The Neue Rheinische Zeitung

The Counter-Revolutionary Offensive and the Successes of the Revolution

by Frederick Engels

Neue Rheinische Zeitung No. 294 (special supplement)
Translated by the Marx-Engels Institute
Transcribed for the Internet by, 1994

Cologne, May 9. The counter-revolution is advancing with swift strides, but the revolution advances still faster.

While the counter-revolution has gained advantages in Dresden, [165] which make its victory probable, and has managed to introduce a state of siege, censorship and martial law by provoking a putsch in Breslau at the right moment, the revolution can point to quite different victories.

We do not speak of the quickly mounting open rebellion of the reserve army (Landwehr) in Rhenish Prussia involving the most "Prussian" districts, nor of the South German movement, [166] which is being betrayed everywhere by the governments, the bourgeoisie and the Frankfurt National Assembly; we speak only of those great events which, coming from outside, may give strong support and unity to the small, separate and helpless German movements -- we speak of the Magyar and the French revolutions.

While the Magyar revolution is gaining one victory after another, and after the next decisive battle (which was to have taken place on May 5 or 6 at Pressburg) will move straight on Vienna and liberate the city, France suddenly enters a stage when the movement is developing again openly and in broad daylight. The underground development of the past months comes to a close; the defeat of the French army at Rome [167] has exposed and discredited the entire policy of the present government. The people reappears upon the scene -- the people, the ultimate, supreme judge. Whether it happens at the elections or in the course of an open revolution, the French people will shortly give an impetus to the movement, which all Europe will feel.

The European dynasties will soon see that the chosen people of the revolution has not changed; the French revolution of 1849 will speak to them, not in Lamartinian phrases, but in the language of guns.