In the Name of the Most Holy and Undivided Trinity.
The Sovereign Princes and free towns of Germany, animated with the mutual desire of carrying into effect the 6th Article of the Treaty of Paris of the 30th May 1814, and convinced of the advantages which will result to the safety and independence of Germany, and to the equilibrium of Europe, from their solid and lasting union, have agreed to form a perpetual Confederation, and have for this purpose invested with their full powers their Envoys and Deputies at the Congress of Vienna, viz.
His Imperial and Royal Apostolic Majesty, the Sieur Clement Wenceslas, Prince of Metternich Winnebourg Ochsenhausen, Knight of the Golden Fleece, Grand Cross of the Royal Order of St. Stephen of Hungary, Knight of the Order of St. Andrew, of St. Alexander Newsky, and of St. Anne of the First Class, Grand Cordon of the Legion of Honour, Knight of the Order of the Elephant, of the Supreme Order of the Annunciation, of the Black Eagle and of the Red Eagle, of the Seraphim, of St. Joseph of Tuscany, of St, Hubert, of the Golden Eagle of Wurtemburg, of Fidelity of Baden, of St. John of Jerusalem, and of several others; Chancellor of the Military Order of Maria Theresa, Curator of the Academy of the Fine Arts, Chamberlain, Privy Counsellor of his Majesty the Emperor of Austria, King of Hungary and Bohemia, his Minister of State, of Conferences, and of Foreign Affairs; his First Plenipotentiary at the Congress; and the Sieur John Philip, Baron Wessenberg, Grand Cross of the Royal Sardinian Order of St. Mauritius and St. Lazarus, and of the Royal Order of the Crown of Bavaria, Chamberlain, and Privy Counsellor of his Imperial and Royal Apostolic Majesty, his Second Plenipotentiary at the Congress.
His Majesty the King of Prussia, the Prince Hardenberg, his Chancellor of State, Knight of the Order of the Black Eagle, of the Red Eagle, of St. John of Jerusalem and of the Iron Cross of Prussia, of the order of St. Andrew, of St. Alexander Newsky, and of St Anne of Russia of the First Class, Grand Cross of the Royal Order of St. Stephen of Hungary, Grand Eagle of the Legion of Honour, Knight of the Order of St. Charles of Spain, of the Annunciation of Sardinia, of the Order of the Seraphim of Sweden, of the Elephant of Denmark, of St. Hubert of Bavaria, of the Golden Eagle of Wurtemburg, and of several others; and the Sieur Charles William, Baron Humboldt, Minister of State of his said Majesty, Chamberlain, Envoy Extraordinary and Minister Plenipotentiary to his Imperial and Royal Apostolic Majesty, Knight of the Order of the Red Eagle, of the Iron Cross of Prussia of the First Class; Grand Cross of the Imperial Order of Leopold of Austria, and of St. Anne of Russia of the First Class; of the Order of Merit, and of the Crown of Bavaria.
His Majesty the King of Denmark, the Sieur Günther, Count de Bernstorf, his Privy Counsellor of Conferences, Ambassador Extraordinary and Minister Plenipotentiary to the Court of his Imperial and Royal Apostolic Majesty, and his Plenipotentiary at the Congress; Knight of the Order of the Elephant, Grand Cross of the Order of Dannebrog, and of the Royal Order of St. Stephen of Hungary; and the Sieur Joachim Frederic, Count de Bernstorf, his Privy Counsellor of Conferences, his Plenipotentiary at the Congress, and Grand Cross of the Order of Dannebrog.
His Majesty the King of Bavaria, the Sieur Aloysius Francis Xavier, Count de Rechberg and Rotheulowen, Chamberlain and Privy Counsellor. Ambassador Extraordinary and Minister Plenipotentiary to the Imperial and Royal Court; Grand Cross of the Order of St Hubert, Titular Commander of the Order of St George, and Grand Cross of the Civil Order of Merit of Bavaria.
His Majesty the King of Saxony, the Sieur John Augustus Furchtegott de Globig, his Privy Counsellor, Chamberlain, Counsellor of the Court and of Justice, and Confidential Referendary.
