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A History of Germany from the Earliest Times to the Present Day By Bayard Taylor Characters: 55021

Updated: 2017-12-01 00:02


The First German Parliament by Direct Vote.

-The Political Factions.

-The Ultramontane Party in Opposition to the Government.

-Struggle with the Church of Rome.


-Falk appointed Minister of Culture.

-His first Success.

-Animosity of the Pope.

-The Jesuits expelled from Germany.

-The May Laws.

-The Roman Catholic Clergy rebel.

-Civil Marriage made requisite.

-The "Bundesrath."

-Meeting of the Three Emperors.


-Peace secured by Diplomacy.

-Financial Questions.

-Bismarck obliged to look to the Ultramontanes for Parliamentary Support.

-A conciliatory Policy towards the Roman Church.

-Falk resigns.

-The Social-Democrats, and the Attacks on the Life of William I.

-The Exceptional Law.

-Party Dissensions.

-A higher Protective Policy introduced.

-New Taxes.

-The Opening of Parliament in 1881.

-Scheme of the Government for bettering the Condition of the Workingmen.

-The Colonial Question.


-France finds a Sympathizer in Russia.

-The Triple Alliance.

-The Military Budget.

-The Dissolution of Parliament.

-The Government gains a Victory by new Elections.

-Ludwig II. of Bavaria and his tragic End.

-The Death of Emperor William I.

-Fatal Disease of the Crown-Prince.

-The Latter as Frederick III.

-His Death.

-His Successor, William II.

-Resignation of Bismarck.

-General Caprivi made Chancellor.

-The German-English Agreement.

-The Triple Alliance renewed.

-New commercial Treaties.

-Withdrawal of the School Bill.

-A new Army Bill rejected and Parliament dissolved.

-New Elections result in victory for the Government.


After many a dark and gloomy century, the dream of a united Germany was realized. The outer pile stood complete before the awakening nation and an astonished world; now there remained to be done the patient, painstaking work of consolidating the federation of States in all particulars, making the different parts one within as well as without.

On the 21st of March, 1871, the first German Parliament, elected by the direct vote of the people, met at Berlin, the capital of the federation, and the political parties took their stand. Bismarck, Prince, Chancellor of the Empire, acknowledged as the first statesman of Europe, saw the advantage of a liberal policy, which secured for the Government the support of the Nationals and the Liberals, and with them a sufficient majority to carry out its plans. At the same time the Chancellor had to reckon with an opposition that was threatening to German unity. Chief among it were the Ultramontanes (or Papal party), so called because they looked beyond the Alps for their sovereign guide-the Church of Rome. They formed the Centre party, and around them all the dissatisfied elements grouped themselves-the Particularists, who still held on to their petty provincial interests; the Poles from Eastern Prussia; the Danes from northern Schleswig; the Social-Democrats; and later the representatives of Alsatia and Lorraine. On the utmost right sat the old feudal nobility, which was reactionary at the outset. Although diverging far apart in aims and purposes, these different factions joined hands against the Federal Government whenever their interests were concerned, and thus at times constituted a powerful foe.


It soon became evident that the chief battle to maintain union and freedom had to be fought with the Ultramontanes, who were inspired by the counsel of the Vatican and upheld by the authority actually wielded in Germany by the Roman Catholic Church. The concessions made to it in Prussia by the romantic spirit of Frederick William IV. had borne their bitter fruit, and the Protestant kingdom had become even more a foothold for the Church of Rome than Catholic Bavaria. On the same day on which France declared war against Germany the Papal power sounded another war-trumpet by proclaiming the Dogma of Papal Infallibility. Germany had been the victor in the combat with France; it now had to encounter the other foe in defence of the best life of the nation-an untrammelled conscience, free schools, the sway of reason, and the light of science.

The task of fighting a state within the state, which confronted the Federal Government and the nation at the very outset, was hard and bitter on both sides. It took place in Parliament as well as in the Prussian and Bavarian Assemblies, and as a struggle for the preservation of the blessings of modern civilization it has been designated "Kulturkampf," a fight for culture.

In the beginning of 1872 the Chancellor knew himself sufficiently supported by the National-Liberals in Parliament and in the Prussian Assembly to take up the combat with the Roman Church and its adherents in both political bodies. He caused the reactionary Minister of Culture, von Mühler, to resign his office, and invited Adalbert Falk, a statesman of keen insight and fearless energy, to take his place. Falk undertook to define the boundaries between the State and the Church by a series of laws, and his first success was in carrying through the Prussian Assembly a bill that made the public schools independent of the Church, and gave their supervision to the State. The Pope's answer to this measure was his refusal to receive the Emperor's ambassador, Cardinal Hohenlohe, who had been nominated for diplomatic representation at the Vatican on account of his conciliatory spirit. At this period Bismarck made his famous declaration, "To Canossa we do not go!" The conflict waxed hotter, and from all parts of Germany the enlightened portions of the people sent petitions to Parliament, asking it to exclude from the precincts of the Empire the Jesuits, who were known to be the Pope's advisers, and as such were at the root of the evil. The demand was granted. A bill to that effect was introduced into Parliament, and, after much passionate debate, became a law. Before the close of the year every member of the Society of Jesus had to leave Germany, and all institutions belonging to that organization were closed.


The year 1873 brought about the important legislation by which the lines between the competencies of State and Church were conclusively defined. It was designed primarily to benefit Prussia, but its effect in the end was of advantage to the whole of Germany. The bills destined to restrict the undue power of the Roman Catholic Church, in spite of violent opposition on the part of the Ultramontanes and the reactionary Feudals, were carried through the Prussian Assembly in the month of May, and hence are called the "May laws." They were met by open rebellion on the part of the Prussian episcopacy. The Catholic clergy closed the doors of their seminaries to the Government supervisors; they published protests of every form against legislation that had not the sanction of the Papal See; they omitted to make announcement to the provincial governments of newly appointed curates or beneficiaries, and demonstrated in every way their insubordination to the lay authorities. In accordance with the new laws, these rebellious acts were punished by the withdrawal of dotations that had been granted by the State to Roman Catholic seminaries or schools, and the latter in some instances were closed. The curates appointed without consent of the head authorities were forbidden to officiate, and their religious functions declared to be null and void. Then the rebellious prelates were fined or imprisoned, and, as a last resort, declared to be out of office, while the endowments of their dioceses were administered by lay officials.


