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"Germany's Unification" (1843)

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This latter phenomenon is unfortunately clarified by the history of the German Reich; the inheritability of vassalages and the German corporative spirit were the original reasons, joined later by religious division, eagerly exploited by Germany’s enemies. But even all that corporative spirit is actually such a splendid spirit that it only requires the proper direction to accomplish the utmost, and even the inheritability of the great vassalages would not have led to the fragmentation of the Reich if statecraft and constitutional law at that time had been sufficiently taught to distinguish what is, and can be, an inalienable component of sovereignty, an office, property, or possession.

But if we ask why German unity did not come about a long time ago, we unfortunately keep coming back to the Congress of Vienna; to the jealousy of the foreign powers who are afraid of a united Germany, to the weak German statesmen and, of course, also to a mass of special interests who would rather aggrandize themselves on a small scale than subordinate themselves and assume their natural place in a larger whole.

[ . . . ]

Original German text reprinted in Rheinische Briefe und Akten zur Geschichte der politischen Bewegung 1830-1850 [Rhenish Letters and Files on the History of the Political Movement 1830-1850], compiled and edited by Joseph Hansen, vol. I, 1830-1845. Publikationen der Gesellschaft für rheinische Geschichtskunde XXXVI [Publications of the Society for Rhenish History XXXVI], vol. 1, 1919; pp. 589-92.

Translation: Jeremiah Riemer

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