To provide a context, 1848 was an important year in European history. An economic depression in the later 1840s coupled with crop failures caused widespread hardships, including famine, across the continent. These hardships led to political uprisings. The German states, which had not yet unified into a single nation, experienced revolts brought on by hunger and the effects of industrialization.
Worried elites, fearing full-scale socialism would take root, agreed to give citizens more rights, including the opportunity to participate in government. This became part of a movement to unify all of the German principalities into one country. While for a short time it seemed a new, more democratic and inclusive order would prevail and Germany would unite on the basis of enlightened and equalitarian principles, fighting between the various political factions soon undermined that dream.
One major dispute involved whether to involve Austria in the new German state or exclude it while relying...
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