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.