. Some of these companies are industrial. The transactions of all these companies included in 1900 over 4,179,000 persons, and the amount of insurances effected was £80,000,000.

Religion. - So far as the empire as a whole is concerned there is no state religion, each state being left free to maintain its own establishment. Thus while the emperor, as king of Prussia, is summus episcopus of the Prussian Evangelical Church, as emperor he enjoys no such ecclesiastical headship. In the several states the relations of church and state differ fundamentally according as these states are Protestant or Catholic. In the latter these relations are regulated either by concordats between the governments and the Holy See, or by bulls of circumscription issued by the pope after negotiation. The effects of concordats and bulls alike are tempered by the exercise by the civil power of certain traditional reserved rights, e.g. the placetum regium, recursus ab abusu, nominatio regia, and that of vetoing the nomination of personae minus gratae. In the Protestant states the ecclesiastical authority remains purely territorial, and the sovereign remains effective head of the established church. During the 19th century, however, a large measure of ecclesiastical self-government (by means of general synods, etc.) was introduced, pari passu with the growth of constitutional government in the state; and in effect, though the theoretical supremacy of the sovereign survives in the church as in the state, he cannot exercise it save through the general synod, which is the state parliament for ecclesiastical purposes. Where a sovereign rules over a state containing a large proportion of both Catholics and Protestants, which is usually the case, both systems coexist. Thus in Prussia the relations of the Roman Catholic community to the Protestant state are regulated by arrangement between the Prussian government and Rome; while in Bavaria the king, though a Catholic, is legally summus episcopus of the Evangelical Church.

According to the religious census of 1900 there were in the German empire 35,231,104 Evangelical Protestants, 20,327,913 Roman Catholics, 6472 Greek Orthodox, 203,678 Christians belonging to other confessions, 586,948 Jews, 11,597 members of other sects and 5938 unclassified. The Christians belonging to other confessions include Moravian Brethren, Mennonites, Baptists, Methodists and Quakers, German Catholics, Old Catholics, etc. The table on following page shows the distribution of the population according to religious beliefs as furnished by the census of 1900.

Almost two-thirds of the population belong to the Evangelical Church, and rather more than a third to the Church of Rome; the actual figures (based on the census of 1900) being (%) Evangelical Protestants, 62.5; Roman Catholics, 36.1; Dissenters and others, .043, and Jews, 1.0. The Protestants have not increased proportionately in number since 1890, while the Roman Catholics show a small relative increase. Three states in Germany have a decidedly predominant Roman Catholic population, viz. Alsace-Lorraine, Bavaria and Baden; and in four states the Protestant element prevails, but with from 24 to 34% of Roman Catholics; viz. Prussia, Württemberg, Hesse and Oldenburg. In Saxony and the eighteen minor states the number of Roman Catholics is only from 0.3 to 3.3% of the population.

States. Evangelicals. Catholics. Other
Christians. Jews.
Prussia 21,817,577 12,113,670 139,127 392,322
Bavaria 1,749,206 4,363,178 7,607 54,928
Saxony 3,972,063 198,265 19,103 12,416
Württemberg 1,497,299 650,392 9,426 11,916
Baden 704,058 1,131,639 5,563 26,132
Hesse 746,201 341,570 7,368 24,486
Mecklenburg-Schwerin 597,268 8,182 487 1,763
Saxe-Weimar 347,144 14,158 361 1,188
Mecklenburg-Strelitz 100,568 1,612 62 331
Oldenburg 309,510 86,920 1,334 1,359
Brunswick 436,976 24,175 1,271 1,824
Saxe-Meiningen 244,810 4,170 395 1,351
Saxe-Altenburg 189,885 4,723 206 99
Saxe-Coburg-Gotha 225,074 3,330 515 608
Anhalt 301,953 11,699 794 1,605
Schwarzburg-Sondershausen 79,593 1,110 27 166
Schwarzburg-Rudolstadt 92,298 676 37 48
Waldeck 55,285 1,831 164 637
Reuss-Greiz 66,860 1,043 444 48
Reuss-Schleiz 135,958 2,579 466 178
Schaumburg-Lippe 41,908 785 177 257
Lippe 132,708 5,157 205 879
Lübeck 93,671 2,190 213 670
Bremen 208,815 13,506 876 1,409
Hamburg 712,338 30,903 3,149 17,949
Alsace-Lorraine 372,078 1,310,450 4,301 32,379
Total 35,231,104 20,327,913 203,678 586,948

From the above table little can be inferred as to the geographical distribution of the two chief confessions. On this point it must be borne in mind that the population of the larger towns, on account of the greater mobility of the population since the introduction of railways and the abolition of restrictions upon free settlement, has become more mixed - Berlin, Leipzig, Hamburg, etc., showing proportionally more Roman Catholics, and Cologne, Frankfort-on-Main, Munich more Protestants than formerly. Otherwise the geographical limits of the confessions have been but little altered since the Thirty Years' War. In the mixed territories those places which formerly belonged to Roman Catholic princes are Roman Catholic still, and vice versa. Hence a religious map of South Germany looks like an historical map of the 17th century. The number of localities where the two confessions exist side by side is small. Generally speaking, South Germany is predominantly Roman Catholic. Some districts along the Danube (province of Bavaria, Upper Palatinate, Swabia), southern Württemberg and Baden, and in Alsace-Lorraine are entirely so. These territories are bordered by a broad stretch of country on the north, where Protestantism has maintained its hold since the time of the Reformation, including Bayreuth or eastern upper Franconia, middle Franconia, the northern half of Württemberg and Baden, with Hesse and the Palatinate. Here the average proportion of Protestants to Roman Catholics is two to one. The basin of the Main is again Roman Catholic from Bamberg to Aschaffenburg (western upper Franconia and lower Franconia). In Prussia the western and south-eastern provinces are mostly Roman Catholic, especially the Rhine province, together with the government districts of Münster and Arnsberg. The territories of the former principality of Cleves and of the countship of Mark (comprising very nearly the basin of the Ruhr), which went to Brandenburg in 1609, must, however, be excepted. North of Münster, Roman Catholicism is still prevalent in the territory of the former bishopric of Osnabrück. In the east, East Prussia (Ermeland excepted) is purely Protestant. Roman Catholicism was predominant a hundred years ago in all the frontier provinces acquired by Prussia in the days of Frederick the Great, but since then the German immigrants have widely propagated the Protestant faith in these districts. A prevailingly Roman Catholic population is still found in the district of Oppeln and the countship of Glatz, in the province of Posen, in the Polish-speaking Kreise of West Prussia, and in Ermeland (East Prussia). In all the remaining territory the Roman Catholic creed is professed only in the Eichsfeld on the southern border of the province of Hanover and around Hildesheim.

Protestant Church

The adherents of Protestantism are divided by their confessions into Reformed and Lutheran. To unite these the "church union" has been introduced in several Protestant states, as for example in Prussia and Nassau in 1817, in the Palatinate in 1818 and in Baden in 1822. Since 1817 the distinction has accordingly been ignored in Prussia, and Christians are there enumerated only as Evangelical or Roman Catholic. The union, however, has not remained wholly unopposed - a section of the more rigid Lutherans who separated themselves from the state church being now known as Old Lutherans. In 1866 Prussia annexed Hanover and Schleswig-Holstein, where the Protestants were Lutherans, and Hesse, where the Reformed Church had the preponderance. The inhabitants of these countries opposed the introduction of the union, but could not prevent their being subordinated to the Prussian Oberkirchenrat (high church-council), the supreme court of the state church. A synodal constitution for the Evangelical State Church was introduced in Prussia in 1875. The Oberkirchenrat retains the right of supreme management. The ecclesiastical affairs of the separate provinces are directed by consistorial boards. The parishes (Pfarreien) are grouped into dioceses (Sprengel), presided over by superintendents, who are subordinate to the superintendent-general of the province. Prussia has sixteen superintendents-general. The ecclesiastical administration is similarly regulated in the other countries of the Protestant creed. Regarding the number of churches and chapels Germany has no exact statistics.

