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probably the most hated man in all Prussia. Because of his stern and ruthless policy of suppressing the mob, the Revolution of 1848 raged against him more than against the King, and he was compelled to flee from Berlin in disguise to save his life, passing himself off as “Herr Francis J. Lehman, commercial traveler."
Nor did his early acts as King seem designed to conciliate the people and win their affection. His-or his Minister Bismarck'
scynical and defiant overriding of the constitution which had been won after so long a struggle, increased dislike and distrust. The war for the spoliation of Denmark was intensely unpopular, and so was that against Austria in 1866. But he succeeded. In that was the redeeming feature of his career. Moreover, he was recognized as brave, frank, manly and truthful. And when at last he won the great war against France, and made Prussia the chief state of a new German Empire, of which the Prussian kings were forever to be emperors, he became as much beloved as he had ever been hated; and died in old age the idol of the German people.
VERSAILLES OFFER NOT FIRST It is interesting to recall that it was not at Versailles, in 1871, that the imperial crown of Germany was first offered to the King of Prussia. It was, as already mentioned, offered to Frederick Wilhelm IV in the strenuous days of 1848, but was refused by him. Why? Because it was offered to him by the German people and his divine right principles would not permit him to accept it from such a source. Had it been offered by the “heavenordained" princes he would have accepted it without hesitation! At Versailles, in 1871, the offer of the crown was made to William I by the princes of Germany, and, therefore, he accepted it; being about as great a stickler for “divine right” and having as much contempt for the people as his brother.
After William I came his son, Frederick III, the Noble, for a three-month reign; one of the knightliest figures that ever graced a throne. Latest of all, comes the present King and Emperor, William II.
THE LATEST HOHENZOLLERN The story of the latest sovereign of the Hohenzollern line is not yet complete. It is being written upon the map of the world in characters of blood and fire and utter devastation. But one salient fact stands out obvious and undisguisable. That is, a paradox comparable with any of those which mark his exemplar, Frederick the Great. For when, in the early years of his reign, everybody was apprehensive lest he should prove an international firebrand and involve all Europe in war, he sedulously cultivated and maintained the peace. On the other hand, after twenty-five years of peaceful reign, when people were generally regarding him as one of the great bulwarks of peace, he became involved in and involved nearly all Europe in the greatest war of history.
Twelve electors, nine kings, and three emperors; but, since one was both elector and king, and three both kings and emperors, a total of twenty sovereigns. Such is the record of the house of Hohenzollern. Much more than any other sovereign house now occupying a throne, it has for centuries been intimately and commandingly associated with the greatest military and diplomatic transactions of the European continent, but never before with any approximating the present in importance not only to that family but also to all the world.
AUSTRIA AND THE HAPSBURGS Those inclined to regard omens might see much significance in the course of Austria during the last generation. The ancient injunction to that land, or to its rulers, the Hapsburgs, was Bella gerant alië; tu, felix Austria, nube - let others wage wars; do thou, fortunate Austria, gain thine ends by marriage. In modern years Austria has been making unfortunate marriages, and has vainly sought to gain her ends by means of war. And it is one of the impressive facts of history that scarcely once in her more than eleven centuries of existence has Austria been entirely successful in an aggressive war, unless through the aid of powerful allies, while seldom has she been victorious even in self-defense, even against inferior powers. On the contrary, she has been beaten again and again, by almost every power with which she has come into contact.
CHRONICLES OF DISASTER When the Hapsburg dukes came into possession of the Eastern Mark, six centuries and a third ago, they extended their domain “by marriage, by purchase and otherwise,” but little, if at all, by force of arms, unless those of their allies. The one great Hapsburg victory in battle, the Marchfeld, was won by others than Austrians. The Swiss beat Austria repeatedly, at Morgarten and at Sempach. The Turks beat her, besieging Vienna and compelling the payment of much tribute as the price of her retention of territories beyond the Leith. The Poles beat her in the days of Rudolph II. The French beat her in the days of Ferdinand III and took Alsace from her in the Peace of Westphalia. The Hungarians and Turks beat her badly and again besieged Vienna, and would have taken that capital and conquered all Austria had not John Sobieski and the Poles come to the rescue...
It is true that the famous Prince Eugene did win some notable victories over the Turks, though not solely with Austrian forces; but the fruits of them had to be largely relinquished. Frederick the Great of Prussia beat Austria badly, and she was saved from ruin only by the succor given by the Hungarians and other allies. Again in the Seven Years' War the great Frederick vanquished her. The French revolutionists beat her and drove her out of Lombardy and the Netherlands. Napoleon defeated her, and in 1809 despoiled and humiliated her at will. In the Grand Alliance, at Leipsic and elsewhere, the leadership was given to her for political reasons, and she merely shared in the victories of her allies.
The Venetians beat her in 1848, and though she did recoup that loss she quickly suffered defeat at the hands of the Hungarians, and was saved only by the intervention of Russia. The Sardinians and French overwhelmed her in 1859, and she was saved from far heavier losses than those which she actually suffered only by the perfidy of Louis Napoleon in betraying and selling out his ally. Finally, in 1866, Prussia inflicted upon her one of the most crushing and humiliating defeats in history.
A POLYGLOT AND PATCHWORK REALM We commonly speak of Austria-Hungary as the “Dual Realm." It is in fact manifold. No other in the world is of so varied and complex formation Austria alone, not reckoning polyglot Hungary, consists of seventeen states, called “lands.” Of these three are kingdoms, namely, Bohemia, Dalmatia, and Galicia and Lodomeria
united. The two from which the whole empire takes its name, Upper Austria and Lower Austria, are archduchies. Six are duchies—Bukovina, Carinthia, Carniola, Salzburg, Silesia and Styria. Two, Goerz-Gradisca and Tyrol, are princely countships. Two, Moravia and Istria, are
margraviates. Trieste and its environs form a special crown land, and Vorarlberg is simply a “land.”
Each of these seventeen "lands” has its own local legislature, or Diet, ranging in numbers of members from twenty-four in Vorarlberg to 242 in Bohemia. These bodies, elected for six years and meeting yearly, legislate like American state legislatures on all matters not specifically reserved for the Imperial Parliament. They control taxation, education and public works, and in Tyrol and Vorarlberg they have control also of the militia, and their