Karl Marx and Frederick Engels in Neue Rheinische Zeitung Revue revue [1]

Review: January-February 1850

Karl Marx and Frederick Engels

A tout seigneur, tout honneur.[2]
Let us begin with Prussia.

The king of Prussia is doing his best to provoke a crisis out of the present period of lukewarm agreements and unsatisfactory compromises. He grants a constitution, then after a little unpleasantness [3] he creates two Chambers which revise this constitution. To ensure that the constitution is acceptable to the Crown, whatever the cost, the Chambers erase every article to which the king might in any way take exception; now, they believe, he will immediately take an oath to this constitution. But on the contrary; in order to give the Chamber proof of his 'royal zeal', Frederick William issues a proclamation in which he makes new suggestions to improve the constitution, the acceptance of which would rob this document of the last semblance of even the least, so-called constitutional, bourgeois guarantees. The king hopes the Chambers will reject these suggestions. Far from it. Though the Chambers may have been mistaken in the Crown, they have now taken care that the Crown will not be mistaken in them. They have accepted everything, but everything: an Upper Chamber, an emergency court, a veteran reserve and entailed states [4] - merely so as not to be sent home, merely in order to force the king into finally taking a 'solemn and holy' oath. This is the way the Prussian constitutional bourgeoisie revenges itself.

It will be difficult for the king to invent a humiliation that these Chambers would find too severe. In the end he will feel obliged to declare that 'the more sacred he holds the vow which he is to swear, the more sensible does his soul become of the duties with which God has entrusted him in the interests of the beloved Fatherland', [5] and the less his 'royal zeal' will allow him to swear an oath to a constitution which offers him everything, but his country nothing.

What the gentlemen of the late lamented United Diet, now reunited in the Chambers, are so afraid of, is being driven back to their old position before 18 March; [6] this would mean that the revolution still lay before them, and this time their rewards would be few. Furthermore, in 1847 they were able to refuse the loan supposedly intended for the Eastern Railway, [7] whereas in 1849 they actually voted the government the loan in question first, and made representations afterwards for the theoretical right to grant money.

Meanwhile, outside the Chambers, the bourgeoisie sitting on the juries is taking pleasure in acquitting those accused of political crimes, thereby demonstrating its opposition to the government. In these trials the government is regularly compromising itself, but so are the representatives of democracy — the accused and those in the public gallery. We call to mind the trial of Waldeck, the 'unfailing constitutionalist', the trial in Trier, [8] etc. In reply to the question of old Ernst Moritz Arndt,' 'Where is the German's fatherland?', Frederick William IV replied: 'Erfurt.' [9] It was not so difficult to parody the Iliad in the Batrachomyomachia, but no one up till now ever ventured to conceive of a parody of this parody. The Erfurt plan,[10] however, manages to travesty even the Batrachomyomachia of the Paulskirche. [11] It is of course completely immaterial whether this incredible assembly convenes in Erfurt or whether the Orthodox tsar forbids it, just as immaterial as the protest against its competency which Herr Vogt will doubtless agree to issue with Herr Venedey. [12] The whole scheme is only of interest to those profound politicians for whom the 'great German' versus 'little German' question [13] was a source of material for their leading articles as productive as it was indispensable, and to the Prussian bourgeoisie, who live in the blissful belief that the king of Prussia, having rejected everything in Berlin, [14] will grant everything in Erfurt.

