This article argues that the German Confederation — deutscher Bund — (1815–66) was a form of rule built on early modern republican political theory. It was a ‘Compound Republic’ form of rule constructed to prevent the emergence of a system of sovereign German states as well as a single sovereign German state. Its purpose was maintaining peace and stability in Europe and safeguarding the autonomy of its member polities. Contemporary statesmen, intellectuals and scholars saw these purposes as complementary. A non-sovereign, polycentric and republican organization of the German lands was regarded as a natural and necessary component in a stable Europe free from war and revolutions. This article analyses the origins, institutions and policies of the German Confederation, with particular regard to how the means of organized violence were organized. It thereby demonstrates the implementation of republican ideas and purposes in the Bund. The article situates the Bund in 19th-century thinking about European stability and sovereignty, further demonstrating the prevalence of republican ideas on international order. Republican political theories and institutions differed sharply from modern theories and models of international relations. Consequently, the history of international politics, the European system of states and state-formation must be re-conceptualized more in line with historical realities.
Friday, May 31, 2013
Abstract of the day
Peter Haldèn, "Republican Continuities in the Vienna Order and the German Confederation (1815-66)," Eur. Journal of Intl. Relations, June 2013: