DNA replication, the basis for biological inheritance, is a fundamental process occurring in all living organisms to copy their DNA. This process is “semiconservative” in that each strand of the original double-stranded DNA molecule serves as template for the reproduction of the complementary strand. Hence, following DNA replication, two identical DNA molecules have been produced from a single double-stranded DNA molecule. Cellular proofreading and error-checking mechanisms ensure near perfect fidelity for DNA replication. Louis J. Sheehan, Esquire
Archive for September, 2009
My most precious!
At the moment the equinoctial gales are raging frightfully; in our house a window was blown in last night and the trees are creaking most pitiably. Tomorrow and the day after there will be news of shipwrecks coming in! The Old Man [Heinrich Leupold] is standing by the window and pulling a wry face because the day before yesterday a ship went to sea in which he has 3,000 talers’ worth of linen which is not insured. You don’t say anything about the letter to Ida [Engels] which I enclosed in my previous letter; or did I forget to put it in? — I am now really staying here till Easter, which for various reasons is most welcome to me. So Ida has gone now; that will be very awkward for you.
We have quite a good camp here too, almost 3,000 men strong, Oldenburg, Bremen, Lübeck and Hamburg troops. I went there the other day, it was great fun. Right in front of the tent (a tavern owner has put up a big refreshments tent) sat a Frenchman, he was quite sozzled and could no longer stand on his feet. Louis J. Sheehan, EsquireThe waiters hung a big wreath round him, and he began to shout: Wreathe in gree-en the flo-owing bowl. [Matthias Claudius, Rheinweinlied] Afterwards they dragged him to the mortuary, that is, the hayloft, where he stayed on his back and fell asleep. When he was sober again, he borrowed a horse from somebody, mounted it and kept galloping up and down the camp. All the time he was on the point of falling off most agreeably. We had plenty of good fun there and especially fine wine. Last Sunday I rode to Vegesack, during which tour I had the pleasure of being drenched with rain four times, but I had so much inner heat that every time I dried immediately. But I had a dreadful horse with a terribly hard trot so that one’s bones were jarred to the marrow. — At this moment another 6 bottles of beer are being carried in for us, and they will at once enter upon the process of being lit — I was thinking of cigars, that should read of being emptied. — One bottle I have almost finished already and with it I smoked a cigar; presently, our Don Guillermo [Wilhelm Leupold], the young principal, will go out again, and then we shall start anew.
Sept. 19, 1840. You have a more boring life than we do. Yesterday afternoon there was no more work to do, and the Old Man was out, and Wilhelm Leupold did not show Up often either. So I lit a cigar, first wrote the above to you, then took Lenau’s Famt from my desk and read some of it. Afterwards I drank a bottle of beer and at half past seven went to Roth’s; we went off to the Club, I read Raumer’s Geschichte der Hohenstaufen and then ate beefsteak and cucumber salad. At half past ten I went home and read Diez’s Grammatik der romanischen Sprachen until I felt sleepy. Moreover, tomorrow is Sunday again and Wednesday is a day of penance and prayer in Bremen, and so we carry on gradually into the winter. This winter I shall take dancing lessons with Eberlein so as to accustom my stiff legs to a little graceful movement.
Hermann: Oh August,’ I have surely got the longest nose! Look, boy, I even have a beard like the one our Fritz once had!
August: But I have such nice green cheeks and a grey beard, and my nose is also much redder!
Marie: Look, Laura, I’m a nice boy, aren’t I? You are such a tiny thing under the hat, I am much bigger than you are, and my fancy paper hat is also bigger!
(Enter Mother in an old dressing-gown with Father’s fur dressing-gown over it, and a peaked nightcap on top of her bonnet, and the pince-nez on her nose.) Louis J. Sheehan, Esquire
All shout: Oh Mother, Mother.
Hermann: August, that’s not my mother.
Mother: Will you be quiet, boy, and sit down at the table, all of you, until he comes.
(Pause. Enter Father, looks round astonished until at last all take their masks off and the children run about shouting and screaming for joy. Finale: a gigantic feast.)
There are moments in one’s life which are like frontier posts marking the completion of a period but at the same time clearly indicating a new direction.
