ing to his mother's realm. He said that he hoped the increase in manufactures would mean "a corresponding increase of sympathy and friendly relations between employers and their workmen," and later made the enlightened statement, "Class can no longer stand apart from class."
BISMARCK had not allowed his soldiers to dissipate, or his needle guns to rust after the defeat of the Austrians at Königgrätz in 1866. General von Moltke could mobilize the amazing German army within twenty-four hours, and Alsace and Lorraine were already chosen as the next trophies in the march towards Prussian imperialism. Bismarck needed only an "ostensible cause," to tempt Napoleon III into the folly of war. The Emperor was already committing the blunders into which dictators so often fall, as they expire, and Queen Victoria's "nearest and dearest" ally of 1856 was desperately holding on to the remnants of his power.
The "ostensible cause" for which Bismarck was waiting came with the disintegration in Spain after Queen Isabella was driven from her throne in September, 1868. For almost two years the Spaniards were bewildered by disaffection and corruption, and it became necessary for a strong neighbour to intervene. Early in 1870, as France was proposing to settle the affairs of Spain, Bismarck startled Europe by announcing that a German prince, Leopold of Hohenzollern‐ Sigmaringen, was to usurp the Spanish throne. France protested and Prince Leopold's nomination was withdrawn. But the French were not satisfied. They wished for an apology from Prussia, and a guarantee against such highhanded intrusions in the future.
Events developed almost as if Bismarck had ordered them. The French were spurred towards the required state of fury by a small offence against their national pride. The French Ambassador had been sent to speak with the King of Prussia, then "taking the waters" at Ems. The ambassador complained afterwards that the King had turned away from him during an impromptu conversation on the promenade; that he had been snubbed. This was enough to tantalize the French and after an exchange of notes and arguments, the cry "A Berlin" rang through Paris.