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str. 1 of 6 N.V. Rostislavlev


The liberal movement in the German union was doomed to the involvement into discussions about ways of a national unification. Choosing between values of individualism and nationalism, the German liberals put forward several programs of the solution of the German question.

| ~ x] Opening of the National Assembly in St. Pavel's church in Frankfurt am Main on May 18, 1848

Opening of the National Assembly

in St. Pavel's church in Frankfurt am Main (on May 18, 1848)

The statement of institutes of constitutionalism and ensuring the rights of the personality happened in the states of the German Southwest (Baden, Bavaria, Wurtemberg) more successfully, than in other German lands. The constitution of Baden made on a sample of the Charter of Louis XVIII was the most liberal. The fraction of liberals in the Baden landtag was quite numerous, some of her members found in 30 - the 40th the all-German popularity. Professors of the Freyburgsky university Karl von Rottek (1775 - 1840) and Karl Theodor Velker (1790 - 1869) became famous not only as politicians, but also as authors and editors of the 15-volume "State lexicon" - the political dictionary designed to popularize liberal views.

In the 30th the Baden liberals gave preference in the solution of the German question to freedom values. At the beginning of the 30th Velker introduced in landtag duchies Baden the bill on convocation of all-German parliament. This step was estimated in the German journalism as "the first parliamentary breakthrough in the solution of the German question". 1£ D On the Gambakhsky holiday (1832) Rottek said that freedom without unity, than unity without freedom is better. After adoption of reactionary decisions by Allied diet in Vienna (summer of 1832) the liberals of the duchy Baden suggested to unite to the states of the German union having constitutions. In their unification they saw a counterbalance to absolute power of Prussia and Austria. [2]

Any steps taken by Prussia to national association were negatively estimated by Rottek and Velker. So, they were against the entry of the duchy Baden into the Customs union created in 1834 at the initiative of Prussia. In 1835 Rottek submitted to a meeting of the state ranks of Baden (landtaga) the report where quite convincingly proved why the duchy should not join this Union: "... We against such Customs union... I and my patriotic fellow would vote for it if conditions of this Union changed if they corresponded to the patriotic idea of the Customs union which would guarantee respect for the principles of freedom, the true benefit of the nation or general interest". [3]

In article of "The state lexicon" devoted to the famous liberal economist F. Liszt, Velker echoed Rottek. He claimed that the efforts made by Liszt for development of national economy and creation of a system in its protection cause irritation as they do not assume the approval of the principles of freedom. [4] The similar position was not inherent in all representatives of the German Southwest. Vyurtemberzhtsa Pfitser, Uland and Fischer found it possible to offer freedom for the sake of unity. [5] The circle of authors of "The state lexicon" inclined to a gap with tradition with the purpose to keep freedom guarantees. They treated the concept "nation" within the ideas of Education and the French revolution, placing the main emphasis on the political sovereignty of the people, filling it with anti-absolutist contents. The liberals cooperating in "The state lexicon" considered an ideal of fair and voluntary association the federal system of the USA. [6]

During the premarch period (1840 - 1848) the ratsionalistichnost charge in ideas of the Baden liberals of the solution of an ethnic question began to weaken. Velker connected greatness of the nation with finding of freedom and the right by it that was achievable, according to him, only on the basis of reason. (K1e1eg B1ayeyeg) it wrote in "The Kiel magazine" that a legal order and the state guaranteeing it are approved national as only where the general natsionalitt generates internal unity of vital intentions, the purposes and aspirations, these state forms and the public relations could approach. [7]

In the 40th Velker did not wish a sharp gap with tradition any more and sought to reconcile freedom and unity. He practically departed from speculative schemes of Education and now clearly saw that the mankind exists in the nations which pass various ways in the historical development. Realization of the German civil freedom for Velker is an installation of a system of constitutional monarchy with certain civil liberties and competence of representative office of all German states.

In revolution of 1848 - 1849 the theory of the German question faced practice which finally forced liberals to refuse rationalism of Education.

