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curncuiiiMi. ology and philosophy, metaphysics and the positive sciences,

their systems and their facts, doctrine and history, literature
and languages, everything is included in its essentially encyclo-
p:edic domain. More than that, cert;iin arts the exercise of
which presuppose talent of a high order, such as painting,
sculpture, architecture, music, the science of agriculture, the
art of war, are all comi^rised in this limitless domain of superior
instruction. In trutli, tliis world in itself contains everything
that is necessary to cultivate the human brain.

It must be frankly admitted that, among no people in the
world, even among the most intelligent and best educated,
is the universality of knowledge cultivated as in Germany. . .
Nowhere do universities so thoroughly justify their tradition of
centuries, their great name of Alma Mater. ... In ex-
amining the intellectual life of Germany the twenty-two univer-
sities of the empire appear as the culminating-points of its
scientific organization. These twenty-two summits form, in
the region of intellect, the high chain of mountains which gov-
ern the plain from afar, and from whose heights the supply
of modern thought and knowledge runs like limpid crystal
through endless channels to within the reach of all.

But every result must be purchased, and just as we
see the culture of music leading to its excess, so the
Increase of P^'^e Germany pays for its extended university system
I'rotefariaf ''"^7 ^^ '^'^^^ ^° consist iu an annually increasing contin-

gent of intellectual proletariat' to be found in the
country. This increase is even attracting the notice
of German public opinion. Lawyers without practice,
doctors without patients, men of science without pupils
— all these elements hnd no scope in practical life, and
go to swell tlie army of poverty and blighted hopes.

What Germany owes to her splendid system of school
education is so well known that it may seem superfluous

1 This term isapplied on the Continent I.) tlie lower working classes.



tu recapitulate it here. On the other hand, it may be
useful to point to a few of its peculiarities, if only to
yuard us against blindly accepting; it as a model, as we
seem at times too much inclined to do.

Amidst all the nebulous theories of speculative phi- „ ,. . .

^ _ ^ Peculiarities

losophv that raise the smile of foreigners, it remains a of Germany's

I J . . school system.

fact that the German people have carried more philoso-
phy into every-day life than any other nation. Uncon-
sciously, the categorical imperative of Kant, "Duty,"
forms the basis of Germany's intellectual character and


action. For if we at most jjroduce individuals above
the vulgar race for wealth, the Germans produce 7vhole
classes whose aims are entirely distinct from money-
making, and the most ])roniincnt class is that of the
( ierman schoolmaster.

It is true that before 1866 tiie Knglish type of the
speculative schoolmaster had sprung up in Germany,
but the rigid Prussian educational test refpurements for
military service soon put an end to amateur educational-
ism as a means of making a forluiie. Whereas English
schoolmasters are nothing if not speculative money-

Her school-
masters not

70 Imperial Germany

makers, the German pedagogue is as poor as a church
mouse, but devoted to his work heart and soul. It
is impossible to find his equal elsewhere in the world.

But the opinion is gradually gaining ground that he is

grinding the youth of the country to j)owder, and that it

Severity of jg time to Dut the break on. The very hitrh school

examinations. _ _ ' y o

qualifications required to pass the e.\amination for the
one-year service in the army are drilled into the boys at
so early an age as to put almost too great a strain on
their physical system. These tests have become more
severe of late, as well as the complicated examinations
that have to be passed in order to obtain any civil or
military appointment later on.

But we are chiefly concerned with the enormous
strain put on boys during their younger years, and
of this it may be said that it is so excessive as, in many
instances, to affect them physically and stunt their
growth intellectually.

A German paper says :

The over-burdening of our youth with school-work is again
Excess of work, the subject of wide discussion with our pedagogues, as well as
with those other philanthropists who are anxious for the wel-
fare of our youth. We have collected a few opinions of author-
ities on the subject, which we append :

" Our monopolized gymnasium,' with its devotion to the
dead languages and their grammar, has brought us to such
a pass that we — the so-called best educated classes — are
strangers in our own century, unable to free ourselves from a
dead and abstract world amidst which we have passed our
youth in order to obtain certain examinatory qualifications. It
is questionable whether we are ever able to free ourselves from
the consequences, let alone the bodily and ethical damage
done to us by this enforced torture.

