Letters from Germany (Engels)

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Author(s) Friedrich Engels
Written 18 December 1849

Source: Marx-Engels Collected Works, Volume 10, p. 7-9;
Written: Cologne, Dec. 18th, 1849;
First published: in The Democratic Review,January 1850.
Collection(s): Democratic Review
Keywords : Germany, Chartism, Letter

Note from MECW :

Letters from Germany by Engels, as well as his series of articles Letters from France were written for the Chartist journal The Democratic Review of British and Foreign Politics, History and Literature published by George Julian Harney in 1849 and 1850. Harney had invited Engels to make regular contributions to the new journal as early as March 1849. But Engels was only able to start contributing in November 1849, when he came to London. In London Marx and Engels established close contacts with the revolutionary wing of the Chartist party and used The Democratic Review to disseminate the ideas of scientific communism and explain the character of events on the Continent to the English working people.

I.[edit source]

Source: MECW Volume 10, p. 7-9;

Written: Cologne, Dec. 18th, 1849;

First published: in The Democratic Review, January 1850.

"Order reigns in Germany." Such is the present great motto of our rulers, be they princes, aristocrats, bourgeois, or any other fraction of that recently formed party which you might call in English the party of Ordermongers[1]. "Order reigns in Germany"; and yet never was there, not even under the "Holy Roman Empire"[2] of yore, such a confusion in Germany as there is at present under the reign of "Order".

Under the old system, before the revolution of 1848, we knew at least who governed us. The old Federal Diet of Frankfort[3] made itself felt by laws against the liberty of the press, by exceptional courts of law, by checks imposed even upon the mock constitutions with which certain German populations were allowed to delude themselves. But now! We hardly know, ourselves, how many Central Governments we have got in this country. There is, firstly, the Vicar of the Empire, instituted by the dispersed National Assembly,[4] and who, although without any power, sticks to his post with the greatest obstinacy. There is secondly the "Interim",[5] a sort of thing--nobody knows exactly what--but something like a revival of the old Diet, got up under the old prevalent influence of Prussia, and which "Interim" is poking at the old Vicar (who more or less represents the Austrian interest), to resign his place into their hands.[6] In the meantime neither has the slightest power. Thirdly, there is the "Regency of the Empire",[7] elected in Stuttgart by the National Assembly during the latter days of its existence, and the remains of that Assembly, the "Decided Left" and the "Extreme Left", which two Lefts, along with the "Regency", represent the "moderate and philosophical" Democrats and Shopocrats of Germany. This "Imperial" government holds its sittings in a public house in Berne in Switzerland," and has about as much power as the two preceding. Fourthly, there is what is called the Three-Kings'-League,[8] or the "Confined (or Refined, I don't know which) Federal State", got up for the purpose of making the King of Prussia Emperor over all the lesser states of Germany. It is called the "Three-Kings'-League" because all kings, with the exception of the King of Prussia, are opposed to it! and it calls itself the "Confined Federal State", because, although travailing in birth ever since the 28th of May last,[9] there is no hope of its ever producing anything likely to live!! There are, fifthly, the Four Kings, of Hanover, Saxony, Bavaria, and Wurtemberg, who are determined to do as they like themselves, and not to submit to any of the above "Central Impotencies"; and lastly, there is Austria, trying every means to keep up her supremacy in Germany, and supporting, therefore, the Four Kings in their efforts for independence from Prussian ascendancy. The real governments. in the meantime, those who hold the power, are Austria and Prussia. They rule Germany by military despotism, and make and unmake laws at their liking. Between their dominions and dependencies lie, as quasi neutral ground, the four kingdoms, and it will be upon this ground, and particularly in Saxony, that the pretensions of the two great powers will meet each other. There is, however, no chance of a serious conflict between them. Austria and Prussia, both, know too well that their forces must remain united if they want to keep down the revolutionary spirit spread all over Germany, Hungary, and those parts of Poland belonging to the powers in question. In case of need, besides, "our beloved brother-in-law" the orthodox Czar of all the Russias, would step in and forbid his lords-lieutenant of Austria and Prussia to quarrel any more amongst themselves.

