Obverse and reverse
In this usage, obverse means the front face of the object and reverse means the back face. The obverse of a coin is commonly called heads, because it depicts the head of a prominent person. In fields of scholarship outside numismatics, the front is more commonly used than obverse. For prints and drawings with material on both sides the one judged as more significant will be the recto, a convention now exists typically to display the obverse to the left and the reverse to the right in photographs and museum displays, but this is not invariably observed. Following this principle, in the most famous of ancient Greek coins, the tetradrachm of Athens, the obverse is the head of Athena, similar versions of these two images, both symbols of the state, were used on the Athenian coins for more than two centuries. The opposite side may have varied from time to time and this change happened in the coinage of Alexander the Great, which continued to be minted long after his death. The various Hellenistic rulers who were his successors followed his tradition and this script alone style was used on nearly all Islamic coinage until the modern period.
The type of Justinian II was revived after the end of Iconoclasm, without images, therefore, it is not always easy to tell which side will be regarded as the obverse without some knowledge. After 695, Islamic coins avoided all images of persons and usually, the side expressing the Six Kalimas is usually defined as the obverse. The form of currency follows its function, which is to serve as an accepted medium of exchange of value. Traditionally, most states have been monarchies where the person of the monarch, if not provided for on the obverse, the reverse side usually contains information relating to a coins role as medium of exchange. Additional space typically reflects the countrys culture or government, or evokes some aspect of the states territory. Regarding the euro, some regarding the obverse and reverse of the euro coins exists. This rule does not apply to the coins as they dont have a common side. A number of the used for obverse national sides of euro coins were taken from the reverse of the old pre-euro coins of some individual countries.
Several countries continue to use portraits of the monarch and the Republic of Ireland continues to use the State Arms. The Chrysanthemum Crest was no longer used after the war, and so, the side on which the date continues to be regarded as the reverse. Following ancient tradition, the obverse of coins of the United Kingdom almost always feature the head of the monarch
This conflict paralleled the Third Independence War of Italian unification. It saw the abolition of the German Confederation and its replacement by a North German Confederation that excluded Austria. The war resulted in the Italian annexation of the Austrian province of Venetia, for centuries, Central Europe was split into a few large states and hundreds of tiny entities, each maintaining its independence with the assistance of outside powers, particularly France. After 1815, the German states were again reorganized into a loose confederation. When Austria brought the dispute before the German Diet and decided to convene the Diet of Holstein, when the German Diet responded by voting for a partial mobilization against Prussia, Bismarck claimed that the German Confederation was ended. Crown Prince Frederick was the member of the Prussian Crown Council to uphold the rights of the Duke of Augustenberg. Although he supported unification and the restoration of the medieval empire, the ultimate aim of most German nationalists was the gathering of all Germans under one state.
Two ideas of national unity eventually came to the fore – once including, US newspaper The New York Times summarized its views of German nationalism shortly after the outbreak of the war, There is, in political geography, no Germany proper to speak of. There are Kingdoms and Grand Duchies, and Duchies and Principalities, inhabited by Germans, yet there is a natural undercurrent tending to a national feeling and toward a union of the Germans into one great nation, ruled by one common head as a national unit. Bismarck maintained that he orchestrated the conflict in order to bring about the North German Confederation, the Franco-Prussian War, taylor thinks Bismarck manipulated events into the most beneficial solution possible for Prussia. On 22 February 1866, Count Karolyi, Austrian ambassador in Berlin, sent a dispatch to the Minister of Foreign Affairs, possible evidence can be found in Bismarcks orchestration of the Austrian alliance during the Second Schleswig War against Denmark, which can be seen as his diplomatic masterstroke.
It was in the Prussian interest to gain an alliance with Austria to defeat Denmark and settle the issue of the duchies of Schleswig, the alliance can be regarded as an aid to Prussian expansion, rather than a provocation of war against Austria. Many historians believe that Bismarck was simply a Prussian expansionist, rather than a German nationalist and it was at the Gastein Convention that the Austrian alliance was set up to lure Austria into war. The timing of the declaration was perfect, because all other European powers were bound by alliances that forbade them from entering the conflict. Britain had no stake economically or politically in war between Prussia and Austria, the details of the discussion are unknown but many historians think Bismarck was guaranteed French neutrality in the event of a war. Italy was already allied with Prussia, which meant that Austria would be fighting both with no major allies of its own, Bismarck was aware of his numerical superiority but still he was not prepared to advise it immediately even though he gave a favourable account of the international situation.
