By Thomas Bois
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They would have been different from the five others both in nature and in role, he implied. By basing his case on historical and moral grounds rather than on the military and political power of the two countries, as well as by suggesting that their political attitudes would have been different from that of the five more martial powers, he acknowledged by implication the obvious military inferiority of his candidates. And by stressing the potential influence of these 26 Middle Powers in International Politics states in relation to the task of safeguarding peace and order, he indicated a special role for them in European politics.
And England surely would wish to have a middle power in Europe which would be able to command the respect of Russia, France, Austria and Prussia and be strong enough to prevent a partition of the Polish type. By taking the place that Poland once had occupied in the states system, such a German power would keep the great powers away from each other and thus guarantee the peace of Europe. 42 In arguing for the establishment of a third German power, Lindner outlined a theory of middle powers. Whatever his ultimate hopes for the true Germany may have been, the power he projected The History oj the Idea 33 in this tract was secondary in strength to the great powers, though strong enough to defend itselfif attacked by one of them.
The first volume of Die Staatswissenschaften im Lichte unsrer Zeit, his major work, had a section that dealt with the subject of 22 Middle Powers in International Politics dividing the powers on the basis of their political importance (Gewichte). The theory of constitutional law, which built on the abstract idea of the equality of all independent states, knew no such division, he said. In practical international law, on the other hand, which rested on history and politics, especially those of the European states system, states were classified variously according to poli tical rank (Wiirde) , political importance, sovereignty, or degree of independence.