Repression in the 20s

1820 - 1829

Liberal reform/growth of nationalism

1830 - 1840

Growth of Liberalism

1840 - 1849

- Relaxed press censorship

Industrial/Economic Successes

1850 - 1860


King Friedrich Wilhelm III

1797 - 1840

King Francis I

1804 - 1835

Austrian King

Klemens von Metternich

October 1809 - March 1848

Austrian Foreign Minister

King Francis II

1835 - 1849

King of Austria

King Friedrich Wilhelm IV

1840 - 1861

Otto Von Bismark

1847 - 1890

1847: Delegate to Prussian Landtag
1851 - 62: Ambassadorial roles (Frankfurt, St. Petersburg, Paris)
1862: Became Foreign Minister of Prussia
1867 - 71: Chancellor of the North German Confederation
1871 - 90: 1st Chancellor of Germany
1873 - 90: Minister-President of Prussia


The Vienna Settlement

November 1814 - June 1815

The Vienna Settlement was led by Klemens von Metternicht, the foreign minister of Austria. The settlement dealt with the reorganization of Europe to achieve balance of power, restoration, legitimacy, and compensation after Napoleon’s conquests of Europe.

Vormärz: The Age of Metternich

1815 - 1848

A time of political excitement, though much of this was intellectual and theoretical. There were small groups of workers who were politically active and discussed the possibility of revolution centred on the sovereignty of the people, and the possibility of republicanism.

German Confederation Established

June 1815

This comprised of 39 states and was established with the aim of maintaining external and internal security as well as the independence of individual states. It's aim was not unification, as each ruler of each state did not want their independence limited by a strong central German government.

Wartburg Festival


Nationalist students converted the 300th anniversary celebration of Martin Luther's 1517 stand against the Pope/Catholic Church (resulting in the creation of Protestantism) into a demonstration against the princes. However, less than 500 students actually attended this, and its importance is often exaggerated.

Carlsbad Decrees


Metternich established a pervasive system of press censorship and regulation of the universities that dampened German intellectual life and hindered the publication of writings advocating the principles of liberalism. The decrees
- Provided inspectors for universities
- Ensured the disbanding of student societies
- Introduced press censorship
- Set up a commission to investigate 'revolutionary' movements

Reactionary (opposing political/social change and wanting to go back to the past) forces triumphed as some professors were dismissed and some radical leaders were imprisoned

Congress of Troppau

July 1820 - November 1820

This was the meeting of the Quintuple Alliance (Russia, Austria, Prussia, UK, France) to discuss the revolutions that had broken out in Spain, Portugal, Piedmont, and Naples. The powers signed the Troppau Protocol which announced that they would 'never recognise the rights of a people to restrict the powers of their king', and that Russia, Austria, and Prussia would act jointly to restore any government overthrown by force, using force if needed.

Zollverein comes into existence

January 1834

A coalition of 18 German states, including the most powerful, Prussia, set up a customs union called the Zollverein, where trade tariffs amongst the states were abolished. By 1850, almost every German state had joined the Zollverein, effectively forming a single German economic market, allowing much more rapid industrialisation.

1840 Crisis


It seemed likely that France would invade German states along the Rhine in attempt to make the major powers bow to its wishes over a crisis in the Near East. The German press supported nationalist upsurge and many songs such as 'Deutschland uber alles' became popular.

Hippenhelm Meeting


Liberal representatives of the south-western states met at Hippenhelm demanding an elected national Diet as they felt the current Diet had not fulfilled the tasks set to it by the Act of the Confederation. The representatives to this meeting supported constitutional change and proposed
- the liberation of the press
- open judicial proceedings
- end of feudal restrictions
- creation of a national guard
- reformed tax system

Harvest Failure


Riots in Berlin

March 1848

Declaration of Heidelberg

March 1848

Meeting of the Frankfurt Parliament

May 1848

New Prussian Constitution

December 1848

Basic Rights of German People

December 1848

Influenced by the French Declaration of the Rights of Man and Citizen and the American Declaration of Independence, it proclaimed the equality of "every German before the law; freedom of speech, assembly, and religion; the end of seigneurial obligations; and the right to private property.

Frankfurt Parliament agrees on a constitution

March 1849

Crimean War

October 1853 - March 1856