The proper nature of government and administration was the subject of considerable intellectual controversy and political conflict in Germany during the half-century between 1815 and 1866. Three major issues are particularly helpful in illustrating the nature of government and administration and the controversies surrounding them. The first issue, perhaps the most important, was the organization of Central Europe – that is, whether it was to be organized as a confederation of sovereign states or as one German nation-state. The second issue was the role of popular participation in the government of the different German states and any potential united German nation-state. Should that government be authoritarian and absolutist in character or parliamentary and constitutional in nature? The third issue was what contemporaries called the emancipation of the Jews. This went beyond asking whether members of this minority group were equal citizens – it involved the very nature of citizenship and the government.