" Dlsseldorf, May, 1886. " Hartwig.''

1 TJ^e German term for schools in which the usual classical curriculum
is followed.

2 A well-known German philologist.

Educational. 7 1

" We seem to have forgotten too readily that the word
gymnasium originally means a place set apart for athletic athletics!'^
exercise. Lothar Bucher.'

" Berlin, May, 1886.

" Schools ought to be fitted to the requirements of humanity.

" Oppolzer.
" Vienna, June, 1S86.

" The gymnasium with its two dead languages cannot last;

the only alternative is to drop either Greek or Latin.

" Eduard v. Hartmann.*
"Gr. Lichterfelde, May, 1886.

" I accuse our schools of unfair competition, for they only
bring out two-legged encyclopaedias.

"Hermann J. Meyer.'
''July 13, 1886.

"True culture does not consist of dead knowledge and hoi- Definition of
low tests of memory, but in the true development of the heart ^"""^ culture.

and of the reasoning faculties of the brain.

" Ernst Haeckel.*
"Jena, /««£-, 1886.

"An excess of heterogeneous knowledge weakens our senses
and lames our will. " Willi.vm Jordan."

"Frankfort-on-the-Main, July, 1886.

"Those who look after the condition of light and fresh air in
our schools, when they see that the number of diseased eyes
and lungs does not decline, forget that in numberless cases the
bad air and bad light at home in the evenings undo all the good
of light airy schoolrooms. Therefore, reduce the amount of
work to be done at home in the evening. There it is. Teach
in school, but give youth its freedom at home.

"J. Reuleaux.*

" Berlin, May 28, 1SS6."

I Privy Councillor l.otliar Buclic-r, until lately Bismarck's right-hand man
In the Foreign OflTice.

« The best known of living German philosophers.

» Compiler of the hest known German cik yc lopicdla.

< Professor of natural sciences at Jena ; well-known Darwinian.

» Philologist and poet of reputation.

• Privy councillor and member of the Prussian Chamber of Commerce.


Imperial Cicnnany.


An important

It, is, however, only fair to add that a number of pro-
fessors of the University of Ilcidelbertr lia\e rcccntU-
signed a declaration to the effect that they do not be-
lieve in the evil consequences of the present system of
school education. Yet there can be no doubt that one
of its outcomes is a large amount of so-called Halbbild-
ung (half-education), which carries imperfectly digested
theories into the community and tends to swell the
ranks of Social Democrats.

Besides, a large amount of this burdensome school
knowledge is utterly lost and thrown away in after-life
by those who have been forced to attain it in order to
pass the one-year-service e.xamination for the army —
and the ambition to do so is found down to the humblest
walks of life. Then again, the leaning toward intel-
lectual knowledge too often dies away in the practical
battle of life, and thus we find a great amount of stunted
intellect in the country among those who have not been
able to realize the promise of their school-days.

One definite omission we are convinced they ought
to supply, and this is a greater study of political
economy and of political science. These are the things
which, percolating the masses through the younger gen-
erations, will do more than the newspapers to form the
judgment of the people and produce a well-balanced
popular opinion.


There are other points which call for remark. In
Cultivation of the Strain of over-study the cultivation of character is
neglected. neglected. The masters are so engrossed with the in-

tellectual progress of their i)upils that they have little
attention to bestow on the development of their char-
acter, a point far better attended to even in " good-for-


nothing-else" English schools. The German masters

are excellent instructors (Lehrer), but rarely educators German

^ ^ -^ masters not

(^Erzieher). One of the causes of this is that the educators.
German boys do not pass so much of their free time
— of which they have very little — in the company of the
master, as in England. If English boys spend too
much of their time in play, the German boys spend too
little.' And this is to be deplored for two reasons: the

The University of Strassburg.

first is that outdoor games are so necessary for the
bodily health and development of youth ; the second,
that it is principally by companionship and joining in
the games of their pupils that I-Lnglish schoolmasters
are able to exercise a healthy influence on the character
of their charges. *

The German pedagogues prematurely develop the 'j'^'^?^,"'
brain at the expense of the physique, and without framing.

