The explanations suggested were that he had made himself very popular at Rome and that his appointment was therefore calculated to strengthen the loosening bonds of the Triple Alliance, and also that his early close association with Bismarck would ensure the maintenance of the Bismarckian tradition.
Moreover, the bitter and unscrupulous attacks of the Bismarckian press to which Caprivi was exposed made him unpopular in the country, for the people could not feel at ease so long as they were governed by a minister of whom Bismarck disapproved.
The German consul at Pretoria at this j uncture as a volatile, sanguine man, with visionary ideas of the important part Germany was to play in the future as the patron and ally of the South African Republic, and of the extent to which the Bismarckian policy might go in abetting an anti-British campaign.
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