Cyclopædia of Political Science, Political Economy, and the Political History of the United States
GERMAN EMPIRE. 1. Area and Population. The geographical position of Germany is almost in the centre of Europe, it being situated between the Slavonic lands of the East, and the Romanic countries of the West and South, and bordering in the north on Denmark, the home of a people who are the kinsfolk of the Germans. At one time the whole country from the Rhone to the eastern banks of the Vistula was tributary to the German king, when he, as emperor of Rome extended his supremacy even over Italy,. Of Poland, which was also tributary to him, the German rulers retained Silesia and Posen, and of Denmark they held Schleswig-Holstein; but all the land in the west, Lotharingia (Lorraine) and Arles, was in the course of time incorporated into France, which succeeded in securing even provinces whose population was chiefly of the Tentonic stock—Elsasa (Alsace) and German Lotharingia (Lorraine), which, however, through the war of 1871, again came under German rule. Others, such as Switzerland and the Netherlands, were, through the space of Westphalia, completely cut off from the empire. The only province which, until the wars of the French revolution, still formed part of the imperial dominion—Belgium—was, by the congress of Vienna, ceded to the Netherlands. For her losses in the west, Germany was partly compensated by an acquisition of territory in the east, where it made some inroads upon the Slavonic population.
—The present territory of the German empire, by the terms of the Treaties between the North German confederation and the South German states (December, 1870), and through the acquisition of Elsass (Alsace) and German Lotharingia (Loraine), embraces all the territory of the German league (Deutsche Bund), excepting Austria, Luxemburg and Liechtenstem, and includes the Prussian provinces—Prussia, Posen and Silesia—and the imperial province or territory of Elsass Lothringen (Alsace-Lorraine). It is bounded on the north by the North sea, Denmark and the Baltic; on the east by Russia, Poland and Galicia; on the south by Austria from the Vistula to the take of Constance, and Switzerland; on west by France, Luxemburg, Belgium and the Netherlands. The present area and the population of the different states and principalities of the empire, including Elsass-Lothringen, according to the oeusus of Dec. 1, 1880, are shown in the following table:
As may be seen from the above table, the free towns, Hamburg, Bremen and Lubeck, take the lead as regards the increase of population during the census period. 1875-80; next comes Saxony, while Prussia comes last. As far as the decrease of the population is concerned, it was largest in the imperial province of Elsass-Lothringen. Of the total number of Population given, there were in the empire 22,185,433 males and 23,048,28 females; 275,856 were foreigners. The population of the principal cities having ever 100,000 inhabitants, was, according to the census of 1875 and 1880, respectively, as follows:
—Emigration, which had been on the decline for a short time, mainly owing to the unsettled condition during the civil war, of the United States, which received the largest average number of emigrants, has again been on the increase, especially since 1879. the number of German emigrants during the period 1870-80 was 625,425. Out of every 10,000 emigrants 9,345 went to the United States 22 to Canada, 4 to Central America and Mexico, 13 to the West Indies, 351 to Brazil, 73 to other states of South America, 21 to Africa, 5 to Asia, and 166 to Australia. Taking the census of 1875 as a basis, 13,9 out of every 1,000 emigrated from the German empire. Emigration was at its highest in 1854, when over a quarter of a million persons left Germany; after which it gradually declined till 1862, in which year the number was as low as 27,529; it rose again slowly, with fluctuations, will 1872, when there were 155,595 persons who left for the United States alone. In 1873 the total number was 130,937; in 1874 it was 75,503; in 1875 it declined to 56,289; in 1876, to 37,803; in 1877, to 21,964. In 1878 it again rose to 24,217; in 1879, to 33,327; and in 1880, to 106,190. Of the latter there were 63,778 men and 42,412 women, and about 103,115 emigrated to the United States of America, and 2,119 person to Brazil. In 1881 emigration materially increased again. During the period 1846-80 the total number of emigrants to the United States was over 3,000,000.
—II. Trade and Industry. As a branch of the industries whose province it is to develop the natural resources of a country, agriculture has attained a high state of perfection in Germany. Almost two-thirds of the entire population are engaged in it. The largest crops are returned by the low lands in the province of Prussia, the districts at the foot of the Alps in Bavaria, those at the foot of the mountain range from the upper Oder to the Maas river, the fertile marshes along the North sea, the strips along the Baltic, and those along the rivers and in the valleys.
An approximate estimate of the cultivable and uncultivable area is given by the official returns, of the same year, from the states and districts names in the following tables:
The following table shows the principal products during the year 1880:
Comparing the crops of 1880 with the products imported and exported, our table shows the following results regarding the quantities of the principal products:
—The development of the mines is a very ancient branch of German industry, which at present employs a large number of men, and gives a powerful impetus to kindred branches of industry. Thought the precious metals, such as gold and silver, are not very abundant, the production of silver is probably the largest of any country in Europe. The equality of zinc obtained is only second to that of English zinc; lead is found in abundance; copper is also found in large quantities. Iron is found in quantities greatly exceeding those of any other mineral product; especially in Westphalia and the Rhenish provinces. The quantity of hard coal obtained is increasing from year to year, while the yield of salt is also very large. The production of meals and minerals in 1880 shows an increase over that of the year previous, as appears from the following table:
The growth of the iron industry is shown by use following figures:
The number of laborers employed in the manufacture of iron was, in 1878, 135,973; in 1879, 144,534; and in 1880, 163,899.
—The growth of German commerce was greatly aided by the customs union (Zollverein) organized in 1833, under the lead of Prussia, and which gradually took in all the states of Germany. Through it and the formation, under the constitution, in 1871, of the territory subject to the uniform operation of the customs and excise laws of the empire (Zoll-u-Handelsgebiet), Germany was at last enabled to secure the position it now holds among the commercial nations of the world; a position it could not have achieved without it, divided as it had been from a political and economical point of view. The present union embraces all the states of the empire, with the exception of the free towns of Hamburg and Bremen, and localities which, owing to their geographical position, can not properly be incorporated into it. The free towns are to remain outside the union until they themselves demand admittance. Under the constitution, the powers and the duties of the former Zollverein parliament were vested in the imperial diet, while those of the council were transferred to the Bundesrath, which has three standing committees, namely, on finance, on taxes and customs, and on trade and commerce. All the receipts of the union are paid into a common treasury, and distributed among the several states of the empire in proportion to their respective population. The chief sources of revenue are customs duties, principally on imports, and taxes on spirits, wine, sugar manufactured from beet root, and tobacco. The population of the territory included in the customs union is estimated at 42,337,974, according to the census of 1875.
—The following statement gives the estimated value of the imports and exports in 1880 (figures are given in thousands):
—The following is a statement of the gross receipts on import and excise duties of the empire during the fiscal year 1880-81 (figures given in thousands):
—The merchant marine of Germany numbered, on Jan. 1, 1880, 4,777 vessels, of an aggregate tonnage of 1,171,286. Of these there were 374 steamers, of 196,343 tons. The following is a tabulated statement of the shipping as distributed among the different states:
—The railways of the empire as far as completed on July1, 1881, and open for traffic, had a total length of 33,872 Kilometres, or 21,000 English miles. The policy of the imperial government is to acquire, as soon as practicable, the right of property in all these lines, and place them under its exclusive control and management.
—As regards the telegraph service, we find that the total number of dispatches in the year 1880 was 14,412,598, of which 9,448,128 were inland, and 4,964, 470 foreign. The telegraph lines had, at the end of 1880, a length of 59,961 kilometres.
—The imperial post office carried 575,309,030 letters, 140,981,960 postal cards, 8,463,070 patterns, 104,100,720 stamped wrappers, and 348,973,287 newspapers, in the year 1880. The total receipts of the postoffice(including telegraphic service) in 1880-81, amounted to 136,647,195 mark, and the total expenditure to 120,237,476 mark. The post offices were 7,540 in number, with 5,659 telegraphic stations, at the end of 1880, and 63,413 persons were employed in the service.
—III. Religion and Education. In regard to the constitution and organization of the leading churches in the empire, it must be noticed, that of these churches of Protestant, or Evangelical, are not all alike in the several states. Though Prussia has circuit and provincial synods, it still is in want of a general representative body of the entire church, in which ecclesiastical authority might be completely vested. The supreme executive and administrative authority of the church is represented by the ecclesiastical council. The synodic system may be found in a more perfect form in Bavaria, Saxony, W¨rtemberg, Baden, Hesse, Saxe-Weimar, Oldenburg, Brunswick and Waldeck. In all these states, and in Elsass-Lothringen and the Hanse Towns, the organization and constitution of the church is presbyterial; in most of the other states the consistorial system prevails. The higher clergy are the general superintendents, the superintendents(deacons). and in Elsass-Lothringen the ecclesiastical inspectors. The total number of ministers of Protestant church in the empire is 16,000. The Catholic church has five archbishoprics; Köln and Gnesen-Posen in Prussia; München-Freising and Bamberg in Bavaria, Freiburg in Baden, Würtemberg, Hohenzollern, Hessen-Nassau—twenty bishoprics: Ermland, Kulm, Breslau, Hildesheim, Osnabrück, Münster, Paderborn, Fulda, Limburg and Trier, in Prussia; Augsburg, Passau, Regensburg, Eichstädt, Würzburg and Speyer, in Bavaria; Röttenburg in W¨rtemberg. Mainz in Hesse, Strasburg and Metz in Elsass-Lothringen, and three apostolic vicariates. In the several states of the empire there are, in all about 20,000 priests and more than 800 monastic institutions. The Jesuits and a number of similar orders were, by act of July 4,1872, excluded from the territory of the empire. The Old Catholics have one bishop, who has his seat at Bonn.
—According to the census of 1875, the different churches and denominations were, as regards the number of their adherents, as follows:
—Popular education in Germany is of the highest order, and in regard to the number of people enjoying an average education, Germany is among the first. Since 1854, until the establishment of the empire, the secular authorities in the Protestant states even indulged in the opinion that the revolutionary and liberal spirit residing in the masses might be kept down by handing the schools over to the absolute control of the clergy. But those who fathered this surrender of the secular character of the people's schools, could not prevent the ultramontanes from taking advantage of the discontent that was aroused among the people, and securing for themselves whatever benefits there were in the reaction of the church against the spirit of liberalism aroused among the masses, as an incident to the revolutionary movement that swept over Germany in 1848. Since the establishment of the German empire under the headship of a state whose population is largely Protestant, the dangers which lay in handing over an instution—which, as the common schools, exercises such a powerful influence on the character of the people—to the exclusive control of the clergy, became even more apparent, and a movement is slowly setting in, which is in favour of placing the educational institutions of the people on a more liberal basis and making them more independent of the authority of the church. The census taken in Prussia in 1871 also paid some attention to education. There were, in Prussia, 16,008,417 persons over ten years of age who could read and write; of 296,084 persons over ten years, the educational condition was not stated; while 2,258,490 persons, or 12 per cent, over ten years, were reported as without any education. The proportion in the several provinces is somewhat different, as the following table shows:
In the other states the same fluctuations were noticeable, though in some the period of reaction was of shorter duration than in Prussia, in consequence of which the schools in states like Saxony, Baden, Brunswick and Würtemberg outstripped the rest. The number of the common or primary schools in the empire is estimated at about 60,000, in which about six millions of pupils are instructed. To every thousand inhabitants there are 150 pupils. The total number of teachers, male and female, is calculated at 75,000. As connecting schools between those of the lower grade and the higher grade, are the intermediate schools. Those of the higher grade are divided into so called real schulen and gymnasia. The real schulen, which are again divided into those of the first and of the second grade, and into the so-called higher citizens' schools—bürger-Schulen—furnish the rudiments of the technical arts and sciences. In 1874 there were 106 real schulen, 42 of the second grade, and 107bürger-Schulen, with 82,000 pupils. The course of the gymnasia embraces the sciences and arts, and prepares the pupils for public service, and for admission to the universities. In 1874 they were 333 in number(183 Evangelical, 57 Catholic, and 93 mixed), besides 170 progymnasia and Latin schools, having, in all, 108,000 pupils. For the education of primary school teachers there are 156 seminaries, of which 110 are Evangelical and 41 Catholic. Then there are quite a number of theological seminaries, both Protestant and Catholic. The universities have principally four faculties: the theological, the law, the medical, and philosophical. The oldest university in the German empire is the university of Heildelberg(1386); the youngest, that of Strasburg(1872). There are in all, including the academy of Münster, twenty-one universities, of which ten are in Prussia, three in Bavaria, one in Saxony, one in Würtemberg, two in Baden, one in Elsass-Lothringen, one in Hesse, one in Thüringa, and one in Mecklenburg. The number of students averages 20,000; the number of professors, 1,800. In addition to all these schools there are a number of polytechnic, commercial, military and agricultural schools, colleges of music, and naval academies. Education in the primary schools is made general and compulsary throughout the empire, which is certainly the most effective means of securing an average education to the largest number of people.
—IV. Army and Navy. As one of the results of the war of 1866, the military organization of Prussia was introduced into the armies of all the North German states; after the establishment of the German empire in 1871, it was adopted by all the states in South Germany. The leading provisions were either incorporated in the constitution and in the act of May 2, 1874, concerning the organization of the military, or they were adopted as part of the laws of the empire. Added to these are the acts passed in 1874 concerning the control of the troops not on active duty and relating to the organization of the landsturm; also the act of May 6, 1880, increasing the imperial army on the peace footing. The military forces of the empire are composed of the army, the navy and the landsturm; the army is divided into regular troops and the militia, the navy into the fleet of war and the marines. In the regular army and the fleet, all those who are liable to military service are disciplined and prepared for active duty. These bodies are always ready for service, while the militia and the marines are only called out in case of actual war, and the landsturm is employed only on the defensive in case of the country should require it. By article 57 of the constitution the obligation to serve in the army is made general; it provides that "every German shall be liable to service, and no substitution is allowed." Under article 59 of the constitution, every German capable of bearing arms has, as a rule, to be in the standing army for seven years, from his twentieth till the commencement of his twenty-eighth year. Of the seven years three must be spent in active service, and the remaining four in reserve duty; he is obliged to join thelandwehr or militia for another five years. The service of the landsturm takes in all those capable of bearing arms, from seventeen to forty-two years of age, who are not otherwise on military duty. The German army, as at present organized, numbers about 1,800,000 men. The 63d article of the constitution provides that the whole of the land forces of the empire shall form a consolidated army, which in war and peace shall be under the command of the emperor. The sovereigns of the principal states have the right to select the lower grades of officers; and by the stipulation of Nov.23,1871, the king of Bavaria has reserved the privilege of superintending the general administration of that portion of the consolidated army raised within his dominions. Yet the emperor must approve of all appointments made, and nothing which may affect the superior direction of the troops of any state of the empire can be done without his consent. By article 64 all German troops are bound to obey unconditionally the orders of the emperor, and must take the oath of fidelity. Article 65 invests the emperor with power to order the erection of fortresses in any part of the empire, and by article 68 he has the power, in case the public order and safety are threatened, to declare any country or district in a state of siege.
