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Factors unifying Germany Economic – Zollverein, railways, industry Political – events, Bismarck, others’ errors Military – armies, leaders Which was most important in unification of Germany? Did Bismarck plan it all or did he take advantage of opportunities as they arose?.

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the unification of germany 1862 1871

Factors unifying Germany

    • Economic – Zollverein, railways, industry
    • Political – events, Bismarck, others’ errors
    • Military – armies, leaders
  • Which was most important in unification of Germany?
  • Did Bismarck plan it all or did he take advantage of opportunities as they arose?

The Unification of Germany 1862 - 1871

Key men in power

1861 King William 1 of Prussia

1859 von Roon, Prussian Minister of War

von Moltke, Chief of Prussian General Staff

1862 Bismarck Minister-President and Foreign Minister.

economic
Economic
  • Compare growth with Austria
political 1 constitutional crisis
Political 1Constitutional Crisis
  • Plan to expand and modernise Prussian army. Budget for this refused by liberal dominated Landtag.
    • Army training 2-3 years (full time)
    • Landwehr (part time soldiers) abolished
    • Extra 49 regiments
    • Cost 9 mill thalers (£1.5 mill)
    • New weapons
    • Standing army to be 230,000 – 450,000
constitutional crisis ctd
Constitutional Crisis ctd.
  • Bismarck failed to persuade Landtag to pass budget. His thoughts are expressed below
  • “Germany looks not to Prussia’s liberalism but to her power. Not by parliamentary speeches and majority verdicts will the great questions of the day be determined – that was the great mistake of 1848 and 1849 – but by iron and blood.”
bismarck meant
Bismarck meant
  • Iron and blood = Prussian military strength

ie, war will unite Germany

Historian, Richards

“Affairs were arranged not by right but by might”

The crisis was sorted by Bismarck ignoring Landtag. He approved the plan himself

sub conclusion
Sub - conclusion

Solving the constitutional crisis is an example of Bismarck’s opportunism and realpolitik in the steps to unification.

Opportunism: taking advantage of opportunities that present themselves

Realpolitik: doing what is practical vs what is ideal

(Bismarck’s aim: Prussia to lead the German nation)

the schleswig holstein crisis war with denmark 1864 political 2
The Schleswig-Holstein Crisis & War with Denmark 1864Political 2
  • Treaty of London 1852:

Christian of Glucksburg next in line to Danish throne. Would get Duchies of S and H as well.

German duke of Augustenberg also had claim to Duchies but agrees to give up his family claim.

schleswig holstein crisis war with denmark 1864 political 2
Schleswig-Holstein Crisis & war with Denmark 1864Political 2
  • 1863 Danish King Christian IX proposes
    • Reform of Danish constitution to make Schleswig Danish
    • Bind Holstein closer to Denmark too.
    • CRISIS! German nationalists protest. Bund sends troops as protection for Germans in S and H.

- Bismarck asks Austria to help the Germans defeat Denmark.

