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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.