Revolution began in Baden (February, 1848) earlier, than in other German states. The task of the Baden liberals during this period was in providing creation of national representative office. Already at a meeting in Geppengeym (1847) badenets F.D. Basserman (1811 - 1855) and Velker made the proposal on its convocation. Basserman, the publicist and the politician from Manngeym, on the eve of the revolution of 1848 found popularity as the publisher of "The German newspaper" (VeShzse 2екип§) who promoted promotion of the constitutional ideas and principles of the low-German unity.

The mechanism of creation of the all-German parliament was discussed on the congress in Heidelberg (duchy Baden) on March 5, 1848. 51 delegates from which 21 represented the duchy Baden participated in the congress. [8] Velker took very weighed position in Heidelberg, urging to address with the petition to Allied diet which had to do, according to him, all preparatory work on creation of the all-German parliament. This offer was failed, and delegates decided to create commission of 7 people for preparation of elections to national representative office. From the Baden constitutionalists Velker and Ittsstein entered it. [9]

In the preparliament which opened in March, 1848 ^ограг1атеп1;) most of deputies were representatives of the German Southwest where there was already rather accurate party system. Prussia which population made nearly 8 million was presented by 141 deputy, and the duchy Baden with the population in 1 million - 72 deputies. [10] The main task of preparliament consisted in development of the electoral law on the basis of which the national representative office had to be created. It was supposed that all other vital issues, and among them and decision-making, protecting Germany both from the republic, and from bloodshed, - competence of the newly elected National Assembly (The Frankfurt parliament, RaiY< 1gsye). [11]

Traditions of the Baden liberalism are distinctly looked through in activity of the National Assembly. "The state lexicon" of Rottek - Velker became the reference book of many deputies of the Frankfurt parliament: during the debate it was quoted much more often than other works.

In the solution of an ethnic question the liberals of the duchy Baden had no coordinated position.

From October, 1848 to January, 1849 the deputies of the Frankfurt parliament looked for a formula which could eliminate rivalry between Austria and Prussia. Fight for superiority in the German world was a factor of split and among the Baden liberals.

The Imperial constitution prepared by parliament had to become a basis of unity. The most challenged questions at its discussion were: imperial territories and imperial government. Performances of the Baden liberal Basserman differed in pro-Prussian moods: he suggested to create the German state without participation of Austria. The liberal believed that Prussia is more preferable to the government of Baden as the guarantor of his sovereign rights. The Baden government supported pro-Prussian statements of Basserman as was afraid of internal disintegration of the National Assembly and strengthening of radical democratic elements in the German lands. Prussia was that force which could prevent this disintegration. The position of the duchy spoke in a note of January 8, 1849 which was published in "The German newspaper". [12]

Velker was ready proavstriysk, and he was supported by the population of the South German lands. The main argument of Velker in favor of inclusion of Austria in the uniform German state was such: it is impossible to violate the rights of the Austrian Germans wishing to be together with the compatriots. At the same time he believed that the exception of Catholic Austria of future uniform German state can lead to the confessional conflict and even to civil war.

Velker was a Protestant. But as the liberal he supported freedom and independence of church, perceived religion as a basis of the spiritual organization of the person. Velker understood that the relations of Protestant and Catholic churches are projected on the public and state life of Germany. He considered inattention to the existing religious realities as violation of the rights of citizens, and the exception of Catholic Austria of the German unity strongly would weaken positions of the German Catholics. Velker also supported Austria in hope that it will be a political counterbalance to absolute power of Prussia. Such balance would promote, according to him, to a statement in future uniform German state of freedom. He believed that the exception of the German unity of Austria would be manifestation of "base ingratitude" in the relation Gabsburgov as they protect the South German lands from the French in the west of and from Turkey in the east. [13]

