Bismarck and the Two Germanies, Part II

By victory in the war of 1870, writes Harold Kurtz, Bismarck secured German unity at the expense of France.

Bismarck himself took a hand in the affair of the Spanish Crown in March 1870. He had seen the Spanish emissary, Salazar, on February 27th, 1870, having given strict instructions that nobody must be admitted during their conversation. On March 9th, he drew up an unofficial memorandum for King William of Prussia in which he urged acceptance by Prince Leopold of the Spanish offer.

He stressed, as Moltke had done, the importance of a friendly Spain in the event of complications with France; he underlined the dynastic glory accruing for the house of Hohenzollern from occupying the throne of Charles V; he warned against the possibility of an ultramontane Prince, Bavarian, Austrian or Carlist, accepting the throne and forming an anti-Prussian understanding with other Catholic powers, including France; and he implored the King not to offend the notorious susceptibilities of the Spanish nation by rejecting out of hand the noble crown of Spain.

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