This never equalled confusion of governments, of pretensions, of claims, of German Federal Law, has, however, one enormous advantage. The German Republicans were, up to this time, divided into Federalists and Unitarians; the first having their principal force in the south. The confusion ensuing upon every attempt to re-organise Germany into a Federative State, must make it evident that any such plan will prove abortive, impracticable, and foolish, and that Germany is too advanced in civilisation to be governable under any form but the German Republic, One and Indivisible, Democratic and Social.

I should have liked to have said a few words on the acquittal of Waldeck and Jacoby,[10] but want of room prevents me doing so. Suffice it to say, that for at least some months to come it will be quite impossible for the government in Prussia to obtain in political trials a verdict of guilty, excepting, perhaps, in some remote corners where the jury-class are as fanaticised as the Orangemen of Ulster.

II. Curious Revelations Concerning the Despots of Germany.-Intended War Against France.-The Coming Revolution[edit source]

Source: MECW Volume 10, p. 10-13;

Written: Cologne, Jan. 20th, 1850;

First published: in The Democratic Review, February 1850.

The day after I sent you my last, news reached here of the "settlement of the question" who was to rule over all Germany. The "Interim", consisting of two Austrian and two Prussian delegates, have at last prevailed upon old Archduke John to retire from business. They have consequently taken the reins of a power which, however, will not be of long duration. It expires in the month of May next, and there is good reason to expect that even before that term certain "untoward events" will sweep away these four provisional rulers of Germany. The names of these four satellites of military despotism are very significant. Austria has sent M. Kubeck, minister of finance under Metternich, and General Schonhals, the right hand of the butcher Radetzki. Prussia is represented by General Radowitz, member of the Jesuit order, favourite of the king, and principal inventor of all those plots by which Prussia has succeeded, for the moment, in putting down the German revolution; and by M. Botticher, governor, before the revolution, of the province of Eastern Prussia, where he is fondly (?) remembered as a "putter down" of public meetings and organiser of the spy system. What the doings of such a lot of rogues will be you will not need to be told. I will name one instance only. The Wurtemberg government, forced by the revolution, had contracted with the Prince of Thurn and Taxis--who, you know, has the monopoly of forwarding letters by post and conveying of passengers in a large part of Germany, to the exclusion of the governments--the Wurtemberg government, I say, had contracted with this robber on a national scale to part, for a handsome sum, with his monopoly in favour of the said government. Times having got better for those who live upon national plunder, Prince Thurn and Taxis values his monopoly higher than the sum contracted for, and won't part with it. The Wurtemberg government, freed from the pressure from without, find this change of opinion quite reasonable; and both parties apply--the prince publicly, the government aforesaid secretly--to the "Interim", which, taking for pretext an article of the old act of 1815, declares the contract void and unlawful. This is all right. It is far better that M. Thurn and Taxis keeps his privilege a few months longer; the people, when they finish with the whole lot of privileges, will take it not only from him without giving him anything, but will, on the contrary, make him give up even the money he has robbed them of up to this time.

The military despotism in Austria is getting more intolerable every day. The press almost reduced to annihilation, all public liberties destroyed, the whole country swarming with spies--imprisonments, courts-martial, floggings in every part of the country--this is the practical meaning of those provincial constitutions which the government publish from time to time, and which they do not care a straw about breaking in the very moment of publication. There is, however, an end to everything, even to states of siege and the rule of the sword. Armies cost money, and money is a thing which even the mightiest emperor cannot create at his will. The Austrian government have, up to this time, managed to keep their finances afloat by tremendous issues of paper money. But there is an end to this, too; and, in spite of that Prussian lieutenant who once would challenge me to a duel, because I told him a king or emperor could not make as many paper dollars as he liked--in spite of that profound political economist, the Emperor of Austria sees his paper money, though inconvertible, at the discount of from twenty to thirty per cent against silver, and almost fifty per cent against gold. The foreign loan he intended has dropped to the ground through the exertions of Mr. Cobden. Foreign capitalists have subscribed to the amount of L500,000 only, and he wants fifteen times that sum; while his exhausted country cannot afford to lend him anything. The deficit, fifteen millions and a half at the end of September last, will, by this time, have reached from twenty to twenty-four millions--the greater part of the Hungarian war expenses being payable in the last quarter of 1849. Thus there is only one alternative for Austria: either bankruptcy, or a foreign war to make the army pay itself, and to reconquer commercial credit by battles gained, provinces conquered, and war contributions imposed. Thus Mr. Cobden, in opposing the Austrian and Russian loans on the plea of the preservation of peace, has more than any one else contributed--for Russia is in the same awkward state as Austria--to hasten that coalesced campaign against the French Republic which cannot, under any circumstances, be long delayed.