■ This is undergoing a change for the better of late ; not only in scliools, but
among the population at larK<", outdoor recreative exercise is on the increase.


Imperial Gcrniany

A comparison
in outward

In intellectual

enough attention to the character ; the Enc^Hsh peda-
gogues develop the cliaracter and the physique to the
neglect of the brain.

A comparison of the outward appearance of a class
of English and (iennan schoolboys, say between the
ages of twelve and fifteen, will at once impress an ob-
server, and would prove the best answer to the recent
declaration of the Heidelberg professors. The English
boys look far healthier and more active than their Ger-
man brothers, and their manners are much more easy
and engaging.

Further, we have no hesitation in saying that, admit-
ting that the schoolroom knowledge of a German youth
of twenty is, on an average, far above that of the Eng-
lish lad of the same age, it is by no means certain that
the same holds good when they are both forty or fifty.

On the contrary, from our observation we should say
that as they grow older the intellectual attainments of
the two tend to equalize, and when they come to the
prime of life, the Englishman, whose life is generally
more active and practical, is quite on a par in intellect-
ual power with the better educated German. And from
fifty upwards we are even inclined to think the German
goes stale sooner than the Englishman. And if such be
the case, it must be owing to the fact that the English
on an average lead a more healthy life, for where the
Germans do lead a healthy outdoor life we see the
remarkable vitality of their military commanders.

German education forces too much at too early an
age not often to affect the elasticity of the brain in after
years, unless it is compensated by the healthiness of
later life, as in the army.

Besides those already noted, there are other distinct
contrasts between English and (ierman school systems.

Educational. 75

The English master devotes all his attention to the most
gifted and diligent boys, neglecting the less intelligent
ones, for it is important for him to become known
through the success of his pupils at examinations in
order to secure further patronage. German masters
devote themselves equally to the instruction of all, with-
out money interest, and also without holding forth
prizes as an incentive. Prizes and scholarships are
almost unknown in ("ierman schools as well as in univer-
sity life.

As German boys ])lay hardly any outdoor games, o^^y^^^^ iviend-
compared with English boys, so also those friendships Qgf^a||I^.^ '"
among themselves, which in England so often last
through after-life, are comparatively rare. As stated
above, the system does not tend to bring out the char-
acter, but, on the contrary, rather to subdue and sup-
press the natural eitervescence of youth. At the same
time, it must not be forgotten that what the school
omits the university makes amends for. The German
university has a most powerful influence in developing
the character of the student for good, as also sometimes
for evil. It is there that the sentiment of honor is most
rigorously instilled, and although we must deplore the
excrescences which show themselves in undue sensitive-
ness and riuarrelsomeness, in the brutalitv of duelling — • influence of the

» ' . Mill VCTSlly Ml

the foundation of it all — the care for the honest dignitv 'icvciopinK

- - character.

of character which we find exemplified in the best
German is still a j)riceless possession of German man-
hood. It is also at the imiversity that llie German
youth imbibes his idealism, it is there that he often
forms his most lasting friendships. One cause of \ itiating
character in ICngland, ///.'• one ICnglish school and uni-
versity vice, is as yet comjjaratively unknown in Ger-
nianv viz., toadvism, inrulrated l)y I-jii;lish parents

76 Imperial Gcrjuany

themselves in sending their boys to school and later on
to the university merely to pick up connections to help
them to get on socially in after-life.

In conclusion, it is interesting to emphasize that

System of . i i i i • t •

prizes prizcs and scholarships benig unknown both at Ger-

man schools and universities, the astonishing results of
German education are gained without appealing to the
instincts of rivalry or competition — a most instructive
fact. The sense of duty attains here single-handed a
result which with us has to be brought about by rivalry
and the hope of reward.



The Sovereign is the Sovereign of all. The proper leader of
the people is the individual who sits on the throne. — Lord


Englishmen who have gained their hberties by cen- Absolute w.
turies of struggle against the pretensions of the crown m"narc"hier^
are loth to admit the advantages of a strong monarchy,
even if they are not instinctively suspicious of it. Yet
who can say, supposing that, instead of the Stuarts, they
had been ruled by a royal house of the stamp of the
HohenzoUerns — who can say that the monarchy might
not be as powerful in England to-day as we have seen it
to be in Prussia?

