BECK index

Germans, Austria & Swiss 1789-1830

by Sanderson Beck

Prussia and Germans at War 1792-1815
Prussia and German States 1815-30
Austrian Empire during Revolution 1789-99
Austria and Napoleonic War 1800-14
Austria and Metternich’s Diplomacy 1814-18
Austria and Metternich’s Diplomacy 1819-30
Hungary under Imperial Austria
Swiss Cantons during the Revolution 1789-99
Swiss Cantons in Wars and After 1800-30

Austrian Empire and German States 1715-88

      In 1788 a Prussian army led by Duke Ferdinand of Brunswick helped republicans drive out Willem V of Orange in the Netherlands. The French Revolution influenced Germans. In August 1789 the French Assembly abolished the feudal dues that German princes had been taking in Alsace and Lorraine. French émigrés led by the Count Charles of Artois came to Germany, and Trier’s Elector even let Prince Condé train his army in Koblenz for a while. In western parts of the Germanic Empire riots broke out in the Rhenish towns of Boppard, Trier, Koblenz, Aachen, Mainz, and Cologne, and rural disturbances occurred in the Rhineland, Mosel valley, Saarland, and the Palatinate. Even in the east people were upset by feudal laws in Mecklenburg, and they revolted against Junker landlords in Silesia. Military force suppressed them, and sometimes martial law was declared.
      In the summer of 1790 France nationalized the French Church and prohibited the jurisdiction of bishops living outside France. The archbishops of Trier, Mainz, and Cologne appealed to the Austrian Emperor. In the spring of 1790 peasants had protested against seigneurial rents, and by August 10,000 peasants were in revolt. As landlords fled to Dresden, the peasants stole guns and took over central Saxony. The Elector Friedrich August used military force and quelled the uprising by October. In 1791 the Saxon Decree Against Tumult and Insurrection was aimed at defiance against the government.
      Germans were informed because in the 1790s the daily press had a circulation of about 300,000 with some three million readers. Yet fear of revolution increased censorship in many states. Bavaria published a weekly register of banned books. Hesse-Kessel appointed a committee to restrict professors at the University of Giessen. The rulers of Prussia and Austria resolved their conflicts in July 1790 in a treaty at Reichenbach, and on 27 August 1791 Prussia’s Friedrich Wilhelm II (r. 1786-97) and the Austrian Emperor Leopold II (r. 1790-92) in the Pillnitz declaration affirmed that they would support France’s Louis XVI against the revolution.

Prussia and Germans at War 1792-1815

      In February 1792 Prussia made a defensive alliance with Austria. France in response on 20 April declared war against Austria and Prussia but not the Empire now led by Austria’s Franz II. The Duke of Brunswick commanded the Prussian army that began marching west in July, and on the 25th he issued a manifesto to the French warning them not to harm the Bourbon royal family. On 1 August his army crossed the Rhine near Koblenz and advanced toward Paris. About a hundred miles from there on 20 September near Valmy the French army of 32,000 men forced 34,000 Prussians to retreat. That evening at a Prussian campfire Goethe said, “Here and now a new epoch in world history has begun.” France’s revolutionary forces invaded southern Germany, capturing Speyer on 30 September, Worms on 4 October, and Mainz on the 20th. By mid-October the Prussian soldiers had left France. Those governing Palatinate-Bavaria proclaimed their neutrality. The French held Frankfurt for five weeks, but a Prussian army regained it in December.
      Prussian forces drove the French out of the Rhineland and regained Mainz on 23 July 1793. In the next four years nearly 250,000 French troops would be in the Rhineland exacting taxes ten times higher than before while also foraging for supplies. They conscripted thousands of workers to build fortifications. They reconquered the Low Countries and occupied land in northwest Germany. In October 1794 the Elector of Mainz acting as Imperial Chancellor persuaded the Reichstag to support peace proposals. In November the Prussians and French began negotiating, and they signed a treaty at Basel on 5 April 1795. Prussia withdrew from the First Coalition against France and remained neutral for the next ten years. Prussia ceded to France territory west of the Rhine, and this angered southern Germans. That summer Hesse-Kassel and Brunswick made peace with the French, and other German states withdrew from the war. In August 1796 Baden, Bavaria, and Württemberg made treaties with France.
      In 1791 Prussia and Austria had agreed to recognize Poland’s new constitution, but in January 1793 Prussians invaded Poland taking Danzig (Gdansk), Thorn, Posen, and Kalish. When Poles rose up, Prussia sent in 20,000 more troops in 1794. That summer Friedrich Wilhelm II led 50,000 Prussians into Poland. In January 1795 Prussia, Russia, and Austria divided up the defeated Poland.
      Friedrich Wilhelm II had mistresses and even two wives at a time. He was a Rosicrucian and was advised by Johann Christoph von Wöllner who helped him end religious tolerance to impose obedience and piety. The King died on 16 November 1797 and was succeeded by his 27-year-old son Friedrich Wilhelm III who ruled Prussia until his death in 1840. He replaced Wöllner, and in his first month the Congress of Rastatt began meeting. In March 1798 delegates from France, Austria, Prussia, and other states in the Empire agreed to cede the entire Rhineland to France. In April they overcame Austria’s objections and redistributed the remaining ecclesiastical states to Prussia and other secular states. Prussia remained neutral as Austria, Russia, and Britain formed the Second Coalition against France on 1 January 1799 that was joined by Swabia, Bavaria, and Franconia. The next month French forces invaded the Rhineland. On 1 April 1801 about 24,000 Prussian troops invaded Hanover and occupied Bremen-Verden’s capital Stade. After Prussia joined the Scandinavian nations and Russia in the Second League of Armed Neutrality, the British Navy began capturing Prussian ships. The Prussians withdrew from Hanover in October.
      In the years 1799-1805 Friedrich Wilhelm III freed the peasants on crown lands from compulsory labor and serfdom that tied them to the land and the lord’s consent for marriage. In the eastern provinces they created 50,000 freehold farms. Yet Junkers refused to give up their privileges on private lands. The King also paid off 27 million thalers of debt by 1806, though 53 million remained. Only aristocrats could be officers, and most of the generals were over 60 years old.
      From the summer of 1802 to February 1803 an Imperial Deputation of representatives from Mainz, the Teutonic Order, Bohemia, Prussia, Württemberg, Saxony, Bavaria, Hesse, and Würzburg met, and their Hauptchluss report was decreed as a law by Emperor Franz II on 27 April. Only Hamburg, Bremen, Lübeck, Frankfurt, Nuremberg, and Augsburg remained as independent imperial cities, and 112 imperial states were dissolved. The only surviving ecclesiastical territories were the electorate of Mainz, the Teutonic Order, and the Order of Malta. On the east bank of the Rhine three electorates, 19 bishoprics, and 44 abbeys were closed. The large states of Prussia, Bavaria, Württemberg, Baden, and a few others gained territory and inhabitants. Bavaria for a while extended from Trient in the South Tyrol north nearly to Thuringia and became a kingdom in 1806 while Baden quadrupled its territory and became a Grand Duchy.
      In 1803 France went to war against Britain and invaded Hanover. In 1805 the Code Napoleon was imposed on the Rhineland, and the territory was reorganized into the departments of Donnersberg, Saar, Rhine-Mosel, and Roer. The wealthy purchased church lands at low prices. Abolishing seigneurial privileges helped some peasants. After the French defeated Austria in 1805, Napoleon gave his allies in Bavaria, Württemberg, and Baden some German land. Prussia in early October warned Napoleon to accept the Lunéville treaty, or Prussia would join the coalition. Bavaria, Württemberg, and Baden cooperated with the French fighting in southern Germany. On 12 July Napoleon forced Bavaria, Württemberg, Baden, and thirteen smaller states to form the Confederation of the Rhine under the protection of France. In accord with the charter the member states seceded from the Empire on 1 August, and 23 more states eventually joined the Confederation by 1808. On 6 August 1806 the Holy Roman Empire ended as Franz II abdicated but remained Emperor of Austria. Napoleon established the Grand Duchy of Berg under his brother-in-law Joachim Murat. The French defeated the Electorate of Saxony, and Napoleon made it a kingdom and gave it some Prussian territory and rule over the duchy of Warsaw.
      In the summer of 1805 Prussia began mobilizing its army which stimulated the French to do the same. On 13 September the Prussians entered Saxony and crossed the Elbe. Prussia gave Napoleon an ultimatum to withdraw from Prussia’s frontiers, and on 9 October Prussia declared war on France and joined the Fourth Coalition. Prussia’s invasion of Hanover had provoked the British to declare war against Berlin. Napoleon’s army of 123,000 men defeated 113,500 Prussians led by Brunswick at Jena and Auerstedt on 14 October as the Prussians lost 38,000 men and the French 12,052 casualties. On the 27th the French occupied Berlin as Friedrich Wilhelm III fled to East Prussia. In December the Emperor Napoleon made Emperor Franz II recognize the sovereign kingdoms of Württemberg, Bavaria, and Saxony.
      After the French defeated the Russians at Friedland on 14 January 1807, both the French and the Prussian and Russian allies lost about 20,000 men in the battle at Eylau on 7-8 February. On 9 July Napoleon and Tsar Alexander made a treaty at Tilsit that took Prussian land west of the Elbe to form the kingdom of Westphalia which 23-year-old Jerome Bonaparte began ruling with much of the Polish territory. Jerome at Fontainebleau married the Württemberg Princess Catharina Frederica on 22 August. The Convention of Paris signed on 8 September 1808 limited the Prussian army to 42,000 men.
      Prussia had lost half its territory and was reduced to four provinces occupied by the French, had to pay a large war indemnity equal to its previous war budget, and was forced to join the alliance against the British as part of the continental blockade against English trade. Smugglers brought goods mostly from British colonies into northern ports and as far south as Frankfurt where French troops burned English goods in October 1810. The Prussian government confiscated the goods and returned them for a heavy fine, and by doing this from 1810 to 1812 they obtained about 12 million thaler. German exports to French territories were blocked by high tariffs, and German merchants had to pay heavy custom duties that helped the French economy.
      The Tilsit treaty also required the removal of Prussia’s foreign minister Karl von Hardenberg, and he was replaced by Karl Freherr vom Stein on 8 October 1807 in Königsberg. Stein had been a bureaucrat since 1780 and suggested economic reforms. The next day they issued the edict “On the Facilitation of Property Ownership, the Free Use of Land, and the Personal Condition of Peasants.” The goals of the reforms were to improve civil equality, social mobility, and economic freedom. The edict proclaimed that all people in the kingdom would be free by November 1810, though many peasants would remain socially and economically dependent. In December the government summoned the provincial estates to raise taxes.
      Also in 1807 General Gerhard von Scharnhorst was put in charge of the Military Reorganization Commission, and 5,000 of 6,600 officers were retired or put on half pay. In 1808 a decree ended birth or an estate as a way of gaining commissions that were to be based only on competence. In November Stein persuaded Friedrich Wilhelm III to dissolve his cabinet of personal advisors and replace them with five ministers to administer the departments of the interior, finance, foreign affairs, war, and justice. On the 19th he granted self-government to Prussian towns. Napoleon ordered Stein’s removal and confiscated his property in Westphalia. The Prussian King refused to comply, but Napoleon declared Stein an enemy of France and the Confederation on 16 December. In January 1809 Stein fled from Prussia and found refuge in Bohemia.
      The French introduced the Code Napoleon in the German states they conquered, but reforms were often resisted because of the coercion and taxation to support the French army. The kingdom of Westphalia was given the first German constitution in November based on the French Revolution. A representative assembly met only twice and had little influence. Military power imposed bureaucratic control. In January 1808 a royal decree relieved some peasants of their seigneurial obligations and gave them the right to own land and move freely. Yet Napoleon gave land to his supporters with tax exemptions and privileges, and landowners still exerted power over peasants. Several German states increased in size, and by using more efficient bureaucracy they gained more control over cities and annexed states.
      After the death of Bavaria’s Elector Karl Theodor in 1799 Maximilian Joseph of Zweibrücken succeeded and swore allegiance to France. He became King of Bavaria in 1806, and from 1803 to 1810 he acquired the ecclesiastical states of Augsburg, Bamberg, Eichstätt, Freising, Passau, and Regensburg, plus the cities of Lindau, Nördlingen, Nuremberg, and Rothenburg and the counties of Ansbach and Bayreuth. In May 1808 Max Joseph decreed a constitution for Bavaria, but aristocrats prevented its implementation. From April to November in 1809 the innkeeper Andreas Hofer led a peasant revolt in Tyrol against Bavarian and French forces. Bavaria’s public debt rose to nearly 120 million gulden by 1811. Maximilian von Montgelas was a liberal minister for the Bavarian government 1799-1817. Bavaria and Baden increased the legal rights of Jews more than other German states.
      In Baden the civil servant Freiherr Sigismund von Reitzenstein helped Grand Duke Karl Friedrich to extend by ten times the sovereignty of Baden to include Fürstenberg, Leiningen, Löwenstein-Wertheim, and some of the Palatinate as well as the bishoprics of Strasburg and Constance. Johann Friedrich Brauer administered reforms in Baden from 1803, and in 1809 Reitzenstein made more improvements, changing four provinces into ten circles like French departments under directors. Baden’s debt increased from 8 million gulden in 1806 to 18 million in 1819, and in the same period Württemberg’s debt went from 15 million to 22 million gulden.
      In 1810 Napoleon prepared for an invasion of Russia by sending his armies into northern Germany, annexing Hamburg, Bremen, and Lübeck. Karl Theodor von Dalberg, the Prince Primate of the Rhenish Confederation became the Grand Duke of Frankfurt. In 1811 French officials administered with Napoleonic laws.
      To encourage humanistic scholarship and science the philosopher Wilhelm von Humboldt founded the University of Berlin with faculties of law, medicine, theology and philosophy in 1810. Friedrich Ludwig Jahn was a school teacher who promoted physical fitness as well as nationalism, and he founded a gymnastics club in 1811.
      In June 1810 Prussia’s Friedrich Wilhelm III made Karl von Hardenberg minister of finance and the interior. Queen Luise died on 19 July, and the King withdrew from public life to pray. While out of office Hardenberg had written his Riga Memorandum that called for a new revolution to ennoble mankind without violence with economic and social liberation under monarchy. Prussia’s debt which had been 53 million gulden before the war of 1806 rose to 112 million in 1811 and would become 206 million in 1815. His trade edict on 20 October 1810 removed tax exemptions and economic restrictions. Then the finance edict on the 27th promised to equalize tax burdens, reform tariffs and tolls, secularize church property, sell more royal domains, and foster free enterprise. The next day businesses were required to get a license from the state. On the 30th the land of Catholic and Protestant churches was nationalized as the state took control of ecclesiastical institutions. On 2 November a tax edict reduced control by the guilds in order to allow free competition. Also in 1810 General Scharnhorst started the War School, and Clausewitz began teaching there.
      February 1811 Prime Minister Hardenberg convened sixty representatives of notables in his palace and urged them to create a free and equal society; but they were not willing, and he dissolved the assembly. A law on 7 September 1811 ruined the power of the artisan corporations and limited police regulation, and many of the nobles’ tax exemptions were reinstated. An edict granted ownership of land to 161,000 households, but they had to give up nearly half the land to compensate the landlord. Hardenberg’s edict in March 1812 proclaimed Jews “natives and citizens” and removed their restrictions, though their public duties were left open. In April an interim National Assembly met to deal with debts and state credit.
      In February 1812 Prussia had agreed to an alliance with Napoleon in case of a Russian war. A conference of the allies at Dresden ended on 28 May, and the Grand Army of 600,000 men that included 180,000 Germans invaded Russia by crossing the Niemen River on 24 June. After the debacle in Russia the remnants of the Grand Army came back across the Niemen in December with only about 40,000 men. By the end of the month General Yorck managed to defect with 14,000 Prussian troops, and Clausewitz mediated an alliance with the Russians. King Friedrich Wilhelm III ordered Yorck arrested, but Stein arrived with the Russians at Königsberg and persuaded the East Prussian militia to reinforce Yorck who signed a neutrality agreement with the Russians on 30 December.
      On 22 January 1813 Prussia’s King moved his court from the French garrison in Berlin to Breslau. On 9 February he stopped all exemptions from military service until the end of the war. Men aged 17-40 not in the army had to serve in the national guard. On 17 March he urged a war for German independence and the honor of the people, and he agreed to arm more common people. Prussia allied with Russia and ceded Polish territory in exchange for gains in the north and east. The German states agreed with the proclamation on the 25th except for the Duke of Mecklenburg who was Tsar Alexander’s cousin. Saxony’s King Friedrich fled to Austria. Saxony and Bavaria in April allied with Austria. Prussia mobilized 280,000 troops, and Russia brought an army of 110,000 against the French.
      Napoleon raised a large army in France, and on 2 May at Lutzen they forced the Allies to retreat despite twice as many French casualties. At Bautzen 18 days later the larger French army won a similar “victory.” Friedrich of Saxony abandoned his Austrian allies, and Bavaria’s Max Joseph stopped negotiating at Vienna. On 4 June at Pläswitz both sides agreed to a 9-week armistice. Austria’s Chancellor Metternich was trying to make peace with Napoleon, but on 27 June he brought Austria’s army of 127,000 men into the alliance against Bonaparte. Prussia’s General Blücher commanded an army of 90,000 men from Silesia, and Bernadotte led a force of 110,000 Swedes and Prussians that took back Berlin. The French had a garrison in Dresden, and Saxony’s Friedrich returned to their side. On 27 August at Dresden the French won a major battle over a larger allied army that suffered 38,000 killed or captured. In the pivotal battle at Leipzig that began on 16 October and lasted four days about 400,000 Allies, including 145,000 in the Bohemian army, defeated some 225,000 French who suffered 45,000 killed and wounded and had about 25,000 taken prisoners. The Allies lost 54,000 men with 34,000 of them Bohemians. The French army retreated across the Rhine in early November.
      Stein had set up a Central Administrative Committee in March 1813 and advised organizing the Germans into what was the Rhenish Confederation as well as Prussia and Austria. On 9 September the allied leaders met at Teplitz and agreed to restore Austria and Prussia to their 1805 borders. They dissolved the Rhenish Confederation and guaranteed the independence of states. Metternich on 8 October at Ried negotiated an agreement in which Bavaria promised to provide 36,000 troops, and Austria recognized its sovereignty. In the last two months of 1813 Metternich made similar treaties with Württemberg, Hesse-Darmstadt Baden, Nassau, Saxe-Coburg, and Hesse-Kassel.
      In a treaty signed on 9 March 1814 at Chaumont representatives of Austria, Prussia, Russia, and Britain each agreed to send 150,000 soldiers to France. On 30 March they occupied Paris, and Emperor Napoleon abdicated on 6 April. On 30 May the Allies made peace with France and restored the Bourbon monarchy. After Napoleon’s escape from Elba in February 1815 he raised an army of 280,000 men, but 118,000 Allies joined by the British and Dutch ended the 23-year war by defeating his remaining army of 73,000 French at Waterloo on 18 June. That month Friedrich Wilhelm III made Hermann von Boyen the war minister, and then he enacted universal military service for Prussia making all men aged 20-39 obligated to military service, starting with three years in the active army. This was intended to provide Prussia with an army of 130,000 in peace time and up to 500,000 during a war.

