Page:Popular Works of Johann Gottlieb Fichte (1889) Vol 2.djvu/207

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As a preparative to the solution of the problem with which we are more immediately occupied,—What point of its development has the State attained in our own Age?—we have shown, in our last two lectures, though only in the abstract and by speculative reasoning, what the State, both in its Form and its Material, really is; and through what stages and elements of progress it gradually advances towards its perfection. This delineation, which must have been somewhat tedious in itself, acquired an interest from the purpose we had in view;—this, namely, to render what is to follow thoroughly intelligible to you. We have now to give life to this general picture, by summoning to your recollection the actual events of History;—with the view of enabling you to discover for yourselves what is new, original, and peculiar in the constitution and government of existing States; and thus, wherein the political character of our Age, as distinguished from all other Ages, consists. We have already sufficiently explained the nature of our view and treatment of History in a special lecture; out of which lecture we find it necessary here to remind you of only one thing,—namely, that our remarks upon History do not lay claim to the character of historical principles themselves, but are