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THE MODERN CHURCH.
PROTESTANTISM IN CONTINENTAL EUROPE SINCE SCHLEIER
MACHER AND THE UNION.
1. —- MAIN PHASES OF THE POLITICAL MOVEMENT IN
DVANCE toward the constitutional type of govern
ment and the establishment of the Empire under the headship of Prussia may be designated as the two great developments within the sphere of German politics since the overthrow of the first Napoleon. The continued pressure of popular demand brought about the former development; in effecting the latter the management of statesmen and the shock of armies were the chief instrumentalities.
The leading governments were loath to admit any restrictions upon monarchieal authority. Promises of constitutional rule which had been made during the struggle against the Napoleonic despotism, and which had been formally sanctioned at Vienna in 1815 as a part of the scheme of the New German Confederacy, were coolly discarded. Some of the smaller States, it is true, gave the people a measure of representation in the government. But this was done in the face of a jealous watchfulness on the part of the great powers. Metternich, the influential Austrian minister, conceived that the repression of liberal tendencies was the foremost dictate of statecraft. The Prussian monarch needed no special urging to constrain him to embrace a similar view. Thus, while
а the schools and universities were sending forth a large number of highly educated young men, direct access to public affairs appeared to be almost wholly closed against them. The result was a widespread discontent. This may have remained largely beneath the surface; it was present, nevertheless, and ready to use its opportunity. The excitement caused by the overthrow of Louis Philippe and the proclamation of a republic in France, in the early part of the year 1848, gave the needed opportunity. A revolutionary wave swept over Germany, sparing indeed thrones, but exacting such concessions from monarchs as involved a close approach to republican constitutions. This was the case in Prussia, as well as in the minor States. But the enthusiasm of the crisis had struck a higher level than could be maintained. The nobility, whom the new scheme proposed to set aside, bestirred themselves. A counter-movement was started; and since the army, together with a large part of the country people, had little interest in the revolutionary undertaking, its partisans were soon reduced to
omparative impotence. Still a gain had been made for the cause of constitutional government. The Prussian King, Frederic William IV., forth with published a constitution providing for two assemblies of representatives, and conceding general suffrage, though with such regu