By David Wetzel
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Additional info for A Duel of Nations: Germany, France, and the Diplomacy of the War of 1870-1871
But all statesmen, even the most high-minded and idealistic, regard themselves as realists. The distinctive quality of Bismarck’s realism lay in his ﬂexibility, in his refusal to be bound by any ﬁxed rules or preconceptions, his sense of limits, of proportions, of dimensions. His plans were robust, always allowing for the intervention of accident, of mistake, of the unforeseen—the imponderabilia, as he once 19 politics and personalities called it. Bismarck received extensive attention in European and American historical literature even before his death, in 1898, and the full pattern of his complicated and subtle personality continues to emerge in the light of the more intensive and detached scrutiny to which it is constantly subjected.
This faction was composed of people who were reasonably content with Austria’s German position, who wanted to see tranquility preserved in Austria’s relations with the German states, and who favored, for this reason, cultivation of friendly and peaceful relations with Berlin—a faction that included Andrássy and Kaiser Francis Joseph. Finally and decisively, though resentful of Prussia and the North German Confederation, the immediate concern of the Austrians was to protect their interests in the Near East.
Order in Berlin, and we shall have order in the country. . They [presumably King Frederick William IV and his ministers] now have the power in their hands and a perfect right to use it. ”36 Moltke’s hope was disappointed. The king, Frederick William IV, was ﬁrst inclined to use the troops to crush resistance in the capital, but, as usual, at the critical moment his resolve deserted him, and he determined to follow a moderate course of action. The years after 1848 disillusioned Moltke. The Prussian army was, in many respects, a ramshackle operation.
A Duel of Nations: Germany, France, and the Diplomacy of the War of 1870-1871 by David Wetzel
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