In 1874 civil marriage was made obligatory by law, first in Prussia, and then, after receiving also the sanction of Parliament, throughout the Empire. With this measure a powerful weapon was wrenched from the hands of the clergy, and another blow was dealt. Other measures followed, under protests from Pope and clergy, and hot debating was continued in the legislative bodies, until, in 1876, matters of another nature and more momentous importance forced themselves to the front.

The work for organization and reform, up to this time, had progressed in various directions, and the proposed measures for cementing German unity had received more or less ready support in Parliament and the Assemblies of the different States. The latter had their representatives at Berlin, who were nominated by their respective sovereigns. They met in a body called the Bundesrath-the Counsel of the Federation. Any step taken by the Federal Government towards legislation affecting the whole of the Empire had to be laid before and agreed to by the Bundesrath before it could be introduced into Parliament. Thus the rights of the States were preserved, and the reigning Princes were made still to feel their importance, which tended to create harmony between them and the Empire.

While the interior growth of the latter was of a healthy and steady nature, the genius of the great statesman, Prince Bismarck, was busy likewise in allaying the fears and, in a measure, mollifying the envy and jealousies of neighboring powers. In September, 1872, the Emperors of Germany, Austria, and Russia met at Berlin, to renew assurances of friendship and thus convince the world of their peaceable intentions. The cordial relations between the reigning families of Germany and Italy were strengthened by visits from court to court, and even Denmark was somewhat pacified in regard to its loss of Schleswig-Holstein. But France still frowned at a distance, and was preparing for revenge. The meeting of the three Emperors gave her additional offence, and she strove to reorganize and enlarge her army. This called forth counter-movements in Germany, where the reorganization of the army-even before the late wars a pet project of William I.-had been agreed to by Parliament. A prudent diplomacy, and the friendly demonstrations of Alexander II. to the German Emperor and his Chancellor, dispelled for a time the rising war-clouds, and the peaceful work of interior organization was continued.


After the Roman Church had been restricted to its lawful boundaries, the most important questions looming up were those in reference to financial matters. The income of the Empire proved insufficient to cover the enormous outlay for necessary changes and reforms to be perfected, while at the same time influences were brought about to forward a higher protective policy than had been adhered to hitherto. In order to bring about an increased tariff, and such taxation as the financial situation required, the Chancellor had to look for the support of other parties than the Nationals and the Liberal-Conservatives. He took it where it was offered, and here the Ultramontanes or Centre party saw their opportunity. The consequence was a tacit compromise with the latter. The contest with the Vatican faltered; a conciliatory policy was adopted in matters concerning the Catholic Church, and Falk, seeing his work crippled, resigned his office, in 1879, to make room for a reactionary Minister of Culture. In 1882 a revision of the May laws took place; the refractory bishops were allowed to return, the ecclesiastical institutions were reopened, salaries were paid once more to the clergy by the State, and other restitutions were made, for all of which the Pope only acceded to the demand that new appointments of ecclesiastics should be announced in due form to the German Government.

At this period the political situation was aggravated by the agitation of the Social-Democrats, and by what seemed to be its direct outgrowth, the repeated murderous attempts on the life of the Emperor William I. in May and June, 1878. These startling events opened the eyes of the people to a danger in their very midst-a danger threatening society and all its most sacred institutions. To avert it, the Chancellor at once caused a bill to be drawn up for an exceptional law, meant to suppress all aggressive movements of the Social-Democrats and reduce them to silence. When it was laid before Parliament, it found no favor with the majority, and was rejected; whereupon the Chancellor, in the name of the Emperor, declared Parliament to be dissolved. The new elections did not bring about any considerable change; but a majority was obtained, and the exceptional law was established for two years and a half, which period afterwards was prolonged several times.


The steady inner growth of the first eight or nine years had now been checked by party dissension and political discord, brought on chiefly by the financial difficulties, in which the new Empire found itself involved, and the steady demand from centres of industry and agriculture for higher protective measures. These demands, being favored by the Chancellor, were gaining the upper hand: customs were increased, a new duty was raised on cereals, and a considerable tax was put upon spirits. All this made it easy for the Radicals to agitate and alarm the masses of the people, and in consequence the parliamentary elections of 1881 gave a majority to the extreme Liberals in opposition to the Government. When the new Parliament convened, the venerable Emperor, William I., opened it in person, and read a message the tenor of which was more than usually solemn, pointing with great emphasis to the social evils of the time, and the best remedies for healing them. The sequel of this message was a project of great magnitude, which the Federal Government introduced into Parliament for the purpose of bettering the conditions of the laboring classes. To carry it out required successive bills and years of indefatigable work, incessant debating, and many a hard struggle with opposition, until at present the whole system is in working order. It comprises a series of insurances for laborers, to secure them from losses by sickness, accidents, invalidity, and age. These insurances are obligatory, and the cost of them is borne jointly by the Government, the employers, and the laborers themselves.

About this time the colonial question also caused a clashing of parties. To open new channels of commerce and enterprise, certain mercantile houses had acquired large tracts of land on foreign continents, and now asked the protection of the Empire for their efforts. Germany, now a first-class power and in possession of a growing navy, needed coaling-stations in foreign waters, new lines of steamers to connect directly with Africa and eastern Asia, and an outlet for her rapidly multiplying population, which she would rather colonize under her own flag than lose by emigration to other countries. The Federal Government therefore took up this matter in its own interest, and asked Parliament for appropriations and subsidies to carry out those enlarged plans. The demand was received on the part of the Liberals and Radicals with violent opposition; but, in the end, the decision, with the assistance of the Centre party, was in favor of the Government.


