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German History in Documents and Images
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Prussian Liberals and Bismarck after Königgrätz (1866)
Bismarck and the Prussian liberals are depicted as fellow-travelers in this woodcut by Wilhelm Scholz (1824-1893). To end the constitutional conflict between the Prussian minister president and the liberal majority in the Prussian House of Deputies, which had been raging since 1861, they are treading an arduous path from the Prussian victory over Austria in early July 1866 to the Indemnity Bill of September 1866. Bismarck is shown pulling the triumphal chariot that represents Prussia’s stunning victory at the Battle of Königgrätz on July 3, 1866. Holding onto the rope are Prussian liberals who previously opposed him: they are quickly finding reasons to claim that they have been trying to pull in the same direction as Bismarck, but they are obviously burdening rather than helping him. The caption reads: “And in this sense, we, too, are in agreement with Count Bismarck and we have pulled the same rope as him.” “Parlamentarisches mit Illustrationen,” Kladderadatsch, vol. 19, no. 57 (December 16, 1866), p. 228.