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christopher parry

on 29 June 2014

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Transcript of Germany

"The first, original, and truly natural boundaries of states are beyond doubt their internal boundaries. Those who speak the same language are joined to each other by a multitude of invisible bonds by nature herself"

Addresses to the German Nation (1810)
"He made no hesitation in pluming himself on his great skill in the shadowy and obscure, by often remarking to his pupils, that 'there was only one man in the world who could fully understand his writings; and even he was often at a loss to seize upon his real meaning.' "
Germany: The Beginning
Lutzow's wild hunt
The Black Brunswickers
Ernst Arndt
Which is the German’s fatherland? Is’t Prussia’s or Swabia’s land?
Is’t where the Rhine’s rich vintage streams?
Or where the Northern sea-gull screams?—
Ah, no, no, no!
His fatherland’s not bounded so!

Which is the German’s fatherland? Bavaria’s or Styria’s land?
Is’t where the Marsian ox unbends?
Or where the Marksman iron rends?—
Ah, no, no, no!
His fatherland’s not bounded so.
Friedrich Jahn
"As with 'Italy', the term 'Germany' had no real political significance at
the turn of the nineteenth century" Stuart Miller
Some 23 million people were divided into 314 independent territories
Another 1400 semi independant towns, cities and territories
The states varied in size from the 115,533 square miles of the Habsburg monarchy to the 33 square miles of Schwartzburg-Sonderhausen.
Protestant and conservative north and the Catholic and more liberal states of the south.
Political Fragmentation
Economic Problems
Over 90 per cent of the population earned their living from agriculture and lived in rural areas

Development was retarded by:
1) No unified market.
A high degree of commercial disunity. There were great varieties in currencies
and weights and measures. In 1790 there were 1800 customs barriers and one
Frenchman remarked that 'the Germans trade like prisoners behind iron bars'.
Poor communication. For instance in 1816 it took travellers five hours to cover
the twelve miles from Weirnar to Erfurt.
Parochialism. A 'small town' mentality prevailed. In 1832 one observer mocked the
tendency of villagers in the south to regard villages two or three miles away as 'abroad'.
Self-sufficiency. For military reasons, there was a tendency for states to avoid dependence on their neighbours, so trade was retarded and high military budgets were common.
2) Outdated social structure.
Feudal power prevailed. East of the Elbe the peasants were still in a state of serfdom while west of the river although the peasantry were freer they were burdened by rent, tithes and labour dues.
There was no mercantile class. Except in towns like Hamburg and Leipzig, the princely court was the real focus rather than trade.
Guild restrictions survived in Germany longer than elsewhere and their effect was to restrict output by penalising 'illegal craftsmen'.
Before 1789 there was little obvious sign of German 'Patriotism'. Germans tended to ape the French in language and culture.
German liberals welcomed the French Revolution, and even the French military successes. As late as 1806 the philosopher Hegel hoped Napoleon would defeat his German enemies: 'everyone prays for the success of the French army'.
The French invasion
Napoleon's benefits had to be paid for in taxes, levies and freelance looting. The German people now had an enemy!
The Prussian Friedrich Jahn propagated the new gospel in the students' unions 'Burscherschaften' and his 'gymnasium' movement for the instruction of pupils in drill, physical activities and the national spirit. This nationalism favoured the use of a rather coarse 'pure' German language and the maintenance of ethnic purity by discrimination against the Jews and even foreign language teachers.
And he was in Lutzow's hunt!
In 1772 Herder published Treatise on the Origin of Language and went further in this promotion of language than his earlier injunction to "spew out the ugly slime of the Seine. Speak German, O You German".
Herder attached exceptional importance to the concept of nationality and of patriotism – "he that has lost his patriotic spirit has lost himself and the whole worlds about himself", whilst teaching that "in a certain sense every human perfection is national".
Herder was one of the first to argue that language determines thought
Herder's focus upon language and cultural traditions as the ties that create a "nation" extended to include folklore, dance, music and art, and inspired Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm in their collection of German folk tales.
The Philosophers
developed the view that the German people were a unique 'volk', with a pure language who should be the basis of a tightly united 'Volkstadt'.
'other states have an army, in Prussia
army has a state'.
Prussia 'slumbered on the laurels of Frederick the Great'
The emancipation of the serfs (1807-10). Peasant support was increased, but more land became available for the nobility and labour to the towns and estates as poorer peasants fell behind in their compensation payments.
The relaxation of a rigid class system. For instance, the nobility were now free to enter trade and industry and the bourgeois could own land.
Educational reforms. Wilhelm von Humboldt was responsible for the establishment of general elementary education lycee-type secondary education and the founding of a University of Berlin in 1810.
Military reforms. Scharnhorst and Gneisenau overhauled the army.
- The officer corps was purged and opened up to middle class men of merit.
- Flogging and other degrading punishments were abolished.
- Universal military service was introduced, with training in a professional army (limited to 42,000 by the Napoleonic agreement) then service in the Landwehr, a militia force.
Hambach 1832
Wartburg 1817
The Carlsbad Decrees (1819). Following the murder of the reactionary
propagandist and secret agent Kotzebue in 1819, Metternich got the Diet to
- Closer supervision of political activities at universities.
- Censorship of the press, pamphlets and literature.
- A central commission at Mainz to track down revolutionary secret societies.
The Final Act afVienna (1820). The Diet agreed:
- To limit the subjects which elected assemblies would discuss.
- To confirm its right of intervention in individual states.
The Six Acts (1832). In the late 1820s, radicalism revived. Disturbances in 1830
produced new constitutions in Brunswick, Saxony and Hesse-Kassel. There was a
crowd of 25,000 at the Hambach Festival in 1832 to denounce the Holy Alliance
and support a united German republic. The Diet's new measures:
- Banned public meetings.
- Obliged German princes to resist any attempt to reduce their sovereignty
Metternich: a major figure in the negotiations before and during the Congress of Vienna. He was the archetypal practitioner of 19th-century diplomatic realism, being deeply rooted in the idea of the balance of power.

