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 was
spreading over Europe.
In March 1848 King Frederik VII, under pressure
from the Danish population, apoinys the "March ministry” under the
leadership of prime minister A.W. Moltke.
The aim is to create a democratic constitution for Denmark.
The formation of a Constituent ministry was
directly derived from the Schleswig question. A representative of the
minded Schleswig and Holstein local reprersentation came on 18
March18th to London with a demand for separation of the
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 were used
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 22th
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
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
On march 23th 1848 the German officials,
officers and citizens proclaimed a temporary Schleswig-Holstein
Officially the provisional government was
created as a consequence of the development in Copenhagen, and invoked
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 government
in practice would incorporate Schleswig and thus unite all of the <
Schleswig-Holstein area, which the king and the Danish government would
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 out in
Copenhagen or the rumors were a pretext the rebels used to exploit the
situation with a tinge of legality
and thus ensure
popular 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
Duke (The Danish King) from 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
Den provisoriske regerings
proklamation 24. marts 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
volunteers under the command of the Provisional Government's
secretary of war minister, Frederick of Noer. He was the
brother of the
Duke of 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 possible for
the military force from Kiel to drive the train directly into the
fortress. Here they fast occupied the
main guard building and other
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
captured 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-
The Rebel Army leaves
war in the Duchies was now a fact.