—The army of the German empire, as constituted in October, 1879, consists of 150 regiments of infantry, including the guards, 20 battalions of jäger, or riflemen; 93 regiments of cavalry; 49 regiments of artillery; 20 battalions of engineers, including a railway regiment, and 18 battalions of military train. The following shows the strength and organization of the imperial army on a peace footing:
The strength and organizaation of the imperial army on the war footing is as follows:
In the above statement are not included the troops of the field reserve, organized in 1876, numbering about 250,000 men, and those of the landsturm. The calculation is that, with the addition of the landsturm, Germany may place in the field at any time two and a half millions of armed men without drawing upon the last reserves. For military purposes, the empire is divided into seventeen districts, each represented by one army corps. The guards, taken from Prussia and Elsass Lothringen(Alsace-Lorraine) do not belong to any special division.
—The fortress system of Germany has, since the Franco-German war, been remodeled; a number of old fortified places, which were considered useless, have been abolished; many new ones have been constructed, and others enlarged. The empire is divided into nine fortress districts, which are, together with the fortified places contained in them as follows:
—So far as the navy is concerned, rapid progress has been made for the last ten years. The fleet of war at the command of the empire consisted at the close of 1881, of twenty-two ironclads, including three not completed, fifty-nine other steamers, and four sailing vessels. The following gives a detailed list of them:
—According to a plan proposed by the imperial government in 1873, and by the diet, the German navy is to be largely increased. By March 31,1883, the date set for the completion of the reforms in the navy, Germany will in all probability have a floating armament of eight ironclad frigates, six ironclad corvettes, one monitor, thirteen gunboats also ironclad, twenty wooden corvettes, six dispatch boats, nine other large and nine small gunboats, two artillery ships, three sailing brigs and twenty torpedo boats. At the close of 1880 the German navy was manned by 5,189 seamen and officered by one admiral, one vice-admiral, three rear admirals, fifteen captains and 401 lieutenants. There were, besides 1,297 marines; artillery, numbering 458 men; in all 7,365 officers and men. The sailors of the fleet and marines are raised by conscription from the seafaring population, which on this account is exempt from other military service. The seafaring population, of Germany is estimated at 80,000, of whom 48,000 are employed in the inland merchant navy, and about 6,000 in foreign navies. There are three ports of war, at Kiel and Danzig on the Baltic, and at Wilhelmshaven in the bay of Jade on the North sea.
—V. Constitution and Government. The political unity of Germany being an accomplished fact, it is a matter of more than curious interest to know that it required not only the slow process of great events, the combined powers of a successful war and of a diplomacy of the first order, to unite a country which was divided into so many principalities, great and small, as the land over which the Carlovingians and their successors once exercised their mighty sway. At the beginning of and during the eighteenth century, when the political division of Germany was greatest, there were no less than 1,762 rulers, who though by no means equal in influence, dignity and power, occupied each on independent dominion, and who were only loosely kept together in some sort of political union by the imperial power, whose dignity and influence, however, were fast declining. As a consequence of the revolutionary wars of France, the frail fabric of the Holy Roman empire of the German nation fell to pieces, and finally led, Aug.6. 1806, to the abdication of Francis II. as the head of the empire, and the relinquishment by him of its office and dignity. The fall of Napoleon I. brought about, with some slight exceptions, the same territorial and political divisions which Germany enjoyed in 1792; when finally the proceedings at the congress of Vienna resulted in a confederation, Deutsche Bund, which was as little capable of uniting the nation politically, as the empire which had preceded it. It was not till after the successful wars of 1866 and of 1870-71 that Germany realized the sense of political unity and the powers which none but a close political compact could give. The first of these wars, which resulted in shutting out Austria, and leaving the South German states to themselves, had the effect of uniting the other states under the leadership of Prussia, in what became known as the North German confederation,(Nord-Deutsche Bund). The successful issue of the Franco-German war finally led to the establishment of the German empire, which, under the headship of Prussia, includes besides the members of the North German confederation, the South German states and Elsass-Lothringen (Alsace-Lorraine).
—The organic laws of the new empire consist of the constitution, which the German governments agreed on, and which is but a slight modification of the constitution of the North German confederation, the treaties concluded with the South German states for its ratification, and by which to some of these states certain reserved rights were guaranteed, and the military stipulations made with the several states comprising the new confederation. The imperial constitution is dated April 16, 1871. A few amendments were made in 1873. It is composed of seventeen chapters and seventy-eight articles. Chapter one defines the territorial extent or dominion of the new government. The government of the empire, in its broadest sense, is composed of the emperor, (as presiding or executive officer), the imperial chancellor, and the various subordinate executive and administrative officers, the Bundesrath(which see)and the imperial diet or Reichstag, as constituting the legislative and representative powers of the nation. There is no strict division or limitation of powers, as in the constitution of the United States, exercised by the different branches of the government, as will be seen by a reference to the organization and the functions of each of these branches. The Bundesrath is the chief executive and administrative body of the empire; yet, exceeding the ordinary functions of such a body, it has the power of originating, submitting and approving legislative measures, and thus acts as a sort of upper house to the imperial diet (CONSTITUTION, chap. iv.) For a further enumeration of its powers and its organization, see
—The third branch of the government is represented by the executive or presiding officer, the emperor. Though forming the head of a federation composed of independent states or sovereigns, the imperial office and dignity is essentially the embodiment of monarchical traditions. Though, by law, made hereditary in the crown of Prussia, the imperial dignity is, in the opinion of him who exercises it, as much a gift of divine grace as any kingly crown since the days when Charles the Great styled himself Carolus serenissimus Augustus, a Deo coronatus qui per misericordiam Dei rer. And the exercise of the imperial office and its prerogatives is looked upon by the rulers of the empire as of divine right, as much as the royal prerogatives they individually enjoy as rulers of their several dominions. The emperor has the power of appointing and receiving ambassadors, of representing the German empire in its relations with foreign governmetns and in all international affairs, of declaring war,(though without the consent of the Bundesrath only in case of a foreign invasion), and of concluding treaties of peace, of forming alliances and of entering into diplomatic and other treaties with foreign governments.
—Under chapter two of the constitution, the legislative powers of the government are vested in the Reichstag and the Bundesrath. They have power to pass laws defining the right and regulating the change of domicile (excepting as to Bavaria), regulating the rights of citizenship, passports, the police surveillance of resident foreigners, and the trades, as also insurance, colonization and immigration; to raise revenue and regulate commerce, the coinage of money, the issue of currency; to fix the standard of weights and measures, and regulate the banking system; to prescribe the rules for issuing and for the protection of patents and copyrights; to pass laws for the encouragement and protection of German commerce and navigation and for the establishment of a proper consular system, for the control of the railway system, and for the improvement of streams, and the construction of high ways and canals in the interest of trade and commerce, and the regulation of internal navigation; to establish and prescribe rules for the postal and telegraph service (excepting as to Bavaria); to provide for the manner of enforcing in one state judgments and decrees rendered in another state, and for the authentication of public documents; to pass civil and criminal laws of uniform application throughout the empire, and to establish courts of competent jurisdiction for the enforcement and administration of these laws; to organize and prescribe rules governing the military and naval service; to pass sanitary rules and regulations; and to control and regulate the public press and the organization of private societies. Article three of the same chapter provides that the citizens or subjects of each state shall enjoy the rights and immunities of citizens in the several states composing the empire, and shall be in all respects equal before the law throughout the federal dominion. This is a provision somewhat similar to the one contained in the constitution of the United States. Chapter six relates to the tariff and commerce. Under it, the operation of the tariff laws and such as regulate public commerce extends throughout the dominion of the empire, which, to that end, forms a close union: excluded from this union are such districts as are not, on account of their geographical position, fit to be incorporated, while the free cities of Hamburg and Bremen are also excluded, until they move to be incorporated in the union. The revenues provided for by the imperial government are raised and administered by the governments of the individual states; the emperor, through proper officers, sees to it that the provisions of the law in the raising of the revenues are properly observed and carried out by the revenue officers of the different states. Chapter seven gives the control of the railways, except those of Bavaria and Würtemberg, to the imperial government. By virtue of chapter eight the postal and telegraph service is also placed under the control and management of the imperial government. Chapter nine relates to the navy and navigation, giving the chief command of the navy and the appointment of its officers to the king of Prussia. Chapter ten provides that the consular service shall be under the control of the emperor. Who, with the advice of the committee of the Bundesrath on trade and commerce, shall appoint the several consuls. Under chapter eleven the military forces of the empire form one consolidated army, whose commander-in-chief shall be the emperor, and which is to be governed by the rules and regulations established for the organization and discipline of the army of Prussia. Chapter twelve relates to the finances of the empire, and provides that all receipts and expenses shall be fixed by law before the commencement of the next fiscal year. The chancellor is required to submit annually an account of the receipts and expenditures of the empire to the Bundesrath and the Reichstag. In case the revenues raised by the several states are not sufficient to meet the expenses of the government, and as long as the empire does not raise its own revenue, the chancellor has the power to call upon the several states for special contributions in proportion to their population, in order to meet the deficiency. In case of necessity the imperial government may also make loans, and pledge the public credit. Chapter thirteen relates to legal remedies and penalties; it confers on the court of appeals of Lübeck exclusive jurisdiction in cases of treason; all other offenses against the imperial government or any of its public officers are tried by the courts having competent jurisdiction under the laws of the state where the offense may be committed. Controversies between two or more of the states composing the empire, and whose organic laws do not provide for some mode of redress, are to be referred to the Bundesrath for adjudication; in case the Bundesrath in unable to reach a decision, the controversies are to be settled by the legislative powers of the empire. In case a suitor should be without a remedy under the laws of the state in whose courts he may apply for legal redress, he may invoke the aid of the Bundesrath, whose duty it is to compel the government of the particular state to furnish the proper remedy. Chapter fourteen provides that amendments to the constitution may be proposed by either of the legislative bodies; and are declared rejected, if fourteen votes of the Bundesrath are against their adoption. Chapter fifteen contains some general provisions declaring certain laws passed by the North German diet part of the laws of the new empire.
—At the head of the administrative department of the empire is the chancellor's office, with the several departments, such as form the office of the postmaster-general, those presided over by the general director of the telegraph service, and those having charge of the affairs of Elsass-Lothringen (Alsace-Lorraine). Connected with the chancellor's office are also the statistical bureau, the bureau regulating the right of domicile, and the board of railway managers. The chancellorship and the ministry of foreign affairs are at present held by one and the same person, Prince Bismarck; the ambassadors and consuls of the empire are subject to his order and control. Added to the imperial administration are committees or boards on customs and excise duties, on emigration, on education, and a board of auditors; there was, also, until the establishment, in 1877, of the imperial court of last resort, a court of commerce, located at Leipzig, having original jurisdiction touching matters of trade and commerce.
—The German empire has as yet no so-called federal judiciary, except the imperial court of last resort, established at Leipzig by an imperial act passed March 24, 1877. The civil and criminal jurisdiction of the country is vested in the several state courts. Yet a series of laws passed by the imperial diet in 1877 gave these courts a uniform organization, and uniformity in both their civil and criminal procedure. The first is the law on the organization of the judiciary passed Jan. 27, the second is the code of civil procedure passed Jan. 30, and the third is the code of criminal procedure passed Feb. 1; added to these is the bankruptcy act passed Feb. 10, 1877. All these laws took effect on and from Oct. 1, 1879. A very important step toward consolidating the government and strengthening the feeling of nationality throughout the empire was the passage of the act, Dec. 20, 1873, whereby the whole range of civil and criminal laws was placed within the sphere of the legislative powers of the empire. Aside from their procedure and organization, the state courts constitute the judiciary of the several states whose governments appoint the judges, though their qualifications are fixed by the law of the empire; the government of each state also establishes and defines the judicial districts within its territory, and fixes the rules of practice governing its courts. The imperial court has both original and final jurisdiction in all cases of high treason and treasonable offenses against the government or its head, the emperor, the same jurisdiction, which, by the original draft of the constitution, had been conferred on the supreme court of appeals in Lübeck. Its appellate jurisdiction extends to all cases of appeal properly so called, whereby a new trial and decision, touching both facts and law of such cases as are tried by theschoeffengerichte—courts of inferior criminal jurisdiction, composed of judges learned in the law and two or more laymen—may be obtained, and such cases may be remanded to the supreme court of the particular state where the case originally arose. As a court of last resort it also acts as a court of error; as such it has the power to review the proceedings of the courts in banc(landsgerichte)and of such courts as have trial by jury(schwurgerichte). Either the decisions rendered in such cases are reviewed, or the cases are remanded for further proceedings. Cases arising under the laws of an individual state are remanded to a court of review, composed of five judges of the supreme court of such state. If, however, the cases arise under the laws of the empire, the imperial court does not remand such cases on appeal, but exercises exclusive and final jurisdiction as a court of error.
—The German empire is now composed of twenty-five states or principalities, including the free towns of Hamburg, Lübeck and Bremen, having governments of their own, and the imperial province of Elsass-Lothringen (Alsace-Lorraine), which, as such, is placed under the direct control of the government of the empire. Under its constitution, the empire forms a perpetual union of the states for the protection of the realm and the case of the welfare of the German people.
—VI.Finances. As will be seen by a reference to what we have said speaking of the constitution of the empire, the ordinary expenditure of the empire is defrayed from the revenues arising from customs, certain branches of excise, and the profits of the postal and telegraph service. In case the receipts from these various sources of income should not be sufficient to cover the expenditures, the individual states may be assessed to make up the deficit, each state being required to contribute in proportion to its population. The ordinary expenditure is, as a rule, to be voted only for one year, but, in special cases, may be voted for a longer term. The fiscal year, formerly coincident with the calendar year, was made to run from April 1 to March31, in 1877—In the public budget for the fiscal year 1881-2, the total amount of the revenue of the empire was fixed at 592,956,554 mark; the amount of expenditure was the same. By an act dated June 27, 1881, an additional appropriation was made, amounting to 395,846 mark, 365,000 mark of which were set down for extraordinary (eiumalige) expenditure, which are to be either taken from surplus funds, or raised by special contributions on the part of each state. The revenues consist of:
The customs and excise duties exceed those of the previous year by twenty-eight million mark. Contributions from such provinces as are not included in the tariff union, amount to 6,790,540 mark, exceeding those of the previous year by 389,940 mark. The receipts of the postal and telegraph service are estimated at 137,721,760 mark (four million more than those of the previous year), and the ordinary or continual expenses at 119,024,605 mark. The receipts of the railways are fixed at 37,635,000 mark (one and a fourth million more than those of the year before), and the expenses at 26,595,60 mark.