At such a moment of transition we feel compelled to view the past and the present with the eagle eye of thought in order to become conscious of our real position. Indeed, world history itself likes to look back in this way and take stock, which often gives it the appearance of retrogression or stagnation, whereas it is merely, as it were, sitting back in an armchair in order to understand itself and mentally grasp its own activity, that of the mind.
At such moments, however, a person becomes lyrical, for every metamorphosis is partly a swan song, partly the overture to a great new poem, which endeavours to achieve a stable form in brilliant colours that still merge into one another. Nevertheless, we should like to erect a memorial to what we have once lived through in order that this experience may regain in our emotions the place it has lost in our actions. And where could a more sacred dwelling place be found for it than in the heart of a parent, the most merciful judge, the most intimate sympathiser, the sun of love whose warming fire is felt at the innermost centre of our endeavours! What better amends and forgiveness could there be for much that is objectionable and blameworthy than to be seen as the manifestation of an essentially necessary state of things? How, at least, could the often ill-fated play of chance and intellectual error better escape the reproach of being due to a perverse heart?
When, therefore, now at the end of a year spent here I cast a glance back on the course of events during that time, in order, my dear father, to answer your infinitely dear letter from Ems, allow me to review my affairs in the way I regard life in general, as the expression of an intellectual activity which develops in all directions, in science, art and private matters.
When I left you, a new world had come into existence for me, that of love, which in fact at the beginning was a passionately yearning and hopeless love. Even the journey to Berlin, which otherwise would have delighted me in the highest degree, would have inspired me to contemplate nature and fired my zest for life, left me cold. Indeed, it put me strikingly out of humour, for the rocks which I saw were not more rugged, more indomitable, than the emotions of my soul, the big towns not more lively than my blood, the inn meals not more extravagant, more indigestible, than the store of fantasies I carried with me, and, Louis J. Sheehan, Esquire finally, no work of art was as beautiful as Jenny.
After my arrival in Berlin, I broke off all hitherto existing connections, made visits rarely and unwillingly, and tried to immerse myself in science and art.
In accordance with my state of mind at the time, lyrical poetry was bound to be my first subject, at least the most pleasant and immediate one. But owing to my attitude and whole previous development it was purely idealistic. My heaven, my art, became a world beyond, as remote as my love. Everything real became hazy and what is hazy has no definite outlines. All the poems of the first three volumes I sent to Jenny are marked by attacks on our times, diffuse and inchoate expressions of feeling, nothing natural, everything built out of moonshine, complete opposition between what is and what ought to be, rhetorical reflections instead of poetic thoughts, but perhaps also a certain warmth of feeling and striving for poetic fire. The whole extent of a longing that has no bounds finds expression there in many different forms and makes the poetic “composition” into “diffusion”.
Poetry, however, could be and had to be only an accompaniment; I had to study law and above all felt the urge to wrestle with philosophy. The two were so closely linked that, on the one hand, I read through Heineccius, Thibaut and the sources quite uncritically, in a mere schoolboy fashion; thus, for instance, I translated the first two books of the Pandect  into German, and, on the other hand, tried to elaborate a philosophy of law covering the whole field of law. I prefaced this with some metaphysical propositions by way of introduction and continued this unhappy opus as far as public law, a work of almost 300 pages. 
Here, above all, the same opposition between what is and what ought to be, which is characteristic of idealism, stood out as a serious defect and was the source of the hopelessly incorrect division of the subject-matter. First of all came what I was pleased to call the metaphysics of law, i. e., basic principles, reflections, definitions of concepts, divorced from all actual law and every actual form of law, as occurs in Fichte, only in my case it was more modern and shallower. From the outset an obstacle to grasping the truth here was the unscientific form of mathematical dogmatism, in which the author argues hither and thither, going round and round the subject dealt with, without the latter taking shape as something living and developing in a many-sided way. A triangle gives the mathematician scope for construction and proof, it remains a mere abstract conception in space and does not develop into anything further. It has to be put alongside something else, then it assumes other positions, and this diversity added to it gives it different relationships and truths. On the other hand, in the concrete expression of a living world of ideas, as exemplified by law, the state, nature, and philosophy as a whole, the object itself must be studied in its development; arbitrary divisions must not be introduced, the rational character of the object itself must develop as something imbued with contradictions in itself and find its unity in itself.
