« ПредыдущаяПродолжить »
statesman's Constitution and drafts of Con- | the Germanic Confederation, come to be institution of 1815.
accurately described as Federal laws, but in We will express no opinion as to whether no case can they become legally or formally the reconstruction of Germany did or did binding within the States of the minority, not require the antecedent employment of until they have assumed the form of legis"blood and iron," but this we will fearlessly lative enactment in each State. In a word, assert, that if the ground ploughed up by the individual subjects of the States of a the cannon-shot of 1866 yields the harvest" Staatenbund” know nothing of the Couexpected of it, the seed will have been sown federation; whatever common organ such by the much-maligned professors whose union may possess for the accomplishment labours are just now held so cheap by the of the common objects of the association, thankless Fatherland.
acts through the Governments and the legisThat after such prolonged academical lative apparatus of the individual members. preparation the events of 1848 should have From the above it will at once be manihad a certain pedantry of form adhering to fest that the Germanic Confederation was a them is not to be wondered at, and we can- Staatenbund. not hope to lay before our readers a clear The “ Bundesstaat "-Anglicè, “ Federastatement of the struggle which has ever tive State ”-is an abstraction originally since agitated Germany, without first ex- obtained from the careful analysis made of plaining two scientific terms taken from the the United States Constitution by De Tocpolitical phraseology of the time which queville. As the name implies (the plural, meet us at every turn, and for which we "States," being replaced by the singular, know of no English equivalents.
“State"), it presupposes the creation of a The German professor divides the genus political unit, i.e., of a body endowed with Confederation into two species, the “Staat- sovereign attributes, and therefore excludes enbund” and the “ Bundesstaat,” under one the idea of international relations between or other of which, or a cross between the the members of such a body. The Bundestwo, every individual federal constitution staat is a national as opposed to an intercan be brought.
national union. Its essential characteristics The essence of the “Staatenbund”-An- may be resumed as follows :glicè, States' Confederation” is that it is 1. The rights of external and internal international, i.e., that however closely sovereignty inherent in the idea of a State united inter se for particular purposes the are divided between the Federal power
and individual States composing the union may the several States, so that each, the Federal be, there is no displacement or transfer of power and the individual State, is exclusivesovereignty from the individual units to a ly endowed with certain sovereign rights, common centre. The confederated States and consequently that, considered separate may collectively constitute an internationally, each is an incomplete State. unit as regards third parties, but the several 2. The individual subjects or citizens in partners do not cease to be international a Federative State stand in a double and units as regards each other. Each retains divided allegiance, being on some points the plenitude of his sovereign rights, those exclusively subject to the Federal power, of external as well as those of internal sove- on others exclusively subject to the local reignty. The exercise of these rights may power, be, and indeed necessarily is, limited in 3. The Federal power, within its jurispractice by the objects of the union, such, diction, acts directly and by means of its for instance, as the limitation of the right own organs upon the individual subjects or of making war upon each other, or of en- citizens in the several States, and not, as in tering into foreign alliances; but in theory the case of the “Staatenbund," indirectly it is not a surrender of the right, but a through the individual Governments. voluntary engagement to abstain from using Such being the essence of the Bundesthe right.
staat, it follows that its differentia, to use It follows from this definition that, as an the old logical formula, consists of a centralExecutive and a Legislature both imply the ized Executive and a common Legislature. exercise of sovereign powers, a "Staaten- We may add, as “inseparable accidents," bund,” or “States' Confederation," does not deduced from the practical objects which admit either of a central executive or of a every Bundesstaat must have in view, and common legislative body. The articles of m the nature of the societies in which union may in certain matters render the alone such a form of government could will of the majority binding upon the minor- ariseity, and the Federal decrees or resolutions 1st, That all rights of external sovereignty of such majorities may, as was the case in I will be absorbed by the Federal
ided into their own Te shoh 7 betra 9 and its
2dly, That the Legislature will include a Frankfort Assembly was omnipotent; and national representation of the entire Fede had it before the autumn succeeded in arral body, elected without reference to the riving at a definite result, that result would individual States.
