Mr. Kreismann to Mr. Seward.
Sir:When I last wrote about affairs in Germany and Prussia, I alluded to the increasing danger of a European war arising from the Schleswig-Holstein controversy. The sudden and unexpected death of the late King of Denmark, and the accession to the throne of Christian IX, as King of Denmark and Duke of Schleswig-Holstein and Lauenburg, under the terms of the so-called “London protocol,” has brought on a crisis. Most of the Germans still refuse to recognize the succession of King Christian in the duchies, and declare for Prince Frederick of Augustenburg, who has issued a proclamation, pronouncing himself the legitimate and rightful Duke of Schleswig-Holstein. All Germany is aglow with patriotic excitement and enthusiasm; and men and means are freely offered by the people “for the rights and deliverance from foreign oppression of their German brethren” in these duchies. The German Diet has refused admittance to a representative of King Christian, and although it has not yet received the representative of the Duke Frederick, the middle and smaller states of Germany are ready for that step too. Prussia and Austria, although the representatives of the people in both countries strongly declare for action, are still holding back, declaring themselves bound by the London treaty of 1852, hut they will be unable to prevent the passage of a resolution by the other members of the Diet, declaring for an immediate occupation of Holstein by federal troops, no longer in the sense of a federal execution, for that would involve a recognition of King Christian as Duke of Holstein, but for the purpose of possessing themselves of a German land, until it can be delivered to its rightful sovereign. The large Danish force at present stationed at Holstein will then have to evacuate it, or a collision must inevitably ensue; and hostilities once having commenced, a war by no means limited to Germany and Denmark will be the result.
England, in presence of these developments, has assumed a most threatening attitude towards Germany, while Napoleon, annoyed by the refusal of England to participate in his Paris congress, has not definitely indicated what position he will occupy in the matter. These complications make assurances doubly sure regarding the impossibility of foreign intervention in our own affairs.
The conflict between the House of Deputies and the King and his ministers continues the same as ever. As long as his Majesty retains the Bismarck cabinet it will not end, even if the dissolution of the Chamber is again and again resorted to.
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I am, sir, your obedient servant,
Hon. William H. Seward, Secretary of State, Washington, D. C.