Roman Catholic Church

There are five archbishoprics within the German empire: Gnesen-Posen, Cologne, Freiburg (Baden), Munich-Freising and Bamberg. The twenty bishoprics are: Breslau (where the bishop has the title of "prince-bishop"), Ermeland (seat at Frauenburg, East Prussia), Kulm (seat at Pelplin, West Prussia), Fulda, Hildesheim, Osnabrück, Paderborn, Münster, Limburg, Trier, Metz, Strassburg, Spires, Würzburg, Regensburg, Passau, Eichstätt, Augsburg, Rottenburg (Württemberg) and Mainz. Apostolic vicariates exist in Dresden (for Saxony), and others for Anhalt and the northern missions.

The Old Catholics (q.v.), who seceded from the Roman Church in consequence of the definition of the dogma of papal infallibility, number roughly 50,000, with 54 clergy.


It is in the towns that the Jewish element is chiefly to be found. They belong principally to the mercantile class, and are to a very large extent dealers in money. Their wealth has grown to an extraordinary degree. They are increasingly numerous in Hamburg, Berlin, Frankfort-on-Main, Breslau, Königsberg, Posen, Cologne, Nuremberg and Fürth. As a rule their numbers are proportionately greater in Prussia than elsewhere within the empire. But, since 1871, the Jewish population of Germany shows a far smaller increase than that of the Christian confessions, and even in the parts of the country where the Jewish population is densest it has shown a tendency to diminish. It is relatively greatest in the province of Posen, where the numbers have fallen from 61,982 (39.1 per thousand) in 1871 to 35,327 (18.7 per thousand) in 1900. The explanation is twofold - the extraordinary increase (1) in their numbers in Berlin and the province of Brandenburg, and (2) in the number of conversions to the Christian faith. In this last regard it may be remarked that the impulse is less from religious conviction than from a desire to associate on more equal terms with their neighbours. Though still, in fact at least, if not by law, excluded from many public offices, especially from commands in the army, they nevertheless are very powerful in Germany, the press being for the most part in their hands, and they furnish in many cities fully one-half of the lawyers and the members of the corporation. It should be mentioned, as a curious fact, that the numbers of the Jewish persuasion in the kingdom of Saxony increased from 3358 (1.3 per thousand) in 1871 to 12,416 (3 per thousand) in 1900.

Education. - In point of educational culture Germany ranks high among all the civilized great nations of the world (see Education: Germany). Education is general and compulsory throughout the empire, and all the states composing it have, with minor modifications, adopted the Prussian system providing for the establishment of elementary schools - Volksschulen - in every town and village. The school age is from six to fourteen, and parents can be compelled to send their children to a Volksschule, unless, to the satisfaction of the authorities, they are receiving adequate instruction in some other recognized school or institution.

The total number of primary schools was 60,584 in 1906-1907; teachers, 166,597; pupils, 9,737,262 - an average of about one Volksschule to every 900 inhabitants. The annual expenditure was over £26,000,000, of which sum £7,500,000 was provided by state subvention. There were also in Germany in the same year 643 private schools, giving instruction similar to that of the elementary schools, with 41,000 pupils. A good criterion of the progress of education is obtained from the diminishing number of illiterate army recruits, as shown by the following:

Years. Number of
Recruits. Unable to Read or Write.
Total. Per 1000
1875-1876 139,855 3331 23.7
1880-1881 151,180 2406 15.9
1885-1886 152,933 1657 10.8
1890-1891 193,318 1035 5.4
1895-1896 250,287 374 1.5
1898-1899 252,382 173 0.7
1900-1901 253,000 131 0.45

Of the above 131 illiterates in 1900-1901, 114 were in East and West Prussia, Posen and Silesia.

Universities and Higher Technical Schools. - Germany owes its large number of universities, and its widely diffused higher education to its former subdivision into many separate states. Only a few of the universities date their existence from the 19th century; the majority of them are very much older. Each of the larger provinces, except Posen, has at least one university, the entire number being 21. All have four faculties except Münster, which has no faculty of medicine. As regards theology, Bonn, Breslau and Tübingen have both a Protestant and a Catholic faculty; Freiburg, Munich, Münster and Würzburg are exclusively Catholic; and all the rest are Protestant.

The following table gives the names of the 21 universities, the dates of their respective foundations, the number of their professors and other teachers for the winter half-year 1908-1909, and of the students attending their lectures during the winter half-year of 1907-1908:

Date of
Foundation. Professors
Teachers. Students. Total.
Theology. Law. Medicine. Philosophy.
Berlin 1809 493 326 2747 1153 3934 8220
Bonn 1818 190 395 833 282 1699 3209
Breslau 1811 189 330 617 284 840 2071
Erlangen 1743 77 155 323 355 225 1058
Freiburg 1457 150 219 373 580 642 1814
Giessen 1607 100 63 204 331 546 1144
Göttingen 1737 161 102 441 188 1126 1857
Greifswald 1456 105 68 188 186 361 803
Halle 1694 174 331 450 217 1239 2237
Heidelberg 1385 177 55 357 385 879 1676
Jena 1558 116 48 267 265 795 1375
Kiel 1665 121 35 271 239 480 1025
Königsberg 1544 152 68 317 218 502 1105
Leipzig 1409 234 303 1013 606 2419 4341
Marburg 1527 117 133 400 261 876 1670
Munich 1826 239 169 1892 1903 1979 5943
Münster 1902 95 278 458 . . 870 1606
Rostock 1418 65 48 67 211 322 648
Strassburg 1872 167 241 369 255 844 1709
Tübingen 1477 111 464 467 263 384 1578
Würzburg 1582 102 106 331 625 320 1382

Not included in the above list is the little academy - Lyceum Hosianum - at Braunsberg in Prussia, having faculties of theology (Roman Catholic) and philosophy, with 13 teachers and 150 students. In all the universities the number of matriculated students in 1907-1908 was 46,471, including 320 women, 2 of whom studied theology, 14 law, 150 philosophy and 154 medicine. There were also, within the same period, 5653 non-matriculated Hörer (hearers), including 2486 women.

Ten schools, technical high schools, or Polytechnica, rank with the universities, and have the power of granting certain degrees. They have departments of architecture, building, civil engineering, chemistry, metallurgy and, in some cases, anatomy. These schools are as follows: Berlin (Charlottenburg), Munich, Darmstadt, Karlsruhe, Hanover, Dresden, Stuttgart, Aix-la-Chapelle, Brunswick and Danzig; in 1908 they were attended by 14,149 students (2531 foreigners), and had a teaching staff of 753. Among the remaining higher technical schools may be mentioned the three mining academies of Berlin, Clausthal, in the Harz, and Freiberg in Saxony. For instruction in agriculture there are agricultural schools attached to several universities - notably Berlin, Halle, Göttingen, Königsberg, Jena, Poppelsdorf near Bonn, Munich and Leipzig. Noted academies of forestry are those of Tharandt (in Saxony), Eberswalde, Münden on the Weser, Hohenheim near Stuttgart, Brunswick, Eisenach, Giessen and Karlsruhe. Other technical schools are again the five veterinary academies of Berlin, Hanover, Munich, Dresden and Stuttgart, the commercial colleges (Handelshochschulen) of Leipzig, Aix-la-Chapelle, Hanover, Frankfort-on-Main and Cologne, in addition to 424 commercial schools of a lesser degree, 100 schools for textile manufactures and numerous schools for special metal industries, wood-working, ceramic industries, naval architecture and engineering and navigation. For military science there are the academies of war (Kriegsakademien) in Berlin and Munich, a naval academy in Kiel, and various cadet and non-commissioned officers' schools.

