Weranian Unification, known in Werania as simply the "Einigung", was the process in which the previous divided kingdoms and city-states of the Weranic lands became the modern nation state of the Weranian Confederation which was declared on the 17th March 1842. The process is believed to have started with the Weranian Revolution of 1828 although has its roots in the 1785 revolution that had led to the dissolution of the Rudolphine Confederation and the creation of the Weranian Republic.
Inspired by a mixture of notions including nationalism, historical revisionism, republicanism, liberalism, secularism and democracy the impetus for Weranian unification following the republic's dissolution led to the start of the "Weranic Question" of whether a state for the Weranian people should emerge, if it should be a republic or monarchy and if it only consist of Weranic speaking lands or be enlarged to those ruled by the Weranic people, understood to mean whether Sunrosia would be part of a Weranian nation. During the early 19th century these questions led to an outpouring of nationalist activity in the Weranic states notably through the revolutionary secret society, the Septemberists.
By 1829 republican nationalists united with monarchists in the Kingdom of Cislania to jointly promote the cause of unification. Gaining the support of Estmere these liberal nationalists began to see Sunrosia - previously thought to be the most likely candidate to unify the Weranic lands - as the biggest obstacle to unification. From 1836 starting with the Septemberist Revolt in Bonnlitz-Ostbrücken to the 1840-1842 Weranian War of Unification the pace of unification under the Cislanian banner rapidly increased with the Weranian Confederation being declared following the victory of Cislanian forces in 1842. The state further expanded with the Easter Revolution in the eastern Weranian states.
The final act of Weranian unification was the War of the Triple Alliance fought between Werania and Estmere against Sunrosia, Gaullica and Narozalica. Although the war had intended to unite the rest of the Weranic lands in Sunrosia - considered to be the entirely Weranic speaking Cisvetania and partially Weranic speaking Ruttland - into Werania, it failed to do so with Werania acquiring Ruttland alone. However the war did result in the survival of a unified Weranic nation confirming its presence permanently in Euclea.
Weranian unification is considered to have changed the balance of power in Euclea. It represented a decline in Sunrosia and Solstiana whilst the creation of a unified Werania introduced a new great power on the continent that would compete with Gaullica, Narozalica, Estmere and Etruria for influence. Weranian unification is still celebrated in Werania despite there still being debate as to whether its primary protagonists - Rudolf VI and Ulrich von Bayrhoffer - intended to unify Werania or whether unification was the result of ad hoc agreements pursued out of pragmatism and opportunism.
- 1 Brief Timeline
- 2 Background
- 3 Early nationalist activity
- 4 1828 revolution
- 5 Path to unification
- 6 Irrendentist Course
- 7 Inner unification
- 8 Legacy
- 1785 - The Weranian Revolution. The Rudolphine Emperor Leopold III is overthrown by republicans and Weranic nationalists who declare the Weranian Republic. The revolution quickly spreads across the Confederation until the republicans are victorious creating a national convention under the leadership of the Brotherhood for the Rights of Man who supported a centralised republican state based on the Cult of Rationalism.
- 1789 - The republic after internal instability is embroiled in conflict with [neighbours]. Balthasar Hötzendorf is elected commander of the revolutionary armies by the National Diet ushering in a period of militarised republicanism.
- 1801 - The Weranian Republic is dissolved after Sunrosian, Estmerish and Narozalica defeat it militarily. Its replacement however is far more truncated then the former states in the Rudolphine Confederation with seven kingdoms and two free cities being created.
- 1816 - The Central Revolutionary Federation commonly simply known as the Septemberists (Septembristen) is founded in XXX. A network of secret revolutionary societies the Septemberists would become one of the most influential groups agitating for Weranian unification based on a republican model.
- 1821 - Bloody Summer. A series of liberal insurrections across the Weranian states. Most are small scale and ineffective, but notably a liberal revolution in Cislania leads King Karl Theodor to promulgate a constitutional monarchy, the first of its kind in the Weranic states.
- 1828 - The Weranian Revolution of 1828. Septemberist republicans raise up across Werania. A second republic is declared in Westbrücken, the heart of the pan-Weranic movement. The revolts are crushed with Sunrosian and Estmerish assistance but the strength of pan-Weranicism is reaffirmed. There is also a shift in the central thrust of pan-Weranicism from republicanism to cooperation with the liberal monarchy of Cislania. During the revolution there is the appointment of Ulrich von Bayrhoffer as Minister-President of Cislania and the rise of the Pan-Weranic Party in the Kingdom. Reconciliation begins between the Cislanian monarchy and the Septemberists over the pan-Weranic cause.
- 1836 - The Septemberist Revolt in Bonnlitz-Ostbrücken. The Septemberists supported by Cislania lead a successful uprising against the unpopular and diplomatically isolated monarchy of Bonnlitz-Ostbrücken. A free state is declared. King Karl Theodor is invited to serve as king in a personal union.
- 1836-1837 - The Cislanian-Solstianan War. In response to the Septemberist Revolt the Kingdom of Solstiana demands Cislania end the personal union with Bonnlitz-Ostbrücken. This leads to war between the two nations which ends with a status quo antebellum after Werania is able to confirm Estmerish neutrality.
- 1840-1842 - Weranian War of Unification. Cislania declares war on a coalition of Roetenberg, Prizen, Elbenweis and Westbrücken, considered to be in the Sunrosian sphere of influence. Werania wins against them with nominal assistance from Estmere. The Treaty of XXX sees Prizen enter personal union with Cislania which formally declares the creation Weranic Confederation which also includes Roetenberg and Elbenweis. Westbrücken is named the federal capital. Karl Theodor becomes head of state with the regal name Rudolf VI.