—The extraordinary contributions, besides the special contributions of the states, serve to balance the accounts of the budget. As will be seen from the table on next page, the extraordinary or special expenditures are estimated at about 81 1/8million mark; of these,14½ million are raised by state contributions, while the balance is to come partly from the imperial funds, partly from loans.
—The state contributions as estimated exceed by 21½ million mark those of the previous year. They are levied upon the several states as follows:
These are, however, to be somewhat revised by the government in the course of the year on the basis of the census of 1880.
—The expenditures are distributed as follows:
Barring the surplus of previous years and the state contributions, the resources of the empire have been increased about twenty-eight million mark, owing to the increase in the amount of customs and excise duties. The draft of the public budget for 1882-3 estimates the receipts and expenditures at 607,234,771 mark. Of the expenditures, those that are extraordinary or special are fixed at 72,093,979, and 534,140,792 mark is the amount of those which are ordinary or continual. The fiscal year 1880-81 resulted in a deficiency of twelve million mark, which must be made up. In order to balance the receipts and expenditures, the state contributions are calculated at 115,712,740 mark, an increase, therefore, of more than twelve million mark. the fiscal year 1881-2 is expected to yield a surplus of fifteen million mark.
—At the time of the establishment of the German empire, it had, as such, no public debt. The public debt has been created in recent years. On Feb. 1, 1881, the total funded debt amounted to 251,000,000 mark; added to which is a new debt of 102,540,088 mark, contracted in virtue or certain acts passed March 28 and May 24, 1881. The whole debt bears interest at 4 per cent. Besides the funded debt, there is an unfunded debt represented by reichs-kassenschine, or imperial treasury notes, to the amount of 155,785,540 mark, outstanding on April 1, 1881. As offsetting this debt, there are a number of invested funds, amounting in all to 865,487,928 mark. Among these funds are the invalid fund of 546,418,885 mark, the fund for the erection of fortresses, amounting to 64,913,470 mark, and a war fund of 120,000,000 mark.
—In regard to the monetary system of the empire, on Jan. 1, 1872, a law for the uniformity of coinage throughout the empire, passed by the imperial diet, was published, under which law, the standard of value is gold. The same law provided for the substitution of the mark, of 100 pfennig, as the general coin, to commence on Jan. 10, 1875. There are gold five-mark, ten-mark and twenty-mark pieces, the first called halbe-krone(half-crown), the second krone, and the third doppel-krone(double crown).
—VII.History. On July 19, 1870, France followed up its threatening and daring attitude toward Prussia by a declaration of war. Contrary to the expectations of the French monarch and his advisers, not only the South German states took up the causes of Prussia, but the people throughout the land were willing to flock to the banner of the Prussian monarch, in order to resent the insult which in their opinion he had received; and to settle the old issue, which, since the days of Andernach, divided the French and the Germans, and which, later on, had been formulated in the literature of the two nations as the contest between the spirit of the Germanic races on the one hand, and that of Latin races on the other.
—In spite of a small body of opponents in southern Germany, who were either jealous of the supremacy of the Hohenzollern, or, for some other reason, opposed to the unity of the German states, the large body of the people was unanimous in encouraging the government to insist on the observance of the terms, which called for an alliance between the South German states and the North German confederation; and in hastening the general uprising of the nation against its traditional foe. The unity of the German people, on which, for generations, the aspirations of its patriots and poets had been centered, seemed to have become at once an accomplished fact. With the masses of the German people that unity soon became the leading idea of that short but memorable war, which taxed all the material and intellectual resources of the two nations.
—With the fall of the French capital the war came to a close, resulting in the acceptance by the French of all the conditions imposed upon them, of which conditions the surrender of Elsass-Lothringen (Alsace-Lorraine) was hailed by the conquering nation as the only rational means of settling the traditional disputes flowing from the territorial division of the kingdom of Ludwig (Louis) the Pious.
—The enthusiasm in which the German people indulged over their glorious achievements in the field, soon deepened into the feeling that they were again a nation, not only bound together by the ties of blood, but also, a nation worthy of a common government, in which the traditions of the empire might be perpetuated, and the liberties of the people safely lodged. The call of the people for such a government, one which might realize their aspirations toward unity, became so imperative that the South Germ an states could no longer resist it. It has become quite evident that their safety, no less than that of the rest of Germany, depended upon the consolidation of the different German branches, into which the nation was divided, and that, in the defeat of its traditional foe on the other side of the Rhine, a most powerful enemy to all attempts at uniting the Germans politically had been defeated. The principal difficulties lay in the way of deciding upon some form of government, which, while satisfying the desire of the people for unity, was calculated to infringe as little as possible upon the relative independence of the individual states, especially those of South Germany, and upon the sovereignty which they had hitherto enjoyed in the regulation of their internal affairs. Baden was the first state which raised the question, on Sept. 2. 1870, of consolidating the German states into a more perfect and permanent political union. Bavaria followed, by proposing a conference in which this question should be discussed. On Sept. 21, Delbrück, the chancellor of the North German confederation, went, at the request of Count Bismarck, from Ferrières, where the Prussians had their headquarters, to Munich, to receive the propositions of the South German states in regard to the matter. In these conferences, however, in which the head of the judicial department of Würtemberg, Minister Mittnacht, took part, the claims of Bavaria were of such a nature that no agreement was arrived at. Bismarck then invited the South German governments, except Bavaria, to send plenipotentiaries to Versailles, with a view to a conference to be held there, the attendance on which was left optional with Bavaria. In the several conferences held at that place during the month of October, and at which the South German states were represented by two plenipotentiaries each, and the North German confederation by ministers Delbrück, Roon and Friessen, the negotiations resulted, on Nov. 15, in an agreement with Hesse and Bade, by which they accepted the constitution of the North German confederation, after some slight changes had been made in it concerning the administration and control of the postal department and the railroads, and the regulation of the revenue. In regard to the military condition of Hesse a special stipulation was made; a conference held on Nov. 25 regulated those of Baden, whose military quota became part of the German, that is, Prussian, army. The treaty was finally ratified on Dec. 16 and 19 respectively by the two chambers of Baden and on Dec. 20 and 29 by those of Hesse. On Nov. 23 the treaty was signed by Bavaria, after it had secured some special privileges. Bavaria retained its right to be represented at foreign governments by its own ambassadors: the control and regulation of its military, its postal and telegraph service, and its railroads; and the right to pass certain revenue laws and laws defining and regulating the right of domicile. Bavaria secured, in addition, a permanent seat in the committee of the Bundesrath on the army and fortifications. The Bundesrath was to have a committee on foreign affairs, consisting of representatives of the kingdoms of Bavaria, Saxony and Würtemberg, the chairmanship of which was conceded to Bavaria. In this committee any amendment of the constitution might be defeated by a veto of the fourteen members of which the committee was to be composed. Though the national party was of the opinion that the terms of this compact recognized the independence of the several states to a greater extent than was just, it met, on grounds quite opposite to this, with a powerful opposition in the Bavarian chamber of deputies, and was not ratified until Jan. 21, 1871; whereas the federal council had ratified it on Dec. 30 of the year previous.
—The treaty with Würtemberg was concluded on Nov. 25, 1870. Its provisions were in the main similar to those contained the treaty with Baden, with the exception that Würtemberg retained the right to regulate its postal and telegraph service within its own territory and as far as it extended into the territory of adjoining states. At the same time a stipulation was entered into by Prussia and Würtemberg, according to which the military forces of Würtemberg were to be united into one corps, and form, as such, an integral part of the consolidated army. The newly elected chamber of deputies finally ratified the treaty on Dec. 23, while the upper chamber sanctioned it on Dec. 29. Official notice of the ratification of the treaties with Baden, Hesse and Würtemberg was given in Berhn on Dec. 3, 1870, and that of the treaty with Bavaria on Jan. 29, 1871, after the diet of the North German confederation, which had convened in Berlin, Nov 24, had sanctioned it on Dec. 9, 1870. In the meantime the king of Bavaria suggested that the title of German emperor should be given to the head of the new confederation, and thus the splendor and dignity of imperial office be revived. The federal diet issued an address to king of Prussia, expressing a similar desire, which was presented to him at Versailles by President Simson, heading a delegation of thirty members of the North German diet, on Dec. 18,1870. Whereupon, on Jan. 18, 1871, the king of Prussia, Wilhelm 1., was, on motion of the princes and representatives of the free cities of Germany, assembled at Versailles, invested with the hereditary dignity and accepted the office of German emperor. Thus, after Germany's traditional foe, who was bent upon destroying the integrity of the German nation, had been defeated, and the people of Germany were once more united, it was natural that they should connect in thought their present great achievement with the glories of the past, and indulge in the illusion that the imperial office of Charles the Great and the empire of Otto I. had been revived. Intense as the enthusiasm of the people was over the results of the war, they hailed with equal delight the assurance of a peaceful policy, which the first proclamation of the new emperor of the Germans gave to his people. After referring to the constitution of the North German confederation, in which provision had been made for a revival of the imperial dignity, the emperor said that he considered it his duty to accept that dignity; that, in doing so, he was mindful of the duty to protect with that fidelity which was a national characteristic of the German people, the prerogatives of the German empire and the countries composing it; to maintain the peace, and to defend, with the aid of the combined powers of the nation, the independence of Germany. In conclusion, the emperor trusted that he and those to whom the imperial crown would be handed down, might forever add to the power and dignity of its dominion, not by military conquests, but by increasing the blessings of peace, thus promoting the general welfare, freedom and civilization of the nation.
—The proclamation was issued from the headquarters at Versailles on Jan. 17, 1871. The acceptance of the imperial office had the effect of changing the name by which the union of the German states was henceforth to be known; the designation Deutsches Bund was now changed into Deutsches Reich. Thus the German league, or, more strictly speaking, the North German confederation, ceased, and the German empire took its place. The great gain made by the Germans, through the successful conclusion of war, was in a great measure due to the fact that they had carried on the war without foreign aid, and has persistently rejected all foreign intervention in securing the terms of peace finally agreed upon. There had been no want of a disposition on the part of some of European powers to interfere. Among the European powers the czar of Russia was the only one who was decidedly in favor of the Germans. Italy and Austria sympathized with France. Denmark likewise hoped for the success of the French arms. England, at first, showed some indignation at the policy of the French government which aimed at a disturbance of the peace of Europe. Subsequently, however, the French were furnished with arms and ammunition from British soil, and active aid, which was not interfered with by the English government until Bismarck remonstrated against it.
—On March 17, 1871, William I., now emperor of Germany, returned to Berlin. On March 21 the first imperial diet convened. The elections had turned a majority decidedly in favor of the new order of things, and in support of a national policy; yet among the 382 members of that body, there were 60 ultramontanes, who formed a persistent opposition to this policy. The address of the emperor pointed at the great achievement which had hitherto been the object of the people's aspirations: the unity of Germany, permanent protection against foreign invasion, a uniform system of laws, and an equal administration of justice throughout the land. Simson was elected president of the diet. The address to the crown, prepared by Lasker, was approved by a large majority, despite the objections of the clerical party. A proposition, submitted on April 1 by Reichensperger, in the interest of this party, which, among other things, advocated the freedom of the press, the right of establishing private associations, and the independence of the church, was rejected on April 4 by a vote of 223 against 54. The assembly also decided that its members should receive no compensation for their attendance and services. On April 14 the constitution of the German empire was adopted, only seven voting against it.
—Of more than ordinary interest were the debates touching the state of Elsass-Lothringen. The government submitted a bill which provided for a permanent incorporation of this province with the German empire; but that the constitution of the empire was not to take effect in the province before Jan. 1, 1874; until then its affairs were to be administered be the emperor, with the advice of the Bundesrath. From different quarters the desire was expressed that the province should be united with Prussia; yet on June 3 the bill, with some amendments changing the date of which it was to take effect from Jan. 1, 1874, to Jan. 1, 1873, was passed by a large majority. On June 15 the session was closed, and on the day following the German troops entered and marched through the streets of Berlin in commemoration of the recent events which resulted in the establishment of national unity and a central government as a fit representative of the common bond which again united the German people.
