German Question

The Springtime of Peoples

Europe 1848.0503

German Question

The Year of Revolution, the Revolutions of 1848-1849, the Hungarian Revolution, the First Italian War of Unification and the First Schleswig War (3 May 1848)

Historical Map of Europe & the Mediterranean

The call for German unification had led to nationalists congregating in Frankfurt to establish a national assembly and work on replacing the German Confederation with an Empire. While there was some debate over whether German-speaking Austria would be included in the new Germany, there was little over Schleswig-Holstein, which had just thrown off Danish rule. In mid-April, the embryonic National Assembly declared war on Denmark, sending a Prussian-led mixed German army to Schleswig.

Main Events

Papal States & Naples join war vs Austria

The Kingdom of the Two Sicilies, including both Naples and the rebel Kingdom of Sicily, and the Papal States join the Kingdom of Sardinia in the First Italian War of Independence against the Austrian Empire

First Schleswig War starts

The provisional German government in Frankfurt recognizes the provisional government of Schleswig and declares war by the German states against the Kingdom of Denmark, commissioning the Kingdom of Prussia to enforce its decrees

Sicily declares independence

Sicilian Parliament declares Ferdinand II of the Kingdom of Two Sicilies (Naples) deposed, proclaiming the independent Kingdom of Sicily with the declared intention of later joining the Kingdom of Italy

Hecker Uprising

Friedrich Hecker leads German revolutionaries in a march on Karlsruhe, capital of the Grand Duchy of Baden, in an attempt to overthrow the Grand Duke and establish a republic; they are defeated with the assistance of German Confederation troops under General Friedrich von Gagern

Greater Poland Uprising

The Polish Legion, originally founded with support of Kingdom of Prussia to fight against the Russian Empire, revolts against Prussian authority; despite initial successes, the uprising is suppressed

May insurrections in France

Revolutionary parties are defeated in the first democratic polls of the French Republic, triggering workers' uprisings in the provinces, especially in the cities of Limoges and Rouen, and the 15 May demonstration in Paris, where protestors temporarily seize the town hall and proclaim an 'insurrectionary government' before being suppressed by the National Guard

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