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Tommy4ever

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1861-1863
Gott Mit Uns​


The course of Prussian, German and European history was to be changed in the autumn of 1861 as the von Forckenbeck administration made its most important decision – moving to entangle the twin movements towards Italian and German unification. Italy had been united (with the exceptions of Rome and the Veneto – guarded by the French and Austrians respectively) by the Spring of 1861 and with the aid of France against Austria. To accept the offers of the brilliant Prime Minister Cavour of alliance was therefore quite a stunning manoeuvre. It greatly alienated the Austrians, Italy being an implacable enemy of Vienna, whilst the French were rightly nervous about a Prusso-Italian alliance. It is highly unlikely that Forckenbeck and his ministers had expected that the Italians would lead Prussia to war as soon as they did, but in accepting an alliance with a sister people also engaged in process of uniting their people they had clearly made a bold statement of the intent of their administration to rock the European balance of power.


War broke out in March 1862 pitting Denmark, France and the Papal States against Italy, Prussia and several minor German states, lasting a little over eleven months the ‘War of the Peoples’ (as it became known in Germany and Italy) claimed several hundred thousand lives and changed the balance of power in Europe forever. Following the alliance with the Prussians the Italians had moved quickly to agitate for the annexation of Papal controlled Rome – regarded as the rightful capital of Italy. At the same time a crisis was in the making in Northern Germany as the government of the Duchy of Holstein fell into the hands of a pro-Prussian clique that resisted Danish efforts at integration and looked to Berlin for support. The French Empire was implacably opposed to the loss of Rome by the Pope and any advancement of Prussian power – especially from a liberal, nationalist government with pretensions towards unification.

As Italian troop entered Rome in late February, France declared war on Italy on March 3rd, the following day Prussia declared war on France whilst also taking the opportunity to make a bid for Holstein’s independence – entering the Duchy and then Schleswig and Jutland. It is notable that several Prussian allies – most importantly Hannover – refused to march to war alongside Prussia in defence of the German nation; their betrayal would later have consequences for their independence. Meanwhile, it was only through the impressive diplomatic manoeuvrings of Otto von Bismarck – exiled to the ambassadorship to Austria in 1861 – that the Habsburgs were kept from throwing their lot in with the French.


In 1862 France was still Europe’s foremost military power – capable of fielding around one and a half times the number of troops the Prussians and Italians could muster combined, although their forces were clearly inferior to the Prussians in battle. With the Danes unable to resist, Rome following by early April and the Italians fighting a losing battle against superior French numbers and quality the war would be truly won or lost along the Rhine. Throughout 1862 and early 1863 the Prussians and French would wage a life or death struggle in the Southern Rhineland, Alsace and Lorraine. Despite winning nearly every individual engagement the Prussians struggled to hold on to territory – Strasbourg (falling in September 1862) being the only city that was captured and held for more than a few short weeks. French losses on this front were obscene, as many as three or even four times what the Prussians faced, yet their total victory on the Italian front (a victory which had seen Piedmont, Lombardy, Emilia, Romagna and Tuscany all fall one by one) and immense reserves of manpower ensured that losses could always be replenished.


By the late Summer the forces of attrition had left the Prussians in a troubling position – with the army struggling to hold on to Strasbourg, 40,000 Frenchmen had entered the Southern Rhineland. Fearing that the homeland was under threat the government finally called upon the reservists as every man capable of holding a rifle was called upon to take arms and defend the German Fatherland against Frankish invasion. The war had evolved into a life or death struggle of the German nation for the right to be born. By November the French were in headlong retreat from Prussian soil, however their route of retreat saw them escape destruction by travelling through Luxembourg, regarding the failure of the Dutch government to prevent this as a provocation Prussian troops entered Luxembourg themselves and installed a pro-Prussian Duke – bringing the Netherlands to the brink of war with Prussia, only British mediation keeping the Netherlands from marching to war. As the Danes surrendered in January – surrendering the Duchies of Schleswig and Holstein to pro-Prussian Dukes – the French began to contemplate peace. The final blow came with the fall of Nancy in March 1863, although triumphant in Italy (almost recapturing Rome itself) the French had been beaten by Prussia.