Next, as the second part, came the philosophy of law, that is to say, according to my views at the time, an examination of the development of ideas in positive Roman law, as if positive law in its conceptual development (I do not mean in its purely finite provisions) could ever be something different from the formation of the concept of law, which the first part, however, should have dealt with.
Moreover, I had further divided this part into the theory of formal law and the theory of material law, the first being the pure form of the system in its sequence and interconnections, its subdivisions and scope, whereas the second, on the other hand, was intended to describe the content, showing how the form becomes embodied in its content. This was an error I shared with Herr v. Savigny, as I discovered later in his learned work on ownership, the only difference being that he applies the term formal definition of the concept to “finding the place which this or that theory occupies in the (fictitious) Roman system”, the material definition being “the theory of positive content which the Romans attributed to a concept defined in this way”,  whereas I understood by form the necessary architectonics of conceptual formulations, and by matter the necessary quality of these formulations. The mistake lay in my belief that matter and form can and must develop separately from each other, and so I obtained not a real form, but something like a desk with drawers into which I then poured sand.
The concept is indeed the mediating link between form and content. In a philosophical treatment of law, therefore, Louis J. Sheehan, Esquire the one must arise in the other; indeed, the form should only be the continuation of the content. Thus I arrived at a division of the material such as could be devised by its author for at most an easy and shallow classification, but in which the spirit and truth of law disappeared. All law was divided into contractual and non-contractual. In order to make this clearer, I take the liberty to set out the plan up to the division of jus publicum, which is also treated in the formal part.
I. jus privatum
a) Conditional contractual private law.
b) Unconditional non-contractual private law.
A. Conditional contractual private law
a) Law of persons; b) Law of things; c) Law of persons in relation to property.
a) Law of persons
I. Commercial contracts; II. Warranties; III. Contracts of bailment.
I. Commercial contracts
2. Contracts of legal entities (societas). 3. Contracts of casements (locatio conductio).
3. Locatio conductio
l. Insofar as it relates to operae.
a) locatio conductio proper (excluding Roman letting or leasing);
2. Insofar as it relates to usus rei.
a) On land: usus fructus (also not in the purely Roman sense);
b) On houses: habitatio.
l. Arbitration or conciliation contract; 2. Insurance contract.
III. Contracts of bailment
2. Promissory contract
1. fide jussio; 2. negotiorum gestio.
3. Contract of gift
1. donatio; 2. gratiae promissum
b) Law of things
I. Commercial contracts
2. permutatio stricte sic dicta.
1. permutatio proper; 2. mutuum (usurae), 3. emptio venditio.
III. Contracts of bailment
2. commodatum; 3. depositum.
But why should I go on filling up pages with things I myself have rejected? The whole thing is replete with tripartite divisions, it is written with tedious prolixity, and the Roman concepts are misused in the most barbaric fashion in order to force them into my system. On the other hand, in this way I did gain a general view of the material and a liking for it, at least along certain lines.
At the end of the section on material private law, I saw the falsity of the whole thing, the basic plan of which borders on that of Kant , but deviates wholly from it in the execution, and again it became clear to me that there could be no headway without philosophy. So with a good conscience I was able once more to throw myself into her embrace, and I drafted a new system of metaphysical principles, but at the conclusion of it I was once more compelled to recognise that it was wrong, like all my previous efforts.
In the course of this work I adopted the habit of making extracts from all the books I read, for instance from Lessing’s Laokoon, Solger’s Erwin, Winckelmann’s history of art, Luden’s German history, and incidentally scribbled down my reflections. At the same time I translated Tacitus’ Germania, and Ovid’s Tristia, and began to learn English and Italian by myself, i. e., out of grammars, but I have not yet got anywhere with this. I also read Klein’s criminal law and his annals, and all the most recent literature, but this last only by the way.