Libraries. - Mental culture and a general diffusion of knowledge are extensively promoted by means of numerous public libraries established in the capital, the university towns and other places. The most celebrated public libraries are those of Berlin (1,000,000 volumes and 30,000 MSS.); Munich (1,000,000 volumes, 40,000 MSS.); Heidelberg (563,000 volumes, 8000 MSS.); Göttingen (503,000 volumes, 6000 MSS.); Strassburg (760,000 volumes); Dresden (500,000 volumes, 6000 MSS.); Hamburg (municipal library, 600,000 volumes, 5000 MSS.); Stuttgart (400,000 volumes, 3500 MSS.); Leipzig (university library, 500,000 volumes, 5000 MSS.); Würzburg (350,000 volumes); Tübingen (340,000 volumes); Rostock (318,000 volumes); Breslau (university library, 300,000 volumes, 7000 MSS.); Freiburg-im-Breisgau (250,000 volumes); Bonn (265,000 volumes); and Königsberg (230,000 volumes, 1100 MSS.). There are also famous libraries at Gotha, Wolfenbüttel and Celle.

Learned Societies. - There are numerous societies and unions, some of an exclusively scientific character and others designed for the popular diffusion of useful knowledge. Foremost among German academies is the Academy of Sciences (Akademie der Wissenschaften) in Berlin, founded in 1700 on Leibnitz's great plan and opened in 1711. After undergoing various vicissitudes, it was reorganized by Frederick the Great on the French model and received its present constitution in 1812. It has four sections: physical, mathematical, philosophical and historical. The members are (1) ordinary (50 in number, each receiving a yearly dotation of £30), and (2) extraordinary, consisting of honorary and corresponding (foreign) members. It has published since 1811 a selection of treatises furnished by its most eminent men, among whom must be reckoned Schleiermacher, the brothers Humboldt, Grimm, Savigny, Böckh, Ritter and Lachmann, and has promoted philological and historical research by helping the production of such works as Corpus inscriptionum Graecarum; Corpus inscriptionum Latinarum; Monumenta Germaniae historica, the works of Aristotle, Frederick the Great's works and Kant's collected works. Next in order come (1) the Academy of Sciences at Munich, founded in 1759, divided into three classes, philosophical, historical and physical, and especially famous for its historical research; (2) the Society of Sciences (Gesellschaft der Wissenschaften) in Göttingen, founded in 1742; (3) that of Erfurt, founded 1758; (4) Görlitz (1779) and (5) the "Royal Saxon Society of Sciences" (Königliche sächsische Gesellschaft der Wissenschaften), founded in Leipzig in 1846. Ample provision is made for scientific collections of all kinds in almost all places of any importance, either at the public expense or through private munificence.

Observatories. - These have in recent years been considerably augmented. There are 19 leading observatories in the empire, viz. at Bamberg, Berlin (2), Bonn, Bothkamp in Schleswig, Breslau, Düsseldorf, Gotha, Göttingen, Hamburg, Heidelberg, Jena, Kiel, Königsberg, Leipzig, Munich, Potsdam, Strassburg and Wilhelmshaven.

Book Trade. - This branch of industry, from the important position it has gradually acquired since the time of the Reformation, is to be regarded as at once a cause and a result of the mental culture of Germany. Leipzig, Berlin and Stuttgart are the chief centres of the trade. The number of booksellers in Germany was not less than 10,000 in 1907, among whom were approximately 6000 publishers. The following figures will show the recent progress of German literary production, in so far as published works are concerned:

Year 1570 1600 1618 1650 1700 1750 1800 1840 1884 1902
Books 229 791 1293 725 951 1219 3335 6904 15,607 26,902

Newspapers. - While in England a few important newspapers have an immense circulation, the newspapers of Germany are much more numerous, but on the whole command a more limited sale. Some large cities, notably Berlin, Cologne, Hamburg, Dresden, Leipzig and Munich, have, however, newspapers with a daily circulation of over 100,000 copies, and in the case of some papers in Berlin a million copies is reached. Most readers receive their newspapers through the post office or at their clubs, which may help to explain the smaller number of copies sold.

Fine Arts. - Perhaps the chief advantage which Germany has derived from the survival of separate territorial sovereignties within the empire has been the decentralization of culture. Patronage of art is among the cherished traditions of the German princes; and even where - as for instance at Cassel - there is no longer a court, the artistic impetus given by the former sovereigns has survived their fall. The result has been that there is in Germany no such concentration of the institutions for the encouragement and study of the fine arts as there is in France or England. Berlin has no practical monopoly, such as is possessed by London or Paris, of the celebrated museums and galleries of the country. The picture galleries of Dresden, Munich and Cassel still rival that at Berlin, though the latter is rapidly becoming one of the richest in the world in works of the great masters, largely at the cost of the private collections of England. For the same reason the country is very well provided with excellent schools of painting and music. Of the art schools the most famous are those of Munich, Düsseldorf, Dresden and Berlin, but there are others, e.g. at Karlsruhe, Weimar and Königsberg. These schools are in close touch with the sovereigns and the governments, and the more promising pupils are thus from the first assured of a career, especially in connexion with the decoration of public buildings and monuments. To this fact is largely due the excellence of the Germans in grandiose decorative painting and sculpture, a talent for the exercise of which plenty of scope has been given them by the numerous public buildings and memorials raised since the war of 1870. Perhaps for this very reason, however, the German art schools have had no such cosmopolitan influence as that exercised by the schools of Paris, the number of foreign students attending them being comparatively small. It is otherwise with the schools of music, which exercise a profound influence far beyond the borders of Germany. Of these the most important are the conservatoires of Leipzig, Dresden, Berlin, Munich and Frankfort-on-Main. The fame of Weimar as a seat of musical education, though it possesses an excellent conservatoire, is based mainly on the tradition of the abbé Liszt, who gathered about him here a number of distinguished pupils, some of whom have continued to make it their centre. Music in Germany also receives a great stimulus from the existence, in almost every important town, of opera-houses partly supported by the sovereigns or by the civic authorities. Good music being thus brought within the reach of all, appreciation of it is very wide-spread in all classes of the population. The imperial government maintains institutes at Rome and Athens which have done much for the advancement of archaeology.

(P. A. A.)

Army. - The system of the "nation in arms" owes its existence to the reforms in the Prussian army that followed Jena. The "nation in arms" itself was the product of the French Revolutionary and Napoleonic wars, but it was in Prussia that was seen the systematization and the economical and effective application of the immense forces of which the revolutionary period had demonstrated the existence (see also Army; Conscription; French Revolutionary Wars, etc.). It was with an army and a military system that fully represented the idea of the "nation in arms" that Prussia created the powerful Germany of later days, and the same system was extended by degrees over all the other states of the new empire. But these very successes contained in themselves the germ of new troubles. Increased prosperity, a still greater increase in population and the social and economic disturbances incidental to the conversion of an agricultural into a manufacturing community, led to the practical abandonment of the principle of universal service. More men came before the recruiting officer than there was money to train; and in 1895 the period of service with the colours was reduced from three to two years - a step since followed by other military powers, the idea being that with the same peace effective and financial grants half as many men again could be passed through the ranks as before.

In 1907 the recruiting statistics were as follows:

Number of young men attaining service age (including those who had voluntarily enlisted before their time) 556,772

Men belonging to previous years who had been put back for re-examination, &., still borne on the lists 657,753
- - - -

Deduct - Physically unfit, etc. 35,802

Struck off 860

Voluntarily enlisted in the army and navy, on or before attaining service age 57,739

Assigned as recruits to the navy 10,374

Put back, etc. 684,193
- - -
- - -

Available as army recruits, fit 425,557

Of these, (a) Assigned to the active army for two or three years' service with the colours 212,661

(b) Assigned to the Ersatz-Reserve of the army and navy untrained 89,877

(c) Assigned to the 1st levy of Landsturm 123,019
- - -

Thus only half the men on whom the government has an effective hold go to the colours in the end. Moreover few of the men "put back, etc.," who figure on both sides of the account for any one year, and seem to average 660,000, are really "put back." They are in the main those who have failed or fail to present themselves, and whose names are retained on the liability lists against the day of their return. Many of these have emigrated.

