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St. Petersburg, Rochow, who was a man of much higher character and intelligence than Nagler, gained a larger view of men and of the contending currents of thought. His letters, written between 1830 and 1851, are full of facts concerning the growth of Radicalism on Swiss and German soil, the policy of Prussia towards its Catholic subjects, and the position of German Catholics towards their respective rulers. Rochow felt the necessity of political unity between Austria and Prussia in the interest of ex, ternal and internal peace. On the other hand, Nagler, who wished to be in the front rank of the forwarders of modern culture, hated all governments other than his own, and all men other than himself; and dreamed only of undermining Austria. With this end in view, he kept in his employ a number of adventurers, paid to organize a system of agitation upon Austrian soil. It is interesting to compare the utilitarian methods of the Prussian politician of fifty years ago with those of the great Minister of to-day. The mighty Bismarck controls not Prussia alone, or the Empire, but Europe by means as far below those of an ideal civilization as were the expedients of the petty police-detective diplomat, Nagler.
It is a sad fact, but one which excited Friedrich Christoph Dahlmann's pride, that “the basis of the Prussian State rests on Martin Luther." The existing German Empire may be said to rest on the same uncertain foundation. Whatever their external show of force, both Prussia and the Empire are radically, necessarily, weak. The Lutheran principle is destructive, not constructive. Could we wholly exclude from our view the one saving factor, the Catholic Church, it would not be difficult to predict the Empire's future, the course of its politics, and the inevitable conditions of its civilization. Dahlmann's own experience presents a telling instance of the defectiveness of the Lutheran idea, and of its total inadequacy to satisfy the intellect of the reflecting man. Though brought up as a rationalist Protestant, the thoughtful study of history led him to recognize Christianity as the greatest gift of God to men.
When he examined the tenets of Protestantism, its practical life, its preaching and worship, he found it wanting in every requirement of man's intellect and heart. He saw clearly enough that a church could not be built on the bare idea of Christian morality. In time the divine Christ, as he knew Him from the distorted Lutheran representation, ceased to satisfy his soul's aspirations. He sought relief in the company of the carpenter's son. The need of religion he felt deeply. Like Niebuhr, he could not find it in the sects; and, like him, he came to the conclusion that " we require a new religion." Dahlmann's ideas, opinions, work and failures serve to extend our view of a half century of German politics and civilization. An active student throughout
his life; widely informed by his experience as a pupil or a professor at Copenhagen, Halle, Kiel, and Göttingen; by his residence at Hanover, Leipzic, Jena, and Bonn; and by his studies on the historical development of European politics; an author of considerable works on European history, and a prominent actor in the “German Constitution” movement of 1848–49, he looked at politics from a higher plane than a Nagler or a Bunsen. He was a consistent antagonist of that monster tyrant, the modern State ; opposed the systems of education which would deprive the parent of his natural rights, limit the freedom of education and enslave the soul; and protested against the State Church, and the current liberalism which, liberal only in words, oppressed the right, the individual, and society. How different would have been the story of the present Prussian Empire if its leaders had but learned the force of the truth that Dahlmann stated so well: “God's throne stands high above that of the king !" Not the least interesting portion of Janssen's essay on Dahlmann is that which treats of the historian-politician's relations with Frederick William IV., and of their dissenting views upon the question of a new German Empire. The idea of such an empire had long been working in the minds of German theorists, patriots, bigots and politicians. To Dahlmann the time seemed ripe for the realization of the idea. He approached the king, and by written and spoken word pressed him to allow himself to be named emperor. The argument presented to him was, that Prussia, the one purely German State with a definitely Protestant mission, should be the leader of a new German Empire, counteracting Austria, and exercising due power in the world. But the king, who knew something of German history, and had a strong sense of patriotism and of justice, as well as a keen appreciation of the dangers that must threaten a German Emperor who was not Emperor of Germany, declined to enter into the scheme. In the light of later political events Frederick William's moderate and sagacious views are doubly instructive. The title which seemed to him so vain his successor was pleased to accept, in the face of German tradition, if not of hereditary right. The great Minister's conception of the German Empire was less exacting, less logical, possibly less statesmanlike, than that of Frederick William, who valued words only as they rightly expressed real things.
The actual effects of Bismarck's policy on Prussia, the Empire and the rest of Europe, as well as the probable consequences of that policy, are ably discussed in Janssen's review of Gervinus's “Posthumous writings," which, on their publication in 1872, made such a stir in Germany. The author of the “History of the Nineteenth Century” was for more than thirty years an active maker
of public opinion on questions of German politics, through the daily press, the pamphlet, the more labored history, and in the professor's pulpit. In early life he would have been a poet if he could; in his new calling he showed that he was not wanting in imagination or power of fervid expression. His patriotism was always at white heat. The aim of all his work was to make Germans more German, and to raise their ideals up to his own. Like his friend Dahlmann, he had the courage of his opinions, and occasionally suffered for them. Though never a practical politician, he was long looked up to by conservatives as a leader and adviser, and there was no bolder or more honored champion of Prussia or of Protestantism. The Prussian, the Protestant, the patriot, who, in the light of the actual present, reads Gervinus's judgment on the development of events between 1866 and 1871, will be tempted to acknowledge that time has proved the keenness of his observation and his correct foresight-and, perchance, to doubt whether Frederick William IV. was not a wiser statesman and a truer lover of his country than the mighty Bismarck. The war with Austria a war of brothers”.
