Bismarck, the Hohenzollern Candidacy, and the Origins of the Franco-German War of 1870

Bismarck, the Hohenzollern Candidacy, and the Origins of the Franco-German War of 1870

Bismarck, the Hohenzollern Candidacy, and the Origins of the Franco-German War of 1870

Bismarck, the Hohenzollern Candidacy, and the Origins of the Franco-German War of 1870

Excerpt

More than thirty-five years have gone by since Professor Robert Howard Lord published The Origins of the War of 1870: New Documents from the German Archives (Cambridge, Mass., 1924; Harvard Historical Studies XXVIII). "In the past year," he wrote in his preface, "I have had the privilege of using and transcribing in full the seven volumes of documents which contain the German official record of the diplomatic crisis leading up to the outbreak of the War of 1870. . . . In limiting the scope of this volume mainly to the weeks immediately preceding the war, I have been guided chiefly by the fact that not all of the German documents bearing upon the origins of that conflict are yet accessible. The papers relating to the early history of the Hohenzollern Candidacy to the throne of Spain--papers which must excite the liveliest curiosity of all who have delved into that fascinating mystery --down to the time when the question became public through the 'explosion' at Paris, are not yet open to investigators. I was told that these papers are reserved for a future official publication. But even apart from this, it is clear that the time has not yet come for an attempt at a complete and definitive study of the origins of the War of 1870. The great official publication of the French government is not yet half finished; and until its completion there will remain important gaps in our knowl-

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