Europe 1849: Hungarian War of Independence
27 Mar 1849National Assembly proclaims its
constitution for a new German Empire;
only the smaller states accept it
28 Mar 1849National Assembly elects Frederick William IV
of Prussia as Emperor of Germans
but the King rejects the offer
Austria's success in Italy was not matched in Hungary, where the revolution had been reignited when the Austrian government ruled to reduce Hungarian lands and rights within the Empire. With compromise no longer possible, the Hungarians declared independence in April.
27 Mar 1849 Frankfurt Constitution▲
Since its creation in May 1848, the members of the German National Assembly (Frankfurt Parliament) had been involved in long and difficult negotiations over the constitution of their new united German state, arguing on whether it should be an elective monarchy, a directory government, or a republic. Agreement was finally reached in March 1849, when the Imperial Constitution—proposing a democratic empire under an hereditary constitutional monarch—was passed by only 267 votes to 263. On the 27th the Frankfurt Parliament proclaimed this document as the Constitution of the German Empire (Frankfurt Constitution) in St. Paul’s Church, Frankfurt, to come into effect the following day.
28 Mar 1849 Kaiser der Deutschen▲
With the adoption of the Frankfurt Constitution in March 1849, the German National Assembly in Frankfurt elected Frederick William IV, King of Prussia, as “Emperor of the Germans”. Frederick William IV indignantly rejected the crown as it came from the common people, instead wishing to receive it from the German Princes. The German Empire he was elected to rule proved no more acceptable to the other German kings, with only the smaller states adopting the constitution.
1–11 Apr 1849 Revolt of Genoa▲
In late March 1849, following the Austrian victory at Novara, unrest broke out in Genoa and, after Genoese soldiers joined the insurgents on 1 April, Sardinian troops evacuated the city. The jubilant Genoese proclaimed a Provisional Government to restore Genoa to the people, but were unable to prevent the return of the Sardinians en force on the 4th. In a week of fighting, the Sardinians militarily occupied all of Genoa, suppressing the last Genoese resistance, and then sacked the city itself.
12 Apr 1849 End of Tuscan Republic▲
In the wake of their victory over the Kingdom of Sardinia at Novara, Austrian troops began advancing across northern Italy. In the Tuscan Republic, the municipal council of Florence, fearing an Austrian invasion, usurped the power of the constituent assembly in April 1849 to bring an end to the republic and invite Grand Duke Leopold II to return. The Grand Duke agreed, but, at his secret request, Austrian troops occupied Tuscany anyway.
14 Apr 1849 Hungarian Declaration of Independence▲
In response to the harsh March Constitution of Austria, Lajos Kossuth, the Prime Minister of Hungary, advocated for the complete independence of the Hungarian nation from Habsburg rule. Summoning the Hungarian Diet in an open session in the Reformed Great Church of Debrecen, Kossuth presented a draft resolution of his declaration of independence on 14 April 1849 and was immediately greeted with enthusiasm by the gathered crowd. Convinced, the politicians adopted the declaration by public vote and elected Kossuth as Governor-President of the new state, keeping the status of the monarchy undecided.