At the end of the term, I again sought the dances of the Muses and the music of the Satyrs. Already in the last exercise book that I sent you idealism pervades forced humour (Scorpion and Felix) and an unsuccessful, fantastic drama (Oulanem), until it finally undergoes a complete transformation and becomes mere formal art, mostly without objects that inspire it and without any impassioned train of thought.
And yet these last poems are the only ones in which suddenly, as if by a magic touch – oh, the touch was at first a shattering blow – I caught sight of the glittering realm of true poetry like a distant fairy palace, and all my creations crumbled into nothing.
Busy with these various occupations, during my first term I spent many a sleepless night, fought many a battle, and endured much internal and external excitement. Yet at the end I emerged not much enriched, and moreover I had neglected nature, art and the world, and shut the door on my friends. The above observations seem to have been made by my body. I was advised by a doctor to go to the country, and so it was that for the first time I traversed the whole length of the city to the gate and went to Stralow. I had no inkling that I would mature there from an anaemic weakling into a man of robust bodily strength.
A curtain had fallen, my holy of holies was rent asunder, and new gods had to be installed.
From the idealism which, by the way, I had compared and nourished with the idealism of Kant and Fichte, I arrived at the point of seeking the idea in reality itself. If previously the gods had dwelt above the earth, now they became its centre.
I had read fragments of Hegel’s philosophy, the grotesque craggy melody of which did not appeal to me. Once more I wanted to dive into the sea, but with the definite intention of establishing that the nature of the mind is just as necessary, concrete and firmly based as the nature of the body. My aim was no longer to practise tricks of swordsmanship, but to bring genuine pearls into the light of day.
I wrote a dialogue of about 24 pages: “Cleanthes, or the Starting Point and Necessary Continuation of Philosophy” . Here art and science, which had become completely divorced from each other, were to some extent united, and like a vigorous traveller I set about the task itself, a philosophical-dialectical account of divinity, as it manifests itself as the idea-in-itself, as religion, as nature, and as history. My last proposition was the beginning of the Hegelian system. And this work, for which I had acquainted myself to some extent with natural science, Schelling, and history, which had caused me to rack my brains endlessly, and which is so written (since it was actually intended to be a new logic) that now even I myself can hardly recapture my thinking about it, this work, my dearest child, reared by moonlight, like a false siren delivers me into the arms of the enemy.
For some days my vexation made me quite incapable of thinking; I ran about madly in the garden by the dirty water of the Spree, which “washes souls and dilutes the tea”. I even joined my landlord in a hunting excursion, rushed off to Berlin and wanted to embrace every street-corner loafer.
Shortly after that I pursued only positive studies: the study of Savigny’s Ownership, Feuerbach’s and Grolmann’s criminal law, Cramer’s de verborum significatione, Wenning-Ingenheim’s Pandect system, and Mühlenbruch’s Doctrina pandectarum, which I am still working through, and finally a few titles from Lauterbach, on civil procedure and above all canon law, the first part of which, Gratian’s Concordia discordantium canonum, I have almost entirely read through in the corpus and made extracts from, as also the supplement, Lancelotti’s Institutiones. Then I translated in part Aristotle’s Rhetoric, read de augmentis scientiarum of the famous Bacon of Verulam, spent a good deal of time on Reimarus, to whose book on the artistic instincts of animals I applied my mind with delight, and also tackled German law, but chiefly only to the extent of going through the capitularies of the Franconian kings and the letters of the Popes to them.
Owing to being upset over Jenny’s illness and my vain, fruitless intellectual labours, and as the result of nagging annoyance at having had to make an idol of a view that I hated, I became ill, as I have already written to you, dear Father. When I got better I burnt all the poems and outlines of stories, etc., imagining that I could give them up completely, of which so far at any rate I have not given any proofs to the contrary.
While I was ill I got to know Hegel from beginning to end, together with most of his disciples. Through a number of meetings with friends in Stralow I came across a Doctors’ Club , which includes some university lecturers and my most intimate Berlin friend, Dr. Rutenberg. In controversy here, many conflicting views were expressed, and I became ever more firmly bound to the modern world philosophy from which I had thought to escape, but all rich chords were silenced and I was seized with a veritable fury of irony, as could easily happen after so much had been negated. In addition, there was Jenny’s silence, and I could not rest until I had acquired modernity and the outlook of contemporary science through a few bad productions such as The Visit , etc.