In Prussia, we assist at another act of "royal conscientiousness". You know that Frederick William IV, the man who never broke his word, in November, 1848, dispersed by force the national representation, and forced upon his people a constitution [11] after his own heart; that he agreed that this beautiful piece of workmanship was to be revised by the first parliament to be assembled; that in this parliament the Second Chamber (House of Commons) was, even before they got to the revising business, dissolved, another electoral reform forced upon the people, by which universal suffrage was very nicely done away with, and a majority of landed nobility, of government officials, and of bourgeois, was secured. This Chamber, to vote for the election of which every democrat refused, so that it has been elected by one fifth or one-sixth of the whole number of voters — this Chamber, in conjunction with the old First Chamber, set about revising the Constitution, and made it, of course, even more agreeable to the king than he himself had made it originally. They have now almost done with it. Now, you think, his Majesty will please to accept this amended Constitution, and take the oath prescribed in it? Not he, indeed. He sends his faithful parliament a royal message, stating that he is very much pleased with what his two Chambers have made of his Constitution, but that, before his "royal conscientiousness" permits him to take the oath aforesaid, his own Constitution must be altered in about a dozen points.[12] And what are these points? Why, his Majesty is modest enough not to require any more than the following trifles. 1. The First Chamber, now elected by the large landed proprietors and capitalists, to be a complete House of Lords, containing the royal princes, about one hundred hereditary peers chosen by his Majesty, sixty peers elected by the large landed proprietors, thirty by the large monied interest, six by the universities. 2. Ministers to be responsible to the king and country, not to the parliament. 3. All taxes now upon the budget to be levied for ever, without power of parliament to refuse. 4. A “Star Chamber”,[13] or High Court of Justice, to try political offences — no mention being made of juries. 5. A special law to define and restrain the powers of the Second Chamber of parliament, &c. Now what do you think of this? His Majesty forces upon the good Prussians a new Constitution, to be amended by parliament. His parliament amends it by striking out everything like a remnant of popular rights. And the king, not content with that, declares that his "royal conscientiousness" forbids him to accept his own Constitution, amended in his own interest, without the above further modifications. Verily this is a truly "royal" sort of conscientiousness! There is little chance of even this present mock parliament bowing to such impudence. The consequence will be dissolution, and the end of all parliaments for the moment in Prussia. The secret of all this is the anticipation of the great coalition war, mentioned above. The "conscientious" gentleman on the throne of Prussia expects to have his rebellious country overrun by the month of March or April, by a million of Asiatic barbarians, to march, along with "his own glorious army",[14] against Paris, to conquer that fair country which produces his heart-cherished champagne. And the Republic once done away with, the scion of Saint Louis restored to the throne of France, what then would be the use of constitutions and parliaments at home?

In the meantime the revolutionary spirit is rapidly reviving all over Germany. The most inveterate ex-liberal who, after March, 1848, joined the king to combat the people, now sees that--as the saying is in Germany--although he gave to the devil only the end of his little finger, that gentleman has since seized the whole hand. The incessant acquittals by juries in political trials are the best proofs of this. Every day brings a new fact in this way. Thus, a few days ago, the Mulheim workpeople--who, in May, 1849, tore up the railway, in order to stop the sending of troops to insurged Elberfeld--have been acquitted here at Cologne. In the south of Germany, financial difficulties and increased taxation show to every bourgeois that this present state cannot last. In Baden the very same bourgeois who betrayed the last insurrection, and hailed the arrival of the Prussians, are punished and driven to madness by these very same Prussians and by the government, which under their protection drives them to ruin and despair. And the working people and peasantry everywhere are on the qui vive, waiting for the signal of an insurrection which, this time, will not subside until the political dominion and social progress of the proletarians shall have been secured. And this revolution is drawing nigh.