—The next session of the imperial diet commenced Oct. 16. The principal business of this session was the passage on Nov. 6 of a bill providing for the establishment of a war fund to the amount of 40,000,000 thalers; the adoption of a military budget, for which the gross sum of 90,373,275 thalers was voted; the granting of a subsidy to the St. Gothard railway, amounting to 10,000,000 francs; then the enactment of the law regulating the coinage of the empire, which established the mark as the general coin. Lasker's bill, which proposed to extend the legislative and political powers of the empire both in criminal and civil matters, was not finally acted upon by the diet, partly owing to the opposition it received from certain political factions and from the majority of the Bundesrath. The bitter struggle between church and state, to which the dogma concerning the infallibility of the pope gave rise, was foreshadowed in this session of the diet, when von Lutz., the Bavarian minister, submitted the bill, which had been approved by the Bundesrath, providing that any minister or other member of the clergy, who while officiating in that capacity, either in a church or elsewhere, should discuss the affairs of state in a manner calculated to disturb the public peace, should be punished by imprisonment for two years. The leaders of the clerical party, Windthorst, Reichensperger, Mallinckrodt and others, rose with great indignation, and protested against a bill which they deemed so hostile to the best interests of the empire and the rights of the Catholic church. In spite of this protest the bill was passed on Nov. 28. The diet finally adjourned on Dec. 1, 1871. A further step toward political unity and a centralized government was taken by the total or partial abolition, on the part of the smaller states, of their embassies or foreign legations. In 1872 the clerical contest assumed a more threatening character. It was principally in Prussia that, in consequence of the indulgence shown by the government, the Catholic clergy became aggressive. The conduct of the clergy, which received a new impulse by the heated discussions concerning the dogma of infallibility, gave sore offense to the government, and aroused its latent energy to resist the aggressive policy of the church. On Dec. 14, 1871, a bill was submitted in the Prussian chamber of deputies, which provided that the control and superintendence of all public and private schools should be handed over to the government. This bill was passed by both chambers on Feb. 13, and March 8, 1872. But it was not only in Prussia that this doctrine, which insisted upon a revival of the idea that the religious behests issued from the see of Rome should be received by the Christian world as a finality, disturbed the public peace and divided the people; in Bavaria, too, the religious contest assumed a threatening aspect. There the advocates of this dogma were arrayed not only against the liberals, but also against those of their own church, who, like Doellinger and his followers, calling themselves Old Catholics, opposed the dogma of infallibility as an innovation, which was neither warranted by the faith of the primitive Christians nor supported by the ancient traditions of the church. As the contest seemed to spread all over Germany, it soon became evident that, if its baneful influence were checked by governmental interference, it could successfully be done only by some action taken by the imperial diet. The imperial government still tried to observe a conciliatory policy toward the pontiff at Rome; in March, 1872, Bismarck submitted the proposition to the pope, according to the terms of which the latter was to accredit Cardinal Hohenlohe, a zealous Catholic, though unfriendly to the Jesuits, as ambassador of the imperial government to the see of Rome. The decided manner in which this proposition was rejected by Pius IX. indicated that no agreement between the papacy and the empire could be arrived at. In the session which commended on April 8, the attention of the imperial diet was first called to the question whether the budget should provide for the retention of the embassy at Rome; at the suggestion of Bismarck it was retained. The struggle, however, between the different parties, to which church issues had given prominence, began when the two bills against the Jesuits camp up for discussion on May 15 and 16. One was introduced by Gneist, the other by Wagner-Marquardsen, both aiming at limiting the powers and checking the spread of this order. After an excited discussion, the bill introduced by Wagner-Marquardsen, which was more stringent in its provisions, was passed by a vote of 205 against 84. The action of the Bundesrath, whereby some of the most stringent provisions were modified, so as to make the supervision by the police not mandatory but directory, led to further discussions, which resulted in the bringing in of a new bill, providing that the order of Jesuits and similar orders as well as congregations should be excluded from the German empire, and their future settlement within it prohibited; that those existing were to disband within six months; that such members as were foreigners were to be banished the realm, while the natives might be confined to certain districts. This bill passed the diet by a vote of 181 against 93 on June 19, and was unanimously approved by the Bundesrath on June 25; it went into operation on July 4. In some of the German states—Bavaria, Saxony, Würtemberg and Baden—the Jesuits were not permitted to reside. In Prussia, however, their numbers had increased considerably during the last fifty years, especially in the Rhenish province, in Westphalia and in Posen, in Elsass-Lothringen, too, they formed no insignificant body. On the taking effect of the law in question, the monasteries were closed in the course of the summer, though not without causing disturbance, with required that interference of the military. Among the nobility, those of the Rhenish province and of Westphalia showed a good deal of sympathy for the Roman pontiff. In consequence of a resolution adopted by the Bundesrath on May 13, 1873, orders, such as that of the Redemptorists, the Lazarists, etc., came within the operation of the law. The Catholic bishops were greatly agitated by this action of the Bundesrath; they held a conference at Fulda, which lasted from Sept. 18 to Sept. 20, and resulted in the issuing by the assembled prelates of a memorial wherein they discussed the state of the Catholic church in the German empire, and declared open war against the imperial government. They announced a set of principles touching the freedom of the church and the independence of the clergy, which could hardly fall seriously to affect the sovereignty and independence of the government. The contest between the clergy and the government had now assumed alarming proportions. The gain of the Old Catholic party in the number of its adherents, while it added to the opposition against the aggressive policy of the Catholic church, intensified the struggle, and did much to give the contest the character of a war of principles, rather than that of a struggle for power. The government now earnestly commenced to assert its authority, and the conflicts between the refractory bishops—Krementz in Frauenburg, Ledochowski in Posen, and others—and the public authority, showed that each of the contending parties was determined to carry the struggle to the bitter end. The pope expressed great indignation at the coercive measures employed by the imperial government against the bishops. The language employed by the pope when delivering his address on June 25, showed that the demands of the church and the interests of the state, as a system of public and private forces governed by law, were absolutely at war with each other. In his allocution of Dec. 23, the pope showed himself even more implacable, in consequence of which the Prussian legate at Rome took leave. Thus the Culturkampf, the struggle for civilization, as the foemen who were arrayed against Rome were pleased to term it, was inaugurated, and formed one of the most important factors in the development of the new empire. As against this formidable contest, which engrossed not only the attention of the government, but of the people at large, the other proceedings of the imperial diet, though important in themselves, gave no cause of serious disagreement. The more important measures discussed were the appropriations for the navy, the distribution of the French war contribution, the duties on salt and brewers' materials, the prolongation of the "dictatorship" in Elsass-Lothringen to Jan. 1, 1874, the exclusive control of the Luxemburg railroads by the imperial government, the revision of the military code, and Lasker's bill providing for the establishment by the imperial government of courts of original jurisdiction, which was again approved by the diet but still awaited the action of the Bundesrath.
—The position of the South German states toward the empire still gave proof that they were not equally willing to assist the government in the promotion of its national policy. Baden had made the greatest concessions. In making civil marriage obligatory it had done even more than was expected. Hesse also had early changed its policy in favor of national unity. In Würtemberg, the proposition submitted by the democratic faction to the assembly, touching the "reserved rights"—that each particular change in the treaty of Nov. 25, 1870, should require the consent of the Landtag—was, in February, 1872, owing to the strenuous opposition of Minister Mittnacht, defeated by a vote of 60 against 29. A similar proposition introduced about the same time in the chamber of deputies in Bavaria met with the same fate. Some doubt, however, as to the policy of the Bavarian government was caused, when, in 1872, Count Hegnenberg-Dux, the prime minister, whose attitude toward the empire was of a friendly nature, having died, the king commissioned one of the most uncompromising opponents of the empire and a friend of the ultramontanes, von Gasser, to form a new cabinet. As the latter could not find the proper men willing to enter the new cabinet in support of his views, the uneasiness which had taken hold of those in favor of a national policy and who were friends of the empire, was removed, when von Pfritzchner, the minister of finance, was appointed president of the cabinet, and as such took charge of the foreign affairs of the government. This attempt on the part of the Bavarian government to yield to a policy unfriendly to the empire was all the more astonishing, as the meeting of the three emperors, William of Germany, Alexander II. of Russia and Francis Joseph of Austria, which took place about the same time at Berlin, although it did not result in a formal alliance, indicated that the three emperors meant to pursue a uniform policy, that Russia and Austria were willing to recognize the establishment of the German empire as a fact not in conflict with their own interests, and that they approved of the national policy of the German government; all of which did much to check the renewed warlike spirit on the part of France.
—The fourth session of the imperial diet commenced March 12, 1873. The address of the crown suggested various measures touching the protection of the German empire, the extension of its powers, and the requirements of trade and commerce and other interstate relations; and with a tone of assurance referred to the friendly relations of the empire with neighboring governments as a circumstance which would certainly give Germany the support of these powers, should France ever avail herself of the first opportunity to gratify her desire for revenge. The comparative strength of the different parties represented in the imperial diet was as follows: the national liberal party had 115, the German imperial party 34, the liberal imperial party 30, the conservatives 50, the progressists 45, the centre 66 and the Poles 13 representatives; 23 members belonged to no party. Simson was chosen president. The bill introduced by Lasker, providing for the extension of the legislative and judicial powers of the empire so as to cover all civil and criminal matters, was adopted on April 3 by a decided majority, and its approval by the Bundesrath was promised by Minister Delbrück; the diet was also advised that the Bundesrath contemplated a civil code of uniform operation throughout the empire. The bill for the establishment of a general office superintending and regulating the railroad system of the empire was likewise passed. The same disposition was made of the bill granting the members of the imperial parliament compensation. The bill by which civil marriage was to be made obligatory on persons engaging in matrimony, as well as the different measures introduced for the surveillance of the public press, were not finally acted upon. The postal treaty with Italy was approved May 28; an amendment to the postal treaty with Persia, June 21. An amendment to the revenue law was passed June 25, whereby the duty on iron, steel, etc., was in some instances wholly abolished, in some reduced, Jan. 1, 1877, being fixed as the date of its total abolition. The coinage bill, passed June 24, definitely fixed the mark as the unit, and provided, among other things, for the withdrawal of all paper money heretofore issued by Jan. 1, 1876, and the issue of paper money by the imperial government, in regard to which a special bill, regulating the details of the matter, was to be submitted by the government to the diet at its next session. The special stipulations agreed upon with France, on June 29, 1872, and March 15, 1873, respectively, were also approved by the diet, which in doing so acknowledged the skill and wisdom displayed by Bismarck in obtaining from France the concessions embodied in these stipulations. The last stipulation provided that France should pay the entire war indemnity by Sept. 5, 1873, and that, in consequence, the German troops should commence on July 1 to evacuate the four departments, still held by them, and the fortress Belfort; that until the payment of the last installment Verdun should remain under the control of the German troops; the last installment being paid, Verdun was to be evacuated and the German troops withdrawn from French soil within fourteen days. The bill whereby the German constitution became operative in Elsass-Lothringen, and which was passed June 18, provided that the Military rule to which it had been subjected should cease on Jan. 1, 1874; and, furthermore, that these imperial provinces were to be represented in the diet by fifteen delegates. Yet this bill, as well as the discussion of the report concerning the legislation and administration in Elsass-Lothringen, was not allowed to pass without giving the ultramontanes and democrats a chance to complain of the tendency they supposed in these proceedings to curtail the civil and religious freedom of the citizens in these provinces. The further discussions of this subject came to a close in the diet at last, when it adjourned June 25.
—In Elsass Lothringen, whose administration was in charge of the chancellor of the empire, the sentiment of the inhabitants, which was not at all friendly to the new rule, was constantly kept alive by the encouragement it received from the ultramontanes and the French. Against all the influences which were brought to bear upon the inhabitants of these provinces to resist the German rule, and to set up the traditions of a few centuries, which had made them subjects of the government of France, against the fact that the stock and body of the people shared with their new rulers the same national origin, the government of the German empire, with singular firmness and energy, followed up its policy of drawing the political union between these estranged provinces and the rest of Germany closer, and of coercing the inhabitants of Elsass-Lothringen into a patriotic sentiment in favor of their German kinsfolk on the other side of the Rhine. Rapp, the vicar general of Strasburg, at the head of a committee whose object was to offer decided opposition to the new rule, was, on March 17, banished from the provinces; Lauth, the mayor of Strasburg, who had officially declared himself in favor of the restoration of French rule, was deposed April 7; and the board of councilmen, who had protested against this action of the German government, was suspended for two years; the superintendent of police was invested with the powers until then exercised by the mayor and the municipal council. In regard to the management of the schools, the government provided that it should be in the hands of its own officers; that the examination and appointment of teachers, the organization of the schools and the course of study should be determined by the government; that such schools as did not conform to the regulations laid down by the government were to be closed; and that from and after Oct. 1, in those districts whose population was German, no language but the German should be taught. At the election of members to the district and circuit councils, the clericals and all those governed by French sympathies, desired that either none but such as favored the opposition to and "protested" against German rule should be chosen, or that no election should take place. Yet the elections, especially in Lower Alsace, turned out more in favor of the government than was anticipated. Gradually a third party was organizing against those parties which were opposed to Germany, and adopted the name of the Alsacian party, whose spokesman was the Alsacian Journal. The members of this party, though recognizing the existing condition of things, were determined to remain Alsacians; they were not willing to cut loose from the traditions which had made them for centurries independent of their kinsfolk on the other side of the Rhine; their aim was to promote the political development and the industrial interests of their own country.
—On Sept. 5 the last installment of the war indemnity was paid by France; on Sept. 8 the Germans commenced to evacuate Verdun, and on Sept. 16 the German troops crossed the borders of France.
—The line of policy observed by the Prussian government in its struggle with the ultramontanes, which was in the main defined by the four laws introduced by the Prussian diet and passed in May, 1873, regulating the conduct of the church, was a very important factor and exercised the greatest influence upon the political and religious condition of the German empire. There arose a general opposition in all parts of the empire to the claims of the Roman pontiff, claims which were calculated not only to offend the dignity of the temporal government, but also to seriously disturb its relations with its subjects, who might set their fidelity to the church above their allegiance to their government. The orders of the Redemptorists, of the Lazarists, of the Priests of the Holy Ghost and of the Society of the Holy Heart of Jesus, associations similar to the order of the Jesuits, were, by virtue of a resolution passed by the Bundesrath, dissolved by the imperial chancellor on May 20. Pius IX., in order to secure more favorable terms to the Catholic clergy, appealed, in a letter dated Aug. 7, to the emperor himself. The answer of the emperor, dated Sept. 3, charged the Catholic clergy with being the cause of all the difficulties and disturbances, and of refusing to yield, as the constitution and the laws required, obedience to the public authorities. The publication of these communications had the effect of making the emperor the recipient of a large number of addresses from all parts of Germany and from abroad, warmly approving the position he had taken, and encouraging the government to persist in the course it had adopted in opposition to the rebellious tendencies of the Catholic clergy. The meeting which took place about this time between the emperor and the czar of Russia at Ems, and the one between the former and the emperor of Austria, was followed by a visit, which Victor Emanuel, king of Italy, paid to the emperor at Berlin; the king had come in company with two of his ministers, and remained two days. All these events seemed to indicate that the temporal powers were agreed, if not openly to oppose, at least to discourage the overreaching policy of the clergy. The fact that Lasker's bill, which had been passed by the imperial diet, and which extended the authority and powers of the government of the empire so as to give it complete jurisdiction in civil and criminal matters, and enable it directly to control the conduct of its citizens throughout its territory—the fact that this bill was, on Dec. 12, approved by the Bundesrath by a vote of 54 against 4, did much to strengthen the position of the general government in the difficulties and disturbances the clergy had caused, and to lend the opposition to clerical pretensions the strong aid of the government throughout the empire. The movement inaugurated by the advocates of Old Catholicism gained in strength. In the convocation held by them at Köln on June 4, Reinkens was elected bishop. Having been ordained in his new dignity by Bishop Heykamp at Rotterdam, Aug. 11, Reinkens took the required oath before Minister Falk, and was at once confirmed in his office as Catholic bishop by the Prussian government. A few months later, on Nov. 9, Prince Bismarck was re-appointed prime minister, and again set about to shape the home policy of the Prussian government. At the election of delegates to the Prussian Landtag, which took place on Nov. 4, the conservative party lost fifty-nine members, whereas the clericals and the national liberals gamed in strength. In this connection we may mention the fact, as one of more than ordinary significance, that within a few months a bill was submitted in the Prussian Landtag, by which civil marriage was made obligatory on persons engaging in matrimony; that the chamber of deputies in Bavaria and in Würtemberg approved Lasker's bill, which had passed both the imperial diet and the Bundesrath; and that in the lower house of deputies in Hesse certain bills were introduced, which placed the management of the schools and the organization of the church on a more liberal basis, and which were more particularly intended to free in a great measure the former from the control of the latter. The principle also, which seems to have been tacitly agreed to and acted upon by most of the German governments, that a change or amendment of the imperial constitution did not require the express approval of the diets or representative bodies of the several states comprising the German empire, but might take effect after having been passed by the imperial diet and having received the approval of the representatives of the several governments in the Bundesrath, was now insisted upon as a uniform rule, when, contrary to the established practice, the representatives of Saxony in the Bundesrath, pending the adoption of Lasker's bill, hesitated to cast their vote before being expressly authorized by the Landtag of that principality to do so.
