I wouldn't say that exactly. Although the House of Bonaparte will have an important part to play in the months and years ahead ITTL, the main focus of the timeline is still Greece.
to be hoenst thoguht the general frame work of time is still the same excluding greece
 
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Part 64: Kaiserreich
Apologies once again for the long delay, I've been rather busy as of late with the Holidays and what not, but now I'm back and I bring a timely gift in the form of another update.
Part 64: Kaiserreich

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German Revolutionaries Celebrate the Formation of the “German Empire”

Just as the deposition of King Otto of Belgium sparked a wave of protests and social unrest across Europe clamoring for liberalization and reform; the abdication of French King Ferdinand-Philippe and the July Monarchy in August 1848 would release a second wave of revolutionary fervor across Europe. A wave that was to be much larger and much more pronounced than the first, a wave that would destroy states and create nations. Spanning the entire breadth of Europe, its effects could be felt from the Italian Peninsula in the South of Europe to Scandinavia in the North, from the Iberian Peninsula in the West to the vast lands of Russia in the East.

The rebellion of the Milanese in the Kingdom of Lombardy-Venetia would quickly escalate into a full-scale war between the Austrian Empire and the neighboring Kingdom of Sardinia-Piedmont which rushed headlong into the Po River Valley to aid their Lombard allies. The sudden intervention by their former ally King Charles Albert and Sardinia would successfully catch the demoralized and outnumbered Austrian Army of Italy off guard, and within a span of three weeks they had successfully driven them behind the Adige River by early June. Attempts to counter these developments in Italy by Chancellor Metternich and the Austrian Government would only spark further unrest throughout the Austrian Empire as unpopular tax increases and conscription policies would see the Kingdom of Hungary, the Kingdom of Bohemia, and the Kingdom of Galicia-Lodomeria rise in rebellion against Vienna as well, in what was to be the greatest threat to the Hapsburg Monarchy since the Napoleonic Wars.

With the Hapsburg Empire in the throes of a multi-front war, the Serbians and Transylvanians within their borders began agitating for independence as well with the aid of their kin in the neighboring Principalities of Serbia, Wallachia, and Moldavia. Although Serbia itself remained relatively quiet during this time, the Danubian Principalities of Wallachia and Moldavia would erupt into bitter conflict against the Russian and Ottoman Empires who had jointly lorded over them since the end of the last Russo-Turkish War in 1829. Despite the support of numerous volunteers from their friends and allies, the Moldavians would quickly fall to the Russians in late October, while the Wallachians succumbed to a joint Russo-Turkish invasion not long after in mid-January 1849. Nevertheless, the uprisings had an important impact on the outlook and demeanor of the Danubian Principalities in the years ahead.

Russia was not spared from social unrest either as it would experience a massive rebellion of its own in the lands of the now defunct Kingdom of Poland. For years, Polish nationalists within the rump Kingdom had been advocating for greater autonomy from the Russian Empire, only for these petitions to go unheeded for years on end. This benign neglect would soon turn to overt hostility on the part of the Russian Government which sought to diminish the Polish Kingdom’s autonomy. Its army was subordinated to the Russian Army in 1831 following an aborted uprising the year prior, the Sejm was shuttered in 1840, and its administration was steadily filled with more Russian agents with each passing year. Worse still, the constitution of the Kingdom of Poland was steadily eroded by the Russian Government, until finally in the Spring of 1848 it was revoked entirely prompting the Polish people to rebel against Russian rule.

On the other end of the European Continent, the War of the Matiners - or the Second Carlist War as it is more commonly known outside of Spain - had been reignited thanks to the deposition of King Ferdinand-Philippe in France. The persecution of conservatives by the new Republican Government in Paris would force Carlist General Ramon Cabrera and his followers to make a return to Spain at the head of a small army of reactionaries and conservative dissidents in the Fall of 1848.[1] Although they would be quickly put down by the Spanish Army, the conflict left a deep scar on Aragon, Catalonia, and Navarre for generations to come and would pave the way to continued conflict in the years ahead.

Far to the North in the city of Stockholm, demonstrations calling for liberalization and greater democratic reforms in the United Kingdom of Sweden and Norway would unfortunately end in tragedy as several dozen protesters were killed when they were forcibly dispersed by the army. Switzerland would fall into civil war as the Sonderbund and Confederates came to blows over the unification of their cantons into a more unified state. Even the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland was not spared from the unrest and violence of the 1848 Revolutions as the terrible famine and dire conditions in Ireland drove the local populace into revolt.

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Scene from the Sonderbund War

In the German Confederacy, public demonstrations would continue to escalate at an alarming pace over the course of 1848 as German Nationalists and Liberals began calling for reform of the divided Confederation into a singular German state, a Deutsches Kaiserreich. Rallies advocating for the formation of a united German Empire dominated the streets of every major German city from Frankfurt and Cologne to Berlin and Vienna. Although most of these were peaceful, the sight of many thousands marching through the streets proved to be disconcerting development for the Lords of the German Confederacy. Ultimately, the persistence shown by the German Liberals and nationalists would succeed in compelling a multitude of German Kings, Princes, and Dukes to dispatch representatives to Frankfurt am Main to begin debate over the crafting of a new constitution for the Confederacy. Arriving on the 2nd of July, envoys from the Anhalt Duchies, Baden, Bavaria, Electoral Hesse, Hesse-Darmstadt, Mecklenburg-Schwerin, Mecklenburg-Strelitz, Oldenburg, Prussia, Saxony, the Saxon Duchies, Württemberg, and several other states slowly set to work revising the original charter of the German Confederacy. However, before they even started, several problems began to emerge.

While the official task provided to the Delegates was to consider various amendments and revisions to the old constitution established in 1816, most delegates in attendance were against broad sweeping change of any kind. Many of these men were fervent conservatives and monarchists appointed by the various kings and Dukes of the German Confederacy who themselves had little to no interest in giving up their powers to the mob. Only the Badenese delegation, the Württemberg delegation, the Hesse-Darmstadt delegation and a few others had been popularly appointed, and as such only they supported meaningful reform. Ultimately, the Juliversammlung (July Assembly) met with very little success apart from the unanimous decision to hold a second assembly in one year’s time, a slight relaxation in the enforcement of the Carlsbad Decrees, and a minor expansion of the German Confederacy Diet's Inner Council and Plenary Session.

By all accounts, the First Frankfurt Assembly was an abject failure and a complete insult for many of the Liberals, Nationalists, Republicans, and Socialists of Germany and within days of the Assembly’s conclusion, renewed protests began to spring up across the entire Confederation. Having been promised reform and then provided with meager scraps, it came as no surprise that they would react poorly to the Aristocracy’s misdirections and outright lies. The German Nobility, for their part believed they had offered enough concessions to sate the demands of the people, when in fact they had only inspired them to seek even more. When it became apparent that what they had offered not enough, the lords of the German Confederacy dug in their heels and refused to yield to any further demands. With neither side willing to compromise tensions would steadily build in Germany over the next month until the August Revolution in France finally spurred Germany's aristocrats and Monarchs into action.

Frightened by the possibility of a similar development taking place within their own lands, the lords and leaders of the German Confederacy agreed to hold a second assembly on the 29th of August in the hope of calming the angered mob before revolution took their lands by storm. Unlike the First Assembly the month prior, the Second Frankfurt Assembly was more evenly split between the Liberals, the Moderates, and the Conservatives resulting in a more comprehensive dialogue from the start. Although they still disagreed over various little details, they would manage to reach meaningful compromises on most matters, concluding with the writing of the 1848 Frankfurt Constitution.

