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The Unification of Germany. Click on this button to go forward to the interactive map. Some of the key locations are hotspots that will take you to different explanations of the events in the unification. Questions then need to be answered. Answer the questions. The Rhineland.

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the unification of germany

The Unification of Germany

Click on this button to go forward to the interactive map. Some of the key locations are hotspots that will take you to different explanations of the events in the unification. Questions then need to be answered.

the rhineland
The Rhineland
  • This region of the old German Confederation was given to Prussia in 1815 as a reward for its participation in the final victory against Napoleon Bonaparte. The Rhineland was Catholic whilst Prussia was Protestant, but it was thought necessary to have a bulwark against future French expansion. The German states had proved too weak to defend themselves against Napoleon. Nevertheless, many Germans viewed the expansion of Prussia with alarm.
the war with denmark
The War with Denmark
  • In 1864-5, Prussia went to war with Denmark over the future of the provinces of Schleswig and Holstein. This action won over the support of German nationalists, and also the Prussian people. Furthermore, it gave the Prussian Chancellor, Otto von Bismarck, the chance to secure the military alliance of the north German states and the pretext for a conflict with Austria.
the seven weeks war 1866
The Seven Weeks War, 1866
  • The Prussians won a decisive victory at Sadowa after an envelopment of the Austrian forces in Bohemia. Using the breech-loading Dreyse Needle rifle, Prussian infantry overwhelmed the Austrians and their multiracial imperial troops. The Treaty of Prague was lenient, ensuring the Austrians would not seek a war of revenge. By its terms, they had only to keep from interfering in German affairs.
war with france
War with France
  • Bismarck engineered a war against France and even managed to make the French appear as the aggressors, thus ensuring that his southern German allies, such as Bavaria, joined a war in ‘defence of Germany’. The strategy Moltke used was to go on to the offensive, enveloping French armies as he made contact with them. Despite heavy casualties, the German forces continued to move forward, whilst French armies were either besieged at Metz, or surrounded and destroyed at Sedan. Having laid siege to Paris for several months, the Germans forced the French to surrender and proclaimed themselves united at Versailles. Bismarck coerced the other German leaders into accepting Wilhelm of Prussia as their emperor by suggesting that revolutionary forces would overthrow weak leaders.

Answer these questions:

  • What reforms had Prussia carried out and what preparations had it made between 1815 and 1864 that made the Prussians so confident of victory in 1864-71?

Next question

2 examine the cartoon what point was the artist making about the prussian victories of 1870
2. Examine the cartoon. What point was the artist making about the Prussian victories of 1870?


the french defeat
The French defeat
  • Why, despite the better weaponry of the French armies, did France lose the Franco-Prussian War? (your answer should be in the region of 500 words).