St Johns College - Yearbook (Annapolis, MD)

 - Class of 1895

Page 11 of 42


St Johns College - Yearbook (Annapolis, MD) online yearbook collection, 1895 Edition, Page 11
Page 11

Text from page 11:

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I K4 I 'X ST. Jornvfs COLLEGIAN. . 212 .wrought by the tide of French inva- sion, which had rolled over Germany for a quarter of a century, and aimed to reconstruct it as nearly as possi- ble like it was before the revolution. Germany was now but an incoher- ing multitude of independent states, for the old combination under the Emperor who was supposed to repre- sent the Geesars, was dashed to pieces by Napoleon, who substituted the confederation of the Rhine to parti- ally fill its place, but this fell with its author. y The Congress of Vienna organized the German states into one great con- federation with Austria at its head. Each State sent its representatives to the diet which met at Frankfort. The principal objects of this diet were to preserve 'the internal peace and to protect Germany against for- eign invasion. For ages Austria had been supreme in Germany, and had treated Prussia with the scant courtesy generally due an inferior. But Prussia-compact, wisely governed and in the enjoyment of a long and prosperous peace-in- creased rapidly in power, while Aus- tria, taxed with widely separated and dissatisfied provinces, wasted by ex- pensive wars, and hindered in her progress by an incompetent govern- ment, was gradually dwindlingaway. Prussia now began to aspire to the supremacy. For a while the trouble was averted by skillful diplomacy, but it was obvious that the solution of the question by the sword was in- evitable. While the quarrel was some distance from its culmination, Prussia was able to draw Austria into an alliance to wrest from Denmark the duchies of Schleswig and Hol- stein. The booty was easily obtain- ed, but its distribution widened still more the breach between the two jealous powers. By 1866 Prussia had completed the reorganization of her army. War was declared June 17th, and the Prussians under Gen. Von Moltke invaded Bohemia. The Austrians fought bravely against her invaders but were worsted in all the prelimi- nary combats and finally received a bloody and crushing defeat at Sado- wa. Only seven weeks after the de- claration of war the treaty of peace was signed. The power of Austria was completely broken. She was compelled to withdraw from the con- federation and allow a new organi- zation of Germany with Prussia at its head. - Beyond-the Rhine, however, France regarded the aggrandizement of Prus- sia with an evil eye. For centuries France had been a most undesirable neighbor to Germany. It had always been her policy to weaken and repress the loosely knit confederation of Germany. For fifty years after the fall of the great conqueror 'she was free from French aggression. But with the- signal defeat of Austria and the close union of Northern Ger- nianv, it was clearly seen that the southern states would soon join also a.nd there would be formed a power that would threaten the supremacy of France in Central Europe.

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