In the meantime fresh war-clouds were gathering on the political horizon, on account of the accumulation of Russian troops on the frontiers of Germany and Austria. The violent death of Alexander II. of Russia had deprived Germany of a friend whom his successor, Alexander III., did not mean to replace. His sympathies were with the growing Pan-slavistic party, which through its press was exciting hatred against all that was German. Thus France felt herself drawn towards Russia, and both the Republic and the semi-barbarian Empire stood ready at any moment to make common cause for the ruin of Germany. This constant menace and its attendant rivalry in armament could not but be a misfortune, not merely for Germany but for all the powers concerned. To avert the danger of war as long as possible, the deep insight of the great man at the helm of the Federal Government of Germany had led him to take an important step in good time. As early as 1879 he had created a counterpoise to the threatening attitude of France and Russia by concluding an alliance for defensive purposes between Germany and Austria, which a few years later was joined by Italy, and, as the "Triple Alliance," has been the wedge to keep apart the hostile powers in the East and the West, securing peace thereby.

In 1886 the time approached for a new military budget. The armaments of both Russia and France had reached such enormous dimensions that the German Government could not but know the military forces of the Empire to be no longer on an equal footing with the hostile powers. Consequently, it now asked Parliament not only for a new septennial budget for military purposes, as twice before since 1874, but also for appropriations to raise a larger contingent of soldiers (one per cent. of the whole population, which, according to the last census, made 41,000 men more than at that time), and additional sums for fortifications, barracks, arms, etc. Thereupon ensued another parliamentary contest. The opposition proved themselves not sufficiently patriotic to take a large view, and, in concert with the Centre, the Liberals demanded that the contingent of soldiers should be diminished and the budget granted for three years only. After much passionate debate, and in spite of Bismarck's weighty eloquence, the motion of the Government was carried in a crippled condition and by only a small majority. Then Parliament was once more dissolved, and new elections took place about a month afterwards (21st of February, 1887), which made evident the temper of the people, since the Liberals and Social-Democrats were heavy losers. Only half of their former number was returned to Parliament. The military bill was now carried by a large majority of Conservatives and Nationals, and financial as well as other matters of importance were brought to a quick issue.


The almost miraculous rise of a united Germany, and its wonderful inner growth, had its reverses in the tragical events that took place in the royal houses of Bavaria and Prussia, during 1886 and 1888. King Ludwig II. of Bavaria, a man of superior intellectual qualities and gifted with great charms, had been a victim of late years to mental hallucinations, which at last began to endanger the finances and constitutional rights of the country. It became necessary to declare him insane and to establish a regency in his name. This and his confinement to his lonely castle of Berg led the king to drown himself in the lake bordering the grounds. His corpse and that of his attendant physician were found where the gravel bottom of the shallow water gave evidence of a struggle having taken place. Since the successor of Ludwig II., his younger brother, Otto, was a confirmed maniac, the regency still remained with Prince Luitpold, the uncle of both these unfortunate kings. He was imbued with the national idea of German unity, and continued the same wise and liberal policy that governed the actions of Ludwig II. in his best days-a policy which earned for him the fame of being called one of the founders of a united German Empire.

Early in 1888 the Emperor, nearly ninety-one years old, showed signs of declining vitality, and in March the end was at hand. It was peaceful, though clouded by a great sorrow which filled the last months of his life. There was a vacant place among the members of his family who surrounded his death-bed. His son, the Crown-Prince, now fifty-six years of age, was detained by a fatal disease at San Remo, in Italy. William I., beloved by the German people as no sovereign before him had been, died on the 9th of March, and his son and heir, Frederick III., began his reign of ninety-nine days. Sick as he was, and deprived of speech in consequence of his cruel disease, his inborn sense of duty caused him to set out for Berlin as soon as the news of the old Emperor's death reached him. His proclamation to the people and his rescript to Prince Bismarck are evidences of the noble and patriotic spirit that animated him; but he was too ill, and his reign was too short, to determine what he would have been to Germany had he lived. He died on the 15th of June, 1888, and almost his last words to his son and successor were: "Learn to suffer without complaint."


William II., born on the 27th of January, 1859, now became Emperor of Germany. Many were the doubts with which he was seen to succeed to the throne. He was young in years, in view of the heavy responsibilities awaiting him; impulsive, where a steady head was required; and a soldier with all his heart. Nevertheless, there was nothing to indicate during the first years of his reign that the "old course" had been abandoned. The first important event took place in March, 1890, when the startling news was heard that Prince Bismarck had sent his resignation to the Emperor, and that it had been accepted. For a moment the fate of Germany seemed to hang in suspense; but the public mind soon recovered from the shock it had received, and the most thoughtful of people realized that a young ruler, imbued with modern ideas, and with an individuality all his own, could not be expected to remain in harmony with or to be guided by a statesman who, however great and wise, was growing old and in a measure incapable of seeing a new light in affairs of internal policy. On March 29th the ex-Chancellor left Berlin to retire to his estates. Along his drive to the railway station he received the spontaneous ovations of an immense concourse of people, who by their enthusiastic cheers showed their appreciation for the creator of the new Germany.


The Emperor nominated General Caprivi Chancellor of the Empire in place of Bismarck. It was a good choice, since William II. evidently meant in future to be his own chancellor. He was of too vivacious a nature to accept a policy of State and Empire made ready to his hands. He had knowledge, and ideas of his own which he expected to carry out. The first serious dissension between the Emperor and Bismarck seems to have turned upon the question of Socialism. Bismarck was in favor of combating it with the utmost vigor, in order to avert the dangers threatening to State and society; the Emperor, on the contrary, was for conciliatory measures; for listening to the demands of the laboring classes, and remedying by arbitration and further legislation the evils of which they complained. The repressive measures hitherto resorted to, and the new ones proposed, were abandoned, and thus far there is no cause to condemn this "new course." Although the dangers from Socialism have not grown less, it is no longer necessary for the enemy of social order and justice to hide his face, and by that much it is easier to fight him and to strike at the right spot.

Another event of note which took place in the same year, is the German-English agreement of July 1st, by which the respective limits of colonial possessions in Africa were regulated, and Germany became the possessor of the island of Helgoland as a compensation for the lion's share secured in Africa by England. The only value Germany derives from this acquisition will show itself in a future war, when the fortified island-rock may serve as an outpost, disputing the advance of hostile war ships toward the northern coast of Germany.

In the following year the Triple Alliance was renewed, and had the wholesome effect of stopping various rumors of war. Besides, Russia, who had exchanged uncommon civilities with France, was in no condition to go to war, crippled as she was by the dreadful suffering of her people through famine consequent upon the failure of crops. Still another incentive was furnished for France and Russia to remain at peace by an understanding between England and Italy to keep intact the status quo in the Mediterranean. Although not a treaty in the literal sense of the word, it was sufficient to raise the prestige of the Triple Alliance, and thus to strengthen its pacific tendencies.


