To What Extent Was Metternich Responsible for Change in Germany in 1815

Topics: Germany, Nationalism, Germans Pages: 3 (957 words) Published: March 21, 2014
‘To what extent was Metternich responsible for the lack of change in Germany between 1815-1848’ Metternich was the chancellor of Austria and therefore had a substantial amount of power, this enabled him to make radical decisions regarding Germany, whether it included unifying it or not. On one hand Metternich had a major influence with the lack of change in Germany. This was largely to do with the fact that he continuously over exaggerated the importance of the student movements. An example of this is that in 1819 a member of an extreme student group murdered Kotzebue, a reactionary writer and a secret agent of the Russian Tsar. This murder prompted Metternich to take action. This resulted in ‘The Carlsbad decrees’, these provided inspectors for universities, student societies were disbanded, press censorship introduced to and a commission set up to investigate revolutionary movements. Consequently these actions stunted the student movement towards unification because Metternich prioritized the communication via universities and newspapers to be stopped. A main idea for liberalisation is freedom of the press, Metternich continuously utilised censorship of the press which was another reason for halting unification.

Communication via news papers and universities was not the only way in which liberal and national ideas were spreading. Another way was by the meeting of south German states. Metternich saw this as a major threat to the ‘status quo’ and therefore made it more difficult for liberal ideas to gain ground by persuading all the states to restrict the subjects which their assemblies could discuss. This stunted unification because it made the liberalist and nationalist ideas hard to spread.

Another way in which Metternich was responsible for the lack of change in Germany was that he attacked the nationalist ideas himself; Unification of religion was a main focus for nationalists, yet in Germany the north was protestant, and the south and west were...
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