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“I therefore most sincerely hope that your claims may be investigated by the German Diet, that the result of its deliberations may be submitted to the Powers that signed the Convention of London, so that the national sentiment, which so energetically pronounces itself in Germany, may receive legitimate satisfaction by common consent.
“I have pleasure in taking advantage of this opportunity to offer you the assurances of my esteem and constant good will; whereupon, my Cousin, I pray God to have you in His holy keeping. “NAPOLEoN.
“Compiègne, Dec. 10, 1863.”
The view taken by the British Government was indicated in a note addressed by Sir Alexander Malet, our Minister at Frankfort, to the Federal Diet. He said:— “In consequence of instructions from the Government of Her Britannic Majesty, the undersigned has the honour to communicate to his #. Baron Von Kubeck, President of the Federal Diet, a copy of the London Treaty of May 8, 1852. The undersigned has the honour to request his Excellency to lay this treaty before the Assembly of the Federal Diet. The undersigned is at the same time instructed to remark that the High Federal Assembly will observe that by the treaty France, Great Britain, Russia, and Sweden agreed to recognize King Christian IX. as the successor to all the possessions held by His Majesty the late King of Denmark. This recognition has already taken place by all these Powers. The undersigned is, therefore, instructed to point out that if the Federal Assembly by any over-hasty steps enters upon a * opposed to the London Treaty serious complications might result. “The undersigned is further instructed to notify to his Excellency the President of the Federal Assembly that the Government of Her Britannic Majesty is ready to discuss these subjects in a conference which should assemble at any place that might be agreed upon, and in which all the subscribers of the London Treaty, and a representative of the German Confederation should take part.” At the close of the Session of the Danish Rigsraad, on the 21st of December, a message from the King was read by the MinisterPresident, in which His Majesty stated:— “At the time when this Assembly met in 1855 it was hoped that the Constitutional relations of the Monarchy were settled. Such would have been the case had the Federal Diet confined itself to its competency. The Constitution of the 18th of November rested upon the same basis as that of the present Constitution for the whole Monarchy. That Constitution also separated the common affairs of the Monarchy from those appertaining specially to the respective provinces composing it. It conferred no competence upon the Rigsraad to interfere in matters hitherto concerning the provinces alone. . . . . “A desire to dismember the Danish Monarchy has arisen in Germany. We hope, however, that Europe will, nevertheless, maintain our right to the hereditary succession. We have fulfilled every resolution of the Federal Diet concerning the Federal provinces. German troops have occupied Holstein and Lauenburg, although the latter has recently testified its satisfaction and loyalty to Denmark. “Although we do not recognize the Execution on the part of the German Confederation as justifiable, we withdraw our troops to this side of the Eyder in order to avoid a collision.” The Federal Commissioners entered Altona, which is close to Hamburg, about the same time as the Saxon troops, and proceeded to administer the Government. They were received with the greatest enthusiasm by the inhabitants, with whom the Danish rule was beyond all, doubt intensely unpopular. Demonstrations in favour of Prince Frederic of Augustenburg as Duke of Schleswig-Holstein took place every where, and he himself made his appearance at Kiel, where he was welcomed by deputations, and greeted as the rightful Duke. The most violent opponents of the Danish right of succession to the Duchies of Schleswig and Holstein were the smaller German States, many of which had expressly acceded to the Treaty of London. W. need not comment on this flagrant disregard of good faith and treaty rights. In the mean time the Danish Government had withdrawn the Proclamation of the 30th of March, which had been the only pretext for the Federal interference; and efforts were made by the British Government to induce the King to procure the repeal of the Constitution of November, by which the Germans alleged Schleswig had, contrary to good faith, been incorporated with Denmark-Proper. Lord Wodehouse was sent from England on a special mission to Copenhagen, but his errand proved abortive. The feeling in Denmark against such a concession as was demanded was too strong, and the Ministry, rather than propose such a measure to the Rigsraad, resigned office. Bishop Monrad was commissioned by the King to form another Ministry, which he succeeded in doing, but at the close of the year the Constitution of November remained in full force, and the Danish and German troops confronted each other on the opposite banks of the Eyder, where a single shot fired may bring about a hostile collision, and light up the flames of a general war in Europe.
GERMANIC CONFEDERATION.—RUSSIA AND POLAND.
GERMAN1c CoNFEDERATION.—Proposal of the Emperor of Austria for a Congress of German Sovereigns—They meet at Frankfort—Speech of the Emperor at Opening of the Congress–Collective Answer of the other Sovereigns and Princes—Invitation to the King of Prussia to attend—His Refusal—M. Bismark's Despatch on the subject—Analysis of the “Reform Act” arrived at by the Congress—Close of the Congress, and parting Address of the Emperor of Austria.
Russi A AND Poland.—Outbreak of Insurrection in Poland—Cause of this the Conscription—The Central Committee—General View of the Revolt—Its progress under Langiewicz and other Leaders—Manifesto to Europe of the Polish Chiefs—Interference of the British Government—The Emperor of Russia's offer of an Amnesty rejected by the Poles—Earl Russell proposes the Six Points—The Russian View of the struggle—Despatches of Prince Gortschakoff—The Six Points rejected by Russia —Strong feeling in Russia against Poland—Attempt to assassinate General Berg– Destruction of the Zamoyski Palace—The Grand Duke Constantine resigns the government of Poland–Russian mode of putting down the Rebellion.