If an elective monarchy of old made possible the
Thirty Years' War, which l)rought Germany from its
position of the first power of Europe down to a waste
desert inhabited by hardly five millions of half-starving
human beings, on the other hand the stabilitv of the ''l'^t"*'"f,^°'

'^ ' - _ Hohenzollern

House of Hohenzollern has proved the salvation of Germany's

■T^ _ salvation.

Germany in our time. What the English would deem
a curse for themselves has turned out a blessing for Ger-
many, and what tlicy would have thought likely to
benefit the Germans — namely, their own parliamentary
institutions — would in all {probability have proved pow-
erless to help them.

From the first burgravc of Nuremberg, who bouglit
the margravate of Pirandenburg from the impecunious


Inif)cyial Geniiany


HoI\- Roman Ijnpcror Sigisnuuul, clown to the Prussian
rulers of our da)-, the family of Hohenzollern supplies
us with a series of extraordinary instances of the descent
of certain qualities from father to son.

Of Suabian origin — and Suabia is the traditional
home of canniness and thrift — the Hohenzollerns have
almost all been distinguished by the possession of these
useful qualities, allied to strong common sense which
preverrted them from turning to diseased niggardliness.
On the contrary, the characteristics of the Suabian
family onlv seem to have hardened in a northern soil

Frederick I.'s

Palack of Emperor William I., Herlin.
This view sliows the liistoiical vviiuiow out of which the emperor looked daily.

until they burst forth in the full effulgence of genius in
Frederick the Great. By a strange freak of fortune,
even the one Hohenzollern of a long line of rulers who
formed an exception to the family characteristic of
closeness in money matters benefited his country by his
extravagant vanity. For he it was — Frederick I. — who,
again profiting by the impecuniousness of the emperor
Leopold, gained the title of King of Prussia, if he did
not even do a little bribery in the affair, and thus attained

The Prussian I\Ionarchy. 79

that recognition for his country of which his successors
took such great advantage. Yet even in this particular
the Hohenzollerns show to advantage compared with
other German sovereigns, ahnost all of whom owe their
present titles to having sided with the French against
their own countrymen.

Thus we have in this extraordinary family hardly a
sinele ruler who did not in one way or another add his
mite to the foundation of Prussian power.


To understand the position of the Hohenzollerns of
to-day it is necessary to look at the past, and, before
referring to their doings, just cast a glance at the nega-
tive merit of what they refrained from doing. Allow-
ing for the times they li\ed in, it will be found thai, ^'XJ,',°onern'^
man for man, from the days of the Great Elector' down rulers.
to our own time, they have been individually far supe-
rior to their compeers on the German thrones.

Whereas the successive rulers of the one German state
which might at one time ha\e made itself the head of
Protestant Germany — Saxony — had missed tluir i)()liti-
ral opportunities. King Frederick William I. was (juietly

' ' *- . /v 1 Poluv of

(Irillintr his soldiers, filling the national coffers, and or- Frederick

'^ ... t William I.

ganizing a model administration in eve r\- department of
the state. The amiable Guelphs, just called to rule over
the English, were indulging their favorite tastes, cursing
the English, making themselves haled, and thus consol-
idating the power f)f the English ari.stocracy. At that
very time the Duke of Wiirtemberg was ruining .his
country by an extravagant imitation of French court
life and immorality. Later on, when Frederick thr or Kredcrick
Great was consolidating the fruits of Iiis victories, the

1 Frcilcrick William (1640-1688), the fouiuler f>f llu- I'riissiaii slate.


Imperial Germany




" Monarchs of
the poor.''

landgrave of Hesse-Cassel was amassing a private for-
tune of forty million dollars by selling his subjects to
England to be employed in coercing the American col-

But the coarse vagaries of the Guelphs in Hanover,
the splendid extravagances of the courts of WUrtemberg,
Bavaria, Hesse, and Saxony, are only interesting as they
enable us to see how the HohenzoUerns managed to
wade through the rottenness of the times and remain,
on the whole, unsoiled. For their record, side by side
with such, is a comparatively clean one.

