German unification
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German Unification. Background. France and Russia had long-standing policy of keeping Germany weak and divided Nationalism came to Germany, but different from Italy Unification of the German states was one of the most significant events of the late 19 th C. Changed the balance of power

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German Unification

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German unification

German Unification


Background

Background

  • France and Russia had long-standing policy of keeping Germany weak and divided

  • Nationalism came to Germany, but different from Italy

  • Unification of the German states was one of the most significant events of the late 19th C.

    • Changed the balance of power

    • 39 German states

    • Prussia: strong monarchy, powerful aristocrats (Junkers), disciplined army


Background1

Background

  • Napoleon – Reorganized the German states into the Confederation of the Rhine

  • Zollverein – tariff union of German states that did not include Austria

  • Series of revolutions in German states - 1848

  • Frankfurt Parliament of 1848

    • Offered crown of unified Germany to Frederick William IV

      • Turned it down – would not accept crown “from the gutter”


Path to unification

Path to Unification

  • Otto von Bismarck

    • Became prime minister in 1862

    • Served Kaiser Wilhelm I

    • Conservative

    • Believed in a strong monarch

    • Quarreled with parliament


Path to unification1

Path to Unification

  • Bismarck practiced Realpolitik – which means the “politics of realism" – do what is necessary, not what is right or moral

    • The great questions of the day will not be decided by speeches and majority decisions – that was the mistake of 1848-1849 – but by blood and iron.

    • Some damned foolish thing in the Balkans will provoke the next war.


Path to unification2

Path to Unification

  • The Danish War (1864) – Fought Denmark for Schleswig and Holstein.

  • Austro-Prussian War (aka The Seven Weeks War – 1866) – Defeated Austria for control of Schleswig and Holstein.

    • Neutralized Russia by supporting its suppression of Poland. Gained promise of neutrality from France.

    • Lenient treaty with Austria so it would not seek revenge.


Path to unification3

Path to Unification

  • North German Confederation

    • President of the Confederation = King of Prussia

    • 2 house legislature

      • Bundesrat – members appointed by state government

      • Reichstag – chosen by universal male suffrage

      • Laws proposed by chancellor

    • Bismarck made the monarch and the military popular institutions.

    • Liberalism was very weak


Unification

Unification

  • Franco-Prussian War (1870-1871)

    • Baited the French into war and won –Ems Dispatch – OvB edited a telegram from Wilhelm I to Napoleon III making it appear that he had insulted the French king.

    • Southern German states united with North German Confederation against France.

    • German Empire proclaimed in the Hall of Mirrors at Versailles

    • Strong conservative nation created. Austria was weak and Russia was behind the rest of Europe.


Outcomes

Outcomes

  • The 2nd French Republic collapsed and the 3rd Republic rose.

  • Italians annexed Rome.

  • France paid a huge indemnity and was occupied by German troops until it was paid.

  • France was forced to give up Alsace and Lorraine

  • France was very bitter towards Germany for decades.


Coronation of kaiser wilhelm at versailles

Coronation of Kaiser Wilhelm at Versailles


German junkers proclaim loyalty to wilhelm i

German Junkers Proclaim Loyalty to Wilhelm I


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