Treaty of Malmö (1848)

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The Treaty of Malmo joined Denmark and Prussia in Schleswig-Holstein war. The armistice of August 26, 1848 regulated - temporarily - the balance of power in the Schleswig-Holstein question.

Conclusion of contract

A few weeks after the outbreak of war on March 24, 1848, the Schleswig-Holstein units set up by the provisional government in Kiel had to withdraw from the superior Danish army . Thereupon troops of the German Confederation under General Friedrich Graf von Wrangel intervened in the fight.

As a result, the major European powers Russia, France and Great Britain forced the Treaty of Malmö on August 26, 1848 through the mediation of Sweden.

Contract terms

In the Treaty of Malmö, the Kingdom of Denmark and the Kingdom of Prussia agreed on the following points:

  • Cessation of hostilities at sea and on land for a period of seven months. Automatic renewal if neither party terminates one month prior to expiry.
  • Release of prisoners of war and prisoners for political reasons.
  • Lifting of blockade measures and release of angry ships.
  • Eviction of both Schleswig and Holstein by Danish and federal troops. Exceptions: The Holstein units may remain in Holstein, while troops are to be set up in Schleswig, which consist solely of soldiers who were born there and are to be subordinate to the newly formed government.
  • Formation of a new five-member government. The Danish and the Prussian king appoint two of them. The fifth member is determined jointly by both. See Joint Government (Schleswig-Holstein)
  • Repeal of the laws passed by the Provisional Government in Kiel.

Ratification and termination of the contract

Cartoon of the rejection of the treaty in the National Assembly on 5 September. Members of the government and also the President of the National Assembly, Heinrich von Gagern (in a pastor's gown) belong to the mourners.

In the Frankfurt National Assembly , the ratification of the treaty was rejected on September 5, 1848 by 238 votes to 221 (more precisely: postponed, suspended), mainly thanks to the resistance of left-wing democratic forces. When some MPs who had changed their minds finally ratified the treaty on September 16, bloody riots broke out in front of the Paulskirche in Frankfurt , where the National Assembly was meeting. During the September riots , two Conservative MPs were assassinated in the National Assembly, which seriously damaged the reputation of the revolution.

The Leiningen cabinet , the all-German government, had resigned because of the September 5th vote. Although she was also of the opinion that Prussia had acted arbitrarily, she accepted the armistice as a necessity. However, her opponent in the National Assembly, Friedrich Christoph Dahlmann , failed to put together another cabinet. Finally the Reichsverweser reinstated the old cabinet, also so that the central power would not be left without leadership in the face of the unrest. The uprising could only be put down by the deployment of Prussian and Austrian troops. There were also rallies against the Malmö Treaty in other places.

The Treaty of Malmö was terminated by Denmark on February 22, 1849. Thus began the second phase of the war between Denmark and a German army under the Prussian general Karl von Prittwitz .


  • Helmuth Rönnefahrt (edit.): Conferences and contracts. Contract Ploetz. Handbook of Historically Significant Meetings and Agreements. Part II. 1493-1952 . Ploetz, Würzburg 1953. pp. 150f.
  • German Bundestag (ed.): Questions to German history - ways to parliamentary democracy . Bonn, 19th edition 1996. ISBN 3-924521-96-4 . (Chapter II: The Revolution of 1848/49).
  • Martin Rackwitz : Dahlmann's greatest challenges: The Schleswig-Holstein question and the constitutional question in the German National Assembly 1848/49 as reflected in the political caricature , in Utz Schliesky , Wilhelm Knelangen (ed.): Friedrich Christoph Dahlmann . Vol. 1 of the series Democracy. Heads. Schleswig-Holstein . Husum 2012, pp. 71-100.

Individual evidence

  1. ^ Otto Vossler : The revolution of 1848 in Germany . Suhrkamp, ​​Frankfurt am Main 1967. p. 97.
  2. ^ Ralf Heikaus: The first months of the provisional central authority for Germany (July to December 1848). Diss. Frankfurt am Main, Peter Lang, Frankfurt am Main a. a., 1997, pp. 220-224.
  3. ^ Otto Vossler: The revolution of 1848 in Germany . Suhrkamp, ​​Frankfurt am Main 1967. p. 98.