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CONFEDERATIONS.                                 2O/
pleased. This would necessarily cause discontent and bitter-
ness, and would lead either to resistance and a breaking up
of the confederation, or to a consolidated empire. It is the
old part acted by a large city-state like Thebes with the hege-
mony in its hands, or by Athens as ally and then mistress of
the maritime states. The formation of the empire somewhat
diminishes this danger. Bavaria, with the other South-Ger-
man states and Saxony, have the same number of votes in
the federal council as Prussia, and although it must ever take
the lead, the opposition must be greater, and the fear of suc-
cessful disruption must act as a motive. Consolidation now
seems far less feasible. Secondly', the provisions for collect-
ing an army and for raising money by taxation are not those
of a bundesstaat, and at times the non-fulfilment of their
duties by the states must create very serious difficulties.
Again, it seems a serious defect that there is no supreme
interpretation lodged in some tribunal, having its branches
all over the "Reich" and empowered to hear and decide in
all cases where the central power as such is a party. But it
may be said that if such a court had been a part of the con-
stitution, it would have been a creature of the emperor. This
may be true, and this shows the difficulty of uniting a heredi-
tary imperial power, lodged in the hands of the head of a
great kingdom, with a real federal system. There can be no
change. The Prussian policy must go on for all time until
a break comes; and the more peaceful Europe grows, the
harder it will be to keep together. As we have before re-
marked, all difficulties are intensified by the fact that this is
not a union of states so much as of sovereigns. If it were
otherwise, the policy (of Prussia, for instance) might change
with a change of parties ; but the sovereign's will is more
under the control of personal and family ideas, than parties
are under the control of parfy principles. We have, then, a
kingdom governing the union of states, which is called the
"reich," stronger than that of Charlemagne or Charles V.,
or than any Austrian empire ; and this kingdom, while it is the
strength of Germany against foreign attacks, must be the