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Governments rushed wildly from one extreme to the
other, at first yielding in a most reckless and hap-
hazard manner everything the mob demanded, and
then retracting their promises, and taking back all,
and even more than they had given.
The Church itself determined not to be left alone
in the general cry for new rights and privileges.
The German Roman Catholic bishops held a meeting
at Wurzburg in October, under the presidency of
Cardinal Schwarzenberg, in order to obtain full
freedom for their Church; freedom of possession and
disposition of the Church property; conduct of the
education of the priests, and of the people; and free
intercourse with Rome. In the concordats which
Austria and Wurtemberg concluded with the Papal
See, most of these demands were granted ; and in
Prussia the clergy were placed on a better footing
than before. Menzel remarks that the revival of
religion was one of the most important results of
the German Revolution, and is surprised that the
Catholics played no part notwithstanding the favour-
able opportunity offered to them in the revolutionary
time. Many Catholic societies were formed at this
period. Similar meetings to that of the Catholic
bishops were held by the Evangelicals at Witten-
berg, and by the Lutherans at Leipzig.
The discussions on the “fundamental rights of

the German people’ were finished on December 21.

The most important of these rights, as settled by the

Parliament, were —Equality of all Germans before

the law; protection of personal liberty; universal
military service; right of meeting; trial by jury;
equality of all religions; freedom of the press;
abolition of feudal burdens, of fidei commissa, and
of capital punishment. The larger kingdoms and
States in Germany declined to accept the conclusion
to which the Parliament had arrived, till the Consti-
tution had been settled on a firm basis. And how
inopportune was the publication of these Rights?
The two chief capitals in Germany in open revolt;
the western States harassed and traversed by re-
volutionary bands; the Emperor of Austria a fugi-
tive from his capital; part of the dislocated Assembly
of Prussia at Brandenburg, the other part at Berlin,
each declaring the other illegal and traitorous; the
protestations, orders, and prayers of the Frankfort
Parliament totally disregarded. In all this confusion
the Assembly which was to preserve order and peace
in Germany, could find no better means of fulfilling
their mission than by giving forth to the world a
long list of abstract rights which Germans should
possess.
The debates respecting the Constitution having
commenced in October, lasted all through the
winter. The form of the new Constitution puzzled
the Parliament at Frankfort. The idea of a Federa-
tive State was difficult of realisation. Not only were
the relations of the several States to each other diffi-
cult to define accurately, and not only was the
opposition which the Middle States would offer to

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the plan hard to surmount, but the position of the
two great Powers, Austria and Prussia, taxed the
ingenuity and brains of the framers and promoters of
the new scheme. An article which appeared in the
“North British Review' in 1869, puts the difficulty
very clearly —‘If the German provinces of Austria
were to enter the Bundes Staat, it was first necessary
that they should be dissevered from their political
connection with the rest of the Austrian Empire, and
the establishment for the future of a merely personal
union between the German and non-German domi-
nions of the house of Hapsburg-Lothringen. If this
condition could not be fulfilled, and the work of con-
stituting a centralised confederacy had to be pro-
ceeded with, then Austria must be excluded from
the new State. If not, then a return to an inter-
national confederacy of the old kind was the only
alternative left.”
The Constitution as settled by the Frankfort
Parliament was as follows:—
The government was to be exercised by a chief
of the empire, and a Reichstag, with an upper and
lower house. Half of the members of the upper
house were to be named by the Government, and
the other by the representatives of the several
States. The lower house was to be elected by direct
votes, one deputy to every 70,000 souls. The
central power was to be the international represen-
tative of Germany: the several States were not to
receive or send envoys or consuls. The army,

navy, railways, post, coinage, &c., were all to be
under the immediate superintendence of the central
power. The central power was to have a suspensive
veto; but when a resolution had passed the Reichs-
tag three times, it was to become law without the
sanction of the central power. But who was to be
head of the empire? There was the difficulty.
The struggle lay between Austria and Prussia.
Those who remembered the great deeds of the latter
in 1813 in behalf of Germany, her great military
power, her entire Germanity (if a word may be
coined), men like Gagern and Bunsen, were strongly
in favour of the elimination of Austria and the
establishment of Prussia in the place to which she
was entitled. This party received the name of Small
Germans,—in contradistinction to the Austrian
party, who termed themselves Great Germans. The
former party forced through the Parliament the
resolutions that the head of the empire must be a
reigning Prince, that he should take the title of
Emperor of the Germans; and on March 28 by 290
to 248 votes Frederick William IV. was elected
Emperor, and the Imperial Crown declared here-
ditary in the House of Hohenzollern.
Austria tried to counteract the effect of these
resolutions by proposing that a directory of seven
sovereigns under Austrian presidency should be the
head of the central Government—that the Imperial
crown, in fact, should be put in commission. But
in order to obtain this majority Gagern and his party

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CHAP. had formed a compact with the Left. They had -- promised the Left a purely democratic electoral law, * and to vote against the absolute veto of the future Emperor. This compact was signed on March 26, 1849, by 114 members of the Gagern party. The #. choice, then, of the King of Prussia as Emperor could foil not have been made without the Left, and this aid crown made its acceptance impossible at Berlin. The result of the vote is well known. The King refused the proffered honour. The reasons for this refusal have often been discussed; the majority being of opinion that the refusal resulted chiefly from the time and manner of making the offer of the Imperial dignity. Europe was barely recovering from the shock of last year; it was therefore imprudent to wound and insult a powerful State, the traditional bulwark of the old order of things. To this state of affairs Governments were now desirous of returning as far as possible; but to accomplish this by an act dictated by a revolutionary assembly would call forth opposition from men who supposed that a Head would thus be given to a movement barely suppressed. A crown too, the property and in the disposal of the reigning princes of Germany, could not be transferred by a narrow majority in a representative assembly. Frederick William IV. could not, and never would consent to become a democratic emperor. - The refusal embittered the feeling amongst the

people, who were far more national than their rulers,

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