Under the new Constitution, the German Confederation was dissolved, and all its institutions were incorporated into a new entity, the German Empire. Under the 1848 Frankfurt Constitution, the German Empire was to be a Federal Semi-Constitutional Monarchy that would consist of the former states of the German Confederacy. While the various states of the union (Prussia, Austria, Bavaria, Saxony, etc) would retain considerable autonomy and influence over matters within their own territories, the Federal Government was endowed by the Assembly with a certain level of influence over the constituent members of the Empire, namely through foreign policy initiatives and economic treaties with other powers. The Assembly would also establish a new National Parliament in Frankfurt that would supersede the German Confederacy’s Diet and it would establish an Imperial Judiciary for the Empire.

The Assembly would also establish male suffrage across the German Empire and scheduled elections to be held over the course of September. Once seated, the Imperial Parliament would be tasked with electing the Kaiser of the German Empire, but until that time, the Assembly selected Archduke John of Austria to serve as Regent of the nascent state.[2] Finally, the Assembly established the Rights of the German People, a document which effectively established the freedom of movement throughout the Confederacy, the freedom of the press, the freedom of assembly, the freedom of conscious, the abolition of capital punishment, and the equal treatment of all Germans under the law in the German Empire among several other tenants.

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Members of the Second Frankfurt Assembly

Despite the critical acclaim of the August Assembly, it was not without its detractors as many on both the right and the left felt that the Assembly’s reforms went too far or not far enough respectively. The Austrian Empire, or rather its embattled Chancellor, Klemens von Metternich abjectly refused to recognize the new Empire and withheld all Austrian assets from its control, namely the Austrian Military and Archduke John of Austria who was barred from assuming the Regency of the new German Empire. The highly Liberal nature of the Frankfurt Assembly was also offensive to the conservative sensibilities the Austrian Government, but more insulting than that, the Assembly had also called on Austria to abandon its non-German possessions or maintain them in personal union with the crown in order to tie itself closer to the German Nation State. It was obvious from the start that this provision was a non-starter for the Austrian Government in 1848 as it desperately fought to maintain its own empire and rejected greater integration with the other German states for now.

On the other end of the political spectrum, members of the Badenese Diet led by the Radical Republicans Friedrich von Hecker and Gustave Struve denounced the Frankfurt Parliament as a farcical display which did little to empower the people while retaining all the vestiges of monarchism. Others believed it relied too much on the member states to function, having been barred from levying taxes as a compromise to the Conservatives. As a result, the Imperial Government was financially dependent upon the good will of the Princes to pay its own bills. Despite the vocal minority of dissension, most states within the German Confederacy generally went along with the new order, willingly or not as they trembled in fear of the alternative. Surprisingly, the Kingdom of Prussia would also accept the outcome of the Second Frankfurt Assembly.

Despite his own personal misgivings against the populist movement, King Frederick-William IV lacked the means to oppose both the Frankfurt Assembly and the Prussian people. Protesters had been marching through the streets of Berlin on a daily basis since the early Spring, first demanding the writing of a Prussian Constitution in mid-April, then the holding of parliamentary elections in early July, and finally the King's recognition and ratification of the Frankfurt Constitution in September. With the Prussian Army engaged in a brutal war of attrition against France in the Low Countries and a substantial Polish uprising in Posen and Prussia, the Prussian King could not resist the will of the people and would reluctantly acquiesce to all their demands, one after another. Frederick William would even adopt the German Tricolor for public events, although he steadily reduced his public appearances as the weeks progressed. Even still, he and the remaining Conservatives within the Prussian court resisted the most radical initiatives of the Revolutionaries, namely the abolition of the nobility and ceding control of the Prussian Military from the King to the new Parliament. King Frederick-William IV would also appoint his uncle, Prince Frederick-Wilhelm, Graf von Brandenburg as Prime Minister of the new Prussian government in an effort to limit the excesses of the new Liberal regime.

With the matter of recognition settled for better or worse, attention quickly shifted to other matters, namely the upcoming elections. Unfortunately, the elections that followed were marred with controversy right from the outset. Thanks to the contradictions and overly vague clauses found within the 1848 Frankfurt Constitution, the manner in which these elections were to be held was left entirely up to the states hosting them. Similarly, the number of eligible voters per state was left to the discretion of those same states, for while the Second Frankfurt Assembly declared suffrage a universal right throughout the German Empire, it also limited it to “independent” adult males.[3] Naturally some states used this controversial wording to restrict the voter rolls to groups of their choosing, disenfranchising various laborers, servants, students, or any other undesirables. As a result, as many as 20% of all adult males in the German Confederacy were denied the right to vote in the September Elections. Nevertheless, the elections were carried out for good or for ill, and on the 1st of October, 520 newly elected representatives had been selected and converged on St. Paul's Church in Frankfurt am Main.

What should have been a moment of celebration on the parts of liberals and constitutionalists was unfortunately overshadowed by conflict and controversy elsewhere in Germany. As Austria continued to refuse Archduke John's ascent to the Regency of the Union, it fell upon the newly elected Parliament to name a replacement candidate. However, by this time cracks began to emerge between the many parties in the new Parliament. The Catholics, Conservatives, and Grossdeutschland (Greater Germany) Nationalists desired an Austrian candidate, while the Moderates, Protestants, and Kleindeutschland (Lesser Germany) Nationalists proposed a Prussian Prince for the position. Meanwhile, the Socialists and Republicans in attendance rejected the appointment of an aristocrat and they objected to the election of a monarch altogether and called for the establishment of a Republic which was vigorously opposed by the conservatives and many moderates within the Parliament.

Another matter of intense concern was the continued obstinance of a much-diminished German Confederacy. While it had been de facto dissolved, it continued to survive through legal loopholes and contradictions in the Frankfurt Constitution which required the unanimous consent of the constituent states to officially dissolve the Confederacy, consent which Austria refused to give. Since the Confederacy continued to exist in de jure, it would unfortunately undermine the legitimacy of the new Imperial Government and limit its recognition beyond its borders. Several foreign states like Greece, Sweden, and Sardinia would still recognize the new German Empire and would dispatch ambassadors to Frankfurt, but several others like Russia did not, reducing its ability to make trade deals with other states or engaging in diplomacy with its neighbors. One such neighbor was the Kingdom of Denmark.

Like the rest of Europe, the Kingdom of Denmark had experienced its own wave of unrest, forcing its new King Frederick VII to establish a Constitution. Under this new Constitution, absolutism was finally ended in Denmark, a two chambered legislature was established, and suffrage was guaranteed to the men of Denmark. However, these same rights were not bestowed upon the Duchies of Schleswig, Holstein, and Saxe-Lauenburg in the North of the German Empire, which were ruled by the King Frederick VII in personal union as they had been in a state of unrest for two long years after the passage of the 1846 Succession Law implemented by Frederick’s father, King Christian VIII.