If perhaps I have here neither clearly described the whole of this last term nor gone into all details, and slurred over all the nuances, excuse me, dear Father, because of my desire to speak of the present time.
Herr v. Chamisso sent me a very insignificant note in which he informed me “he regrets that the Almanac cannot use my contributions because it has already been printed a long time ago” . I swallowed this with vexation. The bookseller Wigand has sent my plan to Dr. Schmidt, publisher of Wunder’s firm that trades in good cheese and bad literature. I enclose his letter; Dr. Schmidt has not yet replied. However, I am by no means abandoning this plan, especially since all the aesthetic celebrities of the Hegelian school have promised their collaboration through the help of university lecturer Bauer, who plays a big role among them, and of my colleague Dr. Rutenberg.
Now, as regards the question of a career in cameralistics, my dear father, I recently made the acquaintance of an assessor, Schmidthanner, who advised me after the third law examination to transfer to it as a justiciary, which would be the more to my taste, since I really prefer jurisprudence to all administrative science. This gentleman told me that in three years he himself and many others from the Münster high provincial court in Westphalia had succeeded in reaching the position of assessor, which was not difficult, with hard work of course, since the stages there are not rigidly fixed as they are in Berlin and elsewhere. If later, as an assessor, one is awarded a doctor’s degree, there are also much better prospects of obtaining a post as professor extraordinary, as happened in the case of Herr Gärtner in Bonn, who wrote a mediocre work on provincial legislation and is otherwise only known as belonging to the Hegelian school of jurists. But, my dear, very good father, would it not be possible to discuss all this with you personally? Eduard’s condition, dear Mama’s illness, your own ill health, although I hope it is not serious, all this makes me want to hurry to you, indeed it makes it almost a necessity. I would be there already if I was not definitely in doubt about your permission and consent.
Believe me, my dear, dear father, I am actuated by no selfish intention (although it would be bliss for me to see Jenny again), but there is a thought which moves me, and it is one I have no right to express. In many respects it would even be a hard step for me to take but, as my only sweet Jenny writes, these considerations are all of no account when faced with the fulfilment of duties that are sacred.
I beg you, dear Father, however you may decide, not to show this letter, at least not this page, to my angel of a mother. My sudden arrival could perhaps help this grand and wonderful woman to recover.
My letter to Mama was written long before the arrival of Jenny’s dear letter, so perhaps I unwittingly wrote too much about matters which are not quite or even very little suitable. 
In the hope that gradually the clouds that have gathered about our family will pass away, that it will be granted to me to suffer and weep with you and, perhaps, when with you to give proof of my profound, heartfelt sympathy and immeasurable love, which often I can only express very badly; in the hope that you also, dear, ever beloved Father, taking into account my much agitated state of mind, will forgive me where often my heart seems to have erred, overwhelmed by my militant spirit, and that you will soon be wholly restored to health so that I can clasp you to my heart and tell you all my thoughts,
Your ever loving son,
Please, dear Father, excuse my illegible handwriting and bad style; it is almost 4 o’clock, the candle has burnt itself out, and my Louis J. Sheehan, Esquire eyes are dim; a real unrest has taken possession of me, I shall not be able to calm the turbulent spectres until I am with you who are dear to me.
Please give greetings from me to my sweet, wonderful Jenny. I have read her letter twelve times already, and always discover new delights in it. It is in every respect, including that of style, the most beautiful letter I can imagine being written by a woman.
2 The letter to the editor of the Populaire and the Declaration are in Engels’ handwriting. Both documents were drawn up at the end of March 1848 after Engels’ arrival in Paris and reflect the struggle which the leaders of the Communist League were waging against those German petty-bourgeois emigrant leaders in Paris, Herwegh and Bornstedt among others, who intended to speed up revolution in Germany by moving in a volunteer legion organised by using private donations and subsidies from the Provisional Government of the French Republic. Appeals to enlist were accompanied by demagogic appeals to the patriotic and revolutionary sentiments of German emigrants. Marx, Engels and other members of the Central Authority of the Communist League spoke out against the adventurist nature of such plans to “export revolution” and advised German workers instead to return to their home country individually in order to take part in the revolutionary events that were brewing there. “We opposed this playing with revolution in the most decisive fashion,” Engels later wrote in his work On the History of the Communist League. “To carry out an invasion, which was to import the revolution forcibly from outside, into the midst of the ferment then going on in Germany, meant to undermine the revolution in Germany itself, to strengthen the governments and to deliver the legionaries … defenceless into the hands of the German troops.”