- 1846 - The Easter Revolution. A nationalist revolution in Wolfsfled purportedly instigated by Werania leads to repression by the King of Wolfsfled. The repression spurs Werania to issue an ultimatum that demands referendums to be held in Wolfsfled, Wiittislich and Kolreuth on the issue of unification. With few allies the three states hold concurrent referendums which see them agree to unify into Werania.
- 1852-1855 - The War of the Triple Alliance. Werania issues an ultimatum to Sunrosia to surrender its Weranic regions. This leads to the War of the Triple Alliance between Werania and Estmere against Sunrosia, Narozalica and Gaullica that ends with Ruttland being ceded to Werania. This is typically considered to be the final act of Weranian unification.
Weranian unification can be traced back to the upsurge of nationalism that accompanied the 1785 Weranian Revolution that swept across the Weranic speaking lands of the Rudolphine Confederation. The revolution was preceded by the Rudolphine Emperor Leopold III's efforts to centralise the state undermining noble privileges which sapped support for the monarchy. When revolutionaries marched on the Palace of Hochgäu in September 1785 the noble armies failed to heed the Emperor's call to arms; he subsequently made the unilateral decision to abdicate being replaced by a regency led by Ignaz Bartuska. The revolutionaries declared a National Diet published the "Declaration of the Rights of Man" directly inspired by similar documents in Etruria and Rayenne; it delineated that every man in the territory was a citizen of Werania and the National Diet represented the people first and foremost. The revolutionary movement soon spread across the Confederation with revolutionary masses seizing power in many of the old kingdoms; by January 1786 the revolutionaries ruled most of the Weranic lands, with the confederation decisively defeated by citizens armies.
The most prominent revolutionary faction was the Brotherhood for the Rights of Man who were inspired by the revolutions in Rayenne and Etruria. The Brotherhood followed the Cult of Rationalism (Kult der Rationalismus) that amongst other things emphasised republicanism, centralisation, rationalism, intense anti-clericalism and militarism calling for the mobilisation of vast citizen-armies based on republican virtue. Although the Brotherhood and their supporters were more informed by republican and rationalist discourse their emphasis on citizens rather then subjects, use of the Weranian language, attacks on both the Catholic and Amendist churches and centralising reforms created a national identity based around the Weranic language and history.
The revolutionaries was early on wracked by internal troubles and tensions on its borders with Sunrosia and Estmere, but conflict was avoided with the prospect of the revolutionaries restoring the former Emperor albeit as a constitutional monarch. However in April 1786 the former Emperor Leopold III led the March of the 100, an unsuccessful attempt to restore the monarchy to its full power. The former Emperor was imprisoned by the revolutionaries who on the 5 May declared the Republic of Werania formally ending the monarchy. The new republican government was soon dominated by Franz Xaver Dobrizhoffer and Sigmund Auerswald, considered to be the chief ideologues behind the Cult of Rationalism. The diarchy ordered the execution of the royal family and the mobilisation of citizen armies to defend the revolution against the neighbouring powers. This started the North Euclean Revolutionary Wars which pitted the republic against its neighbours as breakdowns in diplomacy between the traditional powers and the republic spiralled into war. The revolutionary armies often secured military successes thanks to the meritocratic officer promotions, the loyalty and devotion of troops to the Weranian Republic and the mass mobilisation of men via the massenaushebung.
In 1789 Balthasar Hötzendorf was elected as generalfeldmarschall of the revolutionary armies transitioning the republic to one based on militarised authoritarianism as much as the Cult of Reason, with Hötzendorf increasingly controlling the political nature of the republic. The constant war with Werania's neighbours made Weranian society incredibly militarised which necessitated the continued deployment of nationalist and revolutionary rhetoric.
As a result of the citizen armies, expansion of citizen's rights and constant atmosphere of revolutionary fervour nationalism amongst Weranic's flourished under the republic in a way the republic's rivals could not match. The role of Sunrosia as an enemy of the revolution was particularly important in nationalist discourse; propagandists within the republic soon promoted the notion that the Sunrosian monarchy was an oppressive force to the Weranic people of the nation and promoted the idea of dissolving the Sunrosian state and annexing large sections into Werania on the basis of republican values and linguistic and cultural unity. Hötzendorf bemoaned the lack of Weranic unity prior to the revolution as being an un-rational, illogical state of affairs and stated that a unified state based on the power of the "natural citizenry" of Werania was necessary to rationalise Euclea's political boundaries.
However the military successes of the republic led to a coalition to form against the republic consisting of Estmere, Sunrosia and Narozalica who feared the republic's radical ideals and wished to permanently divide the Weranic lands so they did not pose a threat to the balance of power in northern Euclea. From 1799 to 1801 the republic suffered several catastrophic defeats and by March 1801 the republic formally surrendered after Sunrosia occupied Westbrücken, ending the Weranian revolution and the republic as a whole.
Partition of the Republic
With the defeat of the republic the leaders of Sunrosia, Estmere and Narozalica met at the Sunrosian city of Coerz to discuss the partition of the Weranian Republic. The republicans had executed a substantial amount of nobles from the old Rudolphine Confederation, most prominently the majority of the house of Brücken who had ruled the confederation since the end of the Amendist Wars. As a result it was decided that the old confederation would not be restored in its entirety and that a new patchwork of states, partially based on the old system, would be created.