When the Prussian victory became clear, France attempted to extract concessions in the Palatinate. Naturally I was not doubtful of the answer for a second, I answered him, its war
Red Cross Medal (Prussia)
The Red Cross Medal was a German medal set up on 1 October 1898 by Wilhelm II. It had three classes and could be awarded to all those who carried out service to the sick in peace or wartime. The Red Cross Medal was awarded in three classes, the Second and Third classes being worn as circular medals suspended from a red ribbon with white, the First Class was a red enameled Geneva Cross with gilded Prussian Royal Crowns at the ends of the arms. This award was worn as a steckreuz on the breast like the Iron Cross, recipients could be promoted to the next class of the medal with five years time in service, with the first level anyone could be initially appointed to being the Second Class. The Red Cross Medal, First Class was a Steckkreuz in the form of the red enameled Geneva cross in gilded silver, at the ends of the cross arms are gilded Prussian Royal Crowns. The red enamel bears a hatch pattern, the back is plain gilded silver except for the single vertical attachment pin on the back. The cross is 46.6 to 48.8 mm high, the Red Cross Medal, Second Class is a round, silver medal,33 mm in diameter.
On the obverse is a Geneva cross with Prussian royal crowns at the ends the arms of the cross, the Geneva cross is enabled in red. Between the arms of the cross are the initials W and R at the top, on the reverse is the inscription in four lines FUER / VERDIENSTE / UM DAS / ROTHE KREUZ. To the left of the inscription is an oak branch. The Red Cross Medal, Third Class is a bronze medal,33 mm in diameter. The design is identical to the silver medal except it lacks the red enameling of the cross on the obverse, in 1900, clasps for the medals were created to recognize service in war. Three were awarded, Südafrika 1899-1900 Ostasien 1900/01 Südwestafrika 1904/06
Order of the Red Eagle
The Order of the Red Eagle was an order of chivalry of the Kingdom of Prussia. It was awarded to military personnel and civilians, to recognize valor in combat, excellence in military leadership and faithful service to the kingdom. As with most German orders, the Order of the Red Eagle could only be awarded to commissioned officers or civilians of equivalent status. However, there was a medal of the order, which could be awarded to non-commissioned officers and enlisted men, lower ranking civil servants and other civilians. The predecessor to Order of the Red Eagle was founded on November 17,1705 and this soon fell into disuse but was revived in 1712 in Brandenburg-Bayreuth and again in 1734 in Brandenburg-Ansbach, where it first received the name Order of the Brandenburg Red Eagle. The statutes were changed in 1777 and the Order named therein as the Order of the Red Eagle, the Order was conferred in one class, limited to fifty knights. The Kingdom of Prussia absorbed both Brandenburg-Bayreuth and Brandenburg-Ansbach in January,1792, and on June 12,1792, King Frederick William II again revived the order as a Prussian royal order.
After the Order of the Black Eagle, the Red Eagle was the second highest order of the kingdom in order of precedence, in 1810, King Frederick William III revised the statutes of the Order, expanding it into three classes. In 1830, a breast star was authorized for the Second Class, the statutes were further revised in 1861, and a Grand Cross was established as the highest class of the Order. By 1918, an affiliated soldiers medal had been available to commoners. The monarchy collapsed on November 9,1918, a new German constitution was signed into law, August 11,1919, effectually putting a legal end to the monarchy. Among these were, All classes but the Medal of the Red Eagle Order could be awarded with swords for distinction in wartime, the swords passed through the arms of the cross behind the center medallion. All classes above the 4th Class could be awarded with Swords on Ring, indicating that the recipient of that class without swords had earlier received a class of the order with swords. A pair of crossed swords were worn above the cross on the ring or above the medallion on the upper arm of the breast star.
