On the Reorganization of the Prussian State, composed at the request of His Majesty the King [Frederick William III]
I. General considerations.
[ . . . ] The French Revolution, of which the current wars are the continuation, gave the French an entirely new impetus with its bloodshed and storms. All the dormant powers were awakened, the miserable and the weak, outdated prejudices and failings were destroyed – admittedly, along with much that was good. France’s neighbors and the conquered were swept away by the current. [ . . . ]
The delusion that one could most effectively counter the revolution by clinging to the old, and by strictly following the principles asserted in doing so, played a special part in promoting the revolution and in giving the revolution its constantly expanding form. The force of these principles is so great, they are so generally recognized and widespread, that the state which does not adopt them must either look to its downfall or to their forced adoption.
[ . . . ]
A revolution in the good sense, then, leading straight to the great purpose of the ennoblement of mankind, through the wisdom of government and not through violent impulses from within or without – that is the goal of our guiding principle. Democratic principles within a monarchical government: this seems to me the appropriate form for the current Zeitgeist. We must leave pure democracy to the year 2440, if it is made for humans at all. [ . . . ]
II. External conditions.
[ . . . ] Autonomy and independence are now empty phrases.
How shall we get there again?
How do we avoid complete dependency? [ . . . ]