The new division was seen to benefit Sunrosia who gained influence over the Weranic states. The House of Windenheim retained or gained power in the Grand Duchies of Wolfsled and Prizen, whilst the restored Kingdom of Roetenberg, Duchy of Elbenweis and Free City of Westbrücken were under informal Sunrosian influence. The eastern states of Wolfsfled, Duchy of Wittislich and Free City of Kolreuth were also considered to be aligned with Sunrosia, although less strongly then the former states. The Kingdom of Bonnlitz-Ostbrücken was seen as aligned with Solstania whilst the Kingdom of Cislania was seen as friendly with Estmere. Although the majority of the new states were aligned with Sunrosia the partition strongly favoured Cislania which emerged larger then it had been under the old confederation.
One important change that came from the republic's partition and creation of new states was the doctrine that the personal unions that had been common in the Rudolphine era would no longer be in force. The Emperor of Narozalica which through the House of Ryksmark-Halte-Herdorf had held personal union with Wittislich surrendered the post of king of Wittislich to his brother. The intention of this was to prevent Sunrosia asserting potential personal unions with Weranic states that would threaten the position of Estmere in the region.
The new states were largely conservative in character. Wolfsfled was the sole monarchy that possessed a constitution which restricted suffrage to property owning males. Although the free cities of Westbrücken and Kolreuth were more liberal in character they still were governed by reactionaries who rejected Weranian nationalism, being under the heavy influence of their larger neighbours. Although liberal groups - particularly nationalist-minded students - lobbied for nationalist causes the rulers of the Weranian states largely created police states that imposed press censorship and attempted to reverse many of the gains made by the revolution.
Economically the partitioning powers attempted to break up the unified national economy created by the republic. This was only partially successful; although some states like Cislania and Wolfsfled were able to restore their national economies relatively smoothly in the case of Roetenberg, Elbenweis, Westbrücken and Prizen the four states agreed to enter a formal customs union. This customs union led to the greater construction of railways across those four states that soon began to link with similar railroad projects particularly in Cislania and Bonnlitz-Ostbrücken. The development of faster, cheaper rail travel would have an important impact of the development of a feeling of pan-Weranicism in the Weranic states.
An important issue surrounding Weranian nationalist both during and after the dissolution of the republic was what constituted the Weranian nation. Under the republic such a proposition remained divisive - some within the Cult of Rationalism advocated "natural borders" that would've stretched from the Selmrer river in Estmere to the Sweta river in Sunrosia, taking up most of northeast Euclea. Such a proposal was based less on nationalist or linguistic grounds but on the notion of rationalising borders around geographic features that would be centred around what was seen as the superior rationalist culture of Werania.
The notion of natural borders was however rejected by romanticists who came to become more influential in nationalist circles following the defeat of the republic. Romantic nationalists emphasised the unity of the Weranian people both through a shared sense of history stemming from the Rudolphine Confederation but must importantly through the Weranic language. The development of common folklore and national epics in Weranic became paramount for nationalists.
Simply deciding that the Weranian nation was based on language however was a tricky proposition. The Weranic language was poorly defined between what were dialects and fully-fledged languages. The Middle Weranic, particularly the Afuran Weranic dialects was commonly accepted as the mainstay of the Weranic language. Middle Weranic was spoken across the entirety of modern day Werania alongside northeast Sunrosia with these areas considered to be part of the "core" of the Weranic state. Outside these regions, delineating the Weranic language was more tricky. Irminian, spoken in southeast Sunrosia, was considered to be related to the Weranic languages but there was fierce debate by nationalists of whether it was truly Weranic. Similar debates applied to Hennish (spoken in southern Sunrosia and northern Gaullica) Aldman (spoken in southern Cislania, northern Estmere and eastern Sunrosia) and Azmaran (spoken in Azmara). The debate of whether these were part of the Weranian nation animated debates on what were "Weranic". More extreme nationalists also debated whether Swathish, Buckish or Solstianan counted, although they were generally marginalised.
Another precedent for the extent of the Weranic nation rested on the former borders of the Rudolphine Confederation and earmarked historical holdings such as Ruttland. The "Weranian Question" thus became whether these non-Weranic areas should be included within Werania, and how strict should the application of determining the Weranic language be in such a case. Those who supported a "Greater Werania" (Großostischland) often supported including languages such as Irminian, Aldman and Hennish under the Weranic umbrella as well as annexing non-Weranic areas under the logic of creating "living space" for Weranians (lebensraum). Conversely, those who supported a "Lesser Werania" (Kleinostischland) supported a Werania more closely based around Middle Weranic alone and the general creation of a more homogeneous state on the basis of it being more in line with creating a nation state rather then a de facto multi-ethnic empire. The Weranian Question would therefore influence the course of unification and the political debates held by its protagonists.
Early nationalist activity
Cultural and völkisch movements
The growth of national in the Weranian states was partly driven by attempts to construct a common Weranian identity around the Weranic language. The so-called "cultural movement" was led by romantic nationalists who sought to compile national epics and folklore that they determined were consistent across the Weranian people. The most notable of these was Marius Schwerdtfeger's Ostisch Sagen which was a compilation of various fairy-tales, legends and folklore across Weranian regions first published in 1815. The cultural movement also emphasised common artwork, historical monuments and sites coinciding with a greater awareness surrounding historical conservation.
This cultural movement emphasised the link between the Weranian people as both a cultural unit and a geographic one. The strongest expression of this was the völkisch movement which emphasised the organic link between the land and the race of those inhabiting it (the Volkskörper). This gave birth to a certain subset of Weranian nationalism which emphasised racial and cultural superiority of Weranians rather then the more rationalist notions of a unified citizenry.
