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what was in progress in France. Ilereafter we will examine how far the motion is connected with preceding popular struggles in Germany, with a view to indicate how far the revolution appears to have struck such deep roots in the national mind as warrant an expectation of its permanence and success.
On the 12th of February last, a motion, of which the Deputy Bassermann had previously given notice in the Second Chamber of Baden, was, at the suggestion of the Deputy Scheffelt, ordered to be printed, and referred to a committee. The motion was in effect for“ an Address to Government, requesting it to adopt measures for obtaining, through the instrumentality of the governments, a body representing the various German elective legislatures, with a view to impart unity to the institutions and legislation of Germany." While the Representative Assembly of Baden was thus originating and promoting a popular movement, the Diet at Frankfurt was giving signs of disquiet. On the 13th of February, the very next day after M. Bassermann's motion had been deliberately entertained in the Baden legislature, a discussion took place in the Diet of the Confederation on the expediency of suppressing an "ultra-radical”, journal published in Baden; and a police investigation was at the same time instituted at Frankfurt into the proceedings at an aggregate meeting of TurnVereins (politico-gymnastic associations) at Halle heim. The remainder of the month of February was remarkable for a generally excited and unsettled state of the public mind in Germany, of which, however, no definite political aim had as yet assumed the guidance. On the 22d, the legislature of Electoral Hesse was prorogued under unpleasant circumstances. The Lola Montes squabbles were in full swing in Bavaria. In OberSteyermark (Austria) there were insurrectionary movements among the peasants, rather, however, of an agrarian than a political character; and in Bohemia, excessive and unequally distributed taxation had excited considerable discontent. On the 23d, several parties belonging to a Turn-Verein in Offenbach (near Frankfurt) were arrested, and subjected to an examination on suspicion of seditious machinations.
In the last days of February, and the first of March, this generally diffused, but vague perturbation of men's minds began to assume more definite form and pressure. To enumerate all the public meetings and analogous demonstrations that took place at this time on the banks of the Rhine, the Danube and the Oder, on the Baltic and the North Sea, and over all the intervening country, would be impossible. A public meeting held at Stuttgardt on the 28th of February, agreed to petition the King of Wurtemberg to promote the representation of all his German people in the Frankfurt Diet, and the emancipation
Popurker Blecting3—Their Results.
2.15 of the press throughout Germany. A meeting of members of the Chambers of Deputies, held simultaneously, expressed sympatly with this petition. A few days later a liberal ministry was appointed, and a liberal envoy to the Frankfurt Diet named to replace the conservative who had filled that office. In the Darmstadt Chamber of Deputies, a motion to the same effect as the Stuttgardt petition was made by Heinrich von Gagern on the 28th of February; and on the 29th a numerous public meeting, held in Mayence, (under the eyes of the Austrian and Prussian garrison,) addressed a petition to the Darmstadt Government in the sense of Von Gagern's motion. On the 5th of March the leir-apparent of the Grand-Ducal Crown, was declared co-regent, and on the 6th Von Gagern was appointed minister, who declared on announcing his acceptance of office to the Chambers, that the Government would urge upon the other Sovereigns the adoption of measures to unite Germany, and extend the liberties of Germans. In the state of Baden, co-terminous with Darmstadt and Wurtemberg, the movement was still more decided. There were riots in Karlsruhe on the 28th, a public meeting at Mannheim, and riots at Heidelberg on the 29th. The Baden ministers on the 29th of March, announced to the Chambers that they had intimated to the Diet at Frankfurt, that they could wait no longer for the general law for the press which it was preparing, and that they were about to introduce measures for establishing liberty of the press, introducing trial by jury, and arming the citizens. On the first of March they declared in the Chambers, that the law of the press passed in 1831, and suspended by order of the Diet, was revived. On the fourth they declared their intention to co-operate with other German Governments in re-constructing the confederation on a more popular basis. Movements of a more violent character were meanwhile in progress in Electoral Hesse. On the first of March a meeting of the Turn-Verein at Hanau, appointed a delegation to demand the universally desired reforms from the Elector. On the sixth, simultaneous public meetings of the citizens in Cassel and Hanau petitioned the legislature to the same effect. The Elector yielded with a worse grace than his neighbours, and not till after barricades had been erected in the streets of Hanau. At Leipzig, a public meeting of citizens held on the first of March, petitioned the King of Saxony to lend his aid in promoting the representation of the German people in the Diet, and the establishment of liberty of the press throughout Germany. Next day a similar step was taken by the University. The King attempted to put off the delegates who presented the petition with fair words, but yielded at last to renewed representations, backed by retitions from
various Saxon towns and villages. Bavaria did not remain inactive. Simultaneous meetings held in Munich and Nuremberg on the third of March, adopted the usual petitions for popular representation in the Diet of the Confederation, and liberty of the press. On the 7th a royal proclamation was issued, pledging the King to use his utmost efforts for the attainment of these objects. On the 21st, the King resigned in favour of his son. Ät Brunswick the movement began on the 5th of March, and in Hanover a few days later.
