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COUNT CAMILLO DI CAVOUR (1810-1861)
T is not as an orator that Cavour ranks high, but as a statesman, I an able and energetic controller of national affairs. Yet, though not looked on as an eloquent speaker, he could, on occasion, deliver himself pointedly and effectively. As a leader in the movement for the unification of Italy, Cavour was one of the great statesmen of modern times. While the king reigned, the minister ruled—a dictator in position and the power of bending all to his will. The first important step taken by Cavour was to commit Sardinia to the Crimean war. By his management of this he greatly increased the power and prestige of the Sardinian kingdom. The revolutionary work of Garibaldi was encouraged by him, and by taking part in it at the critical moment, he brought about the unity of Italy and the crowning of Victor Emmanuel as the king of the whole country. Then, worn out by the strain, he died, a few months only after his life work was completed.
ROME THE CAPITAL OF ITALY
[Cavour's natural inclination would have been to make his native Turin the capital of united Italy. But he felt that, for historic and sentimental reasons, Rome was the only capital to be considered. This conviction he clearly conveyed in the following remarks.]
Rome should be the capital of Italy. There can be no solution of the Roman question without the acceptance of this premise by Italy and by all Europe. If any one could conceive of a united Italy with any degree of stability, and without Rome for its capital, I would declare the Roman question difficult, if not impossible, of solution. And why have we the right, the duty, of insisting that Rome shall be united to Italy 2 Because without Rome as the capital of Italy, Italy cannot exist.
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This truth being felt instinctively by all Italians, being asserted abroad by all who judge Italian affairs impartially, needs no demonstration, but is upheld by the judgment of the nation. And yet, gentlemen, this truth is susceptible to a very simple proof. Italy has still much to do before it will rest upon a stable basis; much to do in solving the grave problems raised by her unification; much to do in overcoming all the obstacles which time-honored traditions oppose to this great undertaking. And if this end must be compassed, it is essential that there be no cause of dissidence, of failure. Until the question of the capital of Italy is determined, there will be endless discords among the different provinces. It is easy to understand how persons of good faith, cultured and talented, are now suggesting, some on historical, some on artistic grounds, and also for many other reasons, the advisability of establishing the capital in some other city of Italy. Such a discussion is quite comprehensible now, but if Italy already had her capital in Rome do you think this question would be even possible 2 Assuredly not. Even those who are now opposed to transferring the capital to Rome, if it were once established there would not dream of removing it. Therefore it is only by proclaiming Rome the capital of Italy that we can put an end to these dissensions among ourselves. I am grieved that men of eminence, men of genius, men who have rendered glorious service to the cause of Italian unity, should drag this question into the field of debate, and there discuss it with (shall I say it) with puerile arguments. The question of the capital, gentlemen, is not determined by climate, by topography, nor even by strategical considerations. If these things affected the selection, I think I may safely say that London would not be the capital of England, nor, perhaps, Paris of France. The selection of the capital is determined by great moral reasons. It is the will of the people that decides this question touching them so closely. In Rome, gentlemen, are united all the circumstances, whether historical, intellectual or moral, that should determine the site of the capital of a great State. Rome is the only city with traditions not purely local. The entire history of Rome from the time of Caesar to the present day is the history of a city whose importance reaches far beyond her confines; of a city destined to be one of the capitals of the world. Convinced, profoundly convinced, of this truth, I feel constrained to declare it solemnly to you and to the nation, and I feel bound to appeal this matter to the patriotism of every citizen of Italy, and to the representatives of her most eminent cities, that discussions may cease, and that he who represents the 630 count CAMILLO DI CAvour nation before other powers may be able to proclaim that the necessity of having Rome as the capital is recognized by all the nation. I think I am justified in making this appeal even to those who, for reasons which I respect, differ with me on this point. Yet more; I can assume no Spartan indifference in the matter. I say frankly that it will be a deep grief to me to tell my native city that she must renounce resolutely and definitely all hope of being the seat of government. Yes, gentlemen, as far as I am personally concerned, it is no pleasure to go to Rome. Having little artistic taste, I feel sure that in the midst of the splendid monuments of ancient and modern Rome I will lament the plain and unpoetic streets of my native town. But one thing I can say with confidence : knowing the character of my fellow-citizens; knowing from actual facts how ready they have always been to make the greatest sacrifices for the sacred cause of Italy; knowing their willingness to make sacrifices when their city was invaded by the enemy, and their promptness and energy in its defence; knowing all this, I have no fear that they will uphold me when, in their name and as their deputy, I say that Turin is ready to make this great sacrifice in the interests of united Italy. I am comforted by the hope—I may even say the certainty—that when Italy shall have established the seat of government in the eternal city, she will not be ungrateful to this land which was the cradle of liberty; to this land in which was sown that germ of independence which, maturing rapidly and branching out, has now reached forth its tendrils from Sicily to the Alps. I have said and I repeat: Rome, and Rome only, should be the capital of Italy.