Secret societies and the Septemberists
Following the fall of the republic the dominant strand of pan-Weranicism was associated with republicanism. Conservatives largely called for a return of the pre-revolutionary social system whilst moderates were largely content with the new status quo. As the new states carved out in 1801 were by and large police states that suppressed dissent the republican movement took on largely revolutionary themes and were often secret societies. These secret societies often based themselves off the Brotherhood for the Rights of Man and were often made up of a network of students, middle-class professionals and businessmen and some intellectuals.
The most prominent of these groups was also one of the most radical, that being the Central Revolutionary Federation which acquired the nickname of the "Septemberists" (Septembristen). Formed in 1816 in the city of Gothberg, the capital of Bonnlitz-Ostbrücken, the Septemberists were a loose network of revolutionary cells that operated across the entirety of the Weranic lands. The Septemberists despite their official name were not a unified group with a single political agenda instead being regional cells that operated largely independent from each other. However, the Septemberists did have a roughly common agenda that supported the unification of Weranic lands along republican, liberal lines.
Anti-clerical and anti-monarchist they were the most severely repressed of all the Weranic nationalist groups but this paradoxically increased their power. The severe repression the Septemberists were subjected to and the seemingly omnipresent role they played in the problems of the Weranic nations according to official propaganda heightened their standing as defenders of liberty. The harsh repression also meant that the Septemberists were a highly secretive organisation that had a whole internal culture that defined their members lives; this made Septemberists incredibly loyal to the Weranic cause and difficult to root out by authorities.
Whilst republicans remained the mainstream within the Weranic nationalist movement, there were others who were willing to work within the post-republic structure to advance the course of Weranian unification. Known as the neo-Rudolphinists due to their praise of the Rudolphine Confederation over the republic these were circles of intellectuals, aristocrats, journalists and businessmen that called for a moderate solution for the unification of Werania by emphasising reformist policies and cooperation with the ruling dynasties and princes of the region. Predominantly Catholic liberals the neo-Rudolphinists hoped that they could create a confederation of the kingdoms that would be led by Sunrosia that would through the development of a common culture eventually become dominated a homogeneous Weranian ruling class. The neo-Rudolphinists hoped the common Catholic heritage of the region alongside the threats of Narozalica and Estmere would help encourage the Sunrosian Weranic nobility to abandon their pretensions of a non-Weranic state and rule instead over the Weranic lands.
The neo-Rudolphinists were controversial amongst Weranian nationalists for their approach. Republicans saw cooperation with Sunrosia as a doomed endeavour seeing Sunrosia as irrevocably opposed to a united Werania and more generally rejected a monarchist Werania in principle. Other nationalist, particularly Amendists, saw the inclusion of Sunrosia into a Weranian state as a betrayal of the nationalist cause due to the presence of so many non-Weranic people's within the country. The Weranian nationalist writer Christopher Schönlein stated that the Sunrosian ruling family was "tainted by the blood and tongue of the lesser" and that a united Werania had to be based around Weranic-speaking people only. Liberals also rejected a Sunrosian-unified Werania on the grounds of the absolutist nature of the Sunrosian government. Similarly the Sunrosian elite often emphasised the traditional particularisms of the Sunrosian realm and its multi-ethnic nature, seeing Weranian nationalism as a ploy to destroy the Sunrosian monarchy by forcing it to surrender its non-Weranic realms. Others questioned whether Sunrosia was truly Weranic - although the region of Cisvetania mostly spoke Weranic languages some linguists questioned whether Irminian and Ardenian were dialects of Weranic or a separate language, the latter implication making Sunrosia questionably a Weranic society.
Nevertheless neo-Rudolphinists remained influential in certain liberal circles who saw cooperation as the only path for unification of Werania. The neo-Rudolphinists would begin to enter pragmatic alliances with republican forces prior to 1828 with the hope that pressure from below would help lead to a top-down unification led by Sunrosia.
The imposition of the various police states in the Weranic states and their systematic dismantling of the rights and liberties the Republic afforded was resented by many in the intellectual class in Werania and particularly the rapidly growing urban bourgeoisie who saw their economic and social gains reversed with the resurgence in the aristocracy across Werania. Economic growth amongst most of the Weranian states alongside the state of peace that accompanied the end of the republic however meant that the two decades following 1801 were marked by a decline in revolutionary activity as groups such as the Septemberists retreated into the political margins.
In June 1821 however this period of relative stability came to due to political events that transpired in the largest of the Weranic states, Cislania. The unpopular monarch Adalbert III had presided over an increase in the price of food following tariff increases which had caused uproar amongst the rural peasantry and led to revolutionary activists to increase their dissent to the regime. The dismissal by Adalbert III of several university professors at the Imperial Academy of Wiesstadt led to protests in the capital which soon morphed into a general revolutionary movement across Cislania as the national guard proved unable to stop discontent with the regime from becoming visible. The revolutionaries had conflicting goals; only a minority of radicals supported the restoration of the republic with the majority calling for the dismissal of corrupt ministers and the granting of civil rights.
On the 10 July revolutionaries presented Adalbert III with a list of demands that would've created an elected landtag and civil rights which would've shifted Cislania from an absolute to a constitutional monarchy. Unwilling to rule as a constitutional monarch but doubtful of his ability to contain the revolutionary fervour Adalbert III abdicated in favour of his son, Karl Theodor, on the 14 July. Karl Theodor, who was interested in liberal ideals agreed to adopt the demands in the so-called "July Charter". This precluded an elected Landtag with an electorate of the nobility and upper middle classes; a relaxation of press censorship; and the creation of the post of Minister-President. Elections were held in August which saw a coalition of moderate liberals appointed to power; this made the new King extremely popular and helped dispel unrest in the kingdom as radical groups faded from prominence.