—The elections to the next imperial diet, which took place on Jan. 10, 1874, except in Elsass-Lothringen, where they were held Feb. 1, were held under great popular excitement, to which the issues pending between the different political factions had given rise. The clericals were very hopeful of success, and the result of the elections showed that they had gained in strength, especially as against the conservatives in Bavaria and some Prussian districts; the social democrats carried their candidates in nine electoral districts. Yet, as the diet was finally made up, the clericals, who numbered 101, were opposed by 155 members of the national liberal party, while the 135 members, who were opposed to the policy and government of the empire, had to make a stand against the imposing array of 240 representatives, including the progressists, who supported that policy; the conservative party, which had been reduced to twenty members, stood entirely outside of the working forces of the diet, and carried no appreciable influence. In Elsass-Lothringen, the election resulted in the return of ten clericals, including the bishops of Strasburg and of Metz, and of five members from the faction whose policy consisted in protesting against the administration of Elsass-Lothringen by the imperial government. The diet was now in session. At its opening on Feb. 5 the address of the crown mentioned several measures, which the government proposed to submit to that body, such as a bill concerning the press and a bill for the regulation of trade. On Feb. 16 the fifteen deputies from Elsass-Lothringen appeared in the bails of the assembly, and at once surprised the members of the diet by the propositions they submitted. One of these propositions was, that the population of Elsass-Lothringen should, at that late day, have the right of passing upon the question, whether they were willing to give their assent to the incorporation of that province into the German empire. This measure, however, was voted down by a decided majority, without even being made the subject of discussion. The next proposition asked for the repeal of the law which invested the head of the administration of that province with certain dictatorial powers, including the right to call upon the military in case the public peace and safety required it. This proposition was taken up and discussed March 3, but was finally rejected by a vote of 196 against 138. On Feb. 14 the postal treaty between the government of the empire and Brazil was ratified, and on the 16th of the same month the extradition treaty with Switzerland. The bill by which vaccination was made compulsory was passed on March 16, but not without giving both the social democrats and the ultramontanes an opportunity to protest against and oppose it as a measure infringing upon the personal rights and liberties of the citizen. A bill providing for the establishment of a board of health was also passed on the same day. On April 24 a law was enacted, providing for the issuing of treasury notes to the amount of 120,000,000 mark, which were to take the place of the paper money issued by the several states, all of which was to be retired by Jan. 1, 1876. Several amendments to the law regulating the different trades, especially the one which made a breach of contract punishable as a criminal offense, were, Feb. 19, on the first hearing, most vigorously opposed by the members of the social democratic party; being referred to a committee, it did not reach a second reading during this session. The act regulating the press, which had been amended in many respects by the committee to which it had been referred on the first reading, was again taken up. After meeting with the united opposition of the social democrats and the clericals, which was principally directed against the right of seizure and the responsibility of the press, it was finally passed by a decided majority on April 19, although a motion to extend its operation also to Elsass-Lothringen was lost. Another source of discomfiture for the clericals was the bill making civil marriage obligatory, which was finally adopted on March 28. Yet this did not deter them from making a vigorous fight against the passage of the act prohibiting the unlawful or unauthorized exercise of clerical offices, and which provided that a violation of its provisions should be punishable by imprisoning the offender, by loss of citizenship, and by banishment from the territory of the empire. This act, which was in the first place directed against those Prussian clergymen who still refused obedience to the existing laws, was finally passed on April 25 by a vote of 214 against 108. Yet the measure which met with the most general opposition from different factions of the diet, was the army bill. It fixed, in the first place, the numerical strength of the army in times of peace at 401,659 men. In the opposition to this provision, not only the factions whose policy was directed against the government of the empire as inconsistent with the ancient dignity and independence of the several German states, especially of the South German states, but all members with democratic proclivities of the progressist party and the left wing of the national liberals, headed by Lasker, were united. Among those who thus made a stand against the law were also the social democrats and the ultramontanes, who seemed, queerly enough, always ready to join hands in the effort to obstruct the policy of the imperial government. When the bill was at its first reading, Feb. 16, von Moltke insisted upon its passage, and defended its provisions as essential to the safety and peace of the empire. It was finally referred to a committee; it was two months before they were ready to refer it back. In spite of the great opposition the army bill had met with in this diet, public opinion seemed to agree with the views of von Moltke, that the safety and integrity of the empire required the adoption of some measure calculated to secure a ready and efficient military service in case of need, and in the end prevailed upon the committee to report in favor of the bill in a somewhat modified form. It passed to a second reading, April 13-17, despite the fight made on it by the social democrats, the ultramontanes and a certain faction of the progressist party, by a vote of 224 against 148, and it at last became a law, April 20, by a vote of 214 against 123. On April 26, 1874, the diet closed its first session of that year.
—The spirit of opposition and hatred against the imperial government shown by the ultramontanes in and out of the legislative assemblies was certainly the occasion, if not the direct cause, which prompted, July 18, Kullmann, of Magdeburg, in the attempt to assassinate Prince Bismarck at Kissingen. The culprit was speedily seized, tried at Würzburg by a jury, and on Oct. 30 sentenced to imprisonment for a term of fourteen years, and to loss of citizenship for ten years, besides being put under police surveillance. A prosecution of more political importance than this, was that against Count von Arnim, who had been recalled from the embassy at Paris owing to some political differences between him and Prince Bismarck. The count was tried and convicted on the charge of having taken from the archives of the embassy certain political documents of great importance, which he refused to give up; he was, Dec. 19, sentenced to imprisonment for three months, from which sentence the accused took an appeal. The action of the chancellor in bringing the refractory diplomat to what he conceived to be speedy justice, and the reading in the course of the trial of certain documents which, among other things, bore witness to the skillful diplomacy displayed by the chancellor in his relations with the French government, could not fail to add to the distinction he had already won as Germany's foremost statesman. The last session of the diet of that year, which convened Oct. 29, 1874, was principally occupied in fixing the various items of the general budget for the year 1875, which, after being fully discussed and considered, was adopted in the shape submitted, Dec. 18. The postal treaties with Chili and Peru were approved Nov. 4, that with Berne, Nov. 30, and, on Dec. 9, a resolution was adopted, which declared in favor of popular representation in all the states composing the empire. A proposition for the establishment of a legislative assembly for Elsass-Lothringen, supported by the ultramontanes and opposed by Bismarck, was submitted by the deputies of that province, but no final action was taken. The diet again met in the following year, in a short session, which extended from Jan. 7, 1875, to Jan. 30. Parts of the principal business of this session were the extradition treaty with Belgium, which was approved on January 22; the act regulating the publishing and taking effect of the general laws of the empire, which was passed January 14; and the banking act, which made the imperial bank of the leading institution in the banking system of the empire, which was passed January 30. The most important feature in the proceedings of this session, and which aroused the most general interest, was the final passage of the law making civil marriage obligatory throughout the territory of the empire; it also contained a provision whereby any member of the Catholic clergy or order might contract a lawful marriage. The law was passed, after meeting with the most stubborn opposition, from the ultramontanes, on January 25.
—The event which most engaged public attention during the interval which marked the close of this session of the imperial diet and the opening of the next, was the publishing of the papal encyclica on Feb. 5, 1875, in which the laws passed by the Prussian diet against the Catholic clergy were declared invalid and of no binding force on the church. The excitement produced by this further evidence of papal defiance, again ran very high, and called out the full strength of the liberal element in support of the government in its contest against the uncompromising and defiant attitude of the church. The efforts of the ultramontanes were directed not only toward defeating the policy of the government in the legislative assemblies, but also toward enlisting the co-operation of the Catholic powers of Europe in the formation of a great and powerful alliance against Germany. But Bismarck was not weary, and the bold stand he took against the enemies of his government showed that he was ready to accept the issue of war, if war his opponents meant. This had the effect of quieting, for the time, the aggressive tendencies of the ultramontanes, and of causing England and Russia to raise a voice in the interest of European peace.
—When the diet met again, on Oct. 27, 1875, the address of the crown invited the consideration of the assembly to the following measures: the new money standard of the empire, which was to be in force on and from Jan. 1, 1876; an increase of the tax on brewing material; an act providing for a stamp tax on negotiable instruments and other evidences of money transactions; an act for regulating the copyright of works of all; and, finally, the adoption of a new criminal code. The low condition of trade and commerce, noticeable throughout the country about this time, was pointed out, but not without being characterized as only temporary in its nature. The address finally called attention to the fact that the public peace was no longer threatened, but firmly established throughout the country. In the debates on the public budget the principal question was concerning the means of raising the eighteen millions required to meet the expenditures of the government. The government was in favor of meeting the deficit by an increase of the tax on malt, a stamp tax on negotiable instruments, etc; while the majority of the diet were in favor of meeting the present want by curtailing the appropriations for the army and reducing them to a more economical basis. Though Bismarck advocated the imposition of an increased indirect tax on certain articles, such as beer, coffee, tobacco, brandy, sugar and petroleum, the bills taxing brewing material and imposing a stamp duty on negotiable instruments, etc., were rejected Dec. 16, and the budget was finally agreed upon, in a shape which met the views of the majority of the diet and in opposition to those held by the government, on Dec. 16, after which the diet adjourned without taking any action on the bill providing for the adoption of a criminal code. The principal features of this bill were the provisions of more than ordinary stringency directed against the unruly element of the population, whose actions were likely to be turned to political account; the provisions imposing certain penalties for the official misconduct of members of foreign legations, for encouraging offenses against foreign governments, for abusing the privileges of the pulpit by the clergy in their war against the secular authorities, for inciting the populace to actions in violation of the public laws, for public attacks on the institution of marriage, the family or property, and for resisting public officers in the discharge of their duties. The diet meeting again on Jan. 19, 1876, this bill, with the exception of the sections making criminal any act which tended to encourage the populace to commit a violation of the public laws, or which tended to encourage the different classes of society to commit acts of depredation or violence against one another, was finally passed in a somewhat modified form, whereupon the diet was closed Feb. 10, 1876.
—Though unwilling to make public acknowledgment of the fact that there was a breach between him and the ruling majority of the diet, which threatened to become wider as the differences became more apparent between the policy of the imperial chancellor and that of the majority of the august assembly, who were, in theory at least, the representatives of the people at large, Bismarck was secretly chagrined at the defeat of his legislative measures, touching the raising of new taxes and the punishment of what he considered offenses endangering the peace and safety of society and of the government. Added to this, were the difficulties he had to contend with in the Bundesrath. The majority of this body were opposed to the proposition submitted to them, whereby the railroad system of Germany was to be consolidated and placed under the control of the imperial government. Bismarck's native instinct saw in this opposition an indirect but firm protest against the policy of building up a strong central government, and of placing the consolidated interests of the country under the control of one power, wherein all the functions of government were firmly united.
—The last session of the diet, which was the result of the elections of Jan. 16, 1874, was opened on Oct. 30, 1876. The address of the crown recommended the passage of a bill regulating the judiciary, a code of civil and criminal procedure, an act regulating proceedings in bankruptcy, and called the attention of the assembly to the struggles in the east, the differences between Russia and Turkey, and announced it as the intention of the government to maintain friendly relations with all foreign governments (especially those which were more closely united with it by historical traditions, such as Austria and Russia). and to use its effort in securing peace and good-will among those governments whose friendly relations with one another might be endangered or disturbed. Public opinion seemed to be somewhat divided as to the relative merits of the eastern question, the people, especially in South Germany, being mostly opposed to Russia, while the heads of the imperial government could not conceal their leaning toward the pretended champion of Christendom against the professors of Islam, and were willing to aid the former power, by a conference, to exact from the government of Turkey, the adoption of some measures looking to the protection of the Christians within its territory. Beyond this, the government of Germany observed a strict neutrality. The principal business before the diet was the passing of the judiciary laws. The several bills concerning this matter had been referred to a committee chosen by the diet in 1875 for the purpose of revising and reporting them back. The committee concluded its labors on July 3, 1876, and submitted its report to the diet Nov. 3. Upon the reading of the report, the Bundesrath submitted no less than eighty-six objections, the principal of which were those against the trial by jury of all offenses in the nature of abuses of the privileges of the press, and the compulsory attendance of publishers and editors, of printers and compositors, as witnesses in such cases. In spite of these objections the bills passed the first and second readings, whereupon the Bundesrath withdrew all objections except eighteen, which that body firmly insisted on, giving notice to the members of the diet, that, if the bills in question were passed despite them, the Bundesrath would refuse its approval. Fearing that these important legislative measures might be defeated by an obstinate adherence to the position taken in regard to them by either side, a compromise was agreed upon, by which trial by jury in the cases referred to was not allowed except in those states in which, as in southern Germany, that form of procedure existed as a matter of right, and by which, furthermore, the compulsory attendance of such witnesses as we have mentioned could still be resorted to; the date when these laws were to take effect was fixed for Oct. 1, 1879. The bills were finally passed after their third reading, Dec. 21, whereupon the diet was closed on the following day. This compromise had the effect of producing great dissatisfaction in the ranks of the progressist party with the action of the majority of the diet, which in the main was composed of the members of the national liberal party, and was not without its influence on the forthcoming elections for the return of members to the next diet. The election took place Jan. 10, 1877. The national liberal party lost twenty members, securing but 128, the progressists lost three, reducing their number to thirty-four, while the conservatives made considerable gains, and the centre managed to retain its previous strength. The social democrats gained five members, two of whom were from Berlin. Thus the national liberals failed to furnish the majority for the next diet; the only united majority vote lay with the functions, whose common policy, in support of the imperial government, had given them the name by which they became known as "friends of the empire"; they might command a vote of about 253, while their opponents could count upon 139 votes. Out of 2,500,000 votes cast, the vote of the socialist candidates reached 485,000, an alarming evidence of the strength of their party. Though the relative position and influence of the different parties appeared to be materially changed, when the new diet opened, Feb. 22, 1877, nothing occurred in its first session which was calculated to create serious disturbances in its business, or to pit the different parties against each other in a contest over the balance of power in the new assembly. On March 23 the diet passed the act giving to Elsass-Lothringen a legislative assembly of its own, with power to pass laws for the regulation of the internal affairs of the province, which, however, were to take effect only after obtaining the approval of the Bundesrath, and in case of disagreement, of the imperial diet. On April 26 the various appropriations of the public budget were agreed on, which estimated the resources and expenditures at 540,536,415 mark respectively. The further legislative measures which passed, were the act fixing Leipzig as the seat of the imperial court of the last resort, and an act regulating the granting and issuing of patents, and establishing a patent office. The comparative quite of this session was somewhat broken by the startling announcement of the intended resignation of Bismarck, who at last, however, yielding to the solicitations of the emperor, refrained from pressing it any further, and simply took leave of absence for an indefinite period. His resignation was tendered by the imperial chancellor on the alleged ground of failing health, but was in fact prompted by the opposition he met with in his attitude toward the eastern question, as well as to his home policy, which especially as touching all questions of public economy, had become highly distasteful to his former allies in and out of the legislative assembly of the nation.