Velker took active part in discussion of the Imperial constitution. So, he suggested to put at the head of the imperial government of the deputy replaced each three years, having provided thereby serial leadership to the Austrian emperor and the Prussian king. Velker very much showed consideration for a question of structure of the government as he divided dualistic understanding of the principle of people's sovereignty inherent in all southwest liberalism, believing that his spokesman is not only the national representation, but also the government. For this reason he suggested to give imperial executive power the right of the absolute veto: then, in his opinion, it will find independence that will allow it to become effective force. [14]

| ~ x | Famous liberal politician of the duchy Baden Karl Theodor Velker (1790 - 1869)

Famous liberal politician

duchies Baden Karl Theodor Velker (1790 - 1869)

Wishing to realize the ideas of the solution of an ethnic question, Velker created the German-Austrian committee and became his leader. He took care to invite to discussion of the Imperial constitution in the second reading (February, 1849) of all supporters of Austria. This historical discussion led to a regrouping of forces in the Frankfurt meeting. The old coalitions ("Cafe Milan", "Casino", Landsberg, "The Augsburg yard", "The Wurtemberg yard" and others) actually lost the value, having given way to velikogermansky and low-German parties. Karl Velker became the leader of velikogermanets.

At a meeting of the Frankfurt parliament on March 13, 1849 there was a sensation. Velker presented the new project in which suggested to adopt the Imperial constitution in the first reading with necessary improvements and to transfer an imperial crown to the Prussian king. To the German princes Velker suggested to approve this decision and to demand its execution, even using the force. He considered it necessary to direct deputation of the National Assembly to the Prussian king and to declare to it election it the emperor with the right of transfer of power by inheritance. The question of the German-Austrian lands was declared by Velker meaning that the Austrian emperor as the prince of the German-Austrian lands is invited to the German state. The Frankfurt parliament has to promote as soon as possible the entry of these lands in a framework of jurisdiction of the German Imperial constitution. The performance Velker completed saying: "The German unity every day is exposed to the increasing threat, and I will not tell anything any more as: The fatherland is in danger, save the Fatherland". [15] The participant of those events K. Binding wrote that this offer was immediately put to the vote and its statement it was inevitable, but Velker, allegedly, did not want it [16].

In several days the last discussion of the draft of the Imperial constitution which took place quickly took place. Final vote happened on March 28, 1849 and was connected first of all with a question of the imperial power. Members of the National Assembly 567 deputies consisted then, from them 29 was absent. 290 deputies, and the others 248 as wrote the Binding voted for transfer of an imperial crown to the Prussian king, "adequately refrained". [17] Therefore it is difficult to speak about an unconditional victory of low-Germans as the refrained deputies mentally, most likely, spoke "no".

Why Karl Velker so sharply changed the intentions, historians argue still. K. Vild, the author of rather serious research about Velker, gives various judgments explaining his act. So, he mentions the assumption that Velker was bribed by Prussia, but does not write about proofs of it. [18] Other German historians writing about Velker about the bribery fact

do not report. [19] An indirect denial of tendency of Velker to corruption are characteristics which the historian of the low-German school G. Treychke gave it on pages of "The German history in the nineteenth century". In spite of the fact that he was negative to the liberal Rotteka-Velkera direction, accused them of an excessive worship for France and of misunderstanding of true tasks and purposes of Germany [20], and in general called Velker "the inveterate and vicious enemy of Prussia" [21], he considered both leaders of the Baden liberalism honest people. "Honest loud Velker" - such characteristic gave him Treychke. [22]

it is possible

>, Velker got under influence of the government of the duchy Baden. This option is represented not absolutely convincing as at that time Velker was already rather independent figure. In the Frankfurt parliament it consisted not as the deputy from Heidelberg, and as the deputy from Frankfurt any more. Velker carried out orders of the National Assembly in Lauyenburg and Austria and was quite regardless of opinion of the government of the duchy Baden.