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King Frederick VII of Denmark

Schleswig, Holstein, and Saxe-Lauenburg had been Crown dominions of the Danish King for many years prior to the 1848 Revolutions, but by the start of 1846 it would appear that this arrangement was nearing its end. Frederick VII was without issue after twenty years of marriage between three wives, making a division of the realm a very real possibility upon his death as the Three Duchies continued to utilize Salic Law in regards to inheritenance. To combat this, Frederick’s father King Christian VIII unilaterally declared the end of Salic Law in all his holdings, enabling his sister, Princess Charlotte and her heirs to inherit them in the future. While this decision was well received in Denmark, it was universally condemned in the Three Duchies who were becoming increasingly enthralled by German Nationalism and despised paying tribute to a foreign king. Protests and demonstrations against Danish rule would dominate the streets of every city in the region for the next two years until 1848, when King Christian succumbed to a terrible fever and was succeeded by his son King Frederick VII.

Upon King Frederick's ascension, he was immediately compelled by the masses to grant a Constitution to the Kingdom, but as the Three Duchies continued to refuse him, he in turn refused to grant them a constitution. Instead King Frederick and the Danish Government began taking steps towards the unilateral annexation of the Duchy of Schleswig, provoking the Germans of the Duchy to rise in armed revolt in the Summer of 1848 and were joined soon after by their comrades in Holstein and Saxe-Lauenburg. Under the leadership of Prince Frederick of Noer, the rebels would score a few quick victories against the scattered Danish garrison prompting the Duchies to declare their independence from the Danish King. Their optimism would quickly turn to dread however, as the Danes finally gathered forces in late August and began their counterattack, plunging deep into Schleswig and defeating each band of rebels found in their path. Schleswig city put under siege and the rebel government was forced into flight. With defeat looming, the desperate Germans called upon the German Confederacy, soon to be German Empire for assistance against their Danish adversaries.

This call to arms would prove to be the first major crisis for the new Imperial Government as many states within the Empire simply refused to hand over control of their militaries to the Federal Government. Austria was vehemently opposed to the Central Government and refused to recognize its legitimacy. Despite their tepid support for the Frankfurt Constitution, Bavaria and Hanover both resisted the Imperial Government’s efforts to lay claim to their armed forces as well, even the Kingdoms of Saxony and Württemberg dragged their heels despite being hotbeds of liberalism and nationalism in Germany. Their attempts to gain Prussia's army also came to naught as they were engaged in a bloody war against France in the Low Countries and were struggling to contain a major Polish uprising in Poznan.

Despite popular appeals to the Prussian King by the Prussian People to aid the Schleswig-Holsteiners in their fight against Denmark, they were simply stretched too thin and could not provide any help to them at present. Even if they could move to assist them, the Junkers had no intention of doing so as members of the Imperial Government had gone to great lengths to insult Prussia for aggrandizing itself against the Walloons and the Poles. Over the Course of the Fall, various liberals within the Imperial Parliament had even insinuated that Prussia be forced to relinquish its Polish territories as punishment for its hubris and despotism.[4] Although these comments were later retracted by the Parliament, the damage was already done as Prussia began to gradually distance itself from the Frankfurt Government.

To its credit, the German Imperial Government would succeed in prying free some men from the minor principalities of the Empire with the states of Mecklenburg, Oldenburg, Hamburg, and Lubeck contributing the most. Soon several thousand volunteers began to converge on the region, intent on liberating Schleswig, Holstein, and Saxe-Lauenburg from the tyranny of the Danes. Despite their great valor, the German volunteers proved to be poor soldiers compared to the highly disciplined men of the Danish Army. Prince Frederick of Noer also proved to be an incompetent field commander leading his men into a terrible slaughter at Idstedt.

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The Danish Army routs the German Revolutionaries at Idstedt

With their army defeated, the Duchies of Schleswig, Holstein, and Saxe-Lauenburg were quickly overrun by the Danish Army, bringing the conflict to a decisive end by late December. Although the Danish Government promised amnesty to those who surrendered peacefully, many chose to flee afield rather than remain in servitude under the Danish King. While the defeat of the German rebels in the Three Duchies was a terrible setback for the nascent German Empire, it was not the only conflict it faced at this time. The Grand Duchy of Baden, the epicenter for the German Revolutions would also erupt into civil war as the Radicals, Republicans, and Socialists under Friedrich Hecker and Gustave Struve came into conflict with Grand Duke Leopold and the Badenese Government.

For all their faults, Friedrich Hecker and Gustave Struve genuinely believed that the resolutions adopted by the Second Frankfurt Assembly did not go far enough. They vehemently believed the monarchies and nobility of the Empire retained too much power and influence over the direction of the state, while the common man held little to no say in his Government's affairs. They denounced the Imperial Government as a fool’s façade which preserved all the vestiges of monarchism under a thin veil of popular sovereignty. They also remained opposed to the decentralization of the German Empire among several separate states that each retained their own armies, their own heads of states, and their own economies. They blamed the defeat of the Schleswig, Holstein, and Saxe-Lauenburg upon this decentralization of the Empire and the perfidy of the aristocracy. Regardless of their rationale, Hecker and Struve took it upon themselves to right the course of the German Empire through whatever means necessary.

As such, protests remained a common fixture in Karlsruhe, Heidelberg, Freiburg im Breisgau, Offenburg, Rastatt, and other cities and townships across the Grand Duchy well after the September elections. The continued agitation on the parts of the republicans and socialists was for all intents and purposes a slap in the face of Grand Duke Leopold of Baden who had dedicated a tremendous amount of political capital to reach a compromise between the Conservatives and Liberals in the Second Frankfurt Assembly. This effort on his part however had less to do with a genuine commonality and fraternity with the Liberals, than it was an attempt to end the billowing unrest in Baden which had continued unabated for weeks following the failed July Assembly. For Hecker and Struve to summarily reject these proceedings was tantamount to a betrayal of his efforts, one which Grand Duke Leopold would not forgive.

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Grand Duke Leopold of Baden

Spurred on by his formidable wife, Grand Duchess Sophie of Sweden, Grand Duke Leopold in conjunction with the Badenese Diet called upon the Army to end the demonstrations. Sure enough, the protests were ended, but in the process several protestors were killed in the effort. Using Leopold’s use of force against them as a casus belli, Hecker and Struve stirred their followers to take up arms and rise against the tyranny of the Grand Duke and his bourgeoise government. By themselves, the Badenese Revolutionaries would have proven no match for the Badenese Army, as only a few thousand farmers, laborers, students, and intellectuals had joined with them against Grand Duke Leopold, far short of the tens of thousands envisioned by the pair. However, they were to be aided immensely by the Badenese Army itself which summarily fell into a state of mutiny soon after the Heckerkrieg began.

The Badenese Diet in alignment with the new Imperial Government had enacted legislation doubling the size of the Army through various means. Substitution was ended, conscription was established, and the officers’ corps was opened to commoners. While this would succeed in greatly expanding the Badenese army, it would also succeed in weakening it immensely. Officers now had precious little time to train the new recruits, non-commissioned officers now found their careers threatened by the influx of new soldiers, and many middle-class men simply resented having to serve in the army. Added to this was the continued economic recession in Baden which had unfortunately forced budgetary cuts to soldier's pay leading many to fall into arrears. When the Rastatt garrison was called upon by Grand Duke Leopold to move against the Rebels, they simply refused and when threatened with corporal punishment they mutinied en masse.

