Bismarck Leads Alsace and Lorraine into the Empire (1871)
This Kladderadatsch cartoon by Wilhelm Scholz is entitled “Good Advice is Costly” [“Guter Rath is theuer”]. The caption reads: “Bismarck (leading Alsace and Lorraine): Dear Reichstag, we have the two lads back again, but now tell me where and how we should accommodate them!” While Bavaria would have happily taken over custodianship of the two provinces seized from France in 1871, this cartoon correctly foresees a struggle for authority between Germania (representing Germany’s martial origins) and the Reichstag, whose members saw an opportunity to import newer, liberal traditions into the governance of the territories. Agreement on a constitution for Alsace-Lorraine was achieved very belatedly in Imperial Germany – in 1911.
© Bildarchiv Preußischer Kulturbesitz