If the Frankfurt 'National Assembly' will be more or less accurately reflected in Erfurt, the old Federal Diet is reborn in the 'Interim' [15] and reduced to its simplest expression in the form of an Austro-Prussian Federal Commission. The 'Interim' has already intervened in Wurtemberg and will soon intervene in Mecklenburg and Schleswig-Holstein. [16]

While Prussia has long been barely scraping its budget together out of issues of paper money, surreptitious loans from the 'Seehandlung' banking house and the remains of the exchequer, and has only now been forced to resort to loans, Austria is in the full flower of national bankruptcy. A deficit of 155 million Austrian florins in the first nine months of the year 1849, which must have risen to 210 or 220 million by the end of December; the complete ruin of government credit at home and abroad following the spectacularly abortive attempt to raise a new loan; the total exhaustion of domestic financial resources — conventional taxes, fire insurance premiums, issues of paper money; the necessity of imposing, on a land already sucked dry, new taxes born of desperation, which will probably never be paid — these are the main characteristics of Austria's financial debility. At the same time the Austrian body politic is decaying more and more rapidly. The government's attempts to resist this process by frantic centralization are in vain; the decomposition has already reached the body politic's outer extremities. Austria is becoming intolerable in the eyes of the most barbarian of its peoples, the mainstays of old Austria — the South Slavs in Dalmatia, Croatia and Banat --intolerable even for the 'loyal' border people. [18] Only an act of desperation still holds out a slight chance of salvation: a foreign war. This foreign war, towards which Austria is being irresistibly propelled, cannot but bring about its rapid and complete disintegration.

Nor has Russia been wealthy enough to pay for its glory, which, moreover, it has had to finance with ready money. Despite the much vaunted gold mines in the Urals and Altai, despite the inexhaustible treasures in the vaults of Petropavlovsk, despite the purchase of government bonds in London and Paris — allegedly motivated by a sheer surplus of money — the Orthodox tsar finds himself obliged to withdraw 5 million silver roubles, under all sorts of false pretexts, from the cash reserves deposited in Petropavlovsk in order to cover the paper issue, and he is obliged to have his government bonds sold on the Paris Bourse. Not only this, he also finds it necessary to approach the unbelieving City of London for an advance of 30 million silver roubles.

As a result of the movements of 1848 and 1849 Russia has become so deeply entangled in European politics that it must now urgently execute its old plans with regard to Turkey and Constantinople, 'the key to its house', [19] if they are not to become impracticable for ever. The progress of the counter-revolution, the strength of the revolutionary party in western Europe, which is increasing daily, the internal situation in Russia and the unfavorable state of its finances — all this is forcing it to act rapidly. We recently witnessed the diplomatic prelude to this new and heroic oriental drama .[20] In a few months we shall see the drama itself.

The war against Turkey will necessarily be a European war. This is all the better for Holy Russia, which thereby gains an opportunity of setting a firm foot in Germany, of completing the counter-revolution with the utmost vigour, of helping the Prussians to capture Neuchâtel, [21] and finally, of marching on the center of the revolution, Paris.

In such a European war England cannot remain neutral. It must take sides against Russia and, for Russia, England is the most dangerous adversary of all. Even if the continental armies must inevitably suffer from overextension as they penetrate further into Russia, and even if they must come to a virtual standstill after crossing the eastern borders of the old Poland — with the risk of the punishment of 1812 being repeated — England nevertheless has the means of striking Russia where it is most vulnerable. Apart from the fact that it can force the Swedes to reconquer Finland, St Petersburg and Odessa have no protection against its fleet. The Russian fleet, as is well known, is the worst in the world, and Kronstadt and Schlüsselberg are just as vulnerable as Saint Jean d'Acre [22] and San Juan de Ulua. [23] But without St Petersburg and Odessa Russia is a giant with severed hands. Furthermore, it cannot do without England even for six months, either for the sale of its raw materials or for the purchase of industrial goods; this became evident even at the time of Napoleon's continental blockade, and is even more the case today. Severance from the English market would drive Russia into the most violent convulsions within a few months. England, on the other hand, can not only do without the Russian market for some time, but can obtain all Russian raw materials from other markets. It is evident that the dreaded might of Russia is by no means as dangerous as is thought. It must nevertheless assume a fearsome form for the German bourgeois, because he rightly suspects that the barbarian hordes from Russia will shortly flood into Germany and play there, as it were, a messianic role.