While Grand Duke Leopold and the Badenese Government would attempt to contain the mutiny to the garrison at Rastatt, within a matter of days it had managed to spread to several other garrisons across the country, which greatly enhanced the viability of the revolt. By the middle of October, more soldiers had sided with the Revolutionaries than with the Government, whereupon the Grand Duke was forced to flee Karlsruhe and appeal to his neighbors and the Imperial Government for aid in restoring order.

Surprisingly, Grand Duke Leopold would succeed in drawing assistance from the Kingdom of Prussia and Prince Wilhelm. Despite their engagement in the ongoing war against France in the Low Countries, Prince Wilhelm had remained well versed in the events in the German Confederacy, now the German Empire. Fortunately, by late Summer and early Fall of 1848 a desperately needed break in the fighting in Belgium enabled Prince Wilhelm to dispatch General Georg Brunsig von Brun and the 4,300 men of 16. Brigade to Baden to assist the Grand Duke. Together with elements of the Badenese Army still loyal to him and a contingent of several hundred Hessian and Württemberg soldiers sent by the Imperial Government; Grand Duke Leopold made his move against the Revolutionaries in a bid to restore the rightful order of Baden.

They were initially successful in defeating Hecker and several of his accomplices at Karlsruhe, but Struve would manage to elude them and would successfully escape to the countryside alongside several hundred of their followers. What followed were several weeks of skirmishes and raids between the two sides as both vied for supremacy over Baden. However, the situation would take a turn in the Revolutionaries favor in early November when the French Armee du Nord advanced into Flanders once more, forcing von Brun to return to Belgium with his men posthaste.[5] The withdrawal of the Prussian forces was an unfortunate blow to Grand Duke Leopold, but not a lethal one as their short stay in Baden had helped stabilize the situation somewhat. Nevertheless, the situation in Southwest Germany remained extremely treacherous as the 1848 came to a close.

The neighboring Kingdom of Bavaria would also experience it own wave of violence in the Fall of 1848. Although the abdication of King Ludwig in the Spring had done much to relieve the tension in the state, unrest continued to proliferate across Franconia and Pfalz. The new King Maximilian II had begun his reign with a flurry of popular reforms, ending the dues owed by the peasantry to the landed nobility, reforming the courts, and making changes to Bavaria’s election laws appeasing the Bavarian liberals. This would not last, however as the second meeting of the Frankfurt Assembly would spell disaster for the Kingdom of Bavaria. Despite promises to the contrary, King Maximilian II resisted the Assembly’s proclamations and vehemently opposed the ratification of the Rights of the German People in the Bavarian Parliament which he believed infringed upon the rights of the aristocracy and monarchy. Moreover, when the Bavarian elections returned a liberal majority in the Bavarian Parliament, King Maximilian II adjourned the body until the following Spring, and appointed an interim government comprised entirely of Moderate Conservatives in their place.

This came as a shock to the people of Bavarian who had seen the young king as a relatively liberal monarch in the few months since his ascension to the throne in late April. Incensed at this betrayal, liberals, republicans, socialists and nationalists throughout the Kingdom of Bavaria rose in revolt against the King, with the largest centers of unrest emerging in the Provinces of Pfalz and Lower Franconia. Within a matter of days, all government forces were driven out of the Palatinate entirely, while they were forced to fight a bitter conflict in Franconia for the next several months. Having rejected the authority of the Imperial Parliament, King Maximilian could not call upon it for aid and while Austria and Prussia were certainly inclined to aid Bavaria in their struggle; they had their own battles to fight and could not send much in the way of assistance.

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Franconian Revolutionaries Combatting Bavarian Troops

The war that followed would be incredibly disruptive for the Kingdom of Bavaria. Raids and counter raids by government troops and revolutionaries blighted the once pristine Bavarian countryside, with the lands of Franconia suffering the worst of it. Despite their great numerical and morale advantage, the revolutionaries generally lacked the same organization and resources that the Government troops had. Nevertheless, the Franconian Revolutionaries would fight long and hard to enforce their will upon their King, but it was not to be. Maximilian would ultimately succeed in his endeavors, crushing the final rebel stronghold at Ansbach on the 10th of February 1849 bringing an end to the conflict. Although sporadic fighting would continue in the following days and weeks, the resolve of the rebels had effectively collapsed following the loss of Ansbach. Efforts by the Kingdom of Bavaria to reclaim the Palatinate would meet with more trouble however.

The prolonged fighting between the Revolutionaries and Bavarian Army in Franconia had provided the Revolutionaries in the Palatinate with desperately needed time to purchase arms from France and train militia units in preparation of the inevitable Bavarian response. That response would never come however as the Bavarian Army threatened to mutiny if they were ordered to march on Pfalz after the terrible and utterly unpopular war in Franconia. Unwilling to risk a rebellion by the Army, King Maximilian relented and offered relatively generous terms to the Pfalz rebels, bringing the Bavarian Revolution to an end in late January 1849.

Although the Bavarian Government would offer a few concessions to the revolutionaries and pardons to most of the revolt's participants, many thousands would ultimately choose to leave Bavaria, never to return. Most would flee to neighboring states like Baden, Wurrtemberg, Hohenzollern, Hesse, or another region of the German Empire. Others would make the long journey to the Americas where they sought to make a new life for themselves and their families. A small number would even cross the Alps to the Italian Peninsula and join the Italian Revolutionaries there in the fight against Austria. Most surprisingly of all, a few German refugees would travel to the little Mediterranean Kingdom of Greece.

Next Time: A Shining Star in a Stormy Sky

Author's Note: I know I originally promised the next part would be a part on Greece, unfortunately the German Confederacy/Empire segment of the update rapidly expanded into its own part, so I ultimately split the update in half, the Germany Update (this one) and the Greek Update which will definitely be next. Also, some of the events in this update will directly impact Greece as will be seen in the next part.

[1] Per OTL, with the only change being a few months delay.

[2] While he was not a particularly Liberal man, Archduke John was a highly regarded man in Germany for both his military service in the Napoleonic Wars and for his reformist inclinations in the Austrian Court which brought him into conflict with Metternich on occasion. He was also a man with extensive experience in government administration and he came from a highly prestigious house.

[3] Whether this was implemented by mistake or implanted intentionally by someone I have no idea, but apparently this peculiar wording was used to great effect by the many parties of the German Confederacy to suit their interests.

[4] Some Liberals within Germany did indeed call for the independence of Poland in OTL, with men like Heinrich von Gagern, Karl August Varnhagen, and Robert Blum being in favor of the creation of a Polish nation state (allied to Germany) which would serve as a buffer state between Germany and Russia. Suffice to say, this didn’t sit well with Prussia in OTL and it won’t sit well with them ITTL either.

[5] Prussia was heavily involved in the subjugation of the OTL 1848 German Revolutions, but with it preoccupied in a bloody war against France in the Low Countries it lacks the means to combat the Revolutionaries ITTL at present.
 
Was ist des Deutschen Vaterland?
So nenne endlich mir das Land!
So weit die deutsche Zunge klingt
Und Gott im Himmel Lieder singt:
Das soll es sein! Das soll es sein!
Das, wackrer Deutscher, nenne dein!
 
Was ist des Deutschen Vaterland?
So nenne endlich mir das Land!
So weit die deutsche Zunge klingt
Und Gott im Himmel Lieder singt:
Das soll es sein! Das soll es sein!
Das, wackrer Deutscher, nenne dein!
Das ist des Deutschen Vaterland,
Wo Eide schwört der Druck der Hand,
Wo Treue hell vom Auge blitzt
Und Liebe warm im Herzen sitzt.
Das soll es sein! Das soll es sein!
Das, wackrer Deutscher, nenne dein!
 
