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Central March Revolution Alliance


Central March Revolution Alliance, founded on November 23, 1848, in Frankfurt am Main by left-wing deputies of the St. Paul's Church Assembly under the impact of the successful offensive of counter-revolutionary forces in Austria and Prussia, tried to rescue the revolution in a non-violent manner, to defend the achievements of the March, and to bring about the unification of Germany as a liberal,democratic, federal, nation state. All deputies of the Donnersberg faction and Deutscher Hof joined the Alliance together with the left wing of the Westendhall faction. This Alliance was chaired by the lawyer Wilhelm Adolf von Trüzschler from Dresden, the Cologne merchant Franz Raveaux, and the surgeon and publisher Gottfried Eisenmann from Würzberg. In an attempt to influence the liberal-center and to provide the widest possible framework for a coalition of all progressive forces, the program left open the question of whether or not national unity should be established as a republic or monarchy. The Central March Alliance sought to give new organizational a nd agitational impetus to the popular movement to mobilize left-oriented forces in the German National Assembly.

While the Alliance and a negligible impact on liberals' media and the grass-roots organizations, it met with a considerable response among the democratic public. Especially in areas with a less social differentiation, such as in southern and central Germany, where moderate forces dominated the democratic camp, the Alliance quickly gained sway. Thus the people's associations in Baden, Wutemberg and Schleswig-Holstein subordinated themselves entirely to its leadership. The fatherland associations in Saxony associated only for a short period. In Bavaria and Thuringia many new associations were founded on the pattern of the Central March Revolution Alliance. The extra-parliamentary radical left and part of the organized labor movement criticized the Central March Revolution Alliance for parliamentary illusions and orientation towards a "legal path" of revolution. The Neue Rheinische Zeitung published by Marx and Engels in Cologne and the central committee of the Arbeiterverbrüderung (workers' fraternization) in Leipzig warned against joining. In Silesia and in the Grand Duchy of Hesse-Darmstadt most of the democratic associations remained aloof.

The organ of the Central March Revolution Alliance was the Parlamentskorrespondenz distributed to the editorial offices of about a hundred newspapers. The Alliance act ively advocated German governments adopt the basic rights passed in the Frankfurt St. Paul's Church and sought to influence the final formulation of a Reich constitution by waging an petition campaign. When the Prussian king rejected the imperial crown and thus refused his assent to the Reich constitution, the Alliance faced a crisis. The alliance between the left and the extreme left in the Frankfurt Parliament broke up. On April 11, 1849, twenty-four deputies of the Donnersberg faction withdrew from the Central March Alliance to openly support a German republic.

In southern Germany the adherents to the Alliance were little affected by the differences among the leaders. In Wurtemberg the popular movement, under the impact of the Central March Alliance, succeeded in forcing the king to adopt the Reich constitution. The general assembly convened by the Central March Alliance on May 6, 1849 in Frankfurt, of about 2,000 delegates from affiliated associations, called upon the people to prepare for the struggle to force through the Reich constitution and passed appeals to the people and the soldiers of the German armies. The activities of the Central March Revolution Alliance ended on June 18, 1849, with the dissolution of the Stuttgart rump parliament.
Rolf Weber

Bibliography

Rolf Weber "Centralmärzverein (CMV) 1848-1849," in Lexicon Parteiengeschichte, Diet er Fricke et al. (eds)., Leipzig 1983,.I.

Günther Hildebrandt Parlamentsopposition auf Linkskurs: Die kleinbürgerlich-demokratische Fraktion Donnersberg in der Frankfurter Nationalversammlung 1848/49 Berlin 1975.

Günther Hildebrandt Opposition in der Paulskirche: Reden, Briefe und Berichte kleinbürgerlich-demokratischer Parlamentarier 1848/49 Berlin 1981.


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