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The Six Articles (June 28, 1832) and the Ten Articles (July 5, 1832)

The political unrest following the Paris Revolution in July of 1830 and the liberal-democratic demonstrations at the Hambach Festival of 1832 prompted new measures by Clemens Prince von Metternich, the Prussian government, and the leading ministers of the mid-sized German states. The Six Articles of June 28, 1832, limited the rights of the Diets in constitutional states and stipulated that federal law superceded individual state law, thus further limiting the ability of individual states to express their own political will. The Ten Articles of July 5, 1832, sought to maintain peace and legal order in the German Confederation; these articles forbade political organizations, meetings, appeals, and festivals.

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I. The Six Articles from June 28, 1832

In grateful recognition of the care repeatedly taken by His Majesty the Emperor of Austria and the King of Prussia for what is most beneficial to the German Fatherland, all the Confederal governments have jointly agreed to the following provisions:

Art. 1. Since, according to Article 57 of the Vienna Final Act, the whole authority of the state must remain united in the head of state, and [since] the sovereign can be required to permit the constitutionally guaranteed assembly of the estates of the land to participate only in the exercise of certain rights, a German sovereign is also, as a member of the Confederation, not only justified in dismissing a petition of the estates contradictory hereunto, but the obligation toward such a dismissal results from the [very] purpose of the Confederation.

Art. 2. Likewise, since – according to the spirit of the above-mentioned Art. 57 of the Final Act and the conclusion ensuing from this, which Art. 58 articulates – no German sovereign may be refused the means required to conduct a government in accordance with Confederal obligations and the constitutions of the individual states, [those] cases in which assemblies of the estates would want to require the approval of taxes needed to conduct the government in an indirect or direct manner by implementing other wishes and proposals are to be counted among those to which Art. 25 and 26 of the Final Act would have to be applied.

Art. 3. Domestic legislation of the German Confederal States may neither place any kind of obstacle before the aims of the Confederation, as articulated in Art. 2 of the Confederal Act and in Art. 1 of the Final Act, nor may the same impede fulfillment of other Confederal constitutional obligations toward the Confederation, and especially toward the payment of monetary contributions belonging thereunto.

Art. 4. In order to guarantee the dignity and prerogative of the Confederation and of the Assembly representing the Confederation against all kinds of intrusions, but at the same time to alleviate the management of existing constitutional relations between the governments and their estates in the individual Confederal states, the Federal Diet shall appoint a commission, for an initial period of six years, whose purpose shall be to take special and continual note of the discussions among the estates in the German Confederal States, to make the obligations toward the Confederation – or the proposals and resolutions contradicting the governmental rights guaranteed by the Confederal treaties – the object of their attention, and to notify the Confederal Assembly, which consequently, when it finds the matter appropriate for further deliberations, is to arrange such [deliberations] with the participating governments. After six years have passed, agreement on the continuation of the commission will be reserved.

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