Switzerland is behaving towards the Holy Alliance in general as the Prussian Chambers behave towards their king in particular. But Switzerland has at least a scapegoat to fall back on, to whom it can pass on two or three times over the blows it receives from the Holy Alliance — a scapegoat, into the bargain, defenseless and at the mercy of its favour and disfavour — the German refugees. It is true that a section of the 'Radical' Swiss in Geneva, Vaud and Berne protested against the cowardly policy of the Federal Council — cowardly both towards the Holy Alliance and towards the refugees; equally true, however, was the Federal Council's assertion that its policy was 'that of the vast majority of the Swiss people'. Meanwhile, on the domestic front, the central government quietly continues to carry out minor bourgeois reforms: the centralization of the customs, coinage, posts, weights and measures — reforms which ensure the applause of the petty bourgeoisie. Of course it has not dared to implement the decision to suspend the military treaties [24] and the inhabitants of the founding cantons [25] are still going in droves to Como to sign up for the Neapolitan military service. But for all its humility and complaisance towards the Holy Alliance, Switzerland is threatened by a disastrous storm. In their initial overconfidence after the Sonderbund War, [26] and then completely after the February revolution, the Swiss, who are otherwise so timid, allowed themselves to be seduced into an act of imprudence. They dared something monstrous by wanting to be independent for once; they gave themselves a new constitution in place of that guaranteed by the great powers in 1814, and they recognized the independence of Neuchâtel in spite of the treaties. For this they will be chastised regardless of all their obeisances, favours and police services. And once it is involved in the European war Switzerland's is not the most pleasant of situations. It may have insulted the Holy Alliance; on the other hand, it has also betrayed the revolution.

The suppression of the revolution is being carried out most shamelessly and brutally in France, where the bourgeoisie is leading the forces of reaction in its own interests, and where the republican form of government is allowing these forces to develop with the greatest freedom and consistency. In the short space of a month the reimposition of the wine tax — which immediately and completely ruined half the rural population — was followed in rapid succession by d'Hautpoul's circular, which appoints the police to spy even on civil servants; the law on schoolteachers, which declares that all primary teachers are subject to arbitrary dismissal by the prefects; the education law, which places the schools in the hands of the priests; the transportation law, in which the bourgeoisie vents all its unexpiated desire for revenge upon the June insurgents and, for want of another executioner, delivers them up to the deadliest climate in the whole of Algeria. We shall not mention the innumerable deportations of even the most innocent foreigners, which have continued without a break since 13 June. [27]

The object of this violent bourgeois reaction is, of course, the restoration of the monarchy. But a considerable obstacle is put in the way of a monarchist restoration by the different pretenders themselves and their parties inside the country. The Legitimists and Orleanists, the two strongest monarchist parties, more or less balance each other out. The third party, the Bonapartists, are by far the weakest. In spite of his seven million votes, Louis Napoleon does not even have a real party, but only a coterie. Always supported by the majority of the Chamber in the general exercise of reactionary rule, he finds himself deserted as soon as his own particular interests as a pretender come into view — deserted not just by the majority in the Chamber but even by his own ministers, who first leave him in the lurch and then force him to declare the next day in writing that — in spite of everything — they enjoy his confidence. Serious though the consequences of these disagreements may be, until now they have only been comic episodes, in which the President of the Republic always comes off the loser. Meanwhile, it can be taken for granted that each monarchist group is conspiring on its own account with the Holy Alliance. The National Assembly has the effrontery to threaten the people openly with the Russians, while there is already enough evidence to prove that Louis Napoleon is plotting with Tsar Nicholas.

