A history of Germany from the first encounter of the Teutonic tribes with the Romans to the eve of the First World War. The first part of the book traces the migrations of the Germanic nations throughout western Europe and their unification under Charlemagne. During the middle ages the Holy Roman Empire was a loosely controlled confederacy of German states, which did not become united until Prussia rose to prominence in the 18th century.
MAXIMILIAN WOULD OFTEN TAKE PART IN TOURNAMENTS.
No story, of course, can be so brave and splendid as our own "rough island story." No story can touch our hearts as that story touches it. Yet in the history of other nations there are things worth knowing. Men of other nations have done brave deeds, they have fought for the right, they have struggled for freedom even as we have done, and a pity it is that we should not know of it. For a brave deed is a brave deed all the world over, and the language of a brave deed is one that we all can understand, whatever our nationality may be.
The history of Germany is of great importance; it is more important perhaps than any other European history, and in it there is many a thrilling tale to be found. Yet I fear some of us know little about it. For outside school books (and there are few of these) no simple history of the German Empire exists in the English language.
Than that fact no further excuse or apology for this book is necessary. But if indeed excuse were needed I should find it in some words of Lord Haldane. "It is want of knowledge of each other," he said, "that renders the great nations suspicious. It is the influence of real knowledge that alone can dispel the clouds of suspicion, and set us free from the burden of preparing against attacks that are in truth contemplated by none of us."
We all admit nowadays that it is little use trying to reform the grown-ups, for they are too set in their old ways, whether they be good or bad. The cry is "get hold of the children." So in doing my little bit to remove the ignorance of which we are guilty, I make my appeal to the children of the nation.