—Passing the summer without any notable event, the fall of that year found Bismarck at Varzin, engaged in devising a system of revenue, calculated to make the empire really independent in all financial matters; he was also no stranger to the thought, in order to secure a working majority in the diet in aid of his plans, of making some advances toward his former allies, the national liberals, and, if possible, to win them over to some sort fo concerted action with himself. The several conferences which took place at Varzin, in the winter of 1877, between the chancellor and Bennigsen, though they resulted in an understanding by which certain leaders of the national liberal party were to have a seat in the cabinet, came to a termination without any definite understanding or agreement, as the chancellor was unwilling to give the proper constitutional guarantees that the indirect taxes, which were to be levied by the imperial government, would be applied in such a manner as to reduce the heavy burden of the direct tax. The only reform in the revenue system, which the government proposed during the session of the diet, which commenced Feb. 6, 1878, was to confer upon the imperial government the power of levying a stamp tax in certain cases, and of raising the tax on the tobacco. On this occasion, Bismarck made the statement in the assembly, that it was not so much a tax on tobacco as a monopoly of tobacco, which suited his policy—a statement which was not at all calculated to close the branch between him and the national liberals, who, in point of principle, were opposed to nothing so much as such a policy. The diet finally referred the chancellor's bill to a committee with which it remained without any further action being taken on it during that session. After passing on the public budget, which estimated the resources and the expenditures at 536,476,800 mark, and passing an act authorizing the imperial chancellor to act by substitution, the diet was about to adjourn, when the uncertain state of public feeling touching the future relation of the government to that body, the imperial diet, which came nearest representing the wishes of the people, was still further increased by the attempt, fortunately unsuccessful, made by Max Hoedel upon the life of the emperor, on May 11. The government readily seized on this event as a reason for adopting stringent measures against the socialists, who were all along treated by the government as the most unruly element in the country; a bill was, on May 21, submitted to the diet, directed against the socialists, and providing for the passage of some special acts, the enforcement of which was to be entrusted to the Bundesrath and the diet. The majority of the diet, however, was of the opinion, that as long as the government had not exhausted all the powers already at its command for the diet. The majority of the diet, however, was of the opinion, that as long as the government had not exhausted all the powers already at its command for the repression of all public disturbances, it would not be advisable at that late day to hurry through a legislative measure of so great importance. The bill was therefore rejected, May 24, by a large majority.
—The session of the diet from February to May, 1878, though of no special importance as far as the passage of legislative measures was concerned, indicated that the time was fast approaching, which called for a redistribution of the political power in that body. The national liberals, who had hitherto enjoyed the ascendency, and who had shown a ready disposition to act in concert with the imperial chancellor in carrying out his policy, were now, for the sake of the political principles they had expressed, compelled to change their attitude toward Bismarck, when Bismarck, with measures such as the tax on tobacco, (which, though they avowedly favored a monopoly, the chancellor warmly defended before the diet,) the proposed substitution of a system of indirect for direct taxation, and the law against the socialists, surprised the liberal majority of the diet by a line of policy, which, in more respects than one, was distasteful to that majority. The national liberals were in favor of a free trade policy, and in point of principle were arrayed against all monopolies; the traditions of their party history had made them the advocates not only of political freedom in its larger sense, but also of the personal liberties of the citizen, and they were now invited to further aid the one statesman, who hitherto had been in the full possession and control of all the political powers of the new empire, in the execution of a policy so much oppossed to the very principles which helped to make them a poltical party. They hence declined to act on the measures submitted to them, and this session of the diet, though of more than ordinary length, came to an end without witnessing the adoption of a single measure affecting the great interests of the country.
—Yet, following this came the second more successful attempt on the life of the aged emperor on June 2, by Carl Nobiling, a professed socialist. The emperor received serious though not fatal injuries, from which he slowly recovered. This new attempt to right real or supposed grievances of the masses by cutting off the head of the government threw the government and the people alike into the wildest state of excitement, amidst which Bismarck succeeded in disbanding, on June 12, the imperial diet and ordering a new election to take place on the 30th of the same month, by means of which the chancellor hoped to secure a conservative majority, in support of the government and its measures. Though the excitement preceding the election ran high and the contest carried on was most bitter, the result of the election was by no means of a very satisfactory nature, and of no decided advantage to any one of the parties who had entered the contest. The conservatives had gained no decided majority, while the party who called themselves the "friends of the empire" had lost in strength. The centre was the only faction which maintained its former quota, while the social democrats, who were in the thickest of the battle, lost but three representatives. As far as the working force of the new diet was concerned, it was represented by those parties of about equal strength, the national liberals, the conservatives and the centre. On Sept. 9 the diet met. The bill against the socialists was the only business before the assembly. It was referred to a committee on Sept. 17, and in its amended form reported back by the committee, passed on Oct. 19, by a vote of 221 against 149, the centre, the progressists and the socialists voting in the negative, while the national liberals voted in the affirmative, after an effective appeal to them by Bismarck, in which he not only denounced the dangers of socialism, but also assured his former allies that he harbored no thought of favouring or employing reactionary or any other measures which were against the true interests of the country. The act gave extensive powers to the public authorities in enforcing its provisions; it was, by its terms, directed against all societies, organizations, meetings and publications with socialistic tendencies, against any and all movements attempting to "upset" the present order of society, and endangering the public peace and safety of the country. Its enforcement was entrusted to a special committee of the Bundesrath, some of whose members, however, were taken from the judiciary; and the time during which it was to be in force was fixed at two years and a half, making it expire on March 31,1881. The law having been passed, the war upon the socialists began. The further meetings and transactions of all the different socialistic organizations, 153 in number, were prohibited throughout the country, and the further publication of forty periodicals advocating the cause of socialism was forbidden; and on Nov. 28 the functions of the civil authorities for the preservation of the public peace were suspended in Berlin and the city declared in a "state of siege," while a large number of socialists were expelled.
—Socialism in Germany, or, more strictly speaking, the party of the socialist democrats, had grown to its present proportions under the influence of the teachings of Karl Marx and Ferdinand Lasalle, and had developed into a political power throughout Germany even before the establishment of the empire under the active leadership of the latter. The movement inaugurated by Marx, resulting in the organization at London of the "International Workingmen's Association," September, 1864, was in its theoretical tendencies, more comprehensive than the one which owed its origin to the efforts of Lasalle; Marx aimed at an organization in the interests of the working classes throughout the world, while the latter confined his efforts to Germany and thus became the leader of a distinctively national movement. It assumed a definite shape in the organization at Leipzig on May 23, 1863, of the "General Workingmen's Union." Lasalle, as the moving spirit, denounced the present means of production and the accumulation and distribution of wealth as being contrary to the sound principles of public economy and as aiding capitalists in robbing the workingmen of the avails of their labor, and in monopolizing the industries of the country for the benefit of the few. As against individual enterprise encouraged and regulated by competition and private capital, the advocates of this movement favoured the consolidation of capital in the interests of labor, the formation of productive associations on the basis of a community of interests of those forming them, and, whenever required, the aid of the government in the shape of furnishing the appropriate guarantee for the raising of capital and funds for the encouragement and management of the numerous enterprises thus carried on, and insisted that the government was bound to protect the interests of the laboring classes by appropriate legislation. As a means of bringing the claims of the workingmen to the notice of the government and of enforcing them. Laselle early advocated universal suffrage, and insisted upon it as the most effective means whereby the laboring classes might make themselves felt as a political power, and of promoting and defending their cause against the combined efforts of their opponents. Lasalle entered into the cause with all the ardor which youth and a brilliant imagination could give, and with a mind well equipped and disciplined for the work he undertook. He was then a man who, though young, had won distinction as a scholar and a brilliant advocate at the bar. Being elected president of the union, he began in all earnestness his work of securing to his followers the requisite political power by thorough organization and discipline. He was at the height of his influence, though greatly harassed by the personal attacks he met with on the part of the opponents of his cause, when his labors came to a sudden end on Aug 31, 1864; he fell in a duel he had provoked. It was not long after the death of their illustrious leader that dissensions broke out in the ranks of his followers. The more radical members of his party, favouring the wide-spread organization of the internationals and their more revolutionary tendencies, finally cut loose from their former organization, and in August, 1869, at Eisenach, formed a new association which they called "The Socialist Democratic Workingmen's Party." The platform adopted by them declared in favor of a democratic form of government, equality before the law and the abolition of privileges and class distinctions, the abolition of the wages system and the establishment of productive associations on the basis of a community of interests of all concerned, political liberty as forming the very basis of the economical liberation of the working classes. The party further insisted on the direct exercise of universal suffrage, separation of church and state, compulsory education and the strictly secular management of the public schools, the abolition of all indirect taxes and the substitution of an income tax, and ,finally, the aid of the government for the encouragement of productive associations and the pledge of the public credit in support of their various enterprises. Though the two factions by which the cause of socialism was represented in Germany, the followers of Lasalle and the internationals or social democrats, were as far as the details of their work were concerned and in many things opposed to each other, it soon became apparent that the cause of socialism could not gain in the end by a division of its forces, and this finally led to attempts at again uniting the two factions. It was in Gotha in May, 1875, that a reunion of the two factions was effected. The congress of Gotha, by which name the large gathering of representatives of socialism is known, resulted in the organization of what henceforth became known as "The Socialist Workingmen's Party of Germany." Its platform was in the main the same as the one adopted by the party at Eisenach, and its organization rapidly spread throughout Germany. This is the brief outline of the origin and growth of a party which, after the passage of a law aiding the government in its warfare upon its adherents, not only taxed all the energies of the public authorities in its suppression, but also gave rise to the sad spectacle of the government turning its entire machinery against a whole body of people, who, however, mistaken in principle, formed the bone and sinew of the nation, and who were justified in their adherence to their cause by real grievances.
—Turning from this by no means glorious incident, the government's war against the socialists, in the history of the German empire, we can make more honorable mention of the congress of Berlin, which met on June 13, 1878, to settle the eastern question, and over which Prince Bismarck presided. The fact that the chairmanship was accorded to the German chancellor showed the predominant position Germany had secured among the European powers, and that each was willing to submit to the discreet influence and winning diplomacy which the imperial chancellor so well knew how to employ. The congress was in session until July 13, when the treaty was concluded, which, among other things, constituted Bulgaria an autonomic principality, though tributary to the porte, made Montenegro independent, engaged the porte to introduce legal reforms and to grant religious freedom, and which maintained the treaty of Paris (March 30, 1856) and of London (March 13, 1871) where not modified by the present treaty. The treaty of Berlin was ratified the following month, August 3, 1878.
—On Dec. 5, 1878, the emperor returned to Berlin, and again assumed the duties of his office. On Dec. 15 Bismarck sent a communication to the Bundesrath, in which he defined the revenue policy, and advocated a general system of taxation and protection to native industry. Another important measure proposed was a bill which extended the disciplinary powers of the diet, whereby even speeches delivered in the diet could be made the subject of criminal prosecution. The new session of the diet was opened Feb. 12, 1879, by the emperor in person. His address chiefly pointed out a thorough reform and change in the economical policy of the empire. The bill extending the disciplinary powers was rejected on March 7. The bill was to confer on the diet the power of punishing in a summary way those of its members whose speeches might be calculated to disturb the public peace and good order of society, or who were guilty of injuring the reputation, honest and integrity of citizens, not members of the diet, etc., by excluding the members so offending from the diet, by revoking their commissions, or by turning them over to the ordinary tribunals for further prosecution. The government thus intending to carry the war against the socialists into the halls of the legislative assembly, and to stop all discussion of the merits of their cause carried on under the cover of its privileges, the majority of the diet, having passed the highly proscriptive act against the socialists throughout the country, was not willing to aid the government any further by adopting a measure which not only called in question the dignity of the supreme legislative and representative body of the people, but which was calculated seriously to affect the independence of its members, and the right of free discussion which they might justly claim on all questions agitating the public mind, or involving the interests and general welfare of the country. The most important question before the diet now, was that concerning the raising of a revenue to meet the public expenses, estimated by the budget submitted at 540 million mark. The government intended to meet the estimates of the budget by means of a tariff, which had the advantage of being supported by the plea that it helped to protect home industries, and thus impart a new energy to the various branches of trade and industry, which were then suffering from the reaction that had set in, in consequence of wild speculations, into which a great many had plunged soon after the close of the Franco-German war, and in which fortunes were wrecked as soon as they were built. After the diet had taken a short recess, in order to give its members an opportunity to examine in detail the bill to be submitted by the government and awaiting the action of the Bundesrath, the bill was finally presented to the diet on its meeting, April 28. The diet was composed of three parties: the conservatives (German conservatives or the imperial party), with 114 votes; the liberals (national liberals and progressists), with 125 votes; the centre (including the Poles and part of the representatives from Elsass Lothringen), with 125 votes. By uniting on any measure, two of the parties constituted a majority. The progressists were as a unit opposed to the tariff bill as a means of protection, while the conservatives were without exception in favor of the bill, if for no other reason than that it was a measure fathered by the government, and distasteful to their political opponents, who were arrayed against them on all questions of public policy. The centre was also in favor of protection. A serious mistake was made by the national liberals in hesitating to make the tariff or the question of protection a party issue, and in not requiring from its members strict adherence to its traditional policy, and thus losing all concerted action in the struggle on hand. Strict discipline being neither required nor enforced in the ranks of this party, its difficulties were increased by the fact that it soon broke up into three factions: the positive and unqualified free traders, the protectionists, and those who were in favor of a tariff for revenue only. The national liberals therefore exercised no appreciable influence in deciding the question at issue, as the opposition coming from their ranks was neither feared, nor the divided support they could give much sought for. Bismarck, in thus effecting a coalition of all the conservative elements in the diet, and witnessing the utter helplessness and divided condition of those who had been his former allies, but who of late had become dissatisfied with his policy, and who were not united in either resisting or supporting the measures he proposed in order to alleviate the financial and economical condition of the empire, was not long in carrying his measure through the diet. The entire tariff bill, after all its features had been discussed, was finally passed on July 12, by a vote of 217 to 117, a large number of national liberals, the progressists and the social democrats voting in the negative. The act provided, aside from an outspoken protective tariff in favor of certain industries, for a duty on tobacco, iron, corn, lumber, petroleum, salt, coffee, tea and other grocers' commodities, a species of legislation which fell heavily on the large class of consumers who were to be indirectly benefited by the imposition of a protective tariff, which for the first time was put on trial in the new empire. The act further provided that the duties on commodities imported from such countries as by their tariff laws discriminated against commodities exported by Germany, and in favor of other states, might be increased double the fiscal rate; it also authorized an embargo in certain cases. Before the passage of this law, the attention of the diet was occupied by a bill providing for a local government of Elsass-Lothringen (Alsace-Lorraine) independent of the direct control and interference of the imperial government. The bill passed without much opposition on July 4. It provides for a governor (stadthalter), to be appointed by the emperor, and whose seat was to be at Strasburg; for a ministry, at the head of which was a secretary of state; for a council of state presided over by the governor; and a legislative assembly, composed of fifty-eight members. The bill as passed became a law and went into effect on and after Oct. 1, 1879. Its business being finished with the passage of the tariff act, the diet adjourned on July 12.
