The July Revolution in Paris in 1830 set off liberal uprisings in many German states. At Metternich’s urging, the confederation forbade public meetings and banned petitions. Nevertheless, in early 1848, another wave of revolutions, again beginning in Paris, washed over Europe. Nationalist groups revolted in Hungary, Bohemia, Moravia, Galicia, and Lombardy. Metternich resigned under pressure, and Austrian emperor see Ferdinand I resigned in favor of his young nephew Francis Joseph I. Violent uprisings also took place in Bavaria, Prussia, and southwestern Germany. The frightened rulers agreed to send delegates to an assembly in Frankfurt, promising a constitution and improved civil rights.
By October 1848, however, the rebellions were crushed. In Austria, a liberal constitutional assembly was dissolved, and a constitution providing highly centralized, although representative, government was imposed. Hungary, which had declared itself a republic, was forcibly subdued. In Prussia, Frederick William IV imposed an authoritarian constitution.
Meanwhile, the Frankfurt Assembly wrote a liberal constitution for a united Germany under a hereditary emperor. Austria refused to allow its German lands to be included, so the assembly regretfully decided that Germany should consist of the German states without Austria. For lack of an alternative, they offered the crown to Frederick William, who refused it. The assembly dispersed in failure. By 1850 the authoritarian German Confederation was restored and most of the revolutionaries and liberals had been exiled or imprisoned. "Germany" © Emmanuel BUCHOT, Encarta, Wikipedia
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