The peace treaty signed between Italy, Prussia and France in March 1863 forced Napoleon III to accept the loss of Rome to the Italians and the formation of the North German Federation – which included former Danish territory as well as the recently Dutch controlled Luxembourg (a Duchy that contained a substantial French population and greatly altered the strategic situation between France and Prussia in the favour of the Germans). Those North German states that had refused to march to war alongside Prussia in 1862 were forcibly annexed by Prussia (alongside the former Danish Duchies) while the loyal states, and Luxembourg were admitted into the new North German Federation (or Norddeutscher Bund) as quasi-independent entities. At home, the rigours of war and the creation of a whole new state had totally altered the political scene.


Economically the brief two year reign of the Forckenbeck administration had seen a mixture of economic calamity and success. In the first year of the government industry had grown by an impressive 8.3%, however during the year of war it had declined by 5.4%. The closure of old plants and the continuing process of large scale rural urban migration (not to mention the pauperisation of artisanal workers) had seen urban unemployed grow out of control in this brief period. At the proclamation of the NGF a full 100,000 men of working age were unemployed, this out of an urban craftsman population of just 350,000. This vast new population of the jobless created a potentially militant mass that was prone to criminality and political radicalism alike – seen as arguably the worst legacy of the liberal administration. Over the course of the war state debt had ballooned from under £5,000 to £27,113 – here was another area in which the government needed to take control.

Beyond this, the liberals had been highly successful in supporting the growth of the big bourgeoisie in Prussia, the numbers belonging to this elite group of industrialists and financiers more than doubling in this brief time (only a very small portion of that number coming from beyond pre-war Prussia). The past two years had clearly been a time of mixed success economically, although liberal economists claimed that North Germany would soon be alleviated of its economic troubles as the vast array of construction projects begun in this period in which investment had been actively encouraged would start to come on line in the next years and the country could recover from the war.

Politically both the right and left had suffered splits since the beginning of the War of the Peoples less than a year prior to the proclamation of the NGF. The DFP was the first to fall. As the country prepared for war the King demanded the refocusing of all resources behind the war effort, the promotion of military figures within the government and the downgrading of the role of the civilian government. With the liberals having failed to achieve a single political reform during their first year in office the prospect of surrendering their power to the military was not one the liberal left took kindly too. Von Forckenbeck’s slavish backing of King and army in the name of the national interest and German unity was widely backed within the party – with the projects of German unification and German freedom seemingly in conflict the party split between the liberal ideologues for which unification was secondary to political reform and the nationalist for whom political reform was less important than unification. From this split grew the National Liberal Party – under Forckenbeck’s leadership - and the continued (although much reduced) German Progress Party which took on a more radical, even quasi-Republican, tone.

For the right the war had been a galvanising and unifying force as the hard right moved to support the government and the strength of the conservatives was further enhanced by the defection of the left from von Forckenbeck’s government. The Conservative split was longer in the making but no less inevitable than that suffered by the liberals – for them it was to be a break between the modernists and the traditionalists, the Germans and the Prussians, the new bourgeoisie and the Junkers. The final split came only a short time after the proclamation of the NGF as debates about the nature of the new state and the project of German unification simply became too much. The traditionalists remained within the Conservative Party whilst the modernist, German nationalist Free Conservative Party saw the likes of Otto von Bismarck rally to the cause of a new right.

Before a new constitution could be drafted for the North German Federation it was decided elections should be held, whatever government they produced would then be tasked with writing the new constitution.
 

LordTempest

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I for one applaud our incumbent Liberal government for the long strides it has taken towards both German and Italian unification in only its first term in office. One hopes that a Liberal, pro-German alliance can make similar strides in the name of domestic reform come the next elections.
 

unmerged(271387)

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If elections are to be held,I will vote for the German Nationalist Free Conservative Party
Otto von Bismarck and the likes of him will be invaluable to Germany.
 

viola

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Three hurrahs for Germany! Three hurrahs for Liberalism!

After these stunning victories abroad it's time for serious political reforms!
 

alxeu

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It honestly doesn't matter if the liberals win the next election and begin writing the Constitution. If the Kaiser catches any whiff of such plans, he'd dismiss the Liberal leader and replace him with Bismark, who would then be shoved off by Wilhelm II, who would then lead Germany to disaster, and then we can have a Spartacist uprising in Bavaria, and then we can have a German Commune. Everybody vote Conservative for the sake of the Empire!
 

Duke of Awesome

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I really hope the communists don't try to take control of the AAR like they did the French one.
 

LordTempest

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If elections are to be held,I will vote for the German Nationalist Free Conservative Party
Otto von Bismarck and the likes of him will be invaluable to Germany.
Wait your turn! :p
 

Tommy4ever

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If elections are to be held,I will vote for the German Nationalist Free Conservative Party
Otto von Bismarck and the likes of him will be invaluable to Germany.
The elections won't open until tomorrow - so make sure you stop by again or your vote won't be counted.