By the constitution of the 16th of April 1871 every German is liable to service and no substitution is allowed. Liability begins at the age of seventeen, and actual service, as a rule, from the age of twenty. The men serve in the active army and army reserve for seven years, of which two years (three in the case of cavalry and horse artillery recruits) are spent with the colours. During his four or five years in the reserve, the soldier is called out for training with his corps twice, for a maximum of eight weeks (in practice usually for six). After quitting the reserve the soldier is drafted into the first ban of the Landwehr for five years more, in which (except in the cavalry, which is not called out in peace time) he undergoes two trainings of from eight to fourteen days. Thence he passes into the second ban and remains in it until he has completed his thirty-ninth year - i.e. from six to seven years more, the whole period of army and Landwehr service being thus nineteen years. Finally, all soldiers are passed into the Landsturm, in the first ban of which they remain until the completion of their forty-fifth year. The second ban consists of untrained men between the ages of thirty-nine and forty-five. Young men who reach a certain standard of education, however, are only obliged to serve for one year in the active army. They are called One-Year Volunteers (Einjährig-Freiwilligen), defray their own expenses and are the chief source of supply of reserve and Landwehr officers. That proportion of the annual contingents which is dismissed untrained goes either to the Ersatz-Reserve or to the 1st ban of the Landsturm (the Landwehr, it will be observed, contains only men who have served with the colours). The Ersatz consists exclusively of young men, who would in war time be drafted to the regimental depots and thence sent, with what training circumstances had in the meantime allowed, to the front. Some men of the Ersatz receive a short preliminary training in peace time.

In 1907 the average height of the private soldiers was 5 ft. 6 in., that of the non-commissioned officers 5 ft. 6 in., and that of the one-year volunteers 5 ft. 9 in. A much greater proportion of the country recruits were accepted as "fit" than of those coming from the towns. Voluntary enlistments of men who desired to become non-commissioned officers were most frequent in the provinces of the old Prussian monarchy, but in Berlin itself and in Westphalia the enlistments fell far short of the number of non-commissioned officers required for the territorial regiments of the respective districts. Above all, in Alsace-Lorraine one-eighth only of the required numbers were obtained.

Peace and War Strengths. - German military policy is revised every five years; thus a law of April 1905 fixes the strength and establishments to be attained on March 31, 1910, the necessary augmentations, etc., being carried out gradually in the intervening years. The peace strength for the latter date was fixed at 505,839 men (not including officers, non-commissioned officers and one-year volunteers), forming - 633 battalions infantry.
510 squadrons cavalry.
574 batteries field and horse artillery.
40 battalions foot artillery.
29 battalions pioneers.
12 battalions communication troops.
23 train battalions, etc.

The addition of about 25,000 officers and 85,000 non-commissioned officers, one-year men, etc., brings the peace footing of the German army in 1910 to a total of about 615,000 of all ranks.

As for war, the total fighting strength of the German nation (including the navy) has been placed at as high a figure as 11,000,000. Of these 7,000,000 have received little or no training, owing to medical unfitness, residence abroad, failure to appear, surplus of annual contingents, etc., as already explained, and not more than 3,000,000 of these would be available in war. The real military resources of Germany, untrained and trained, are thus about 7,000,000, of whom 4,000,000 have at one time or another done a continuous period of service with the colours. [6] This is of course for a war of defence à outrance. For an offensive war, only the active army, the reserve, the Ersatz and the 1st levy of the Landwehr would be really available.

A rough calculation of the number of these who go to form or to reinforce the field armies and the mobilized garrisons may be given:

Cadres of officers and non-commissioned officers 100,000

From 7 annual contingents of recruits (i.e. active army and reserve) 1,200,000

From 5 contingents of Landwehr (1st ban) 600,000

From 7 classes of Ersatz reserve called to the depots, able-bodied men 400,000

One-year volunteers recalled to the colours or serving as reserve and Landwehr officers 100,000
- - - -

These again would divide into a first line army of 1,350,000 and a second of 1,050,000. It is calculated that the field army would consist, in the third week of a great war, of 633 battalions, 410 squadrons and 574 batteries, with technical, departmental and medical troops (say 630,000 bayonets, 60,000 sabres and 3444 guns, or 750,000 men), and that these could be reinforced in three or four weeks by 350 fresh battalions. Behind these forces there would shortly become available for secondary operations about 460 battalions of the 1st ban Landwehr, and 200 squadrons and about 220 batteries of the reserve and Landwehr. In addition, each would leave behind depot troops to form the nucleus on which the 2nd ban Landwehr and the Landsturm would eventually be built up. The total number of units of the three arms in all branches may be stated approximately at 2200 battalions, 780 squadrons and 950 batteries.

Command and Organization. - By the articles of the constitution the whole of the land forces of the empire form a united army in war and peace under the orders of the emperor. The sovereigns of the chief states are entitled to nominate the lower grades of officers, and the king of Bavaria has reserved to himself the special privilege of superintending the general administration of the three Bavarian army corps; but all appointments are made subject to the emperor's approval. The emperor is empowered to erect fortresses in any part of the empire. It is the almost invariable practice of the kings of Prussia to command their forces in person, and the army commands, too, are generally held by leaders of royal or princely rank. The natural corollary to this is the assignment of special advisory duties to a responsible chief of staff. The officers are recruited either from the Cadet Corps at Berlin or from amongst those men, of sufficient social standing, who join the ranks as "avantageurs" with a view to obtaining commissions. Reserve and Landwehr officers are drawn from among officers and selected non-commissioned officers retired from the active army, and one-year volunteers who have passed a special examination. All candidates, from whatever source they come, are subject to approval or rejection by their brother officers before being definitively commissioned. Promotion in the German army is excessively slow, the senior subalterns having eighteen to twenty years' commissioned service and the senior captains sometimes thirty. The number of officers on the active list is about 25,000. The under-officers number about 84,000.

The German army is organized in twenty-three army corps, stationed and recruited in the various provinces and states as follows: Guard, Berlin (general recruiting); I. Königsberg (East Prussia); II. Stettin (Pomerania); III. Berlin (Brandenburg); IV. Magdeburg (Prussian Saxony); V. Posen (Poland and part of Silesia); VI. Breslau (Silesia); VII. Münster (Westphalia); VIII. Coblenz (Rhineland); IX. Altona (Hanse Towns and Schleswig-Holstein); X. Hanover (Hanover); XI. Cassel (Hesse-Cassel); XII. Dresden (Saxony); XIII. Stuttgart (Württemberg); XIV. Karlsruhe (Baden); XV. Strassburg (Alsace); XVI. Metz (Lorraine); XVII. Danzig (West Prussia); XVIII. Frankfurt-am-Main (Hesse Darmstadt, Main country); XIX. Leipzig (Saxony); I. Bavarian Corps, Munich; II. Bavarian Corps, Würzburg; III. Bavarian Corps, Nuremberg. The formation of a XX. army corps out of the extra division of the XIV. corps at Colmar in Alsace, with the addition of two regiments from Westphalia and drafts of the XV. and XVI. corps, was announced in 1908 as the final step of the programme for the period 1906-1910. The normal composition of an army corps on war is (a) staff, (b) 2 infantry divisions, each of 2 brigades (4 regiments or 12 battalions), 2 regiments of field artillery (comprising 9 batteries of field-guns and 3 of field howitzers, 72 pieces in all), 3 squadrons of cavalry, 1 or 2 companies of pioneers, a bridge train and 1 or 2 bearer companies; (c) corps troops, 1 battalion rifles, telegraph troops, bridge train, ammunition columns, train (supply) battalion, field bakeries, bearer companies and field hospitals, etc., with, as a rule, one or two batteries of heavy field howitzers or mortars and a machine-gun group. The remainder of the cavalry and horse artillery attached to the army corps in peace goes in war to form the cavalry divisions. Certain corps have an increased effective; thus the Guard has a whole cavalry division, and the I. corps (Königsberg) has three divisions. Several corps possess an extra infantry brigade of two 2-battalion regiments, but these, unless stationed on the frontiers, are gradually absorbed into new divisions and army corps. In war several army corps, cavalry divisions and reserve divisions are grouped in two or more "armies," and in peace the army corps are divided for purposes of superior control amongst several "army inspections."