The unrest in Cislania was soon repeated across the other Weranian states. Like with the Cislanian uprising these revolutionary movements were far from united in their causes with some wishing to simply end corruption and improve governance, others to create constitutional rather then absolutist states and others more radical republican goals with the aim of unifying Werania.
A series of riots and revolutionary fervour were noted to occur across the Weranic states particularly concentrated in the cities of Westbrücken, Elbdorf, Innsheim, Frankendorf and Obenfelden. The most notable of these responses was in Roetenberg - the Roetenberger King Wilhelm IV wrote to the Sunrosian plenipotentiary for the Weranic states Maximilian von Zedtwitz-Groenberch for guidance on how to deal with the rebellions. Von Zedtwitz-Groenberch recommended a punitive approach and the reaffirmation of conservative, absolutist values stating that if the Weranic kings did not abide by this Sunrosia would send its armies to put down the revolts.
As a result the Roetenberger army was deployed to crush the rioters with the other Weranian states following suit. The repressive actions that spanned the months of July and August led to the period to be known as the "Bloody Summer" (Blutiger Sommer) due to the intense violence of the repressive measures. Protests were forcibly broken up by force and radical leaders often rounded up, arrested and summarily executed. The states of Roetenberg, Prizen and Elbenweis each passed a series of decrees similar to each other which restricted academic freedom and revolutionary activity. These measures succeeded in the short term in weakening liberal movements but had the unintended side-effect of pushing discontent with the status quo further to the political extremes strengthening the radical Septemberists.
Following the Bloody Summer, revolutionary and nationalist activity in Weranic lands increased hugely. The Septemberists became far more prominent as a revolutionary organisation as they increasingly became organised with the purpose of overthrowing the Weranic states, with popular radical speakers such as Wolfram Schlüter using more modern means to distribute nationalist propaganda. Between 1821 and 1828 the economy in northern Euclea declined due to potato blight which caused cases of starvation. The relatively ineffective response by Weranic governments further increased revolutionary activity which became ever more coordinated over this period.
The immediate trigger for the 1828 revolution occurred in the city of Westbrücken which was already considered to be the centre of pan-Weranicist politics. A city prefect, Jonathan Bischof, on the 17 March ordered the execution of three students after they illegally held a speech calling for the end of monarchism in the Weranic states and unification under a republic. Bischof's order caused discontent amongst the city's denizens who protested the execution order and rallied in the streets to support growing calls for an overthrow of the city's conservative government. On the 20 March revolutionaries stormed the Palais Beinhoff and declaring a provisional revolutionary government.
The revolutions soon spread throughout the Weranian states in a similar manner as to what occurred in 1785 and 1821. In Roetenberg, Elbenweis, Prizen and Wolfslfed the monarchs of those states reluctantly granted constitutions as did the Mayor of Kolreuth making Bonnlitz-Ostbrücken and Wittislich the only Weranian states to lack constitutions. In the new constitutional states provisional governments were formed that became known as the "revolutionary governments".
By the 14 April 1828 most of Werania was under the control of revolutionary governments. These governments were mostly supported by the petite bourgeoisie and urban proletariat classes and dominated by middle class intellectuals - unlike the previous 1785 revolution a large mobilisation of the rural peasantry had not proved crucial in dislodging the ruling elite. The revolutionary governments were mostly of liberal and nationalist inclination, with a strong pro-republican bias.
On the 15 April the Septemberist leader Wolfram Schlüter declared in a Westbrücken beer house the existence of the Weranian Free State (Ostischen Freistaat) and of a National Diet. Despite pressure from other Septemberists Schlüter did not declare a republic as other revolutionary factions - most notably the neo-Rudolphinists - held out hope that the prince could be persuaded to peacefully unify into a Weranic state through some kind of agreement.
The declaration of a free state spurred movements across the remaining Weranic states to discuss the issue of unification. In Cislania King Karl Theodor announced his government would not stand in the way of the revolutionaries and applauded the "cause for a Weranian nation". However the kings of Wittislich and Bonnlitz-Ostbrücken were more critical pressing the Sunrosian plenipotentiary von Zedtwitz-Groenberch for Sunrosia to take action against the revolutionaries.
For Sunrosia and Estmere the reactions to the revolutions were different. Following the declaration of the Free State the Esmterish Prime Minister Robert Fitzjames, the Marquess Moreland wrote to King Karl Theodor to gauge his response. Fitzjames was in contrast to previous Estmerish administrations sympathetic to the cause of Weranian unification, believing that the "industrious Weranians have as every right a state as any free man" but was alongside the Estmerish King wary of a repeat of the revolutionary violence the republic had unleashed in 1785. Karl Theodor responded to the Marquess with the promise that Cislania supported the move towards a liberal, constitutional Werania but one "tempered by moderation, not radicalism".
In contrast the Sunrosian elite were divided. Emperor George VII was opposed to Weranic nationalism but was hesitant to use drastic force to suppress the rebellions; this was in contrast to plenipotentiary von Zedtwitz-Groenberch who urged the Emperor to deploy the Sunrosian army to stamp out the rebellion. Several neo-Rudolphinists in the Sunrosian court also sympathised with the revolutionaries and toyed with the idea of inviting George VII to take the role as Emperor of the Weranic Lands.
As May 1828 emerged the tenuous arrangements between the revolutionary governments and the reluctant constitutional monarchs were breaking down. The declaration of a free state and National Diet had alarmed the monarchs who saw a restoration of the republic imminent but had relented from acting due to the passive attitude of Sunrosia to the revolutions and the fear of incurring popular anger by dismissing the revolutionary governments.