III. The Prussian King Swearing to the Constitution and "Serving the Lord!".-Grand Conspriacy of the Holy Alliance.-The Approaching Onslaught on Switzerland.-Projected Conquest and Partition of France![edit source]

Source: MECW Volume 10, p. 14-16;

Written: Cologne, Feb. 18th, 1850;

First published: in The Democratic Review in January-March 1850, marked by the editors "From Our Own Correspondent"

At last His Majesty, the King of Prussia, has taken the oath to the so-called "Constitution".[15] Had it not been for the occasion of making a speech, there is no doubt but that royal farce would never have taken place. But his speech-loving majesty, for the sake of the speech, resolved to swallow the oath, quite as humbly as he has been seen to swallow so many unpalatable things before, such as the celebrated "Hat off!"[16] shouted to him by the people of Berlin on the 19th of March, 1848. The oath is of no consequence. What is the oath of a king, and particularly of a Frederick William IV! The speech is the principal feature, and a precious speech it is. Think of the Prussian Majesty declaring most seriously, and neither him nor any one else in the assembly bursting forth in laughter, that he is a man of honour, and that he is about to give what is dearest to him--his royal word! But, he continues--after a series of most whimsical oratorical efforts--he gives his word on one condition only: that it be made possible for him to govern with this constitution, and to fulfil the promise he made three years ago, viz., "I and my house will serve the Lord!"[17]

What this new-fashioned "man of honour" means by governing with the constitution and serving the Lord, is already becoming pretty clear. His Majesty's ministers have come out since that swearing farce; firstly, with two laws, doing almost entirely away with the liberty of the press and the right of association and of public meeting; secondly, with a demand for eighteen millions of dollars (two millions and a half sterling) for increasing the army. The meaning of this is evident. First destroy in detail the few sham liberties left to the people by the precious mock-constitution, and then raise the army to the war footing, and march with Russia and Austria against France. There is no doubt of the bourgeois chambers agreeing to all this, and thus making it possible to the king to govern with the constitution, and serve the Lord with his house.

This Prussian credit for the army "to meet eventualities which might present themselves during spring", must be taken, together with the other measures of the Holy Alliance,[18] in order to make us see clearly through their plots. Prussia, besides these eighteen millions, is already treating for a loan of sixteen millions--ostensibly for the purpose of constructing the great Eastern Railway. You know, too well, since the Russian loan affair, what a splendid pretext for raising money railways are made by the governments of the Holy Alliance. Prussia, thus, will soon raise five millions sterling the whole of which will be at the disposal of the war-office. Russia, besides the five millions sterling already raised, is about to contract for another loan of thirty-six millions of roubles silver, or five millions sterling. Austria alone, after the shabby result of her late effort to raise money, must be satisfied with what she can get at home. Her deficit, as I stated in my last, really amounts to two hundred million florins (twenty millions sterling) in one year! Thus, while Russia and Prussia raise money to make war, Austria must make war in order to raise money!

There is no doubt that if there are no untoward events in France, the "holy" campaign will be opened next month against Switzerland," and perhaps Turkey. Russia keeps in Poland, and its vicinity, an army of 350,000 men, ready to march at a moment's notice. She has already contracted for large supplies of victuals, to be delivered next month, not in Poland, but in Prussia, at Dantzic. The Prussian army--about 150,000 now--can in a month be raised to 350,000, by calling in the reserve and the first class of the Landwehr. The Austrian army--about 650,000--has never been diminished, but, on the contrary, increased by the Hungarian prisoners. The whole of the forces, which may be disposable for a foreign war, may be something like a million; but two-thirds of the Prussians and Austrians are infected with the democratic disease, and would most likely pass to the other side, as soon as an opportunity presented itself.