danish defeat 1864 results consequences
Danish defeat 1864Results/Consequences
  • Convention of Gastein 1865
    • Example of realpolitik
  • Prussia to rule Schleswig
  • Austria to rule Holstein
  • Bund has no jurisdiction in either
  • Bismarck really wanted to annex both Duchies to have control of naval base at Kiel, Holstein
  • Bismarck seen as a protector and unifier of Germans. Previous Prussian army budget seen as worthwhile. Liberal nationalists now approve of Bismarck.
war with austria 1866 political 3
War with Austria 1866Political 3
  • Example of Bismarck planning for war with Austria?
  • October 1865, Biarritz. Bismarck and Napoleon III meet.
  • No minutes of meeting
  • Bismarck seems to have negotiated a promise from Napoleon: France will be neutral in any war Prussia vs Austria.
  • In return for neutrality, Nap’ was promised territorial compensation, “wherever French was spoken”, ie Belgium.
  • Nap’ also had alliance with Austria, so he couldn’t lose!
isolating austria
Isolating Austria
  • Austria had been an obstacle to Italian unification: Venetia, land around Venice was ruled by Austria, Italy wants it to fully unite Italian people.
  • Bismarck persuades Italians to ally with Prussia. The alliance terms were: (p120. Kerr + McGonigle)
  • Who else might help Austria in a war?
  • GB? No. Didn’t help before in 1864. So why now?
  • Russia? No. The Tsar liked Bismarck because he helped in the war between Russia and Poland. Also Austria failed to help Russia in the Crimean War 1854-63.
how does war break out
How does war break out?
  • Austrian/Prussian talks over S/H break down. Austria refers problem of Duchies to the Bund. This is a breach of the Treaty of Gastein.
  • Bismarck sends troops into Holstein.
  • Austrian troops withdraw peacefully
  • Bismarck proposes
    • Austria should be excluded from the Confederation
    • National Parliament to be elected by universal suffrage (he knows Austria will oppose this)
    • All troops in Northern Germany to be under Prussian command
how does war break out 2
How does war break out? 2
  • Austria asks Bund to reject Prussian ideas and to mobilise for war.
  • Prussia withdraws from Bund and invites all other German states as allies vs Austria.
  • BUT the southern German states mobilise against Prussia!
  • Bismarck issues ultimatum to 3 states: Hesse Cassel, Saxony, Hanover. They reject ultimatum.
  • Prussian troops invade HC, S and H
  • German civil war!
austro prussian war 1866 the seven weeks war
Austro-Prussian War, 1866 ‘The Seven Weeks War’
  • 3 Fronts for Prussians to contend with
  • 1) North – Hesse-Cassel, Saxony: no resistance but Saxony’s army goes to Bohemia to help Austria. Hanover defeated by June.
  • 2) South – Italy holds up 200,000 Austrian troops. Heavy casualties. Helps Prussia.
  • 3) Austria (+ Saxony). 3 July 1866 Prussian victory at Konniggratz (Sadowa). Armies balanced in number but Prussians better weapons too much for Austrians
  • Bismarck hailed as hero in Prussia. Promoted to Major General. Wears uniform more often.
  • Significance of victory – justifies army budget and reforms. Bismarck gets support of Liberals
why did prussia win
Why did Prussia win?
  • The Austrian army, though large, was out of date in terms of mobilisation and equipment.
  • Prussia mobilised large forces very rapidly (railways) The Prussian army was also modern and superior in terms of equipment. William I’s reforms had paid off.
  • Austria had to split its forces in two and fight on the Italian front.
  • Prussia had excellent railway and telegram networks.
  • Von Roon and Von Moltke (the leaders of the Prussian army) were very able.
after the war
After the war
  • Bismarck is lenient with Austria:
  • “We have to avoid wounding Austria too severely, we have to avoid leaving behind in her unnecessary bitterness or feeling or desire for revenge. We ought to keep the possibility of becoming friends again.”
  • Bismarck has what he wanted. Austria out of German affairs.
  • Example of opportunity, planning, others’ mistakes (notably Austria)
treaty of prague 1866
Treaty of Prague 1866
  • Italy gets Venetia
  • Prussia annexes S + H, Hesse C, Frankfurt and Hanover (4 million)
  • Austria agrees to take no further part in German affairs. No land lost. Small indemnity to pay.
  • Bund is dissolved
  • North German Confederation formed out of 21 states north of River Main (Prussia leads)
north german confederation
North German Confederation
  • Dominated by Prussia
  • All states north of River Main are members
  • Not a voluntary confederation
  • The State has rights to
      • Make war and peace
      • Decide foreign policy
  • Member states decide own internal affairs
  • President of NGC = Prussian King. He chooses heads of armed forces and Chancellor.
  • 2 houses
      • Bundesrat – Upper house. Chosen State reps dominated by Prussians
      • Reichstag – Lower house elected by universal suffrage
the franco prussian war 1870 1871 political 4
The Franco-Prussian War 1870-1871Political 4
  • The Spanish Candidacy 1869 -70
  • 1868 Isabella of Spain is deposed.
  • William I’s nephew, Leopold of Hohenzollern is Roman Catholic. Spanish Gvt make offer of throne , 1870
  • William I not keen as feared Nap III would see it as encirclement of France by Germans.
  • Bismarck secretly persuades Spanish Gvt and Leopold to accept. They do.
  • French find out before it is officially announced and are very angry. “The interests and honour of France are now in peril”
  • Count Benedetti visits William I in Bad Ems, Germany.
  • William assures Benedetti Prussia is friends with France. Leopold’s father withdraws candidacy.
  • Crisis resolved?
the franco prussian war 1870 1871
The Franco-Prussian War1870-1871
  • Southern States joined NGC (secret alliances)
  • Germans mobilised quickly and effectively, unlike French. Pr’ 350,000 at front. Fr’ 200,000
  • Early battles – Fr’ defeats and retreat. Becomes defensive war for Fr’. Retreat to Metz, a fortress town. Besieged by Germans.
  • Another Fr’ army met German army at Sedan. 1/9/70. Devastated. Commanded by Napoleon himself. Surrendered 2/9/70. 84,000 men, 2,700 officers, 39 generals and 1 emperor.
18 th january 1871
18th January 1871
  • 4/9/70. Napoleon’s govt overthrown by revolutionary govt. Proclaimed the 3rd French Republic. Decided to fight on. Germans beseige Paris. Starving French finally surrender 28/1/71.
  • Hall of Mirrors, Palace of Versailles. The Second German Empire proclaimed. (NGC plus 4 southern German states)
  • William 1 crowned first German Kaiser
  • UNIFICATION COMPLETE!
treaty of frankfurt 10 may 1871
Treaty of Frankfurt 10 May 1871
  • German troops to occupy E France until £200 million reparations paid within 4 years.
  • Alsace and east Lorraine annexed to Germany.
  • Why so harsh?
      • Economic - A and L iron ore and farmland
      • Strategic – Bismarck believed France now an irreconcilable enemy of Germany. Taking land ensures no future threat of war.
      • But problem for future – French desire for revenge.
      • Von Moltke “ What we have gained by arms in half a year, we must protect by arms for half a century.”
conclusion
Conclusion
  • Click here to read the conclusion written in the book below
  • The Unification of Germany 1815 – 90, Andrina Stiles and Alan Farmer, Access to History Series, Second Edition 2001; page 95