Ever since the 30th of March 1848 the pre-parliament had prepared elections for a national assembly. This assembly was to introduce a constitutionA constitution is a set of fundamental principles in a state and a German national state. The assembly first was in session on the 18th of May in 1848 in the St. Paul’s churchThe St Paul's Church in Frankfurt became in 1848 the seat of the Frankfurt Parliament, the first publicly and freely-elected German legislative body in Frankfurt. It set the course for shaping a new constitutional state. The assembly was mainly comprised of delegates from the educated bourgeoisie, which was allocated to different parties. In general the revolution of 1848 is known as the natal hour of German parties.
Democrats, liberals and conservatives advocated irreconcilable political goals, thus making the assertion of a liberal constitution impossible. The main question was whether to include Austria into a German national state (greater German solutionThe German question was a debate in the 19th century over the best way to achieve the Unification of Germany), or to only federalise Prussia and the small states of the German confederation (lesser German solution). Furthermore one was at dispute which major power should assume the leading role in the new state (Austria or Prussia), and which system of government to assume (monarchy or republic)1.
Rejection of the imperial constitution
In the late summer of 1848 the monarchs and their military regained control over the revolution. Even though other assemblies had been defeated previously the Frankfurt Parliament passed a Fundamental Rights Charta in December. In March 1849 the Frankfurt delegates declared a final imperial constitution that was approved by the majority of the German small states. The major powers Prussia and Austria however put a veto on the constitution which they refused.
After the Prussian king Friedrich Wilhelm IV. rejected the imperial German crown all efforts of the revolution were futile. April 1849 thereby marked the end of the previously successful revolution.
It failed due to the lack of armament of the national assembly and the overly long negotiations. Thus the noblesse could regain control over the riots and continue the absolutistic system previously installed2.