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Full text of "Political Science Of The State"

CONFEDERATIONS.                                199
relating to particular points need not detain us, except the
thirteenth, which is, that in all the states of the confederation
there shall be a constitution of estates (stande), which seems
to prevent the possibility of reforms in particular states in the
direction of equality of condition.
1    The federal act was short and incomplete.    An appendix
to it under the name of " a final act of the con-
ferences held at Vienna to develop and consol-
idate the organization of the German confederation," after
being discussed by representatives at Vienna in 1819 and 1820,
was accepted by a plenum in a diet held at Frankfort in 1820,
as a fundamental law, of equal validity with the constitution
itself. This had been preceded by a congress of nine states,
held at Carlsbad in 1819, where sundry defects of the constitu-
tion had been complained of. A part of the articles of this
schlussact are taken up with defining the relations of the
states, somewhat in a scholastic way. " As to its interior
relations," such are the words of Art. ii., "this confederation
forms a body of states independent of one another, but bound
by rights and duties freely stipulated. As to its external re-
lations, it constitutes a collective power, established on the
principle of political unity." "The constitution is, by its
very principle, indissoluble ; hence, no one of its members has
the liberty to withdraw from it" (Art. v.). New members
can be admitted only by a unanimous vote. (From Art. vi.)
"The plenipotentiaries sent to the diet are individually respon-
sible to their sovereigns (Art. vii?.). The general council
or plenum is only convened in the cases mentioned in the
constitution, and also for the declaration of war, the ratifica-
tion of peace, and the admission of new members into the
union. When it is doubtful whether the business is of such
a nature as properly to come before the plenum^ the ordinary
council must decide the point (Art xii.). Unanimity is nec-
essary in the plenum when the vote relates to organic institu-
tions, and if the decision is favorable the deliberations on de-
tails are to be held in the ordinary council (Art. xiv.). Other
articles provide for the maintenance of peace within the con-