have been unhesitatingly accepted by the If our readers will bear the above abstract nation, as well as by the then helpless Gov. in mind, and compare it with their practical ernments. But by the close of the year the knowledge of the working of the American situation was radically changed. Both at Constitution, they will, we hope, have a Berlin and at Vienna the Crown had recav. tolerably clear idea of the Bundesstaat, and ered its presence of mind, and power was see in what points it differs from the Consti- once more lodged in the hands of energetic tution of the late Germanic Confederation. Ministers. Whatever the resolve coine to by
As the essence of the Staatenbund con- the Parliament, it would have to pass sists in its international character, and that through the ordeal of Prussian and Austrian of the Bundesstaat in the centralization of criticism, and to court the assent of two certain sovereign attributes, we have in Powers, able, if they were willing, to veto what follows used the terms “ International it. Confederation to denote the former, and It was in the winter months of 1848-49 “ Centralized Confederacy to denote the that the debates upon the Constitution at latter : the literal renderings, “ States' Con- length began. Violent as were the party federation” and “Federative State," not conflicts upon questions of detail, there was appearing to us as yet sufficiently domesti- a general consent of opinion upon the main cated in the English language to justify our features of the scheme. They were those of use of them.
the Bundesstaat, - a national Parliament On the 18th of March 1848, the King of composed of two Houses, one a States' House
, Prussia engaged, in a proclamation to his the other a Representative Assembly elected people, that the German International Con- directly by the people, a Ministry responsifederation (Staatenbund) should be replaced ble to this Parliament, and a supreme irre by a German Centralized Confederacy (Bun- sponsible head, who, whatever his title
should be invested with the attributes of a On the 30th of March, the Diet called constitutional Sovereign. The body to be upon
the several Governments of the Con- thus created was to be a Sovereign Unit in federation to convoke a Parliament, to be regard to all rights of external and to many elected directly by the nation on the basis important rights of internal sovereignty. of population, which Parliament, in conjunc- It was when the question came to be distion with the Government, should determine cussed as to what head should be given to the new form of constitution to be given to this body, whether the office should be filled Germany.
by an elected president or by an hereditary On the 18th of May, the Parliament met monarch, and if by the latter, on whom the at Frankfort, and, in concert with the Gov- crown should devolve, that the Parliament ernments, elected the Archduke John of found itself at last face to face with the cenAustria as “ Reichsverweser " or Regent of tral difficulty of the German question, viz., the Empire. The Archduke was to be the the position of Austria in the new Confed. irresponsible head of a provisional Executive
eracy. and to nominate a Ministry responsible to As soon as the question was submitted to Parliament.
the ordeal of exhaustive discussion, the folOn the 24th of July, the Diet resigned lowing positions came out clearly:into the hands of the Archduke Regent the By common agreement and on this point powers confided to it by the Acts of 1815 there was not a dissentient voice-the" Bunand 1820, and declared itself dissolved. desstaat," or Centralized Federative State,
Thus, before a single paragraph of the was the only form of constitution which future Constitution had been discussed, Ger- could secure the objects desired by the nation, many had constituted herself under a form viz., unity without excessive sacrifice of of Government bearing all the essential State individuality. But the sovereignty of features of the Bundesstaat or Centralized the “ Bundesstaat” is within its assigned Confederacy.
sphere supreme, not only over all the States Instead of applying itself at once to the that belong to it, but over the individual political reconstruction of Germany, the citizens composing those States, and conse: Parliament entered into an exhaustive dis- quently admits
of no rival allegiance. If cussion of the fundamental rights of Ger- therefore, the German provinces of Austria man citizens, and by this fatal mistake lost were to enter into the proposed “ Bundes its only chance of arriving at a practical re-staat" it was first necessary that they should sult, for during the summer of 1848 the i be dissevered from their political connexion
with the rest of the Austrian Empire, i. e., I themselves into a Western Germany, and the such entrance required, as an antecedent National Parliament, therefore, must proceed condition, the dismemberment of the Aus- with its work and accomplish it, in the only trian Empire, and the establishment for
the way it can be accomplished, by the constitution future of a merely personal union between tria shall not be the loser, but, on the contrary,
of the Bundesstaat under Prussia. But Austhe German and non-German dominions of a gainer by the change. Between her and the the House of Hapsburg-Lothringen. Germany thus constituted there shall be estab
If this condition could not be fulfilled, lished an international union of the closest and the work of constituting a Centralized kind. An eternal alliance for offence and deConfederacy was nevertheless to be proceed fence shall guarantee to each the possession of ed with, then Austria must be excluded its territories. A Customs' Union shall open from the new State.
