The Revolution of 1848 in Germany

The Revolution of 1848 in Germany

As happened in France, Austria and Italy, Germany was also affected. It is important to clarify that when we speak of "Germany", we refer to the territory that formed the Germanic Confederation and that Prussia would eventually be annexed in its entirety in 1871. It was a failed revolution, like the aforementioned, but had a great nationalist who promoted it and who made thousands of people take to the streets to defend, German flag in hand, the unity of a country fragmented by Austrian interest.

The German Confederation was made up 38 different states Y the Austrian Empire acted as hegemonic leader. Essentially, it was made up of Austria; for the kingdoms of Bavaria, Prussia, Saxony, Würtemberg and Hannover; for 29 grand duchies and principalities; and for the free cities of Bremen, Frankfurt, Hamburg and Lübeck. All met in a Diet presided over by Austria in Frankfurt which functioned as a consultative assembly and which had the Zollverein as a unit of unity.

The movements that took place in 1848 sought to fulfill two objectives. On the one hand, they were based on the idea of unification of the German homeland and, on the other hand, they wanted to political freedom to eradicate the absolute power of the princes who governed the different states. The movement that united all these claims and gave character to the Protestants was called "Märzrevolution", that is to say, "March revolution”. In Prussia, the revolutionaries rose up in Berlin and William IV promised them a democratic constitution, as well as the convening of a constituent assembly. In Bavaria, King Louis had to abdicate and the movements that sought the unity of Germany were defining Prussia as an agglutinating nucleus.

On the other hand, Frankfurt Diet met in May 1848 to draft a Constitution that unified all German territories under the protection of a constitutional monarchy. That is why they offered the imperial crown to William IV of Prussia, who rejected it. The different states of the Germanic Confederation were meeting around Prussia or Austria until the signing of the Interim Pillnitz in 1849, by which both powers assumed the direction of the common affairs of Germany.

Shortly after, the Austrians re-imposed themselves on the German territory to eradicate any remainder of the March 1848 revolutions. Ultimately, the Austrian Empire restored absolutism once again and forced the governments of all the Confederate states to form part of a centralizing bureaucratic apparatus through the Bach system.

Passionate about History, he has a degree in Journalism and Audiovisual Communication. Since he was little he loved history and ended up exploring the 18th, 19th and 20th centuries above all.

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