The first pretext for attacking Switzerland is the German refugees living in that country. This pretext will soon cease to exist, as the cowardly persecutions of the federal government directly or indirectly force all refugees to leave Switzerland. There are now perhaps 600 German refugees in that country, and even they will soon have to leave it. But then there is another pretext--the demand of Prussia to restore the Prussian king's authority in the ex-principality of Neufchatel, which made itself a republic in 1848.[19] And if even this be complied with, there will be the question of the Sonderbund raised again, in connection with the new federal constitution, which, in 1848, replaced the old reactionary treaty of 1814, guaranteed by the Holy Alliance.[20] Thus, there will be no chance for Switzerland escaping war and foreign occupation.

But the final aim of the Holy Alliance is the conquest and partition of France. The plan designed to finish at once this great revolutionary centre is as follows: France, once conquered, will be divided into three kingdoms--the South-west, or Aquitania (capital, Bordeaux), will be given to Henry, Duke of Bordeaux; the East, or Burgundy (capital, Lyons), will be given to Prince Joinville; and the North, or France proper (capital, Paris), will be awarded to Louis Napoleon, for the signal services he has rendered to the Holy Alliance. Thus France, reduced to the old state of division it was in some centuries ago, would be utterly powerless. What do you say to this pretty scheme, which no doubt originated in the "historical" head of the king of Prussia?

But, be assured, the People--without whom the Holy Alliance have reckoned--will very soon put a stop to all these plots and schemes, and that as soon, too, as the Holy Alliance commence to put their plans into execution. For the people are wide awake, both in France and Germany, and, fortunately, they are strong enough to put down all their opponents, as soon as matters are brought to a general, decisive, and open contest. And then the enemies of democracy will, to their terror, see that the movements of 1848 and '49 were nothing, in comparison to the universal conflagration which will burn up the old institutions of Europe, and light the victorious nations to a future--free, happy, and glorious.