up the markets of the one to the other. SimIf, on the other hand, the paramount ob- in every way facilitate the intercourse between
ilar laws passed by the two Legislatures shall ject of the nation was that Austria should the two branches of the great family. Every remain bound up with the rest of Germany advantage wbich Austria derived from the old on equal terms, then a return mutatis mutan- International Confederacy of 1815, she will dis to an International Confederation of the enjoy a hundredfold under the new dispensa. old kind was the only alternative left.
tion, with the additional one, that all conflicts Now it is exactly against this sort of co
as to concurrent rights of sovereignty will for
the future be avoided."
Fortunately for the party of the Little convincing, that a very numerous, a very in Germans, or the Hereditary Imperialists, as telligent, a very respectable, and a very they styled themselves, the Austrian Governpatriotic class of German politicians most ment itself came to their assistance. When vehemently rebels. It cannot force an en- the debates on the question of Austria’s trance through the nebulous ring of senti- position in the Bundesstaat were at their ment and imagination by which the purely hottest, news reached Frankfort that on the Alemannic political conscience is surround- 7th of March the Austrian constituent ed.
parliament, sitting at Kremsier, had been As soon, therefore, as the really political forcibly closed, and that the emperor had portion of the Frankfort Parliament had octroyé a constitution by which, for the first come to the conclusions aforesaid, and had time in their history, the dominions of his formulated their programme conformably to House were welded together into a compact those conclusions, there arose a storm of centralized monarchy, one and indivisible. opposition, and a party calling itself“ Great An imperial note at the same time formuGerman," to express its abhorrence at the lated the demand that the Austrian empire, idea of severing any portion from the great so reconstituted, should enter bodily into the Fatherland, and branding its opponents as Germanic Confederation, and that the Con“Little Germans," strained every nerve to stitution to be given to Germany should be thwart the plans of their adversaries. The modified accordingly, a. e., that the idea of a programme against which they spent their “Bundesstaat," with a national Parliament wrath may be shortly summed up as fol- and a single head, should be given up, and lows:
that in lieu thereof a Directory of seven sov“The German Austrians neither will nor can assisted by a States' House representing the
ereigns, under the presidency of Austria, sever themselves from the rest of Austria. Nor is it desirable, either in their own interest Governments, should permanently administer or in that of Germany, that they should do so. the affairs of the Confederation. For Austria bas an appointed task to perform. under the impression of this sudden turn of She has to spread German culture eastwards, affairs in Austria, that on the 27th and 28th and to found a mighty empire on the Danube, of March the Frankfort Parliament passed which, if not wholly German by nationality, the two celebrated votes, shall become wholly German by civilization.
• The head of the German Bundesstaat is To withdraw her German provinces from her is to withdraw the life-blood necessary for this an hereditary Emperor, to be styled Emperor process of assimilation. It is to deprivo the of the Germans.' ancient House of Hapsburg of the raison
“The Imperial Crown is hereditary in the d'être of its existence, it is to bring Germany House of Hohenzollern." into immediate contact with half-barbarous On the third of April a deputation from races, without a controlling element to keep the Parliament waited upon the King of them in subjection. But there is no reason, Prussia at Berlin, and called upon his Maj. because Austria's task is to found an Eastern Germany, that the remaining Germans, to esty to accept the crown offered to him by whom history has not allotted this task, should the German nation in parliament assembled. be hindered in their endeavours to consolidate The King replied, that though the vote of the
3 indirs and to giant of Ak 7" Buze there
Parliament gave him a well grounded claim to that the Centralized Confederacy was to take this crown, he could not accept it without its place. previous concert with the sovereigns whose The Constitution which Prussia drew
up rights were involved.
kept close to the text of that voted by the On the 28th of April he declined defini- Frankfort Assembly, only modifying some tively. By this refusal the moral power of of its provisions in a less doctrinaire and the National, as distinct from the Revolu- more conservative sense. Instead of the tionary party, was broken; they had lost hereditary Emperor, however, the Executive their only bulwark, the physical support of was to be confided to Prussia as presiding the one power in Germany able successfully power, assisted by a board of seven Sove to carry the programme of the nation to a reigns. successful issue.
