Agonistic Politics, 1871–1874



In November 1863, during Nietzsche’s final year at Pforta, the Danish Rigsraad (Federal Council) passed a new constitution which incorporated the duchy of Schleswig into the Danish kingdom, but in the process violated the Treaty and Protocol of London (1852). Instead of striving to defuse this international crisis, Bismarck was eager to exercise his military power in order to satisfy his main objective: the annexation of Schleswig and Holstein. When Denmark refused to rescind the new constitution, the Austro-Prussian army invaded Schleswig in January 1864. In March 1864, Nietzsche had registered for the military, and was notified that his one-year service would commence no later than October 1, 1867. News of the decisive military victory over the Danes on April 18, with the seizure of the Düppel fortifications, was greeted with much enthusiasm in Prussia and was cause for celebration at Pforta. The war concluded without Nietzsche’s participation, but he was particularly impressed by ‘the fatherland’s army for its glorious deeds’.1


Military Service German Culture Political Writing Greek State Hegelian Philosophy 
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Copyright information

© Frank Cameron and Don Dombowsky 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Wilfrid Laurier UniversityCanada
  2. 2.Bishop’s UniversityCanada

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