The Hambacher Fest was a German national democratic festival—disguised as a non-political county fair—that was celebrated from 27 May to 30 May 1832 at Hambach Castle
Hambach Castle near the urban district Hambach of Neustadt an der Weinstraße in Rhineland-Palatinate, Germany, is considered to be the symbol of the German democracy movement because of the Hambacher Fest which occurred here in 1832.- Location :...
near Neustadt an der Weinstraße
Neustadt an der Weinstraße
Neustadt an der Weinstraße is a town located in Rhineland-Palatinate, Germany. With 53,892 inhabitants as of 2002, it is the largest town called Neustadt.-Etymology:...
Rhineland-Palatinate is one of the 16 states of the Federal Republic of Germany. It has an area of and about four million inhabitants. The capital is Mainz. English speakers also commonly refer to the state by its German name, Rheinland-Pfalz ....
Germany , officially the Federal Republic of Germany , is a federal parliamentary republic in Europe. The country consists of 16 states while the capital and largest city is Berlin. Germany covers an area of 357,021 km2 and has a largely temperate seasonal climate...
About 20-30,000 people from all ranks of society—workmen, students and members of parliament, as well as from different nations such as France
The French Republic , The French Republic , The French Republic , (commonly known as France , is a unitary semi-presidential republic in Western Europe with several overseas territories and islands located on other continents and in the Indian, Pacific, and Atlantic oceans. Metropolitan France...
Poland , officially the Republic of Poland , is a country in Central Europe bordered by Germany to the west; the Czech Republic and Slovakia to the south; Ukraine, Belarus and Lithuania to the east; and the Baltic Sea and Kaliningrad Oblast, a Russian exclave, to the north...
. A delegation of 17 to 20 Polish emigrants coming from around 10,000 emigrants who fled Poland after the November Uprising
The November Uprising , Polish–Russian War 1830–31 also known as the Cadet Revolution, was an armed rebellion in the heartland of partitioned Poland against the Russian Empire. The uprising began on 29 November 1830 in Warsaw when the young Polish officers from the local Army of the Congress...
of 1830–1831 in the so called Great Emigration
The Great Emigration was an emigration of political elites from Poland from 1831–1870. Since the end of the 18th century, a major role in Polish political life was played by people who carried out their activities outside the country as émigrés...
took part in the Festival. This pro-Polish support expressed in Hambach was the climax of German liberals enthusiasm for Poland.
The Palatinate on the west bank of the Rhine was at that time under the control of Bavaria
Bavaria, formally the Free State of Bavaria is a state of Germany, located in the southeast of Germany. With an area of , it is the largest state by area, forming almost 20% of the total land area of Germany...
, and the local population suffered from high taxes and censorship. The main demands of the meeting were liberty
Liberty is a moral and political principle, or Right, that identifies the condition in which human beings are able to govern themselves, to behave according to their own free will, and take responsibility for their actions...
, civil rights
Civil and political rights are a class of rights that protect individuals' freedom from unwarranted infringement by governments and private organizations, and ensure one's ability to participate in the civil and political life of the state without discrimination or repression.Civil rights include...
and national unity. No consensus was reached in regard to actions, and a few uncoordinated violent acts were carried out by students later. Of the four main organizers of the meeting three (Philipp Jakob Siebenpfeiffer and the attorneys Schüler and Geib) fled the country, a fourth (Johann G. A. Wirth) chose to stay and was sentenced to two years in prison.
The gathering had no immediate results, but is considered a milestone in German history because it was the first time that a republican movement had made its mark in the country. It was criticized as a missed opportunity, including by the poet Heinrich Heine
Christian Johann Heinrich Heine was one of the most significant German poets of the 19th century. He was also a journalist, essayist, and literary critic. He is best known outside Germany for his early lyric poetry, which was set to music in the form of Lieder by composers such as Robert Schumann...
. It also confirmed the establishment of the combination of black, red and gold as a symbol of a democratic movement for a united Germany. These colours, which were later used by democratic revolutionaries in the revolutions of 1848 in the German states
Revolutions of 1848 in the German states
The Revolutions of 1848 in the German states, also called the March Revolution – part of the Revolutions of 1848 that broke out in many countries of Europe – were a series of loosely coordinated protests and rebellions in the states of the German Confederation, including the Austrian Empire...
, were adopted after 1918 by the Weimar Republic
The Weimar Republic is the name given by historians to the parliamentary republic established in 1919 in Germany to replace the imperial form of government...
as the national colours of Germany
National colours of Germany
The national colors of Germany are officially Black, Red and Gold as seen on the flag of Germany of 1849-1852, 1919–1933, and again since 1949. The colors were used by democratic revolutionaries in the early 19th century, and had been used by the Holy Roman Empire since the Middle Ages...
, and are the colors of the modern flag of Germany
Flag of Germany
The flag of Germany is a tricolour consisting of three equal horizontal bands displaying the national colours of Germany: black, red, and gold....
The Hambach events prompted the legalist German national convention to issue its order of 28 June 1832 which completely suppressed freedom of speech. On the anniversary date in 1833, Bavarian military controlled the area and dispersed all attempts to hold another gathering.