But the most important feature of internal policy is to be found in the new commercial treaties which Germany contracted, first with the two other powers of the Triple Alliance-Austria-Hungary and Italy-and then with Belgium and Switzerland, as the most favored nations. The treaties were planned and carefully drafted to bring relief to the industrial classes by opening fresh channels for the exports of the country; but inasmuch as the tariff was lowered by them on the necessities of life, they also favored the rest of the population and especially the laboring classes. These treaties were ratified in Parliament by a large majority.

In the spring of the year (April 24th) Germany lost one of her greatest men, the Field-Marshal Count Moltke, who had lived more than ninety years in the full enjoyment of his powers. Another man, who also had been prominent in his way, Windthorst, had died just one month before Moltke, but he was missed only by the Roman Catholic Centre party, who lost in him their ablest leader.

The following year a bill was laid before the Prussian Assembly purporting to reform the public schools, but introducing at the same time such clauses as would render both public and private schools confessional. The bill was no sooner made public than it became evident that only the ultra Conservatives and the Centre or Ultramontane party were in favor of it, while the other parties, and behind them their constituents, declared themselves extremely opposed to it. In consequence of this bill the whole of Germany became greatly agitated; numerous protests were sent to the Assembly and the Minister of Culture, and men of note and intellect put in print their ominous warnings. All this resulted in the withdrawal of the bill and the resignation of the Minister of Culture, Count Zedlitz. But before the end of the year a new army measure began to stir afresh the minds of politicians and people. In his speech delivered before Parliament on November 23d, Caprivi explained that new sacrifices in money and taxation were necessary, in order to make the German army efficient to fight enemies "on two fronts." He went on to demonstrate that, although no war was in sight, France had surpassed Germany in her military organization and numbers, while Russia was continually perfecting her strategical railway system, and locating her best troops on her western frontier. To keep up an equal footing with her neighbors, it was necessary for Germany to add 83,894 men to the present number of soldiers. In order to do this the existing obligation to serve in the army would have to be extended to every one capable of carrying arms. The cost was estimated at $16,700,000 for the first year, and $16,000,000 for every year succeeding. As a compensation for the heavy burdens to be imposed, the Government offered to reduce the time for active service from three to two years.


There was from the first a widespread doubt among the people of the necessity for such heavy sacrifices as were entailed by this bill, and the possibility of carrying it successfully through Parliament. The body deferred dealing with it until the following year, when the fate of the bill was adversely decided on the

6th of May by a majority of forty-eight out of three hundred and seventy-two votes. Parliament was at once dissolved, and new elections were ordered to take place on the 15th of June. In the interval some unexpected splits favoring the Government's cause occurred in the Centre party and among the Liberals, or Radicals-a name now more befitting. As the election proceeded, it became more and more evident that the opposition was losing and the Government gaining ground.


The newly elected Parliament was opened on July 4th, and the Army bill, in a slightly modified form, was passed without delay after the third reading by a majority of sixteen out of three hundred and eighty-six votes. Small as this majority seems, it was a decided victory for the Government, since the latter had abstained throughout the elections from influencing them in any way. The ultimate passage of the bill, however, leaves the implied financial problem still unsolved. The outlook is not cheerful. Although an objective view of recent events is out of the question, there is room for doubting that the future of Germany will be tranquil. Owing to the general depression in industrial and agricultural fields, the financial question is sure to engender bitterness and strife. Nor is there any encouragement to be gained when we consider the numerous factions into which the parliamentary representation of the Empire is divided at the present time. What with the proportionately large gain of the Social-Democrats during the late elections, the numerically powerful Centrists acting in the interest of Roman Catholicism, the Particularists asserting themselves again, and the Anti-Semites with their socialistic affinities, it would seem inevitable that great struggles are yet to come. But we might hopefully say that Germany, in the evolution of her national growth, is just now passing through a trying period of change, the mists of which will be swept away in time, when by a clearer apprehension of parliamentary life and practice, and the exercise of a more concentrated patriotism, she will be strong, indeed, in freedom and in Unity.



The history of Germany is generally divided into Five Periods, as follows:

From the earliest accounts to the empire of Charlemagne.

From Charlemagne to the downfall of the Hohenstaufens.

From the Interregnum to the Reformation.

From the Reformation to the Peace of Westphalia.

From the Peace of Westphalia to the present time.

Some historians subdivide these periods, or change their limits; but there seems to be no other form of division so simple, natural, and easily borne in the memory. While retaining it, however, in the chronological table which follows, we shall separate the different dynasties which governed the German Empire, up to the time of the Interregnum, which is removed, by an irregular succession during two centuries, from the permanent rule of the Hapsburg family.

FIRST PERIOD. (B. C. 103-A. D. 768.)

Primitive History.

B. C.

113. The Cimbrians and Teutons invade Italy.

102. Marius defeats the Teutons.

101. Marius defeats the Cimbrians.

58. Julius C?sar defeats Ariovistus.

55-53. C?sar twice crosses the Rhine.

12-9. Campaigns of Drusus in Northern Germany.

A. D.

9. Defeat of Varus by Hermann.

14-16. Campaigns of Germanicus.

21. Death of Hermann.

69. Revolt of Claudius Civilis.

98. Tacitus writes his "Germania."

166-181. War of the Marcomanni against Marcus Aurelius.

200-250. Union of the German tribes under new names.

276. Probus invades Germany.

358. Julian defeats the Alemanni.

358-378. Bishop Ulfila converts the Goths to Christianity.

The Migrations of the Races.

375. The coming of the Huns.

378. The Emperor Valens defeated by the Visigoths.

395. Theodosius divides the Roman Empire.

396. Alaric's invasion of Greece.

403. Alaric meets Stilicho in Italy.

406. Stilicho defeats the German hordes at Fiesole.

410. Alaric takes Rome.

411. Alaric dies in Southern Italy.

412. Ataulf leads the Visigoths to Gaul.

429. The Vandals, under Geiserich, invade Africa.

449. The Saxons and Angles settle in England.

450. March of Attila to Gaul; battle of Chalons.

452. Attila in Italy.

455. Rome devastated by Geiserich and the Vandals.

476. The Roman Empire overthrown by Odoaker.

481-511. Chlodwig, King of the Franks.

