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A History of Germany by Bayard Taylor

[Illustration: THE EMPEROR OF GERMANY.

(_After a Photograph by J. C. Schaarwaechter, Photographer to the Emperor._)]

A

HISTORY OF GERMANY

FROM THE EARLIEST TIMES TO THE PRESENT DAY

BY BAYARD TAYLOR

_WITH AN ADDITIONAL CHAPTER BY_ MARIE HANSEN-TAYLOR

NEW YORK D. APPLETON AND COMPANY 1897

COPYRIGHT, 1874, 1893, BY D. APPLETON AND COMPANY.

ELECTROTYPED AND PRINTED AT THE APPLETON PRESS, U. S. A.

PREFACE.

When I assented to the request of the publishers that I would edit a new edition of the History of Germany, and write an additional chapter finishing the work down to the present date, I was fully aware of both my own shortcomings and the difficulty of the task. That I undertook it, nevertheless, is because I was strongly tempted to perform what I considered, in my case, an act of piety. Being naturally familiar with the aim and style of this book, I have tried to compile a new chapter in the simple narrative fashion by which the History has commended itself to its readers.

In his "Introductory Words" to the original edition the author says: "The History of Germany is not the history of a nation, but of a race. It has little unity, therefore it is complicated, broken, and attached on all sides to the histories of other countries. In its earlier periods it covers the greater part of Europe, and does not return exclusively to Germany until after France, Spain, England and the Italian States have been founded. Thus, even before the fall of the Roman Empire, it becomes the main trunk out of which branch the histories of nearly all European nations, and must of necessity be studied as the connecting link between ancient and modern history. The records of no other race throw so much light upon the development of all civilized lands during a period of fifteen hundred years.

"My aim has been to present a clear, continuous narrative, omitting no episode of importance, yet preserving a distinct line of connection from century to century. Besides referring to all the best authorities, I have based my labors mainly upon three recent German works--that of Dittmar, as the fullest; of Von Rochau, as the most impartial; and of Dr. David Mueller, as the most readable. By constructing an entirely new narrative from these, compressing the material into less than half the space which each occupies, and avoiding the interruptions and changes by which all are characterized, I hope to have made this History convenient and acceptable to our schools."

The book is, indeed, eminently fitted for use in the higher grades of schools. But the scope, comprehensiveness, and style of the work make it in no less a degree inviting and attractive to the general reader.


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