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Bismarck’s Speech in the North German Reichstag in Defense of his Draft Constitution (March 11, 1867)

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(Very good! Hear! Hear!)

But still less can I consider it to be our task – along the lines, for instance, of what was said by the previous speaker – to rely on the power, on the superior strength of Prussia in this confederation in order to force concessions that cannot be brought about voluntarily. We could use such force least of all against allies who faithfully stood by us in the moment of danger, and just as little against those with whom we have just sealed a – we hope, as one is accustomed to use the word on this earth – perpetual peace sanctioned by international law.


The basis of this relationship should not be force, neither with respect to the princes nor the people.


The basis should be trust in Prussia's faithfulness to treaties,


and this trust may not be shaken as long as this faithfulness if reciprocated.

(Very good! Bravo!)

[ . . . ]

In my view, the objections raised by those representing the particularistic point of view are more weighty and are advanced with greater earnestness than those made by the representatives of the unitary point of view. By particularism one ordinarily understands an oppositional dynasty or an oppositional caste in any state that, on account of special interests, places itself against the creation of common institutions. Today we have to deal with a new species of particularism, with parliamentary particularism.

(Amused laughter)

In earlier times, from a dynastic standpoint, it went: “a Ghibelline, a Guelph!” Nowadays it goes: “a Landtag, a Reichstag!”

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