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A History of the Nineteenth Century, Year by Year

Struve himself was captured near the frontier


[Sidenote: Revolt in Frankfort]

At Frankfort, the ratification of the armistice of Malmoe by the German Parliament had aroused the Radicals to fury. On September 17, the day after the second vote on this matter, a mass meeting was called at Frankfort. One delegate, Zitz, proposed the abolition of the Parliament; another, Ludwig Simon, declared the time had come to discuss all further questions from behind barricades. The Municipal Senate of Frankfort, taking alarm, ordered out the city troops and appealed for help to Prussia. On the morrow fighting began in the streets of Frankfort. Barricades had been erected overnight, and all day long the insurgents held their ground. It was known that a Prussian column was approaching. Prince Lichnovsky and General Von Auerswald, two leaders of the Conservative majority in the Parliament, rashly undertook to meet the Prussian troops halfway. At the gates of Frankfort both men were seized by the insurgents and were lynched by the mob. Shortly before midnight the Prussian troops arrived and soon overran the barricades with their bayonets. On the following day the city was under military rule.

[Sidenote: South Germany restive]

In other parts of South Germany revolution had broken out anew. The Prince of Sigmaringen was driven from his little domain, which was proclaimed a republic. Insurgent expeditions were organized in Wurtemberg and Baden. There Karl Blind and Gustav Struve made another attempt on Freiburg. At Staufen, on September 24, they were beaten back by regular troops under General Hoffmann and fled toward Switzerland. Struve himself was captured near the frontier. On the same day the German Cabinet at Frankfort was reinstated. Still the ill success of popular government in Germany brought the Parliament into lasting disrepute.

[Sidenote: Reaction in Berlin]

[Sidenote: Brandenburg Prime Minister]

[Sidenote: Prussian Parliament dissolved]

The reaction was first felt at Berlin. There the return of General Wrangel's troops from Denmark was followed by friction between the soldiers and the democratic agitators in the streets. A resolution was passed in the popular Parliament of Prussia that all officers out of sympathy with democratic government should be encouraged to leave the army. The failure of the Minister of War to act on this suggestion was followed by his downfall. Having succeeded in this, the parliamentary majority next passed a vote to eliminate the words "by the grace of God" from the titles of the King. Toward the end of October a national convention of democrats met at Berlin, and held its sessions amid tumultuous scenes in the streets. In exasperation, the King dissolved the Cabinet that had been forced upon him, and commissioned Count Brandenburg, a natural son of Frederick William II., to form another. It included Major-General von Strotha, Minister of War, and Otto von Manteuffel, Minister of the Interior. The Parliament sent a deputation to remonstrate with the King. One of the delegates, Jacoby, as the King terminated the audience, called after him: "Behold the chief misfortune of kings, that they will not listen to the truth!" Immediately after this King Frederick William IV. prorogued the Parliament to the town of Brandenburg. The majority of the delegates declined to adjourn. The Cabinet Ministers, followed by the members that had been outvoted, left the hall. On November 15, the remaining Parliament issued a proclamation to the people to withhold all further payment of taxes. General Wrangel posted his troops throughout Berlin. The Municipal Guards of Berlin were dissolved. An attempt on the part of the Parliament to meet again was easily frustrated. The taxes were collected as before. When the Parliamentary minority came to order at Brandenburg their sessions were dissolved by royal order. On his own initiative, King Frederick William IV. now proclaimed a constitution. The Chambers, provisions for which were contained in this royal constitution, were to meet at Berlin on February 24, 1849. Such was the end of the People's Parliament in Prussia.


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