I really hope the communists don't try to take control of the AAR like they did the French one.
Whilst the Left should eventually become a genuine contender to power I've unsure about the SPD winning an election in the 1870s, so I do have a plan on limiting the instant success of the Left. But that will be something people will have to vote for when the time comes.
 

Makkovar

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It is not unsual for short times of poverty and unemployment to come before the investments in economy that would demand such sacrifices come to fruition with new workplaces, those having potentially better working conditions. The foreign policies of the Left proved effective, time may show that internal policies, once unburdened by war, reach the same levels of efficiency.
 

Mr. Sometimes

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Hurrah! From this bloodshed a new, stronger nation shall arise! Long live Germany, and long live liberty!
 

GreatUberGeek

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Thus we have been shown by the eminent Forckenbeck how to both expand our military and still be liberal. Shame about the whole party split. Great job on the war!
 

Enewald

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So, when are you introducing an anarcho-capitalist party? :p
 

Zerois

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Für das Vaterland!
(Subscribed :p)
 

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Excellent the NGF is formed already, nice play.
 

Duke of Awesome

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When will the next election begin?
 

Terraferma

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Tommy4ever

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The Election of 1863

The changes that had swept Northern Germany in the two quick years since the last elections to the Prussian Landtag had been extraordinary. Prussia might soon cease to exist as an independent nation – most of the political sphere in Northern Germany advocating the NGF becoming a single nation state united under a Federation. The first elections in North Germany since the unification would be immensely significant – certainly more so than any that had occurred anywhere else in German history – for the victors at the polls of ’63 would be granted the opportunity to draft the new state’s constitution.

National Liberal Party (Nationalliberale Partei)
- NLP


Political Position: Centre-Left

Ideology: National Liberalism

Description:

Led by Minister-President von Forckenbeck and featuring most of the leading lights of the old DFP, the National Liberals represented a form of liberalism that was acceptable to the Prussian establishment. The party essentially aimed to bring consensus with the right on foreign policy – with the aim of German reunification above all else – whilst pushing for a liberal economic and reform agenda within any potential alliance.

Foreign Policy:

The goal of national reunification must be held above all else. The states of Southern Germany, aching under Austrian tyranny, desperately await liberation and leadership. The Federation is the only nation that can provide the leadership our brothers in the South demand. We must not rest on our laurels, but neither can we allow ourselves to be sucked into a war against more than one Great Power. The destruction of Austrian hegemony in Southern Germany must be accomplished without another war on the scale of the War of the Peoples – a conflict Germany will need some time to recover from.

Military Policy:

The NLP supports the reformation and modernisation of the military as an urgent priority. With the new sources of manpower opened up by reunification we should also approach military expansion. If the German people are to be united once and for all, it is doubtful that Prussian arms will not again be tested by our enemies.

Economic Policy:

The economic policies pursued in the past two years in Prussia have our nation on the cusp of a rapid economic expansion that shall leave the French and Austrians in our wake and open up Germany as a challenger to Britain for economic hegemony. They encouragement of a potent population of investors in industry shall not only alleviate the problems of unemployment in the old Prussian economic centres – they will open up the undeveloped lands of the new provinces to sorely needed economic advance. Our opposition to protectionism remains, such policies would be disastrous to our burgeoning industrial economy, whilst reduced taxes on the investing classes will support our economic advance. The German nation has a bright destiny; liberal policies are the only way that we can hope to fulfil that destiny.

The NLP will have a minimum of three national focuses encouraging capitalists and or clerks at all times.

Constitutional Reform Policy:

This is the most crucial moment in German history – a proper reform of the constitution and German politics is now palpably possible.

A Free press is an undoubted necessity.

The new lower house – the Reichstag – will be the most important centre of political power in the new Germany. The King will be bound to ensure that any government is chosen with the consent of the Reichstag.

In order to ensure proper representation for the smaller states of the Federation the upper house shall be reformed as the Bundesrat – in this body the King of Prussia shall have the right to appoint a maximum of 50% of members (despite the immense size of the Kingdom) whilst other members will be appointed by the governments of the smaller states of the Federation.

The Federation must not be a loosely bound collection of states but a single nation. We therefore call for complete freedom of movement by citizens within the Federation, common passports, common national bodies like a postal service etc, the unification of all military bodies under the Prussian Army, a national set of law codes (although local laws may remain in constituent states of the Federation) whilst freedom of religion must be guaranteed – a sign of support to the existing Catholic population of North Germany, but also to our brothers to the South.

