To What Extent Was the Failure of the Frankfurt Parliament Mainly Due to Its Lack of Military Power?

1161 Words5 Pages
The main reason for the failure of the Frankfurt parliament was indefinitely its lack of military power, which could have been used to combat any opposing forces that didn’t follow with their decisions. However Prussia and King Friedrich Wilhelm IV (King Frederick William or KFWIV) must also be counted into the failure of the Frankfurt Parliament, as must the factors of Austrian presence and Internal Problems within the Frankfurt Parliament. Primarily, military power was non-existent in the Frankfurt Parliament and in its endeavours, as there was simply no money to pay for an army. Many states in Germany had armies, but none were as powerful as that of Prussia or Austria. The parliament would have been able to muster volunteers, but there was no money to equip them with weapons, and the only way that the Parliament would have been able to make money, would be by introducing taxes. However, the Parliament simply couldn’t just create money from taxes as everyone refused to pay the taxes. The payment of taxes could have been enforced, but there was no army to do the enforcement. There were no consequences to the people of the German Empire if they disobeyed the decisions of the Frankfurt Parliament, so decisions were not followed by the people. This was not surprising, as there was no previous history of a democracy in Germany before the Frankfurt Parliament, therefore there was not much support from the ordinary people for the new concept. Without military power, the new Parliament had none of the two principal needs for enforcement of ideas. They didn’t have the power of “fear” – something crucial which was needed to get in the hearts and minds of opposers to the acts the Parliament issued. Secondly, they had no respect – without which, people wouldn’t look to the Parliament and acknowledge any requests. The lack of respect (due to a lack of military power) meant
Open Document