Yay, Germany formed!

Boo, Germany is tremendously dysfunctional. Will it even survive, I wonder?

It’s also interesting how bad of a shape Austria seems to be in. The OTL 1848 Revolutions weren’t this bad, were they?
 
Good update and welcome back from your hiatus...

Wonder what's gonna happen in Italy ITTL...
Thanks, it wasn't my intention to disappear for 4 weeks it just sort of happened, but I' back now and that's all that matters.

Regarding Italy, my plan is to check in on them after this next update on Greece.

Yay, Germany formed!

Boo, Germany is tremendously dysfunctional. Will it even survive, I wonder?

It’s also interesting how bad of a shape Austria seems to be in. The OTL 1848 Revolutions weren’t this bad, were they?
Austria did in fact have quite a few revolts in the OTL 1848 Revolutions. The most famous conflicts are the Hungarian Revolution and the First Italian War of Independence and for good reason, but there were also two more revolts, one in Prague which was put down rather quickly and another in Vienna which resulted in the resignation of Metternich and the abdication of Emperor Ferdinand in favor of his nephew Franz Joseph. The Polish uprising in the Austrian Empire is an invention of mine however, owing to a few key changes thus far, namely the lack of a major November Uprising in 1830 and Metternich's continued Chancellorship ITTL.
 
So is danish controlled Germany now majority danish becasue most of the Germans fled? Also, the latest update isn't threadmark yet
 
Nah, the First Schleswig War was almost exactly the same OTL.
With their army defeated, the Duchies of Schleswig, Holstein, and Saxe-Lauenburg were quickly overrun by the Danish Army, bringing the conflict to a decisive end by late December. Although the Danish Government promised amnesty to those who surrendered peacefully, many chose to flee afield rather than remain in servitude under the Danish King.
 
Nah, the First Schleswig War was almost exactly the same OTL.

This war was a lot shorter or a least it sounds like it. the original first Schleswig war lasted 4 years.

Also there was a lot less German support for the rebels, so they had basically no victories on the battlefield.

Denmark is in a better position with regards to its claims in Schleswig and Holstien because of the quick and total victory
 
So is danish controlled Germany now majority danish becasue most of the Germans fled? Also, the latest update isn't threadmark yet
Northern Schleswig is majority Danish, but Southern Schleswig, Holstein, and Saxe-Lauenburg are almost entirely German still as per OTL.

Also thanks for the heads up, the latest update has been added to the threadmark.

Nah, the First Schleswig War was almost exactly the same OTL.
I wouldn't say its exactly the same. Prussia didn't intervene and the war ended in 1848, as opposed to 1852. It was also a decisive Danish victory as opposed to the OTL's result which was much closer contest that was decided primarily by British and Russian threats against Prussia.

This war was a lot shorter or a least it sounds like it. the original first Schleswig war lasted 4 years.

Also there was a lot less German support for the rebels, so they had basically no victories on the battlefield.

Denmark is in a better position with regards to its claims in Schleswig and Holstien because of the quick and total victory
This Schleswig War officially ended in November/December 1848. There is some sporadic fighting still taking place, but its not really note worthy.

The German rebels did receive some support from the German Confederacy/ German Empire, but it was nowhere near the amount they received in OTL since Prussia is preoccupied with a war against France in the Low Countries.
 
Part 65: A Shining Star in a Stormy Sky
Part 65: A Shining Star in a Stormy Sky

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Athens in 1848

One country that was spared much of the hardship and heartache of the 1848 Revolutions was the small Mediterranean Kingdom of Greece. Unlike much of Europe, Greece was a relatively liberal state for its time; it was adorned with a fully functioning constitution, a moderately liberal monarch in King Leopold, a democratically elected chamber of Parliament in the Vouli, a (mostly) free press, and a semblance of economic freedom and upward mobility for all Greeks in the years leading up to 1848. Greece also enjoyed a degree of political stability and unity in the years following its War for Independence as King Leopold and Prime Minister Ioannis Kapodistrias would strive to form broad consensuses with other parties on most legislative initiatives during this period. Sadly, this era of good feelings would not last forever as repeated crop failures and the collapse of the French economy would send Greece, along with the rest of Europe into a terrible recession beginning in late 1845/early 1846. Although Greece would weather these turbulent storms better than most, social unrest quickly followed these developments bringing an end to the political détente which had ruled Greece since 1830.

The ruling Kapodistriakoi would bear the brunt of this displeasure as they lost 16 of their 57 seats in the 1845 National Elections, forcing then Prime Minister Andreas Metaxas into an early retirement. This in turn would cause the party to essentially collapse as its’ former members became divided among its peers. In their place emerged the Liberal Party (Fileléfthero kómma) of Alexandros Mavrokordatos who championed tax reform, lower tariffs on trade, electoral reforms, and closer relations with Britain among several other policies. Due in part to their strong support among the merchant class and the political elites of Greek society, as well as Mavrokordatos’ generally good relationship with King Leopold; Alexandros Mavrokordatos was appointed as the Third Prime Minister of Greece in mid-January of 1846.

However, as the Liberals lacked a majority of seats in the Vouli with only 24, a coalition was made necessary with the remaining members of the Kapodistriakoi, now branding themselves as the People’s Party (Laïkó Kómma) under Panos Kolokotronis and Constantine Kanaris. While they would retain many of progressive and populist platforms of Ioannis Kapodistrias, they would also emphasize more conservative policy positions on various issues, giving the party a more traditionalist flair compared to its predecessor. In return for their support for Mavrokordatos’ new Government, Panos Kolokotronis and Constantine Kanaris would retain their previous posts as Minister of the Army and Minister of the Navy respectively, while several of their allies would be appointed to other key posts in the new administration as well. Unfortunately, this situation would not bring the desired political stability that had been hoped for by King Leopold and Alexandros Mavrokordatos as the third major player in Greek politics, Ioannis Kolettis and his Nationalist Party (Ethnikistikó Kómma) clamored for an increased portfolio within the new administration.

Of the three major parties in Greek Politics at the time, the Nationalist Party held the most seats in the Vouli with 43; they had originally possessed 37 seats after the 1845 Elections although this number quickly grew when the Kapodistriakoi collapsed prompting several former members to caucus with the Nationalist Party. Among other things, the Nationalist Party had gained a strong following in Central Greece by advocating for the expansion of the Greek state to include all lands inhabited by Greeks. They also called for closer relations with France, the empowerment of the Legislature at the expense of the monarchy, and extensive land reform and labor reform. For these reasons, along with King Leopold's and Alexandros Mavrokordatos’ personal distaste for Ioannis Kolletis, the Nationalists were essentially barred from positions of power within the Mavrokordatos Ministry.

