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The Liberals: Heppenheim Program of the Southwest German Liberals (1847)

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goal of] further developing the Zollverein into a German Union. Here, one already has an administration, albeit deficient, which could stand by the improvements that it desperately needs, and a representation of notables, who could be picked from the chambers and from other bodies among the [Custom] Union’s states. Already the Zollverein has the management of a number of important shared interests in its hands, and it also has treaty relations with foreign states. Here, consequently, lies the seed of a union policy through which no foreign members would be disturbed, and other and related interests would be tacked onto the trade and commercial relations, e.g. the transportation system of land and water roads, equal taxation, especially for excise duties, trade rules, navy, consulates, trade law and the like. Through this kind of development toward power, the German Union would exercise an irresistible force of attraction for the accession of the remaining German states, finally induce the annexation of the Austrian Confederal states, and in doing so establish a true German power. This train of thought, which naturally we can only hint at here, but which was reviewed and discussed in detail, ultimately united all the arguments, though with the amplification that, while it would be preferable to work toward developing the Customs Union and a representation of its population in a Customs Congress by notables, no other opportunity should be left unused for strengthening the idea of German unity. It is indisputable that the participation of the people here by way of elected representatives is indispensable, and that the course of development of the century and of Germany make unification by tyranny impossible, so that the only way to achieve this is through and with freedom. Just as, after this agreement, everyone present felt obligated to act in this sense to the best of his abilities and on every occasion, both personally in his public position as well as among friends – in just the same way there emerged a gratifying harmony of convictions with respect to the resolutions which are to be proposed in all the German parliaments, as identically worded as possible, though with attention to the special conditions of the individual states. Freeing the press so that Germans can participate in the unhindered effectiveness of this most

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