Free history Kindle books for 19 Sep 18

The Franco-Prussian War: The History of the War that Established the German Empire

by Charles River Editors

*Includes pictures
*Includes online resources and a bibliography for further reading
*Includes a table of contents

After Prussia was victorious in the Austro-Prussian War, Bismarck played a waiting game where the unification of Germany was concerned, as the joining of the southern states – initially resistant to Prussian rule, friendly with Austria, and bent on independence – would have to be overcome. What was needed was “a clear case of French aggression” toward either Prussia or the southern states. Not only would such a move by Emperor Napoleon III trigger the terms of the treaty between the German states, but it would keep the remaining world powers out of the conflict.

The Franco-Prussian War started in August 1870, and a number of victories followed for the Prussians in battles in northeast France. By September, the strategic city of Metz was under siege, and forces fought a major battle at Sedan. Led by Field Marshal Helmuth von Moltke, the Prussians forced the French to surrender at Metz, and then at Sedan. Emperor Napoleon III, commanding his country’s forces at Sedan, was taken prisoner, humiliating France and its impetuous leader.

The Prussians immediately marched on Paris, but the capital refused to submit, and a separate siege was mounted that ended up lasting 130 days. Obviously, French society was in tumult, but a Third Republic and Government of National Defence was pronounced in place of the French Empire. An uprising subsequently took place in the stricken city, dubbed the “Paris Commune,” which sought to establish a radical alternative to the status quo and was itself put down by French troops.
Prussian forces besieged Paris starting in September 1870, and although French units attempted to make inroads at battles in the north and east of the country, the Prussians were in comfortable control of the conflict. Food was becoming scarce, and an armistice was signed on January 26, 1871 with Paris on the brink of starvation. The Prussians lost 45,000 men during the conflict, while France suffered almost three times as many dead and wounded. The French government accepted the terms of its defeat with the Germans, which would prove a painful experience, and for their part, the Prussians could avenge the humiliation of the Napoleonic occupation and the treatment at the hands of the French conqueror 65 years earlier.

On January 18, 1871, King Wilhelm I was crowned Kaiser of the German Empire, and though the Franco-Prussian War was still taking place, this moment was essentially the point at which Germany was unified. The other German states had to agree to this profound constitutional change, but they acquiesced after the clear victory of the Prussian-led forces. German unification was the territorial expansion of Prussia by another name, but Berlin demonstrated it could protect the interests, or at least the safety, of German-speakers under their watch.

Despite the campaigns of nationalists and liberals over the previous decades, it was ultimately a victory on the battlefield that united the German states. This was the real-world application of Bismarck’s “Blood and Iron” concept. From this position of strength during war, Prussia achieved an unassailable position. During the relatively short wars of 1864, 1866, and 1870-71, Bismarck roused nationalist sentiment, and in so doing, he achieved the long awaited goal of German unification. Nevertheless, the manner in which Germany was united drew much criticism. Prussia was at the head of a militarized state led by an authoritarian regime. This version of a German Reich would move irrevocably toward the First World War, which started 43 years after the Empire’s founding. For many, nationalism became a substitute for political participation in the unified Germany.



Seeing Jesus as the Passover Lamb

by James Thomas Lee Jr

This text has been written to show the clear parallels between the children of Israel having been delivered from Egyptian bondage during the offering of the first Passover lamb and the possibility for deliverance from sin and the penalty of sin by the offering of the Passover Lamb who is Jesus. It begins in the first two chapters by explaining how the children of Israel had even become slaves in Egypt. It then shares the birth of Moses, a little bit about his life, and how the Lord had used him to bring the children of Israel out of their bondage. Beginning in chapter five of this text, Jesus will be shown to be the Passover Lamb that takes away the sin of the world. That does not mean that everyone is automatically saved. But it does mean that everyone can be saved. In chapter six, the intent will be to show why every individual needs the Passover Lamb and then how he or she can receive Him. In chapter seven, the focus will be on how people should respond to Jesus as the Passover Lamb. Finally, chapter eight of this text will make some interesting comparisons between Old Testament situations and New Testament living. As with every text written by this author, the hope is that many people will be saved and be drawn closer to the Lord. The simple key to all of life is to give oneself to Him.



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The Great War

by Carlton Hayes

SELF-INTEREST was the dominant note of the years immediately preceding the outbreak of the Great War. In economics and in politics, among individuals, social classes, and nations, flourished a self-interest that tended more and more to degenerate into mere cynical selfishness. Pseudo-scientists there were to justify the tendency as part of an inevitable “struggle for existence” and to extol it as assuring the “survival of the fittest.”
            Economic circumstances had provided the setting for the dogma of self-interest. The latest age in world history had been the age of steam and electricity, of the factory and the workshop, of the locomotive, the steamship, and the automobile. It had been the age of big competitive business. Between the capitalists of the new era had developed the keenest rivalry in exploiting machinery, mines, raw materials, and even human beings, with a view to securing the largest share of the world’s riches and the world’s prestige. It was a race of the strong, and “the devil take the hindmost.”
            Competition in big business gave manners and tone to the whole age. It inspired a multitude of mankind to emulate the “captains of industry.” It furnished the starting-point and the main impulse for the development of the doctrines of Socialists and of Anarchists and of all those who laid stress upon “class consciousness” and “class struggle.” It even served to set farmers against manufacturers and to pit “producers” against “consumers.” To secure power and thereby to obtain wealth, or to secure wealth and thereby to obtain power, became the more or less conscious end and aim of individuals and of whole classes…



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