My ggg grandfather Tobias Ambre Ohmer left Neupotz, Germany in 1851 for unknown reasons. The following timeline is presented in hopes of providing some clues toward finding out just why he migrated to the U.S.
1846-1849: Economic depression was spread throughout Europe. It was marked by rising food prices after a poor harvest and the recession that followed the industrial expansion in the early 1840s.
February 22, 1848: In France, one of many banquets to protest the government’s inflexibility was planned, but the government banned it. Crowds began to gather in the streets and minor skirmishes with police erupted. Workers who could have never afforded tickets to the banquet constructed barricades. The revolution had begun.
February 24, 1848: Louis Phillipe abdicated to his nine year-old grandson Henri, Duke of Bordeaux. The Second Republic was declared from the Hotel de Ville. The cabinet was confirmed by a crowd outside the hotel.
March 3, 1848: Lajos Kossuth called for a representative government in front of the Hungarian Diet.
March 3, 1848: Revolution broke out in the Rhineland.
March 12, 1848: Revolution broke out in Vienna.
March 15, 1848: Revolution broke out in Berlin.
March 18, 1848: Revolution broke out in Milan. The papal states were given a constitution and the Milanese defeated the Austrians.
March 22, 1848: Revolution broke out in Venice and the Venetian Republic was reestablished. All of these revolutions followed the same pattern: The news of revolution in France would attract excited crowds, groups of men (mostly journalists, lawyers, and students) met to discuss the rumors. The government, in fear of revolution, would call out the army, which would begin to skirmish with the citizenry. Barricades would come up and mob action would ensue. It is important to note that these revolutions took place in one city and that not all of the countries involved declared a republic, only their capitals did.
600 delegates meet in Frankfurt in a pre-parliamentary assembly and called for a universal manhood suffrage election to form a national assembly to govern a unified Germany.
830 delegates met in Frankfurt, mostly from the small states in the liberal West. Began to form a democratic constitution that gave the assembly itself executive control over a unified Germany. Hungary began to gain autonmy, Austrians began to demand a representative government. Metternich resigned and universal manhood suffrage was granted. Unwilling parts of the Hungarian Republic, the Croats, Czechs, and Rumanians begin to demand a similar autonomy as that granted to Hungary.
Piedmont (the Kingdom of Sardinia) declared war on Austria with a papal blessing from Pius IX along with his troops, but the Pope soon pulled out saying he could not fight a Catholic Austria. The Piedmontese seemed overwhelmed, but had managed to win a battle by the end of May.
June 24-26, 1848:
After the government dissolved the national workshops, the lower class revolted and were crushed by republican troops. Over a thousand people were killed in three days and thousands more were sent to prison or exile. This conflict between classes is known as the June Days Uprising and was the evidence that led Karl Marx to believe that democracy couldn’t work.
The pan-Slav congress met in Prague after the Czechs refused to send representatives to the Frankfurt Assembly felling that Slavs should not be subject to the will of Germans.
July, 1848: Austrians attack Piedmont and overwhelmingly defeat it. Troops march into Milan.
September, 1848: Riots erupt in Frankfurt. The Assembly is forced to call for Prussian and Austrian aid to resore peace.
October, 1848: Austrians use Croatian sentiments for autonomy to march into Vienna and beat it into submission.
November, 1848: Pelligrino Rossi is appointed Prime Minister of the Papal States but is assassinated and the pope flees to Genoa. The Romans take this opportunity to declare the Roman Republic.
December, 1848: Nation-wide elections in france give Louis Napoleon Bonaparte 70% of the popular vote. Prince Felix con Schwarzenberg fills Metternich’s post and convinces Ferdinand I to abdicate to his 18 year old son Francis Joseph I.
January, 1849: Austria invades Hungary and is pushed back.
March, 1849: Piedmont declares war on Austria. A strong Austrian victory places Italy firmly back into Austria’s hands. The Frankfurt Assembly finally completes the German constitution and elects Frederick William IV of Prussia as German emperor. When he refuses to rule the revolutionary state, the Assembly dissolves. New revolutions arise in the Rhineland, Saxony, and Bavaria.
May, 1849: Neopolitan armies retake all of Sicily. The Roman Republic bows to French troops and is restored to the pope.
June, 1849: With the aid of Prussian troops, Austria quashes the revolutions in the Rhineland, Saxony, and Bavaria. Russians intervene and seal the fate of the Hungarian Republic, which is plagued by constant onslaught from the Austrians and dissensions from the Croats, Slavs, and Romanians.
August, 1849: The Venetian Republic falls to Cholera and starvation.