Prussia and German States 1815-30

      The Congress in Vienna began gathering in September 1814 and recognized 38 German states, but 20 of them had fewer than 100,000 people. Southern German states were now independent of the Austrian Empire and developed constitutions that guaranteed more religious freedom and equality. Prussia lost some eastern territory to Russia but doubled its territory as it was given two-fifths of Saxony as well as the Rhineland and Westphalia in the west, increasing Prussia’s population from 5 million to 10.5 million. On 9 June 1815 the Congress created the German Confederation of 34 states with the Austrian Empire and the Kingdom of Prussia as the largest. The Rhine Province kept its Napoleonic laws which were called “Rhenish.” A treaty in 1820 would add Hesse-Homburg, Lübeck, Frankfurt, Bremen, and Hamburg. In 1815 the universities in Berlin and Halle were reorganized, and Bonn University was founded in the Rhineland.
      The duchy of Nassau had instituted a constitution in 1814, but only 70 men in the state were qualified to stand for election, and eight districts had no eligible candidate. Many German states followed the example of the French Charter of 1814 with bicameral assemblies, but the privileged had great advantages while peasants suffered neglect. Germans were more conservative and tended to elect second chambers through corporate bodies. Bavaria adopted the most conservative constitution on 26 May 1818, and only 6% of the people could vote. The liberal Karl Nebenius persuaded Baden to compose the second chamber with representatives of districts in a constitution promulgated on 22 August. Württemberg’s King Friedrich had died in October 1816 and was succeeded by his son Wilhelm who worked out a constitution that the Estates approved on 29 September 1819.
      Prussia’s Friedrich Wilhelm III on 22 May 1815 had promised a constitution with a national assembly representing the people but elected by provincial assemblies. The war had increased Prussian debt to about 250 million thaler, and there was not enough revenue for the budget of 50 million. One third of Prussians were still Catholics, and the Calvinist Friedrich Wilhelm III called for a union of Lutherans and Calvinists in 1817. That year the minister Hardenberg suggested a Council of State with the royal princes, state ministers, department heads, provincial leaders, generals and 34 public administrators appointed by King Friedrich Wilhelm III. In 1818 a customs law abolished internal customs, and in 1820 a tax law imposed a class tax for four classes to replace the excise revenues.
      Ludwig Jahn and historian Heinrich Luden had founded a student organization at Jena on 12 June 1815 with a new union (Burschenschaft) intended to unify Germans. The universities of Heidelberg, Giessen, Erlangen participated as well as Catholics at Würzburg and Freiburg, though there was little interest at Berlin, Göttingen, and Leipzig. The students voted to admit only Germans and Christians. The anniversaries of the Lutheran Reformation and the Leipzig battle were celebrated on 18-19 October 1817 by a national convention of about 500 students at Wartburg castle. One year later the Allgemeine Deutsche Burschenschaft was formed for all German students, and the General German Students’ Union grew. The student Heinrich von Gagen, who had fought at Waterloo, believed that “love of the Fatherland” was the most important part of the Burschenschaft. He would become a lawyer and a liberal spokesman and wrote in 1818,

We want a constitution for the nation
that conforms to the spirit of the age, to the Enlightenment,
not one that each prince gives his people
to suit his fancy and serve his private interests.1