PRINCE OTTO VON BISMARCK (1815-1898) THE MAN OF BLOOD AND IRON
EVER has Europe had a political magnate of more dictatorial N disposition, indomitable persistence, and devotion to one idea, than the great German Chancellor, Otto Edward Leopold, Prince Von Bismarck-Schönhausen. We give his full title, but Bismarck alone is the name by which he is and is destined to be known. His one idea was to revive the German Empire, under the leadership of Prussia. The Holy Roman Empire, once a very powerful organization, under German supremacy, had passed from existence during the Napoleonic period. Bismarck did not wish to revive this, but to form an empire confined to the German States. Appointed Primeminister in 1862, he brought about the war with Denmark in 1864, and with Austria in 1866, followed by alliances between Prussia and the other large German States, and the North German Confederation, composed of twenty-two States. Then, in 1870, came the war with France, followed by the union of all the German States under King William of Prussia, who was crowned Emperor of Germany at Versailles in 1871. Such was the great work of Bismarck's life. Created Prince and Chancellor in 1866, he remained Chancellor of the Empire till 1890. But the new Emperor, William II., was not the man to submit to a dictator, and Bismarck resigned, to dwell in private life for a number of years, a caustic critic of the imperial measures. A formal reconciliation between the Emperor and the “Man of Blood and Iron" took place in 1894.
LOYALTY TO PRUSSIA
[The Imperial crown had been offered to the King of Prussia at an earlier date,
but declined. This was after the revolution of 1848, when a German parliament was
established and a feeble form of union formed. In the following year the crown
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was offered to Frederick William IV., then the Prussian King. Bismarck, then a member of the Prussian Chambers, opposed the project, nnless Prussia, as a kingdom, should benefit by it. We append a characteristic extract from his speech.]
I am more inclined to believe that Frederick II. would have turned, for a solution of the question, to the most prominent characteristic of the Prussian nation,-its warlike element, and not without success. For he would have known that now, too, as in the days of our fathers, the sound of the trumpet summoning all to the standard of their sovereign lord has not yet lost its charm for the Prussian ear, be it for the defence of our own frontiers or for the glory and greatness of Prussia. After the rupture with Frankfort he would have had the choice of allying himself with Austria, his old comrade-in-arms, and of assuming the brilliant role played by the Emperor of Russia in assisting Austria to annihilate the common foe, revolution; or it would have been open to him, after rejection of the Imperial Frankfort crown, by the same right as that by which he had conquered Silesia, to decide for the Germans in the matter of their Constitution at the risk of his casting the sword into the scale. That would have been a national Prussian policy. In the former case community with Austria, in the latter her own exertions, would have given Prussia the proper position for helping Germany to be the Power in Europe which it ought to be. But the draft Constitution annihilates specific Prussianism, which has saved the country from the revolution and almost alone sur
vived it. . . . . It was a Prussian regiment which on the 18th of September, 1848, saved us from the Frankfort Parliament conjured up against us. . . . . It was the attachment of the Prussian people to their ruling
house—it was the old Prussian virtues of honor, loyalty, obedience and bravery, which permeate the army from its framework, the corps of officers, to the youngest recruit. This army cherishes no Tricolor enthusiasm. In it, as among the rest of the people, you will not find any longing for national regeneration. It is content with the name of Prussian, and proud of it, too. These hosts will follow the black and white banner, but not the Tricolor, and under the former gladly die for their country. Nay, since the 18th March, they have come to regard the Tricolor as the badge of their opponents. Familiar to and beloved by them are the strains of the “Prussian Air,” the “Old Dessauer” and the “Hohenfriedberg” marches, but I have never yet heard a Prussian soldier sing “What is the German's Fatherland 2’’ The people from whom this army is drawn, and who are most truly represented by it, have no desire to see their Prussian kingdom melt away in the putrifying ferment of South German anarchy. Their loyalty does not cleave to an imperial paper presidency, nor to a princely board of six, but rather to a free and living King of Prussia, the