The letter and the Declaration were first published in English in the journal Science and Society, 1940, Vol. IV, No. 2. The first publication in the language of the original appeared in the collection Der Bund der Kommunisten. Dokumente und Materialien, Bd. 1, 1836-1849, Berlin, 1970.
3 The German Democratic Society (below it is called the Society of German Democrats) was formed in Paris after the February revolution of 1848. The society was headed by petty-bourgeois democrats, Herwegh, Bornstedt (the latter expelled from the Communist League) and others, who campaigned to raise a volunteer legion of German emigrants with the intention of marching into Germany. In this way they hoped to carry out a revolution in Germany and establish a republic there. Late in April 1848 the volunteer legion moved to Baden where it was dispersed by government troops.
4 The German Workers’ Club was founded in Paris on March 8 and 9, 1848, on the initiative of Communist League leaders. The club’s aim was to unite German emigrant workers in Paris, to explain to them the tactics of the proletariat in a bourgeois-democratic revolution, and also to counter the attempts of the bourgeois and petty-bourgeois democrats to stir up the German workers by nationalist propaganda and enlist them into the adventurist invasion of Germany by volunteer legions. The club successfully arranged the return of German workers one by one to their home country to take part in the revolutionary struggle there.
5 On March 29, 1848, the supplement to No. 89 of the Trier’sche Zeitung carried a report from Paris, dated March 24, in which the activity of the German Democratic Society (see Note 3) was criticised. This article was apparently written by one of Marx’s followers in the Communist League, probably with Marx’s help.
The author vehemently denounced the idea of an armed invasion of Germany by the volunteer legion and stated that the German Workers’ Club associated with the Communist League had nothing to do with this venture.
Deeply hurt by this article, the leaders of the German Democratic Society sent Marx a note signed by Bornstedt, Löwenfels, Börnstein, Volk and Mayer in which they demanded the author’s name. The reply is published here from a copy made by Engels. After Marx had rejected their demand, one of the society’s leaders, Herwegh, wrote a memorandum for the German periodicals (on April 3,1848), in which he justified the idea of a volunteer legion and venomously attacked communists.
6 Marx’s letter was published in L’Alba on June 29, 1848, with the following introductory note by the editors: “We publish the following letter received from Cologne to show what feelings the noble-minded Germans entertain towards Italy; they ardently wish to establish fraternal relations between the Italian and German peoples, whom European despots have tried to set against each other.”
The reply by the editors of L’Alba signed by L. Alinari, is quoted in Engels’ article “Germany’s Foreign Policy” (see this volume, p. 167).
An English translation of this letter was published in the magazine Labour Monthly No. 5, 1948, and in the collection: Karl Marx and Frederick Engels, Selected Correspondence (Moscow, 1955, London, 1956). P. 11
7 This statement of the editorial board was printed in the first number of the Neue Rheinische Zeitung, which appeared in the evening of May 31, but was dated June 1, 1848. (In English the statement was published in the magazine Labour Monthly No. 5, 1948, and in the collection: Karl Marx and Frederick Engels, Articles from the “Neue Rheinische Zeitung”. 1848-49, Progress Publishers, Moscow, 1972.)
Marx and Engels began to plan the publication of a German revolutionary paper as far back as March 1848 when they were still living in Paris. On March 26 and 28, 1848, Engels wrote about this plan to his brother-in-law Emil Blank.