By the end of July twenty-nine governThe refusal of the King was followed by ments had sent in their adherence to the revolutionary outbreaks at Dresden, in new Confederacy. But the month of August Baden, and in the Palatinate, and the panic changed the situation. On the 12th of stricken sovereigns, Austria being fully occu- that month the Hungarian army surrendered pied with her Hungarian insurrection, had at Vilagos; Austria was once more restored to apply to Prussia for assistance. Help to the free use of her strength, and the kings was immediately vouchsafed, and in a short knew that help was near. In September
, campaign the arms of Prussia reduced the Bavaria and Würtumberg declined the invirevolted subjects of the Kings of Saxony and tation sent to them, and later in the autumn Bavaria and of the Grand Duke of Baden Saxony and Hanover protested against the to their allegiance.
Parliament being convoked. Nevertheless
, It was a proud moment for the King of on the 20th of March, 1850, the Parliament Prussia, and the crisis was one of the sort met at Erfurt, and accepted en bloc the draft especially fitted to flatter his peculiar illu- of Constitution submitted to it. According, sions. Implored by the nation to accept the therefore, to the declaration of the 26th of Imperial crown, he had been unable to con- May, that Constitution ought there and then quer his repugnance to such a title, or his to have come into operation. But Prussia's scruples as to infringing upon the divine heart had begun to fail her. A fresh provirights of his sovereign compeers, and had sorium, for the ostensible purpose of calling refused the gift. Implored by these com- the constitution into life, was created, and a peers to save them from destruction, he had congress of the sovereigns composing the triumphantly done so. Wbat so easy now, Union met at Berlin, but could settle on no as, in conjunction with these self-same sove definite course of action, Not daring to reigns, revived by him, and deeply in his move forward, still more afraid to step back, debt, to resume the work of German reform, the Union stood irresolute, awaiting its and to offer to the nation, as a free gift out death-blow at the hands of Austria. of the hands of the Lord's Anointed, that On the 26th of April, Austria, ignoring which it bad sacrilegiously aspired to seize all that had taken place since 1848, sumas its right?
moned the Diet to meet at Frankfort. Accordingly, the King of Prussia set ac- Eleven Governments answered the call, tively to work to build up the Bundesstaat some of them seceders from the Union. by voluntary contributions. Conferences Prussia, in her own name and in that of the were held at Berlin, and on the 28th of May Union, refused the invitation.
Thus two an alliance, known as “ The Three Kings' independent powers, the Diet and the Union, Alliance," between the sovereigns of Prussia, each claiming to represent Germany, and Saxony and Hanover, was concluded. The each refusing to acknowledge the other, allies bound themselves to give a Consti- stood face to face, and the crisis was at hand. tution to Germany, conformable to a draft Austria took care that the conflict should be which Prussia drew up, aud which was to quick and decisive. Under her presidency, come into operation as soon as it had the Diet, though scarcely numbering oneobtained the assent of a National Assembly, third of the Governments of the Confedera
, to be later convoked. All members of the tion, declared itself competent, and proceeded Germanic Confederation, Austria excepted, to draw before its forum the two burning were invited to join the alliance, with the questions of the day, viz., the war still going option of refusing. The international union on between the Duchies of Sleswig and between Austria and such states as did not Holstein and the King of Denmark, and the join, on the one hand, and the proposed question of the Hessian Constitution. « Bundesstaat" on the other, was to remain We will not inflict the former upon our such as in the Confederation of 1815. It readers; the latter is less known, and more was within the International Confederation | dramatic.