      The journalist Joseph Görres had founded the Rheinische Merkur in 1814 and demanded that the Rhineland territory be German. In 1819 he published the pamphlet “Germany and the Revolution,” warning that a German republic would produce another military despot like Napoleon who would overthrow the “European state edifice,” and 12,000 copies were distributed. The conservative Metternich responded, “The greatest and consequently the most urgent evil now is the press.”2 The unconditional Blacks were influenced by the young Karl Follen who lectured at Giessen. The student Karl Ludwig Sand assassinated the writer August von Kotzebue on 23 March 1819 in Mannheim. Kotzebue had sent reports to Tsar Alexander and had made fun of German students. Sand survived his suicide attempt and was executed but became a martyr. The government in Berlin was alarmed and had Ludwig Jahn arrested, and the new Bonn professor E. M. Arndt and the theologian Schleiermacher were watched.
      On 15 May 1819 the German Confederation enacted a law that abolished the privileges of the guilds so that all citizens could choose their own occupations. That summer Friedrich Wilhelm III met with Austrian Chancellor Metternich, and they called a meeting at Frankfurt of the German Confederation which on 20 September issued the Karlsbad Decrees. They were aimed at suppressing demagogues and dissolved the Burschenschaft and the student fraternities, though the Burschenschaft continued secretly. Ministers of 17 states met in Vienna during the winter, and on 15 May 1820 they issued the Final Act that confirmed autocratic rule in the states. The Karlsbad Decrees were enforced in the German states, but Austrian police found few subversives. In the reactionary 1820s political demonstrations rarely occurred except for Greek nationalism.
      In 1819 Prussia’s war minister Boyen refused to let the regular army supervise the training of the national guard, and he resigned. He had supported Wilhelm von Humboldt who wanted Prime Minister Hardenberg to make more reforms, and Humboldt had to leave government on 31 December. On 17 January 1820 Hardenberg managed to get a law passed that new debts had to be approved and guaranteed by the estates of the Confederation, but his attempt to get a constitution for Prussia failed in 1820, and he died in November 1822. On 19 November 1820 the three powers of Austria, Russia, and Prussia issued the Troppau Protocol which insisted that states which had changed their governments must retain “legal order and stability” or by arms they would be brought back into the “Great Alliance.” In the next two years provinces in Prussia devised estate-based constitutions, and the owners of large estates gained more representation. Censorship was imposed before publication except on books with more than 320 pages. Fichte’s Address to the German Nation was not allowed to be reprinted.
      In the early 1820s steam presses were introduced in Leipzig, Augsburg, Stuttgart, and other towns. On 6 June 1825 Goethe wrote in a letter, “Railways, express mails, steamboats, and all possible means of communication are what the educated world seeks.”3 Bavaria in September shifted the regulation of trade from the guilds to government administration; Hesse-Darmstadt opened up trade in June 1827, and Württemberg did so in April 1828.
      A poor harvest and French radical change in July 1830 set off revolts in Germany in Braunschweig, Saxony, Hesse-Darmstadt, Hanover, and on the Rhine. Disturbances broke out in university towns as well as in Hamburg, Berlin, Frankfurt, Munich, and Vienna.

      Karl von Clausewitz was born on 1 June 1780. His father was a lieutenant in the Prussian army of Friedrich II. Karl joined the army when he was twelve and fought against the French the next year. While serving at the Neurippin garrison for five years he read about military strategy, and in 1801 he began studying at the Military Academy in Berlin under General Scharnhorst who had written an essay on France’s revolutionary war in 1797. Clausewitz was an aide-de-camp to Prince August and was captured in the battle at Jena on 14 October 1806. He wrote about war from 1816 to 1830, and he died in 1831. His unfinished work was published as the influential On War in 1832. He defined war as “an act of force to compel our enemy to do our will,” and he wrote about how war can be used as a political instrument. He observed that in the Napoleonic War nations had mobilized their resources for the war effort with larger armies needing support. He emphasized the importance of defense, and he noted that chronic aggressors such as Napoleon end in failure. Clausewitz applied critical analysis to every aspect of war. He wrote that moral elements are important in war because “they constitute the spirit that permeates war as a whole.” He believed that moral factors are much more valuable than calculated physical elements as history has shown.

Austrian Empire during Revolution 1789-99

Austrian Empire and German States 1715-88

      Austria’s Joseph II had been Holy Roman Emperor since 1765, and he had ruled the many Austrian domains as an “enlightened despot” since 1780 imposing numerous liberal reforms. He had allied with Russia, and in February 1788 he supported Russia’s Turkish War as the Austrians declared war against the Ottoman Empire. In early August the Turks crossed the Danube and invaded the Austrian Banat (western Romania). About 50,000 Serbians also crossed that river to take refuge in Austria. That month Joseph sent 20,400 soldiers to the Banat, and they were supported by 5,000 Serbian volunteers who wanted liberation from Turks to unify Serbia with the Hapsburg domains. In 1788 the Austrians occupied Moldavia’s capital at Iași, and with the Russians they forced Khotyn by the Dniester River to surrender in September. Starting in October the Turks may have killed as many as 36,000 civilians in the Banat. Joseph with a pulmonary disease returned to Vienna by the end of the year. During the Turkish War the Austrians occupied Serbia, and Berbir surrendered to them in July 1789. About 62,000 Austrians led by Laudon besieged Belgrade from 15 September, and the garrison of 9,000 Turks surrendered on 8 October. In less than a year the Austrians were devastated by disease, and by May 1789 they had 172,000 sick or wounded, and 33,000 of them had died.
      In February 1789 Joseph II decreed a new tax and agrarian regulations that disturbed the nobles. Previously landlords got from 25% to 42%, but now hereditary tenants (peasants) would pay a 30% land tax on annual produce with 17.8% going to the landowner and 12.2% to the central government. Joseph had also established secret police. In the summer in response to Belgian emigration to the Dutch Republic, Joseph II abolished Brabant’s rights called the Joyeuse Entrée. That summer the Prussians supported the revolt in Liège. In October about 17,000 government workers withdrew from Brussels. In November the estates in Flanders proclaimed that Joseph could no longer rule Belgium, and in January 1790 the newly organized United States of Belgium deposed Joseph II as they allied with revolutionary France. The imperial governor Duke Albert of Saxony-Teschen with his armed forces left the country. By then Hungarians had revoked most of Joseph’s reforms. While attempting to make peace with the Turks, large armies prepared in Bohemia, Moravia, and Galicia for attacks from Prussia or Poland, mobilizing 500,000 men for the Austrian Empire. Joseph offered Britain a defensive alliance in December and asked them to mediate peace with the Turks.
      Facing strong opposition, dying Joseph II in January 1790 canceled most of his reforms except for the ending of serfdom, his Tolerance Edict, and the monastic laws. He died on 20 February and was succeeded by his brother Leopold II who had been ruling Tuscany since 1765. He arrived in Vienna on 12 March and tried to conciliate Prussia while an army of 150,000 fought the Turks in Bosnia and captured the island of New Orșova in April and overcame the Turks at Vidin in June. During the summer the Austrians besieged Bihać. Prussia’s Friedrich Wilhelm II pressured the Austrians to accept the Convention of Reichenbach on 27 July, and an Austrian-Ottoman armistice was signed in September. Austria agreed to restore conquered territory to the Ottoman Empire and give Belgians amnesty and their old constitution. The British, Dutch, and Prussian allies supported reviving the traditional Belgian constitution on 10 December, and Austrian troops peacefully returned to Belgium. The treaty of Sistova on 4 August 1791 ended the Austro-Turkish War, and the Austrians gained only Orșova and two towns on the Croatian frontier.
      Leopold II agreed to be crowned in Hungary and Bohemia, and Bohemians insisted that he use archaic Czech in the ritual. He also worked to restore order in Hungary and summoned the diet that recognized Hungary as a nation governed jointly by the king and the parliament. They reached compromises in 1791, and Magyar could be taught in all schools. Transylvania was also restored, and Hungarian Serbs were given an Illyrian court. Leopold had used secret police effectively in Florence, and he was not above using agent provocateurs. Leopold was the brother of France’s Queen Marie Antoinette, and in the Declaration of Pillnitz made by Prussia and Austria on 27 August they pledged their support for France’s Louis XVI against the Revolution.
      Leopold II made a defensive alliance with Prussia in February 1792. He died suddenly on 1 March, and some claimed he was poisoned. He was succeeded by his 24-year-old son who became the last Holy Roman Emperor Franz II. Franz had been on the state council since 1791 and observed the problems with Joseph II’s reforms. He was crowned King of Hungary on 6 June, Holy Roman Emperor on 15 July, and King of Bohemia in Prague on 6 August. On two days each week he met for about six hours with about 250 people in groups of thirty at a time who had signed up ahead. He usually spoke in Viennese German but would also converse in Czech, Hungarian, or Italian. He gave some money but more often promised to reprimand bureaucrats. Franz was especially concerned about the morals of the bureaucrats and their families.
      On 20 April the French revolutionary Assembly forced Louis XVI to declare war against Austria. The Austrian army allied with Prussia’s, and on 25 July the Duke of Brunswick warned the French Revolution in his manifesto not to harm France’s royal family. The French defeated the Austrians and Prussians at Valmy in Champagne-Ardenne on 20 September. On 6 November a larger French army led by Dumouriez defeated the Austrians at Jemappes but lost more men. Prince Josias Coburg commanded Austrian forces allied with the Dutch Republic, and on 18 March 1793 they defeated Dumouriez’s French army, and after the battle Dumouriez betrayed the Revolution by arresting French commissioners and defecting to the Austrians. On 23 March Holy Roman Emperor Franz II with Portugal, Naples, and the Netherlands declared war against France. The Russians and Prussians excluded the Austrians from the second partition of Poland. Franz blamed the director of foreign affairs Count Johann Cobenzl for this oversight and replaced him with Johann Amadeus von Thugut on 25 March. He recalled some Austrian troops from the west and sent them to Poland. Franz’s aunt, Marie Antoinette, was guillotined on 16 October. On that day a French army defeated an Austrian-Dutch army at Wattignies. Emperor Franz II visited the Netherlands in early 1794, and the Austrians’ march toward France and Coburg’s army defeated a larger French force at Tournay on 22 May.
      Austrians and Prussians continued to fight the French in Holland, Belgium, and on the west bank of the Rhine, but in the fall of 1794 they had to retreat back across the Rhine. In January 1795 Austria conspired with Russia to exclude Prussia from the third partition of Poland, but Prussia made peace with France at Basel on 5 April to free up soldiers for the Poland land grab which gave them Warsaw. Austria had to settle for extending western Galicia north nearly to Warsaw. An Austrian force besieged Mannheim from 18 October until they took the town on 22 November. The next day a French army defeated the Austrians at Loano. In 1795 inflation and food shortages caused Austria to begin printing money to pay for war costs. For the war in Germany and Italy in 1796 the British provided the Austrians with a subsidy of £6 million.
      In Italy the Austrians extended their lines of communication with the English fleet, but in April 1796 the French army led by Napoleon defeated them at Montenotto, Millesimo, and Dego and then the Piedmont lines at Mondovi. The French besieged the Austrian bulwark at Mantua on 4 July, and field marshal Wurmser was sent from the Rhine with 30,000 Austrians, but Napoleon defeated his divided forces. The French lifted the siege of Mantua but defeated the Austrians in early August at Lonato, Castiglione, and Medola, and at Roverdo on 4 September. Austria sent another army with 40,000 men led by field marshal Alvinzi, and they defeated a smaller French force under Napoleon at Bassano on 6 November. They fought again at Caldiero on the 12th, but Bonaparte beat them at Arcola from the 15th to the 17th. Alvinzi’s army went to reinforce Mantua; but they were defeated at Rivoli on 15 January 1797 as the Austrians lost about 13,000 men. Mantua capitulated on the 28th, giving the French control over Italy.
      Archduke Charles commanded the Austrian army in Germany, and on 15 June 1796 they defeated the French led by Jourdan at Wetzlar, and the French crossed back over the Lower Rhine. A French army led by Moreau went across the Upper Rhine at Strasbourg and defeated the Austrians at Kehl in Baden on 24 June. They moved on and captured Frankfurt by using artillery. Charles retreated into Bavaria followed by Moreau. Charles then crossed back over the Danube at Ingolstadt and defeated the French led by Bernadotte at Teiningen and then those under Jourdan at Amberg on 24 August, the same day that Moreau’s French defeated Austrians led by Count Latour at Friedberg in Bavaria. Charles won again over Jourdan at Wurtzburg on 3 September. Jourdan’s French army then retreated west of the Rhine while the Austrians under Charles forced Moreau’s army to move south. An armistice was signed at Leoben on 18 April 1797, and the French and Austrians agreed to the treaty of Campo Formio on 18 October. Austria ceded most of Belgium to France along with the Lombard provinces and islands in the Adriatic Sea. Austrians were given control over Venice, Istria, and Dalmatia, and they agreed to recognize the Cisalpine Republic and the new Ligurian Republic (Genoa). In 1797 fear that Napoleon would capture Vienna caused a panic; the government withdrew silver from circulation, and its employees were paid with paper bills.
      In 1798 a French army invaded Switzerland on 12 April, and the cantonal deputies turned the Swiss Confederation into the Helvetic Republic. Austria’s General Auffenberg led an invasion of the Grisons canton, but on 7 March 1799 a French force led by Masséna defeated them at St. Luzisteig Pass. Archduke Charles led an army into Swabia and forced Jourdan’s French to retreat from Ostrach on the 21st and captured 2,000 French in the battle at Stochach on the 26th.
      On 5 April 1799 Austria’s General Kray led an army of 46,000 men that defeated 41,000 French soldiers in the battle of Magnano in Verona. Austrians and Russian allies then defeated the French at Cassano on 27 April and at Trebbia on 20 June despite heavier losses as well as in the battle of Novi on 15 August. However, many resented the 20,000 Russian soldiers in Italy, and they went to Switzerland to support the Russians there.
      On 28 April Hungarian hussars murdered two French envoys leaving the long conference at Rastatt. Austrians led by Hotze regained the Grisons in May, and in June with the forces of Charles they drove Massena’s French army out of Zurich and Swiss territory. That summer Russian troops joined the Austrians, but Massena’s army regained Zurich on 26 September.

