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David Hansemann to Prussian Interior Minister Ernst von Bodelschwingh (March 1, 1848)

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In Germany, [there is] a lack of any trust toward the confederal authority, from whom no development of liberal institutions is expected, not even any protection of the constitutional rights of the individual states, nor any guarantee of German independence abroad. The Confederation's greatest power, Austria, [is] weakened by the undisguised inclination of its Italian subjects toward independence, by the uncertain loyalty of its Polish subjects, and by dissatisfaction in the other territories as well. In most of Germany's medium-sized and smaller states, [it is] in part dissatisfaction, and in part an absence of real confidence in the governments. Prussia, after Austria the largest of the confederal states, [is] in constitutional labor pains and temporarily in possession of a constitution of which this much is clear: that its leading principle should be the unrestrained power of the monarch; a major portion of the Protestant population [has had their] religious convictions violated, so that thousands [are] caught between their conscience and worldly interests; the constitutional-monarchical party, to which (with a variety of nuances) the greater majority of the independent and discerning population belongs, [is] unpopular when it makes no secret of its views; a not insignificant portion of the popular class engaged in manual labor in the Rhine Province [is] not particularly inclined toward the government; Polish subjects – like the Poles in Russia and Austria – longingly anticipate the opportune moment for Poland's restoration. All of the German states [are] bereft of a secure, unified bond, bereft of any kind of institution in which the German nation might be represented, and from which it might expect an impulse and leadership toward the assertion of independence.

Russia: spotting every political confusion in Europe and persistently pursuing its farsighted plans, which are also highly dangerous for Prussia's and Germany's independence. In most countries, the German ones included: during a period of peace lasting over thirty years, the maintenance of a large, costly army, and in relative terms a very costly administration; as a consequence of this: high taxes, which are especially oppressive to the popular classes engaged in manual labor, and which do more than a little among these classes to spread views about social conditions that are completely unfeasible and dangerous for the existence of any governmental society.

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