Suffice to say, this arrangement did not sit well with the Nationalist politicians and their supporters within the government and the media around the country. They routinely used their numbers in the Vouli to oppose the Mavrokordatos Ministry; they filibustered key votes on crucial legislative initiatives, they slow rolled the appointment of various judges and ministers, and they would even disrupt ceremonial procedures within the Vouli just to prove a point. One particularly notorious example would see the former Strategos Yannis Makriyannis speak on the floor of the Vouli more than 15 hours just to filibuster a simple vote on the naming of a post office in Amfissa. Another case would see the renowned soldier and much admired leader of the War for Independence, Vasos Mavrovouniotis use his prerogative as the ranking member of the Vouli's Military Affairs Committee to delay key procedural votes on various funding bills and modernization efforts through the use of archaic rules and bombastic speeches. Displays like these would ultimately ground the Legislator to a halt on all but the most important measures thanks to the intransigence of Ioannis Kolettis. Meanwhile, their supporters in the press - of which there were many – routinely attacked the Mavrokordatos Government for its failings in resolving the chronic economic crises that were afflicting Greece throughout the mid-1840’s. Tensions would ultimately come to a head when the neighboring Ionian Islands burst into revolt against the British in early 1848.

Calling for Enosis with the Kingdom of Greece, the Eptanesian protestors quickly seized control of the islands of Paxi, Ithaca, and Lefkada, while sporadic riots on Corfu, Zakynthos, Cephalonia, and Kythira nearly overwhelmed the meager British garrison on the islands. Unfortunately for the Eptanesians, the British authorities were not completely overwhelmed and once they regrouped, they began a ruthless campaign to re-subjugate each of the Ionian Islands one after the other. While they would eventually succeed in restoring British control over all the islands, they would not succeed in quenching the violence as unrest continued to simmer for weeks on end leading to an unfortunately high number of casualties among the protestors. As a result, many dozens were killed, hundreds more were imprisoned, and an untold number were forced to flee the islands or face continued persecution. The overly harsh nature of the British response would however spark tremendous outrage in the neighboring Kingdom of Greece leading many thousands of Nationalist voters to march on the British Embassy in Athens demanding justice. Demonstrations would carry on for days on end outside the British Consulate, before spreading to the Hellenic Parliament Building and the Royal Palace as the protestors demanded a response from their government.

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Protestors gather outside the Hellenic Parliament Building

The situation in the Ionian Islands presented a serious problem for the Anglophilic King Leopold and Alexandros Mavrokordatos who had both gone to great lengths to shore up the Greco-British Relations over the years, to the point where Britain had become Greece's chief ally, trading partner, and benefactor. However, this heavy-handed response against Ionian civilians, against ethnic Greeks was simply indefensible by any measure, forcing the Greek Government to issue a diplomatic objection to London, denouncing their use of force against the people of the Ionian Islands. Surprisingly, no meaningful response would initially come from this Greek missive as the British Government was occupied with more important matters, namely the ongoing war against Persia, the war in the Low Countries, and the burgeoning revolt in Ireland which occupied the majority of their efforts throughout much of 1848. But as the situation on the Ionian Islands continued to fester unresolved, Sir Robert Peel’s government was finally forced to take action on the matter in late Summer.

Writing to the High Commissioner of the Ionian Islands, Baron Seaton, Peel ordered him to settle the matter with the Eptanesians forthwith and by whatever means necessary as Her Majesty's Government did not wish to deal with yet another crisis at the moment. Moreover, Peel informed Seaton that given the low priority of his post in comparison to Belgium, Persia, and Ireland, he could expect little aid in the immediate future. The message was clear, Seaton was being ordered to pursue other, more peaceful methods of ending the violence on the islands rather than continuing to use force. On the 26th of August, Baron Seaton announced a general amnesty for all dissidents involved in the revolt with all those arrested going free. Additionally, those newspapers which had been shuttered under martial law were now allowed to be reopened and exiled Eptanesians were permitted to return home without fear of persecution or imprisonment. While Baron Seaton's amnesty would bring an end to much of the ongoing violence, it would not effectively resolve the preexisting issues that had sparked the revolt in the first place, namely a growing desire on the part of the Eptanesians for Enosis with the Kingdom of Greece.

While, the situation on the Ionian Islands would temporarily settle down, the unrest in Greece was only starting as other groups of agitators and activists would try to take advantage of the demonstrations in Athens to push their own agendas, including members of Prime Minister Alexandros Mavrokordatos' own party who pushed for extensive electoral reforms. Although the Liberals pushed for a broad swath of changes and reforms ranging from expansion of the Vouli to the abolishment of the Senate; the most heated issue of contention by far was the hated 10 Drachma (₯) poll tax, with many calling for its reduction or total elimination.

For the average laborer in Greece, 10 Drachma represented a sizeable percentage of a single month’s earnings making it a relatively expensive tax for the average man in Greece at the time.[1] Many believed that the tax had been imposed as a means of prohibiting the poor from voting as they could not easily afford this high cost to vote. Whether it was intended to do so or not, the end result was the same; those who could not afford to pay the tax could not vote, while those who could, did. Many would even consider the Poll tax to be a violation of the 1831 Constitution which proscribed suffrage as a universal right for all male citizens with no clauses pertaining to their wealth or office. Several activists and lawyers would argue that any effort to impede or otherwise disenfranchise lawful citizens of their right to vote represented an illegal act, an act which they claimed the Poll tax to be.

The Poll taxes’ various proponents defended the payment of the fee as a noble sacrifice in the pursuit of democracy, that ensured voters were making an investment in the direction of the state. Others described it as a necessary evil meant to help finance the entire election process which were certainly expensive enterprises. However, while some funds collected did pay for the hosting of elections and the staging of debates between candidates, most funds found their way into the Government’s general fund and were spent on other things unrelated to the election process. Ultimately, the Vouli agreed, rather quickly and quietly, that the Poll Tax should be reduced from 10 Drachma to 5 and that it would only be imposed for National Elections.

Another often overlooked reform passed by the Vouli in early 1848 regarded the National Bank of Greece, which was accused of prejudice against poor farmers and entrepreneurs. According to various editorials at the time, the Bank had been repeatedly rejecting requests for loans by small sustenance farmers and small business owners to expand their enterprises or modernize their equipment. Other accounts depict ridiculously high rates of interest on the loans they did receive, with some rates being as high as 25% in a few rare cases. Larger plantations and wealthy merchants, however, were not subject to the same high interest rates of their smaller counterparts and were, more often than not provided generous loans without much time or effort. The apparent discrimination of the Bank against poor borrowers was not something that the Government could stand by and watch, and so new regulations were imposed upon the Bank requiring it to provide loans to all interested parties regardless of wealth or property. Additionally, interest rates were to be fixed at one equal rate for all borrowers, rather than a set of differing rates for different individuals.

The final set of reforms adopted by the Greek Government in the Spring of 1848 regarded the Government’s regulation of the press. Henceforth, the restrictions on the media’s coverage of the Church, the Royal Family, and the Government were lifted making the Greek Press a truly free press. Other efforts by the activists to diminish King Leopold’s constitutional powers met with very little success however, as the King jealously guarded his prerogative against any challengers, while the radical demands to abolish the monarchy and empower the office of the Prime Minister met with little success as well. Eventually, with the Poll tax lowered, the restrictions on the press lifted, and the National Bank regulated the protests came to end for a time. However, as 1848 wore on this began to change as boatloads of refugees started to land on Greece's shores.

