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CONFEDERATIONS.                                 197
suing history we find estates of the diet taking sides against
one another in the affairs of Europe, and great wars waged
in Germany between them or by them against the emperor.
They were also encouraged, by the full power of treating
with one another which the peace gave them, to check each
other's political designs in the empire, as by forming leagues
in which a large number of princes were united. Such was
the furstenbund planned by Frederick the Great in 1785, a
little before his death, to prevent the exchange of Bavaria and
the Austrian Netherlands between the Emperor Joseph II.
and the next heir to the Bavarian dominions.*
Germany, broken up by the peace of Westphalia more than
Confederation bro- itwas before, was unable to withstand the power
ken up in 1806. of Napoleon. In 1806 the confederation of the
Rhine, withdrawing a number of princes in south-western
Germany from the empire, was followed by the emperor's re-
nunciation of his dignity, and the breaking up of the empire
itself. The princes could appeal, as they went out, to the
failure of the constitution of Germany to unite the different
members of the body, and to the separation of the interests
of North Germany from South, by the peace of Basel in 1795,
between Prussia and the French republic. There was thus
no German political union from 1806 until June 8, 1815,
y/hen the federal act was concluded by the plenipotentiaries
of the princes and of the free cities then remaining, and was
Revived 1815. The incorporated in the act of the congress of Vien-
federaiact.            na^ f^jg transaction constituted l< a confeder-
ation in perpetuity, bearing the name of the German confed-
eration " (Deutsches Bund). Its members were thirty-eight
(afterwards thirty-nine) in number, and its organ a diet in
which Austria was to preside. In an ordinary assembly there
were seventeen votes, so arranged that eleven principal
powers, including Denmark for Holstein, and the Netherlands
for Luxemburg, were to have one vote each, while the re-
maining six votes were given to groups of the smaller states
* Comp. v. Rianke, die Deutsche Machte u. der Furstenbund*