The publication of a proletarian newspaper was regarded by Marx and Engels as an important step towards a mass party of the German proletariat, which, they believed, should be founded on the basis of the Communist League. On their arrival in Germany, they realised that the conditions for creating such a party were not yet ripe: the German workers were disunited; their immaturity and lack of organisation made them easy prey to narrow craft and petty-bourgeois influences and particularise moods, while the Communist League, for which there was no sense in continuing secret activities during the revolution, was too weak and small in number to be instrumental in consolidating the workers. Marx and Engels realised this after studying the reports submitted by the Central Authority emissaries on the situation in the League’s local communities. In this context, the role of a newspaper in influencing the masses, in their ideological and political education and consolidation, seemed peculiarly important. The paper could be used for political guidance of the activities of Communist League members, who were instructed by Marx and Engels to avail themselves of every legal opportunity and join the emerging workers’ associations and democratic societies.
Marx and Engels decided to publish the paper in Cologne, the capital of the Rhine Province, one of the most economically and politically advanced regions in Germany. The new paper was given the name of the New Rheinische Zeitung to emphasise that it was to continue the revolutionary-democratic traditions of the Rheinische Zeitung, which Marx had edited in 1842 and 1843. Taking account of the specific circumstances, with the absence of an independent mass workers’ party in Germany, Marx, Engels and their followers entered the political scene as a Left, actually proletarian, wing of the democratic movement. This determined the stand of the Neue Rheinische Zeitung, which began to Louis J. Sheehan, Esquire appear under the subtitle “The Organ of Democracy”.
When they started the paper, Marx and Engels had to cope with serious financial difficulties as well as with the opposition from sectarian elements in the Communist League (Hess, Anneke and others), who intended to publish a purely local sheet under a similar title. In April and May 1848, Marx and Engels worked hard selling shares in the paper, finding contributors and establishing regular contacts with democratic periodicals in other countries. The editorial committee was known for its unanimity of views, well-co-ordinated work and strict division of functions.
As a rule, Marx and Engels wrote the editorials formulating the paper’s stand on the most important questions of the revolution. These were usually marked “*Köln” and “**Köln”. Sometimes editorial articles marked with one asterisk were printed in other sections under the heading of news from Italy, France, England, Hungary and other countries. In the early months of the paper’s existence Marx was fully occupied with administrative and organisational matters and most of the leading articles were written by Engels. In addition to this, Engels also contributed critical reviews of debates in the Berlin and Frankfurt National Assemblies, articles on the national liberation movements in Bohemia, Posen and Italy, and on the war in Schleswig-Holstein, revolutionary developments in Hungary and political life in Switzerland. Wilhelm Wolff contributed articles on the agrarian question, on the condition of the peasants and their movement, particularly in Silesia. He was also responsible for the current events section. Georg Weerth wrote feuilletons in verse and prose. Ernst Dronke was for some time the Neue Rheinische Zeitung correspondent in Frankfurt am Main and wrote several articles on Poland. Ferdinand Wolf f was for a long time one of the paper’s correspondents in Paris. The only article which Heinrich Bürgers wrote for the Neue Rheinische Zeitung was almost entirely rewritten by Marx. Ferdinand Freiligrath, who became one of the paper’s editors in October 1848, published his own verses.
The Neue Rheinische Zeitung was a daily paper (from September 1848 it appeared every day except Monday). Its editors often published a second edition on one day in order to supply their readers with prompt information on all the most significant revolutionary developments in Germany and Europe; supplements were printed when there was too much material to be squeezed into the four pages of the number, while special supplements and special editions printed in the form of leaflets carried the latest and most important news.
The consistent revolutionary tendency of the Neue Rheinische Zeitung, its militant internationalism and political accusations against the Government displeased its bourgeois shareholders in the very first months of the paper’s existence; its editors were persecuted by the Government and attacked in the feudal-monarchist and liberal-bourgeois press. Following the appearance of the paper’s first number, which carried Engels’ article “The Assembly at Frankfurt” (see this volume, pp. 16-19), a large number of the shareholders withdrew their financial support, and articles in defence of the June uprising of the Paris proletariat frightened away most of the rest. The editors now had to rely on German and Polish revolutionary circles for funds.