Trying to answer this tangled question, it is worth to remember also that the situation in the most Austrian empire changed: On March 4 there the constitution, the Austrian Reichstag sitting at Kremzir (Moravian Kromerzhizh) was adopted on March 7 it was dismissed, and on March 11 this message reached Frankfurt. The constitution adopted by the Reichstag did not come into force. Soon the Austrian empire received the oktroirovanny constitution. V. Blos saw in it the main reason of change of a position of Velker. He so wrote about it: "The coup in Kremzir so frightened Velker who before was standing up for accession of Austria that that suddenly turned from velikogermanets into the supporter of the hereditary imperial power. [23]

It is quite probable that change of opinion of Velker was influenced by threat of possible intervention of Russia in the German affairs. The colleague Velkera Rottek in the 30th on pages of the of "General history" wrote that Russia inspired fear both the huge sizes, and Asian autocratic board therefore "any increase in its intellectual, military, economic forces is misfortune for the civilized world". [24] The panic of liberals in front of Russia remained also in days of revolution, moreover - it amplified. In Nicholas I's instruction about mobilization of February 25 (on March 8), 1848 of willows the manifesto from 14 on March (26), 1848 the European revolutions were estimated as mutinies from which the threat of Russia. [25] proceeds

In April, 1848 the Russian emperor delivered to Berlin the ultimatum about a response of the Prussian troops which occupied Jutland. [26] belonging to Denmark thus, the threat of war for Prussia was quite real. On the other hand, there was also a probability of the Russian invasion into the Austrian empire: Russia wanted to support Gabsburgov as guarantor of the Vienna system which Prussia actively destroyed. The threat of invasion became even more tangible after the revolution in Kremzir as now Austria could resolve "the Hungarian issue" only by force.

About horror which was felt by Germans in front of Russia, the collection of leaflets of the period of revolution which is stored in a special meeting of the State social and political library demonstrates (the former library of Institute of Marxism-Leninism at the Central Committee of the CPSU). So, the leaflet "The Message from Cologne" frightens Germans by alliance of tsarist Russia, sultan Turkey and Persia. In the text it is claimed that not unified Germany will be won and devastated by them, despite of support of France. But if all parties of Germany oppose republicans and reactionaries, having shown at the same time true moderation, then Germany will be free and uniform. [27] In other leaflet the pathetic appeal "Sounds get up, the German lion, - the Russian bear showed the teeth". [28] "Russians came! Death Russian!!" is a heading of one of leaflets, and appears from its text that Germans should reject hatred and hostility in Germany and to protect the freedom day after day that no Russian could come to them. [29]

A true masterpiece of intimidation - the leaflet under the name "The Manifesto of the Emperor of Russia to the People of Austria and Germany". It represents quite cruel parody much which would arise in case of hegemony of Russia in Europe. The tsar Nicholas I thought whether freedom is necessary to the people of Europe, and, having consulted to ministers in Frankfurt, Berlin and Vienna, adopted laws for ensuring freedom which immediately come into force in the German and Austrian territories. So, as it is written down in these laws, no Prussian soldier can kill more than three people a day. If any minister wants to sink revolution in blood, then he cannot shoot more than 10,000 people. The National Assembly of the German people cannot more often than eight times a month,

to change the decisions. Each viceroy appointed by Nicholas II rules together with the National Assembly which cannot solve differently, than the viceroy will solve. It is allowed to each deputy of the Frankfurt parliament to speak fluently about uniform Germany, and nobody will even beat it for it, but it has to be provided that in the National Assembly speak no more, than 15 languages. The people will not need to pay heavy taxes, and it is only so much how many will ask. [30]

The artful image of Russia in the German lands was skillfully formed by liberals. They cultivated hatred to Russia as it was the major obstacle in destruction of the Vienna system, and the Austrian empire was her main ally. Therefore the question of the Austrian lands in future uniform German state gained special sharpness. The pro-Austrian party in the German states existed, and it wished to see the German-Austrian lands as a part of uniform Germany. The Austrian emperor Franz Joseph in principle did not refuse it, but slowed down the association process initiated by the Frankfurt parliament.