All classes could be awarded with or without crown as an added distinction, the Grand Cross, 1st and 2nd Class could be awarded with oak leaves, indicating prior receipt of the next lower class of the order, and/or with diamonds, as a special distinction. Royal family members were awarded the Grand Cross with crown, the Maltese cross badge was suspended from a miniature of the Prussian crown, which covered the usual suspension ring. The Grand Cross was awarded at least once with crossed marshals batons, the crossed batons were worn above the Maltese cross badge of the Grand Cross, on its suspension ring. The 3rd Class could be awarded with bow, indicating prior receipt of the 4th Class, prussians who were Knights of the Order of St. John of Malta
Second Schleswig War
The Second Schleswig War was the second military conflict as a result of the Schleswig-Holstein Question. It began on 1 February 1864, when Prussian forces crossed the border into Schleswig, decisive controversy arose due to the passing of the November Constitution, which integrated the Duchy of Schleswig into the Danish kingdom in violation of the London Protocol. Reasons for the war were the controversy in Schleswig and the co-existence of conflicting political systems within the Danish unitary state. The war ended on 30 October 1864, when the Treaty of Vienna caused Denmarks cession of the Duchies of Schleswig, the northern and middle parts of Schleswig spoke Danish, but over time, the language in the southern half had shifted gradually to German. German culture was dominant among the clergy and nobility, Danish culture had a social status and was spoken mainly by the rural population. For centuries, while the rule of the king was absolute, when ideas of liberal democracy spread and nationalist currents emerged about 1820, identification was mixed between Danish and German.
To that was added a grievance about tolls charged by Denmark on shipping passing through the Danish Straits between the Baltic Sea and the North Sea, to avoid that expense, Prussia planned the Kiel Canal, which could not be built so long as Denmark ruled Holstein. Much of the focused on the heir of King Frederick VII of Denmark. Prince Christian had served on the Danish side in the First Schleswig War in 1848-1851, at the time, the king of Denmark was duke of the duchies of Holstein and Schleswig. In 1848, Denmark had received its first free constitution and at the time had fought a civil war with the Germans of Schleswig-Holstein in which Prussia had intervened. The peace treaty stipulated that the duchy of Schleswig should not be treated any differently from the duchy of Holstein in its relations with the Kingdom of Denmark and that was a clear breach of the 1851 peace treaty and gave Prussia and the German union a casus belli against Denmark. France had colonial problems, not least with Britain, Bismarck had effectively neutralized Russia politically and succeeded in obtaining cooperation from Austria which underlined its major power status within the German union.
The adoption of the Constitution of Denmark in 1849 complicated matters further, as many Danes wished for the new constitution to apply to all Danes. Thus two systems of government co-existed within the state, democracy in Denmark, and absolutism in Schleswig. This caused a deadlock for practical lawmaking, in Copenhagen, the Palace and most of the administration supported a strict adherence to the status quo. In 1858, the German Confederation deposed the union constitution of the Danish monarchy concerning Holstein and Lauenburg, the two duchies were henceforth without any constitution, while the union constitution still applied to Schleswig and Denmark proper. As the heirless King Frederick VII grew older, Denmarks successive National-Liberal cabinets became increasingly focused on maintaining control of Schleswig following the kings demise. The king died in 1863 at a critical time, work on the November Constitution for the joint affairs of Denmark and Schleswig had just been completed
Order of the Crown (Prussia)
The Order of the Crown was a Prussian order of chivalry. Officially the Order of the Red Eagle and the Order of the Crown were equal, most officials did however prefer to be appointed in the older Order of the Red Eagle. The Order of the Crown was often used as a decoration of someone who had to be rewarded while the Prussian government did not want to award the Order of the Red Eagle. The badge of the Order for the 1st to 4th classes was a gilt cross pattée, the obverse gilt central disc bore the crown of Prussia, surrounded by a blue enamel ring bearing the motto of the German Empire Gott Mit Uns. The reverse gilt disc has the Prussian royal monogram, surrounded by a blue ring with the date 18 October 1861. The star of the Order was a gilt eight-pointed star, a silver eight-pointed star, or a silver four-pointed star, the gilt central disc again bore the crown of Prussia, surrounded by a blue enamel ring bearing the motto Gott Mit Uns. The ribbon of the Order was blue, the order could be awarded in dozens of variations.
