The success of the French and Italian revolutions helped inspire uprisings across the German Confederation, with nationalists calling for a united German Empire. In mid-March, Vienna went into revolt, forcing the elderly Chancellor Metternich, a pillar of the conservative order in Europe since 1815, to resign and flee the city. With Metternich gone, revolution spread through the Austrian Empire with Hungary declaring its autonomy. On the 17th, Prussia was shaken by revolt in Berlin. After days of street fighting, King Frederick William backed down, declaring his support for the people and the German Empire.