Though the Elector of Hesse appeared at a moment when Prussia's only chance was Frankfort, and invoked the aid of the Diet to appeal to the national feeling, died of a against his subjects, Hesse-Cassel was still a broken heart. Manteuffel succeeded him. member of the Union, and according to the Another twenty-four hours and all was over. constitution which the Erfurt parliament had Prussia had surrendered at discretion, and voted, one of the first duties of the Confede- sent the order for the recall of her troops. racy was the maintenance of the constitutional By the punctuation of Olmütz she engaged rights of the several States. As the Elector to dissolve the Union, to attend at Frankappealed to Austria and the Diet for assist- fort, and to give Austria carte blanche to setance, so the Hessian Chambers and the tle the Sleswig-Holstein and Hessian quesHessian people looked to Prussia and the tions as she thought fit. She asked as a faUnion for protection.
vour, and the favour was granted, that one The conflict was a strange one. It had battalion, at least, of Prussian troops should not arisen in the defence of rights acquired be allowed to remain in the Electorate, and during the revolutionary period of 1848, but look on at the dragonnades inflicted upon the in that of a constitution that had been in constitutional Hessians. force for twenty years, and with respect to Once more, as in 1815, Austria and Pruswhose provisions no doubt or équivoque could sia had played for the hegemony of Germany, exist. The minister Hassenpflug, who had and once more Prussia had been beaten, and the management of it, was a man of noto Austria had been victorious. But it had riously bad character, who had once been been a rougher game than the courtly one tried for forgery. During its entire continu- played amidst the feasts and banquets of the ance no act of violence or even disturbance Vienna Congress. The Prussian uniform occurred. It was carried on between the had been dragged in the mud; 1. e., the Elector and his Minister on the one hand, Prussian army having been mobilized, the and the Chambers, the public employés from entire male population between the ages
of the highest to the lowest, the tribunals, and twenty and thirty-eight had each, in his own lastly the army, on the other; not that the person, been identified with the disgrace of army revolted, but that the entire body of the Hessian catastrophe. Into the soul of officers, rather than break their oath to the one man the iron penetrated deep. The then constitution by disobeying the decisions of Prince, now King, of Prussia, retired to the the tribunal, sent in their collective resigua- Rhine Province, in voluntary exile, refused tions—four generals, seven colonels, twenty to have any intercourse with the Ministry lieutenant-colonels, with majors, captains who had signed the punctuation of Olmütz, and lieutenants in proportion, in all 241 offi- and during the remaining portion of his cers, a fact probably without precedent in con- brother's reign brooded over the humiliation stitutional history.
of his country. It was to back up such a Government in If we examine into the causes of this defeat, such a conflict that the Diet decreed a Fede- though undoubtedly much is to be laid to ral execution in Hesse, and that an Austrian the account of the weak and vacillating and Bavarian army were appointed to carry character of King Frederick-William iv., it out.
we shall nevertheless again meet with the The sequel is well known. Prussia made phenomena with which the negotiations of just sufficient show of resistance to add mili- 1814 have made us familiar. Austria thortary disgrace to political defeat. She placed oughly knew her own mind, and what she her entire army upon a war-footing, entered wanted. She knew who were her allies, and the Electorate amidst the cheers and ac- that her policy was to be wholly and entirely clamations of the population, who hailed her the ally of those allies. L'ami de ses amis, as deliverer, and occupied Cassel and the she would claim their services, but she military roads. On the 6th of November, would render full service in exchange. near the village of Bronzell, not far from Thirty years, and above all, the exhaustive the old cathedral town of Fulda, Austrian discussions of the Frankfort Parliament, had and Prussian outposts met, and shots were placed the conditions of the political probexchanged. An old grey mare, it is said, iem to be solved in a far clearer light than ridden by a Prussian trumpeter, bit the they had been in 1815. The national redust. This was the battle of Bronzell. It construction of Germany meant the Centralwas the beginning of the end. Two days ized Confederacy, the Centralized Confederlater, Count Brandenburg, the Prussian acy' meant a sovereign body into which po Prime Minister, a brave and honest old sol. fragments from another body owing allegidier, but whose strong conservative feelings ance to another sovereign could be admitted. and hatred of all things labelled liberal or It meant, therefore, the exclusion of Austria national unfitted him for the post he held at from Germany. Now this the Austrian
کی مار 23
espring -k, and