With pressure increasing on the revolutionary governments to come to a constitutional arrangement with the monarchies on May 16 the National Diet petitioned the Sunrosian Emperor George VII to accept the position of Emperor of the Weranics who would be the monarch of the entirety of the Weranic peoples. The neo-Rudolphinists within the revolutionary governments hoped that a Sunrosian-led Werania would be an acceptable compromise between the conservative Weranian monarchy and aristocrats and radical revolutionaries as well as garnering recognition from the other Euclean powers. The most prominent neo-Rudolphinist Johann von Glöckner passionately argued to the National Diet that a Sunrosian Emperor of Werania was the only way in which a unified Werania would be restored.
However the prospect of George VII accepting was marginal at best. Whilst some in the Sunrosian elite were supportive of the neo-Rudolphinist cause the majority were wedded to the multi-ethnic Sunrosian realms as they existed and were extremely hesitant to become involved with Weranic affairs and opposed to ruling over the Weranic states directly over the fear they would dominate the other realms within Sunrosia. As well as this far from encourage other Euclean powers to accept a unified Werania a Sunrosian annexation of the territory was heavily opposed by Estmere who feared becoming encircled by Sunrosia and Gaullica. As such on May 20 George VII rejected the petition calling the National Diet "mad, mad as march hares!".
Following the rejection by George VII the compromising elements of the revolutionary governments lost legitimacy. On May 26 the King of Roetenberg Wilhelm IV dismissed the revolutionary government and attempted to form a cabinet of conservative ministers. This triggered the revolutionary government to mobilise revolutionary militias to storm the royal palaces and declare the abdication of the monarchy on May 28, creating a republic. From May 28 to June 3 these militia's led by the Septemberists repeated this action overthrowing the monarchies in the states that had revolutionary governments (Elbenweis, Prizen and Wolfslfed). This led to the revolutionary government in Westbrücken to declare that the Free State would henceforth be governed on a republican basis and that Werania was "free from the tyranny that has dominated since 1801".
The declaration of a republic unleashed a wave of popular revolutionary fervour but also of intense violence has had occurred in 1786 following the March of the 100. The actions of the revolutionaries - and pressure from the now-exiled monarchs - proved decisive when von Zedtwitz-Groenberch approached George VII to use force to put down the "rebellion of the feeble-minded". George VII exasperated with the actions of the revolutionaries approved von Zedtwitz-Groenberch's proposal calling up 100,000 men to march on Westbrücken to put down the revolution.
The news of the mobilisation of Sunrosian troops to put down the revolution led to the National Diet to petition Estmere and Cislania to send troops to defend against Sunrosian forces. Cislanian King Karl Theodor dithered and deferred to Estmerish Prime Minister the Marquess Moreland. Moreland indicated in the Estmerish Chamber of the Commons on the 8 June that Estmerish forces would defend liberty "if the call comes" but deplored the idea of another war in northern Euclea. In response to the Estmerish von Zedtwitz-Groenberch threatened that any action to support the revolutionaries would constitute an attack on Sunrosian interests and that Sunrosian forces would not hesitate to "bring order to northern Euclea". Von Zedtwitz-Groenberch did not have the authorisation of either George VII nor the Sunrosian army to make such pronouncements but his bluff worked; on the 13 June Moreland stated that Estmere would not support the revolutionaries.
The Sunrosian army meanwhile with the support of loyalist forces from the Weranian states made fast progress in defeating revolutionary forces. The revolutionary militias were unorganised and in contrast to 1786 were not mass forces whilst the support for the revolutionaries more narrow. The army crushed revolutionary forces in Roetenberg and Elbenweis after two months and in Wolfsfled after three, with Westbrücken finally surrendering to Sunrosian forces on the 18 September 1828.
The former revolutionary states were placed under martial law with von Zedtwitz-Groenberch having unofficial control over their affairs. Revolutionary leaders were arrested with many exiled or imprisoned - the most high profile such as Wolfram Schlüter were executed. The constitutions that the revolutionaries had promulgated in March were repealed. Although the restored monarchies promised to uphold enlightened absolutism of the Sunrosian model in reality they regressed into the police states of the post-1801 order albeit with repression now even more draconian. Westbrücken, which had been the centre of pan-Weranicism and revolutionary politics was placed under permanent military occupation by Roetenberg with a military governor running the city in lieu of its own government. For all intents and purposes the revolution had been completely crushed.
The failure of the 1828 revolution was a major setback for the unification movement but did lead to nationalists and revolutionaries to learn important lessons that would serve them well in the future. Unification through a revolutionary uprising as had occurred in 1785 was a dead-end as it would be met by overwhelming Sunrosian military force applied in a punitive manner, as had occurred in 1821 and 1828. The neo-Rudolphinists were entirely discredited as it became clear that Sunrosia was intractably opposed to Weranian unification particularly as long as George VII gave a free hand to hardliners such as von Zedtwitz-Groenberch to direct Weranian policy in Coerz. The staunch opposition from Sunrosia to any form of unification as such settled the Weranic question decisively in favour of a kleinostischland rather then a Sunrosian-led großostischland. Conversely Estmere who had been a traditional opponent of unification and the revolutionaries emerged as a potential ally, albeit a reluctant one that would have to actively courted by the nationalists.
The most important lesson learnt from the 1828 revolution was that republicanism was not sufficiently powerful to overcome the military might of Sunrosia and that an alliance with liberal monarchies coupled with a standing army that could compete with Sunrosia would be key to realising unification. In practice this meant persuading the Cislanian King Karl Theodor to support the Weranic cause - Cislania's liberal direction alongside Karl Theodor's sympathetic view to the revolutionaries during 1828 meant that he was seen as most likely to lend support to leading unification. The fact Cislania was the strongest of the Weranic states alongside its alliance to Estmere meant it also had the most chance of militarily facing Sunrosia although this would still be a daunting prospect.