Free Conservative Party (Freikonservative Partei)
- FKP


Political Position: Centre Right

Ideology: National Conservatism

Description: The FKP’s split from the Conservatives, similarly to the NLP split from the DFP, saw most of the right’s best elements coalesce in the new party. Led by the returning von Bismarck, the FKP places, like the NLP, places German unification and economic development high on its agenda. It is hoped by many on the right that the FKP might see a rejuvenation of conservatism after the disastrous defeat of 1861.

Foreign Policy:

The FKP supports the project of German unification – but it must be achieved with the minimal shedding of blood and tarnishing of Prussian reputations as possible. We shall not wildly look to stoke conflict in order to hurry our nation towards unity – but instead ensure that our enemies are isolated, our allies willing to support us and our armies ready for battle.

We therefore support the continued alliance with the Italians (although they must be kept from creating conflict without Prussia’s permission) as the ideal state to support any way with the Austrians or French. We would also pursue closer ties with Great Britain – with her maritime power and Germany’s mighty influence on the continent an unbreakable bond could potentially be forged that would ensure stability in Europe and the domination of our two states forever.

Military Policy:

The FKP will support the army in all its demanded reforms and in its expansion. We cannot afford to be lax on our defence policy, not when we are surrounded by so many enemies.

Economic Policy:

The FKP supports a tariff between 5 and 10% as a means of protecting our economy from foreign competition that could weaken us. However the party does not ignore the need to foster community investors and shall therefore encourage the growth of a national bourgeoisie. We must also support the improvement of education in Germany. The FKP will use subsidies and even provide state investment if necessary to fight unemployment.

The FKP shall place at least one national focus on capitalists, and one on clergymen at all times whilst the reform ‘Good School System’ shall be introduced

Constitutional Reform Policy:

The Reichstag (lower house) shall become the foremost centre of political power – the King should therefore be compelled to ensure that any government has the support the Reichstag before it can be appointed.

The FKP supports the creation of the Bundesrat (upper house) that shall allow the smaller states of the Federation a voice. A maximum of 66% of its members may be appointed by the King of Prussia – the rest should be appointed by the governments of the smaller states.

The importance of creating a united nation state in North Germany is paramount. We must therefore see the creation of national military, administrative, economic and even cultural bodies. The expansion of Prussian institutions nationwide appears to be the best way to achieve this. We must also ensure freedom of internal movement within the Federation, common passports legal codes etc. This is not an alliance of states but a nation.

German Progress Party (Deutsche Forschrittspartei)
- DFP


Political Position: Left

Ideology: Classical Liberalism

Description: The rump survivor of the split with the National Liberals. In reality the NLP was able to take with it the best elements of the party as well as a great deal of its structure leaving the DFP in a desperate state. Yet under the new leadership of Benedict Waldeck the party has taken a decisive leftward shift. Now even going so far as to embrace a Republican fringe within the party (although the mainstream does not yet challenge the monarchy) the DFP is setting itself up as the anti-system party of the NGF.

Foreign Policy:

The lie of the German Right was that he War of the Peoples was a battle waged by the Prussian Army in the name of the Germans. In reality the Prussians had been almost broken by late 1862 when the government called upon the people to rise up and protect Germany. It was the German people – no the Prussian Army – who defeated Bonaparte and it is they who are sovereign in the new Germany. We must therefore look to pursue a popular unification with our kin in the South as we have in the North.

Military Policy:

The power of the Prussian Army is troubling for the new German Federation; its influence must be reduced. The DFP therefore supports the transformation of the Prussian Army into a national North German Army – entailing a restructuring of its leadership and perhaps a downsizing in light of the fiscal burden it has placed upon the nation. We should also look to draw troops and officers from more diverse regions of Germany.

Economic Policy:

The liberal course of the recent government shall indeed be the salvation of North Germany. Given time an economic boon will soon ensue that shall establish the pre-eminence of Germany amongst the nations of the world. We cannot afford to turn. We therefore support the continued ban on tariffs, tax cuts for the wealthy investing population in society and the encouragement of the growth of our industrialist community. A reduction in military spending should also facilitate the paying off of the nation’s worryingly significant debts.

The DFP shall keep all national focuses on capitalists at all times

Constitutional Reform Policy:

This is a crucial moment in the history of the German people – the moment that we might create a democracy here in our country that shall be a shining example to all Europe and the world.

