The German Empire, 1867-1914, and the Unity Movement - Vol. 1

By William Harbutt Dawson | Go to book overview
Save to active project

CHAPTER VII
(1866-1867) THE NORTH GERMAN CONFEDERATION

IT was one of Bismarck's maxims of statecraft that questions which were either untoward or not ripe for action should be "treated dilatorily." That meant sometimes not treating them at all. On the other hand, no man had greater capacity for acting swiftly and decisively in emergencies, or was more conscious, in critical situations, of the importance of improving the opportunities and advantages of the moment. He had hurried to a conclusion the peace negotiations with Austria, on the principle of a settlement at any price, since delay meant danger. Now that the way was open for negotiation upon the question of federal reform he was equally resolved to lose no time, but to bind Prussia's willing and unwilling allies at once to the pledges of union which they had already given, lest they should spring upon him new difficulties.

Now for the first time he was face to face with the question of German unity in a practical form. It involved two separate problems. One related to the North German States, the form of the new union to be created, the organization of the necessary legislative and executive authorities, and the determination of their jurisdiction; the other and perhaps more difficult problem related to the future position of the States of the South, their relation to one another, to the union of the North, and to foreign Powers.

By the beginning of September (1866) the Sovereigns of most of the North German States had signified their willingness to enter the proposed Confederation and their acceptance of the convention which had been put forward as a basis of union. Backward States like the Mecklenburg s, which were still without constitutions and feared all innovations of the kind, hesitated, but the only really refractory members were the little duchy of Saxe-Meiningen, whose ruler had been deposed, and the still smaller principality of Reuss of the older line. The haughty attitude held towards Prussia by the Lady Disdain who

-262-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
Loading One moment ...
Project items
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
The German Empire, 1867-1914, and the Unity Movement - Vol. 1
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

While we understand printed pages are helpful to our users, this limitation is necessary to help protect our publishers' copyrighted material and prevent its unlawful distribution. We are sorry for any inconvenience.
Full screen
/ 504

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.

Are you sure you want to delete this highlight?