Austria and Napoleonic War 1800-14

      In 1800 Austrian bureaucrats had to swear loyalty annually. Radicals who favored a people’s parliament and other reforms were punished harshly. The British gave the Austrians £2 million for a pledge not to make peace with France before February 1801. Archduke Charles objected to the war continuing, and he was appointed to govern Bohemia. Napoleon led an army over the Alps in May 1800, and on 9 June they defeated a larger Austrian army at Montebello, and five days later they won a major victory over another larger Austrian army at Marengo, capturing 8,000 men. On 3 December a French army led by Moreau defeated the Austrians and Bavarians at Hohenlinden near Munich. On the 26th a French army of 66,000 defeated 50,000 Austrians again in Italy at Pozzolo by the Mincio River. Austrians retreated across the Adige River, and two days later the armistice was renewed. On 9 February 1801 Austria agreed to the Lunéville peace treaty. Austria relinquished control over parts of the Holy Roman Empire, and France gave up control over territory east of the Rhine but gained Tuscany and had Italy’s borders set. Archduke Charles began reforming the Austrian army. He dismissed 25 generals and made military discipline more humane. In 1802 the obligations of peasants in hereditary lands were reduced to no more than 14 years.
      At the Imperial Diet on 25 February 1803 the electorates of Mayence, Treves, and Cologne were abolished, and all imperial cities lost their privileges except Lübeck, Hamburg, Frankfurt, Augsburg, and Nuremberg. All together 112 states of the Empire were abolished. Ferdinand III had been forced to give up Tuscany in August 1801, and now he was made the elector of Salzburg. On 11 August 1804 Franz proclaimed himself Emperor Franz I of Austria, and he recognized Emperor Napoleon. Austria allied with Russia in November, and in August 1805 Austria joined the coalition with Britain and Russia against France.
      On 9 September Austrians crossed the Inn into Bavaria. Austrians suffered defeats at Menningen and Elchingen in October, and on the 20th commander-in-chief Mack surrendered and had 27,000 men captured at Ulm. He was tried by a court and sentenced to 20 years in prison. Napoleon and the French occupied the imperial capital of Vienna on 13 November. In the historic battle at Austerlitz on 2 December the Austrians suffered 16,000 casualties and had 20,000 men captured. Two days later a truce was signed, and on the 26th Austria made peace at Pressburg (Pozsony or Bratislava). Austria renounced its alliance and control over German states. Bavaria gained the Tyrol and Vorarlberg. Austria gave up Venice, Istria, and Dalmatia to the Kingdom of Italy and received only the Electorate of Salzburg as Ferdinand was transferred to Würzburg. Austria also had to pay an indemnity of £4 million. Emperor Franz returned to Vienna. On 6 August 1806 Franz abdicated the imperial crown over Germany, ending the Holy Roman Empire.
      Johann Philipp Stadion, Count von Warthausen, had served as an envoy to Prussia 1800-03 and to St. Petersburg (1803-05) where he helped organize the Third Coalition against Napoleon with the Russians. He became Austria’s foreign minister on 24 December 1805 two days before the Pressburg treaty. Austria maintained neutrality during the Fourth Coalition against Napoleon while Stadion worked to arouse the national spirit. In June 1808 Emperor Franz’s brother Archduke Johann helped establish a national militia with general conscription that raised 300,000 men.
      On 25 March 1809 Stadion’s public relations officer Friedrich von Gentz wrote the Austrian war manifesto that appealed to German nationality as well as those in the Austrian Empire. On 9 April as Tyrolian peasants began their revolt against French domination in Bavaria, Austria declared war. Archduke Johann was appointed commander of Austria’s southern army, and during the War of the Fifth Coalition he led the fight against the French in Italy where they defeated the forces of Viceroy Eugène de Beauharnais at Sacile on 16 April. However, on 8 May a larger army of French and Italians defeated the Austrians at Piave River.
      Another brother, Archduke Charles, commanded Austrian forces in the north, but Napoleon’s army over 20-22 April 1809 defeated them at Abensberg, Landshut, and Eckmühl. While Charles sought reinforcements in Bohemia, General Hiller’s army of 22,000 fought the French at Ebelsberg by the Traun River on 3 May; but many died in the fire after Austrians bombarded the town, and Austrian casualties were higher. Hiller’s army retreated across the Danube to reunite with Charles which enabled Napoleon to march his army into Vienna on the 13th. The Austrian army attacked the French there on 21 May and forced Napoleon to withdraw to the island of Lobau.
      Charles wrote to Johann that Vienna had been taken and ordered him to go to Linz; but Johann led his army into Hungary where he joined Hungarian rebels led by his brother Palatine at Raab. Eugène’s army had followed them and defeated them there on 14 June. A French army also defeated the Austrians led by Ignaz Ghulai at Graz in Styria on 26 June. The Emperor’s brother Ferdinand led an Austrian army north to Warsaw where they were defeated by Poles and Russians who then invaded Galicia. On 5-6 July the Austrians fought a major battle at Wagram near Vienna against Napoleon’s army. Each side lost at least 30,000 men, and the Austrians retreated. Charles gathered his troops the next day at Znaim in Moravia where a French army defeated them again on the 11th. There the next day Napoleon and Charles agreed to an armistice. Tyrolians led by Hofer continued to fight the French until they suffered major defeats at Laditch on 4 August and at Innsbruck on the 12th. Hofer was captured and tried at Milan.
      Klemens von Metternich was born on 15 May 1773, and his father was a diplomat at the imperial court. Klemens studied law at the University of Strasbourg 1788-90. He worked with his father in the Austrian Netherlands, and in early 1794 he went to England to negotiate a loan. In September he went back to the Netherlands as a minister but found the government driven out by the French. He joined his parents in Vienna, and in September 1795 he married the daughter of the Austrian Chancellor Kaunitz. The French confiscated all the Metternich estates in Coblenz.
      Commander Archduke Charles and Foreign Minister Stadion resigned, and the latter was replaced by Klemens von Metternich who negotiated for peace and accepted the position on 8 October 1809 six days before the humiliating treaty was signed by Prince Liechtenstein at Schönbrunn Palace in Vienna. Austria ceded Salzburg, Berchtesgaden, Vorarlberg, and some of Upper Austria to Bavaria. Krakow and western Galicia went to Saxony which was controlled by France. Austria also ceded southern portions of Carinthia and Carniola along with Friuli, Trieste, Istria, Dalmatia, Fiume, and western Croatia from their empire to the French. Austria had to pay an indemnity of 85 million francs; their army was limited to 150,000 men; and they had to join Napoleon’s Continental System. Tyrol was abandoned; Napoleon promised amnesty to the rebels, but he had Hofer shot on 19 February 1810. Napoleon left Vienna on 16 October 1809, and the Viennese welcomed back Emperor Franz on 28 November.
      Metternich suggested that Franz let his daughter Marie Louise marry Napoleon in March 1810. Metternich went back to France to retrieve his family and stayed in Paris for six months often conferring with Napoleon. They agreed on a commercial treaty, but it was not ratified in Vienna.
      By 1809 coins were being hoarded, and the public debt rose to 700 million guilders. The value of money decreased rapidly, and the Austrian government became bankrupt in March 1811. That year a commission led by Franz von Zeiller developed the General Civil Code (Allgemeinen Bürgerlichen Gesetzbuches or ABGB) that was proclaimed in June and went into effect in 1812 and had hardly any changes until 1914. This respected code defined legal citizenship and promised equal treatment by the rule of law. Yet those born into Catholic families who married could not get a divorce. Austrians suffered during 1811, and censorship banned Schiller’s William Tell because of its reflection on Tyrol. Metternich worked to avoid an alliance with Russia against France.
      Prussia allied with France in February 1812. Napoleon asked Austria to provide 60,000 soldiers for his Russian campaign; but Metternich persuaded him to accept half that number as they allied on 14 March. He claimed that Austria promised only “armed neutrality.” Austria’s army was led by Prince Karl Schwarzenberg who was secretly ordered to avoid major fighting, and most of the Austrians managed to survive the devastating war. Emperor Franz and Metternich met with Napoleon at Dresden in May, and then they went to Bohemia and returned to Vienna on 26 July. In May the Hungarian Diet refused to provide a subsidy and would not accept financial reforms. Franz dissolved the Diet and ruled autocratically.
      After the French defeat Austria allied with Russia in January 1813. Metternich urged Napoleon to agree to a peace treaty to no avail. Some criticized Metternich for appeasing the French, and two officers were arrested for plotting to assassinate him in late February. Metternich also discovered a British conspiracy involving Joseph Danelon and John Harcourt King to foment another revolt in Tyrol. They arrested many on 7 March, and their supporter Archduke Johann was banished from court and surveilled. When Prussia declared war on France in March, Austria offered “armed mediation.” When Napoleon left Paris on 15 April, he appointed Marie Louise to act as regent. Austria had 64,000 men in Bohemia guarding the frontiers, and 100,000 reservists were ordered to join their units by the 30th.
      On 4 June 1813 the adversaries agreed to an armistice until 20 July. On 27 June at Reichenbach in Silesia the British, Prussia, and Russia formed another coalition to fight Napoleon, and the Austrians signed under the condition that they would declare war if Napoleon failed to accept the peace terms of the armistice by 20 July. At Dresden on 26 June Metternich had met with Napoleon, who rejected a compromise on the 29th but agreed to Austrian mediation at Prague on 10 July and an extension of the armistice to 10 August. Then Napoleon refused to let Caulaincourt negotiate at Prague. Austria declared war against France on 12 August, and Metternich insisted that Schwarzenberg be commander of the allied forces. Austria’s empire with many from Bohemia contributed 128,000 men, but Prussia provided 162,000 and Russia 184,000. Napoleon raised a large army and won some victories, but at Leipzig after four days of fighting his army of 225,000 was overwhelmed by 430,000 allies on 19 October. That month the Austrians regained Dalmatia, Trieste, and Trento.
      Allied diplomats led by Metternich offered Napoleon a France with its natural boundaries of the Rhine, Alps, and Pyrenees, but he rejected this on 1 December. After Christmas the Allies invaded France. In January 1814 the Austrians allied with Joachim Murat, King of Naples. On 9 March at Chaumont the Allies agreed not to make a separate peace, and they marched on Paris. Napoleon abdicated on 4 April, and two days later the French Senate proclaimed that the Count of Provence would be France’s King Louis XVIII. On 30 May the Allies made peace with France, entering the city the next day. Metternich visited England in June and July but failed to resolve the Polish question.

