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A History of the Nineteenth Century, Year by Year

Assembled in the halls of Luther's Wartburg Castle


medieval lyrics of Rukopis Kralodvorsky

written at the end of the thirteenth century. Across the border in Poland the new University of Cracow began its career. In Munich, Franz Gabelsberger invented the first working system of shorthand, which, in a perfected form, is still in use in Germany. During this year common school education took an immense stride in Germany, after the establishment in Prussia of a distinct Ministry for Public Education. Unfortunately the government soon came into conflict with the bolder spirits at the universities. By reason of the more liberal privileges allowed to it by the Duke of Weimar, the University of Jena took the lead in the national Teutonic agitation inaugurated by Fichte. On October 18, the students of Jena, aided by delegates from all the student fraternities of Protestant Germany, held a festival at Eisenach to celebrate the three-hundredth anniversary of the Reformation. It was also the anniversary of the battle of Leipzig. Five hundred ardent young men, among them scholars who had fought at Leipzig, Ligny and Waterloo, assembled in the halls of Luther's Wartburg Castle. They sang and drank, and fraternized with the members of the militia of Eisenach. In the evening they had a torchlight procession and lighted a huge bonfire on the hill opposite the castle. In imitation of Martin Luther's burning of the Pope's Bull they consigned a number of their pet aversions to the flames. Thus they burned a soldier's straight-jacket and corporal's cane, as well as a recent pamphlet by
one Schmalz written in defense of the old Prussian bureaucracy. Rash words were uttered about the broken faith of princes. They were aimed at King Frederick William of Prussia, who had promised to give his country a constitution, but had failed to keep his word. The Wartburg festival, childish as it was in many of its manifestations, created singular alarm throughout Germany and elsewhere. The King of Prussia sent his Prime Minister, Hardenberg, to Weimar to make a thorough investigation of the affair. Richelieu, the Prime Minister of France, wrote from Paris whether another revolution was breaking out; and Metternich insisted that the Duke of Weimar should curtail the liberties of his subjects. The heavy hand of reaction fell upon all German universities. German scholars were compelled to turn their interests from public affairs to pure science and scholarship, to the benefit of German learning. The study of history and archeology took an upward turn with Brentano's publication of old German ballads and Lachmann's original version of the Nibelungen songs. At this time an Italian archeologist, Belzoni, was adding new chapters to ancient history by his original researches in Egypt, which resulted in the removal of the Colossus of Memnon to Alexandria, and in the opening of the great Cephren pyramid. In distant South Africa the first English missionaries began their labors among the blacks. Although the Governor of Natal at first refused to permit Robert Moffat, the first Wesleyan missionary in those parts, to disturb the Kaffirs with his preachings, Moffat pressed on undismayed and soon established a mission beyond the Orange River.

[Sidenote: Green Bag inquiry]

[Sidenote: Manchester Blanketers]


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