From 1815 to 1847

–          The restored rulers of the German states would reverse/weaken any reforms from the Napoleonic period

–          Student fraternities (Burschenschaft) the most radical element in Germany

  • Conservative Historian assassinated, Metternich convinces Emperor of Austria/King of Prussia to institute the Carlsbad Decrees (dissolve fraternities & censorship)

–          Further revolts towards 1830

  • German Confederation met to decide what to do
  • Metternich berated those who gave in to liberal concessions
  • Passed the “Ten Articles”
    • coordinated police repression of liberals, monitored universities, prohibited public meetings
    • Any state threatened by revolution would be assisted by others

–          German liberals and radicals

  • Radicals: believed in revolution as necessary for reform/unification (disappearing)
  • Liberals: believed in established political institutions; did not believe in defying authority

Revolutions of 1848 – 1849

–          King of Prussia (Frederick William IV) makes various concessions

  • Demonstrations in Berlin, Prussia
  • FWIV convokes the Diet (Parliament), summons a more liberal cabinet; promises to end censorship, grant a constitution, and take steps towards unification

–          Frankfurt Parliament

  • Liberals coordinated a freely elected parliament that was represented by those from all over Germany
  • Goal: craft a constitution for a united Germany that other states would join in on
  • Problem: Lack of a unified opinion within its members
  • Problem: Prussia & Austria not members
  • Problem: No Army to use to impose its will on others

–          Prussia: United Assembly drafting a constitution/restricting noble privileges and authority

  • Junkers (nobles) not willing to go without a fight. FWIV cracks down on the situation, declares martial law

–          Frankfurt Parliament Powerless, needs Austria/Prussia

  • Austria unwilling to join
    • Could not join the Frankfurt Parliament without ditching its non-German territories (e.g. Hungary)
  • Prussia unwilling to join
    • FWIV calls it a “crown from the gutter”
    • Does not want to join a liberal parliament
    • Reasserts and strengthens conservative authority through military measures

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