Friedrich Paul Berg wrote: ↑16 Feb 2018, 14:48
Scott, finally lets it all hang out. WOW!
Scott wrote: "Then to keep German internal rivalries focused outside the Reich, Bismarck high-handedly annexed Alsace-Lorraine so that Germans would be focused outward, wary of French hatred."
Since Scott has never even been to Alsace-Lorraine, he simply does not know that most of the people there speak German as they have since Roman times. Why do you suppose they do that, Scott? Did you ever hear of "Burgundy" and the "Burgundians" who famously captured Joan of Arc? "Strasbourg" and "Mulhouse" and many other city names in the region are not even of French origin. Why is that, Scott?
Of course I do. And Germany tended to do very well in later international plebiscites for self-determination, even if they had only a minority of German speakers. The attitude of Alsace-Lorraine to the 1871 German annexation is not my point at all.
For all I know the people in the annexed territories might have been just as happy about German annexation as the Austrians were about the German annexation in 1938, which was wildly popular wherever German was spoken by non-Jews. Of course, Hitler had to lay some diplomatic groundwork to get Italy on board with the Anschluss, and to sacrifice South Tyrol, but that is not my point either.
The setup to the my point is that the ATTITUDE OF FRANCE
to this makes "high-handed" an understatement.
French Butthurt over Bismarck's annexation bordered on outright hatred against Germany--and this was indisputably a factor in the enmity that led to the standoff and eventual war with Germany in 1914. It was also factored into Schlieffen's 1906 plan, which accurately predicted that the French would throw everything they had into Alsace-Lorraine.
My actual point was that this FRENCH
enmity (hatred) against Germany SWAMPED
any enmity that Bavarians might have had towards Prussians, religious or otherwise.
Bismarck recognized this FRENCH enmity (hatred), and so promoting German nationalist sentiment was one of the huge factors that convinced him to proceed.
This is called Realpolitik,
which is the exact opposite of what organizations like the EU would do today which tends to promote balkanization and globalization for financial hegemony--and usually using vapid moralistic arguments to get there.
Here is what Wikipedia says about the Annexation and Bismarck's thinking:
The modern history of Alsace-Lorraine was largely influenced by the rivalry between French and German nationalism.
In 1871, the newly created German Empire's demand for Alsace from France after its victory in the Franco-Prussian War was not simply a punitive measure.
The transfer was controversial even among the Germans: The German Chancellor, Otto von Bismarck, was initially opposed to it
, as he thought it would engender permanent French enmity toward Germany. Some German industrialists did not want the competition from Alsatian industries, such as the cloth makers who would be exposed to competition from the sizeable industry in Mulhouse. Karl Marx
also warned his fellow Germans: "If Alsace and Lorraine are taken, then France will later make war on Germany in conjunction with Russia. It is unnecessary to go into the unholy consequences."  [Emphases added.]
The late Walter Sapp, who posted on the Axis History Forum as "Kaschner," and who was a Francophile (and Liberal) Texas lawyer who had married the daughter of the German General Kaschner, sometimes made a similar point too. Walter used to hang out with her family in Strasbourg or Paris and talked history and politics with Hans Speidel, Rommel's Chief-of-Staff at Normandy. Speidel spoke excellent French, according to Walter. (He also didn't think that Speidel or Rommel were directly implicated in the Stauffenberg bomb plot, if I remember correctly.)
More central to the point, I know too many Germans who have told me of the lingering animosity between Bavarians and Prussians, often RELIGIOUS in nature. Our own Wilfried Heink (RIP) posting on RODOH as "neugierig" often said so, for example. Another guy was a Bavarian Engineer Rainer Grimm, who had been in the Hitler Youth and posted as "Goggi" on the Axis History Forum in 2000 when he was retired in California with diabetes--and would be about 88 years old if he were still alive today. Rainer/Goggi wrote extensively about life in wartime Germany and the Occupation. He said that the American Negroes were pretty decent to them during the occupation. Goggi liked to throw around the term "Prussian tentacle," probably ironically, whenever he reminded us that he was Bavarian.
I'm not trying to belabor this point, but in 1871 Bismarck needed considerable political savvy forming a German nation under the Prussian aegis, which could never have worked without considerable Bavarian cooperation. People often downplay Hitler's skill at Realpolitik too. Both sought to end German balkanization.
To the credit of Christianity, they have mostly mended sectarian fences in this regard, even in Ireland. In the 1970s my ex-girlfriend was working as a Librarian in London and there was trash on every street in those days, because if there were trash receptacles placed on the sidewalk the IRA would put bombs in them.
Anyway, Christianity also has a long history of the separation of Church and State, at least in advanced countries like Germany with long histories. This is part of the reason that Prussians had difficulty with Poles for so long. Poles got along a little better with Austrians (Catholics).
One of the reasons that I refuse to sentimentalize about Islam and Muslims is that they are still MEDIEVAL
in outlook. I don't care if they do or do not like Israel. In spite of immigration lawyer Yasir Khan waving a copy of the U.S. Constitution at the 2016 Democratic Party Convention, the First Amendment means nothing to them, and this is especially if they are not a small minority. Islam means SUBMIT
Modern Germany did not get to where it is without its History, all of it. But German History can be written from a Marxist perspective just as is currently done about the United States and Europe, and this has been for many decades in the making. It is not new.