486. End of the Roman rule in Gaul.

493. Theodoric and his Ostrogoths conquer Italy.

500. Chlodwig defeats the Burgundians.

526. Death of Theodoric the Great.

527-565. Reign of Justinian.

527. The Franks conquer Thuringia.

532. The Franks conquer Burgundy.

534. Belisarius overthrows the Vandal power in Africa.

552. Extermination of the Ostrogoths by Narses.

Kingdom of the Franks.

558-561. Reign of Clotar, King of the Franks.

568. Alboin leads the Longobards to Italy.

590-604. Spread of Christianity under Pope Gregory the Great.

590-597. Wars of Fredegunde and Brunhilde.

613. Murder of Brunhilde.

613-622. Clotar II., King of the Franks.

650. Pippin of Landen, steward to the royal household.

687. Pippin of Heristall.

711. The Saracens conquer Spain from the Visigoths.

732. Karl Martel defeats the Saracens at Tours.

741. Death of Karl Martel; Pippin the Short.

745. Winfried (Bonifacius), Archbishop of Mayence.

752. Pippin the Short becomes King of the Franks.

754. Pippin founds the temporal power of the Popes.

755. Bonifacius slain in Friesland.

768. Death of Pippin; his sons, Karl and Karloman.

SECOND PERIOD. (768-1254.)

The Carolingian Dynasty.

771. Karl (Charlemagne) sole ruler.

772-803. His wars with the Saxons.

774-775. March to Italy; overthrow of the Lombard kingdom.

777-778. Charlemagne's invasion of Spain.

788. Tassilo, Duke of Bavaria, deposed.

789. War with the Wends, east of the Elbe.

791. War with the Avars, in Hungary.

800. Charlemagne crowned Emperor in Rome.

814. Death of Charlemagne.

814-840. Ludwig the Pious.

843. Partition of Verdun.

843-876. Ludwig the German.

879. The kingdom of Arelat (Lower Burgundy) founded.

884-887. Karl the Fat unites France and Germany.

887-899. Arnulf of Carinthia.

891. Arnulf defeats the Norsemen in Belgium.

900-911. Ludwig the Child.

911-918. Konrad I., the Frank, King of Germany.

911-918. Wars with the Hungarians.

The Saxon Emperors.

919-936. King Henry I., of Saxony (the Fowler).

928. Victory over the Wends.

933. Great victory over the Hungarians, near Merseburg.

933. Upper and Lower Burgundy united as one kingdom.

936-973. Otto I., the Great.

939. Otto subjects the German Dukes.

952. Rebellion against his rule.

955. The Hungarians defeated on the Lech.

962. Otto renews the empire of Charlemagne.

973-983. Otto II.

982. His defeat by the Saracens.

983-1002. Otto III.; decline of the imperial power.

1002-1024. Henry II.; increasing power of the bishops.

1016. The Normans settle in Southern Italy.

The Frank Emperors.

1024-1039. Konrad II., Emperor.

1026. His visit to Rome; friendship with Canute the Great.

1033. Burgundy attached to the German Empire.

1039-1056. Henry III.; Poland, Bohemia, and Hungary, subject to the empire.

1046. Synod of Sutri; Henry III. removes three Popes.

1046. The "Congregation of Cluny;" the "Peace of God."

1054. Pope Leo IX. captured by the Normans.

1056-1106. Henry IV.

1062. Henry IV.'s abduction by Bishop Hanno.

1073. Revolt of the Saxons.

1073. Hildebrand becomes Pope as Gregory VII.

1076. Henry IV. deposes the Pope, and is excommunicated.

1077. Henry IV.'s humiliation at Canossa.

1081. Death of the Anti-King, Rudolf of Suabia.

1084. Henry IV. in Rome; ravages of the Normans.

1085. Death of Pope Gregory VII.

1092. Revolt of Konrad, son of Henry IV.

1095. The first Crusade.

1099. Jerusalem taken by Godfrey of Bouillon.

1105. Rebellion of Henry, son of Henry IV.

1106-1125. Henry V.

1111. He imprisons Pope Paschalis II.

1113. Defeat of the Saxons.

1115. He is defeated by the Saxons.

1118. Orders of knighthood founded.

1122. The Concordat of Worms.

1125. Rise of the Hohenstaufens.

1125-1137. Lothar of Saxony, Emperor.

1134. The North-mark given to Albert the Bear.

1138. Henry the Proud, Duke of Bavaria and Saxony.

The Hohenstaufen Emperors.

1138-1152. King Konrad III.; Guelphs and Ghibellines.

1142. Henry the Lion, Duke of Saxony.

1142. Albert the Bear, Margrave of Brandenburg.

1147. The second Crusade.

1152-1190. Frederick I., Barbarossa.

1163. Union of the Lombard cities.

1176. Barbarossa's defeat at Legnano.

1177. Reconciliation with the Pope at Venice.

1179. Otto of Wittelsbach, Duke of Bavaria.

1181. Henry the Lion banished.

1183. The Peace of Constance.

1190. The third Crusade; death of Barbarossa; foundation of the German Order.

1190-1197. Henry VI. (receives also Naples and Sicily).

1192. Richard of the Lion-Heart imprisoned.

1195. Death of Henry the Lion.

1197-1208. Philip of Suabia; Otto IV. of Brunswick rival Emperor; civil wars.

1208. Murder of Philip of Suabia.

1212. Frederick II., Hohenstaufen, comes to Germany.

1215-1250. Frederick II.'s reign.

1226. The German Order occupies Prussia.

1227. Frederick II. excommunicated by Pope Gregory IX.

1228. The fifth Crusade, led by Frederick II.

1235. Rebellion of Frederick's son, Henry.

1237. Frederick II.'s victory at Cortenuovo.

1245. Pope Innocent IV. excommunicates the Emperor.

1247. Death of Henry Raspe, Anti-Emperor.

1250. Foundation of the Hanseatic League.

1250-1254. Konrad IV.

1254. Union of cities of the Rhine.

1256. Death of William of Holland, Anti-Emperor.

1266. Battle of Benevento; death of King Manfred.

1268. Konradin's march to Italy, defeat, and execution.

THIRD PERIOD. (1254-1517.)

Emperors of Various Houses.

1256. Richard of Cornwall and Alfonso of Castile elected.

1273-1291. Rudolf of Hapsburg, Emperor.

1278. Defeat of King Ottokar of Bohemia.

1291-1298. Adolf of Nassau.

1291. Union of three Swiss Cantons.

1298. Albert of Austria defeats and slays Adolf of Nassau.

1298-1308. Albert I. of Austria.

1308. He is murdered by John Parricida.

1308-1313. Henry VII. of Luxemburg.

1308. The Papacy removed from Rome to Avignon.

1310. Henry VII.'s son, John, King of Bohemia.

1313. Henry VII. poisoned in Italy.

1314-1347. Ludwig the Bavarian.

1314-1330. Frederick of Austria, Anti-Emperor.

1315. Battle of Morgarten.

1322. Ludwig's victory at Mühldorf.

1324. He gets possession of Brandenburg.

1327. His journey to Rome; Pope John XXII. deposed.

1338. Convention of German princes at Rense.

1344. Invention of gunpowder.

1346. The Pope declares Ludwig deposed, and appoints Karl IV. of Bohemia.

1347. Death of Ludwig the Bavarian.

1347-1378. Karl IV. (Luxemburg).

1348. Günther of Schwarzburg, Anti-Emperor.

1356. Proclamation of "The Golden Bull."

1363. Tyrol annexed to Austria.

1368. The Hanseatic League defeats Waldemar III. of Denmark.

1373. Karl IV. acquires Brandenburg.

1377. War of Suabian cities with Count Eberhard.

1378-1418. Schism in the Catholic Church.

1378-1400. Wenzel of Bohemia (Luxemburg).

1386. Battle of Sempach.

1388. War of the Suabian cities.

1400. Wenzel deposed.

1400-1410. Rupert of the Palatinate.

1409. The Council of Pisa.

1410. The German Order defeated by the Poles.

1411. Three Emperors and three Popes at the same time.

1411. Frederick of Hohenzollern receives Brandenburg.

1411-1437. Sigismund of Bohemia.

1414-1418. The council at Constance.

1415. Martyrdom of Huss.

1418. End of the schism; Martin V., Pope.

1419-1436. The Hussite wars; Ziska; Procopius.

1431-1449. Council of Basel.

1437. Death of Sigismund.

The Hapsburg Emperors.

1438-1439. Albert II. of Austria; beginning of the uninterrupted succession of the Hapsburgs.

1440-1493. Frederick III.

1444. Battle of St. James.

1450. Invention of printing.

1453. Constantinople taken by the Turks.

1466. Treaty of Thorn; Prussia tributary to Poland.

1474. War with Charles the Bold of Burgundy.

1476. Battles of Grandson and Morat.

1477. Death of Charles the Bold; marriage of Maximilian of Austria and Mary of Burgundy.

1486-1525. Frederick the Wise, Elector of Saxony.

1493-1516. Maximilian I.

1495. Perpetual peace declared; the imperial court.

1512. Division of Germany into districts.

FOURTH PERIOD. (1517-1648.)

The Reformation.

1483. Martin Luther born.

1502. He enters the University of Erfurt.

1508. Is appointed professor at Wittenberg.

1510. Luther's journey to Rome.

1517. Luther nails his ninety-five theses, against the sale of indulgences, to the church-door in Wittenberg.

1518. Interview with Cajetanus in Augsburg.

1519. Interview with Miltitz in Altenburg.

1520. Luther burns the Pope's Bull.

1520-1556. Charles V., Emperor.

1521. Luther at the Diet of Worms; his concealment.

1522. His return to Wittenberg.

1524. Ferdinand of Austria and the Bavarian dukes unite against the Reformation.

1525. The Peasants' War.

1525-1532. John the Steadfast, Elector of Saxony.

1525. Albert of Brandenburg joins the Reformers; end of the German Order; battle of Pavia.

1526. Ferdinand of Austria inherits Hungary and Bohemia.

1526. The League of Torgau.

1527. War of Charles V. against Francis I. and the Pope; Rome taken by the Constable de Bourbon.

1529. Peace of Cambray; Diet of Speyer; the name of "Protestants;" Luther meets Zwingli; Vienna besieged by the Turks; Charles V. crowned at Bologna.

1530. Diet of Augsburg; the "Augsburg Confession."

1531. League of Schmalkalden.

1532. Religious Peace of Nuremberg.

1532-1554. John Frederick, Elector of Saxony.

1534. Duke Ulric of Würtemberg joins the Protestants.

1536-1538. Charles V.'s third war with Francis I.

1540. Ignatius Loyola founds the Order of Jesuits.

1542-1544. Charles V.'s fourth war with Francis I.

1545-1563. The Council of Trent.

1546. Death of Luther; the Schmalkalden War; treachery of Maurice of Saxony.

1547. Battle of Mühlberg; capture of John Frederick of Saxony; Philip of Hesse imprisoned.

1548. The Augsburg "Interim."

1552. Maurice of Saxony marches against Charles V.; Henry II. of France takes Toul, Metz, and Verdun.

1553. Death of Maurice of Saxony.

1555. The religious Peace of Augsburg.

1556. Abdication of Charles V.

1556-1564. Ferdinand I.

1558. Death of Charles V.

1560. Death of Melanchthon.

1564-1579. Maximilian II.

1567. Grumbach's rebellion.

1576-1612. Rudolf II.

1581. Rise of the Netherlands against Spain.

1606. Rudolf II.'s brother, Matthias, rules in Austria.

1608. The "Protestant Union" founded.

1609. The "Catholic League" founded; "War of the Succession of Cleves."

1612-1619. Matthias, Emperor.

1614. End of the "War of the Succession of Cleves."

The Thirty Years' War.

1618. Outbreak in Prague.

1619-1637. Ferdinand II.; Frederick V. of the Palatinate chosen King of Bohemia.

