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RECEPTION OF THE CONSTITUTION/
and who thereby saw the chance of a united Ger- CHAP. many slipping from their hands.
' cohesion, combination, and organisation destroyed the possibility of the people gaining this end by themselves. The refusal, again, was quite unexpected by the Frankfort Parliament. Austria withdrew all Withher deputies from the Assembly. The Parliament Austrian
deputies. determined to call upon all Germans to subscribe to the Constitution, the question of the head of the othereof Empire remaining an open one, and to proceed with the con the elections, hoping to summon the new Reichstag States. in the early days of August. Nearly all the representative assemblies of the several States had accepted the Imperial Constitution. William of Wurtemberg was, however, the only king who had done so.
Hanover and Saxony dissolved their assemblies sooner than accept the Constitution. This naturally gave rise to discontent and murmuring, in some places breaking out in open hostilities amongst the people, who considered that the princes were attempting to rob them of the little freedom the Constitution offered them. The republicans had not much hold on the country; in some instances they openly declared their aim to be the establishment of a republic, but in most cases their declared object was the introduction of the Imperial Constitution. If they had been successful, their demands would probably not have stopped there, but it would be too much to say that the wish of the people was for a republic.
tion of Gagern.
Gagern resigned his office on May 9, finding he
could not hinder the Parliament from passing revo1849.
lutionary votes, and the Archduke John named a Resigna
new ministry (Detmold Grävell), who were opposed Appoint to the unity of Germany and to the policy of Particular- Prussia. There is some doubt whether the ArchMinistry. duke was really imbued with patriotic and liberal
views. He may have been alarmed by the excessive demands of the Liberals and hurt as an Austrian Prince by the position of Prussia. He may have therefore gone counter to his past acts and intentions, and named this Particularist Ministry. It shows little political insight if he imagined that such a ministry
was practicable at that time. Resigna
The result of his move was that more than 150 members of members of the National Assembly resigned their
seats or were recalled by their Governments, including Gagern and his party. The remnant of the assembly, composed chiefly of members of the extreme Left, transported itself to Stuttgart, declared the Archduke deposed, named a regency of five members, and demanded men and
from Wurtemberg and other countries in order to main
tain peace and order. Their demands were refused, of Frank and the Wurtemberg troops were ordered to disperse
the members if they continued to hold their sittings. This order was carried into effect on June 18, and the Frankfort Parliament ceased to exist.
Prussia now attempted to commence her work of reorganisation in Germany, but she failed. A
Prussia's attempts at Constitu
conference of princes was held at Berlin in May, but it lasted only a few days. Austria and Bavaria
1849. soon withdrew from it; the former when she discovered that the discussions tended towards her reforms. exclusion from the Germanic Confederation, and the Conference latter because she saw that the object was the at Berlin, establishment of a Federative State (Bundes Staat) under Prussia. Hanover and Saxony, the other two States who attended the conferences, remained, however, firm to Prussia, and concluded with her the Three Kings' Alliance. This alliance, to which any Three member of the Confederation might attach himself, Alliance. was chiefly to occupy itself by drawing up a Constitution for Germany. By this Constitution, drawn on the same lines as that of Frankfort, a court of appeal was to be instituted at Erfurt to which every member of the Confederation was to submit himself. The term Empire (Reich) was to be given to this smaller Confederation (Austria being naturally excluded), and the head of the Central Power, though he was not to take the title of Emperor, but of head of the Empire (Reichsvorstand) was to be a Hohenzollern. He was to govern with the help of a college of princes, consisting of six members ; viz. Prussia ; Bavaria ; Saxony, with the Thuringian States and Anhalt; Hanover, with the North German States; Wurtemberg, with Baden, Hohenzollern, and Lichtenstein ; the three Hesses, with Luxemburg, Limburg, Nassau,
Waldeck, Lippe, and Frankfort-on-theMain.. The Reichstag was to consist of two cham
Withdrawal of Prussian Minister from Frankfort
bers. Bavaria and Austria looked askance at this
Constitution; and the latter openly declared that 1849.
she would never agree to a German Parliament, and that her only desire was the re-establishment of the old Diet under her presidency.
The Archduke John still held the office of Ad
ministrator, although the Assembly which had elected resign.
him was dissolved. He declined to resign his appointment until requested to do so by all the German Governments, and in this he was supported by Austria, who saw in him the only link which at present connected her with Germany. Prussia therefore withdrew her minister from Frankfort, and all relations between her and the central power consequently ceased. She had obtained the adhesion of most of the States to the Union of Three Kings; but Austria succeeded in making Bavaria and Wurtemberg cool with regard to this union by frightening them with the consequences of the German Parliament which was to meet at Erfurt next year, and for which Prussia begged her colleagues to prescribe elections. Gagern called together a Rump Parliament at Gotha, but it immediately dissolved itself after it had formally approved the policy of Prussia. This Power, however, saw the impossibility of realising the ideas which had inspired the union, in the face of the opposition of Austria, Bavaria, and
Wurtemberg, and with the support of very lukewarm • Interim' adherents. She therefore began to enter into nego
tiations with Austria, and on September 30 a treaty,
called the 'Interim,' was signed at Vienna. In this treaty the two Powers agreed that till May 1, 1850,
1849. the functions of the central power should be exercised by them conjointly, assisted by a Federal Commission (Bundes Commission). This Commission met at Frankfort in the middle of December, and Resignathe Archduke resigned his power into their hands.
Prussia now made endeavours to obtain the Meeting of summoning together of the new Parliament, and ment. notwithstanding the opposition of Austria and the Middle States it met at Erfurt on March 20, 1850. But though Austria had been unable to prevent its meeting, it procured its dissolution ; and on April Dissolution 29 it was suddenly prorogued, never to meet again. ment. The time for the expiration of the 'Interim ’ Treaty was now approaching, and at the end of April Prince Austria Schwarzenberg, the Austrian Prime Minister, made old Diet to a bold stroke, and summoned the old Plenum to Frankfort. meet at Frankfort. The Middle States and seven other Governments1 responded to the appeal, but Prussia and her allies protested. The Plenum met on May 10, and on September 2, Austria opened the smaller Council, and consequently re-established the old Diet. Owing to the state of tension in the relations between Prussia and the resuscitated Diet, it was evident that a severance must soon take place which would result either in submission or war. The eternally recurring differences between the
1 Electoral Hesse took a middle course, and sent representatives to Frankfort and to Berlin.