The central demands of the German opposition(s) were the granting of basic and civic rights regardless of property requirements, the appointment of liberal governments in the individual states and most importantly the creation of a German nation-state, with a pan-German constitution and a popular assembly.On 5 March 1848, opposition politicians and state deputies met at the Heidelberg Assembly to discuss these issues.In several parts of the Austrian Empire, namely in Hungary, Bohemia, Romania, and throughout Italy, in particular in Sicily, Rome, and Northern Italy, there were bloody revolts, replete with calls for local or regional autonomy and even for national independence.Friedrich Daniel Bassermann, a liberal deputy in the second chamber of the parliament of Baden, helped to trigger the final impulse for the election of a pan-German assembly (or parliament).
The unrest that resulted from the 1830 French July Revolution led to a temporary reversal of that trend, but after the demonstration for civic rights and national unity at the 1832 Hambach Festival, and the abortive attempt at an armed rising in the 1833 Frankfurter Wachensturm, the pressure on representatives of constitutional or democratic ideas was raised through measures such as censorship and bans on public assemblies.In 1806, the Emperor, Francis II had relinquished the crown of the Holy Roman Empire and dissolved the Empire.This was the result of the Napoleonic Wars and of direct military pressure from Napoléon Bonaparte.Meanwhile, in the reform-oriented states, such as Baden, the development of a lively scene of Vereine (clubs or voluntary associations) provided an organisational framework for democratic, or popular, opposition.Especially in south west Germany, censorship could not effectively suppress the press.
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Two weeks later, news of the successful coup in France fanned the flames of the revolutionary mood.The revolution on German soil began in Baden, with the occupation of the Ständehaus at Karlsruhe.Thus, at the Heppenheim Conference on 10 October 1847, eighteen liberal members from a variety of German states met to discuss common motions for a German nation-state.In 18, broader European developments aggravated this tension.On 12 February 1848, referring to his own motion (Motion Bassermann) in 1844 and a comparable one by Carl Theodor Welcker in 1831, he called for a representation, elected by the people, at the Bundestag in Frankfurt am Main.
The Bundestag (or Bundesversammlung), made up of representatives of the individual princes, was the only institution representing the whole confederation.Additionally, a series of bad harvests in parts of Germany, notably the southwest, led to widely spread famine-related unrest.The changes caused by the beginnings of industrialisation exacerbated social and economic tensions considerably.This constitution fulfilled the main demands of the liberal and nationalist movements of the Vormärz and provided a foundation of basic rights, both of which stood in opposition to Metternich's system of Restoration.The parliament also proposed a constitutional monarchy headed by a hereditary emperor (Kaiser).