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...statesmen, nations, are wont to be emphatically commended to the teaching which experience offers in history; yet what experience and history teach is this-that peoples and governments have never learned anything from history, nor have they acted on principles deduced from it. Each period is involved in such peculiar circumstances, exhibits a condition of things so strictly idiosyncratic, that its conduct must be regulated by considerations connected with itself, and itself alone.Amid the pressure of great events, a general principle gives no help.
It is useless to revert to similar circumstances in the past. The pallid shades of memory struggle in vain with the life and freedom of the present. Looked at in this light nothing can be shallower than the oft-repeated appeal to Greek and Roman examples during the French Revolution; nothing is more diverse than the genius of those nations and that of our times. Johannes von Mueller, in his _Universal History_ as also in his _History of Switzerland_, had such moral aims in view.... Hegel, Georg
Excerpt from The German Classics of the Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries, Volume 07 Masterpieces of German Literature Translated into English. in Twenty Volumes · This quote is about principles · Search on Google Books to find all references and sources for this quotation.
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