The lower house, the Reichstag, shall be the centre of power – the Reichstag shall present the government to the King, whose role shall be more ceremonial than in the past.

The upper house shall be elected on the basis of each region of Germany contributing two members through election – this Senate shall have no legislative powers of its own but the right to veto legislation – therefore ensuring a check on the power of certain regions.

The judiciary must be totally separated from all other organs of government and independent.

The separation of church and state, alongside the freedom of religion shall be ensured across Germany.

Total press freedom shall be implemented.

Germany must look to create a unitary state, the constituent states of the Federation being of lesser importance than the central government. All law codes, administrative organs, military bodies etc must be reformed nationwide – this will entail abolishing existing bodies and replacing them with new ones. Total freedom of internal movement, common passports etc must also be ensured. We should look towards creating a unified Germany, not a German Federation or even Confederation.

Conservative Party (Konservative Partei)
- KP


Political Position: Right

Ideology: Traditional Conservatism

Description: With the defection of the FKP the Conservative Party was left as a traditionalist Prussian rump. The party’s focus was Prussia above all else – largely opposed, or at the very least highly sceptical towards, the project of German unification it had largely accepted a North German state, but did not desire unity with the Catholic South. Although lacking a unified leadership the party’s most prominent figure is Helmuth von Moltke – the most prominent figure in the Prussian Army and the man who had commanded Prussia’s armies to victory in the War of the Peoples.


Foreign Policy:

Prussia has just taken an immense leap forward, gravely upsetting the balance of power in Europe. We must not go any further, certainly not until the continent has become becalmed once again. Our alliance with Italy should therefore be terminated – the Italians are a political and military liability, they cannot be trusted.

Military Policy:

Reformation, modernisation and expansion are needed now more than ever. The War of the Peoples might have been a victory but it proved that Prussia – even united with the other North Germans – is in no position to face France alone, whilst even with Italian aid we were stretched to our limits. If North Germany is to take its rightful position amongst the greatest powers of the world our military needs attention.

Economic Policy:

Our internal economy must be protected. We therefore advise a minimum tariff of 10%, in areas of high urban unemployed state subsidies may be necessary to support failing industries whilst strategic industries (arms production, steel etc) shall be supported as a matter of course as their continued existence is a matter of national self-defence. The education of our citizens is of paramount important we will therefore seek the improvement of the school system.

At least two national focuses must be used to encourage clergymen at all times, at least one must be used to encourage either basic industry (steel etc) or arms industry within a Prussian territory

Constitutional Reform Policy:

What we must seek is not a North German Federation bust a North German Confederation in which Prussia is dominant.

We therefore support the election of a lower house, the Reichstag, but its position shall be identical to that of the Prussian Landtag – only having national powers. The King should therefore use the Reichstag as an advisory body when appointing his government, but he is not bound to it.

The Bundesrat shall be an expanded version of the Herrenhaus – the King of Prussia having the right to appoint as many members to the house as he wishes in relation to Prussia’s population (ensuring the vast majority of members are appointed by the Prussian monarchy) whilst the Princes of the constituent states of the Confederation may appoint their own representatives according to their relative population.

Whilst freedom of internal movement would be in the interests of all North Germans unitary law codes, passports and institutions would infringe on the ancient rights and freedoms of various parts of the German nation – not least among them Prussia.

As a matter of national defence all existing militaries shall be brought under the leadership of the Prussian Army which shall become the sole military force of the North German Confederation.

The Princes of the constituent states of North Germany wilfully joined with Prussia; it would be tyrannical to impose upon them laws and institutions that are alien to them – just as it would be tyrannical for these smaller states to alter the internal affairs of Prussia. With only a few exceptions, the Confederation government should limit itself to foreign affairs and affairs of national interests – not internal Saxon, Frankfurter or Prussian affairs.

All reader must either vote for:

NLP

FKP

DLP

Conservative Party

! You may write the full name, shortened name or the German name of any party, so long as it is clear to me who you are voting for !

Please place your vote in a separate post or bold it within your post so it is easier for me to keep a tally.

Once again, spamming is not tolerated, you may not campaign outside this thread and I ask that you remain civil with each other.

Voting will close on Monday at 10 AM, I will post in this thread to officially close the polls and return with the results shortly later.
 

Tommy4ever

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Polls are open, time to start voting again! :D
 

unmerged(271387)

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​Free Conservative Party for me.