His Majesty the King of the Netherlands the Sieur Francis Christopher, Baron de Gagern; Minister Plenipotentiary of his Majesty the King of the Netherlands, and of their Serene Highnesses the Duke and Prince of Nassau, Grand Cross of the Order of the Golden Lion of Hesse, and of Fidelity of Baden.
His Majesty the King of Great Britain and Hanover, the Sieur Ernest Frederic Herbert; Count de Munster, Hereditary Grand Marshal of the Kingdom of Hanover, Grand Cross of the Royal Order of St. Stephen of Hungary, his Britannic-Hanoverian Majesty's Minister of State and of the Cabinet, and his First Plenipotentiary to the Court of Vienna; and Sieur Ernest Augustus, Count of Hardenberg, Grand Cross of the Imperial Order of Leopold of Austria, Knight of the Royal Order of the Red Eagle of Prussia, and of St. John of Jerusalem; his Britannic-Hanoverian Majesty's Minister of State and of the Cabinet, his Ambassador Extraordinary and Minister Plenipotentiary to the Court of his Imperial and Royal Apostolic Majesty, and his Second Plenipotentiary at the Congress of Vienna.
His Royal Highness the Elector of Hesse, the Sieur Dorotheus Louis, Count de Keller, his Minister of State, Grand Cross of the Order of the Golden Lion and of the Red Eagle of Prussia, and the Sieur George Ferdinand, Baron de Lepel, his Chamberlain and Privy Counsellor of Government.
His Royal Highness the Grand Duke of Hesse, the Sieur John, Baron Turckheim von Altdorff, his Privy Counsellor, Minister of State and Envoy Extraordinary to the Congress; Grand Cross of the Order of Merit of Hesse, and Commander of the Royal Order of St. Stephen of Hungary.
His Royal Highness the Grand Duke of Saxe-Weimar, the Sieur Ernest Augustus, Baron de Gersdorff, his Privy Counsellor; the Sieur Frederick Augustus, Baron de Minckwitz acting in his stead.
His Serene Highness the Duke of Saxe-Gotha, the Sieur Frederick Augustus, Baron de Minckwitz, his Privy Counsellor.
Her Serene Highness the Duchess of Saxe-Cobourg-Meinungen in the capacity of Regent and Guardian of her son, the said Baron de Minckwitz.
His Serene Highness the Duke of Saxe-Hildburghausen, the Sieur Charles Louis Frederick Baron de Baumbach, his Privy Counsellor, and President of the government.
His Serene Highness the Duke of SaxeCobourg-Saalfeld, the Sieur Francis Xavier de Fischler von Treuberg, Colonel, Knight of the Imperial Order of Leopold of Austria, and of the Crown of Bavaria.
His Serene Highness the Duke of Brunswick-Wolfenbuttel, in the absence of the Sieur William Justus Eberhardt Schmidt Phiseldeck, his Privy Counsellor, has named the Sieur Dorotheus Louis Count de Keller, Minister of State to the Elector of Hesse, &c. &c.
His Serene Highness the Duke of Holstein-Oldenburg, the Sieur Albert, Baron de Maltzahn, President of the Government of the principality of Lubeck, Grand Cross of the Russian Order of St. Anne, and Knight of St. John of Jerusalem.
His Serene Highness the Duke of Mecklenburg-Schwerin, the Sieur Leopold, Baron de Plessen, his Minister of Slate, Grand Cross of the Order of Dannebrog.
His Serene Highness the Duke of Mecklenburg Strelitz, the Sieur Augustus Otto Ernest, Baron de Oertzen, his Minister of State, Grand Cross of the Order of the Red Eagle of Prussia.
His Serene Highness the Duke of Anhalt-Dessau, on his own part, and in the capacity of guardian to the Duke of Anhalt-Köthen, a minor, and his Serene Highness the Duke of Anhalt-Bernbourg, Jointly, the Sieur Wolf Charles Augustus de Wolfframsdorff, President of the government of Dessau.