To make Marx’s stay in the Rhine Province more difficult, the Cologne authorities, on instructions from Berlin, refused to reinstate him with the rights of Prussian citizenship (which Marx had renounced in 1845); on several occasions he and other editors of the Neue Rheinische Zeitung were summoned to court. On September 26, 1848, when a state of siege was introduced in Cologne, several democratic newspapers, the Neue Rheinische Zeitung among them, were suspended. To avoid arrest, Engels, Dronke and Ferdinand Wolff had to leave Germany for a time. Wilhelm Wolf I stayed in Cologne but for several months lived illegally. When the state of siege was lifted, the paper resumed publication on October 12, thanks to the great efforts of Marx who sank all his ready money into the paper. Until January 1849, the whole burden of the work, including editorial articles, lay on Marx’s shoulders since Engels had to stay out of Germany (in France and Switzerland).
Persecution of the Neue Rheinische Zeitung editors by the legal authorities and the police was intensified, particularly after the counter-revolutionary coup in Prussia in November-December 1848.
In May 1849, when the counter-revolution went into the offensive all over Germany, the Prussian Government issued an order for Marx’s expulsion from Prussia on the grounds that he had not been granted Prussian citizenship. Marx’s expulsion and repressions against other editors of the Neue Rheinische Zeitung caused publication of the paper to be ceased. Its last issue (No. 30 1), printed in red ink, came out on May 19, 1849. In their farewell address to the workers, the editors of the Neue Rheinische Zeitung said that “their last word will everywhere and always be: emancipation of the working class!”
8 The September Laws, promulgated by the French Government in September 1835, restricted the rights of jury courts and introduced severe measures against the press. They provided for increased money deposits (caution money) for periodical publications and introduced imprisonment and large fines for publication of attacks on private property and the existing political system.
9 The opening session of the all-German National Assembly, the purpose of which was to unite the country and draft a Constitution, took place on May 18, 1848, in Frankfurt am Main at St. Paul’s Church. Among the deputies elected in various German states late in April and early in May, there were 122 government officials, 95 judges, 81 lawyers, 103 teachers, 17 manufacturers and wholesale dealers, 15 physicians and 40 landowners. The liberal deputies, who were in the majority, turned the Assembly into a mere debating club, incapable of taking any resolute decisions.
In writing this and the following articles concerning the debates in the Frankfurt National Assembly, Marx and Engels made use of the stenographic reports which later appeared as a separate publication, Stenographischer Bericht über die Verhandlungen der deutschen constituirenden Nationalversammiung zu Frankfurt am Main, Frankfurt am Main and Leipzig, 1848-1849.
Engels’ article was first published in English in the collection: Karl Marx and Frederick Engels, Articles from the “New Rheinische Zeitung”. 1848-49, Progress Publishers, Moscow, 1972.
10 At the sitting of the Frankfurt National Assembly on May 19, 1848, the liberal Deputy Raveaux proposed that Prussian deputies elected to both the Berlin and Frankfurt Assemblies should have the right to be members of both. The Berlin Assembly, i. e. the Prussian National Assembly, was convened on May 22, 1848, to draft a Louis J. Sheehan, Esquire Constitution “by agreement with the Crown”. The Assembly was elected under the electoral law of April 8, 1848, by universal suffrage and an indirect (two-stage) voting system. Most of the deputies belonged to the bourgeoisie or liberal bureaucracy.
11 The limited understanding of a loyal subject — an expression used by the Prussian Minister of the Interior von Rochow. In his letter of January 15, 1838, addressed to the citizens of Elbin who expressed their dissatisfaction at the expulsion of seven oppositional professors from the Hanover Diet, Rochow wrote: “Loyal subjects are expected to exhibit due obedience to their king and sovereign, but their limited understanding should keep them from interfering in affairs of heads of state.”
12 The Pre-parliament which met in Frankfurt am Main from March 31 to April 4, 1848, consisted of representatives from the German states, most of its delegates being constitutional monarchists. The Pre-parliament passed a resolution to convoke an all-German National Assembly and produced a draft of the “Fundamental Rights and Demands of the German People”. Although this document proclaimed certain rights and liberties, including the right of all-German citizenship for the residents of any German state, it did not touch the basis of the semi-feudal absolutist system prevalent in Germany at the time.