—was certainly not in the interest of German unity; on the contrary, it gave the death-blow to the Imperial idea, and definitely divided German from German. The so-called unification under the pseudo-empire meant in fact that free States had been deprived of their independence, and that the principle of federation, which formed the basis of the polity of the German State, had been overturned. Forgetful of its own history, Germany, moved by a mean spirit of imitation, had been a mere thoughtless follower in the footsteps of Italy. The fatal consequences of this policy moved Gervinus to grief and indignation. He saw a people, naturally intellectual, pressed out of the way of civilization, driven back into that of barbarism, and brutally made to serve the low interests of might and force. “A nation of civilizers had been transformed into a nation of soldiers; poets and thinkers into bullies and braggarts; idealism into greed of gain and the pursuit of enjoyments wholly material.” To effect this retrogressive, this fatal policy, Bismarck had been compelled to ally himself with Radicalism, and thus had dealt another blow at civilization. The Democracy had been used as a mere temporary, serviceable instrument; but, using it, the government had put its seal upon it, confirmed its power for evil, and hastened the decomposition of the fermenting elements of society. It is more than fifteen years since Gervinus questioned whether the government would be able at will to undo its baneful work and bring health out of disease. Looking back at the events of fifteen years, and examining the immediate political conditions, we can see that time has not freed the State from its complication with the Revolution. Bloody Democracy has been supplanted by bloody Anarchy, and the same statute-books that legalize socialism are crowded with laws for the suppression of the Socialist and his teachings. Have Gervinus's doubts been answered, or may we further question?
The world lies down at night fearing war, and rises still fearing. What else can the world expect? says the spirit of Gervinus. There stands Prussia, a permanent military power, frightful in her pre-eminence, surpassing the most extravagant of Napoleon's giant conceptions when he was master of the Continent. She is an ever-present hindrance to peace. Her's the reproach that Europe is one vast military camp, and that every European state was compelled by the war of 1866 to increase its army, transform its armaments, and burden itself with war expenditures. And her's, too, the reproach that the honest aspirations of mankind for liberty and peace have been smothered by this universal “ Militarism." Will it be possible to revive these noble aspirations in that “new variety, or rather new kind of people and State," which military discipline is bound to develop ?
Certainly, this indictment of “the one purely Protestant State with a purely Protestant mission," of the State “whose basis rests on Martin Luther,” is still worthy the notice of thinkers, be they Protestant or not. Added years have not weakened its force. The abuses it decries have increased, not decreased; the dangers it foresees are not less pressing. That empire which promised peace to gain its end, now looks to war as its appointed mission; and a Von Moltke tells the representatives of the people that victory imposed upon the nation the duty of living fifty years in a condition of constant readiness for war. In the black night of the un-Lutheran tenth century, coming from some monk-ridden despot who could neither read nor write, this would have been a terrible speech. Is it the less terrible now that mankind have been freed in part from the tyranny of Rome–in part, from that of the Jesuits --and that Reason, and Enlightenment, and “Humanitarianism," and philosophy, and rational religion, and "Science," have full sway? And will these modern means of grace bring peace to the souls of the seven million Prussians who eke a living for themselves and their families out of a paltry thirty cents a day, waiting meantime the uncertain hour when they will be served up as food for powder? The events of the month of February, of this year of Our Lord 1888, have substantiated the truth of Von Moltke's cruel words. They but indicated a deliberate policy-compulsory only in as much as it was self-compelled. Bismarck, "the only man appointed by God to be His vicegerent on earth in these days”—according to the revelation granted the pre elected Carlyle-demands still more soldiers and still more taxes. Three
quarters of a million of men have been added to the monster army in the interest of a peace which has not even the security of an armistice. By means which the incarnate Providence of Germany has not as yet suggested, seventy millions more of money are to be coined out of the brawn of the nation yearly, until sudden, bloody war compels the peace of exhaustion.
Oh, Civilization, what crimes are committed in thy name! A half-starved people, taxed, year by year, closer to starvation only that it may pay for its uniform and move like an automatic machine; an enslaved people, whose “ideals, education, consciences, depend on a ministry, and change with the minister"such a people is a standing protest against the modern school of politics. There have been Americans who could not find words enough to glorify a system so radically opposed to ours; and this very fact may well suggest serious thoughts to those Americans who would not lose the rare and real liberties they now enjoy.
Janssen's pictures of our life and times attracted the general attention of thinkers and of literary men. They showed, not only a wide range of reading, but an intimate acquaintance with modern society, and a firm grasp of the problems of the age ; and they proved the variety of his talents and the fertility of his mind. Always moderate in expression, he lacks neither courage nor force; and he has those rare gifts—a nice sense of form, and an agreeable style. The reader has already learned that he is endowed with two other great qualities—the love of work, and the power to work. Neither the essays, nor his laborious studies of the history of the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries, had satisfied his love or exhausted his power. He found still another subject worthy of his mind and pen, and gladly took it up in the interest of religion and the Fatherland.
If we recall the emotion with which the news of John Henry Newman's conversion was received throughout England, we may, perhaps, the more readily imagine the wave of excitement which passed over Germany when, in June, 1800, Count Friedrich Leopold von Stolberg laid down all his honors, at the age of fifty, and, with his family, returned to Mother-Church. A poet of taste and feeling, whose name had been closely associated with that of Klopstock, Gæthe, and Voss, his ballads ranked with Schiller's and Bürger's, and many of his odes and hymns were cited as models.
The " Timoleon," "Theseus," "The Nursling," and "Apollo's Grove," had established his reputation as a dramatist of originality and power—the first who had succeeded in blending German thought with the classic forms of the Greek play. An accomplished classical scholar, his translation of the Iliad—the first version of a Greek poet in the metre of the original--gave him larger and deserved fame. A prose writer of rare quality, he had exer