The cavalry is organized in regiments of cuirassiers, dragoons, lancers, hussars and mounted rifles, [7] the regiments having four service and one depot squadrons. Troopers are armed with lance, sword and carbine (for which in 1908 the substitution of a short rifle with bayonet was suggested). In peace time the highest permanent organization is the brigade of two regiments or eight squadrons, but in war and at manœuvres divisions of three brigades, with horse artillery attached, are formed.

The infantry consists of 216 regiments, mostly of three battalions each. These are numbered, apart from the eight Guard regiments and the Bavarians, serially throughout the army. Certain regiments are styled grenadiers and fusiliers. In addition there are eighteen chasseur or rifle battalions (Jäger). The battalion has always four companies, each, at war strength, 250 strong. The armament of the infantry is the model 1898 magazine rifle and bayonet (see Rifle).

The field (including horse) artillery consists in peace of 94 regiments subdivided into two or three groups (Abteilungen), each of two or three 6-gun batteries. The field gun in use is the quick-firing gun 96/N.A. (see Ordnance: Field Equipments).

The foot artillery is intended for siege and fortress warfare, and to furnish the heavy artillery of the field army. It consists of forty battalions. Machine gun detachments, resembling 4-gun batteries and horsed as artillery, were formed to the number of sixteen in 1904-1906. These are intended to work with the cavalry divisions. Afterwards it was decided to form additional small groups of two guns each, less fully horsed, to assist the infantry, and a certain number of these were created in 1906-1908.

The engineers are a technical body, not concerned with field warfare or with the command of troops. On the other hand, the pioneers (29 battalions) are assigned to the field army, with duties corresponding roughly to those of field companies R.E. in the British service. Other branches represented in Great Britain by the Royal Engineers are known in Germany by the title "communication troops," and comprise railway, telegraph and airship and balloon battalions. The Train is charged with the duties of supply and transport. There is one battalion to each army corps.

Remounts. - The peace establishment in horses is approximately 100,000. Horses serve eight to nine years in the artillery and nine to ten in the cavalry, after which, in the autumn of each year, they are sold, and their places taken by remounts. The latter are bought at horse-fairs and private sales, unbroken, and sent to the 25 remount depots, whence, when fit for the service, they are sent to the various units, as a rule in the early summer. Most of the cavalry and artillery riding horses come from Prussia proper. The Polish districts produce swift Hussar horses of a semi-eastern type. Hanover is second only to East Prussia in output of horses. Bavaria, Saxony and Württemberg do not produce enough horses for their own armies and have to draw on Prussia. Thirteen thousand four hundred and forty-five young horses were bought by the army authorities during 1907. The average price was about £51 for field artillery draught horses, £65 for heavy draught horses, and £46 for riding horses.

The military expenditure of Germany, according to a comparative table furnished to the House of Commons by the British war office in 1907, varied between £36,000,000 and £44,000,000 per annum in the period 1899-1902, and between £42,000,000 and £51,000,000 per annum in that of 1905-1909.

Colonial Troops. - In 1906 these, irrespective of the brigade of occupation then maintained in north China and of special reinforcements sent to S.W. Africa during the Herrero war, consisted of the German East Africa troops, 220 Europeans and 1470 natives; the Cameroon troops, 145 European and 1170 natives; S.W. African troops, entirely European and normally consisting of 606 officers and men active and a reserve of ex-soldier settlers; the Kiao-Chau garrison (chiefly marines), numbering 2687 officers and men; and various small police forces in Togo, New Guinea, Samoa, etc.

Fortresses. - The fixed defences maintained by the German empire (apart from naval ports and coast defences) belong to two distinct epochs in the military policy of the state. In the first period (roughly 1871-1899), which is characterized by the development of the offensive spirit, the fortresses, except on the French and Russian frontiers, were reduced to a minimum. In the interior only Spandau, Cüstrin, Magdeburg, Ingolstadt and Ulm were maintained as defensive supporting points, and similarly on the Rhine, which was formerly studded with fortresses from Basel to Emmerich, the defences were limited to New Breisach, Germersheim, Mainz, Coblenz, Cologne and Wesel, all of a "barrier" character and not organized specially as centres of activity for field armies. The French frontier, and to a less extent the Russian, were organized offensively. Metz, already surrounded by the French with a girdle of forts, was extended and completed (see Fortification and Siegecraft) as a great entrenched camp, and Strassburg, which in 1870 possessed no outlying works, was similarly expanded, though the latter was regarded an instrument of defence more than of attack. On the Russian frontier Königsberg, Danzig, Thorn, Posen, Glogau (and on a smaller scale Boyen in East Prussia and Graudenz on the Vistula) were modernized and improved.

From 1899, however, Germany began to pay more attention to her fixed defences, and in the next years a long line of fortifications came into existence on the French frontier, the positions and strength of which were regulated with special regard to a new strategic disposition of the field armies and to the number and sites of the "strategic railway stations" which were constructed about the same time. Thus, the creation of a new series of forts extending from Thionville (Diedenhofen) to Metz and thence south-eastward was coupled with the construction of twelve strategic railway stations between Cologne and the Belgian frontier, and later - the so-called "fundamental plan" of operations against France having apparently undergone modification in consequence of changes in the foreign relations of the German government - an immense strategic railway station was undertaken at Saarburg, on the right rear of Thionville and well away from the French frontier, and many important new works both of fortification and of railway construction were begun in Upper Alsace, between Colmar and Basel.

The coast defences include, besides the great naval ports of Wilhelmshaven on the North Sea and Kiel on the Baltic, Danzig, Pillau, Memel, Friedrichsort, Cuxhaven, Geestemünde and Swinemünde.

(C. F. A.)

Navy. - The German navy is of recent origin. In 1848 the German people urged the construction of a fleet. Money was collected, and a few men-of-war were fitted out; but these were subsequently sold, the German Bundestag (federal council) not being in sympathy with the aspirations of the nation. Prussia however, began laying the foundations of a small navy. To meet the difficulty arising from the want of good harbours in the Baltic, a small extent of territory near Jade Bay was bought from Oldenburg in 1854, for the purpose of establishing a war-port there. Its construction was completed at enormous expense, and it was opened for ships by the emperor in June 1869 under the name of Wilhelmshaven. In 1864 Prussia, in annexing Holstein, obtained possession of the excellent port of Kiel, which has since been strongly fortified. From the time of the formation of the North German Confederation the navy has belonged to the common federal interest. Since 1st October 1867 all its ships have carried the same flag, of the national colours - black, white, red, with the Prussian eagle and the iron cross.

From 1848 to 1868 the increase of the navy was slow. In 1851 it consisted of 51 vessels, including 36 small gunboats of 2 guns each. In 1868 it consisted of 45 steamers (including 2 ironclads) and 44 sailing vessels, but during the various wars of the period 1848-1871, only a few minor actions were fought at sea, and for many years after the French War the development of the navy did not keep pace with that of the empire's commercial interests beyond the seas, or compete seriously with the naval power of possible rivals. But towards the end of the 19th century Germany started on a new naval policy, by which her fleet was largely and rapidly increased. Details of this development will be found in the article Navy (see also History below, ad fin.). It will be sufficient here to give the statistics relating to the beginning of the year 1909, reference being made only to ships effective at that date and to ships authorized in the construction programme of 1907:

Modern battleships 20 effective, 4 approaching completion.
Old battleships and coast defence ships 11 effective (4 non-effective).
Armoured cruisers 9 effective, 1 approaching completion.
Protected cruisers 31 effective, 2 approaching completion.
Torpedo craft of modern types 130 effective, 3 approaching completion.