To the same extent that the forces of reaction advance the strength of the revolutionary party naturally grows. Ruined by the fragmentation of landownership, by the tax burden and the narrow governmental character of most of the taxes, which are detrimental even from the point of view of the bourgeoisie; disappointed by the promises of Louis Napoleon and the reactionary deputies, the mass of the rural population has embraced the revolutionary party and professes a form of socialism, albeit still very crude and bourgeois. How strong the revolutionary mood is even in the Legitimist departments is demonstrated by the last election in the department of Gard, the center of royalism and the 1815 'white terror', where a red deputy was elected. Under pressure from big capital, which in the world of commerce and politics has assumed the very same position it had under Louis Philippe, the petty bourgeoisie has followed the lead of the rural population. The situation has changed so radically that even the traitor Marrast and the journal of the épiciers, [28] Le Siècle, has had to come out in favour of the socialists. The position of the different classes towards each other — for which the opposition of the political parties is only another expression — is almost identical with that of 22 February 1848, [29] except that other issues are at stake: the workers have a deeper consciousness of their strength and the peasants, hitherto a politically moribund class, have been swept up into the movement and won over for the revolution.

It is for this reason that the ruling bourgeoisie must attempt to abolish universal suffrage as quickly as possible. In this necessity, on the other hand, lies the certainty of an imminent victory for the revolution, whatever the situation abroad.

The dramatic nature of the situation as a whole is revealed in the strange legislative proposal of deputy Prado, who in some 200 clauses attempts to prevent coups d'état and revolutions by a decree of the National Assembly. The lack of trust with which high finance regards the apparent restoration of 'order' — here as well as in other capitals — can be seen in the fact that a few months ago the various branches of the House of Rothschild extended their partnership agreement for only one year — a period of unprecedented brevity in the annals of commerce.

While the Continent has been occupied for the last two years with revolution and counter-revolution, and the inevitable torrent of words which has accompanied these events, industrial England has been busy with quite another commodity: prosperity. Here, the commercial crisis which broke out in due course [30] in the autumn of 1845 was twice interrupted — at the beginning of 1846 by the free trade legislation, [31] and at the beginning of 1848 by the February revolution. Between these two events, a large proportion of the commodities which had been flooding markets abroad gradually found new market outlets, and the February revolution then removed the competition of continental industry in these markets, while English industry did not lose much more from the disruption of the continental market than it would have lost without the revolution from a continuation of the crisis. The February revolution, by temporarily bringing continental industry almost to a standstill, helped the English to weather a crisis year quite tolerably; it contributed substantially to clearing accumulated stocks on the overseas markets and made a new industrial boom possible in the spring of 1849. This boom which, moreover, has extended to a large part of continental industry, has reached such a level in the last three months that the manufacturers claim that they have never known such good times — a claim which is always made on the eve of a crisis. The factories are overwhelmed with orders and are operating at an accelerated rate; they are resorting to every possible means to circumvent the Ten Hours Act and to increase working hours; scores of new factories are being built throughout the industrial districts, and old ones are being extended. Ready money is being loaded onto the market, idle capital is striving to take advantage of this period of general profit; the discount rate is giving rise to speculation and quick investments in manufacturing or in trade in raw materials; almost all articles are rising absolutely in price; all prices are rising relatively.

In short, England is enjoying the full bloom of 'prosperity'. The only question is how long this intoxication will last. Not very long, at any rate. Many of the larger markets — particularly the East Indies — are already almost saturated. Even now exports are being directed less to the really large markets than to the entrepots of world trade, from where goods can be directed to the more favourable markets. As a result of the colossal productive forces which English industry added in the years 1846, 1847 and particularly 1849 to those which already existed in the period 1843-45, and which it still continues to add to, the remaining markets, particularly in North and South America and Australia, will be likewise saturated; and with the first news of their saturation 'panic' [32] will ensue in speculation and in production simultaneously — perhaps as early as the end of spring, at the latest in July or August. However, as this crisis will inevitably coincide with great clashes on the Continent, it will bear fruit of a very different type from all preceding crises. Whereas hitherto every crisis has been the signal for further progress, for new victories by the industrial bourgeoisie over the landowners and financial bourgeoisie, this crisis will mark the beginning of the modern English revolution, a revolution in which Cobden will assume the role of Necker. [33]