His Serene Highness the Prince of Hohenzollern-Hechingen, the Sieur Francis Anthony, Baron de Franck, his Privy Counsellor.
His Serene Highness the Duke of Hohenzollern-Sigmaringen, the Sieur John Francis Louis de Kirchbauer, his Privy Counsellor of Legation.
Their Serene Highnesses the Duke and Prince of Nassau the Sieurs Francis Christopher, Baron de Gagern, and Ernest Francis Louis, Mareschall von Bieberstein, Grand Cross of the Order of Fidelity, Plenipotentiary of his Majesty the King of the Netherlands, for his German dominions, and of their Serene Highnesses the Duke and Prince of Nassau.
His Serene Highness the Prince of Lichtenstein, the Sieur George Walter Vincent de Wiese, Vice-Chancellor of the government of the Prince of Reuss, at Gera.
His Serene Highness the Prince of Schwarzbourg-Sondershausen, the Sieur Adolphus de Wiese, his Privy Counsellor and Chancellor.
His Serene Highness the Prince of Schwarzbourg-Roudolstadt, the Sieur Frederic William, Baron de Kettelholdt, his Chancel[lor] and President, Hereditary Cup-bearer of the county of Henneberg, and Grand Cross of the Order of Fidelity of the Grand Duke of Baden.
His Serene Highness the Prince of Waldeck and Pyrmont, the Sieur Günther Henry de Berg, Doctor of Laws, and President of the government of the Prince of Schaumburg-Lippe.
Their Serene Highnesses the Princes of Reuss, of the elder and younger branch, the Sieur George Walter Vincent de Wiese, Vice Chancellor of the government of Gera.
His Serene Highness the Prince of Schaumburg-Lippe, the Sieur Günther Henry de Berg.
Her Serene Highness the Princess of Lippe, in the capacity of Regent and Guardian to the Prince her son, the Sieur Frederic William Hellwing, her Chancellor of government.
The free city of Lubeck, the Sieur John Frederic Hack, Doctor of Laws, and Senator of that city.
The free city of Frankfort, the Sieur John Ernest Frederic Danz, Doctor of Laws, and Senator of that city.
The free city of Bremen, the Sieur John Schmidt, Senator of that city.
The free city of Hamburgh, the Sieur John Michael Cries, Recorder of that city.
Conformably to the above agreement, the said Plenipotentiaries, after exchanging their full powers, found in due form, have agreed upon the following Articles:
1. General previsions
ART. I. The Sovereign Princes and free towns of Germany, among whom, as far as concerns the present Act, are included their Majesties the Emperor of Austria, the Kings of Prussia, of Denmark, and of the Netherlands; that is to say:
The Emperor of Austria and the King of Prussia for all those of their possessions which anciently belonged to the German Empire;
The King of Denmark for the Duchy or Holstein;
And the King of the Netherlands for the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg;
Establish among themselves a perpetual Confederation, which shall be called "The Germanic Confederation."
ART. II. The object of this Confederation is the maintenance of the external and internal safety of Germany, and of the independence and inviolability of the confederated States.
ART. III. The Members of the Confederation, as such, are equal in respect to rights, and they all equally engage to support the Act which constitutes their union.
ART. IV. The affairs of the Confederation shall be confided to a Federative Diet, in which all the Members shall vote by their Plenipotentiaries, either individually or collectively, in the following manner, without prejudice to their rank:
|9.||Grand Duchy of Hesse||1|
|10.||Denmark, for Holstein||1|
|11.||The Netherlands, for the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg||1|
|12.||Grand-Ducal and Ducal Houses of Saxony||1|
|13.||Brunswick and Nassau||1|
|14.||Mecklenburg-Schwerin and Mecklenburg-Strelitz||1|
|15.||Hilstein-Oldenburg, Anhalt and Schwartzburg||1|
|16.||Hohenzollern, Lichtenstein, Reuss, Schaumburg-Lippe, Lippe and Waldeck||1|
|17.||The Free Towns of Lubeck, Frankfort, Bremen, and Hamburg||1|
ART. V. Austria shall preside at the Federitive Diet. Each State of the Confederation has the right of making propositions, and the presiding State shall bring them under deliberation within a definite time.