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The Forty-Niners are Forced from Europe

The first to arrive in the Fall of 1848 were a few hundred Moldavians who fled to the Kingdom of Greece after the failure of the revolutions in their homeland in late October. They were joined a few months later by the arrival of several thousand Vlach, Neapolitan, and Sicilian refugees after the collapse of the Wallachian Revolution in January 1849 at the hands of the Russian and Ottoman Empires, and the failure of the Sicilian Revolution in late April 1849 following the re-imposition of Bourbon rule over the island of Sicily. The next few months and years would also see a number of Poles, Hungarians, and Czechs journey to Greece seeking to escape the conflict and oppression in their home countries, while a small number of French liberals would travel to Greece out of contempt for the new Bonapartist regime. Of all the peoples to travel to Greece in 1848 and 1849, the most numerous group of new arrivals were by far the Germans who landed in Greek ports by the thousands.

Generally referred to as the Forty Niners (49ers), or Sarantaenniarides in Greece, these migrants were comprised mostly of former German revolutionaries from Baden, Bavaria, and Schleswig-Holstein who fled abroad after the failure of their uprisings in their home states. Most traveled to other, more liberal states within the German Empire like Hesse and Frankfurt, while others would choose to travel abroad to the Americas or British Australia. Some would go to Switzerland and Italy, while some went to France and Great Britain. Most surprisingly of all, a few thousand would make the journey to the small Mediterranean Kingdom of Greece owing to its liberal constitution, its democratic system of government, and its free press; Greece's vibrant culture and ancient wonders were certainly a major draw to many as well.

Some of those who traveled to Greece sought to enjoy its liberal system of government and free press which enabled them to promote and practice their political views without fear of persecution. Most however, were simply poor peasants and laborers who had unfortunately joined the losing side in these uprisings and now sought to escape the reach of the vengeful victors. Others came to Greece seeking land and work as many thousands had lost their homes, their property, and their very livelihoods thanks to the Revolutions, and while land was generally in short supply, work was not thanks to the booming shipping industry and expanding industrial sector. All told, some 38,000 men, women, and child would settle in Greece, either permanently or temporarily between 1848 and 1860 as a result of the 1848 Revolutions and the fallout that ensued.[2]

While Greece had attracted a few hundred Philhellenes, historians, archaeologies, artists, and romanticists to its shores in years past, the arrival of such a large host of people in Greece over such a short period of time would prove to be quite disruptive to the young Kingdom. Many thousands were penniless beggars carrying with them little more than the shirts on their backs, others possessed radical agendas which proved troublesome for the Greek Government, and while none of them were particularly notorious criminals or radicals, there were numerous dissidents and former soldiers in their ranks. Most of the men in fact, had actively taken up arms against their regional lords and monarchs only a short while ago, before they were forced to flight by the resurgent Conservatives posing a slight concern to the Greek Government.

Nevertheless, every effort was taken to house and feed these refugees at a great expense to the Greek Government initially, however, over time their services to the Greek state would prove enormous. Among their number were several hundred engineers and architects, artisans and artists, doctors and professors who quickly found work in Greece, building roads and bridges, creating works of art and composing symphonies, treating the sick, and teaching the young. They would also provide a much-needed boost to Greece’s nascent industrial sector, its media industry, the Greek Military, and the Hellenic Socialist party which rapidly grew from a small clique of fringe activists and intellectuals to a few thousand supporters by the start of 1850.

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A few of the more noteworthy 49ers to emigrate either permanently or temporarily to Greece
(top left to top right: Louis Prang, Louis Blenker, Oswald Ottendorfer, and Carl Bergmann)
(bottom left to bottom right: Alexander Herzen, Louis Blanc, and Włodzimierz Krzyżanowski)​

Aside from the financial cost to care for the refugees, the language and religious difference of the Sarántaenniarides also posed a signifanct issue for the Greek Government. Many were Protestant Germans or Catholic Italians with little understanding of the Greek language or Greek Culture. Although most intellectuals were well read on the history and works of Ancient Greece, nearly all of them were ignorant of the modern nation state and its people aside from what they had been told in the often glamorized and highly inaccurate accounts of the Greek War for Independence found in their local newspapers. Efforts to accommodate these religious and cultural differences would meet with some trouble on occasion as various groups of migrants accidentally provoked violent altercations with their new Greek neighbors after committing various gaffes and faux pas.

The most alarming incident would come about following an attempt by several refugees to establish a Catholic church in Athens, which provoked public outrage throughout the Spring of 1850. Over the course of April and May 1850, several hundred Orthodox priests, parishioners and devout practitioners demonstrated outside the proposed sight of the church on the west side of the city, denouncing the papists and their plots to subjugate the Greek Church. The protests would fortunately remain relatively peaceful for their entire duration, outside of a few minor incidents by a few violent agitators. Generally, though, these refugees were welcomed with open arms by the people of Greece whose hospitality was exemplary. Even the poorest of households in Greece considering it their duty and their honor to be gracious and generous hosts to those in need.

Over time a few of the Sarántaenniarides would choose to leave Greece for other lands and other opportunities, but the vast majority would choose to stay with most settling in and around Athens, Crete, and the Peloponnese. A particularly large group of Germans, now known in posterity as the Morean Germans, would settle in the cities of Tripolitsa, Kalamata, and Sparta where they would manage to retain trace elements of their language and culture to this day. Many of the other Forty Niners in Greece, particularly those from smaller groups, however, would eventually assimilate into their local community, adopting the Greek language and Greek customs in the span of a few generations, with only their Hellenized family names providing any insight into their foreign origin. Despite this, the Sarántaenniarides would have a few lasting effects on Greek culture as well, namely the popularization of the Christmas Tree in Greece, the translation of various literary works into Greek, and the introduction of a few foreign dishes into the Greek culinary menu among several other innovations and developments. There would be other political repercussions for their arrival in Greece however.

The stream of refugees journeying to Greece in 1848, quickly grew into a flood by late 1849 as nearly one thousand people arrived on Greece's shores every month, before reaching its peak of nearly 2,500 men, women, and children in July of 1849 alone. While this number would quickly subside to a few hundred by the end of the year, the damage had been done as this coincided perfectly with the 1849 National Elections. Sadly, some concerns had begun to mount of a growing erosion of Greek culture as wave after wave of foreigners came to their lands in steadily increasing numbers with apparent end in sight. Many Greeks openly disagreed with the Mavrokordatos Government's handling of the situation, which combined with the sudden resurgence of unrest on the Ionian Islands earlier that Summer and the subsequent British reprisals against the Eptanesians served to greatly undermine the Liberal Party and their coalition partners during that year's elections.

Ioannis Kolettis and his Nationalists, would deftly take advantage of their rival's weaknesses by stoking the fears of the people. Their anti-Turkic policy positions and support for Greek communities beyond the borders of the Kingdom of Greece also aided his cause to great effect as the Mavrokordatos Government had done little to help the Greeks beyond their borders, while kowtowing to foreign interests. This fear mongering would succeed for when election day finally arrived, the Nationalists won an easy victory, securing 53 seats in the Vouli out of 94, while the remaining 41 were largely divided between the Liberals (18 seats) and the People's Party (23 seats).

King Leopold would at first attempt to retain Alexandros Mavrokordatos as Prime Minister of a new minority Government, but recognizing that the new political environment would be disadvantageous to him, Mavrokordatos politely declined the King's offer. Leopold would then offer the position to his good friend and confidant, Panos Kolokotronis. Yet in spite of Kolokotronis' deep seated interest in the office, he would similarly decline the position and instead proposed his ally Constantine Kanaris for the office instead given his cordial relations with many of the Nationalists. Kanaris would accept the role when the King asked him, but when he attempted to form a government, he discovered to his dismay that any government he created would be largely impotent, and solely reliant upon the support of the Nationalists. This situation quickly proved untenable and Kanaris was forced to resign after little more than a month in office. This situation would continue for several more weeks, before King Leopold, under pressure from both the right and the left approached Ioannis Kolettis. Despite their differences in policy and their personal disagreements, Kolettis graciously accepted the King's offer to become the 5th Prime Minister of Greece.