Austria and Metternich’s Diplomacy 1814-18

      The Congress of Vienna was to open on 1 October 1814, but members of 216 princely families and other leaders began gathering on 18 September. Emperor Franz would spend about £5 million entertaining the guests organized by the Festivals Committee. The Hofburg’s imperial stables had 1,400 horses for riding and carriages. Baron Hager’s police agents gave Franz daily reports on what delegates were saying and writing. Tsar Alexander called Austria’s foreign minister Klemens Metternich “the best master-of-ceremonies in the world” and a bad minister. France’s minister Talleyrand estimated that Metternich spent three-quarters of his time on social festivities. Metternich was intent on breaking up the entente between Prussia and Russia and did not want the Tsar to have primacy in eastern and central Europe. He invited the allies’ chief ministers to Baden for a preliminary conference, and by 23 September the Big Four (Austria, Britain, Prussia, and Russia) had agreed on a protocol. They would make territorial decisions and then ask for approval from France and Spain before sending them to the entire Congress. Five major German states would work on a constitution for a German Confederation. Talleyrand arrived in Vienna on the 23rd and objected to the Big Four, and the Spanish representative Pedro Labrador supported his view. The Big Six included France and Spain and named Metternich’s confidant, Friedrich von Gentz, as their secretary. On 8 October they replaced the Big Six with the Preliminary Committee of the Eight that included Sweden and Portugal. Stein advised the Tsar on German issues. Prussia’s King Friedrich Wilhelm III and Tsar Alexander entered Vienna together.
      The Congress of Vienna formally opened on 1 November. Metternich asked the British minister Castlereagh to talk to the Tsar about Poland, and Russia gave the administration of Saxony to Prussia on the 7th. The next day a fancy ball was held. The Eight approved incorporating Genoa into Sardinia-Piedmont. A three-man committee was set up to examine the credentials of the smaller states. Rumors that differences might provoke a general war reached London. They attended a medieval carousel on the 23rd, the ballet Nina, and Beethoven gave a concert of his music that included the 7th Symphony. Bavarians said they would not join the German Confederation unless Saxony was independent. Saxony’s King Friedrich August III was suspected because he had backed France for so long; Talleyrand defended him. By the end of 2014 the Big Four included France to form the Big Five. Tsar Alexander was concerned about the Orthodox Christians in the Ottoman Empire.
      In February 1815 the powers agreed to partition Poland again. Austria kept Galicia and Tarnopol; Prussia recovered Poznania; Krakow was named a free city; and the Grand Duchy of Warsaw became the Kingdom of Poland under Russian rule. Friedrich Wilhelm III was granted three-fifths of Saxony including Dresden and Leipzig while the rest was ceded to Prussia which also got Westphalia and much of the west bank of the Rhine. The Duke of Wellington replaced Castlereagh for Britain, and he met with Metternich, Talleyrand, Russia’s foreign minister Nesselrode, and Prussia’s Hardenberg on 6 March until 3 the next morning when Metternich received the news that Napoleon had left Elba. The Allies sent couriers to put their armies on alert, and on 11 March they learned that Bonaparte was in France. Metternich declined to revive the Holy Roman Empire in order to maintain unity. On the 13th the Eight declared Napoleon a “disturber of world repose.” A new grand alliance agreed to a treaty that was published on the 25th. Each of the four powers pledged to provide 150,000 soldiers, and they asked for help from smaller countries. Wellington on 29 March left to take command of the army in the Low Countries. Tsar Alexander and Friedrich Wilhelm stayed on and did not go to their armies until 26 May, and Franz left his capital the next day.
      Murat on 30 March issued an appeal from Rimini for an Italian uprising. Emperor Franz reacted on 2 April by claiming responsibility for Parma, Piacenza, and Guastalla which belonged to Marie Louise, and five days later he proclaimed the new Lombardo-Venetian Kingdom. In central Italy the Austrian forces were fighting Murat’s Neapolitan army, and Metternich on 18 April declared that Austria was at war against Naples. On 3 May the Austrians defeated Murat’s forces at Tolentino, and they took over Naples on the 22nd. Murat fled to France. By June the Austrians controlled Italy east of Ticino.
      In the spring the Congress fixed the boundaries of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, and the Committee of Eight accepted the confederation of Swiss cantons. Poland’s frontiers were delineated, and they guaranteed the independence of the Republic of Krakow. They compromised to abolish the slave trade, and they recognized the rights of Jewish communities in Germany. By May they recognized river navigation rights and diplomatic protocol. Metternich and Hardenberg finally agreed on a constitution for the German Confederation with a Federal Diet at Frankfurt under an Austrian president. The rulers of the 38 members were to grant their subjects constitutions based on the system of Estates, and most of the German states signed the Federal Act on 8 June. The next day the final draft of the Vienna treaty was completed and initialed by Austria, Britain, France, Portugal, Prussia, Russia, and Sweden. The 121 articles were transcribed by hand by 26 secretaries for the smaller states. Diplomats signed the documents on 19 June, the day after Napoleon was defeated at Waterloo.
      The Congress made the major waterways international and gave products from western Europe access to the Danube, the Balkan peninsula, and the Mideast. Europe would be fairly peaceful for the next 33 years of technological and scientific advances.
      Before the other powers arrived in Paris, Wellington and the British restored the Bourbon King Louis XVIII as the ruler of France. The desire to punish the French for violating the first treaty of Paris caused negotiation of a second treaty in Paris to take longer. By July the Austrian troops had reoccupied the southern Slav territories. Castlereagh opposed weakening France because the British wanted a counterbalance against the militaristic Prussia. They compromised by accepting the borders of France as in 1790 instead of 1792 as before. France’s new foreign minister Richelieu was more cooperative than Talleyrand, but Parisians did not want to return the art works that Napoleon had stolen from other countries. Tsar Alexander suggested a Holy Alliance of monarchs who promised to be guided by the teachings of Christianity, but other leaders objected to injecting such piety into diplomacy. Metternich modified the proposal by adding the conservative principles of orderly government by laws, and on 26 September the Holy Alliance was signed by Alexander, Franz, and Friedrich Wilhelm III and later by European monarchs but not by Pope Pius VII who would not associate with Protestants.
      The second treaty of Paris was signed on 20 November 1815. France ceded a few places to the Netherlands, Prussia, the German Confederation, Switzerland, Bavaria, and Sardinia-Piedmont, and the French would have to pay an indemnity of 700 million francs with more than a fifth of that going to Austria to maintain 17 fortresses for at least three years. The four powers renewed their alliance and agreed to meet regularly on European issues. Austria regained all the territory they had lost since 1793 except for Belgium, Breisgau and a few other places in southern Germany, and part of western Galicia. Austria got back Lombardy and the Tyrol along with Venetia, Istria, Dalmatia, and Salzburg. These made Austria the second most populated power in Europe after Russia. Now the Austrian Empire had in addition to Hungary and Bohemia about half of Romania, a third of Yugoslavia, a fifth of Italy, a sixth of Poland, and a portion of Ukraine.
      The Austrian Empire was left with about 30 million people, and from 1819 to 1843 their population would increase 24%. Textile mills in Bohemia and elsewhere prospered and were industrialized. In 1799 the cotton-spinning mills had employed 40,000 workers, but by 1830 this had fallen to 2,000. In 1796 about 30,000 people worked in cloth factories, but by 1832 they had only 8,985 employees.
      In December 1815 Emperor Franz and Metternich visited Venice which hoped for better commerce. Metternich and his family went to Milan on the 18th, and on the 31st Franz as King of Lombardy-Venetia made this city the capital. A conflict over Salzburg with Bavaria’s Prince-Royal was worked out with him in Milan. This issue delayed the first meeting of the German Diet at Frankfurt for more than a year. In March 1816 Franz appointed his brother Anton Victor to govern Lombardy-Venetia as Viceroy; but he declined to move there, and after 20 months Franz appointed his brother Rainer who served as Viceroy for thirty years. Also an Italian was appointed chancellor of Lombardy-Venetia, and Italian rather than German was to be the language of administration, law, and education. They also set up a supreme court at Verona. The Austrians organized a postal system for the Italian states that enhanced police spying. Emperor Franz and Metternich were afraid that revolutionaries with liberal ideas would destabilize his domains. They were concerned when the Grand Duke of Saxe-Weimar granted a constitution in May. Metternich also supported facilitating police intelligence by setting up the Central Observation Agency in Milan. In May he and Franz traveled to Trieste and Laibach (Ljubljana), but the Emperor rejected Metternich’s plan for an Illyro-Dalmatian Kingdom. Instead on 3 August the proclamation of the Kingdom of Illyria did not include Dalmatia or home rule for southern Slavs.
      In 1816 Austria established a national bank with help from the Rothschild, Arnstein, and Eskeles financiers. Franz in July gave Metternich the estate of Johannisberg on the east bank of the Rhine. Franz’s third wife had died in April, and in October he married the Bavarian Princess Karoline Auguste. In 1817 he appointed Count Joseph Sedlnitzky the president of the police and censorship agency, and he served until 1848. Metternich favored censorship “to block the manifestation of ideas that confound the peace of the state, its interests, and its good order.” In May 1817 Franz’s daughter Leopoldina married Portugal’s crown prince Pedro by proxy; but they did not meet until she arrived in Rio de Janeiro in November 1818.
      Metternich went to Frankfurt in August 1818, and he persuaded the Diet of the German Confederation to support forming federal forces in preparation for the evacuation of France. At the Aix la Chapelle conference in October the four powerful allies allowed the Duc de Richelieu to be present, and they ended their occupation of northern France which made them the Quintuple Alliance. Tsar Alexander proposed disarmament and a European army commanded by Wellington with its headquarters at Brussels; but the others rejected this, and Alexander had to settle for the “moral solidarity of the Alliance.” Metternich sent a letter to Prussia’s head of police on 14 November warning him that granting Prussia a constitution could trigger revolutionary dangers.
      Also in 1818 a system of elementary schools was organized in the province of Dalmatia. Salaries for teachers were very low because priests usually had other income.

Austria and Metternich’s Diplomacy 1819-30

      After the murder on 23 March 1819 of the German dramatist Kotzebue, Metternich met with Prussia’s Friedrich Wilhelm III and his minister Hardenberg at Teplitz where they signed a convention on 1 August to take a common course that was influential at the Karlsbad Congress. There by the end of the month the German states agreed to impose police supervision on intellectual and academic expression with revolutionary activity to be reported to a Central Commission at Mainz. On 20 September the Austrians and Prussians persuaded the German Confederation’s Bundestag in Frankfurt to approve unanimously the Karlsbad Decrees, and they would be renewed in 1824 and would last until March 1848. Yet Tsar Alexander disapproved, and the British House of Commons condemned them. Nine German states had surrendered their independent political development. Leaders in Bavaria and Württemberg resented control over their princely authority. Metternich approved the Six Acts that the British Parliament passed in November to suppress conspiracies and sedition.
      On the first day of 1820 an uprising broke out near Cadiz to revive their radical 1812 constitution. Tsar Alexander proposed intervention, but on 5 May Britain’s minister Castlereagh published a State Paper opposing intervention in Spain. After the Duke of Berry had been murdered on 13 February, Metternich sent Count Wallmoden to urge France’s King Louis XVIII to take repressive measures against the press and to change election laws which the Chamber of Deputies did on 12 June.
      A conference of the powers met at Vienna in the spring of 1820 and published their Final Act with 65 articles on 15 May, and on 8 June the Diet of the German Confederation proclaimed it law and set up an Execution Ordinance to implement them. The Final Act subordinated the Federal Diet to decisions made by princes or their consulting ministers. On May 14 Metternich had written to Franz, “One word spoken by Austria will now count as inviolable law throughout Germany.”4
      On 2 July a revolution began in Naples, and five days later the Crown Prince Francesco proclaimed the Spanish Constitution in the Two Sicilies. The Congress of Troppau met in Austrian Silesia on 20 October 1820 to deal with this crisis, and on 19 November their Troppau Protocol declared,

States, which have undergone a change of government
due to revolution, the result of which threaten other states,
ipso facto cease to be members of the European Alliance,
and remain excluded from it until their situation
gives guarantees for legal order and stability.
If, owing to such alterations, immediate danger threatens
other states, the powers bind themselves, by peaceful means,
or if need be, by arms, to bring back the guilty state
into the bosom of the Great Alliance.