1620. Battle near Prague; flight of Frederick V.

1622. Victories of Tilly in Baden.

1623. Tilly defeats Prince Christian of Brunswick.

1624. Union of the northern states.

1625. Christian IV. of Denmark appointed commander; Wallenstein enters the field.

1626. Defeat of Mansfeld by Wallenstein: defeat of Christian IV. by Tilly.

1628. Wallenstein's siege of Stralsund.

1629. The "Edict of Restitution."

1630. Diet in Ratisbon; Wallenstein removed: Richelieu helps the Protestants; Gustavus Adolphus of Sweden lands in Germany.

1631. Tilly destroys Magdeburg; Gustavus Adolphus defeats Tilly and marches to Frankfort.

1632. Death of Tilly; Gustavus Adolphus in Munich; his attack on Wallenstein's camp; battle of Lützen, and death.

1633. Union of Protestants under Oxenstierna.

1634. Murder of Wallenstein; defeat of the Protestants at N?rdlingen.

1635. Saxony concludes a "separate peace."

1636. Victories of Baner.

1637-1657. Ferdinand III.

1638. Duke Bernard of Weimar victorious in Alsatia.

1639. Death of Duke Bernard.

1640. Diet at Ratisbon.

1642. Victories of the Swedish general, Torstenson.

1643. Torstenson's campaign in Denmark.

1645. Torstenson's victories in Bohemia; his march to Vienna; the French generals, Turenne and Condé, in Germany.

1648. Protestant victories; K?nigsmark takes Prague.

1648. The Peace of Westphalia.

FIFTH PERIOD. (1648-1892.)

1640-1688. Frederick William of Brandenburg, the "Great Elector."

1643-1715. Louis XIV., King of France.

1655-1660. War of Sweden and Poland.

1656. Battle of Warsaw.

1657-1705. Leopold I.

1660. The Duchy of Prussia independent of Poland.

1667-1668. Louis XIV.'s invasion of the Spanish Netherlands; the Peace of Aix-la-Chapelle.

1672-1678. Louis XIV.'s war against Holland.

1673. The "Great Elector" assists Holland.

1675. The battle of Fehrbellin.

1676. The Elector conquers Pomerania.

1678. The Peace of Nymwegen.

1681. Strasburg taken by Louis XIV.

1683. Siege of Vienna by the Turks; John Sobieski.

1687. The shambles of Eperies.

1688-1713. Frederick, Elector of Brandenburg.

1689-1697. Attempts of Louis XIV. to obtain the Palatinate.

1697. Peace of Ryswick; Prince Eugene of Savoy defeats the Turks at Zenta; Augustus the Strong of Saxony becomes King of Poland.

1699. Peace of Carlowitz.

1701. Prussia is made a kingdom.

1701-1714. War of the Spanish Succession.

1704. Battle of Blenheim.

1705-1711. Joseph I.

1706. Victories of Marlborough at Ramillies and Prince Eugene at Turin.

1706. Charles XII. of Sweden in Saxony.

1708. Battle of Oudenarde.

1709. Battle of Malplaquet.

1711-1740. Karl VI.

1713-1740. Frederick William I., King of Prussia.

1713. The Peace of Utrecht.

1714. The Peace of Rastatt; the Elector George of Hannover becomes King George I. of England.

1717. Taking of Belgrade by Prince Eugene.

1718. Treaty of Passarowitz.

1720. Treaty of Stockholm; Prussia acquires Pomerania.

1733-1735. War of the Polish Succession.

1740. Death of Karl VI.

The Age of Frederick the Great.

1712. Frederick born, in Berlin.

1730. His attempted flight; execution of Katte.

1740. Succeeds to the throne as Frederick II. of Prussia.

1740-1742. First Silesian War.

1741-1748. War of the Austrian Succession.

1742-1745. Karl VII. (of Bavaria), Emperor.

1742. Peace of Breslau; Prussia gains Silesia.

1743. Battle of Dettingen.

1744. East Friesland annexed to Prussia.

1744-1745. Second Silesian War.

1745. Battles of Hohenfriedberg, Sorr, and Kesselsdorf; Peace of Dresden; death of Karl VII.

1745-1765. Francis I. of Lorraine.

1748. Peace of Aix-la-Chapelle.

1750. Voltaire comes to Berlin.

1756-1763. The Seven Years' War.

1756. Frederick's successes in Saxony and Bohemia.

1757. Frederick's victory at Prague; defeat at Kollin; victories at Rossbach and Leuthen.

1758. Ferdinand of Brunswick defeats the French; siege of Olmütz; victory of Zorndorf; surprise of Hochkirch.

1759. Battles of Minden and Kunnersdorf; misfortunes of Prussia.

1760. Battle of Liegnitz; taking of Berlin; victory of Torgau.

1761. Frederick hard pressed; losses of Prussia.

1762. Death of Elizabeth of Russia; alliance with Czar Peter III.; Catharine II.; Prussian successes.

1763. The Peace of Hubertsburg.

1765-1790. Joseph II.

1769. Interview of Frederick the Great and Joseph II.

1772. First partition of Poland.

1774-1782. American War of Independence.

1778. Troubles with the Bavarian succession.

1780. Death of Maria Theresa.

1786. Death of Frederick the Great.

1786-1797. Frederick William II., King of Prussia.

1787. Prussia interferes in Holland.

1788-1791. Austria joins Russia against Turkey.

1790. Death of Joseph II.

Wars with the French Republic and Napoleon.

1789. Beginning of the French Revolution.

1790-1792. Leopold II.

1792. France declares war against Austria and Prussia.

1792. Campaign in France; battles of Valmy and Jemappes.

1792-1835. Francis II.

1793. Second partition of Poland; the first Coalition; successes of the Allies.

1794. France victorious in Belgium; Prussia victorious on the Upper Rhine.

1795. Third and last partition of Poland; Prussia makes peace with France.

1796. Bonaparte in Italy; Jourdan defeated in Germany; Moreau's retreat.

1797. Peace of Campo Formio.

1797-1840. Frederick William III., King of Prussia.

