On May 18 the national assembly met in the Paulskirche in Frankfurt.

The Frankfurt National Assembly debated various plans for a unified Germany. Immediate practical problems, such as the nature of the executive power and territorial extent of Germany were also debated. It soon became clear that the executive appointed by the assembly had no power except such as was granted to it by the governments of the individual states.

The Frankfurt National Assembly adopted a proposed constitution for Germany on March 28, 1849. This document provided for universal suffrage, parliamentary government, and a hereditary emperor. Germany was to have a unified monetary and customs system, but would maintain the internal autonomy of the constituent German states.