Prussia had been a state which did not rest on the concept of the Volk, a concept in its original meaning derived from Herder’s postulate that state and nation should be conterminous, that ethnic as well as cultural origins predestined such a unit to statehood since it represented not an artificial but a natural, organically developed community. Prussia was an artificial creation, the product of the dynasty and its servants, as was the Hapsburg Empire. But unlike that Empire, throughout most of its history it was a purely German state untroubled by the problems of national minorities. These did not arise until the final phases of its history when the German national idea gained predominance and thus gave further strength and motiviation to the forces of the national risorgimento that had affected eastern central, south-eastern and southern Europe throughout the nineteenth century. Particularly the Poles made it quite clear in 1871 that whilst they did not mind being subjects of the Prussian crown they adamantly refused to be German citizens.