Press Censorship

Great Britain, since 1689, enjoued Freedom of the Press; Sweden introduced it in 1766.
In France, Napoleon Bonaparte reintroduced press censorship (abolished by the French Revolution) in 1810. The number of newspapers in Paris in 1811 was 4, compared to over 300 in 1790.
Austrian chancellor Prince Metternich in 1808 speculated on the necessity of a Press Censorship; after the assassination of August von Kotzebue, Russian Diplomat, by student and Burschenschaft member Karl Sand in 1819, Austria, Prussia and Russia, in the Carlsbad Resolutions, agreed on the tightening of press censorship, as means to suppress revolutionary, liberal and nationalist movements. In 1835, the diet of the German Confederation decided to further tighten the application of censorship.
Among the victims of press censorship was Karl Marx; the Rheinische Zeitung, which he edited in 1842-1843, was banned in 1843 and Marx went into exile.
Censorship laws were rigidly enforced when it came to articles covering domestic affairs. The Augsburger Allgemeine, the leading German newspaper of the early 19th century, thus printed about half a page of coverage of Prussian, Austrian or other German affairs, while it printed extensive coverage of parliamentary debates etc. in England, and, after 1830, in France. While the censorship laws were not violated, the reports on the British parliament's dealing with political issues of the day taught German readers how a democracy worked. Many newspapers in Austria and Prussia were liberal, and addressed a largely liberal readership; the autorities, however, regarded liberalism as a suspicious ideology.
Among the demands of the 1848 revolutionaries all over Europe was Freedom of the Press; during the revolutions press censorship was (temporarily) abolished.

Websites on Censorship, from Sunybroome
Long History of Censorship, by Mette Newth
Geschichte der Zensur, by Erik Thiel, in German
Geschichte der Zensur, from Internet Projejte Deutsch, in German
Article Rheinische Zeitung, from Wikipedia
DOCUMENTS Carlsbad Resolutions, from Hanover Historical Texts Project
Karl Marx, On Freedom of the Press (Rheinische Zeitung, May 1842), posted by Marx/Engels Internet Archive
Provisorische Bestimmungen hinsichtlich der Freiheit der Presse ("Bundes-Pressgesetz") vom 20. September 1819, (Provisorical Provisions concerning Freedom of the Press) posted by Helmut Schmitz, in German, scroll down

This page is part of World History at KMLA
First posted on September 30th 2003, last revised on November 16th 2004

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