However this abandonment of the republican cause and the failure of the 1828 revolution would fundamentally turn the unification movement to be far more conservative then it had been in the pre-1828 paradigm. The liberal bourgeoisie would have to compromise with the entrenched aristocracy and monarchy to realise a Weranian nation-state that would in turn place a unified Werania as a far more illiberal, less positivist state then envisioned by previous unification movements.
Path to unification
Although the 1828 revolution failed to gain traction in Cislania itself, during 1828 there was disquiet with the administration of moderate conservative Carsten zu Gottschall. During the zenith of the revolution in April 1828 King Karl Theodor dismissed zu Gottschall as Minister-President instead appointing Ulrich von Bayrhoffer in his place. Von Bayrhoffer was a liberal who had connections with the revolutionary movement but was also a skilled diplomat who focused on increasing the clout of Cislania in Weranic affairs. During the revolution however Karl Theodor took the reigns of government resulting in an excessively cautious approach to the revolution.
Although von Bayrhoffer had connections to revolutionary movement he was mostly perceived as a wily pragmatist. Von Bayrhoffer promoted a unified Werania led by the Cislanian state but recognised that in the post-1828 context that the unification would be dependent on Cislania's ability to posture itself as a crucial part in the balance of power of northern Euclea. As such von Bayrhoffer supported vigorous economic modernisation and industrialisation whilst giving wholehearted support for Karl Theodor's ongoing process of administrative rationalisation. Cislania as such acquired the nickname of the "bourgeois kingdom" as the middle class dramatically expanded as a result of the reforms pursued with the industrial revolution in Werania first arriving in Cislania.
Von Bayrhoffer also focused on securing Estmerish approval for Weranian unification to transcend party lines. Sympathy for the Weranian cause was much stronger amongst the more liberal Constitutionalists then the more reactionary Traditionalists. Following the 1831 election the Constitutionalists lost power to the Traditionalists under Cecile Filmore-Richards, the Count Warrington. Von Bayrhoffer was determined to secure Traditionalist support for Cislania. To do this von Bayrhoffer exploited mutual tensions between Estmere and Gaullica in Coius to secure Estmere's favour proclaiming Cislania stood in "full support" for Estmerish aims over disputes in northern Bahia. Von Bayrhoffer also supported Estmere's claims to the Airdale region in Sunrosia to pivot Estmere to support Cislania as a check on the other. These efforts were successful albeit came with the cost of Gaullica souring on the prospect of a united Werania and more trenchantly formulating an alliance with Sunrosia.
In order to drum up their support for their modernising agenda Karl Theodor and von Bayrhoffer encouraged their supporters in the Landtag to form their own political faction who would become known as the Pan-Weranic Party (Allostischer Partei). The pan-Weranicists sat in the middle of the Cislanian political spectrum being opposed by the anti-unification conservatives on the right and the pro-republican Septemberists on the left. Although the pan-Weranicists relied on the conservatives to continue to publish treatises supporting monarchism they entered a pragmatic alliance with the Septemberists with the common goal of furthering Weranian unification. The Cislanian Septemberists became marked by their pragmatism and willingness to work with the establishment relative to other Septemberist cells in Werania, although the relationship between von Bayrhoffer and the Septemberists particularly the influential polemicist Klemens Müller could be strained at times due to von Bayrhoffer's perceived caution and conservatism. The period between 1828 to the next breakthrough in Weranian nationalism in 1836 saw on the one hand the moderate Weranian nationalists focusing on bolstering Cislania's position as the most powerful of the Weranian states whilst on the other hand radicals such as Müller sought to rebuild the Septemberist revolutionary cells that had been dismantled by the Sunrosians in 1828.
Unlike the other Weranian states, the Grand Duchy of Bonnlitz-Ostbrücken had largely been spared the intense nationalism that had arisen in the 1820's. This was partly due to Bonnlitz-Ostbrücken in contrast to the other Weranian states being largely Amendist, particularly its historical centre Bonnlitz, rather then Catholic which encouraged a sense of Bonnlitzer exceptionalism based on its Amendist status. The Bonnlitzer Grand Duke Frederick IX was a firm believer in the Sunrosian doctrine of enlightened absolutism and so ran his realms as centralised, authoritarian state that nevertheless did not rely on censorship nor a police state like the other Weranic states. This allowed Frederick IX some flexibility in regards to the events of 1821 and 1828 which saw Frederick XI navigate republican sentiment by pragmatically adopting fiscal and governmental reforms whilst maintaining his political power.
Despite this Bonnlitz-Ostbrücken remained one of the least industrialised of the Weranic states. Frederick IX's strategy of appeasing and controlling interest groups in the kingdom meant that industrialisation was lacking as the landed aristocracy and peasant classes were favoured over the urban proletariat. This made Bonnlitz-Ostbrücken comparatively underdeveloped and heightened discontent with the middle classes, who resented their less prominent position in commercial and political life relative to Cislania to the south.
In order to dislodge the monarchy the Septemberists under the leadership of Sebastian Mertz had been assembly a volunteer army that sought to "defend the interests of the people". Due to the relatively less repressive atmosphere in Bonnlitz-Ostbrücken relative to the other Weranian states in the post-1828 context this volunteer army saw ample recruitment in Bonnlitz-Ostbrücken which helped conflate opposition to the monarchy with Weranian nationalism.
