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9a The Rheinischer Merkur

The French censorship existed in the areas on the left bank side of the Rhine and spread to the states of the Rhine Confederation in 1806. The censorship in Prussia and Austria wanted to disable any critical comment on Napoleon and thus prevent the coming up of reasons for a further action against him. The military-political collapse in the years between 1805 and 1807 went along with the collapse of the press. In the eyes of the patriotic thinking people the press of the French times was consequently characterized by the «paltriness of the newspapers» and a «lame tone». Nevertheless anti-Napoleonic writings existed: flysheets, pamphlets and brochures were distributed in secrecy. Görres also ended his abstinence from political writing and became a pioneer of the anti-French press. He held the German disaccords responsible for the Austrian defeat and advised to establish a public opinion. He was convinced that there had to be regular publications to pursue this goal. Görres was euphoric when the areas on the left bank side of the Rhine were released from Napoleon’s reign in January 1814. He founded the newspaper «Rheinischer Merkur» which was to become the most critical publication against Napoleon. After the French had left, Görres was able to write with great commitment. However his newspaper was not welcomed in the satellite nations. In the summer of 1814 the «Rheinische Merkur» was officially banned in Baden, Bavaria and Württemberg.