For example with superimposed Cross of Geneva, with swords and with oak leaves, the following lists show a fair cross section of individuals who were known to be conferred with the Order in its several classes, in order of precedence. Sir Christopher George Francis Maurice Cradock Baron Giacomo Natoli - 1st Class Mustafa Kemal Atatürk - 1st Class, Count Charles John dOultremont, Knight Grand Cross. Ernst von Bibra - 3rd Class 1869 Gen. Major-General Sir John McNeill - 1st class,1899 - in connection with the visit of Emperor Wilhelm II to the United Kingdom
William I, German Emperor
William I, or in German Wilhelm I, of the House of Hohenzollern was the King of Prussia and the first German Emperor, as well as the first Head of State of a united Germany. Under the leadership of William and his Minister President Otto von Bismarck, Prussia achieved the unification of Germany and the establishment of the German Empire. Contrary to the domineering Bismarck, William was described as polite, gentlemanly and, while a staunch conservative, the future king and emperor was born William Frederick Louis of Prussia in the Kronprinzenpalais in Berlin on 22 March 1797. As the second son of Prince Frederick William, himself son of King Frederick William II and his grandfather died the year he was born, at age 53, in 1797, and his father Frederick William III became king. He was educated from 1801 to 1809 by Johann Friedrich Gottlieb Delbrück, who was in charge of the education of Williams brother, at age twelve, his father appointed him an officer in the Prussian army. William served in the army from 1814 onward, like his father he fought against Napoleon I of France during the part of the Napoleonic Wars known in Germany as the Befreiungskriege, and was reportedly a very brave soldier.
He was made a Captain and won the Iron Cross for his actions at Bar-sur-Aube, the war and the fight against France left a lifelong impression on him, and he had a long-standing antipathy towards the French. In 1815, William was promoted to Major and commanded a battalion of the 1 and he fought under Gebhard Leberecht von Blücher at the Battles of Ligny and Waterloo. He became an excellent diplomat by engaging in diplomatic missions after 1815, in 1816, William became the commander of the Stettiner Gardelandwehrbataillon and in 1818 was promoted to Generalmajor. The next year, William was appointed inspector of the VII. and this made him a spokesman of the Prussian Army within the House of Hohenzollern. He argued in favour of a strong, well-trained and well-equipped army, in 1820, William became commander of the 1. Gardedivision and in 1825 was promoted to commanding general of the III, in 1829, William married Princess Augusta von Sachsen-Weimar-Eisenach after Princess Elisa Radziwill, his cousin whom he had been attracted to, was deemed an inappropriate match by his father.
William had been forced to abandon the relationship with Elisa in 1826, Augusta was the daughter of Grand Duke Karl Friedrich von Sachsen-Weimar-Eisenach. Their marriage was stable, but not a very happy one. In 1840 his older brother became King of Prussia, since he had no children, William was first in line to succeed him to the throne and thus was given the title Prinz von Preußen. Against his convictions but out of loyalty towards his brother, in 1847 William signed the bill setting up a Prussian parliament and took a seat in the upper chamber, the Herrenhaus. During the Revolutions of 1848, William successfully crushed a revolt in Berlin that was aimed at his elder brother, the use of cannon made him unpopular at the time and earned him the nickname Kartätschenprinz. Indeed, he had to flee to England for a while and he returned and helped to put down an uprising in Baden, where he commanded the Prussian army
Ladies Merit Cross
The award was ranked just behind the Order of Louise. To be awarded the first class, a member must have held the class for ten years. In exceptional cases, this requirement could be waived, the insignia were returnable upon death. The badge is made of gold in the first class and of silver for the second class medallion, in the center is a cross fleury with stylized cornflowers between the arms of the cross. The medallion is framed by a string of pearls and is surmounted by a crown, on the edge of the medallion is the blue enameled inscription FÜR VERDIENSTE. On the lower half of the edge are laurel branches flanking the intertwined letters AV, the insignia of the order was worn on a white bow on the left chest. Jörg Nimmergut, Deutsche Orden und Ehrenzeichen bis 1945, zentralstelle für wissenschaftliche Ordenskunde, München 1997, ISBN 3-00-001396-2
German colonial empire
The German colonial empire constituted the overseas colonies and territories of the German Empire. Short-lived attempts of colonization by individual German states had occurred in preceding centuries, Germany lost control when World War I began in 1914 and its colonies were seized by its enemies in the first weeks of the war. However some military units out for a while longer, German South-West Africa surrendered in 1915, Kamerun in 1916. Germany seemed destined to play catch-up, the Hanseatic republics of Hamburg and Bremen sent traders across the globe. These trading houses conducted themselves as successful Privatkolonisatoren and concluded treaties and land purchases in Africa and these early agreements with local entities, formed the basis for annexation treaties, diplomatic support and military protection by the German Empire. Many Germans in the late 19th century viewed colonial acquisitions as an indication of having achieved nationhood. Public opinion eventually arrived at an understanding that prestigious African and Pacific colonies went hand-in-hand with dreams of a High Seas Fleet, both aspirations would become reality, nurtured by a press replete with Kolonialfreunde and by a myriad of geographical associations and colonial societies.
