chapter  12
57 Pages

A Change of Course at Home

ByLothar Gall

The temptation was particularly great for both sides to shuffle off the responsibility for what was felt to be an ominous development and for each to blame the other, forgetting that for long periods they had been acting in concert. The course of events from 1874 up until the decisions of 1878–1879 was in fact very much more ambivalent and very much more open to potentially quite different developments than appears from the outcome. The government, he reckoned, should then take its cue from the outcome of that process, from the resultant distribution of political weight, seeking in this way to gain a fresh and firmer base. The liberals, and in particular the members of the National Liberal Party in the Imperial Diet, were to be forced into making a fundamental decision for or against the government.