ART. VI. Whenever fundamental laws are to be enacted, or changes made in the fundamental laws of the Confederation, measures to be adopted relative to the Federative Act itself, and organic institutions, or other arrangements to be made for the common interest, the Diet shall form itself into a General Assembly, and, in that case, the distribution of the votes shall be as follows, calculated according to the respective extent of the different States:
|Austria shall have||4|
|Grand Duchy of Hesse||3|
|Reuss, (Elder Branch)||1|
|Reuss, (Younger Branch)||1|
|The Free town of Lubeck||1|
The Diet, in deliberation on the Organic Laws of the Confederation, shall consider whether it be proper to grant to the ancient mediatised districts of the Empire any collective votes.
ART. VII The question whether a subject is to be discussed by the General Assembly, conformably to the principles above established, shall be decided in the ordinary Assembly by a majority.
The same Assembly shall prepare the drafts of resolutions to be proposed to the General Assembly, and shall furnish the latter with all the information necessary, either for adopting or rejecting them.
The plurality of votes shall regulate the decisions, both in the Ordinary and General Assemblies, with this difference, however, that, in the Ordinary Assembly, the absolute majority shall be deemed sufficient, while, in the other, two-thirds of the votes shall be necessary to form the plurality. When the votes are even in the Ordinary Assembly, the President shall decide the question: but when the Assembly is to deliberate on the acceptation or change of any of the fundamental laws, upon organic institutions, upon individual rights, or upon affairs of religion, the majority shall not be deemed sufficient, either in the Ordinary or in the General Assembly. The Diet is permanent, but may, when the objects submitted to its deliberation are terminated, adjourn for a period not exceeding four months.
All ulterior dispositions relative to the adjournment, or the expedition of pressing affairs, which may arise during the recess, are reserved for the Diet, which shall take due notice of them when engaged in the drawing up of the Organic Laws.
ART. VIII. In regard to the order in which the members of the Confederation shall vote, it is determined, that while the Diet is occupied with framing Organic Laws, there shall be no fixed rule in this respect; and whatever may be the rule that is observed on such an occasion, it shall neither prejudice any of the members, nor establish a precedent for the future.
After framing the Organic Laws, the Diet shall deliberate upon the manner of fixing this object, by a permanent regulation; for which purpose it shall depart as little as possible from those regulations which hare been observed by the ancient Diet, and chiefly according to the recess of the Deputation of the empire in 1803.
The order to be adopted shall not in any way influence the rank and precedence of the members of the Confederation, except in as far as they have any relations with the Diet.
ART. IX. The Diet shall sit at Frankfort on the Maine. Its first meeting is fixed for the 1st of September 1815.
ART. X. The first object to be considered by the Diet alter its meeting, shall be the enactment of the fundamental laws of the Confederation, and of its Organic Institutions, with respect to its exterior, military, and interior relations.
ART. XI The States of the Confederation engage to defend from all hostile attacks, the whole of Germany, as well as each individual state of the Union; and they mutually guarantee to each other all their possessions comprised in this Union.
When war is declared by the Confederation, no member can open a separate negotiation with the enemy, nor make peace, nor conclude an armistice, without the consent of the other members.
While they reserve to themselves the right of forming alliances, the members of the Confederation bind themselves, nevertheless, not to contract any engagement which might be directed against the safety of the Confederation or of any of the individual states composing it.
The confederated states engage, in the same manner, not to make war on one another, on any pretext, nor to pursue their differences by force of arms, but to submit them to the Diet, which shall attempt a mediation by means of a Commission. If this should not succeed in bringing the contending parties to an accommodation, and a juridical sentence becomes necessary, it shall be obtained by a well organized Austregal jury (Austregal instanz,) to which the contending parties are to submit without appeal.
2. Particular arrangement.
Besides the points settled in the preceding Articles, relative to the establishment of the Confederation, the confederated states have agreed to the arrangements contained in the following Articles, with regard to the subjects hereafter mentioned; which Articles shall have the same force and validity as the preceding ones.