—Bismarck, in effecting, for the purpose of securing a majority for his financial measures, a coalition between the conservatives, the party most loyal to the government, and the centre, the party which in the struggle between church and state had espoused the cause of the clergy in their war against the government, again showed his consummate skill in the management of opposing political factions. Yet aside from the fact that the liberals had now become thoroughly estranged from him, for the reason that by his adroit management he had pushed them to the wall and thus made their opposition harmless for the time, it was certainly no comfort to him to find among his supporters in and out of parliament those who were—the Culturkampf raging—his bitterest enemies; to see, on a moment's reflection, that his new allies could not and would not stand by him, unless he was willing to change or at least modify his position toward the papacy and the church. He had, for the time at least, lost the support of the liberal element; and subsequent events proved that he could not undo the fatal consequences flowing from this new alliance, and was bound to make concessions and sacrifice of principle, in order to retain his hold on the legislative majority represented by this coalition.
—The excitement produced by the heated discussions over the new tariff law having subsided, the following year was one of comparative quiet in the public and political life of the nation. The close of the year 1879 was marked by the introduction of the new judiciary system, provided for by the imperial diet, throughout the several states, and the opening and first session of the imperial court of last resort at Leipzig, under the presidency of Edward Simson, whose name was already honorably connected with all the leading events of the empire. The foreign policy of the imperial government, of maintaining the independence and dignity of the empire, remained unchanged. The only efforts Bismarck made to aid in the settlement of the eastern difficulties, was to prevail upon the Turkish government to consent, in the interest of public peace, to the incorporation of Dulcigno with Montenegro. In all else the imperial chancellor observed a strict neutrality, his only care being to impress the European powers with the fact that while he was ready to meet any attempt to disturb the peace and safety of the empire, it was not the policy of the German government to interfere with the neighboring governments beyond the maintenance of public peace, or to add to the power and dignity of the empire by territorial annexations or foreign conquests.
—On Feb. 12, 1880, the diet again convened. In the choice of its president, Count Arnim Boitzenburg, the coalition between the conservatives and the centre or ultramontanes made itself still felt. The relative strength of the different factions remained unchanged: the conservatives had 58 members, the imperial party 48, the national liberals 83, the progressists 26, the centre 101, the socialists 10, and the rest made up a small faction, who occupied an independent position. A bill providing, among other things, for an increase in the numerical strength of the army in times of peace, which was submitted by the government ostensibly on the ground that the attitude of France toward Russia gave rise to a reasonable suspicion that an alliance was forming, was, after some discussion, passed on April 16, by a vote of 186 (of the conservatives and national liberals) against 128 (of the ultramontanes, progressists, Poles, liberals and Alsacians). An important feature in the proceedings of the diet was the bill providing for an extension of the time for and during which the law against the socialists must be in force, which formed the subject of debate on April 18 and 19, on which occasion the socialists, in concert with the progressists, denounced the evil features of the law, and opposed the present bill, while the national liberals submitted to it and the conservatives defended it, as a necessary measure for the preservation of the public peace. The bill was finally passed, extending the operation of the law to September, 1884. The alliance between the conservatives and ultramontanes, of which, beyond the election of the president of the diet, no further evidence was given during the present session, except in the passage of the law on usury and of the act regulating the different trades, seemed to be but temporary after all, and did not prevent the centre or ultramontanes from opposing two measures submitted by the government, one of which was for the protection and in the interest of the German trade and commerce with the South Sea islands, the other providing for the incorporation of Altona and St. Pauli, a suburb of the city of Hamburg, with the dominion subject to the operation of the German tariff law. The former measure was defeated, while the latter was, after some discussion, referred to the Bundesrath for further action which was to remove the objection to the measure, that Hamburg could not be deprived, for no other reason than to further the tariff system of the empire, of one of its most important districts without and against its express consent. Bismarck, considering these two measures as necessary and in the interest of the government, was greatly displeased with the opposition he met with from the centre; and in view of the fact that this faction still held the balance of power, he counseled the liberal elements to forget their differences, not only among themselves, but also with the government, in order to prevent any further alliance between the conservative and ultramontane elements, and in order to unite upon some policy in support of the unity and integrity of the empire as against its most bitter and persistent opponents. On May 11 the diet adjourned, these closing events giving some hope of future co-operation between the more moderate faction of the liberal party and the conservative elements of the government.
—The events and incidents connected with the proceedings during the session of the diet which had just come to an end, had the effect of bringing about the final separation of the more uncompromising or left wing of the national liberal party from the more conservative element. The split between the two factions had been noticeable for some time, but the traditions of the party had, until now, been stronger than the individual differences of its leaders, and this had hitherto prevented an open breach. But the hopes, in which the leaders of the more radical faction indulged, of forming the nucleus of a new liberal party more powerful and more influential than the old, were not realized. The platform which they published on Aug. 28 declared their determined opposition to all reactionary measures, and also that the economical welfare of the people was closely connected with their political freedom, and depended upon the principle of free competition in the various departments of trade and industry. It was this last proposition which did not meet with favor from the conservative elements, and which finally gave rise to the disunion.
—The progressists, on the other hand, were not willing to give up their independent position and simply fall into the ranks of the seceders; they rather claimed that those who cut loose from their former party organization should come over to them. The liberals not being willing to do this, there was no prospect of establishing some common ground on which the liberal elements in the different factions might meet, and, forgetting minor and past differences, carry out a policy which was in favor of both the economical and political liberation of the people.
—The third and last session of the present diet commenced on Feb. 15, 1881. The government announced as the main features of its financial policy the development of the resources of the empire in such a manner as to make it generally independent of the aid furnished by its constituent governments, and thus enable the latter to lighten the burden of their own taxation, which still fell heavily upon their respective peoples.
—Among the bills submitted was the accident insurance bill, one providing for the re-establishment of the guilds, another against drunkenness, and finally the bill providing for an amendment of the constitution, whereby the public budget was to be fixed every two years, and on which, though introduced, no action was taken in the previous session. Since the relative strength and composition of the different parties, owing to the split in the liberal ranks, had materially changed, it was with some difficulty that the diet succeeded in choosing its presiding officers. The German imperialists and the national liberals resisted the re-election by acclamation of the former presiding officers, Count Arnim von Frankenstein and Ackermann, which the centre and progressists had proposed. After Arnim had been elected by 147 votes, but declined, the choice finally fell upon von Gossler, one of the secretaries of the Prussian ministry, an ultra-conservative, though without political record; von Frankenstein and Ackermann were re-elected, and accepted. The diet being thus constituted, the public budget was the first thing taken up. It estimated the expenses at 588,077,972 mark, and was, after some slight modifications, passed on the third reading, March 24. The bill providing for biennial sessions and a quadrennial constitution of the imperial parliament came to its first reading on March 8. The government advocated its passage on the ground of relieving the overburdened legislature, while the liberals opposed it for the reason that it was aimed at the dignity, efficiency and privileges of the people's assembly. The only support it received in the diet came from the conservative side; the centre was keeping back, awaiting the close of the Culturkampf, which was promised by certain advances that Bismarck, as the representative of the Prussian government, had made in favor of the clergy toward a final settlement of the struggle between church and state. The bill was referred to a committee, which, after a brief consultation, reported unanimously against its passage. It was finally rejected on its third reading, May 16, by an overwhelming majority. The same fate was shared by the bill submitted by the government in favor of an increase in the brewers' tax and in the stamp duties, and of a tax to be levied on such as were liable to military duty, but were not in actual service. Another defeat Bismarck suffered was the rejection of his measure, which proposed to promote the economical council, which aided and advised the Prussian government in its financial and economical measures, to the dignity of a council of the empire. The strong objection urged against it was, that, as heretofore constituted, this board was not entirely free from the influence of the government, and that it furnished no guarantee that its future constitution would be materially changed, and its usefulness much improved by simply being attached to the imperial government. An important measure before the diet was the accident insurance bill, which had passed the Bundesrath, and was submitted the latter part of March. It provided for the establishment of an imperial board of underwriters, who were bound to issue policies to all workmen, and who were to indemnify laborers who became disabled by accident, out of an insurance fund partly made up of premiums to be paid by those insured, and partly by government contributions. This was the first step taken by the government toward the fulfillment of the promise to alleviate the suffering working people, made at the time the bill against the socialists was submitted to the diet. The bill passed its first reading without much trouble. Its main feature, the insurance of workingmen against accidents, was approved by all, with the single exception of the progressists, while the clause providing for a government contribution was not allowed to pass without being criticized as a sort of monopoly It was referred to a committee which took about two weeks in considering the bill. In the committee the members representing the conservative party united with those representing the centre, thus securing a majority, against which the liberal members were powerless, and agreed on the following report: that all private insurance companies be prohibited from issuing the same kind of policies as provided for by the bill, and that, instead of one imperial board of underwriters, there was to be a board in each of the states composing the empire. The bill, as reported back, reached its second reading May 31. The progressists opposed the bill, while the socialists desired to have its provisions extended to the farm laborer. The national liberals were in favor of a board of underwriters for the whole empire, and of allowing private companies to issue similar policies. But the conservatives, in connection with the centre and the imperialists, defeated the proposition of the liberals. Bismarck insisted on the passage of the clause requiring the government to contribute toward the payment of the premiums. Though the bill seemed to have, in view of these different opinions, little chance of being adopted, it passed its final reading by a vote of 140 against 108, substantially in the shape it was reported by the committee. The bill coming back to the Bundesrath for its approval, it was, on June 25, rejected by this body on the ground that it was unjust to tax the disabled laborer without earnings by the compulsory payment of premiums, and that the establishment of insurance boards in the different states was, in its opinion, an impracticable measure. And thus the first attempt of the government failed toward enacting a law, which, in its opinion, was a most salutary measure of social reform. Having parted ways with the national liberals, and not being sure in all instances of the centre or ultramontanes, who were not willing to support the government without some assurance of the government's changing its position toward the Catholic clergy, Bismarck seemed to have lost his hold upon the factions which, united, might give him a legislative majority in the diet in support of his measures. Among the bills which were passed before the close of the present session, was the bill regulating the different trades after the pattern of the guilds, defining the relation of master and servant, and regulating the matter of apprenticeship, the law against drunkenness, that against the adulteration of wines, and the act recognizing the German as the official language in the legislative assemblies of Elsass-Lothringen. The present session suddenly closed on the evening of June 15, 1881, and with it the fourth legislative term of the imperial diet came to an end. No special reference was made in the diet to the foreign policy of the government, since all parties trusted to the chancellor's singular ability and success in maintaining the public peace, and the undisturbed relations between the empire and the leading European powers. Yet the assassination of the Russian czar, Alexander II., on March 31, 1881, gave rise to expressions of sympathy on account of the sad fate of the aged monarch, and the diet passed, on April 4, a resolution, in which the German chancellor was requested to use his efforts in effecting an agreement with the leading governments of Europe, whereby the killing of any of the rulers entering into this compact, or the attempt to commit this offense, was to be made punishable, and the penalty inflicted, not only on such offenders as were citizens or subjects, but also on strangers who happened to be found within their respective dominions; and whereby, further, the offender, if found elsewhere, might, on proper request, be surrendered to the government against whose ruler the crime was committed.
—Pending the discussion of the proposition submitted by the Prussian government to the Bundesrath, May 18, that the revenue office of Hamburg, with its different branches, should be abolished, and, as claimed by those opposing this measure, Hamburg thus be coerced into joining the tariff union, the whole agitation of this matter came to a sudden close by the publication, on May 27, of the treaty between the imperial government and that city, whereby Hamburg was to enter the union Jan. 1, 1889.