  1. The term Ordermongers is formed on the pattern of the words "profitmongers" and "moneymongers" often met in the Chartist press. Engels uses it here for the first time. In the Letters from France Engels used this term to denote the members of the party of Orde.
  2. The Holy Roman Empire of the German Nation (962-1806) included, at different times, German, Italian, Austrian, Hungarian and Bohemian lands, Switzerland and the Netherlands, forming a motley conglomeration of feudal kingdoms and principalities, church lands and free towns with different political structures, legal standards and customs.
  3. The Holy Roman Empire of the German Nation (962-1806) included, at different times, German, Italian, Austrian, Hungarian and Bohemian lands, Switzerland and the Netherlands, forming a motley conglomeration of feudal kingdoms and principalities, church lands and free towns with different political structures, legal standards and customs
  4. The Federal Diet--a representative body of the German Confederation, an ephemeral union of German states,founded in 1815 by decision of the Congress of Vienna. Though it had no real power, it was nevertheless a vehicle for feudal and monarchical reaction. During the 1848-49 revolution in Germany, reactionary circles made vain attempts to revive the Federal Diet, intending to use it to prevent the democratic unification of Germany. After the defeat of the revolution, the Federal Diet received its former rights in 1850 and survived till 1866 8 The German National Assembly, which opened on May 18, 1848, in St. Paul's Church in the free city of Frankfurt am Main, was to unify the country and to draw up a Constitution. The liberal deputies, who were in the majority, turned the Assembly into a mere debating club. At the decisive moments of the revolution, the liberal majority condoned the counter-revolutionary forces. In spring 1849, the liberals left the Assembly after the Prussian and other governments rejected the Imperial Constitution it had drawn up. What remained of the Assembly moved to Stuttgart and was dispersed by the Wiirttemberg forces on June 18.
  5. The Imperial Vicar or Regent(Archduke John of Austria) and the Imperial Ministry constituted a provisional Central Authority set up by the Frankfurt National Assembly on June 28-29, 1848. The provisional Central Authority had neither a budget nor an army of its own, possessed no real power, and was an instrument of the counter revolutionary German princes.
  6. The interim (a temporary agreement) was concluded in September 1849 between Prussia and Austria on joint administration in Germany until the question of the German Constitution was settled. Under this agreement, the Austro-Prussian commission was established, which actually meant the revival of a kind of Federal Diet. While reflecting the counter-revolutionary aspirations of both governments, the agreement conflicted with Prussia's claims for supremacy in Germany
  7. The following editorial note is supplied to this passage: "Since the above letter came to hand, intelligence has reached this country of the abdication of the'Vicar', and the resignation of his authority (?) into the hands of Austrian and Prussian commissioners. Thus has ended the Frankfort farce.-Ed. D.R." This note was presumably written by Engels 11 The Left wing of the Frankfurt National Assembly consisted of two factions: the Left (Robert Blum, Karl Vogt and others) and the extreme Left, known as the radical-democratic party (Arnold Ruge, Friedrich Wilhelm Schloffel, Franz Zitz, Samuel Truzschler and others), which, in the main, represented the petty bourgeoisie, but was nevertheless supported by a section of the German workers. The extreme Left vacillated and took a halfway position on the basic problems of the German revolution-abolition of the remnants of feudalism and unification of the country. In April and May 1849, after the conservative and most of the liberal deputies had left the Assembly, the Left and the extreme Left gained the majority. But they, too, continued the policy of curbing the revolutionary actions of the masses.
  8. The Regency of the Empire was formed in Stuttgart on June 7 by what remained of the Frankfurt National Assembly, instead of the Central Authority headed by the Imperial Regent, Archduke John, who was openly counter-revolutionary. The Regency consisted of five deputies representing the Left faction (moderate democrats): Franz Raveaux, Karl Vogt, Ludwig Simon, Friedrich Schuler, August Becher. They failed in their attempts to carry by parliamentary means the Imperial Constitution that had been worked out by the Frankfurt Assembly and rejected by the German princes: The Regency virtually ceased its activities after the Frankfurt Assembly was finally dispersed on June 18, 1849. Some of its former deputies emigrated to Switzerland.
  9. The Three-Kings'-League--an agreement concluded in Berlin on May 26, 1849, between Prussia, Saxony and Hanover. Based on the Prussian project of reorganising the German Confederation, it was an attempt by Prussia to gain hegemony in Germany. By trying to make other German princes join this League (known as the Prussian Union), Prussia's ruling circles hoped to unify the German states, without Austria, under Prussian rule. However, under pressure from Austria, supported by Russia, the Prussian Government was forced to give up its plans in 1850
  10. On May 28, 1849, the Prussian Government appealed to the German governments to join the Three-Kings'-League. The appeal, together with a new draft of the Imperial Constitution, revised in a counter-revolutionary spirit, was published in the German press at the end of May and the beginning of June 1849 14 Engels is referring to the acquittal for high treason by jury in Berlin and Konigsberg in December 1849 of Benedikt Waldeck and Johann Jacoby, the leaders of the Left wing of the Prussian National Assembly, which was dissolved by the government on December 5, 1848.
