CONFEDERATIONS. 195 whose members, now in greater, now in smaller districts, partly possessed, partly sought for territorial dominion. "And to this disintegration with little or no power in the head, which Prof. H. Leo strangely calls a republic, he attri- butes the " manifoldness and depth of German culture." * We pass over the interval between this period and the German union reformation, which is marked by the accumula- after peace of West- . . . tion of power and territory in the south-east of Germany in the hands of the descendants of Rudolph of Hapsburg, who was chosen German king on account of his insignificance. We pass over the causes which led at length to placing the crown, under the forms of election, on the head of successive members of this family ; and also over the terrible strife, caused by a division of Germany between two hostile religions, as well as by the hope of the emperor to regain the powers which the princes had appropriated to them- selves. The thirty years' war separated Germany still more ; and we call the state of things which followed the treaties of Westphalia a confederation of the looser sort, a staatenbund, which, however, as was natural, retained many usages and ways of thinking pertaining to the old feudal times. The old German empire was, however, conceived to be still in ex- istence. But there is justice in what Pufendorf says in his de statu imperil (1660), that it has come into such a shape " ut neque regnum etiam limitatum amplius sit, licet exteriora simulacra tale quid prae se ferant, neque exacte corpus ali- quod, aut systema plurium civitatum foedere nexarum, sed potius aliquid inter haec duo fluctuans." f The important points for us in these treaties are not the restitutions and satisfactions for injuries in the war, nor the adjustment of questions of religious property and confessional rights, but the few things which are said, in Art. v., § 53, of the peace of Osnabriick, and Art. viii. especially, on the re- lations of the princes and independent states to the empire. * H. Leo, Universalgesch., ii., 250. f I owe this passage to Mr. Montague Bernard, Lecture on Diplo- macy, p. 53. Lond., 1868.