But freedom from rascality is only an indication of a
superiority the HohenzoUerns invariably possessed and
showed by their actions. They have proved true to the
motto of tlie greatest of them all, that the king is the
first servant of the state. They have ever set their am-
bition to work out the development and welfare of the
entire nation instead of that of a class. The humblest
have felt it to be so, as is proved by the celebrated
answer of the miller to Frederick the Great, who, when
the king threatened to expropriate him unjustly, replied,
"There are still judges in Berlin, your Majesty !" Can
we imagine a French miller threatening Louis XV. with
a judge ?

To be a monarch of the poor is even to-day the boast
of the HohenzoUerns. Against the pretensions of the
aristocracy they have always sided with the rising citizen
class, however strongly personal ties may have bound
them to the nobility. Whenever the vital interests of
the people ha\e been at stake the Prussian monarchs
have seen that justice was done. And it is perhaps in-
directly owing t(j this distinction that the Prussians and
their rulers ha\e always been most cordially hated by
certain elements in politics. Those of doubtful moral

The Prussian Monarchy. 8r

standing in particular have ever been fiercest in their
dislike to Prussia. In our time the Prussians have
known no greater enemies than those morganatic ladies
who infest the little courts of Germany, and who have
wielded considerable political influence from time to

In the beginning of the last century the HohenzoUerns
introduced obligatory education amidst the derision of reforms made,
foreigners, and gradually abolished medieval serfdom.
.So also in our day we see them breaking entirely new
and hitherto untrodden ground, introducing economic
measures for the welfare of the masses.

\\ has ever been their supreme merit to recognize that
a nation does not consist of a small minority of privi-
leged persons, but rather that the meanest and the
humblest have an equal claim on the care and solicitude
of the sovereign. In this traditional and truly royal
acceptation of the duties of a monarch lies the secret of PrlfssiVs^
the sovereign's power in Prussia. This it is that has p^^^''-
enabled Pru.ssia from time to time to bear the strain put
upon the very existence of the state, and to face a world
in arms.

The HohenzoUerns from the first have been the
nurturers and educators of their people. It is they who
have impressed their administration with that stamp
of incorrujjtible rectitude, that iron sense of duty and
care for the welfare of all classes of the community, so
that one and all are ready to recognize now that military
success has drawn the attention of the world to its
causes. Hut long ago there were observers who needed
not military success to quicken their perceptions, and
one of them was the late Lord Lytton, who in 1840
declared that Prussia was the best governed country in
the world.


Imperial (icniia/iy.

The Great



About the same lime that Charles II. was in receipt of
a yearly bribe from Louis XI\'. through the liands of a
French courtesan, the Great Elector of Brandenburg, the
victor of I-\'hrbellin, was offering shelter to the French
Protestants whom the revocation of the Edict of Nantes
had driven from their homes. He it was who, after the
Thirty Years' War, finding his cfnintry swarming with
titled do-nothings, put a firm if despotic stop to
gambling and profligacy, and gathered the scions of

His wise

IhK i\h.W l.MFliKlAL I'Al.ACh, PoTSDAM.

the poor nobility to the standards of his victorious
army. Such despotism has now and then done good
service in history, and in this instance it laid the founda-
tion of that devotion of the poor Prussian aristocracy to
the throne and the army which has borne such splendid
fruit in our time.

Frederick William I. found his kingdom not only im-
poverished by the extravagance of his predecessor, but
still showing the traces of the devastation of a previous

The Prussian Monarchy

century of warfare. Whole districts were still untilled
waste, and even as late as the eighteenth century the
pest had fearfully devastated East Prussia. It was the
king himself who by proclamations and patents attracted
foreieners from Sa.xonv and Wurtemberg-, from the
Palatinate, from Switzerland and Bohemia, and, to-
gether with the Protestants who were driven from
Austria, turned them into industrious and contented

He cut canals, laid out highroads, caused heather
land to be furrowed bv the plow. He extended the „„der

,,,,'. , , , ,. ^1 Frederick

postal system. Model tarms and cattle-breedmg estab- wiiiiam i.
lishments were fostered and encouraged, and the cele-

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