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Ioannis Kolettis, the 5th Prime Minister of Greece

The Kolettis Ministry would prove to be a rather divisive, if productive Premiership as it would see several important pieces of legislation come to the fore. In response to the recent waves of refugees, Kolettis and the Nationalists, along with some Liberals and Conservatives, passed into law several laws reaffirming Greek as the official language of the Greek Government and Greek Orthodoxy was recognized as the preeminent religion of the Kingdom of Greece. This would spur something of a controversy when several Liberal Representatives attempted to propose establishing Demotic Greek as the official language of the Greek state instead of Katharevousa Greek. This proposal was quickly shouted down by several of their peers who viciously chased the offending legislators from the Parliament building altogether, bringing an end to the debate. The Nationalists would also sponsor legislation providing a modest increase to the funding the Church of Greece received from the Government to assist it in the fulfillment of its responsibilities. Aside from this however, the Kolettis Ministry would prove to be surprisingly welcoming to the new immigrants and even encouraged it in some instances especially when the refugees in question possessed skills or practiced trades that were of value to Greece.

Other areas of importance for the Greek Government under Ioannis Kolettis regarded land reform, education reform, and electoral reform. The National Land Cadastre was reopened by the Kolettis Ministry and subsequently empowered to purchase land from prospective sellers and distribute it to willing buyers. The University of Athens was endowed with several hundred thousand Drachma by the Greek Government to provide financial assistance to needy students, as well as those who exhibit particular worth or merit as scholars. Following the completion of the 1850 Census which returned a new total population of 1,366,551 people for Greece, Ioannis Kolettis supported the expansion of the Vouli from 94 members to 136. The measure proved immensely popular amongst all the parties and was passed without much delay. Once complete, Kolettis then called for snap elections to fill the new vacant seats and to no one's surprise, the final vote was in his favor with 81 seats for the Nationalists, 30 for the People's Party, 23 for the Liberal Party, 1 seat for the new Socialist Party, and 1 Independent Representative who caucused with the Nationalists.

The final major policy of the Kolettis Government regarded the office of the Prime Minister itself. For years, the Prime Minister had been appointed at the discretion of the King, regardless of which party ruled in the Vouli. Most recently, King Leopold had appointed Alexandros Mavrokordatos and Constantine Kanaris to the post despite possessing less seats than the Nationalist Party. Ioannis Kolettis set out to change this, and enacted the "Dedilomeni Principle", an unspoken rule between the Legislature and the Crown, which would oblige the King to appoint Ministers from the plurality party in the Vouli. Surprisingly, the measure found a degree of support among the Liberals in the Vouli who also championed the initiative, pushing it beyond the 2/3rds majority threshold needed to overcome King Leopold's veto threats. Despite King Leopold's resistance to such an act, the Crown would eventually consent to the endeavor once an amendment was attached to the bill enabling the King to still pick his Premier from among the ranking members of the party in power, rather than its leading member providing the Monarch with a degree of flexibility in regards to his choice of Prime Minister.

For the Kingdom of Greece, the Revolutions of 1848 would come and go without much controversy. The various protests in March and April of 1848 had been effectively dealt with and a potential crisis had been averted. While the arrival of many thousands of refugees and immigrants would prove to be a concern in 1849, by 1850 the situation had settled down once again bringing peace to the land. When that year’s Independence Day celebrations arrived on the 25th of March, the streets of Athens were filled with jubilant crowds, spectacular fireworks shows, competitions, boat races, and feasting. Despite the tension of the previous year, Athens was aflutter with activity as honored guests, foreign dignitaries, and prominent politicians gathered to witness the spectacle of the day. Singers sang their songs, musicians played their instruments, dancers danced, actors acted, and the people celebrated as the remaining veterans of the War for Independence paraded through the city like conquering heroes. The greatest spectacle of all was reserved for the King.

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King Leopold Greets the People of Athens

Departing from the royal palace on the Eastern edge of Athens, King Leopold, his eldest son Prince Constantine, and his younger son Prince Alexander rode around the entire circumference of the city before making their way back to Syntagma Square at the head of their guard in a brilliant spectacle of pomp and circumstance. This day was a good day for Leopold. As the great crowned heads of Europe now cowered and cowed, Leopold stood tall and proud for he had succeeded where others did not. The parvenu dynasty of a parvenu state had endured while the ancient houses of Orleans, Wittlesbach, and Hapsburg struggled to survive. Whereas the streets of Paris and Vienna were filled with barricades and the blood of their people, the streets of Athens were filled with confetti and flower petals, music and merriment, joyous celebration and raucous revelry. When the King’s procession finally entered the plaza at the end of their long parade, the crowd erupted into celebration, a celebration which would continue well into the night, a celebration that would be remembered for many years to come.

While the Kingdom of Greece was generally at peace over the course of 1848 and 1849, the same can not be said of its people as several hundred Greek citizens journeyed abroad to aid in the struggle for liberty. Many hundreds went to the Principalities of Wallachia and Moldavia to aid them in their revolts against the Ottomans and Russians, with a few dozen even taking part in the last, desperate stand by the revolutionaries at Targoviste. Others would make the short voyage across the Ionian sea to the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies where they would aid in the failed revolution there. Finally, several hundred men would travel to the Po river valley where they would fight alongside the Lombard Revolutionaries and the Sardinian army against the hated Austrian Empire.

Next Time: Risorgimento

[1] Unfortunately, I don’t have any specific sources detailing what the typical Greek laborer's wages were in the 19th Century in OTL, but I can make a generalization based on British wages around the same time for equivalent professions. The people most likely effected by a Poll tax would be unskilled to low skilled laborers. The average British worker made about 30 to 40£ a year around 1850 for a low skilled laborer job or equivalent occupation. Based on this the average Greek laborer would make somewhere around 830 to 1110 Drachma per year at an exchange rate of 27.8 Drachma to 1 Pound Sterling. However, Greece being a much poorer country than 19th Century Britain and having a much lower cost of living, this wage would likely be a good bit lower even with the changes ITTL. so while, 10₯ defiantly wouldn’t bankrupt the average voter, it would still be an unnecessarily high fee for many voters to stomach just to be able to vote in an election.

[2] At a glance, this may appear to be an absurdly huge number of people, but it is important to note that this is the total number of people who travel to Greece between 1848 and 1860. In this same period of time in OTL, over one million German refugees traveled to the United States alone, while many more tens of thousands traveled to Australia, South America, Switzerland and the UK. Added to this were tens of thousands of Italian refugees, Polish refugees, Hungarian refugees, and Irish refugees making this one of the largest mass migrations of people in modern history.

Its also important to note, that while the situation in Europe after the revolutions will be a good bit different than it was in OTL, there will still be many hundreds of thousands of disenfranchised and disillusioned people seeking a new beginning in a new land. Most will still go to the United States as per OTL, but a decent number of immigrants and refugees might be attracted to Greece as it is much more stable, more prosperous, and more liberal than it was in OTL.
 
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