ART. XII. Those members of the Confederation whose possessions do not contain a population to the number of 300,000 souls, shall unite themselves to the reigning houses of the same line, or to others of the confederated states, whose population, added to theirs, will amount to the number here specified, for the purpose of jointly forming a supreme tribunal.
In those states, however, of a smaller population, where similar tribunals of the third instance already exist, they shall be continued, on their present footing, provided the population of the state to which they belong, be not less than 150,000 souls.
The four free cities shall have the right of uniting together, in the formation of a common and supreme tribunal. Each party appearing before these joint and supreme tribunals shall be authorized to demand a reference of the proceedings to the Faculty of Law belonging to a foreign University, or to a Court of Reference (Siége de'echevins) to whom the final sentence shall be submitted.
ART. XIII. There shall be Assemblies of the States in all the countries belonging to the Confederation.
ART. XIV. In order to secure to the ancient States of the empire, mediatised in 1806, and in the subsequent years, the enjoyment of equal rights in all countries belonging to the Confederation, and conformable to the relations at present existing between them, the confederated states establish the following principles:
A.--The houses of the mediatised princes and counts are nevertheless to rank equally with the high nobility of Germany, and are to retain the same privileges of birth-right with the sovereign houses (Ebenbütrtigkeit,) as they have hitherto enjoyed.
B.--The heads of these houses are to form the principal class of the states in the countries to which they belong: they, as well as their families, are to be included in the number of the most privileged persons, particularly in respect to taxes.
C.--With regard to themselves, their families and property, they are generally to retain all the rights and privileges attached to their possessions, and which do not belong to the supreme authority, or to the attributes of government.
Among the rights which are secured to them by this Article, are specially included:
The ancient and immediate nobility of the empire shall enjoy the rights specified in sections 1 and 8; namely, of sitting in the Assembly of the States, of exercising the patrimonial and forest jurisdiction, of the local police, of presentations to church benefices, as well as of not being amenable to the ordinary tribunals.
These rights shall, however, be exercised according to the regulations established by the laws of the country in which the members of this nobility nave possessions.
In the provinces detached from Germany by the peace of Luneville of the 9th of February 1801, and which are at present re-united thereto, the principles above specified, relative to the ancient and immediate nobility of the empire, shall, in their application, be subject to such modifications as may be rendered necessary by the relations which exist in these provinces.
ART. XV. The continuation of the direct and subsidiary rents assigned upon the duties of the navigation of the Rhine, as well as the arrangements of the recess of the Deputation of the empire, dated the 25th of February 1803, relative to the payment of debts and pensions granted to individuals of the clergy or laity, are guaranteed by the Confederation.
The members of the late chapters of the cathedral churches, as well as those of the free chapters of the empire, shall have the benefit of the pensions secured to them by toe said recess, in every country at peace with the Germanic Confederation.
The members of the Teutonic Order, who have not yet obtained adequate pensions, shall obtain them according to the principles established for the chapters of cathedral churches by the recess of the Deputation of the empire of the year 1803; and the Princes who have acquired possessions formerly belonging to the Teutonic Order, shall pay these pensions, according to their proportion of the property of the Teutonic Order.
The Diet of the Confederation shall deliberate upon the measures to be adopted for establishing a fund for the support and pensioning of bishops and other members of the clergy belonging to the countries on the left bank of the Rhine, the payment of which pensions shall be transferred to the Powers actually possessing the said countries. This matter shall be settled within a year, and until that time the pensions shall be paid as heretofore.
ART. XVI. The different Christian sects in the countries and territories of the Germanic Confederation, shall not experience any difference in the enjoyment of civil and political rights.
The Diet shall consider of the means of effecting, in the most uniform manner, an amelioration in the civil state of those who profess the Jewish religion in Germany, and shall pay particular attention to the measures by which the enjoyment of civil rights shall be secured and guaranteed to them in the confederated states; upon condition, however, of their submitting to all the obligations imposed upon other citizens. In the mean time, the privileges already granted to this sect, by any particular state, shall be secured to them.