In the “Moral Guarantees” the powers agreed never to recognize a revolutionary regime until the sovereign was fully restored. They invited King Ferdinando of Naples to meet with them at Laibach. He had made a secret treaty with Austria in June 1815 not to change his government from that of Lombardy-Venetia.
      Metternich wrote his “profession of political faith” in 8,000 thousand words on 15 December. He criticized Prussia for tolerating secret societies, and he believed that German princes were betraying their own order. He felt that society was threatened by financiers, writers, lawyers, civil administrators, and teachers, and he was concerned that the middle class coveted power and that they were agitating for constitutional reforms by using the “scourge of the free press.” He believed that in a crisis the levelers were more dangerous than doctrinaires devoted to abstract ideas. He advised uniting in a league to defend the social order.
      The Congress met at Laibach on 26 January 1821 and authorized Austria to intervene with arms to suppress the insurrection in Naples. On 6 February the Austrian army departed for Naples which they reached seven weeks later. The Laibach Congress adjourned on the 28th, but Austrians and Russians stayed there until May.
      On 10 March the Alessandria garrison and the military revolted at Torino in Piedmont, and Metternich learned of that and rebellion supported by students at Turin two days later. Emperor Franz and Tsar Alexander agreed that Austria should send 80,000 troops to Lombardy while 90,000 Russian soldiers were held in reserve along the Austrian border. Order was restored in Turin by mid-April. Austria’s Finance Minister Stadion complained that they had to borrow from the Rothschilds to pay for the campaign in southern Italy, and he warned against Russian intervention in Europe. Metternich replied that Piedmont and Naples would be made to pay for the suppression, and he warned that Austrian retreat from Italy would mean a revolution on the peninsula.
      On 17 March 1821 they learned that the Tsar’s aide Prince Alexander Ypsilanti had led a small attack that invaded Moldavia and instigated a revolt against the Turks ruling in Jassy and Bucharest, but Metternich and Tsar Alexander denounced the incursion. Two days later news arrived that revolutionary Greeks were fighting in the Danube Principalities in Moldavia. In Istanbul the Turks hanged the Patriarch of Constantinople with several bishops in front of his cathedral on Easter Sunday. The Russian ambassador Stroganov was insulted and fled. The Tsar’s advisor Capodistrias favored the Greek revolution. In April reports arrived that the Archbishop of Patras had blessed the Christian rebellion against the Ottoman government. The Laibach conference ended on 12 May as the representatives of Russia, Austria, and Prussia proclaimed again their principles for intervention; but the British and French declined to sign that proclamation. About 5,000 Turks and Romanian peasants defeated Ypsilanti’s force of 300 men at Dragashan on 19 June. Ypsilanti fled to Austria where he was detained for seven years. However, the Greek revolt spread from the Peloponnese to Greeks in the Ottoman Empire.
      Emperor Franz named Metternich Chancellor of State on 25 May. He traveled to Hanover in October, and Britain’s King George IV praised Metternich highly. Austria owed Britain nearly £20 million, and Castlereagh offered to reduce it to £4 million; but Metternich would not act on this without consulting Finance Minister Stadion.
      Russia sent General Tatischev as an envoy, and he reached Vienna on 5 March. On 19 April 1822 Emperor Franz wrote to Tsar Alexander that Austria would break relations with Turkey if the Allied powers agreed. On 25 April Sultan Mahmud II promised to begin evacuating the Danube Principalities in May. The Russians proposed that the Allies intervene in Spain to support King Fernando VII. On 6 June in a letter Metternich invited George IV and Castlereagh to visit Vienna before the Verona conference, but Castlereagh suffered a mental breakdown and committed suicide on 12 August. He would be replaced by George Canning, but Wellington was sent to Vienna in September.
      Metternich had met the Rothschild brothers at Aix in 1819, and they loaned Austria money in 1820 and financed the military operation in southern Italy in 1821. On 23 September 1822 Solomon Rothschild loaned Metternich 900,000 gulden at 5% interest, and on the 29th the Austrian Empire ennobled the five Rothschild brothers as barons. Solomon paid Metternich’s expenses at Verona, and the Rothschilds loaned Russia £6 million. Emperor Franz, Tsar Alexander, and Friedrich Wilhelm III attended the Congress of Verona in October. On the 15th Metternich urged Prussia and Russia to act with Austria to lead the effort to intervene against the Spanish revolution. France was represented by the Vicomte de Montmorency and Chateaubriand. Twenty ambassadors and fifteen ministers were present. Rossini conducted his operas. People supporting Greek liberation were disappointed, and Byron in his satire, The Age of Bronze, criticized the Verona Congress. They hoped that political improvements would allow the withdrawal of Austrian forces from Piedmont and reducing them in Naples. Wellington made it clear that the British opposed intervention in Spain, and he announced that Britain had recognized some of the Spanish American governments so that they could trade with them. On 19 November the delegates from Austria, Russia, Prussia, and France signed the protocol authorizing the French to aid the Spanish King if military action was needed. The French army would help restore Fernando VII after their victory at Trocadero on 31 August 1823.
      In February 1823 the prominent Stuttgart Beobachter criticized the Congress of Verona because the autocratic allies excluded smaller states. Bavaria and Württemberg were acting independently, and in response Metternich broke off relations with them. He also persuaded the Mainz Commission to suppress the Stuttgart Beobachter. Austria’s Police Chief Sedlnitzky had Italian patriots imprisoned in Spielberg. Chancellor Metternich received spy reports from major capitals on intellectual circles in Germany and Italy as well as from Sedlnitzky’s agents in the Austrian Empire. Some diplomats called Metternich “the Grand Inquisitor of Europe.” He harassed the Italian Carbonari, and he personally interrogated Count Federico Confalonieri at Vienna’s police headquarters on 2 March 1824; but Metternich gave out more information than he gained and decided to stop doing interrogations himself. The Prague News was permitted to publish in Czech as well as in German in 1824. The Karlsberg Decrees were renewed, and the Diet in Frankfurt was limited. The German states agreed not to make its discussions public, but only its rulings. Bavaria discovered radical students at Erlangen, and Württemberg and Prussia removed liberals from their administration.
      In April 1826 Metternich was upset to learn about an Anglo-Russian Protocol. In the summer the Russians now under Tsar Nicholas negotiated with the Turks at Akkerman, and in October they agreed to grant autonomy to the princes of Serbia, Moldavia, and Wallachia. In August the Russians had rejected Metternich’s proposal for the Great Powers to meet in a congress to work on the crisis in Portugal where the British were backing constitutionalists over clerical reactionaries. In the summer of 1827 the British, French, and Russians agreed to consider a naval blockade in the Mediterranean if the Sultan rejected an armistice. The three allies defeated the Turks at Navarino in the Ionian Sea on 20 October. Metternich considered this a catastrophe because he was afraid these three powers could partition the Ottoman Empire against Austrian interests. Emperor Franz wanted to mobilize 100,000 soldiers in southern Hungary to support the Turks against the Russians, but a peace party in Vienna persuaded Metternich that such a European war should be avoided.
      In 1828 a southern German customs union was implemented with the approval of Austria in Bavaria, Württemberg, the Central German union of Saxony, Hanover, Kurhessen, and the Thuringian states. Austria imposed a general tax on consumption in 1829 that caused food prices to rise.

      Joseph Hormayr studied with Johannes von Müller, and Archduke Johann financed the publication of his 20-volume Austrian Plutarch in 1807. Hormayr also wrote a biography of the Tyrolean revolutionary Andreas Hofer in 1809 and a Handbook for a National History in 1810. In 1816 Hormayr was appointed the historiographer of the Austrian Empire, but he had conflicts with Emperor Franz and Metternich and left Vienna in 1828 and criticized those two men from Bavaria.
      Ludwig van Beethoven moved to Vienna in 1792, and he studied with Joseph Haydn who returned to Vienna in 1795 and composed 106 symphonies. Beethoven composed his first symphony in 1800 and his ninth in 1824. Franz Schubert was born in Vienna and composed more than 1,500 works, but he had little support and died in 1828 at the age of 31.