Administration. - In 1889 the administration was transferred from the ministry of war to the imperial admiralty (Reichsmarineamt), at the head of which is the naval secretary of state. The chief command was at the same time separated from the administration and vested in a naval officer, who controls the movements of the fleet, its personnel and training, while the maintenance of the arsenals and dockyards, victualling and clothing and all matters immediately affecting the matériel, fall within the province of the secretary of state. The navy is divided between the Baltic (Kiel) and North Sea (Wilhelmshaven) stations, which are strategically linked by the Kaiser Wilhelm Canal (opened in 1895), across the Schleswig-Holstein peninsula. Danzig, Cuxhaven and Sonderburg have also been made naval bases.

Personnel. - The German navy is manned by the obligatory service of the essentially maritime population - such as sailors, fishermen and others, as well as by volunteers, who elect for naval service in preference to that in the army. It is estimated that the total seafaring population of Germany amounts to 80,000. The active naval personnel was, in 1906, 2631 officers (including engineers, marines, medical, etc.) and 51,138 under-officers and men, total 53,769. In addition, there is a reserve of more than 100,000 officers and men.

(P. A. A.)

Finance. - The imperial budget is voted every year by the Reichstag. The "extraordinary funds," from which considerable sums appear annually in the budget, were created after the Franco-German War. Part of the indemnity was invested for definite purposes. The largest of these investments served for paying the pensions of the invalided, and amounted originally to £28,000,000. Every year, not only the interest, but part of the capital is expended in paying these pensions, and the capital sum was thus reduced in 1903 to £15,100,000, and in 1904 to £13,200,000. Another fund, of about £5,200,000, serves for the construction and armament of fortresses; while £6,000,000, known as the Reichskriegsschatz - or "war treasure fund" - is not laid out at interest, but is stored in coined gold and bullion in the Juliusturm at Spandau. In addition to these, the railways in Alsace-Lorraine, which France bought of the Eastern Railway Company for £13,000,000, in order to transfer them to the control of Germany, are also the property of the empire.

During the years 1908 and 1909 considerable public discussion and political activity were devoted to the reorganization of German imperial finance, and it is only possible here to deal historically with the position up to that time, since further developments of an important nature were already foreshadowed.

In 1871 the system accepted was that the imperial budget should be financed substantially by its reliance on the revenue from what were the obvious imperial resources - customs and excise duties, stamp duties, post and telegraph receipts, and among minor sources the receipts from the Alsace-Lorraine railways. But it was also provided that, for the purpose of deficits, the states should, in addition, if required by the imperial minister of finance, contribute their quotas according to population - Matrikular Beiträge. It was not expected that these would become chronic, but in a few years, and emphatically by the early 'eighties, they were found to be an essential part of the financial system, owing to regular deficits. It had been intended that, in return for the Matrikular Beiträge, regular assignments (Uberweisungen) should be returned to the states, in relief of their own taxation, which would practically wipe out the contribution; but instead of these the Uberweisungen were considerably less. Certain reorganizations were made in 1887 and 1902, but the excess of the Matrikular Beiträge over the Uberweisungen continued; the figures in 1905 and 1908 being as follows (in millions of marks): -

Beiträge. Uberweisungen. Excess.
1905 213 189 24
1908 346 195 150

These figures show how natural it was to desire to relieve the states by increasing the direct imperial revenue.

Meanwhile, in spite of the "matricular contributions," the calls on imperial finance had steadily increased, and up to 1908 were continually met to a large extent by loans, involving a continual growth of the imperial debt, which in 1907 amounted to 3643 millions of marks. The imperial budget, like that of most European nations, is divided into two portions, the ordinary and the extraordinary; and the increase under both heads (especially for army and navy) became a recurrent factor. A typical situation is represented by the main figures for 1905 and 1906 (in millions of marks):

Expenditure. Revenue. Raised by
Ordinary. Extra-
1905 2002 193 2053 341
1906 2157 235 2118 258

The same process went on in 1907 and 1908, and it was necessarily recognized that the method of balancing the imperial budget by a regular increase of debt could not be satisfactory in a country where the general increase of wealth and taxable capacity had meanwhile been conspicuous. And though the main proposals made by the government for new taxation, including new direct taxes, resulted in a parliamentary deadlock in 1909, and led to Prince von Bülow's resignation as chancellor, it was already evident that some important reorganization of the imperial financial system was inevitable.

Currency. - The German empire adopted a gold currency by the law of the 4th of December 1871. Subsequently the old local coinages (Landesmünzen) began to be called in and replaced by new gold and silver coins. The old gold coins, amounting to £4,550,000, had been called in as early as 1873; and the old silver coins have since been successively put out of circulation, so that none actually remains as legal tender but the thaler (3s.). The currency reform was at first facilitated by the French indemnity, a great part of which was paid in gold. But later on that metal became scarcer; the London gold prices ran higher and higher, while silver prices declined. The average rate per ounce of standard silver in 1866-1870 was 605/8d., in January 1875 only 57d., in July 1876 as low as 49d. It rose in January 1877 to 57d., but again declined, and in September 1878 it was 505/8d. While the proportion of like weights of fine gold and fine silver in 1866-1870 averaged 1 to 15.55, it was 1 to 17.79 in 1876, 1 to 17.18 in 1877, and, in 1902, in consequence of the heavy fall in silver, the ratio became as much as 1 to 39. By the currency law of the 9th of July 1873, the present coinage system was established and remains, with certain minor modifications, now in force as then introduced. The unit is the mark (1 shilling) - the tenth part of the imperial gold coin (Krone = crown), of which last 139 are struck from a pound of pure gold. Besides these ten-mark pieces, there are Doppelkronen (double crowns), about equivalent in value to an English sovereign (the average rate of exchange being 20 marks 40 pfennige per £1 sterling), and, formerly, half-crowns (halbe Kronen = 5 marks) in gold were also issued, but they have been withdrawn from circulation. Silver coins are 5, 2 and 1 mark pieces, equivalent to 5, 2 and 1 shillings respectively, and 50 pfennige pieces = 6d. Nickel coins are 10 and 5 pfennige pieces, and there are bronze coins of 2 and 1 pfennige. The system is decimal; thus 100 pfennige = 1 mark, 1000 pfennige = the gold krone (or crown), and 1d. English amounts roughly to 8 pfennige.

Banking. - A new banking law was promulgated for the whole empire on the 14th of March 1875. Before that date there existed thirty-two banks with the privilege of issuing notes, and on the 31st of December 1872, £67,100,000 in all was in circulation, £25,100,000 of that sum being uncovered. The banking law was designed to reduce this circulation of notes; £19,250,000 was fixed as an aggregate maximum of uncovered notes of the banks. The private banks were at the same time obliged to erect branch offices in Berlin or Frankfort-on-Main for the payment of their notes. In consequence of this regulation numerous banks resigned the privilege of issuing notes, and at present there are in Germany but the following private note banks, issuing private notes, viz. the Bavarian, the Saxon, the Württemberg, the Baden and the Brunswick, in addition to the Imperial Bank. The Imperial Bank (Reichsbank) ranks far above the others in importance. It took the place of the Prussian Bank in 1876, and is under the superintendence and management of the empire, which shares in the profits. Its head office is in Berlin, and it is entitled to erect branch offices in any part of the empire. It has a capital of £9,000,000 divided into 40,000 shares of £150 each, and 60,000 shares of £50 each. The Imperial Bank is privileged to issue bank-notes, which must be covered to the extent of 1s. 3d. in coined money, bullion or bank-notes, the remainder in bills at short sight. Of the net profits, a dividend of 3% is first payable to the shareholders, 20% of the remainder is transferred to the reserve until this has reached a total of £3,000,000, and of the remainder again a quarter is apportioned to the shareholders and three-quarters falls to the imperial exchequer. If the net profits do not reach 3%, the balance must be made good from the reserve. Private note banks are not empowered to do business outside the state which has conceded them the privilege to issue notes, except under certain limitations. One of these is that they agree that their privilege to issue private notes may be withdrawn at one year's notice without compensation. But this condition has not been enforced in the case of such banks as have agreed to accept as binding the official rate of discount of the Reichsbank after this has reached or when it exceeds 4%. At other times they are not to discount at more than % below the official rate of the Reichsbank, or in case the Reichsbank itself discounts at a lower rate than the official rate, at more than 1/8% below that rate.