Customs Union
In 1818, Prussia standardised her own internal customs system. In 1819 she moved naturally into tariff agreements with states
separating Prussian territories.
During the 1820's other states began to try and form similar unions but in 1834 the Zollverein was formed from all of these units. By 1844 only Hanover, Oldenburg, Mecklenburg, the Hanseatic towns and the Habsburg Monarchy were not members.
Significance of the Zollverein
The cause of German unification was strengthened since the economic and
financial prosperity of the members of the economic union were clearly revealed
Prussian economic growth was boosted - her road mileage grew from 24,000
miles in 1815 to 52,000 by 1829 - and her status amongst the other states was
enhanced as a result.
Conversely the influence of the Habsburg Monarchy was reduced. A Habsburg
spokesman called the Zollverein in 1833 'one of the chief nails in the coffin of the
Confederation'. In 1849 and 1857 the Habsburg Monarchy failed to join the
Zollverein itself, and in the 1850s it failed to establish an alternative union. It was
too protectionist, and just did not have Prussia's economic strength.
The building of the railways. the German
economist Friedrich List saw railways as a vital element in power and unification
By 1840 Germany had a total of 343 miles but 3750 by 1850 and
6875 by 1860.
Timeline: Germany 1848
The Watch on the Rhine
And even if my heart breaks in death,
You'll never ever become foreign territory.
As rich in water is your flood,
is Germany in heroes' blood.

So lead us, you are approved;
With trust in God, grab the sword!
Hail Wilhelm! Down with all that brood!
Erase the shame with foes' blood!
In the 1840s when there were fears that French humiliation in the Near East could lead to her seeking consolation in Germany there was a wave of nationalism expressed in a flurry of ballads, songs and poems such as 'Die Wacht am den Rhein' and 'Deutschland uber Alles'.
Germany, Germany above all,
Above all in the world,
When, for protection and defence, it always
takes a brotherly stand together.
From the Meuse to the Memel,
From the Adige to the Belt,
|: Germany, Germany above everything,
Above everything in the world. :|
Social Distress
By 1870, largely as a result of a high birth rate, the population reached 40 million. Urban populations experienced vast increases - Berlin grew by 872 per cent over the century. At the same time, there was a move from rural and agricultural employment
to industrial employment.