Hungary under Imperial Austria

      In 1787 Hungary had about 9.2 million inhabitants with less than 5% nobles many of whom were poor. During Austria’s war against the Turks 1787-91 their forces led by Marshal Laudon managed to take Belgrade in September 1789, but Hungarians’ resistance to recruiting increased in October. A severe drought in 1789 caused a poor harvest. In the next two years the newspapers Magyar Hírmondó and the Magyar Kurír had hundreds of subscribers. On 28 January 1790 Austrian Emperor Joseph II sent a letter to the Hungarian counties canceling his reforms, but the nobles responded by demanding a legislature. Joseph promised to summon a Diet in 1791, but he died on 20 February 1790. He was succeeded by his brother Leopold II who at the end of 1791 urged the Franciscan priest Ignác Martinovics to organize petitions for more legislative representation by burghers and peasants. Martinovics had joined the Freemasons, and they were outlawed. In July 1790 he had met Ferenc Gotthardi, the secret police chief in Pest, and Martinovics became an informer reporting various plots by fellow Masonic Illuminati, Jesuits, and patriots. The Diet of 1790-91 established the Catholic Church in Hungary, but other Christian denominations also had rights. Croatian delegates defended Latin and kept Magyar from becoming the national language except in institutions of higher learning. At the coronation Diet in 1792, the Hungarian nobles and clergy approved the recruiting of 50,000 more men for the war against the French.
      In response to the French Revolution by 1794 radical Jacobins had sprung up in Budapest, Vienna, and Graz, and the Austrian police made many arrests that led to harsh prison sentences and executions. In the spring of 1794 Martinovics became a leader of the patriotic revolutionaries, and he organized Hungarian Jacobins into the Association of Hungary’s Reformers and the Association of Liberty and Equality. He wrote a catechism for them and urged Hungarian nobles to form a federal republic that would give each nationality their own territory. Hungary included Slovaks, Vlachs, Romanians, Swabians, and Croatians as well as other Germans and many Hungarians. They hoped that the nobles would retain their privileges while the peasants would be liberated to become free tenants. In a few months the two societies gained 300 members.
      Emperor Leopold II had persuaded his brother Franz to follow his policy of censorship and police power to protect the monarchy. Under Emperor Franz II in July 1794 the police arrested twenty people including the former police chief Gotthardi, Franz’s former math professor, and Martinovics who was condemned for treason and beheaded on 20 May 1795 with six other Jacobins. Franz’s brother Alexander Leopold had been made Palatine of Hungary by their father, and he reported that they had caught many “culprits” and were searching for more. The Austrian minister of police Count Pergen advised that the revolutionaries had not yet been suppressed. Two army officers were pilloried for three days and then hanged in Vienna. Other conspirators were sentenced to life for treason and died in prison.
      In 1796 the Hungarian Diet approved more money for the war, and the feudal assemblies in  1802, 1807, 1808, and 1811-12 continued to support the Habsburg Empire against Napoleon. In 1803 a censorship committee banned thousands of books that had been published in the 1790s. In 1791 Herder had speculated that the Magyars (Hungarians) would be absorbed by Slavs, Germans, and Romanians, and efforts were made to preserve the Hungarian language and culture. In 1805 official correspondence with the government allowed only Magyar to accompany the Latin text. The county of Pest instructed their communities to hire schoolteachers who spoke Magyar where none had been teaching. Békés County in the southeast, which was mostly Slovak, required the use of Magyar in kindergartens and elementary schools in 1806. That year Hazai Tudósítások (Reports from the Homeland) became Hungary’s first newspaper in the 19th century. The editor István Kulcsá was not allowed to publish political news from other countries for the first two years, but he promoted Magyar literature and theater.
      The Napoleonic Wars had few battles in Hungary. However, on 14 June 1809 at Győr (Raab) in Hungary about 35,000 Austrians and Hungarians fought about 40,000 French and Italians and were defeated, losing more than 10,000 men. Napoleon proclaimed that he would restore Hungarian independence, but the nobles did not respond favorably. In 1811 the Hungarian Diet approved the Austrian currency reform which doubled their taxes. The Hungarians refused to extend the imperial patent, and Emperor Franz dissolved the Diet in 1812.
      War hero Col. Count István Széchenyi was a rich landowner who fought well at Leipzig. In 1802 his father Ferenc Széchenyi had founded the Hungarian national library in Budapest. Countess Melanie Zichy had been in love with István; but she married Metternich and would help Széchenyi who traveled to England, France, Italy, Greece, and Asia Minor from 1815 to 1821. Then he toured western Europe with Transylvania’s liberal leader Baron Miklós Wesselényi.
      In 1825 Metternich advised Emperor Franz II to convene the Hungarian Diet for the first time since 1811; but most nobles opposed making Hungarian the official language because they spoke German. From September 1825 to July 1827 the Hungarian aristocrats criticized royal encroachment against their privileges. István Széchenyi observed that 400,000 nobles were dominating the other ten million Hungarians, and he advised them to learn humility and self-denial. On 12 October 1825 he spoke in the Upper Chamber at Pressburg using Magyar. On 3 November he gave one year’s income of 60,000 florins from his estates to propagate the national language and promote Magyar literature, and it led to his co-founding the Hungarian Academy of Sciences in 1830. Széchenyi believed in enlightenment, equal justice, religious tolerance, and patriotic loyalty. He opposed violence and revolution, and he worked to promote the Hungarian economy. In 1827 he organized a forum for patriotic Hungarian nobles, and in 1828 he published his allegorical On Horses in Magyar.
      Ferenc Kazinczy (1759-1831) and János Batsányi founded Hungary’s first literary magazine, the Magyar Museum, in 1785, but it was suppressed in 1792. Batsányi favored the French Revolution, and he was imprisoned and wrote elegies. After being released he worked for Hungarian independence. After the French withdrew from Vienna, he moved to Paris. In 1815 Austrian authorities arrested him and forced him to live in Linz until his death in 1845. Kazinczy was the education inspector for several counties from 1785-1790, and he published his essays in Orpheus 1789-92. He was involved with Martinovics and favored a bloodless revolution. He was arrested and spent 2,387 days in prison from December 1794 to June 1801. Kazinczy believed in “the Beautiful, the Good, the Truthful, the Love of Country and the Hatred of Wickedness.” He was a Calvinist but married a Catholic and raised his daughter as a Catholic. He condemned the oppression of Jews. In 1818 he argued that critical reviews are good for writers and readers.
      On 28 September 1820 Károly Kisfaludy’s play, The Mongols in Hungary, was performed in Pest and became popular. In 1821 he founded a literary journal called Aurora which he ran until his death in 1830. Mihály Vörösmarty also wrote for Aurora, and his romantic epic Zalan’s Flight was published in 1825 in Magyar to promote Hungarian culture. Kisfaludy and the poet Ferenc Kölcsey (1790-1838) were leading romantics in Hungary. Kölcsey’s 1823 poem “Himnusz” was put to music in 1844 and became Hungary’s national anthem.

Swiss Cantons during the Revolution 1789-99

Swiss Confederation 1715-88

      The Swiss Confederation had formed a 50-year alliance with France in 1777. The French Revolution impacted the neighboring Swiss immediately as royalist émigrés fled there where some radicals had already taken refuge. On 31 August 1790 an unpaid Swiss regiment mutinied in France at Nancy. A Council of War had 23 men executed, 41 sent to the galleys at Toulon, and the rest were banished from the Confederation for life. In September people in lower Valais rose up against the Lords of Upper Valais, and they reached agreement for nearly a year when another rebellion was punished. Pierre Ochs in Basel persuaded the Great Council to abolish the remnants of serfdom in December 1790. That year pastor Martin in Mézières led a demonstration against Bern domination by refusing to pay the potato tithe. On 14 July patriots in Vaud celebrated the fall of the Bastille with speeches and revolutionary songs. Bern sent 2,000 troops to Lausanne, summoned Vaud town councilors, and threatened them with charges of treason.
      When the French went to war in 1792, they annexed the Duchy of Savoy. They threatened the western borders of Switzerland while the armies of the allies opposing them endangered the east. Bern, Solothurn, and Basel declared their neutrality and prepared their defenses, and a meeting of cantons was convened in May. Bern’s Chief Magistrate Steiger advocated strongly for neutrality. On 10 August an armed mob stormed the royal palace in Paris and slaughtered nearly 600 Swiss guards, and during the September terror another 200 were killed. France’s National Convention ended all contracts with Swiss soldiers without compensation. The Bishop of Basel felt threatened by French troops and asked for help from the Catholic cantons. The Swiss Diet discussed the issue in September and granted permission for Austrian troops to march to Basel. A French force occupied part of the bishopric that was in the German Reich (Holy Roman Empire) and in March 1793 made it the Department of Doubs. The Swiss Confederation declared its historic neutrality and ordered the enemies of France put under surveillance or expelled.
      By early 1793 a large coalition of nations opposed France and imposed an economic blockade. The Swiss borders remained open, and the French imported many goods at high prices including things Swiss merchants traded from Austria, south Germany, Italy, and Hungary. In the next winter 9,000 horses and 30,000 German rifles were sold to the French. Taxes on arable land brought in 8,500,000 Swiss francs annually in tithes with three-quarters going to the state and the rest to individuals.
      Hans Heinrich Nehracher (1764–97) wrote a memorial with many reforms for Zurich; but the government believed it would incite an insurrection. They burned it publicly and punished Nehracher and his associates. In 1795 the Abbot of St. Gallen agreed to a treaty that provided some financial relief to serfs.
      After French troops invaded Savoy in the fall of 1792, Geneva appealed to Bern and Zurich for support and received nearly 2,000 troops. In negotiations the French assured Genevans they would not invade. Swiss troops withdrew on 30 November, and on 4 December the Revolution took over Geneva. A French leader gained control of the insurgents and imposed a reign of terror that lasted until 1795.
      The French made the northern part of Basel, which was in the Reich, the Rauracian Republic on 17 December 1792 but absorbed it into France on 23 March 1793. France and Prussia signed a peace treaty at Pierre Och’s house in Basel on 5 April 1795. In the fall of 1796 near the city of Basel the armies of France and Austria faced each other. The Swiss Diet sent a Bernese army to guard the border. On 29 November an Austrian force crossed Swiss territory to attack Hüningen, and the French chased them back to Austria. In the first three years of the war about 25,000 deserters mostly from France went through Basel to the Austrian depot at Lorrach.
      Switzerland was inundated with pamphlets, leaflets, and rumors as French agents campaigned against the War Party. Bern issued an expulsion decree on 17 June 1796. The British urged the Swiss to tolerate the French émigrés and used gold to bribe army officers, officials, and influential persons; but on 15 September 1797 France’s new Directory demanded that the British recall their ambassador Wickham, and he left. Von Steiger led the War Party that was strong in Bern, Freiburg, and Solothurn, and they convened an all-Swiss conference in Aarau. Bern ended diplomatic relations with France. Leaders of the Peace Party hoped that the terror in France would not last long, and they opposed wasteful military preparations. César de la Harpe was a Swiss revolutionary who lived in Paris, and he urged the Directory to intervene in Switzerland. Basel sent Ochs to negotiate with the Directory, and General Napoleon Bonaparte persuaded him to write a new constitution for a Swiss republic in November.
      On 18 October 1797 Austria made peace with France and recognized the Cisalpine Republic which took in Valtellina from the Swiss. The French blockaded Geneva in December. That month French troops took over more of the Basel bishopric. A Diet met at Aarau on the 27th, and members took an oath of allegiance. French agents persuaded the Schwyz to give up sovereignty over Uznach and Gaster while St. Gallen recognized a new republic in Toggenburg and Uri. The Great Council of Bern raised an army and elected Karl Ludwig von Erlach its commanding general. The French began protecting political agitators on 28 December, and on 8 January 1798 they demanded that Bern expel the French émigrés. A French army invaded Vaud and occupied Lausanne without resistance on 24 January 1798, declaring it a republic. Bern proclaimed liberty and equality before the law on 5 February and gained a 14-day armistice but granted Erlach emergency powers. France’s Directory ordered General Brune to attack Freiburg, Solothurn, and Bern, and he gave Bern an ultimatum. Bern’s Great Council abdicated on 4 March, and the Peace Party’s Frisching was elected to head a provisional government. The French fought their way to Bern as Steiger fled to the uplands. France’s Commissary Lecarlier became the commander of the French forces in Swiss territory on 28 March.
      On 12 April 121 deputies from ten cantons proclaimed the Helvetic Republic. Three days later 1,600 French soldiers entered Geneva and annexed it to France as the capital of Léman. The French seized money stored in cellars under council houses and shipped it to Paris. From the arsenals in Bern the French took 400 cannons and 33,000 muskets.
      The constitution that Ochs wrote began by declaring, “The Helvetic Republic is one and indivisible,” and it gave all Swiss citizens equality before the law with freedom of religion, speech, and the press with taxation based on property and income. The republic was to be a representative democracy, but the cantons lost their independence and legislative powers. On 4 May they abolished the last traces of serfdom dues. On 29 June 1798 the Helvetians elected a Directory of Five with Ochs as their leader and de la Harpe as his associate. The legislative branch had a senate with four deputies from each canton and a Great Council with twice as many deputies. The councils elected the judges of the cantonal tribunals. Every citizen over 20 was required to swear loyalty to serve the Republic. German had been the language of the Confederation, but now French and Italian were given equal recognition.
      Mülhausen along with Geneva and the Bishopric of Basel had been annexed by France. The Valtellina, Bormio, and Chiavenna had become part of the Cisalpine Republic. The French had taken much money and many goods from the Swiss. They demanded 14 million livres from Bern and 8 million from the other cantons, and they took twelve hostages from Bern and eight from Solothurn until they were paid. Appenzell had refused to recognize the Helvetic constitution, and people resisted in Schwyz, Nidwalden, and Valais. The Directory sent a French force of 10,000 men under General Schauenburg against 1,600 Nidwaldeners, and over 7-9 September they killed 435 people including many women and children. On 19 October a decree abolished coercion by guilds or corporations by establishing liberty in industrial occupations. All punishments for religious or sectarian opinions were abolished. Some of the property of the 133 monasteries was to be used for educational and charitable purposes.
      On 24 August 1798 the Helvetic Republic formed a military alliance with France. In the fall Emperor Franz II sent an Austrian army into Graubünden. France declared war on Austria in February 1799, and in March the British, Austria, Prussia, and Russia declared war against France. Napoleon demanded that the Swiss raise 16,000 soldiers, but only 600 could be recruited. France forced the government to make military service compulsory for men aged 20 to 45 years. In April the French defeated the Austrians in the Graubünden which was forced to ally with the Helvetic Republic. In May the Austrians invaded, and in early June they forced the French to abandon Zurich. Two Russian armies also invaded. The French defeated Korsakov’s army in the second battle of Zurich on 25 September, and the Russians retreated into southern Germany. Suvarov’s force came from Lombardy and had to retreat over the Panixer pass in October. The Swiss cantons suffered tremendous damage, and the harvests of 1799 and 1800 were destroyed, causing a famine. The Helvetic government asked France to pay them 25 million francs, but Napoleon said it was the price of liberty.

