Legitimacy of the monarchies as a guiding ideology
The German Confederation founded by the German Federal Act (June 8th, 1815) was an amalgamation of sovereign princes and free cities. Substantial parts of Prussia (Posen, East and West Prussia) and Austria (especially the Hungarian half of the empire and Italian parts of the empire) were outside the federal territory. It was a federation of states that resolutely opposed the national unity movement, which was perceived as revolutionary, and guaranteed the monarchical-dynastic order in its member states. In doing so, he assumed the function for Germany that the Holy Alliance fulfilled in Europe. The guiding ideology of the German Confederation was the legitimacy of the monarchies, not the peoples. The Bundestag in Frankfurt am Main, which was under the Austrian Presidency, consisted of envoys from the individual states. Learn more about Germany and Europe, please click payhelpcenter.com.
The leading personality in the German Confederation, which is dominated by Prussia and Austria, was the leading Austrian minister, K. W. Prince Metternich. He initiated the Karlovy Vary resolutions of August 1819 to combat liberal and democratic aspirations and the “persecution of demagogues”. The participation of the liberal bourgeoisie in politics was limited to the constitutional states of southern Germany. In southern Germany (including Bavaria, Baden and Württemberg) there were constitutions and popular representations after 1815, but in Prussia and Austria – contrary to the constitutional promise of the Federal Act from 1815 to 1848 – there was no. Both states stuck to the absolutism of their bureaucratic-monarchical leadership.
Industrialization, economic and social structure
The national unification in the field of economy took place outside of federal politics. Under Prussian leadership, the German Customs Union came into being on January 1, 1834 (excluding Austria, which adhered to its protective tariff policy). This created a large economic area that offered sufficient prerequisites for the development of a common market. Railways and traffic experienced an upswing (first German railway Nuremberg – Fürth, December 7, 1835; first German long-distance railway Leipzig – Dresden, April 7, 1839); In 1848 the German railway network was already more than 5,000 km long (1859: 10,000 km, 1871: 20,000 km). The industrial age began. With Prussia’s increasing economic importance, so did the confidence of the economic bourgeoisie in their political supremacy. Germany’s economic structure was decentralized from the start. The focus was on the Kingdom of Saxony, the Ruhr area, the areas around Magdeburg and Berlin as well as Upper Silesia. The first phase of industrialization was shaped by the textile industry until the 1840s. In the second phase up to the turn of the century, metal production and the coal and iron industries drove development forward. The industrial system changed the social stratification profoundly. In a lengthy process, the class society developed into a market-dependent class society. Since the beginning of the 19th century, independent handicrafts have turned into dependent wage labor. But the production process based on the division of labor only gradually gained acceptance. Around 1870 70% of all workers were employed in factories with a maximum of five workers. Joint stock companies made it possible to expand operations and introduce new production methods. The social misery of the proletariat was extraordinary: extremely long working hours, low wages, lack of protection against the risks of accidents at work, illness and old age. Only the worst excesses of child and women’s labor had been forbidden in Prussia since 1839; There had been factory inspections there since 1878. The earliest forms of the German labor movement emerged from death coffers that were supposed to secure a dignified burial. The emigration (especially to the USA) increased enormously. Only the worst excesses of child and women’s labor had been forbidden in Prussia since 1839; There had been factory inspections there since 1878. The earliest forms of the German labor movement emerged from death coffers that were supposed to secure a dignified burial. The emigration (especially to the USA) increased enormously. Only the worst excesses of child and women’s labor had been forbidden in Prussia since 1839; There had been factory inspections there since 1878. The earliest forms of the German labor movement emerged from death coffers that were supposed to secure a dignified burial. The emigration (especially to the USA) increased enormously.
Liberal National Movement, March Revolution
Demands for “unity” and “freedom” determined the liberal national movement before 1848. It found its forums in the shooting, gymnastics and singing clubs, in scientific associations (natural scientists, Germanists) and in a national press. The “pre-March reading revolution” linked people who did not meet in everyday life. Politically, the national movement demanded the constitutional and rule of law. A majority represented the greater German idea, the inclusion of Austria. The government’s unwillingness to reform and a double crisis in industry and agriculture finally triggered the revolution of 1848 (“March Revolution”; including uprising in Berlin on March 18-19). The “March Ministries” in the German federal states stood on the ground of constitutionalism. The German National Assembly, which came about through the first democratic elections in Germany, took the place of the Bundestag. It met on May 18, 1848 in the Paulskirche in Frankfurt am Main (Frankfurt National Assembly) and elected Archduke Johann of Austria as Reich Administrator (June 29). Their goal was to work out a constitution and to found a unified, free and powerful German nation-state. In the »Polendebatte« of the Paulskirche (July 24-27, 1848) the transition to a national power state became apparent on the left. While the left Hegelian A. Ruge continued to campaign for Poland’s independence, the East Prussian democrat W. Jordan arguedfor a “healthy popular egoism” and got a majority to decide on the incorporation of the Grand Duchy of Poznan. An aggressive nationalism also spoke from the decision to wage war against Denmark over Schleswig. According to the London Protocols (2.8.1850 and 8.5.1852), Schleswig remained with Denmark (Schleswig-Holstein survey).
The rapid victory of the counter-revolution in Austria (October 23–31, 1848) prevented the Greater German solution, which would have required the division of the Habsburg monarchy. The “hereditary imperial ” party under the leadership of H. Reichsfreiherr von Gagern demanded a small German state under the leadership of Prussia and without Austria, which was met with reservations in the large German camp and in political Catholicism. After the Frankfurt National Assembly had passed a liberal imperial constitution on March 27, 1849, King Friedrich Wilhelm IV of Prussia was elected “Emperor of the Germans” (March 28).
But he turned down the imperial crown (April 3rd). Prussia and Austria rejected the Frankfurt Imperial Constitution; the Prussian king imposed its own constitution, which included important parts of the demands of the National Assembly. The Prussian three-tier suffrage was a general but unequal suffrage. It had its roots in the Rhenish municipal constitutions of the Vormärz. The Austrian constitution of 1849 was abolished again in 1851.