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    Otto von Bismarck Autograph Letter Signed "vBismarck." Two pages, front and back, 8.5" x 10.75", Berlin; February 24, 1874. The letter, written to an unknown Lord, discusses Bismarck's relationship with British Ambassador Earl Russell and his campaign against Catholicism and Rome's control in politics. It reads, in part:

    "I return with many thanks the letter of Earl Russel [sic] , bearing the memorable date of the 27 of January, and need hardly say how much I am gratified by the active interest the [illegible] of European statesmen is taking in our defensive warfare against the priesthood of Rome. I quite agree with the idea which seems to underlie his letter: that in clerical government there is always a seed of international conflicts, and that a great deal less of that seed will be thrown out, if England and Germany agreed to stand up for religious liberty."

    Odo Russell was the first British Ambassador to the German Empire, and the two men had a close and successful working relationship. Bismarck feared the power that a Catholic political party may have within Prussia and, beginning in 1871, sought to limit the power of the clergy and of Rome's influence. Earl Russell did not agree with Bismarck's anti-Catholic Kulturkampf, but was politically savvy enough to not let this be a hindrance to the relationship. Bismarck is probably best known for his contentious relationship with Kaiser Wilhelm II, which ended in Bismarck's forced dismissal. A year before his death, Bismarck made the eerily accurate prediction about the start of the First World War: "One day the great European War will come out of some damned foolish thing in the Balkans."

    Condition: Usual mail folds, with some very small separations at some of the folds; a small piece of tape has reinforced fold on verso. Right vertical edge is slightly uneven. Ink has somewhat bled through paper, but letter is very bold and legible. Overall very good.

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    October, 2018
    25th Thursday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 18
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 1,177

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