Velker probably realized that quickly not to solve the Austrian problem, and preferred to refuse speculativeness, characteristic of early liberalism: not to break the principle of freedom in relation to the Austrian Germans and to consider changes of historical realities. Therefore it agreed with attempt to create the uniform German state without Austria. Velker acted according to the direction of evolution of the liberal movement of the German Southwest: from rationalism to accounting of historical and empirical factors.

The failure which comprehended the Frankfurt parliament in the solution of the German question became the beginning of a decline of political career of Velker. The Velikogermansky party after defeat of revolution of 1848 - 1849 did not die. Her death is usually dated 1859 when the impossibility of continuation of the liberal reforms in Austria became obvious.


[1] Tsit. on: Schoettle R. Politische Freiheit fuer die deutsche Nation: Carl Theodor Welckers politische Theorie. Baden-Baden, 1985. S.20.

[2] See: RotteckH. Carl von Rotteck’s gesammelte und nachgelassene Schriften. Pforzheim, 1841. Bd.4. S.352 (further - GNS).

Highway of GNS. Bd.3. S.323.

[4] Staatslexikon oder Enzyklopaedie der saemmtlichen Staatswissenschaften fuer alle Staende/Hrsg. Von Carl von Rotteck und Carl Welcker. 15 Bde. Altona 1834 - 1843. Bd.9. S.560 (further - SL).

[5] Pfizer P. Gedanken ueber das Ziel und die Aufgabe des deutschen Liberalismus im 19. Jahrhundert/Hrsg. von L. Gall und R. Koch. Frankfurt/M.; Berlin; Wien, 1981. Bd.3. Teil 3. S.70.

[6] SL. Bd.11. S.401-403.

[7] Schoettle R. Op.cit. S.72-73.

[8] Freyer U. Das Vorparlament zu Frankfurt a.M. im Jahre 1848. Greifswald, 1913. S.20.

[9] Ibid. S.20-22.

[10] Ibid. S.24.

[11] Ibid. S.166-170.

[12] See: WildK. Karl Theodor Welcker: Ein Vorkaempfer des aelteren Liberalismus. Heidelberg, 1913. S.279-283.

[13] Welcker W. Rede des Abgeordneten Welcker in der oesterreichischen Sache. Sitzung der deutschen Reichversammlung am 29. November 1848. B. m, 1848.

[14] Vorkaempfer deutscher Freiheit: Staat und Kirche in den Debatten der Frankfutter Paulskirche 1848. Heft 4. Muenchen, 1910. S.36-40; see also: WildK. Op.cit. S.277-289.

[15] Stenographischer Bericht ueber die Verhandlungen der deutschen constituirunden Nationalversammlung. Frankfurt/M.,1849. Bd.8. S.56-66.

[16] Binding K. Der Versuch der Reichsgruendung durch die Paulskirche in den Jahren 1848 und 1849. Leipzig, 1892. S.57.

[17] BindingK. Op.cit. S.58.

[18] WildK. Op.cit. S.293.

[19] See: Mueller-Dietz H. Das Leben des Rechtslehrers und Politikers Karl-Theodor Welcker. Freiburg, 1968; Schoettle R. Op.cit.

[20] Treitschke H. Deutsche Geschichte im neunzehnten Jahrhundert. 5 Bde. Leipzig, 1927. Bd.4. S.225.227.

[21] Ibid. Bd.5. S.600.

[22] Ibid. S.601.

[23] Blos V. Istoriya of the German revolution of 1848. SPb., 1906. Page 388.

[24] Rotteck C.v. Geschichte der neuesten Zeit. Pfozheim, 1841. S. 224.

[25] Revolutions of 1848 - 1849. M.,1952. Page 243.

[26] In the same place. Page 273-274.

[27] State social and political library. A collection of the leaflets "Russia and Revolution of 1848 in Germany" (in German). L.17.

[28] In the same place. L.3.

[29] In the same place. L.5.

[30] In the same place. L.13

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