Members of the Frankfurt National Assembly: Club of the "Casino" (1848) (Lithograph, 1849)
The Frankfurt National Assembly (also known as the German National Assembly, or the Frankfurt Parliament) was an important, but ultimately powerless political body that met during the 1848/49 revolutions. It convened for its constitutive session in St. Paul’s Church in Frankfurt on May 18, 1848. Its major accomplishments were drafting a constitution and passing a Charter of Basic Rights. Although the Assembly strongly supported democracy and individual civil rights, it also aimed at the establishment of an all-German nation headed by an emperor. With the exception of Switzerland, all of the German-speaking territories sent elected delegates to the Assembly. Once in Frankfurt, these delegates came together in loose groups named after the various inns in which they met for consultations. This lithograph shows leading members of the liberal-conservative club of the “Casino.” The club stood to the right of the political center, and its members advocated a strong central executive (i.e., a constitutional monarchy) and a bicameral system with a parliament that was limited to legislative functions. The “Casino” was the largest parliamentary faction, comprising 21 percent of all delegates. (From left to right:) Decke, Becker von Gotha, Braun, von Kosteritz, Droysen (leaning on the chair), Siehr, Mevissen (sitting), Kratz, Count von Giech, Schirmeister, Elmauer, Prince Lichnowsky, Houben, Briegleb (sitting at the table), Haubenschmidt, Gagern, von Sänger, Waldmann (with glasses), Burgers (with full beard), Scholten, von Thielau, Overweg (next to Scholten), von Beckerath (sitting), Giesebrecht, Degenkoll, Duncker, Gevekohl, Zittel. Lithograph by Friedrich Pecht (1814-1903), 1849.