The following table shows the financial condition of the note-issuing banks, in thousands of marks, over a term of years:


Year. Banks. Capital. Reserve. Notes in
Circulation. Total, including
other Liabilities.
1900 8 219,672 48,329 1,313,855 2,237,017
1901 7 231,672 54,901 1,345,436 2,360,453
1902 6 216,000 56,684 1,373,482 2,353,951
1903 6 216,000 60,131 1,394,336 2,365,256
1904 6 216,000 64,385 1,433,421 2,378,845


Year. Banks. Coin and
Bullion. Notes of State
and other Banks. Bills. Total.
1900 8 899,630 51,931 1,036,961 2,239,564
1901 7 990,262 60,770 990,950 2,360,355
1902 6 1,052,391 54,389 901,408 2,354,253
1903 6 973,953 54,231 984,604 2,356,511
1904 6 996,601 66,372 947,358 2,379,234

The total turnover of the Imperial Bank was, in the first year of its foundation, 1 milliards pounds sterling; and, in 1899, 90 milliards. Eighty-five per cent of its bank-notes have been, on the average, covered by metal reserve.

The total value of silver coins is not to exceed 10 marks, and that of copper and nickel 2 marks per head of the population. While the coinage of silver, nickel and copper is reserved to the state, the coinage of gold pieces can be undertaken by the state for the account of private individuals on payment of a fixed charge. The coinage takes place in the six mints belonging to the various states - thus Berlin (Prussia), Munich (Bavaria), Dresden (in the Muldenerhütte near Freiberg, Saxony), Stuttgart (Württemberg), Karlsruhe (Baden) and Hamburg (for the state of Hamburg). Of the thalers, the Vereinsthaler, coined until 1867 in Austria, was by ordinance of the Bundesrat declared illegal tender since the 1st of January 1903. No one can be compelled to accept more than 20 marks in silver or more than 1 mark in nickel and copper coin; but, on the other hand, the Imperial Bank accepts imperial silver coin in payment to any amount.

The total value of thalers, which, with the exception of the Vereinsthaler, are legal tender, was estimated in 1894 at about £20,000,000.

Bibliography. - Cotta, Deutschlands Boden (2 vols., 1853); H.A. Daniel, Deutschland (1896); J. Kutzen, Das deutsche Land (Breslau, 1900); Von Klöden, Geographisches Handbuch, vol. ii. (1875); G. Neumann, Das deutsche Reich (2 vols., 1874); O. Brunckow, Die Wohnplätze des deutschen Reiches - auf Grund der amtlichen Materialien bearbeitet (new ed., Berlin, 1897); Handbuch der Wirtschaftskunde Deutschlands (4 vols., Leipzig, 1901-1905); Gothaischer genealogischer Hofkalender auf das Jahr 1907 (Gotha); A. von W. Keil, Neumanns Ortslexikon des deutschen Reiches (3rd ed., Leipzig, 1894); Meyer, Konversations-Lexikon (1902 seqq.); Brockhaus, Konversations-Lexikon (1900 seqq.); J. Kürschner, Staats- Hof- und Kommunal-handbuch des Reiches und der Einzelstaaten (Leipzig, 1900); P. Hage, Grundriss der deutschen Staats- und Rechtskunde (Stuttgart, 1906), and for Statistical matter chiefly the following: Centralblatt für das deutsche Reich. Herausgegeben im Reichsamt der Innern (Berlin, 1900); Die deutsche Armee und die kaiserliche Marine (Berlin, 1889); Gewerbe und Handel im deutschen Reich nach der gewerblichen Betriebszählung, vom 14. Juni 1895 (Berlin, 1899); Handbuch für das deutsche Reich auf das Jahr 1900, bearbeitet im Reichsamt der Innern (Berlin); Handbuch für die deutsche Handelsmarine auf das Jahr 1900; Statistik des deutschen Reichs, published by the Kaiserliches Statistisches Amt (including trade, navigation, criminal statistics, sick insurance, etc.); Statistisches Jahrbuch für das deutsche Reich (Berlin, 1906) and Vierteljahrshefte für Statistik des deutschen Reichs (including census returns, commerce and railways). See also among English publications on geographical and statistical matter: Annual Statement of the Trade of the United Kingdom with Foreign Countries and British Possessions for the Year 1899 (London, 1900); and G.G. Chisholm, Europe, being vols. i. and ii. of Stanford's Compendium of Geography and Travel (London, 1899 and 1900). The fullest general account of the geology of Germany will be found in R. Lepsius, Geologie von Deutschland und den angrenzenden Gebieten (Stuttgart, first volume completed in 1892). Shorter descriptions will be found in E. Kayser, Lehrbuch der geologischen Formationskunde (Stuttgart, English edition under the title Text-book of Comparative Geology), and H. Credner, Elemente der Geologie (Leipzig).


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, etc. 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, etc., 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, Uber 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, etc.; Beiträge zur Anthropologie Bayerns (Munich); and Zeitschrift für deutsches Altertum (Berlin).

(B. S. P.)

Ethnography and Early History

Julius Caesar in Germany

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 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 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.

The German tribes

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 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.

Their movements

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 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.

Tribes in the west and north

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 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.

Domestic wars of the Germans

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 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 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.

Arrival of the Huns

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 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.

The Burgundians and other tribes

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 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.

The Franks and others in the 6th century

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, 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.

The Saxons and the Franks

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 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

Divisions of Germany

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 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.).

The wars of Clovis

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 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.

The Saxons remain independent

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 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.

Christianity in Germany

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 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 work of Charlemagne

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, 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.

Louis I. and his sons

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 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.

Louis the German and his successors

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. 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.

Feudalism in Germany

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 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.

Conrad I

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 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.

Henry the Fowler

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 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.

Henry and the Magyars

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 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.

Henry's work in Saxony

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 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 Magyars return

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 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.

The growth of towns

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 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.

Otto the Great

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 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.

Otto's wars with France and with the Slavs

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 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.

Otto in Italy

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 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.

The civil war

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 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 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.

Otto crowned emperor

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 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.

Connexion of Germany with the Empire

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 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.

Otto and the duchies

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 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

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 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.

Otto and France

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., 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.

Otto in Italy

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 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.

Otto III

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 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.

The character of Otto

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 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.

Henry II

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 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.

Conrad II

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 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.

The neighbouring countries

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 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.

Conrad in Italy

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 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.

The nobles and the land

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 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

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 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.

Henry's internal policy

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 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.

Henry's wars

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 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.

Henry and the church

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 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.

The minority of Henry IV

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 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's personal rule

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 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.

Pope Gregory VII

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 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.

Effect of Henry's excommunication

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 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.

Scene at Canossa

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 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 struggle over investitures

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 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.

Henry IV. and the anti-kings

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, 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.

Henry and the Papacy

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 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.

The First Crusade

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 enemies of the pope as the enemies of religion.

Henry V. in Germany

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 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.

The concordat of Worms

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 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 reign of Lothair the Saxon

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 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.

[1] i.e. the territory once under the jurisdiction of an imperial Vogt or advocatus (see Advocate).

[2] The question, much disputed between Germans and Danes, is exhaustively treated by P. Lauridsen in F. de Jessen's La Question de Sleswig (Copenhagen, 1906), pp. 114 et seq.

[3] See the comparative study in Percy Ashley's Local and Central Government (London, 1906).

[4] The Kreis in Württemberg corresponds to the Regierungsbezirk elsewhere.

[5] The system of compulsory registration, which involves a notification to the police of any change of address (even temporary), of course makes it easy to determine the domicile in any given case.

[6] Actually between 1883 and 1908 over five million recruits passed through the drill sergeant's hands, as well as perhaps 210,000 one-year volunteers.

