Carlsbad Decrees

Carlsbad Decrees
resolutions adopted by the ministers of nine German states at a meeting called at Carlsbad in 1819 by Prince Metternich: aim was the suppression of revolutionary activities esp. in the universities.

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(Aug. 6–31, 1819) Resolutions issued by German leaders to suppress liberal and nationalistic tendencies.

Meeting at Carlsbad, Bohemia (now Karlovy Vary, Cz.Rep.), the conference of ministers from the major German states agreed to Prince von Metternich's proposals advocating censorship, the disbanding of the Burschenschaft groups, and the creation of a commission to ferret out conspiratorial organizations. In the long run, the repressive decrees failed to stifle German nationalism or liberal developments.

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▪ German history
Carlsbad also spelled  Karlsbad,  

      series of resolutions (Beschlüsse) issued by a conference of ministers from the major German states, meeting at the Bohemian spa of Carlsbad (now Karlovy Vary, Czech Republic) on Aug. 6–31, 1819. The states represented were Austria, Prussia, Bavaria, Saxony, Mecklenburg, Hanover, Württemberg, Nassau, Baden, Saxe-Weimar-Eisenach, and electoral Hesse.

      The occasion of the meeting was the desire of the Austrian foreign minister Klemens, Prince von Metternich (Metternich, Klemens, Fürst von), to take advantage of the consternation caused by recent revolutionary outrages—especially the murder of the dramatist August Kotzebue by Karl Sand, a member of a radical student organization—to persuade the German governments to combine for the suppression of liberal and nationalistic tendencies within their states. The conference agreed to Metternich's urgent disciplinary measures. He proposed that (1) the Diet of the German Confederation (Bund) should be asked to institute uniform censorship of all periodical publications; (2) the recently formed Burschenschaften (nationalist student clubs) should be disbanded and the faculties of schools and universities be placed under supervisory curators; and (3) a central investigating commission, armed with inquisitional powers, should be set up at Mainz with powers to ferret out conspiratorial organizations. These decrees were agreed upon by the representatives of the German states on Sept. 20, 1819.

      The repressive and reactionary Carlsbad Decrees were enforced with varying severity in the German states over the next decade. Although they were temporarily successful in suppressing liberal political activities, they failed in the long run to stifle German nationalism or to curtail liberal developments in the states.

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Universalium. 2010.

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