Tuesday, February 3, 2009

What if the Frankfurt Assembly had succeeded?

If the Frankfurt Assembly had succeeded then Germany would have formed a democratic, liberal, self-governing, and federally unified "empire". Friderick William IV would've been named the first emperor of Germany, which would have been a territorial combination of the smaller states plus Prussia. There are a couple extreme scenarios for the effect of this accomplishment. The first is, of course, is the antagonistical view. In this view all of friedericks worst fears would have been realized: Because he imposed himself by force on the lesser states they will gain a feeling of nationalism/ revolution and revolt against him, Austria may declare war on the newly formed state in the hopes of taking over, and/or he may have been disowned from the Hohenzollern because of his willingness to accept a position of a constitutionally limited and revolutionary representative position. These would lead to anarchy, the collapse of the empire, and possibly even the end of the hopes for a unified germany. On the other hand, however, is a brighter outlook. The Frankfurt Assembly tag-teaming with emperor William could have led to a peaceful and very liberal conscientious regime. Maybe a success story comparable to that of America, in which all the different nationalities could be treated as equally and justly. All would depend on the actions of the radicals.


Cote Laramie said...

Do you really think Frederick's family would've disowned him, I mean who would have done it, his dead father? Aside from an eternally doomed Germany, I agree the states would've revolted; they were far from being represented in the Assembly. I don't believe there was as much equality and justice in America as one would like to believe; slavery wasn't abolished, there was cultural tension caused by increasing immigration, and the Native Americans were treated terribly. Nevertheless, America was certainly a success story.

The Captain said...

It was mentioned in the book that his "disownment" was one of the reasons for him not accepting the emperorship. I think it would be the entire Hohenzollern family/ lineage rather than one in particular that would so-called "shun" him. If he had been "shunned" though could that have possible led to more war?