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CHAP.

III.

exertions of friendly Powers that this was averted;

and a promise obtained from Denmark that she and 1863.

the Duchies should name an equal number of delegates to discuss the measures for adopting a common Constitution agreeable to all parties ; and that, until this Constitution was established, no laws of a general character should be passed without the assent of the Duchies. This proviso, dictated by the Diet, Denmark did not fulfil, as she passed the Budgets for 1860 and 1861 for the whole monarchy without consulting the Assemblies in the Duchies. She then attempted (by a Patent of March 30, 1863), to incorporate Slesvig entirely, and to separate Holstein from her by granting to the latter Duchy a separate administration and army. The Diet called upon

her to withdraw this Patent, and to grant a common vember 18. Constitution, threatening her with an execution if she

refused. The Patent was not immediately withdrawn, but a Constitution was drawn up, well known as the Constitution of November 18, which was not submitted to the States of the Duchies, which did not meet the necessities of the case, and which only awaited the signature of the King, then lying on his death bed. He died on November 15, 1863, and was succeeded by Prince Christian with the title of Christian IX. Great pressure from the friendly Powers was now put on this sovereign to prevent his signing a Constitution, which would not be accepted by the Duchies, and which would inevitably entail active interference from the Diet. But the

Constitution of No

Succession of Prince Christian to the throne.

CHAP.
III.

burg.

Eiderdänish ministry pressed their master not to submit; considerable distrust was entertained in

1863. Denmark of King Christian, owing to his supposed German proclivities, and he had to choose between signing the Constitution and losing his crown. He preferred the former step.

The Duke Frederick of Augustenburg, son of the Claims of Duke who had received compensation, not considering Augustenhimself bound by his father's promises, declared himself rightful heir to the Duchies, and obtained the recognition of several of the smaller German States. Austria and Prussia, however, maintained the Treaty of London, and brought the Diet to declare an execution in Holstein (December 7, 1863), to be entrusted to themselves with Hanover and Saxony. But the two great Powers would not allow the Diet to interfere in the matter of Slesvig, as it was not bound by the Treaty of London ; they on the other hand were so bound, and therefore intended to proceed independently of the Diet. The middle and smaller States entered protests against this declaration, and the National Union, which had been

very

ry active in procuring aid and sympathy for the Duchies, was much displeased at the question losing its German character, and becoming one affecting Austria and Prussia alone. The protests of the Middle States were naturally disregarded, and merely showed the weakness and helplessness of Germany when the two great German Powers were united.

CHAP.

III.

1864.

Declara

Denmark still refused to withdraw the Constitution of November 18, and war was then formally

declared by Austria and Prussia. An attempt to tion of war. stop the war was made by the London Conferences,

which commenced April 25, 1864, at which, it may be remarked, a plenipotentiary from the Diet was present; but this attempt failed, owing to the refusal of Denmark to accept the only solution which the two great German Powers were willing to offer, namely a personal union only with the Duchies. These latter, on the other hand, demanded to be entirely separated from Denmark, and to be constituted into a separate State, with the Duke of Augustenburg as their ruler. The rapid advance of the allied armies, however, compelled the Danes very

shortly after the Conference to sue for peace, and a Treaty of treaty was concluded at Vienna, October 30, 1864,

by which Denmark ceded Slesvig, Holstein, and Lauenberg to the allies, but preserved the peninsula of Stenderup for the protection of Funen. This Treaty was signed and ratified without any reference to the Diet, although Holstein and Lauenberg formed part of the German Confederation.

It was, no doubt, the policy of Prussia to ignore the Diet and to expose its feebleness to the world. She had fought hard against the re-establishment of this body, and would have been only too happy to see it once more overthrown. But it was surely short-sighted policy on the part of Austria to allow her own off

Vierna.

CHAP.

III.

Plans for

Beust's pro

spring, the only link by which she was bound to the Confederation, to be put on one side.

1861-64. Let us now consider the third question, the Reform of the Constitution, the most important Constituof all questions and the most difficult of solution. reforms. Freiherr von Beust, the Saxon Minister for Foreign Herr v. Affairs, was the first in the field with a plan of posal. reform entirely in the interests of the Middle States. The following is a sketch of his plan. The Government was to consist of three bodies - a Federal Assembly (Bundes-Versammlung), a Representative Assembly, and a Federal Court of Justice (Bundesgericht). The Federal Assembly, composed of representatives from the Federal States, was to meet twice a year; once in South Germany, and once in North Germany. In the former case, Austria would have the presidency, in the latter, Prussia. The Representative Assembly was to have no regular sessions; the summoning, prorogation, and dissolution of it were to be in the hands of the Federal Assembly, and it was only to discuss those questions which the latter was pleased to lay before it. Austria and · Prussia were to send thirty members each to it, and the other States were to have sixty-eight representatives between them. This alone was sufficient to make Prussia reject the proposal, as it would give too great a weight to the Middle States. During the recess of the Federal Assembly an executive body was to have the conduct and management of affairs; this executive was to consist of Austria,

E

III.

CHAP. Prussia, and a third State. The Federal Court was

to decide on differences between members of the 1861-64.

Confederation. This plan was against the wishes of
both Austria and Prussia. The former declined to
resign the presidency of the Diet unless this body
took her non-German Provinces under its protection;
and Prussia saw that by this project she would not
attain the end to which she had been so long striving
-the formation of a Federative State. In the note
which Count Bernstorff, the Prussian minister for
foreign affairs, sent (Dec. 20, 1861) in answer to the
Beust proposal this objection was put forward, and
produced counter notes (Feb. 2, 1862) from Austria
and the Middle States, who declared that they would
never entertain the idea of a Federative State.
Austria’s great aim was to estrange the Middle

Middle
States from Prussia, and she thought she saw her
way to this in an event which happened at this time.
Prussia had concluded (March 12, 1862), a com-
mercial treaty with France, and had requested the
adhesion of the Middle States to it with the alter-
native of leaving the Customs Union. The Middle
States met this with a counter move, for, knowing
that Austria was demanding admission into the
Customs Union, they made their future connection
with the Union depend on the demand of Austria
being granted ; and till this was effected they would
not accept the French treaty. Prussia, however,
held firm, and the other States had not the courage
to fulfil their threats. Austria took advantage of

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