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Speech of Friedrich Julius Stahl against the Repeal of the Prussian Constitution (1853)

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Whereas in other countries it was the army alone that restored authority, in Prussia the army, too, that also restored authority; but the people helped achieve this restoration spiritually and morally. (Bravo!)

A legal order like the one I have sketched and that we seek will not give away any of the king's power.

It is only looking for a form for the spiritual participation of the country, and if, in this century, this departs in part from the forms of previous centuries, I cannot find in that alone an absolute judgment for dismissal.

For this reason, Prussia ought not to be disconcerted because the great powers surrounding it have established absolute monarchies; it is seemly for every state to preserve its peculiar characteristics, especially when its peculiar characteristic is of the higher kind – and is one really so certain that absolutism in other empires will subsequently lead to favorable results? (Lively bravo from the left.)

After the February Revolution of 1848, many people believed that the end and the aim of world history was the provisional government (merriment), and again today many people believe that the end and aim of world history is absolutism; I hope that the Lord of world history has established a different aim and end for history. Only an empire based on ethical foundations, on guaranteed rights, on genuine liberty, will have a long and satisfying existence. For this reason, the absolutist constitutions in Europe should only constitute an even more urgent challenge to Prussia to maintain and develop itself as a realm of ethical foundations, of guaranteed rights, and of genuine liberty. This is its great mission; may it not prove disloyal to the same. (Lively bravo.)

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