The restoration policy especially disappointed the bourgeoisie as their claims for freedom and national unity had not been met.
As a consequence students, professors and writers associated in fraternities and gymnastic clubs to express their political claims. One famous encounter was the so called Wartburg festThe first Wartburg festival on 18 October 1817 was an important event in German history that took place at the Wartburg Castle. Many students and professors were bitter about dreams of German unity shattered after the Congress of Vienna in 1817, when 500 students met in Wartburg to state their demand for a German national state. The increasing radicalisation culminated in the assassination of the author August von KotzebueThe Assassination of writer August von Kotzebue gave Metternich the pretext to issue the Carlsbad Decrees of 1819 in 1818, who was commonly known to be an enemy of liberal movements. This bloody deed executed by a fraternity member had extensive consequences for similar groups and organisations.
The assassination of Kotzebue gave sovereigns the occasion to take measures oppressing liberal and democratic efforts. Firstly fraternities and gymnastic clubs were banned, followed by censorship of press and literature. Furthermore the time of persecution of demagogues commenced, in which liberal-minded professors and authors were either imprisoned or exiled. The Carlsbad decreesThe Carlsbad Decrees were a set of reactionary restrictions introduced in the states of the German Confederation in 1819. They banned nationalist fraternities, removed liberal university professors, and expanded the censorship of the press largely subdued the bourgeois protests until 1830. They were only abrogated in 18481.
The July revolution
In July 1830 a revolution broke out in France after King Charles XCharles X. reigned as King of France and of Navarre from 16 September 1824 until 2 August 1830 the tenth rescinded the freedom of press and the right of vote had shifted unilaterally in favor of the French noblesse. Finally the financially strong bourgeoisie won under the revolutionists, they managed to displace the civil war that had begun under the constitutional monarchyConstitutional monarchy is a form of democratic government in which a monarch acts as a non-party political head of state with changes made to the constitution. The July revolution entailed strong opposition movements in Germany. Especially in south-western Germany the number of turmoil and uprisings which aimed to revolutionise Metternich’s system increased2.
Festivities of Hambach
Over 30.000 liberal citizens, labourers and peasants assembled at the festivities of Hambach in 1832 to voice their political claims. They demanded a German national state and a constitution including the sovereignty of the people. One of the best known initiators was the journalist Jakob Siebenpfeiffer, who had already spent a longer period of time fighting for civil rights and sovereignty of the people. The European sovereigns reacted by tightening the already radical repressions. Subsequently political societies, public speeches and the red, black and gold flag were banned, followed by the arrest and trial of many leading figures of the revolutionary movement3.