  11. On December 5, 1848, the Prussian National Assembly was dissolved and the Constitution imposed by the King made public. The dispersal of the Assembly was the culmination of the counter-revolutionary coup d'etat that began in November with the order to transfer the Assembly from Berlin to the remote town of Brandenburg. The Constitution introduced a two-chamber system; the age and property qualifications made the First Chamber a privileged Chamber of Gentry ("House of Lords"); by the electoral law of December 6, 1848, the right to vote in the two-stage elections to the Second Chamber was granted only to the so-called independent Prussians. The royal authority was vested with very wide powers-the King was authorised to convene and dissolve the Chambers, appoint ministers, declare war and conclude peace. He was vested with full executive power, while sharing legislative power with the Chambers. Later, anti-democratic revisions of the Constitution were made repeatedly on the initiative of Prussian ruling circles. Thus, after dispersing on April 27, 1849, the Second Chamber of the Prussian Diet, which included a large number of opposition deputies--liberals and moderate democrats, on May 30 Frederick William IV promulgated a new electoral law introducing elections based on high property qualifications and unequal representation of different sections of the population. The electorate was divided into three classes according to property status. Thus the King succeeded in having an obedient majority elected to the Second Chamber
  12. The reference is to a message by Frederick William IV of January 7, 1850, with new amendments to the imposed Constitution revised by the government and adopted by the Chambers (Friedrich Wilhelm IV. Allerhochste Botschaft in the Preussischer Staats-Anzeiger No. 10 of January 10, 1850, and the Neue Preussische Zeitung No. 9 of January 11, 1850).
  13. The reference is to a message by Frederick William IV of January 7, 1850, with new amendments to the imposed Constitution revised by the government and adopted by the Chambers (Friedrich Wilhelm IV. Allerhochste Botschaft in the Preussischer Staats-Anzeiger No. 10 of January 10, 1850, and the Neue Preussische Zeitung No. 9 of January 11, 1850)
  14. Engels draws an analogy with English absolutist legal institutions. The Star Chamber (the name of a meeting-place of the king's councillors in the royal palace of Westminster derived from stars fashioned on the ceiling of the hall) was established by Henry VII in 1487 as a special court to try rebellious feudal lords. Under Elizabeth I, it became a political court; it was abolished during the English revolution of the seventeenth century 19 This refers to Frederick William IV's New-Year message "To My Army" ("An mein Heer") signed in Potsdam on January 1, 1849, and published in the Preussischer Staats-Anzeiger of January 3, 1849. The Neue Rheinische Zeitung used this document to expose the counter-revolutionary actions of the Prussian military (see Marx's article "A New-Year Greeting").
  15. This refers to the second revised version of the imposed Constitution adopted by the Chambers on January 31, 1850, including the King's amendments to the previous version. In the new version, the reactionary monarchist traits of the Constitution became more prominent and new concessions were made to the aristocracy and the junker landowners. On February 6, 1850, Frederick William IV took the oath to the Constitution.
  16. This refers to the second revised version of the imposed Constitution adopted by the Chambers on January 31, 1850, including the King's amendments to the previous version. In the new version, the reactionary monarchist traits of the Constitution became more prominent and new concessions were made to the aristocracy and the junker landowners. On February 6, 1850, Frederick William IV took the oath to the Constitution 21 On March 19, 1848, during the revolutionary events in Berlin, the armed people compelled King Frederick William IV to come out onto the balcony of his palace and bare his head before the bodies of the insurgents who had fallen at the barricades.
  17. Further, Engels refers to Frederick William IV's speech on February 6, 1850, concerning the oath to the Prussian Constitution.
  18. This expression is from the speech from the throne made by Frederick William IV at the opening of the First United Diet in Berlin on April 11, 1847 (Allgemeine Preussische Zeitung No. 101, April 12, 1847)
  19. The Holy Alliance--an association of European monarchs founded in 1815 to suppress revolutionary movements and preserve feudal monarchies in European countries. During the 1848-49 revolution, and in subsequent years, counterrevolutionary circles in Austria, Prussia and Tsarist Russia attempted to revive the Holy Alliance's activities in a modified form
  20. From 1707 to 1806 the principality of Neuchatel and Valangin (in German: Neuenburgand Vallendis) was a dwarf state under Prussian rule. In 1806, during the Napoleonic wars, Neuchatel was ceded to France. In 1815, by decision of the Vienna Congress, it was incorporated into the Swiss Confederation as its 21st canton, at the same time retaining its vassalage to Prussia. On February 29, 1848, a bourgeois revolution in Neuchatel put an end to Prussian rule and a republic was proclaimed. Up to 1857, however, Prussia laid constant claims to Neuchatel and only pressure from France forced her to renounce it officially 25 The Sonderbund--a separatist union of the seven economically backward Catholic cantons of Switzerland formed in 1843 to resist progressive bourgeois reforms and to defend the privileges of the church and the Jesuits. The decree of the Swiss Diet of July 1847 dissolving the Sonderbund served as a pretext for the latter to start hostilities against the other cantons early in November. On November 25, 1847, the Sonderbund army was defeated by the federal forces. Attempts by Austria and Prussia to interfere in Swiss affairs in support of the Sonderbund failed. The Federal Constitution of the Swiss Confederation was adopted on September 12, 1848. The new Constitution ensured a certain centralisation of the country, which had been turned from a confederation of cantons (the confederation treaty of 1814 sanctioned by the Congress of Vienna restricted the power of central government to the utmost) into a federative state.