The Nationalists therefore stormed the platform, and the president and ministers had to fly into their private rooms to escape personal violence, until the Czechs came to their rescue, and by superiority in numbers and physical strength severely punished Herr Wolf and his friends. The rules of the House giving the president no authority for maintaining order, he determined, with the assent of the ministers, to propose alterations in procedure. The next day, when the sitting began, one of the ministers, Count Falkenhayn, a Clerical who was very unpopular, moved "That any member who continued to disturb a sitting after being twice called to order could be suspended - for three days by the president, and for thirty days by the House." The din and uproar was such that not a word could be heard, but at a pre-arranged signal from the president all the Right rose, and he then declared that the new order had been carried, although the procedure of the House required that it should be submitted to a committee. The next day, at the beginning of the sitting, the Socialists rushed on the platform, tore up and destroyed all the papers lying there, seized the president, and held him against the wall.
After he had escaped, eighty police were introduced into the House and carried out the fourteen Socialists. The next day Herr Wolf was treated in the same manner. The excitement spread to the street. Serious disorders took place in Vienna and in Graz; the German opposition had the support of the people, and Lueger warned the ministers that as burgomaster he would be unable to maintain order in Vienna; even the Clerical Germans showed signs of deserting the government. Badeni resigns. The emperor, hastily summoned to Vienna, accepted Badeni's resignation, the Germans having thus by obstruction attained part of their wishes. The new minister, Gautsch, a man popular with all parties, held office for three months; he proclaimed the budget and the Ausgleich, and in February replaced the language ordinances by others, under which Bohemia was to be divided into three districts - one Czech, one German and one mixed. The Germans, however, were not satisfied with this; they demanded absolute repeal. The Czechs also were offended; they arranged riots at Prague; the professors in the university refused to lecture unless the German students were defended from violence; Gautsch resigned, and Thun, who had been governor of Bohemia, was appointed minister.
Martial law was proclaimed in Bohemia, and strictly enforced. Thun then arranged with the Hungarian ministers a compromise about the Ausgleich.
The Reichsrath was again summoned, and the meetings were Renewed conflict between Germans and Czechs. less disturbed than in the former year, but the Germans still prevented any business from being done. The Germans now had a new cause of complaint. Paragraph 14 of the Constitutional law of 1867 provided that, in cases of pressing necessity, orders for which the assent of the Reichsrath was required might, if the Reichsrath were not in session, be proclaimed by the emperor; they had to be signed by the whole ministry, and if they were not laid before the Reichsrath within four months of its meeting, or if they did not receive the approval of both Houses, they ceased to be valid. The Germans contended that the application of this clause to the Ausgleich was invalid, and demanded that it should be repealed. Thun had in consequence to retire, in September 1899. His successor, Count Clary, began by withdrawing the ordinances which had been the cause of so much trouble, but it was now too late to restore peace. The Germans were not sufficiently strong and united to keep in power a minister who had brought them the relief for which they had been clamouring for two years. The Czechs, of course, went into opposition, and used obstruction.
The extreme German party, however, took the occasion to demand that paragraph 14 should be repealed. Clary explained that this was impossible, but he gave a formal pledge that he would not use it. The Czechs, however, prevented him passing a law on excise which was a necessary part of the agreements with Hungary; it was, therefore, impossible for him to carry on the government without breaking his word; there was nothing left for him to do but to resign, after holding office for less than three months. The emperor then appointed a ministry of officials, who were not bound by his pledge, and used paragraph 14 for the necessary purposes of state. They then made way for a ministry under Herr v. Körber. During the early months of 1900 matters were more peaceful, and Körber hoped to be able to arrange a compromise; but the Czechs now demanded the restoration of their language in the internal service of Bohemia, and on 8th June, by noise and disturbance, obliged the president to suspend the sitting. The Reichsrath was immediately dissolved, the emperor having determined to make a final attempt to get together a parliament with which it would be possible to govern.
The new elections on which so much was to depend did not take place till January 1901. They resulted in a great increase of the extreme German Nationalist parties. Schönerer and the German Radicals - the fanatical German party who in their new programme advocated union of German Austria with the German empire - now numbered twenty-one, who chiefly came from Bohemia. They were able for the first time to procure the election of one of their party in the Austrian Delegation, and threatened to introduce into the Assembly scenes of disorder similar to those which they had made common in the Reichsrath. All those parties which did not primarily appeal to national feeling suffered loss; especially was this the case with the two sections of the Clericals, the Christian Socialists and the Ultramontanes; and the increasing enmity between the German Nationalists (who refused even the name German to a Roman Catholic) and the Church became one of the most conspicuous features in the political situation. The loss of seats by the Socialists showed that even among the working men the national agitation was gaining ground; the diminished influence of the anti-Semites was the most encouraging sign.