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The Duel Between France and Germany   By: (1811-1874)

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In Charles Sumner's book, the Duel Between France and Germany, readers are taken on a deep exploration of one of the most significant historical events in European history - the Franco-Prussian War. Sumner, a highly regarded politician and scholar, delves into the intricacies of this conflict, providing an objective and comprehensive account of the events that led to the downfall of the French empire and the rise of a unified Germany.

What sets this book apart from others on the subject is Sumner's ability to contextualize the conflict within the broader European political landscape of the time. By examining the historical tensions and rivalries between France and the German states, Sumner builds a robust foundation for readers to understand why this war was inevitable. He skillfully uncovers the underlying causes, such as territorial disputes, Franco-German power struggles, and the decline of the Napoleonic empire, which played a significant role in shaping the outcome of the conflict.

One of the highlights of this book is Sumner's detailed analysis of the military tactics and strategies employed by both France and Germany during the war. Drawing on a wide range of primary sources, he provides a meticulous account of key battles, analyzing the decision-making and leadership styles of notable military figures. This nuanced perspective allows readers to gain a deeper appreciation for the complexities of warfare and understand its profound impact on the political and social landscape of the time.

Moreover, Sumner doesn't shy away from addressing the profound consequences of the war, both for France and Germany and for Europe as a whole. He explores the post-war aftermath, delving into the political repercussions and the subsequent reordering of power dynamics on the continent. Sumner's narrative is thought-provoking and raises important questions about the consequences of nationalism, territorial ambitions, and shifting alliances.

Though the book may appear dense and challenging at times due to the sheer amount of information presented, Sumner's clear and concise writing style keeps readers engaged and eager to learn more. His objectivity and attention to detail demonstrate his scholarly approach, making this book an invaluable resource for those interested in understanding the complexities of this historical period.

In conclusion, The Duel Between France and Germany by Charles Sumner is an excellently researched and thoughtfully written book that sheds light on a pivotal moment in European history. Sumner's thorough analysis, comprehensive perspective, and insightful commentary make this work an essential read for historians, scholars, and enthusiasts alike.

First Page:

Ralph Zimmerman, David Starner, Charles Franks and the Online Distributed Proofreading Team.

THE DUEL BETWEEN FRANCE AND GERMANY

REPRINTED FROM "ADDRESSES ON WAR"

BY CHARLES SUMNER

THE DUEL BETWEEN FRANCE AND GERMANY, WITH ITS LESSON TO CIVILIZATION.

LECTURE IN THE MUSIC HALL, BOSTON, OCTOBER 26, 1870.

"When kings make war, No law betwixt two sovereigns can decide, But that of arms, where Fortune is the judge, Soldiers the lawyers, and the Bar the field."

DEYDEN, Love Triumphant , Act I. Sc. 1.

LECTURE.

MR. PRESIDENT, I am to speak of the Duel between France and Germany, with its Lesson to Civilization. In calling the terrible war now waging a Duel, I might content myself with classical authority, Duellum being a well known Latin word for War. The historian Livy makes a Roman declare that affairs are to be settled "by a pure and pious duel"; [Footnote: "Puro pioqne duello." Historie , Lib. I. cap. 32.] the dramatist Plautus has a character in one of his plays who obtains great riches "by the duelling art," [Footnote: "Arte duellica." Epidicus , Act. III. Sc. iv. 14.] meaning the art of war; and Horace, the exquisite master of language, hails the age of Augustus with the Temple of Janus closed and "free from duels," [Footnote: "Vacuum duellis... Continue reading book >>




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