Swiss Cantons in Wars and After 1800-30

      Ochs was charged with giving state secrets to the French and was removed, and on 7 January 1800 de la Harpe and two other directors were also dismissed. The Councils replaced the Directory with an executive council of seven. A few months later the two legislative councils were replaced by a Council of 50. Austria agreed to peace at Lunéville on 9 February 1801 and gave up Fricktal near Basel.
      On 16 May 1802 Napoleon proclaimed Valais a republic protected by France and the Italian and Helvetic republics. He provided his Malmaison constitution for a referendum on 25 May. Those not voting were counted as approving, and that enabled it to pass with 72%. Alois Reding was elected the Landammann.
      The Swiss were divided into Unitarians and Federalists, and Philipp Albrecht Stapfer, their ambassador to France, asked Napoleon for help. The Helvetic Diet made a friendship pact with Britain, Austria, and Russia, and this persuaded Napoleon to act as the Mediator for the Swiss. On 27 September 1802 the Diet meeting in Schwyz adopted a federalist constitution. Bern tried but failed to take over Aargau and Vaud. Napoleon on 21 October sent 12,000 troops under General Ney, and rebel leaders were imprisoned in Aarburg.
      In November about 60 delegates who were mostly Unitarians went to Paris and asked Napoleon to draft a constitution. He ignored them but presented his Mediation Constitution on 19 February 1803 which provided a compromise. The thirteen cantons had much of their power restored, and the six new cantons were to be St. Gall, the Grisons in Graubünden, Aargau, Thurgau, Ticino, and Vaud. The Landammann was given more power and was to be the leader of each of the six cities as sessions rotated from Basel to Bern to Freiburg to Lucerne, to Solothurn and to Zurich. The individual cantons were not allowed to ally with foreign powers, and customs barriers were abolished. Privileges ended along with subject classes. Most cantons chose democratic governments, but Bern, Lucerne, Freiburg, and Solothurn adopted traditional aristocratic systems. Napoleon was authorized to recruit 6,000 Swiss to fight in Europe and 8,000 more if France was attacked. The federal government was to supervise the roads and bridges. In 1804 he vetoed the Diet’s attempt to set up a general staff, a military school, and a war chest. The Swiss were compelled to pay France 28 million francs for the military occupation.
      Another European war broke out in 1805. The Swiss declared neutrality on 23 September, but four days later they allied with France. The war had devastating effects on the Swiss and their economy. In February 1806 Prussia was forced to give up Neuchâtel which became a protectorate of Bern. On 12 November 1806 Napoleon made Valais the Department of Simplon in France. On the 21st he declared a continental blockade against trade with Britain that imposed duties on goods of English origin. This hurt Swiss textiles that needed British machine yarn. In 1807 Britain reacted with a blockade of ports that excluded their goods. Many skilled weavers and spinners emigrated from Switzerland along with men who did not want to serve in the army.
      Napoleon’s attempt to recruit 18,000 Swiss men failed. Eventually the Swiss sent him 12,000 criminals and other troublemakers. In a war against Austria in 1809 the Swiss were neutral again and sent forces to defend the border. In August 1810 the blockade was made more strict. By then the Swiss had suffered twelve years of military occupation, political interference, bankruptcies, unemployment, food shortages, and emigration. For his Russian campaign in 1812 Napoleon got 9,000 Swiss soldiers, but only 700 returned.
      Zurich and Basel improved their schools. Philipp Albrecht Stapfer promoted compulsory education for all children of both sexes with pensions for retired teachers, but his plans were considered too costly. Hans Konrad Escher led the work on a canal from Mollis to the Walensee which began in 1807 and was completed in 1828, greatly increasing the arable land.
      After Napoleon’s major defeat at Leipzig in October 1813, the Diet met at Zurich on 15 November and declared armed neutrality on the 18th. The Diet called for at least 15,000 men, but the Swiss could not prevent the Allied armies with 195,000 troops from passing through Switzerland in December. Typhus and other diseases broke out and spread among the Swiss. On the 23rd Bern terminated the Mediation and declared a provisional government. The Swiss Landammann Hans von Reinhard summoned all 19 cantons to the Swiss Diet that met in Zurich and worked on a new constitution. On the 31st Austrian and Prussian diplomats wrote to the Landammann urging Switzerland to lay down arms and be independent and adopt a constitution. Reinhard replied on 4 January 1814 that the cantons’ deputies had adopted a Convention on the 29th that dissolved the Mediation, and their Federal Act of Confederation was for Swiss liberty and independence.
      On 6 April 1814 the Diet convened with 19 cantons, and on 16 August they accepted a new Federal Pact for a Confederation of 19 cantons that guaranteed each others’ constitutions. A federal militia of 30,000 men was to defend their neutrality, and any canton could call for federal assistance. Treaties between cantons were not allowed, and disputes between cantons were to be settled by arbitration. Political rights were protected against class favoritism. Only the Confederation Diet could declare war or make peace and commercial treaties with foreign powers. The national debt was recognized as 3,118,336 Swiss francs, which is what it was on 1 November 1804. In Bern, Lucerne, Freiburg, and Solothurn the patrician families regained their authority. Each canton had an equal number of deputies in the Diet even though Berne with 300,000 people and Zurich with 200,000 greatly outnumbered the small cantons. In Zurich’s Great Council the city had 130 representatives for 10,000 inhabitants compared to only 82 delegates for the other rural areas.
      Pictet de Rochemont and François d’Ivernois represented Geneva and the Swiss at the Congress of Vienna that convened in October 1814. Prussia had claimed Neuchâtel in February and was given authority over it in June 1814. In March 1815 the Swiss sent 15,000 soldiers to join the Allies against Napoleon, and later they sent 15,000 more to protect their western border. In June the Allies were allowed to march through Basel. The powers recognized the perpetual neutrality of the Swiss. Because Swiss forces had not occupied them, the Vienna Congress took Bormio, Chiavenna, and the Valtellina away from Graubünden. Landammann Reinhard demanded they be returned to the Swiss Confederation, but Austria gained control over them. The Swiss Federal Pact was amended on 7 August 1815 to include the three cantons of Geneva, Neuchâtel, and Valais. Pictet de Rochemont represented the Swiss at the Paris peace talks, and in the treaty on 29 November he obtained for the Swiss Confederation 3 million francs in war compensation. On 16 March 1816 the treaty at Turin established the borders of the Geneva canton, and free trade zones were extended into Savoy.
      After the Napoleonic Wars the British flooded the market with the textiles they had accumulated during the economic blockade. Swiss industry was also harmed by high tariffs imposed against their exports of textiles, watches, and other metal products. On 28 April 1816 the French stopped almost all imports from Switzerland, and a similar policy was adopted by the Netherlands in October and by Spain and Austria in 1817 as well as by Germans and most Italians. Heavy snow and flooding ruined the harvests of 1816, and the price of bread multiplied by eight. The Swiss suffered one of their worst famines in 1816-17.
      In January 1817 the Swiss joined Russia, Austria, and Prussia in the Holy Alliance that was intended to keep the peace. The Diet established a military board and organization in 1817 and a military academy at Thun in 1818. The Helvetic Society that had been dissolved in 1798 was revived to provide a forum for debating problems in 1819. That year 1,600 people from Freiburg emigrated to Brazil. Switzerland accepted refugees from the intellectual repression in Germany, Austria, Spain, and Piedmont in the 1820s, but in 1823 the Swiss Diet passed the stringent Conclusum law against foreigners and publishing which stimulated radicals to renew their activities. The cantons were ordered to deny asylum to criminals and those who might menace the peace. All 22 cantons favored protecting the social order. Many liberals demanded reforms and supported the Greek rebellion for independence from the Turks. The Conclusum was ignored and finally abolished in 1829. That year Holland disbanded their Swiss regiments.

      The innovative educator Heinrich Pestalozzi became interested in the French Revolution. In 1794 he visited his sister in Leipzig and became acquainted with Goethe, Herder, and Wieland. In Neuhof he persuaded Fichte to accept his educational approach. In 1797 Pestalozzi wrote My Inquiries into the Course of Nature in the Development of the Human Race, but very few people read this book. He supported the liberal Swiss Revolution of 1798. Yet as he observed the cruelty of the French invasion of Switzerland, he was disappointed how the French moved away from their principles of Liberty, Equality, and Fraternity. In September in the small town of Stans they massacred people, and in the Niederwalden Canton the French devastated the poorhouse for children. The Swiss government established an orphanage and hired Pestalozzi in December to be its director, and in January 1799 many orphans arrived there; but he had no materials and only a housekeeper to help him. In June a defeated French army returned to Stans and closed the school.
      Pestalozzi moved to Burgdorf to set up an institute for children, and in January 1800 Hermann Krüsi joined him there. Pestalozzi studied and applied Herbart’s Application of Psychology to the Science of Education to sequence learning. Using this he succeeded so well with young children that after eight months the school board promoted him to teach older boys. In October he opened another school in Burgdorf Castle. Johann Christoff Büss came and taught students how to draw. Pestalozzi wrote How Gertrude Teaches her Children and published it in 1801. This book was successful, and the school grew. In 1803 when a conservative form of federalism was imposed, Pestalozzi had to give up his experiments at Burgdorf. In 1804 he went to Paris to ask Napoleon for support, but he was ignored. He went to Münchenbuchsee to work with the educator Philipp Emanuel von Fellenberg who had impressed Goethe; but they had trouble getting along.
      In 1805 Pestalozzi moved to Yverdon (Ifferton) by Lake Neuchâtel. The experimental school he founded there in an old school gained international recognition, and Denmark’s King Kristian VII gave them a grant. In May 1807 the Yverdon institute began publishing a newspaper. As the number of students in the elementary school increased, the school expanded. In 1809 Pestalozzi read a paper to the Society of Swiss Friends of Education in Lenzburg, and this became the basis for On the Idea of Elementary Education which was published in his Collected Works edition of 1821. He worked at Yverdon until 1825 when the school had to close because it lacked funds. He went home to Neuhof and published his Swansong, and he described his work in Life’s Destiny. Pestalozzi’s educational ideas became very influential.


1. Quoted in The Democratic Movement in Germany, 1789-1914 by John L. Snell, p. 23.
2. Ibid., p. 38.
3. Goethes Briefe, xxxix, 216 quoted in Restoration Revolution Reaction: Economics and Politics in Germany 1815-1871 by Theodore S. Hamerow, p. 3.
4. Quoted in Metternich by Alan Palmer, p. 188.

Copyright © 2018 by Sanderson Beck

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France’s Revolution 1789-95
France & Napoleon’s Rise & Fall 1796-1815
France of Louis XVIII & Charles X 1814-30
Britain’s Reaction to France 1789-1799
Britain: War and Recovery 1800-30
Romantic Era of English Literature 1789-1830
Germans, Austria & Swiss 1789-1830
German Idealists and Romantics 1789-1830
Spain, Portugal and Italy 1789-1830
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Poland, Russia & Greek Revolution 1789-1830
Summary and Evaluating Europe 1789-1830


Chronology of Europe 1716-1830
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