Bismarck and many deputies in the Reichstag had no interest in colonial conquests merely to acquire square miles of territory, in essence, Bismarcks colonial motives were obscure as he had said repeatedly. I am no man for colonies and remained as contemptuous of all colonial dreams as ever, indeed, in 1889, tried to give German South-West Africa away to the British. It was, he said, a burden and an expense, the development of German overseas protectorates essentially followed three phases. German traders and merchants began to themselves in the African Cameroon delta. At Apia and the settlements Finschhafen and the islands Neu-Pommern and Neu-Mecklenburg, large African inland acquisitions followed — mostly to the detriment of native inhabitants. In eastern Africa the imperialist and “man-of-action” Karl Peters accumulated vast tracts of land for his colonization group, for some 60 thousand square miles of the Zanzibar Sultanate’s mainland property. Brutality and flogging prevailed during these land-grab expeditions under Peters’ control as well as others as no-one held a monopoly in the mistreatment of Africans.
As Bismarck was converted to the idea by 1884, he favored chartered company land management rather than establishment of colonial government due to financial considerations. Although temperate zone cultivation flourished, the demise and often failure of tropical low-land enterprises contributed to changing Bismarck’s view and he reluctantly acquiesced to pleas for help to deal with revolts and armed hostilities by often powerful rulers whose lucrative slaving activities seemed at risk. German native military forces engaged in dozens of punitive expeditions to apprehend and punish freedom fighters. At that time, the German penchant for giving muscle priority over patience contributed to continued unrest, several of the African colonies remained powder kegs throughout this phase
Kingdom of Prussia
It was the driving force behind the unification of Germany in 1871 and was the leading state of the German Empire until its dissolution in 1918. Although it took its name from the region called Prussia, it was based in the Margraviate of Brandenburg, the kings of Prussia were from the House of Hohenzollern. Prussia was a power from the time it became a kingdom, through its predecessor, Brandenburg-Prussia. Prussia continued its rise to power under the guidance of Frederick II, more known as Frederick the Great. After the might of Prussia was revealed it was considered as a power among the German states. Throughout the next hundred years Prussia went on to win many battles and it was because of its power that Prussia continuously tried to unify all the German states under its rule. Attempts at creation of a federation remained unsuccessful and the German Confederation collapsed in 1866 when war ensued between its two most powerful states and Austria. The North German Confederation which lasted from 1867–1871, created a union between the Prussian-aligned states while Austria and most of Southern Germany remained independent.
The North German Confederation was seen as more of an alliance of military strength in the aftermath of the Austro-Prussian War, the German Empire lasted from 1871–1918 with the successful unification of all the German states under Prussian hegemony. This was due to the defeat of Napoleon III in the Franco-Prussian War of 1870–71, in 1871, Germany unified into a single country, minus Austria and Switzerland, with Prussia the dominant power. Prussia is considered the predecessor of the unified German Reich. The Kingdom left a significant cultural legacy, today notably promoted by the Prussian Cultural Heritage Foundation, in 1415 a Hohenzollern Burgrave came from the south to the March of Brandenburg and took control of the area as elector. In 1417 the Hohenzollern was made an elector of the Holy Roman Empire, after the Polish wars, the newly established Baltic towns of the German states including Prussia, suffered many economic setbacks. Many of the Prussian towns could not even afford to attend political meetings outside of Prussia, the towns were poverty stricken, with even the largest town, having to borrow money from elsewhere to pay for trade.
Poverty in these towns was partly caused by Prussias neighbors, who had established and developed such a monopoly on trading that these new towns simply could not compete and these issues led to feuds, trade competition and invasions. However, the fall of these gave rise to the nobility, separated the east and the west. It was clear in 1440 how different Brandenburg was from the other German territories, not only did it face partition from within but the threat of its neighbors. It prevented the issue of partition by enacting the Dispositio Achillea which instilled the principle of primogeniture to both the Brandenburg and Franconian territories, the second issue was solved through expansion