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The Political Thought Of Heinrich Von Treitschke
by H. W. C. Davis M.a
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When originally published in 1915, the author stated in his preface: "This book - which is mainly composed of selections from the work of Treitschke - has not been put together with a controversial purpose, but in the belief that English men may find it worth their while to understand the political philosophy which is now the vogue in Germany."
Heinrich von Treitschke (1834-96) was a German historian, sometimes called the "Machiavelli of the 19th century." A fervid partisan of Prussia, he left Baden at the outbreak of the Austro-Prussian War (1866) and became professor of history at Kiel (1866), Heidelberg (1867), and Berlin (1874). He edited from 1866 through 1889 the monthly Preussische Jahrbucher and became Prussian state historiographer in 1886.
As a young man, he was strongly nationalistic and liberal; as he grew older his political views became more nationalistic and less liberal. Although a member of the Reichstag, he was not especially successful as a practical politician. His writings, however, reflected his political views, his deep hope for the unity and greatness of Germany under Prussian leadership, and his admiration of Bismarck and the Hohenzollerns. They also reflected his strong anti-Semitism. His theories had great impact on the new generation and in academic circles. Treitschke's histories, stirring and graphic and excellent in workmanship, are nevertheless distorted by his fanatic nationalism and his pernicious biases. His masterpiece is his "History of Germany in the Nineteenth Century "(in 7 volumes, 1915-19). Among his other works are "Politics and Origins of Prussianism."
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