Abbott's "The History of Prussia" is a comprehensive history of the kingdom that eventually became the backbone of Germany. As he put it in the preface: "Prussia is now recognized not only as one of the great powers, but as, probably, the first military power in Europe. The steps by which this greatness has been attained constitute one of the most interesting chapters in the history of modern times. Prussia is the representative, not of liberalism, but of absolutism. It has been under the banner of despotic sway that most of its victories have been achieved. Prussia now presents to the world the somewhat appalling spectacle of a nation of forty millions, in which every able-bodied man is a trained soldier. It has been able, at a moment's warning, to send into the field armies so overwhelming in numbers, and so admirably organized and disciplined, as to crush the military power of France, to batter down her strongest fortresses, and even to penetrate the heart of the empire, and invest her proud metropolis with beleaguering hosts. The object of this volume is to give a narrative of the origin, growth, and present condition, of this gigantic power. It would be difficult to find anywhere a theme more full of instructive and exciting incidents."
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