Danish-Prussian Wars 1848-50 and 1864
The Background of the two Danish-Prussian wars
Europe, replacing the one revolution of the second, starting with the
revolution from France in February 1848, the wish for civil rights
spreading over Europe.
In March 1848 King Frederik VII, under pressure
from the Danish population, apoints the
"March ministry” under the leadership of prime minister A.W. Moltke.
The aim was to create a democratic constitution for Denmark.
The formation of a Constituent ministry was
directly derived from the Schleswig question. A representative of the
Schleswig and Holstein local reprersentation came on 18
March18th to London with a demand for separation of the three duchies
from Danish sovereign..
At the same time there were various German ideas
about Europe and Germania.
1848 came Jacob Grimm's „Geschichte der deutschen Sprache.“
the first (but not last) time culture, language and folklore
as arguments for political action. Grimm, who was a well known linguist,
writes in his preface:
"Lorraine, Alsace, Switzerland, Belgium and
Holland is a part of our (German) Empire.
In a few generations will perhaps only three European people be in
power: The romans, the slaves and Germania. "
Denmark also had a remark:
"When the big associations are formed, why should
the recalcitrant (Jutland) peninsula, not be part of det main land.
.... Once Germany reorganizes itself, Denmark can
impossible be as before. "
This was a German scientific view.
The Duchies marked with red.
Copenhagen, it meant that the National Liberal “Ejder-people” (the one
who wanted the Danish boarder south of Schleswig) could
remove a part of the Kings nationalists from their ministerial posts
and take control of Denmark, 1848 march 22nd.
The new government then on March 24th sent the deputation
from Schleswig and Holstein back with the message, that the
would accept a Holstein secession from the Danish kingdom, But Schleswig
was still supposed to be a part of Denmark.
people in the streets,
Copenhagen march 21st 1848
the a rumor arolse in Kiel that the king would be captured by the "mob"
in Copenhagen. This rumor was used by the central
figures in the
German and Schleswig-Holstein's movement to complete secession of the
two duchies. On march 23th 1848 the German
officers and citizens proclaimed a temporary Schleswig-Holstein
government in Kiel.
Officially the provisional government was
created as a consequence of the development in Copenhagen, and invoked
to represent the
Crown, as long as the king was captured and thus did
not have his full freedom of action. The idea was no doubt that the rebel govern-
ment in practice would incorporate Schleswig and thus unite all of the Schleswig-Holstein area, which the king and the Danish govern-
Proclamation of the rebel government in Kiel
Members of the" Government "in Kiel
this was due to confusion and poor communication or the people in that
in Kiel actually believed that the revolution had broken
Copenhagen or the rumors were a pretext the rebels used to exploit the
situation with a tinge of legality and thus ensure
support is undecided.
On 24 March, i.e. next morning, the Provisional
Government issued a proclamation calling for Schleswig and Holstein merged into a
single state in personal union with the Kingdom of
Denmark. They declared as their mission to defend the duchies and the
(The Danish King) against any harm.
The proclamation did not have a revolutionary
character, which undoubtedly contributed to the rebel government was recognized as
legitimate by most state officials. Almost all towns in
the duchies recognized the proclamation during the next days.
Preoclamation of march 24th. 1848
Herzog ist durch eine Volksbewegung in Kopenhagen gezwungen
bisherigen Rathgeber zu entlassen, und eine feindliche
Stellung gegen die Herzogthümer einzunehmen."
"Der Wille des
Landesherrn ist nicht mehr frei und das Land ohne Regierung."
"Wir werden es
nicht dulden wollen, daß Deutsches Land dem Raube der Dänen
Preis gegeben werde."
"Wir werden uns
mit aller Kraft den Einheits- und Freiheitsbestrebungen
."Wir werden uns mit aller Kraft den Einheits- und
Freiheitsbestrebungen Deutschlands anschließen."
rebel government in Kiel now expected the government in Copenhagen would
order some military action against it and quickly a
usefull army was
established to ensure the Danish Fortress Rendsburg, which was the
strongest military garrison in the Denmark
containing a large arsenal of
That same morning, March 24, a special train
drove from Kiel to Rendsburg with the soldiers from the garrison in Kiel
and 50 volunteers
under the command of the Provisional Government's
secretary of war minister, Frederick of Noer. He was the brother of the
Augustenborg, who hoped to become king of Denmark and the
duchies after the childless King Frederik VII. This was, however,
refuted in 1846, which secured the
succession of the crown over Denmark and the duchies.
The Duke of Augustenborg
The Prince of Noer
railroad from Kiel to Rendsburg and Neumünster unfortunately passed
through the outer fortress works of Rendsborg , why it was
the military force from Kiel to drive the train directly into the
fortress. Here they fast occupied the main guard building and
By ringing the fire bells they had collected the
Danish soldiers - unarmed – on the fortress parade ground.
The Prince of Noer, now in a Danish general
uniform , gave a speech in which he stated that he and the Provisional Government in Kiel
had taken over the government of the Duchies, as long
as the Duchies rightful monarch, the king in Copenhagen, was held
by the Copenhagen mob. Officers and soldiers who wanted to
travel to Denmark, were free to go . Most officers chose to travel to
Denmark while the vast
majority of privates and sergeants chose the Schleswig-Holstein rebel
The Rebel Army leaves
war in the Duchies was now a reality.