ART. XVII. The family of the Princes of Tour and Taxis shall retain the revenues arising from the post in the confederated states, under the same regulations as were granted by the recess of the Deputation of the empire. of the 5th February 1803, or by subsequent Conventions, in so far as they shall not have been altered by new Conventions freely acceded to on both sides. In all cases the rights and pretensions of this house, whether with regard to retaining the post, or to a fair indemnity for the same, such as the above recess has settled, shall be maintained.
This regulation also applies to the case where the former administration of the post may have been abolished since 1803, in contravention of the recess of the Deputation of the en unless, however, an indemnity shall have been absolutely settled by a particular Convention.
ART. XVIII. The Princes and the free towns of Germany have agreed to secure to the subjects of the confederated states, the following rights:
A.--That of acquiring and possessing funded property beyond the limits of the state in which they are settled, without being liable to pay to the foreign Power any higher tax or duty than those paid by its own subjects.
it being, however, understood, that the exercise of either of these rights does not release them from being liable to military service in their own country. And in order that the difference of the laws with regard to their liability to military service may not be attended with any partial advantages or injurious consequences to any particular state, the Diet of the Confederation shall consider of the means of establishing regulations upon this subject, as impartial as possible.
C.--The exemption from all export duty, drawback, or other impost of that description, in case they remove their property from one confederated state to another, unless it should be otherwise stipulated by particular Conventions concluded between them.
D.-- Upon its first meeting, the Diet shall frame laws for the liberty of the press in general, and shall adopt such measures as may secure authors and editors against the piracy of their works.
ART. XIX. The confederated states reserve to themselves the right of deliberating, at the first meeting of the Diet at Frankfort, upon the manner of regulating the commerce and navigation from one state to another, according to the principles adopted by the Congress of Vienna.
ART. XX. The present Act shall be ratified by all the Contracting Parties, and the ratifications shall, in six weeks, or sooner if possible, be addressed to the Royal and State Chancery of his Majesty the Emperor of Austria at Vienna, and deposited in the archives of the Confederation, on the opening of the Diet.
In faith of which ail the Plenipotentiaries have signed the present instrument, and have affixed thereunto the seal of their arms.
Done at Vienna, the 8th June 1815.
|Signed||(L. S.) Prince Metternich.|
|(L. S.) Baron Wessenberg.|
|(L. S.) Charles Prince Hardenterg.|
|(L. S.) William Baron Humboldt.|
|(L. S.) Ch. Count Bernstorf.|
|(L. S.) J. Count Bernstorf.|
|(L. S.) A. Count Rechberg and Rothenlowen.|
|(L. S.) John Augustus Baron Globig.|
|(L. S.) H. Baron Gagern.|
|(L. S.) E. Count Munster.|
|(L. S.) Count Hardenberg.|
|(L. S.) Count Keller, acting at the same time for Brunswick.|
|(L. S.) G. J. Baron Lepel.|
|(L. S.) J. Baron Turckheim.|
|(L. S.) Baron Minkwitz, in the place of Mr. de Gersdorff; Plenipotentiary of the Grand Duke of Weimar, and of the Dukes of Saxe-Gotha and of Saxe-Meinungen.|
|(L. S.) Baron Baumbach.|
|(L. S.) Baron Fischler von Treuberg.|
|(L. S.) Baron Maltzahn.|
|(L. S.) Leopold Baron Plessen.|
|(L. S.) Baron Oertzen.|
|(L. S.) De Wolfframsdorff.|
|(L. S.) Baron Franck.|
|(L. S.) Francis Aloysius Kirchbauer.|
|(L. S.) De Marschall von Bieberstein.|
|(L. S.) Dr. George Wiese, Plenipotentiary of the Princes Lichtenstein and Reuss.|
|(L. S.) De Weise.|
|(L.S.) Baron Kettelholdt.|
|(L. S.) De Berg, acting for Waldeck and Schaumburg Lippe.|
|(L. S.) Hach.|
|(L. S.) Danz.|
|(L. S.) Schmidt.|