Now we come to America The most important thing which has happened here, still more important than the February revolution, is the discovery of the Californian gold mines. Even now, after scarcely eighteen months, it can be predicted that this discovery will have much greater consequences than the discovery of America itself. For three hundred and thirty years all trade from Europe to the Pacific Ocean has been conducted with a touching, long-suffering patience around the Cape of Good Hope or Cape Horn. All proposals to cut through the Isthmus of Panama have come to grief because of the narrow-minded jealousy of the trading nations. The Californian gold mines were only discovered eighteen months ago and the Yankees have already set about building a railway, a great overland road and a canal from the Gulf of Mexico, steamships are already sailing regularly from New York to Chagres, from Panama to San Francisco, Pacific trade is already concentrating in Panama and the journey around Cape Horn has become obsolete. A coastline which stretches across thirty degrees of latitude, one of the most beautiful and fertile in the world and hitherto more or less unpopulated, is now being visibly transformed into a rich, civilized land thickly populated by men of all races, from the Yankee to the Chinese, from the Negro to the Indian and Malay, from the Creole and Mestizo to the European. Californian gold is pouring in torrents over America and the Asiatic coast of the Pacific and is drawing the reluctant barbarian peoples into world trade, into the civilized world. For the second time world trade has found a new direction. What Tyre, Carthage and Alexandria were in antiquity, Genoa and Venice in the Middle Ages, what London and Liverpool have been hitherto, the emporia of world trade — this is what New York, San Francisco, San Juan del Norte, Léon, Chagres and Panama will now become. The focal point of international traffic --in the Middle Ages, Italy; in modern times, England — is now the southern half of the North American peninsula: industry and wealth of others, who demanded and still demand a different distribution of property — indeed the total abolition of private property. When Herr Gützlaff came back among civilized people and Europeans after twenty years' absence, he heard talk of socialism and asked what it was. When he was told, he exclaimed in alarm: 'Am I nowhere to escape this ruinous doctrine? Precisely the same thing has been preached for some time in China by many people from the mob.'

Chinese socialism may, of course, bear the same relation to European socialism as Chinese to Hegelian philosophy. But it is still amusing to note that the oldest and most unshakeable empire on earth has, within eight years, been brought to the brink of a social revolution by the cotton bales of the English bourgeoisie; in any event, such a revolution cannot help but have the most important consequences for the civilized world. When our European reactionaries, in the course of their imminent flight through Asia, finally arrive at the Great Wall of China, at the gates which lead to the home of primal reaction and primal conservatism, who knows if they will not find written thereon the legend:

République chinoise
Liberté, Egalité, Fraternité

London, 31 January 1850


The wishes of the Prussian bourgeoisie have been fulfilled: the 'man of honour' has taken an oath to the constitution, on condition that it is 'made possible for him to rule with this constitution'. [34] And the bourgeois in the Chambers have already satisfied this desire completely in the few days which have passed since 6 February. Before 6 February they said: 'We must make concessions so that the constitution is ratified on oath; once the oath has been given we can proceed quite differently.' After 6 February they say: 'The king has sworn an oath to the constitution; we have all the guarantees possible; we can safely make concessions.' Eighteen millions have been approved for armaments, without debate, without opposition and almost unanimously for the mobilization of 500,000 men against an enemy who is still unknown; the budget has been passed in four days, and all government bills pass through the Chambers in less than no time. It is dear that the German bourgeoisie, as always, lacks nothing in cowardice and in pretexts for cowardice.

These compliant Chambers have given the king of Prussia ample opportunity to recognize the advantages of the constitutional system over the absolutist system, not only for the subjects but also for the rulers. If we think back to the financial troubles of 1842-8, to the abortive attempts to borrow money through the Seehandlung and the Bank, to Rothschild's dismissive replies, to the loan refused by the United Diet, to the exhaustion of the exchequer and public funds, and if we compare all this with the financial surplus of 1850 — three budgets with a deficit of seventy millions covered by consent of the Chambers, the mass circulation of loan certificates and treasury bills, the safer financial footing provided for the state by the Bank of Prussia, as against the Seehandlung, and over and above all this, a reserve of thirty-four millions in approved loans — what a contrast!

