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THE DIET OF WURTEMBURG.
Stuttgardt, 29th July, 1836.
The session of the Diet of Wurtemburg, of January to July 1836, has been principally distinguished by the struggle against the Upper Chamber, (Standesherren Kammer) a struggle in which the Deputies were supported by the government, and which tended to authorize the abolition of the payment of many ancient feudal charges. This discussion was the more difficult of solution, as the constitution only allows to a certain extent the government of Wurtemburg to modify the opinion of the Upper Chamber, by the creation of new peers. However, some concessions have been obtained. As regards other important questions with which the session was occupied, and especially that which regards the press, no result has been arrived at.
This session has had ninety-four sittings, and terminated the 16th July. At this date, the definitive vote on the Budget has occasioned, according to custom, the expression of the motives on which the votes were founded; and these speeches have, to a certain degree, characterized the political colour of the assembly. Nineteen votes were opposed to it. Seventy votes were in favour of the Budget. This is done at Stuttgardt by terminating the votes by no or yes.
Two remarkable speeches were delivered, one by the Deputy Schmid, who declared for its adoption because the government had not spontaneously opposed many ameliorations, or abolished abuses, but that doubtless circumstances had impeded it. He insisted on the necessity of maintaining towards foreign powers and the Diet the independence of Wurtemburg. This speech may be inserted in the journals of the country.
The speech of M. Pfizer, a Deputy celebrated for his work entitled "Correspondence between two Germans," will only be published later in the voluminous collection of the accounts of the Chambers. The substance of M. Pfizer's speech was as follows:
"If the state of the finances presented to the Chamber was only to be considered in a financial point of view, I should say Yes; for I do not seek celebrity in a systematic opposition. But the Minister of the Crown, who has declared, in the discussion of the Budget, that the right of refusing the supplies was only a theory, might have added afterwards the experience of these later years, that the whole of our constitution is a theory, which will not be put into practice so long as the absolute powers weigh on Germany as heretofore. In order to protest against a system which is apparently imposed upon us, against a system which would shake all faith in the sanctity of right and the inviolability of oaths; in order to protest against a line of policy disastrous to dynasties and the people; in order not to put the stamp of approbation on the inefficacy of the charter and the weakness of the representation for these motives I say No."
In consequence of proceedings in Switzerland against the members of "Young Germany," many persons have been arrested even in Germany, among others, a Frankforter who has resided for some time at Offenbach, in Hesse-Darmstadt. Brought before the authorities at Offenbach, he was conducted to Darmstadt, and put in prison. Researches are making at the Universities.
VOL. IV.NO. XXVIII.
ON THE FOREIGN POLICY OF PRUSSIA.
To the Editor of the Portfolio.
Leipzig, July 16, 1836.
Public opinion (at least in Germany) is one thing, and Cabinet Policy is another. I have been endeavouring to prove, that the attempts to reason the people of the Constitutional States into a persuasion of the blessings of absolute power have been unsuccessful, and that the blame does not rest with that portion of the German people, if hitherto they have not been able to enjoy the undisturbed possession of their newly recovered liberties, or if the Germanic League has not yet assumed an independent attitude of foreign policy. If on this subject a doubt should still remain, I may simply ask, whether the English people were to be held answerable for the disuse of Parliaments and the misrule of Charles the Second, and whether, from their long suffering in this and similar instances, a settled distate for representative government is necessarily to be inferred. I might further allude to the disgraceful transactions between Charles the Second and Louis the Fourteenth, and proceed to ask, whether the English people are on that account to be charged with having thrown themselves into the arms of France, when it is upon record, that even the Duke of York, with all his bigotry and his love of arbitrary power, was at times alive to a sense of danger, and when, in the Cabinet Council, he was heard to declare," it was plain that France aimed at the Universal Monarchy, and that none but his Majesty could hinder them from it, in the posture that Christendom stood?" (Memoirs of Sir William Temple, part 2nd.) Sir, I confess that I have not been led into this parallel by chance, but I do think it deeply illustrative of the present position of European affairs. Never, since the death of
Louis the Fourteenth, has the world witnessed so vast a scheme, so deeply laid and so artfully promoted. I will not even allow to be quoted as an exception the plans of him, who, in our own days, has overshadowed Europe with " the gloom of his glory;" for Bonaparte acted by open force rather than by intrigue. Louis the Fourteenth stands convicted of intriguing with all parties; he is known to have attempted Russell and Sidney, and he taught the Republicans of Holland to mistrust the policy of the Prince of Orange, the only man in the world capable of arresting his progress- -even your own William the Third, the Deliverer, not of England alone, but of Europe.
I might now go on to analyze the policy of the Constitutional Governments. But I shall dismiss them for the present, to say a few words on the foreign policy of Prussia. It will hardly be necessary to characterise it more minutely; it cannot, I fear, be controverted, that the ties of relationship with Russia are strengthened by a similarity of political principle. A suspicion has of late been entertained, that the earnestness of this alliance has been exaggerated. It is to be wished that this suspicion may in the event prove true, though there are no visible symptoms yet of its being founded in fact, and it is certainly not the interest of Russia to exaggerate in this sense, if she meant to quiet the jealousy of other powers. But a mistake appears to prevail with regard to the state of public opinion in Prussia, which is commonly considered as favourable to the Russian alliance. Give me leave to state that nothing can be more gratuitous than this assertion. The Prussians, if any of the divisions of the German people, are alive to a sense of national honour. They are not, they cannot be, indifferent to the charge brought against their government of subserviency to a foreign power. Even the military spirit which pervades the nation would scorn the idea of being made the willing instrument of foreign ambition. Such sentiments are not whispered in secret ; they are openly avowed in Berlin, where, whatever may be the foibles of this capital, greater liberty of speech is certainly allowed than is elsewhere imagined. No more is it a secret, that the
Prussian officers have received at Kalisch an impression very different indeed from that of the gallant general mentioned in my last-that they returned disgusted with the exhibition, and far from entertaining any high opinion of the danger to be apprehended from the Russian army. Nor do the king's advisers appear to be unanimous in recommending an absolute concurrence with Russian views; at least one should suppose, it was not for nothing that M. Ancillon was, on one occasion, (playfully it is said) dubbed the "Mussulman." The Crown Prince to be sure has been described as "6 a stout Russian ?" Has he ever been seen to pay his court to Russia? It is not likely that the heir of a Crown should willingly consent to its humiliation-and, not being his own act, it would be felt as such by any Prince of even moderate parts. But the Crown Prince of Prussia is a man of mind; he is reputed a wit, and, what is more, he is considered to have a political opinion of his own. He will certainly not be mistaken for a liberal-" son métier est d'étre Royaliste." I am not aware if he would, with von Raumer, call his father" the greatest Reformer in Europe;" but he is said to be of opinion, that some of these Reforms have been introduced in rather a summary way; and it is very possible that those of the Nobility, in whose society he is known to take pleasure, may have confirmed him in this view. It must be granted, that great measures of Reform, emanating solely from the royal will, and executed by a still expanding circle of employés, depending upon the king's pleasure, that such Reform, in a country where there is no national representation, may sometimes appear partial to some classes and oppressive to others. But an opposition to the present bureaucratic system, or, as it is called, to the hierarchy of the Beamten-Welt, does not by any means imply a contempt of right, or an unwillingness to consult the inclinations of the people.
As to the king himself, I need not say that he is one of the most popular Monarchs of Europe. His people do feel a real affection for him. Affliction has endeared him to them, and they have stood by him through good report and evil report. They are