Engels in Neue Rheinische Zeitung February 1849

The Neue Rheinische Zeitung

The Proclamation of a Republic in Rome [164]

by Frederick Engels

Neue Rheinische Zeitung No. 228
Translated by the Marx-Engels Institute
Transcribed for the Internet by director@marx.org, 1994

The Italian Constituent Assembly is quite unlike the Frankfurt National Assembly. The Italians know that the unity of a country split into feudal principalities can only be established by abolishing dynastic rule. The Italians led the dance in 1848, and they are leading again in 1849. But what progress! Italy no longer has Pius IX nor France her Lamartine. The fantastic period of the European revolution, the period of enthusiasm, goodwill and florid orations, was fittingly concluded with fire-balls, massacres on a grand scale and deportations. Austrian Notes, Prussian Notes and Russian Notes were the most relevant replies to Lamartine's proclamations.

From their Pythian tripod of thoroughness and perseverance the Germans are in ' the habit of looking down with haughty disdain on the superficiality of the Italians. A comparison between the Italian 1848 and the German 1848 would provide the most striking answer. In drawing this comparison one would have to take into account that revolutionary Italy was kept in check by Germany and France, whereas revolutionary Germany was not restricted in her movements.

The republic in Rome is the beginning of the revolutionary drama of 1849.