Bismarck: The Man and Statesman by A. J. P. Taylor


By A. J. P. Taylor

A reevaluation of Bismarck's explanations and strategies, targeting the chancellor's upward push to strength within the 1860's and his removing from place of work in 1890.

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Bismarck: The Man and Statesman

A reevaluation of Bismarck's explanations and techniques, concentrating on the chancellor's upward thrust to strength within the 1860's and his elimination from place of work in 1890.

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Although none of these reforms was a serious threat to the established order, conservatives were worried. There were problems elsewhere, too. Because of the aforementioned post-war depression, economically motivated disturbances erupted in France in 1816 and in 1817 an uprising occurred in the Papal States. In response to such rebellions the Holy Alliance chose Aachen in the Rhineland as the site of their first post-war congress, a choice which reflected their view of the sensitivity of the area—so close to and so recently a part of trouble-making France.

The Rhinelanders' Roman Catholicism distanced them from Prussian Protestantism. Moreover, the French Revolution had introduced yet another element—a desire for constitutional government—which differentiated the Rhineland from Prussia. Other disquieting facts made the Prussian authorities suspicious of Rhinelanders. In Koblenz's main cemetery as late as 1843 (the twentieth anniversary of Napoleon's death), a memorial to local men killed fighting on the French side was unveiled. 12 Respect for military courage regardless of its national origins, faith in the inscribed declaration of loyalty, or the expense of demolition deterred the Prussian authorities from removing such memorials.

As barter declined and a cash economy emerged, access to currency meant access to more luxury and power. Nobles, princes or archbishops living in castles above the river therefore extended chains or ropes across the channel, stopping all traffic and charging a fee for further passage. 5 The Emperor himself claimed a certain amount of the toll harvest. On the other hand each collector had the responsibility of keeping his section of the water highway, including the towpath, in good repair and of providing an escort to protect merchants from bandits.

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