The Congress of Vienna gave the Rhineland to Prussia, with Britain having a hand in the game because of its desire to contain the French by means of a powerful neighbour. The population of the Rhineland was less enthusiastic. The Cologne banker, Schaaffhausen, expressed their feelings as follows: “Do hierode mir in en ärm Familich” (We are marrying into a poor family).
The inhabitants of Bonn also expressed their opposition to annexation with characteristic Rhenish mockery, as illustrated in 1822 when Bonn had a good wine harvest but also suffered a great plague of mice. As the annual procession was making its way from St. Remigius to Kevelaer, several dignitaries stood at the window of the hotel “Zum Goldenen Stern” on the market place, watching the
pilgrims depart. A young Prussian lieutenant then entered, saying, “Just look at those superstitious people. They are carrying a silver mouse to Kevelaer in the belief that this will rid them of the plague.” An elderly citizen of Bonn patted the lieutenant on the shoulder and said deliberately, “My dear lieutenant, if we believed that, we would long since have carried a golden Prussian to Kevelaer.”
Dates and facts:
Bonn becomes Prussian.
Founding of the Rhenish Friedrich-Wilhelm University.
Opening of the railway between Cologne and Bonn.
Setting-up of the Beethoven monument and the first Beethoven Festival.
Founding of the Agricultural College in Poppelsdorf.
Prominent participation by Bonn professors in the first democratic revolution in Germany.
Death of Robert Schumann in Endenich.