According to statements made by the War Minister, the Prussian government regards as probable certain eventualities which might force it to mobilize its whole army in the interests of European 'peace and order'. Prussia has proclaimed its renewed membership of the Holy Alliance loudly and clearly enough with this declaration. It is also evident what enemy this new crusade is directed against. The centre of anarchy and revolution, the Gallic Babel is to be destroyed. Whether France is to be attacked directly or whether this attack in to be preceded by diversionary campaigns against Switzerland and Turkey, will depend entirely upon how the situation develops in Paris. At all events the Prussian government now has the means to increase its 180,000 soldiers to 500,000 within two months; 400,000 Russian troops have been marshaled in Poland, Volhynia and Bessarabia; Austria has at least 650,000 men at the ready. Merely in order to feed these colossal forces Russia and Austria must begin a war of invasion this year. And on the question of the initial direction to be taken by this invasion, a remarkable document has just reached the public.

In one of its latest issues the Schweizerische Nationalzeitung has published a memorandum attributed to the Austrian general Schönhals, which contains a complete plan to invade Switzerland. The principal elements of this plan are as follows:

Prussia concentrates around 60,000 men on the Main near the railways; an army corps from Hesse, Bavaria and Wurtemberg concentrates partly near Rottweil and Tuttling and partly near Kempten and Memmingen. Austria draws up 50,000 men in Vorarlberg and in the region of Innsbruck and forms s second corps in Italy between Sesto-Calende and Lecco. In the meantime, Switzerland is delayed by diplomatic negotiations. When the moment comes to attack, the Prussians speed by rail to Lörrach, and the smaller German contingents to Donaueschingen; the Austrians concentrate at Bregenz and Feldkirch, and position their Italian army at Como and Lecco. One brigade stops at Varese and threatens Bellinzona. The ambassadors hand over an ultimatum and depart. Operations begin: the main pretext for the invasion is to restore the federal constitution of 1814 and the freedom of the Sonderbund cantons. The attack itself takes place in a concentric formation against Lucerne. The Prussians advance via Basle towards the River Aar, the Austrians via St Gallen and Zurich towards the River Limmet. The former take up positions from Solothurn to Zurzach, the latter from Zurzach through Zurich as far as Uznach, At the same time a detachment of 15,000 Austrians advances via Chur to the Splügen Pass and combines with the Italian corps, whereupon both advance along the upper Rhine valley towards the St Gotthard Pass; here they join forces with the corps which has moved through Varese and Bellinzona and incite the founding cantons to rebellion. Meanwhile these cantons are cut off from the west of Switzerland by the advance of the main armies, which the smaller contingents make contact with via Schaffhausen, and by the capture of Lucerne; thus the sheep are separated from the goats. At the same time France, which is committed by the 'secret treaty of 30 January' to muster 60,000 men at Lyons and Colmar, occupies Geneva and the Jura under the same pretext which it used to occupy Rome. Thus Berne becomes untenable and the 'revolutionary' government is forced either to capitulate immediately or to starve with its troops in the Bernese Alps.

As can be seen, the project is not bad. It takes into account the lie of the land and proposes taking the flatter and more fertile north of Switzerland first and capturing the only tenable position in the north, that behind the rivers Aar and Limmet, with the combined main forces. It has the advantage of cutting off the Swiss army's main granary and of leaving it for the time being the most difficult mountain terrain. Thus the plan can be put into operation as early as the beginning of spring, and the earlier it is executed the more difficult is the position of the Swiss, who will be forced back into the mountains.

