Before the revolution of 1848, class status defined every citizen's place in the social, political, and economic order causing problems throughout Germany. Due to the separation of the states, some Germans advocated German unification under a single constitutional monarchy; however, after the defeat of Napoleon, their dreams were crushed. Developing power was scattered among three hundred different states consolidated under the Holy Roman Empire. Powerful regions like Prussia and Austria gained increasing authority over other small city-states who had to make do with the limited power they possessed. This division of power among the states ignited a flame that eventually erupted when the aristocrats, the middle class, and the workers began to openly vocalize their beliefs. Not only was Germany separated by the borders between its states, but also by its citizens' political views on economic and social issues. A citizen's social status influenced their political voice as a conservative, liberal, or radical. The class statuses included the conservative aristocrats or wealthy class, the liberal middle classmen, and the radical workers. Even though hardships corrupted Germany's economy, with Napoleon's defeat, social and political order was restored; however, the German's hope for unification was not granted. The social, political, and economic tensions within Germany's divided states promoted the hope for unification among the working, middle, and wealthy classes.
Although the working class of Germany did not accumulate the voice to induce change, workers were regularly categorized as severe radicals. Times altered the economic and social order of the working class when factories replaced craft production. Johann Riegel, a bookseller, explains that nearly all the crafts are either in decline or "in grip of drastic changes in their shops" to meet the competition of industrialization. (document 6) An author of a pamphlet who remained anonymous declared...
Please join StudyMode to read the full document