By 1836 the King had become highly unpopular after passing a series of protectionist tariffs that raised the price of food to inordinate levels. These tariffs were intended to kickstart greater industrialisation in the Grand Duchy but merely alienated the peasant population to the ruling family who were seen as regressing into reactionary rather then enlightened absolutism. In May 1836 riots in the capital of Gothberg was forcibly repressed by the National Guard; this led to an upsurge in revolutionary action across the country as large peasant uprisings emerged.
These revolutionary movements were not nationalist or republican; by and large they demanded the dismissal of corrupt ministers, the end of the tariffs and measures to be put into place that would improve the lives of the people. However they were quickly seized upon by the Weranian nationalist movement; in a speech to the Cislanian Landtag Klemens Müller applauded the actions of the "gallant Bonnlitzers facing the forces of tyranny". There was also evidence that the Septemberists had planned the revolt in advance; it would later transpire that some of the rioters were paid for their actions.
Sebastian Mertz, a Sunrosian exile that had become part of the revolutionary movement had gathered a volunteer army of 5,000 men with the intention of overthrowing the Bonnlitzer monarchy. Mertz was a republican and high-profile Septemberist leader who had carved a reputation for himself as a charismatic adventurer who was in the informal employ of the Cislanian monarchy. Mertz approached Karl Theodor and von Bayrhoffer with permission to use Cislanian railways to cross via Wolfsfled into Bonnlitz-Ostbrücken with his army to attempt an invasion of the territory as it was mired in revolution. Both the king and Minister-President were hesitant - the Bonnlitzer army at the time stood at 50,000 men and was trained by Solstianan officers, who were seen as being more then capable of defeating Mertz's army. Nevertheless the two gave Mertz the go-ahead on the condition that his Volunteer Army give the appearance of approaching the expedition as if in defiance of the Cislanian crown, so to not spark a punitive reaction from Cislania's neighbours or Sunrosia.
The Volunteer Army arrived in Bonnlitz-Ostbrücken on the 2 June 1836. Frederick IX immediately organised a 12,000 strong detachment of the Bonnlitzer army under the command of Matthäus zu Thierse to face the Volunteer Army in the town of Brunnmund near the Wolfsfledan border. The Volunteer Army was bolstered by existing rebel forces and had high morale whilst the Bonnlitzer army was poorly led and subject to frequent desertions. To the shock of many the Volunteer Army defeated the Bonnlitzr force at the Battle of Brunnmund swelling its size to 10,000 men as Bonnlitzer army defectors and revolutionaries joined the army. This further increased to 12,000 as they took the city of Geldfurt on the 17 June.
As a result of the Volunteer Army's advances Frederick XI took it upon himself to lead Bonnlitzer forces at the next major engagement. Assembling an impressive force of 30,000 men Frederick XI directed his army to undertake a stand at the fortress town of Bohenme against the Volunteer Army, who aggressively recruited revolutionaries to increase their number to an impressive 22,000 men. Unlike the Bonnlitzer army however only the defectors from the Bonnlitzer army plus the original volunteers from Cislania could be called professional soldiers, with the rest being poorly trained revolutionary militia's. As such Mertz had to be extremely careful in his application of forces during the battle.
Mertz however had an unexpected boon when a major revolt occurred in both Kottenwice and Gothberg, whose garrisons numbered 3,000 and 5,000 respectively. Frederick IX was forced to send 10,000 of his 30,000 men to bolster these positions leading to Mertz to commerce the attack on Bohenme. A revolt within the city by its population soon confounded Frederick IX and faced with the overwhelming force of the Volunteer Army fled the city on the 3 August to Gothberg. Frederick IX's intention was to muster his 18,000 remaining troops to rout the rebels but his flight from Bohenme discredited Frederick IX in the eyes of the population; the armies in Kottenwice, Bohenme and Gothberg all surrendered to revolutionary forces. Frederick IX himself was denied access to Gothberg being forced into exile by a provisional government set up in the city.
With Frederick IX ousted on the 7 August Mertz entered Gothberg to cheering crowds. A regency was declared with a revolutionary government headed by Mertz taking power and elections scheduled for September. Many in Bonnlitz-Ostbrücken expected the creation of a constitutional monarchy rather then unification into a Weranian state despite the prevalence of Septemberists in government. A series of liberal decrees were passed including the separation of church and state, land reform that significantly expanded the power of the peasantry, the end of food tariffs and the merging of the revolutionary armies with the remnants of the Bonnlitzer army.
The revolutionary action had been relatively contained up until this point due to the belief that Frederick IX's armies would defeat the rebels. The new reality spurred von Zedtwitz-Groenberch to lobby George VII to invade Bonnlitz-Ostbrücken and restore Frederick IX to power. George VII however vetoed this idea on the basis that Bonnlitz-Ostbrücken was not in the Sunrosian sphere of influence. A declaration by the provisional government that it would restore some form of monarchy in Bonnlitz-Ostbrücken rather then a republic also sapped support from Sunrosia and other Weranic states to take punitive action against Bonnlitz-Ostbrücken.
Despite this pan-Weranic fervour grew during the existence of the provisional government. In September Klemens Müller arrived in Gothberg where he passionately called for the immediate unification of Bonnlitz-Ostbrücken and Cislania and the adoption of a revolutionary constitution. When the elections came on the 8 September 1836 Septemberist and pan-Weranic deputies secured an overwhelming majority. Mertz as head of the government offered Karl Theodor the position of Grand Duke of Bonnlitz-Ostbrücken, effectively creating a personal union between Cislania and Bonnlitz-Ostbrücken. Karl Theodor pressured by the Cislanian Landtag and popular demand accepted the crown on the 17 September 1836.