By the middle of March all the secondary German powers, Bavaria, Wurtemberg, Baden, the Hesses ducal and electoral, Saxony, Brunswick and Hanover, had yielded to the popular will. The movement was equally triumphant in the smaller States. The Dukes of Weimar and Gotha surrendered unconditionally on the 8th of March, and Henry LXXII. of Reuss on the 16th. The two great Governments at Vienna and Berlin were equally unable to resist. On the 11th of March the following proclamation was issued by the Emperor of Austria :“ Having taken existing political relations into consideration, we have resolved to assemble around our throne, representatives of our German, Sclavonico, and Lombardo-Venetian territories, in order to receive the benefit of their advice on measures of legislation and administration. To this end we are making arrangements for their meeting at the latest on the 3d of July. The Austrian liberals, however, had no faith in the Government. An émeute began in Vienna on the 13th, on the occasion of the presentation of a petition to the Diet of Lower Austria, then in session; Metternich fled; the Government surrendered at discretion, and declared the Diet appointed to meet in June a constitutional assembly. In the Prussian territory there had been political disturbances at Cologne and elsewhere, as early as the 3d of March, and political clubs of all shades of opinion were indefatigably busy at Berlin. The Berlin émeutes broke out on the same day as those at Vienna, and the very next day a remarkable proclamation, of which the following is the substance, was issued by the King :
“We, Frederick William, &c. have, in conjunction with the Austrian Government, invited the confederate German Princes to hold without delay a common consultation on the measures required by the present difficult and dangerous relations of our German fatherland. We are determined to exert ourselves to the utmost for a real regeneration of the German Union, so that the German people really combined, and strengthened by free institutions, but at the same time guarded against anarchy, may re-attain their old greatness, and Germany re-assume its due place in the European system. Be the result of these exertions what they may, they will render necessary the
First Efforts at Concentration.
adoption of measures within our own territories which require the co-operation of the States-General, and they are, therefore, summoned to meet in Berlin on the 27th of April.”
The period of their meeting was subsequently accelerated in deference to the popular impatience. But even before the States-General met—on the 28th of March-a petition was presented to the King in the name of eighteen of the most important towns of the Rhine Provinces, praying that a Representative Assembly might be substituted for the Estates-General. The consequence was, that the second and last meeting of the States-General of Prussia was opened on the 2d of April simply to have submitted to it on that day a bill for regulating the elections of a Representative Assembly, and on the 3d a bill for regulating the elections to a German Parliament.
This brief retrospect presents the spectacle of a number of simultaneous struggles between the different German sovereigns and their subjects, in all of which the latter were victorious. Throughout all the German States, from the greatest to the least, the people had between the 28th of February and the 2d of April
, extorted from their Governments extended popular representation, better guarantees for the liberty of the people, and the emancipation of the press. Along with these, concessions had been obtained in almost every instance-a promise to co-operate in a re-construction of the German Confederation, on the principle of annexing to the delegates of the sovereigns, who formerly composed that body, a Representative Assembly elected in proportion to the population from all the States comprised in the Confederation. Hitherto our attention has been concentrated on movements which, though animated by one sentiment, guided by one opinion, were independent, isolated, and confined to local relations. We must now turn back to the period at which this narrative commenced, in order to trace the combined and concentred efforts by which the establishment of a central German legislature and government in Frankfurt was brought about.
On the 1st of March a committee of seven was appointed at a meeting of Liberals in Heidelberg to prepare a draft of a German constitution, and adopt measures for assembling in Frankfurt a body of representatives from as many States as could be persuaded to send delegates. On the 2d of March an “ official article” appeared in the Frankfurt Ober-Post-Amts Zeitung, in which "the German Diet, as the legal organ of national and political unity in Germany, appealed with confidence to the German Governments and the German people.” This appeal is couched in terms sufficiently vague ; but it declares that “upon the harmony and co-operation of the Govern
ments and peoples of Germany depends the maintenance of law and tranquillity, of the security of person and property;" and that “ Germany must be elevated to the position which is due to it among the nations of Europe, which can only be accomplished by perseverance in the path of legal progress and united development of institutions.” On the 9th the Diet issued a proclamation ordering the black, red, and gold flag—the colours of the old German empire—to be hoisted on all the buildings and in all the garrisons of the Confederation. On the 10th a resolution of more importance was passed at a meeting of the Diet: it was resolved to invite every Government belonging to the Confederation to send a delegate possessing the confidence of his fellow-subjects to assist the members of the Diet in preparing a draft of a new constitution for the Confederation, to be presented to the delegates about to assemble in Frankfurt for their approbation. These proclamations and resolutions show the conviction of the envoys of the German Governments who constituted the Council of the Diet at Frankfurt, that the revolution in progress was a reality, and that nothing was left for their masters, but by placing themselves at the head of it to save as much of their power out of the shipwreck as possible.
The proceedings of the Sovereigns represented in the Diet at their respective residences indicated a similar conviction. In the proclamation issued by the King of Prussia on the 14th of March, which has been already quoted, he intimated that “ in conjunction with Austria,” he had “invited the confederate German Princes to hold without delay a common council” on the measures required by recent events. The King subsequently explained that envoys from every " vote" in the Diet had been invited to meet at Dresden for this purpose. The meeting did not take place, but towards the close of March accredited delegates from the governments of Wurtemberg, Baden, Hesse Darmstadt, and Nassau, repaired to Berlin, and after several deliberations with the Prussian ministers, and the Saxon ambassador at that Court, agreed that each of the seventeen votes in the permanent committee (engerer Rath) of the Diet should appoint a person enjoying the public confidence to assist the Diet in preparing the plan of a German Constitution.
On the 28th of March the delegates who responded to the call of the Heidelberg committee assembled at Frankfurt to the number of nearly 500. The committee had by this time prepared an elaborate draft of a Constitution. A more concise programme had likewise been prepared by the Diet and the seventeen. The two schemes differed but little in their general outline : that of the Diet, as might have been expected, aimed at retaining a greater amount of direction and influence to the