It is extremely difficult on the basis of internal evidence to determine whether the document was published against the will of its authors, or whether it was deliberately composed to find its way into the hands of a Swiss newspaper and be published. Should the latter be the case, its intention could only be to cause the Swiss to exhaust their finances by a rapid and large-scale mobilization of troops — thus producing greater Swiss compliance towards the Holy Alliance — and to confuse public opinion in general as to the intentions of the allies. This would be supported by the ostentatious sabre-rattling accompanying the mobilization of Russia and Prussia and the war plans against Switzerland, and, in addition, by a sentence in the memorandum itself, which recommends the greatest rapidity in the execution of all operations, so that as large an area as possible can be taken before the contingents have concentrated again and moved out. On the other hand there are just as many internal considerations which argue in favour of the memorandum's genuine character as a real proposal to invade Switzerland.

This much is certain: the Holy Alliance will march this year, whether first of all against Switzerland or Turkey, or directly against France; in both cases the Swiss Federal Council can pack its bags. Whether the Holy Alliance or the revolution reach Berne first, it has brought about its own ruin by its craven neutrality. The counter-revolution cannot be satisfied with the Federal Council's concessions, because its very origins are more or less revolutionary; the revolution cannot for one moment tolerate such a treacherous and cowardly government in the heart of Europe between the three nations most closely involved in the movement. The behaviour of the Swiss Federal Council offers the most blatant and, we hope, the last example of what the alleged 'independence' and 'autonomy' of small states between the modern great nations really means.

As far as recent events in France are concerned we refer the reader to the section of the article '1848-1849' contained in this number. [35] In the next number we shall publish a special article on the virtual abolition of the Ten Hours Act in England. [36]


1. These three reviews, for January-February, March-April and May-October 1850, first appeared in the Neue Rheinische Zeitung. Politisch-Ökonomische Revue, which Marx and Engels edited from London and which was published in Hamburg and New York, in issues 2 (February), 4 (April) and 5-6 (May-October) respectively, the latter double number being the final issue of the Revue. They are translated here from the texts printed in MEW 7. Return to Text

2. To every lord the honour he is due. Return to Text

3. The elections of January 1849 to the Second Chamber, held on the basis of universal suffrage, resulted in a victory for the liberal opposition. Frederick William IV therefore dissolved the Second Chamber in April 1849 and ordered new elections on the basis of the electoral law of 30 May 1849, which laid down a high property qualification as well as unequal representation for different social groups. In this way he secured a Second Chamber consisting largely of big landowners and high state officials, which was prepared to do his will. Return to Text

4. The constitution as finally accepted by the Chambers and issued by Frederick William on 31 January 1850 retained the following elements of the old pre-revolutionary system: the Upper Chamber, the right to set up emergency courts for high treason trials, the universal obligation to do military service (Landsturm), and the entailed and inalienable estates (Fideikommiss). Return to Text

5. Words from Frederick William's message of 7 January 1850 to the Chambers. Return to Text

6. 18 March 1848: the outbreak of the revolution in Berlin. Return to Text

7. The loan for the Ostbahn from Berlin to Königsberg (now Kaliningrad) was rejected by the United Diet on 9 June 1847 on the ground that the king bad 'totally ignored the rights of the Diet'. Return to Text

8. Benedict Waldeck was a Left deputy in the Prussian National Assembly, and later in theSecond Chamber. He was tried in Berlin in December 1849 for his political activity, but, instead of firmly defending his views, he insisted on his loyalty to the Prussian crown. Karl Grün, the former 'true socialist', behaved similarly at his trial in Trier. Return to Text

9. In the struggle against Napoleon, nationalist German intellectuals such as Arndt had looked to Prussia as 'the German's fatherland' and to Frederick William III as the national saviour. Return to Text

10. The Erfurt 'parliament' of March to Apri1 1850 consisted of a number of representatives of the Right in the Frankfurt National Assembly (dissolved the previous year) who supported the Prussian plan to create a 'little German ' federal state headed by Prussia, from which Austria would be excluded. Frederick William IV was compelled to abandon this plan almost immediately by joint Russian-Austrian pressure. Return to Text

11. The Batrachomyomachia (Battle of Frogs and Mice), by an unknown author, was a parody of Homer's Iliad. The Paulskirche was the meeting-place of the Frankfurt Assembly of 1848-9. Return to Text