THE chief interest in the proceedings of this unwieldy body in the present year—if we except the resolutions come to by the Federal Diet on the Schleswig-Holstein question, of which an account has been given under the head of Denmark—consists in the meeting of a Congress of German Sovereigns and Princes at Frankfort, in the month of August, to discuss a project for the reformation of the Bund. The idea emanated from the Emperor of Austria, who has certainly shown himself an enlightened monarch, anxious to secure to his own country the blessings of constitutional Government and representative institutions; and he invited the Potentates of Germany to meet him at Frankfort and deliberate upon a scheme of reform. The Emperor had a personal interview with the King of Prussia, and tried to induce him to attend, but the King declined. The heads, however, of almost the whole of the other Kingdoms, Principalities, and Free Towns of Germany, accepted the invitation, and in the beginning of August Frankfort was the scene of a gathering of Kings and Princes such as perhaps has never before been witnessed in Europe. A great banquet was given by the Senate of Frankfort to their illustrious guests, and at it the Emperor of Austria proposed the following toast :— “I speak in the names of the Sovereigns here present, and thank the Senate and municipality of the free city of Frankfort for the hospitable reception given to us. I think that we, the Princes of Germany assembled in this federal city, cannot better express our gratitude to our patriotic hosts than by proving to them that a heartfelt love for our common Fatherland is the bond of union between it. We all cherish a friendly feeling towards this honourable city, which is so rich in historical recollections, and your illustrious guests will therefore readily join me in emptying a cup to the welfare and increasing prosperity of Frankfort.” The Emperor opened the Congress with the following speech, which he read with an evident feeling of sincerity:— “Most illustrious and beloved Brothers and Cousins, most valued Confederates, An assembly of the heads of the German nation, for the purpose of deliberating on the welfare of the Fatherland, is an event which has not occurred for centuries. May we, by the blessing of an Almighty Providence, be on the eve of a happy future. “Confiding in the elevated sentiments of my fellow-Princes, confiding in the just spirit of the German people, who have been enlightened by experience, I have sought to bring about a meeting at which the German Princes should in a fraternal spirit unite their hands for the strengthening (Bafestigung) of the Confederation. I have deemed it my duty openly to express my conviction that Germany justly (mit Recht) looks forward to a development of its constitution (Verfassung), which shall be in accordance with the necessities of the times, and I have come in person to exchange ideas and opinions with my Confederates, and to state what I consider feasible, and what I, for my part, am ready to rant. “Your Majesties, and all of you, my illustrious and beloved Confederates, accept my thanks for your kindness in consenting to act with me. “I have forwarded to my illustrious Federal Allies the draft of a project of reform, which was drawn up under my immediate superintendence. “Being of opinion that the sphere of action of the Bund should be enlarged, I, in my plan of reform, propose that the Executive power shall be placed in the hands of a Directory, which shall have a Federal Council at its side. We require the periodical meeting of an assembly of Deputies, which shall have full power to participate in the legislation and in the control of the finances of the Bund. I propose that there shall be periodical meetings of the German Princes. By the introduction of an independent Federal Court a satisfactory guarantee is given for the proper administration of justice in Germany. In all these matters the principle of the equality of the several independent States will, as strictly as possible, be upheld. At the same time due regard must be paid to their political influence and to the number of their inhabitants, in order that an effective executive power and a general representation in the Bund may be inseparably united. “All details are based on one single idea—an idea that has taken complete possession of my mind. It is, that the time has come for renewing, in a way which shall be in accordance with the spirit of the times, the Bund which our ancestors entered into. By allowing our peoples to participate in the Bund we shall give new vigour to it, and enable it to uphold to the end of time the honour, power, security, and welfare of Germany as one great and inseparable whole. “I)oubtless my propositions will admit of improvement. I readily admit that such is the case. But I beg my Confederates to take into consideration whether it is not our common interest not to postpone, even for a time, the acceptance of a plan which, as it now stands, is a great improvement on the present state of things in Germany. In the proposed Act of Reform (ReformActe) the necessary means for repairing its defects in a constitutional way are pointed out. I see no prospect of finding a firm basis in the question relative to the future of Germany by means of prolonged deliberations. The question must be settled by the }. unanimous, and disinterested resolves of the German rinces, who, in matters of inferior moment, must magnanimously make sacrifices for the attainment of the great object which they have in view. “Most illustrious and beloved Brothers and Cousins, most valued Confederates, As you all share with me the elevating impression of the present moment, so must you participate in the deep regret which I feel that Prussia is not represented here. One of my most heartfelt wishes has not been fulfilled. I was not so happy as to be able to persuade King William of Prussia to participate in person in our work of union (Einigungswerke); but, nevertheless, I have not lost the conviction that the results of this day will be salutary. The King of Prussia fully appreciated my arguments concerning the urgent necessity for a reform of the Bund. King William had no other objection to make to my proposition to hold a Congress of Princes than that the necessary preparations for such an important step had not been made. In principle, the King was not opposed to an assembly of Princes, but he was of opinion that a Conference of Ministers ought to precede it. I called His Majesty's attention to the fact that all former negotiations by means of second persons (Mittelspersonen) had been fruitless, and that it was for us to reform the Bund, and that we were firmly resolved that “the German nation should no longer be deprived of the means of enjoying greater political development.” Let us pass quickly over mere matters of detail for the sake of the incalculably more important whole. In good federal faith, let us preserve for the mighty kingdom of Prussia the place to which she is entitled, and let us hope that our unity will produce an indelible impression on all German hearts.