European diplomacy: Bismarck (1870-1890)

This Harper’s Weekly cartoon by Thomas Nast addresses the “Chancellor Crisis” of 1877, when German chancellor Otto von Bismarck took an extended leave of absence from his political duties.  It was an act that caused great concern and uncertainly among many of the other world powers.  The German phrase in the caption is part of the title “The Watch on the Rhine,” a song popular with German soldiers during the Franco-Prussian War (1870-1871).  The cartoonist has altered it to translate into “The Watch on Bismarck” to emphasize the message that the eyes of the world are watching what Bismarck will do next. “HarpWeek: Cartoon of the Day.” HarpWeek: Explore History. 04 May 2009.  see article.

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