This had several implications which provoked radical responses:
1 A growing rift in employer-worker relations with the rise of the factory and the
decline of the workshop, with its closer relationship between employers and
workers. Socialism was emerging in the 1830s-1840s although it did not play a very
great part in the events of 1848.
2 'The social question '. Working conditions deteriorated. Working days of up to 13
hours a day were common in the 1830s, wages were low, and female and child
labour was grossly exploited. Living conditions matched this situation; housing was
inadequate in terms of quantity and quality. Between 1820 and 1850 the cost of
living was rising, while wages lagged and dropped from 1845. The dietary standard
was poor; Silesian linen weavers got meat only at Easter, Whitsun and Christmas,
and the diet of the workers of the north and east of Germany was described in the
1830s as 'Irish, that is, potatoes'
In what Germans know as 'the crazy year', western Europe exploded spontaneously
into a wave of revolutions. There were uprisings in fifteen capital cities.
Frederick William IV rejects liberal demands for regular meetings of the Prussian
Landtag. The Landtag retaliates by refusing to vote a loan. This led to growing
support for the meeting of a national parliament with elected representatives from
all the German states.
On the eve...
On the eve..
The King of Denmark threatened to produce a constitution which would bind
Schleswig tightly to Denmark. This was related to a succession dispute over the
Duchy between the Duke of Augustenburg and Christian von Glucksburg, and German nationalists agitated for the independence of the largely German- speaking Schleswig and Holstein from Denmark.
March - April
a) The spread of revolution
evolts started in the more politically advanced southern states. In Bavaria the uprising against Louis I and his domineering mistress Lola Montez preceded that in Paris.
Then disturbances spread through Saxony in northern Germany. On the whole, these
were liberal constitutionalist revolts by the 'respectable' classes. However, in addition
there were rather more radical and disturbing tendencies:

i) Peasant and artisan attacks on property, officials, landowners and money lenders.
Socialist demands in the Prussian Rhineland, in Hanover and above all in Baden
where a communist-inspired insurrection in support of a German republic was
crushed by constitutionalist forces at Kandern in April
(b) The Vor Parliament
These were all local revolts. However, Heinrich von Gagern, minister of Hesse-
Darmstadt, arranged a meeting of state representatives at Heidelberg in late March to
arrange for an elected National Constituent Assembly to meet at Frankfurt. This meeting had no legal standing, and an unbalanced membership - Baden had 72 and the
Mettemich Monarchy only two delegates. The Federal Diet endorsed the arrangements nevertheless. The restoration of order and nationalist ambitions were two sides
the same coin.
c) The 'March Days'
Prussia was in no position to restore order. A revolt broke out in Cologne on 3 March.
Anti-Prussian feelings, 30 per cent unemployment and a strong middle class were powerful factors in urging concessions. By 18 March, Berlin itself was beset. The killing of 60 demonstrators by overzealous troops added fuel to the flames. The dithering King
Frederick William with a belief in his 'dear Berliners' and a dislike for the army and
loud noises tried to restore order by saluting the dead rebels and ordering the troops to
withdraw from the city where a middle-class Civic Guard was formed. Then he embraced the black, red and gold flag of nationalism and announced that 'Prussia is
henceforth merged in Germany'. He promised to summon a Constituent Assembly and
in April it was determined that this should be elected by virtual manhood suffrage. To
be fair to Frederick William, these could be seen as the actions of a man trying to gain
time for the forces of counter-revolution.
April - October
(a) The failure of the Frankfurt Assembly
The Assembly met on 18 May. Restrictive state franchises and a high level of abste -
tion contributed to making it very much an assembly of middle-class intellectuals. Of it's
596 members, 81.6 per cent had had a university education, there were 223 lawyers, 1
professors, 118 senior officials, 80 businessmen, 60 landowners and 116 without profes-
sion. There was only one peasant, four artisans and six clerks. The Austrian Archduke
John was appointed to head a cabinet, but the debates revealed four areas of weakness:
1 The definition of frontiers. Moderate and anti-Prussian groups advocated a
'Grossdeutschland' including the Habsburg Monarchy except for Hungary. A
'Kleindeutschland' excluding the non-German Habsburg provinces was favoured
by radical nationalists; this would give Prussia the paramount influence. By 28
October it was finally agreed that the latter should be the case; the Habsburg
Monarchy was then otherwise occupied, and in no position to respond.
2 Divisions over the form of the constitution. Not until October 1848 was a draft
document produced and a bill of fundamental rights agreed. A system of
representative and responsible state governments with a federal government
responsible to a nationally elected legislature were proposed. However, an upper
house would represent state interests and conservatism. The head of state would
have no veto.
3 The absence of lower-class support. Although the Assembly advocated abolition of
feudal privileges, it supported compensation to uphold respect for property rights.
In general, with its fears of peasant and socialist disorders and belief in free trade,
the Assembly could not attract popular support by giving way to demands for
progressive income tax, protective tariffs, state employment schemes and so on.
4 The inability to combine liberalism and nationalism. The most disturbing feature
was the way in which liberals were prepared to embrace a crudely illiberal
nationalism on occasion. Hence the defeats of the Czechs and Italians were
cheered while there was an aggressive unity in favour of the use of Prussian troops
against Danish attempts to incorporate Schleswig and Holstein and in forcing the
Polish liberals of the Grand Duchy of Posen to accept a two-thirds majority on the
local assembly for a German minority of immigrants.
(b) Growing strains in Prussia
The Assembly depended to an embarrassing extent on Prussian force. This was especially revealed by the Prussians making a separate truce with the Danes at Malmo on 26 August 1848 under pressure from Britain and Russia. However in Prussia the forces of counter-revolution were strengthening:
1.The alienation of the moderates. The liberal middle classes had got what they
wanted - a Civic Guard and an upper-middle-class cabinet (the 'March Ministers')
under Camphausen. However, a rift between them and the radical workers grew
with the latter's more extreme political and social demands. In May, June and
October outbreaks of disorder revealed the inadequacy of the Civic Guard and
propertied people began to leave Berlin and support conservatism.
2 'With God for King and Fatherland'. With the King at Potsdam there developed a
well-organised conservative group around him made up of Junkers such as Otto
von Bismarck and army officers. Well-organised and financed, with court support
and its own newspaper - the 'Kreiczzeitung' - this anti-democratic, anti-liberal and
deeply Prussian group was poised for a counter-attack under the leadership of
Otto von Manteuffel.
3. The Constituent Assembly. The very radical Assembly elected in May on universal, male suffrage played into reactionary hands by its provocative display of extremist tendencies as it advocated the abolition of titles of nobility and even the removal of 'by the Grace of God' from the title of the King.
October - September
(a) The end of the Frankfurt Assembly - By March 1849 the Assembly had achieved some sort of consensus and offered crown to Frederick William IV of Prussia as hereditary German emperor with command of the military forces, a suspensive veto and ability to dissolve the lower house.This was accepted by 28 states. However, Frederick William rejected the offer because of concern about Habsburg reactions but also because he refused to "take the crown from the gutter' The Assembly now became rather purposeless, and began to disintegrate. In June 1849 it was dispersed by troops, still debating to the bitter end.
(b) The restoration of order in Prussia
In October 1848, a virtual coup took place in Prussia as Berlin was flooded with troops
and it was declared under 'military siege' and the King's uncle Count von Brandenburg
ecame the leader of the government. In December 1848, the Assembly was dissolved.
As the King had been advised, 'only soldiers can help against democrats'. However the
King now made a clear bid for the leadership of liberal and national elements:
1 The proclamation of a constitution (April 1849). It was a very modest document,
comparable to many others. However the executive retained extensive powers to
suspend rights, to revise the constitution and to govern by emergency decrees.
Above all, the complex three-class electoral system based on tax payment gave 5
per cent of the population the ability to elect a third of the deputies and another 20
per cent selected another third. Not only did this vastly increase the power of the
Junker aristocracy, but there was also a hereditary upper house established, and
ministers were made responsible only to the king.
2 The Erfurt Union. In May 1849 Frederick William embraced a scheme for
'Kleindeutschland' supported by Saxony, Hanover, some smaller states and some
liberals. In June-July, as the Prussian army restored order in a series of states,
especially in Baden, Saxony, Westphalia and the Rhineland Palatinate, more of
them came to see the wisdom of agreeing. In March 28 states were represented at
the parliament at Erfurt.
(a) The reasons for failure

In general, the revolutions were followed by a wave of restoration and repression. Herzen said of 1849 'everything ... has been sinful, gruesome and vile.' The
causes of the failure had been fairly common:
1 The natural conservatism of the peasantry, and its harnessing in France and the
Habsburg Monarchy especially. Internal rivalries and antagonisms between the revolutionary forces which were clearly displayed in all of the states examined. In the Habsburg Monarchy, these
had been deliberately fomented, especially against Hungary.
2. The rallying of the propertied classes to the forces of order and authority as the
prospect of social revolt developed.
3. The decisive use of military force at key moments could stop or turn the tide of
revolution. On the whole, the regular armies had remained loyal, this was
especially notable in the case of the multi-national Habsburg army.
'it is not by speeches and majority resolutions that the great questions of our time are decided...It is by iron and blood'
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