12. Karl Vogt was a natural scientist and a Radical-Democrat deputy in the Frankfurt National Assembly. In 1849 he emigrated to Switzerland and became a professor in Geneva. Return to Text

13. The problem of whether to exclude Austria from Germany (thus forming a 'little Germany' or Kleindeutschland, or to include Austria in part or as a whole, thus forming a 'great Germany' or Grossdeutschland, considerably exercised the Frankfurt Assembly in 1849, after it seemed certain to the majority that Germany could only be unified by agreement with either Prussia or Austria. Return to Text

14. On 3 April 1849 Frederick William IV refused the crown of Germany offered to him by a deputation from Frankfurt. Return to Text

15. The treaty of 30 September 1849 between Prussia and Austria which provisionally settled the administration of the affairs of Germany, on the basis of the 'maintenance of the German Confederation'. Return to Text

16. See the Review of May-October 1850, below. Return to Text

18. 'Border people' (Grenzer): the inhabitants of the historic military border districts of Austria, who did military service on the border in return for the right to farm the land. Return to Text

19. Alexander I's description of Constantinople, in a conversation with the French Ambassador Caulaincourt in 1808. Return to Text

20. In August 1849 the Russian and Austrian governments jointly demanded from the Turkish government the extradition of Hungarians and Poles who had fled to Turkey after the defeat of Hungary. Return to Text

21. Neuchâtel (Neuenburg), the town and canton of northern Switzerland, was the object of especial Prussian hatred, first because it had thrown off the sovereignty of the king of Prussia and made itself independent in 1848, second because it was the refuge of the revolutionary democrats of southwest Germany after the defeat of the campaign of May and June 1849 in defence of the constitution of the German Reich. In September 1849 the Prince of Prussia told a French agent that the further presence of these elements in Switzerland was intolerable, but that it would take too many troops to recapture Neuchâtel. Return to Text

22. A fortress on the Syrian coast, which was taken by Egyptian troops in 1832, and retaken by the English, Austrian, and Turkish fleets jointly in 1840. Return to Text

23. The fortress of Veracruz on the east coast of Mexico. It was the last fortress to remain in Spanish hands and was finally taken by the Mexicans in 1825. Return to Text

24. These treaties (Militärkapitulationen) obliged the Swiss cantons to furnish mercenary troops for various foreign powers; article 11 of the Constitution of 1848 forbade the cantons to make such treaties. Return to Text

25. The three cantons (Urkantonen) which founded the Swiss Confederation in the fourteenth century (Schwyz, Uri, and Unterwalden) and took the side of the Sonderbund in the war of 1847. Return to Text

[26 Not Transcribed!]

27. On the French events referred to here see 'The Class Struggles in France', Chapter III. Return to Text

28. Literally 'grocers', a derogatory term for the small shopkeepers In 'The Class Struggles in France' Marx refers to Le Siècle as the 'literary representative of the consitituional-monarchist petty bourgeoisie'. Return to Text

29. The first day of the disturbances in Paris which led up to the February revolution. At this time the parties were all united on the objective of removing Guizot, though divided on further objectives. Return to Text

30. In English in the original. Return to Text

31. i.e. the repeal of the Corn Laws. Return to Text

32. In English in the original. Return to Text

33. The financial reforms of the banker Jacques Necker in the 1780s were both a contributory factor to the outbreak of the first French revolution and an attempt to prevent it. Richard Cobden, along with John Bright, was the leader of the Anti-Corn-Law League of the 1840s, and the political leader of the industrial bourgeoisie generally. He subsequently became a Liberal minister. Return to Text

34. On 6 February 1850, Frederick William IV took the oath to the constitution of 31 January 1850, and the words quoted are from his speech on that occasion. Return to Text

35. See Chapter II of 'The Class Struggles in France' . Return to Text

36. Engels's article 'The English Ten Hours Bill' is translated in AOB, pp. 96-108. Return to Text