[7] These last have a curious history. They were formed from about 1890 onwards, by individual squadrons, two or three being voted each year. Ostensibly raised for the duties of mounted orderlies, at a time when it would have been impolitic to ask openly for more cavalry, they were little by little trained in real cavalry work, then combined in provisional regiments for disciplinary purposes and at last frankly classed as cavalry.

Decay of the royal power

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 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.

Conrad III

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 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.

Frederick I. becomes king

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 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.

Bavaria and Saxony

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 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.

Frederick in Poland and Germany

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 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.

Frederick and Alexander III

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 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.

Frederick and Henry the Lion

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 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.

Frederick and Philip of Heinsberg

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 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.

Frederick's death

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 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.

Henry VI

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 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.

Philip of Swabia and Otto of Brunswick

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 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 IV. becomes sole king

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 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

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, 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.

Germany in Frederick's absence

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 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.

Rebellion of King Henry

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 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.

Frederick in Germany

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 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.

Frederick and the pope

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, 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.

Conrad IV

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 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.

The interregnum

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 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.

The Teutonic Order in Prussia

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 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.

Period of Hohenstaufen dynasty

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 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.

Political character of Germany settled

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 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.

Classes of the population

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 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 electors

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 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.

Divisions of the princely lands

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 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 cities

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 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).

Rudolph of Habsburg

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 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.

His reign

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 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.

The Habsburg family

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 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.

Adolph of Nassau

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 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.

Albert I

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 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.

Henry VII

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 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.

Louis the Bavarian and Frederick of Austria

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 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.

Causes of the success of Louis

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 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.

Louis IV. and the pope

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 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.

Louis in Italy

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 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.

Louis in Germany

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 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.

The pope and the electors

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 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.

Louis and the Luxemburgs

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 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.

The domestic policy of Louis

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 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.

Charles IV. becomes king

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 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 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 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 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.

General disorder in Germany

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, 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.

Rupert chosen king

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 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.

Sigismund is chosen king

After 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 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.

Brandenburg and the Hohenzollerns

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 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.

Albert II

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 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.

Frederick III. and the Papacy

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. 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.

Germany under Frederick

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 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.

The power of the princes

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 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.

Methods of warfare

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 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 I

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 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.

Reforms in Germany. 1495

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 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 pennywas 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.

Difficulties and further reforms

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 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 pennyand 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 pennyas 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 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.

Maximilian's wars in Italy

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, 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.

Decay of feudal relations

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 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 Reformation

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 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 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.

Charles V. and Luther

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 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 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.

Sickingen's rising

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 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.

The causes of the Peasants' War

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 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 Peasants' War

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 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 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.

Progress of the Reformation

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 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 diet of Augsburg

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 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.

The league of Schmalkalden

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, 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.

Internal affairs of Germany

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 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.

Successes of the Protestants

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, 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 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.

Victory of Charles over the league of Schmalkalden

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 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.

The "Interim."

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 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.

The imperial succession

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 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 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.

The peace of Augsburg

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 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.

End of the reign

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 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

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 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 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.

Maximilian II

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 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).

Rudolph II

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, 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 Magdeburg 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.

The Protestant grievances

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 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.

The Counter-Reformation

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 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 II

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 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.

The congress in Bohemia

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 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.

Danish interference in the war

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 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.

Dismissal of Wallenstein

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 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.

The campaign of Gustavus Adolphus

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, 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 league of Heilbronn and the death of Wallenstein

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, 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.

France takes part in the war

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, 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.

Bernhard of Saxe-Weimar

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 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 peace 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 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.

Effects of the Thirty Years' War

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 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.

Loss of territory

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 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.

The Reformation and the political constitution

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 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.

Continuance of the empire

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, 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.

National life

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 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

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 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 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.
Leopold I

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 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 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 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.

Charles VI

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, 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 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.

Growth of Prussia

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 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 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 the Great.
First Silesian War

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 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., 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.

Francis I

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 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.

The Seven Years' War, 1756-1763

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. 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.

Partition of Poland.
Joseph II

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 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.

French Revolution

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, 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.

End of the Holy Roman Empire

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 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.)

Prussia defeated at Jena

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 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.

Napoleon in power

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 "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.

Revival of Germany

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 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.

War of Liberation

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 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 German confederation

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 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 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.

The question of constitutions

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. 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.

Metternich and the constitutions

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 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 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.

Revolutions of 1830

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 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.

The Prussian system

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 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, 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.

Frederick William IV

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 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."

German nationalism

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 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. 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 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.

Disputes in the Frankfort assembly

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 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.

The revolution in Austria

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. 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.

Reform in Prussia

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 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.

The question of the constitution

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 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.

Proposed empire

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 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.

End of Frankfort parliament

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 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.

The Prussian Union

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 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 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.

Disturbance in Hesse-Cassel

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. 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.

Diet restored

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 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.

Austria and the Zollverein

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 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.

Political reaction

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 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.

Crimean War

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 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.

Prussia and Switzerland

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 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.

Regency of William of Prussia

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 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.

Prussia and the Austro-Italian War

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 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.

Military reforms and constitutional crisis in Prussia

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 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 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.

Views as to Germany unity

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 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.

The "Fürstentag" of Frankfort

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 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.

The Schleswig-Holstein question, 1863

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 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 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, 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.

Austria, Prussia and the Zollverein

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'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.

Convention of Gastein

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 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.

Hostile attitude of France

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 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.

End of the Austro-Prussian understanding

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 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.

Prusso-Italian alliance

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 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.

Prussian scheme for the reform of the "Bund."

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 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 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 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 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, embodying 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 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.

Federal 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 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.

National Liberals

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 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 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 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 Hohenzollern candidature

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; 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 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 new empire, 1871

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 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 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.

Prussia and the empire

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 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, 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.

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 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, 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 (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.

The Mecklenburg constitution

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 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.

Public affairs: political parties

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, 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 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.

National Liberals

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, 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 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 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 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 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 period 1870 to 1878

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 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.

Legal reform

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 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.

Commercial reform

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 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 (= 11d.), 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).

Banking laws

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 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 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.

Army organization

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 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.

The Septennat

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 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, 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.

Old Catholics

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 maintained the Febronian tradition and was jealous of any encroachment of the Papacy (see Febrionianism); 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.

May Laws

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 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.

Reaction against Liberalism

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 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 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.

Period after 1878

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 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.

Social democracy

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, 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.

Legislation against the Socialists

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 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.

Financial reform

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 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 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.

State contributions

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 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.

Party changes

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 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 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, 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.

Political reaction

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 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.

End of the Kulturkampf

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 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.

Nationalization of railways

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 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 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 Jahde 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 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 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 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.

The Pacific

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 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.

Germany and Great Britain

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 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. It has been strongly fortified and made a naval station.

Progress of German colonial expansion

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 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 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.

Enlarged industrial policy

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 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.

Social reforms

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 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 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 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.

Compulsory insurance

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 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.

Foreign affairs: the Triple Alliance

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 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.

Elections of 1887

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 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).

Relations with Russia

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 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.

Secret treaty with Russia

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. 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.)

Reign of Frederick III

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 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 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.

Fall of Bismarck

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 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.

Chancellorship of Count von Caprivi

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, 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.

Factory laws

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 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.

Progress of Socialism

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 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.

Military legislation

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 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.

Commercial treaties

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 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 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.

Fall of Caprivi

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 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.

Chancellor Prince v. Hohenlohe

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, 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.

Exchange regulations

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 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 bargaining

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 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 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.

Moral and religious policy

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 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 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 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.

Law of combination

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 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 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 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.

Naval programme, 1897

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 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.

Hostility to England

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 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 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 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.

Von Bülow, chancellor

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 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.)

Naval Progress

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 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.

Foreign policy

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 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 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.

Internal difficulties

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 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 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.

Prussia and the Empire

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 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.

Personal intervention of the emperor

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 £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).

The non-German nationalities

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 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).

Resignation of Prince von Bülow

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 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 Osterreich 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.*)

[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.

Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)

About Maximapedia | Privacy Policy | Cookie Policy | GDPR