—The principal event engrossing the attention of the nation, was the forthcoming election of representatives to the imperial diet entering upon its fifth legislative term. The imperial government exerted its influence to the utmost, in order to secure the election of representatives who might furnish the required majority for the passage of the various measures which Bismarck was anxious to put through the diet. The government press attacked the liberals most violently, and branded those who were not willing to vote in favor of Bismarck's candidates and to extend an unqualified support to the imperial government as enemies of the empire and the crown. Though the government employed all manner of means to carry the election, it failed to submit a distinct programme as to its future financial and economical policy; the tobacco monopoly was the only issue, which was used by the friends of the government in order to secure the vote of the people, on the plea that the revenue resulting from it would be sufficient to furnish the means of securing to the working classes a proper indemnity against accidents disabling them for work, and the means for the support of the aged paupers—the "patrimonium of the disinherited," as it was called. The installation of a bishop at Trier, who was exempted from taking the required government oath, the renewed negotiations with the see of Rome, concerning a peaceable settlement of the issues arising out of the Culturkampf, were the means employed to win over the ultramontane vote. The principal efforts of the government were directed toward securing the vote of the centre, though this party declared its unwillingness to support the measures and policy of the government while the obnoxious May laws, passed by the Prussian diet against the clergy, were still in force, and while the imperial chancellor threatened the diet with measures such as the tobacco monopoly and his socialist schemes, so distasteful to the party. The elections were to take place on Oct. 27. This gave the liberals time to recover from their apathy, and renewed courage to enter upon an active campaign. The socialist schemes of the chancellor, the news concerning a settlement of the clerical difficulties on the basis of concessions to the pope, which were at war with the interests of the state, the daring attitude of the orthodox Lutherans, and, finally, the agitation against and persecution of the Jews, gave rise to a reasonable apprehension among the middle classes, especially in Prussia, that a reactionary movement in politics not only, but also in matters concerning religion and the church, was fast setting in. All this had the effect of stirring up the body of the people, and setting the tide of the election against the friends of the government. Owing to the efforts made by all parties, the election on Oct. 27 left about a hundred contests undecided, and which as to all such cases made special elections necessary, which took place at different points during the month of November. The final result was as follows: the ultramontanes secured 98 members, the conservatives 57, the progressists 56, the national liberals 47, the radical wing of the liberals or the seceders 45, the imperialists 25, the independent liberals 6, the South German democrats or people's party 8, the social democrats 13, the Poles 16, the Alsacians 15, and the Danes 2. The greatest losses were suffered by the national liberals and the German imperialists, the latter losing all its leaders. The greatest gains were made by the progressists (twenty-eight members) and the radical wing of the liberals or the seceders (twenty-three members). At the first election the socialists had carried none of their candidates; those afterward elected owed their success to the fact that there was a large number among the ranks of the other parties, who, being in many ways disappointed at the result of the first election, either abstained from voting at the special elections, or, as was the case in Breslau with the conservatives, voted for the socialist candidates in order to counteract the strong run made by the progressists. The new diet, in consequence, was composed politically of three large divisions: the centre, together with the Guelfs, Poles and Alsacians, having 138 members; the conservatives and German imperialists with 82, and the liberals with 154 members. Among those who were most surprised and disappointed at the result of the elections was Prince Bismarck, who had reckoned on an increase in the list of conservative members, and now, in view of the present composition of the imperial diet, lost all faith in being able to secure a fair working majority in support of his policy.
—The diet convened on Nov. 17, 1881. In the absence of the emperor, who, on account of his health, was unable to attend in person, Bismarck read the imperial message. After referring to the growing resources of the realm, the favorable results coming from the economical policy of the government as far as sanctioned by the diet, the treaty with the city of Hamburg, and another bill extending the terms for fixing the public budget, and also extending the legislative terms of the national assembly, which the government was about to submit, the message dwelt at some length on the reforms proposed by the crown for the relief of the working classes, and the social evils from which they were suffering. The measures pointed out were the bill providing for accident insurance and the uniform establishment of sick relief funds. As the best means of lightening the burdens of taxation, and yet increasing the revenue of the government, the message advocated the tobacco monopoly. In conclusion, reference was made to the efforts of the government for the maintenance of the peace and dignity of the empire, and for perpetuating its blessings in the distant future. The election of the presiding officers on Nov. 19 furnished somewhat of a test of the relative strength and probable coalition of the different parties. The centre was willing to unite with the conservatives in the choice of a president to be named by the latter, if the first vice-presidency was conceded to them. All the conservative elements uniting, they elected, with the aid of the centre, their candidate, von Levetzow, president, by a vote of 193, against the candidate of the liberals, Stauffenberg, who received 146 votes. Thus the coalition between the conservative and ultramontane elements again promised to become a working power during the present session of the national assembly. On Nov. 24 the public budget was taken up on its first reading. It estimated the expenses and the receipts at 607,234,771 mark, respectively. It was not until the second reading of the budget that the imperial chancellor, representing the government, had an opportunity of defining his position toward the leading parties in the diet, and the support he expected from them in aid of his policy. Richter, the spokesman of the progressists, had already, on the first reading of the budget, criticized the financial and economical policy of the crown, reminding those who represented the government that those who in a broad sense were termed the liberals, also had a definite and positive programme on all social and economical questions of the day, and that it was they who had fathered the legislative and other measures which proved to be of real benefit to the working classes, and that those representing the government were not alone in their sympathy for the laboring population, and their willingness to do something in order to alleviate their condition. Pending the debate on the treaty with the city of Hamburg, the incorporation of which into the tariff union taxed the imperial government with an outlay of forty million mark, the chancellor defended his policy which resulted in the treaty, and finally gave vent to his views on the status of the leading political parties. He deprecated the breaking up of the nation into numerous political factions, none of which, while threatening the integrity of the nation by their petty dissensions, could command the majority needful to carry out a policy in the interest of a united country and its government. He denied the charge of having been the first to bring about the breach between the liberal element and the government, claiming that it was the leaders of that party who had proposed that breach. On Nov. 29, the public budget being on its second reading, Bismarck charged the progressists with being a deadlock to all salutary legislation, and with harboring republican ideas and tendencies; he deplored the fact that the more moderate parties, the national liberals and the free conservatives, had lost in strength, and finally, on Nov 30, declared, that if the alternative were given him to choose between either uniting with the centre or the progressists, he would at all times prefer, on grounds of public policy and following the instincts of true statesmanship, an alliance with the centre. Yet, in spite of this high opinion expressed by the chancellor, the centre was not a party to be trusted. No sooner was this declaration made, than the centre united with the liberals in defeating, by a vote of 160 against 131, one of his pet measures, the appropriation of 85,000 mark required for the establishment of a German board of finance and public economy. Complaints, which were made on the liberal side of the house about the manner in which the last elections had been managed by the Prussian government, gave rise to a heated debate Dec. 15, during the course of which von Puttkammer, the Prussian minister, took occasion to remark, that the public officials who supported the government at the late elections were entitled not only to the thanks of the government, but also of their imperial lord and master. This put the liberals on their feet, and they strongly protested against abusing the powers of the government in order to influence the vote of the electors: and this protest could not fail to widen the breach between the liberals and those representing the imperial government. As if to prove this fact and give further cause of distrust, the emperor published his famous rescript, addressed to the Prussian ministry, in which he said: "On such of the public officers as are entrusted with the execution of the different acts of my government, and hence are liable to be discharged under the law regulating public discipline, devolves the duty under their official oath to represent the policy of my government even at the elections. I shall thankfully acknowledge the faithful discharge of this duty, and see to it that all public officers, in view of their oaths and their allegiance, will abstain at the elections as well from all opposition against my government." The further proceedings of the diet were, after a short intermission during the holidays, again taken up on Jan. 9, 1882. The accident insurance bill again came up on Jan. 17 and 18, in the shape agreed upon by the liberal party; it was referred to a committee who were to report in the matter the next session. On Jan. 10, Windhorst, the leader of the centre or ultramontanes, moved the abolition of the act passed by the imperial diet May 4, 1874, which punished the refractory clergymen by interning or banishing them from the realm. After a debate which lasted two days, the motion was, on Jan. 4, carried by a large majority. Only about one-half of the conservatives and liberals voted against it; this was due to the fact that the conservatives thought that in view of their alliance with the centre they were in a certain sense obliged to yield to them in this instance, and that the liberals were tired of being charged with an undue zeal to prolong the ecclesiastical conflict, after the government had ceased to enforce the war against the clergy. The bill relating to the incorporation of Hamburg into the tariff union and providing for an appropriation of forty million mark was also passed on Jan. 21, by a vote of 171 against 102, the progressists and a part of the radical liberals or seceders voting against it. After the public budget had passed the third reading, the diet adjourned, Jan. 28, 1882.
—In the special session called, and which convened on June 6, though the respective committees had been in session since June 1, the tobacco monopoly bill was, on June 14, one day before the adjournment of the session to Nov. 30, badly defeated by a vote of 276 to 43. The bills on accident insurance and on the establishment of sick relief funds, on which the committee was to report finally, were not acted upon, but laid over for the next session. In the course of the debate on the monopoly bill, Prince Bismarck declared, with much emphasis, that the imperial government would still adhere, even as against a growing majority in the national assembly opposing it, to a policy of protection, as the best means of both promoting native industry and developing the independent resources of the empire.
—The German empire is now entering upon its second decade. Although a federation of sovereign states, although it recognizes the principle of popular representation in the law-making power of the government, it has proven, in the hands of a man like Bismarck, who has directed its affairs and shaped its policy, a monarchy in the strictest sense; not a monarchy bordering on absolutism, like the monarchies of the east of Europe, but a monarchy nevertheless in the sense that the government is practically centered in one person, who, under the forms of law, is constantly at work asserting his own will as the ruling power in the state, and whose influence is felt, not only in the imperial cabinet, but also in the halls of legislation, and in all the practical workings of the government. If we keep this fact in mind, we may understand to some extent why it is that we fail to see in the empire any traces of a real parliamentary government, such as we find in England; such as is deemed by some to be the only true government which, like the modern governments of Europe, is based upon both the traditions of history and the demand for greater popular freedom. If we keep this fact in mind, we may understand why it is that the legislative work of the nation, save those great measures which aimed at consolidating the people, had, especially after 1878, done so little to advance the interests of the people, to improve their economical condition, and to satisfy their rational desire for political and religious freedom by embodying its leading principles in some organic law, and thus putting it on a securer basis than mere tradition or royal self-restraint could give. Some think that this backwardness in the parliamentary life of the nation is principally due to the process of disintegration noticeable since 1879 in the leading political parties of the empire; that this disintegration hindered the building up of a real working majority in any one party which, while forgetting minor differences, would unite in carrying such public measures as were demanded, not only by the requirements of a consolidated government and the traditions of the crown, but also by the interests of the people, and of a great common-wealth. The old liberal-conservative majority, whose strength seems to have exhausted itself in supporting the national government against the opposition of all those factions which were opposed to the establishment of the empire under Prussian headship, was broken up in 1879, when the imperial government sought the aid of the clerical centre party for the support of those economic measures which were opposed to the principles of that majority. Yet the attempts at securing a majority formed by the ultramontane and conservative elements proved fruitless. In the meantime the breach in the ranks of the national liberal party widened. The progressists, before and since the establishment of the empire, until 1877, had repeatedly withdrawn their support and consequently weakened the liberal ranks, while the centre and the old conservatives could not but gain by this defection. Since 1879, owing to the peculiar policy that the imperial government had adopted, and dissatisfied with those of their political allies who were unwilling to protest by active means against this policy, a large number of such as until then had been faithful to their party, likewise withdrew from the liberal conservative ranks, and went over to the more independent and vigorous party of the progressists. This was done in the hope that the new coalition might permanently unite both wings of the old liberal party—the national liberals and the progressists—and thus form the basis of a new and powerful party in the interests of political liberalism and reform. But this great object, which, if carried out, would in all probability add greatly to the possibility of parliamentary government in the empire, is a thing that has not been accomplished as yet, although many forces are at work to establish some common ground on which all the liberal elements of the nation might meet, and effect a strong political organization which would carry its influence directly into all the departments of government. Ever since 1879, when Bismarck began to turn against his old allies, and, forgetting that the men had not changed against whose interests he had waged a merciless war while fighting the Catholic clergy, attempted to secure the alliance of those very men—the German people have been, as a leading statesman, von Bennigsen, has well expressed it, in a state of political chaos; a state in which a man of such extraordinary power and influence as the imperial chancellor (who even to this day is, we may say, at the head of European politics, and still occupies a commanding position) has not succeeded in anything he has since undertaken, while politically he has suffered defeats such as only a statesman of his power and influence could hope to outlive. All these facts, and the fact that the German people have not, for centuries, been an active political nation, and thus are as yet devoid of that true political instinct which seizes upon every opportunity to transform the majority into a political power in the state, go far to explain why parliamentary government (which is the only government, in a monarchical state, that gives the people some share in the administration and conduct of the affairs which concern them as a nation; which makes them in fact citizens and not simply subjects of the crown,) has not as yet become established in the empire; and it explains, too, why the Germans, as has been said, are not, politically, a contented people. But a cause more potent than all the facts mentioned is certainly to be found in this, that the traditional theory, still prevalent in Europe, according to which it is the monarch who governs, and not the people, is maintained by a statesman to whom the Germans, as they themselves are willing to admit, owe much, and who, in the position he occupies, not only wields immense power, but has the personal influence and indomitable will necessary for the accomplishment of great ends. Added to his way of looking at the functions of the monarch is the doctrine announced by him, and which seems so much opposed to all constitutional government, that he, as chancellor of the empire and minister to the crown, is responsible to no one except to his lord paramount, the emperor. Doctrines and theories, such as these, are far from being mere abstractions in the mind of a man like Prince Bismarck; they are a real power in the state, and make themselves keenly felt in the settlement of all questions touching the relation of the people to the government. Principles such as these not unfrequently make the rulers forget, that whatever great achievements have been effected in the life of a nation, and whatever glories have been won by the governments of this world, such achievements were not effected and such glories were not won, except by the concerted action of a superior chief, and of a valiant people willing to follow him in the execution of great enterprises. Yet, that the empire is the best fabric that could be devised for the government of a people, like the Germans, whose individualism is so strong, and whose neighbors are their natural rivals, if not their natural enemies, will be denied only by those who forget what a powerful consolidating influence the idea of the old empire, up to the establishment of the new, exercised over the people; or by those who strongly dislike to hear that the Germans are once more, politically speaking, a united people.
—BIBLIOGRAPHY. Neumann, Das Deutsche Reich in geographischer, statistischer und topographischer Beziehung; Brachelli, Statistische Skizze des Deutschen Reichs; Statistik des Deutschen Reichs, herausgegeben vom Kaiscrlishen Statistischen Amt; Statistische Monatschefte; Almanach de Gotha; Martin, Statesman's Yearbook; Freeman, Historical Geography of Europe; von Rönne, Das Staatsrecht des Deutschen Reichs; Held, Die Verfassung des Deutschen Reichs, etc; Hirth, Annalen des Deukchen Reichs; E. Bezold, Materialien zur Deutschen Reichsverfassung; von Rönne, Die Deutsche Reichsverfassung (text with commentary); von Mohl, Das Deutsche Reichsstaatsrecht; von Holtzendorff, Jahrbuch fur Gesetzgebung, Verwaltung und Rechtspflege des Deutschen Reichs; Klüpfel, Geschichte der Deutschen Einheitsbestrebungen bis zu ihrer Erfullung; Linel, Das Deutsche Kaiserreich; von Trentschke, Zebn Jahre deutscher Kämpfe; Weber, Der Deutsche Zollverein, scine Enstehung und Geschichte; von Giesebrecht, Geschichte der Deutschen Kaiserzeit; Bryce, The Holy Roman Empire; Baring Gould, Germany, Past and Present; Cohen, Etudes sur l'Empire d'Allemagne; Legoyt, Forces matérielles de l'Empire d'Allemagne; Nicolson, A Sketch of the German Constitution; Mendelssohn, Das german. Europa; Winderlich, Deutschland; Kutzen, Das deutsche Land; Daniel, Deutschland nach seinen physischen und politischen Verhältnissen.
MAX. EBERHARDT, Chicago, Ill.
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