1798. Congress of Rastatt; Bonaparte in Egypt.

1799. The second Coalition; Suwarrow in Italy; Bonaparte First Consul.

1800. Battles of Marengo and Hohenlinden.

1801. Peace of Lunéville; France extends to the Rhine.

1803. Reconstruction of Germany; French invasion of Hannover.

1804. Duke d'Enghien shot; Napoleon, Emperor.

1805. The third Coalition; battle of Austerlitz; defeat of Austria and Russia; Peace of Presburg.

1806. The "Rhine-Bund" established; Francis II. gives up the imperial crown: battle of Jena; all Prussia in the hands of Napoleon.

1807. Battles of Eylau and Friedland; Peace of Tilsit; Jerome Bonaparte made King of Westphalia.

1808. Napoleon and Alexander I. in Erfurt; Joseph Bonaparte, King of Spain.

1809. Austria begins war with France; revolts of Hofer and Schill; Napoleon marches to Vienna; battles of Aspern and Wagram; Peace of Sch?nbrunn.

1810. Marriage of Napoleon and Maria Louisa; annexation of Holland and Northern Germany to France.

1812. Germany compelled to unite with Napoleon against Russia; battle of Borodino; burning of Moscow; the retreat; General York's alliance with Russia.

1813. The War of Liberation; Frederick William III. yields to the pressure; the army of volunteers; battles of Lützen and Bautzen; armistice; the fifth Coalition; Austria joins the Allies; victories of the Katzbach, Kulm, and Dennewitz; great battle of Leipzig; Napoleon's retreat; battle of Hanan; Germany liberated.

1814. The campaign in France; the Allies enter Paris; Napoleon's abdication; the Congress of Vienna.

1815. Napoleon's return from Elba; the new German Confederation; battles of Ligny and Waterloo; end of Napoleon's rule; second Peace of Paris; the "Holy Alliance."

Germany in the Nineteenth Century.

1817. The Students' Convention at the Wartburg.

1819. The conference at Carlsbad.

1823. A "provincial" representation in Prussia.

1830. The July Revolution in France; outbreaks in Germany.

1834. The Zollverein established.

1835-1848. Ferdinand I., Emperor of Austria.

1840-1861. Frederick William IV., King of Prussia.

1848. Revolution in Germany; conflicts in Austria, Prussia, and Baden; war in Schleswig-Holstein; the National Parliament at Frankfort; insurrection in Hungary and Italy; bombardment of Vienna; Francis Joseph, Emperor.

1849. Frederick William IV. rejects the imperial crown; civil war in Baden; Austria calls upon Russia for help; surrender of G?rgey; subjection of Italy.

1850. Troubles in Hesse and Holstein; end of the National Parliament in Germany.

1851. Restoration of the Diet; Louis Napoleon, Emperor.

1852. Conference at London concerning Schleswig-Holstein.

1853-1856. War of England and France against Russia.

1858. William, Prince of Prussia, regent.

1859. War of France and Sardinia against Austria; battles of Magenta and Solferino.

1861. William I., King of Prussia.

1862. Bismarck, Prime-Minister; political troubles in Prussia; congress of princes at Frankfort.

1863. Continued rivalry of Austria and Prussia.

1864. War in Schleswig-Holstein; Denmark gives up the duchies; the Prince of Augustenburg in Holstein.

1865. Agreement of Gastein; Schleswig and Holstein divided between Austria and Prussia.

1866. Austria prepares for war; the German Diet dissolved.

1866. Battle of Langensalza; invasion of Saxony and Bohemia; battle of K?niggr?tz; the war on the Main; truce of Nikolsburg; annexation of Hannover, Hesse-Cassel, Nassau, and Frankfort to Prussia; the Peace of Prague.

1867. Establishment of the North-German Union; the question of Luxemburg; hostility of France.

1869. ?cumenical Council in Rome.

1870. France declares war against Prussia; all the German states, except Austria, unite; battles of Weissenburg and W?rth; the German armies move on Metz; battles of Courcelles, Mars-la-Tour, and Gravelotte; the battle of Sedan, and surrender of Napoleon III.; the Republic declared in Paris; capitulation of Strasburg and Metz; siege of Paris; the war on the Loire and in the northern provinces.

1871. Victories of Prince Frederick Karl at Le Mans; Bourbaki's repulse by Werder; surrender of Paris; Bourbaki's retreat into Switzerland; William I. of Prussia proclaimed Emperor of Germany; the Peace of Frankfort; foundation of the new German Empire.

1872. Beginning of conflict between the German Government and the Roman Church; Falk made Minister of Culture; the Jesuits banished from Germany.

1873. The boundaries defined between State and Church; the May laws.

1874. Civil marriage made obligatory.

1876. The Kulturkampf beginning to lag.

1878. Two murderous attempts on the life of Emperor William I.; the exceptional law against the Social-Democrats put in force.

1879. Falk resigns; appointment of reactionary Minister of Culture; Alliance with Austria.

1881. Emperor William I. opens Parliament; legislation for bettering the condition of the working classes.

1882. Revision of the May laws; Triple Alliance.

1886. Warlike attitude of Russia and France; death of Ludwig II. of Bavaria.

1887. Parliamentary conflict in regard to the military budget; dissolution of Parliament; new elections result in favor of the Government.

1888. Death of Emperor William I.; Frederick III., Emperor; his reign of ninety-nine days; his death; succession of William II.

1890. Bismarck resigns the Chancellorship; General Caprivi succeeds him; German-English agreement.

1891. Renewal of Triple Alliance; new commercial treaties.

1892. Introduction of a new military bill.

1893. Defeat of army bill; dissolution of Parliament; the bill carried as a result of new elections.


Transcriber's Notes

Link to larger maps by clicking on the map.

Sidenotes replace page headings from the original. They are moved to the nearest following paragragh break.

Images are moved to the nearest paragraph break to make the text more readable.

The following are used interchangeably:

grand-sons grandsons

Eugenie Eugénie

Gunther Günther

Luneville Lunéville

Cooperation Co?peration

Page 113

(the name is written). Changed from 'writen' to 'written'.

Page 165

(he met Pope Adrian IV.,). Changed 'Adrain' to 'Adrian'.

Page 246

(--Change in Military Service.). Changed 'Servive' to 'Service'.

Page 344

(1734, King Stanislas). Changed 'king' to King'.

Page 356

(at the different courts,). Was 'differents courts' in original.

Page 379

(Longwy). As in original.

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