Revolution of 1848

1143 Words5 Pages
Before the revolution of 1848, class status defined every citizen 's place in the social, political, and economic order causing problems throughout Germany. Due to the separation of the states, some Germans advocated German unification under a single constitutional monarchy; however, after the defeat of Napoleon, their dreams were crushed. Developing power was scattered among three hundred different states consolidated under the Holy Roman Empire. Powerful regions like Prussia and Austria gained increasing authority over other small city-states who had to make do with the limited power they possessed. This division of power among the states ignited a flame that eventually erupted when the aristocrats, the middle class, and the workers…show more content…
Industrialists were prejudiced against helping the working class because they felt it would lead to "wastefulness and laziness" (document 4). Known for their conservative views of power, the aristocrats primarily ostracized the idea of change concerning the status quo. However certain high class individuals encouraged a nationalistic transformation. Some citizens feared that unification would lead to the destruction of the social classes and their own rights as nobles. Those of aristocratic status who opposed the transformation believed they would lose their power if they lost their status. Klemens von Metternich, a political leader of the age, stressed in his memorandum that the revolution must be "conquered" (document 3). In her book, This is the Responsibility of the King, Bettina von Arnim elaborated on the drastic downfall of social order into chaos if the revolution succeeded (document 7). In her novel, she encouraged the princes to develop the lower class 's lifestyle, so the poor would demolish the revolution. The nobles worried that without social status, the German states would lose authority over the citizens. As advisor to King Frederick William IV, General Joseph von Radowitz promoted in his book, Concerning State and Church, that the German Princes must survive the middle class 's plot to abolish monarchy (document 8). Hans von Gagern, a government official, wrote in his biased speech that he opposed any change made to
Get Access