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Georg Wedekind, "Appeal to Fellow Citizens," delivered to the Society of the Friends of the People in Mainz (October 27, 1792)

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I am having this appeal printed because my fellow citizens desire it, because I think that I must do so. A man who speaks every day to the people, as I do, should not be judged like someone who rarely appears in public. Moreover, it is not as easy to write in a popular way as is believed by many of the gentlemen who know how to write beautifully, elegantly, and sublimely.

I am trying to learn this, for otherwise I would be of little use, and I ask others that they also learn this soon and show me how to do it.

Mainz gains from a revolution, the Mainzers are duty bound to undertake a revolution, and anyone who counsels them to a mere improvement of their old constitution counsels them badly.

There are still some among us, my brothers, who say: Wherefore a change to our old constitution? We are content. Others say: a change of our constitution is impossible, or it would at least entail so many evil consequences that would far outweigh the good brought about by revolution. Others say: we do not want a revolution, no complete abolition of our old constitution, but merely its improvement. Finally, still others believe that a revolution, indeed a mere change of our current form of government, is impermissible and contrary to our duty.

I want to reveal to you all my thoughts about these things, and may you in return be good enough to freely speak your opinion.

First let us examine whether Mainz would gain from a revolution.

What I have I do not need to win in the first place. And so the question is again: Does our current constitution have flaws? – Already a few observations will convince you that it does.

Until now, our state of Mainz has been an elective monarchy, that is, it stood under the nearly absolute will of a prince not chosen by the people, but by a certain number of noble clerics.

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