Europe 1850: Erfurt Union
The restoration of Austrian power in Hungary and northern Italy encouraged Hanover and Saxony to abandon their alliance with Prussia. Undeterred, the Prussians pushed ahead with the creation of the Erfurt Union, successfully drawing most of the smaller German states into a new federation under Prussian leadership.
19 Oct 1849 Saxony abandons Prussia▲
When the kings of Saxony and Hanover had agreed to the Alliance of the Three Kings with Prussia in May 1849, they had insisted on an all-participation clause: that they would only be bound by the Imperial Constitution if all the German states except for Austria agreed to join the alliance. That August the Austrian Empire suppressed the revolution in Hungary with Russian support, allowing it to provide its traditional opposition to Prussia in Germany. Encouraged by the Austrians, King Frederick Augustus II of Saxony used the all-participation clause as an excuse to extricate himself from the alliance in October.
23 Feb 1850 Hanover abandons Prussia▲
In February 1850, encouraged by Austria, the Kingdom of Hanover followed the lead of Saxony and withdrew from the Alliance of the Three Kings with Prussia. This left only a number of small northern German states supporting Prussia.
20 Mar–29 Apr 1850 Erfurt Union Parliament▲
In June–December 1849, in an effort to create a new German federation that excluded Austria, the Kingdom of Prussia extended its alliance to include twenty-eight German states, but was unable to gain the support of eight states, including the kingdoms of Bavaria and Württemberg, and soon lost the support of Saxony and Hanover. Members were then elected to the House of Commons and appointed to the House of States, allowing for the opening of a German Union Parliament at Erfurt on 20 March 1850. Although a rift immediately formed between the liberal majority and the conservatives over the adoption of the constitution, it was eventually pushed through after a month’s debate.
12 Apr 1850 Return of Pius IX▲
After the fall of the Roman Republic in July 1849, Pope Pius IX remained in exile on Gaeta for nine more months, appointing three cardinals (“the Red Triumvirate”) to administer the Papal States in his absence. He finally returned to Rome in the April of the following year, after having extracted a promise from the French Republic, which garrisoned the city, not to meddle in Papal affairs.