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Screenshot 2022-09-22 at 10.36.01.png


In May 1848, the National Assembly elected a Constitutional Committee of thirty members to draft the fundamental rights of German citizens. By December, the National Assembly passed the draft. which came into effect as an Imperial Act when they were signed by the Regent of the Empire on the 27th of December 1848. This made human and civil rights became legally binding in Germany for the first time, demonstrating the impact of the Revolution in spite of its formal failure.

The document entitled German citizens to: equality before the law; the abolition of all class privileges; personal and political liberties, such as freedom of the press, freedom of expression, freedom of association, freedom to practise a trade or profession and freedom of movement; and the abolition of the death penalty. The constitution -- of which these fundamental rights were a key part -- aimed to unify the German states with an emperor as head of state, and a Reichstag with a democratically elected House of the People.

These Fundamental Rights were made binding throughout the Empire, but were repealed in August 1851 in a resolution of the German Confederation. Nevertheless, this document formed the basis for the 1919 Weimar Constitution and the 1949 Bonn Constitution. This image is now displayed inside Paulskirche in Frankfurt as a reminder of its achievements and legacy,