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Unification of Germany

rise of nationalism in Germany that led to German Unfication

Keith Williams

on 16 December 2013

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Transcript of Unification of Germany

A Unified Germany
Unification and Nationalism in the 1800s
The above flag was made the national flag of Germany during the German Empire and remained so until 1918
Moving Toward Unification
Setting the Foundation
Nationalism was established further when Napoleon made a confederation of the German states
There was a sense of connection among the German states, which shared a language and culture
The 1815 Congress of Vienna kept that organization after Napoleon's defeat, but renamed it the German Confederation
The German Confederation, established in 1815, was made up of 39 states, including Prussia and Austria
Moving Toward Unification
A Prussian Revolution
Inspired by other revolutions in Europe at the time, liberals in the German state of Prussia revolted in 1848
They believed German unity would promote individual rights and liberal reforms
Prussian king, Frederick Wilhelm IV promised a constitution and reforms when pressured for increased democracy
He didn't fulfill his promises; by the end of 1848 he banned publications and organizations supporting democracy, and never wrote a constitution
Moving Toward Unification
Unity in the Economy and Culture
The Zollverein, established in 1834, was a customs union, allowing the removal of taxes on products traded between the German states
It was an early step toward a unified Germany because it:
created an economic alliance between some of the states
inspired businesspeople to support unification
encouraged growth of railroads connecting states
helped join Germans economically and politically
A distinct German culture arose as the economy flourished
Otto von Bismarck
Who He Was
Bismarck was a conservative politician and the leading force in German unification
He was chosen as Prussia's prime minister by the new Prussian king, Wilhelm I, in 1862
Bismarck believed it was Prussia's destiny to lead Germans to unification
He is best known for building the Prussian army into a daunting war machine and using it to unite the German states
Otto von Bismarck
"Blood and Iron"
Bismarck believed German unity wouldn't be achieved by speeches and majority vote, but by "blood and iron"
This belief showed his support of increasing the power of the Prussian military
The Prussian parliament didn't agree and wouldn't approve funds to expand the military
Bismarck went against the parliament, collecting taxes and building up the army anyway
Wars of Unification
Bismarck's First War
Bismarck forged a military alliance with Austria, against Denmark, in 1864 due to a disagreement over the border states of Schleswig and Holstein
Denmark gave up the territory to the German Confederation after a brief fight
Prussia now controlled Schleswig, and Austria controlled Holstein
With this arrangement though, Austria now had territory inside Prussia's borders
Bismarck knew Germany couldn't be united without war against Austria
Bismarck believed Schleswig and Holstein should be controlled by the German Confederation
Wars of Unification
Austro-Prussian War
To prepare for the inevitable war with Austria, Bismarck:
promised the Italian prime minister that Italy could have the territory of Venetia
persuaded Napoleon III to keep France neutral if war between the German states occurred
He sent Prussian troops into Holstein (Austrian State) to provoke Austria
Austria declared war on Prussia
King Wilhelm I blamed Austria for starting the war in an address to his people, and this boosted nationalism and support for the Austrian War in Germany
Wars of Unification
Austro-Prussian War
King Wilhelm I of Prussia
Austria was defeated in 7 weeks by the Prussian army
Growth and Change in Germany
Bismarck and Wilhelm used the victory to convince other German states to side with Prussia, which completed the joining of the north German states
The Austro-Prussian War was the first substantial step toward German unification
The Battle of Koniggratz, 1866, determined who won the Austro-Prussian War with Austria's humiliating defeat
Wars of Unification
Franco-Prussian War
The southern German states were not included in the North German unification
This led to conflict with France over the southern territory of Alsace and Lorraine in 1870
This territory had previously been part of the Holy Roman Empire (which had included France and Prussia)
Feelings of nationalism arose in the south German states because of the issue with France
With the additional support of the south German states in the Franco-Prussian War, Bismarck snatched a victory in 1871
Prussia won the war rather quickly and the unification of Germany was declared in the peace treaty
Wars of Unification
Franco-Prussian War
The efficiency of the Prussian army is illustrated by their many quick victories
Alsace and Lorraine formed the border between France and Prussia, adding to conflict
Wars of Unification
Creation of the German Empire
With the victory against France, allied German states sent representatives to Versailles (near Paris) to establish the 2nd Reich (empire)
Wilhelm I was named the first kaiser (emperor) Germany
He appointed Bismarck as his prime minister
Germany became one of the strongest and most prosperous empires in Europe under Wilhelm and Bismarck
Growth and Change in Germany
New Government
The German Empire took on a federal form of government because the states wanted to keep some power
Power was shared between the state and national governments, which is similar to the U.S. Government
All men over 25 in Germany could vote, by law, but there were many restrictions on voters
Political parties also developed
Growth and Change in Germany
Industrial and Economic Growth
There was a time of industrial and economic growth in Germany after unification
France paid Germany for the damages of the Franco-Prussian War
The money was used to build railroads and fund businesses
Germany quickly became an industrial powerhouse like other countries in Europe
Coal mines and steel factories became abundant around major cities
Just like the rest of Europe, factory conditions in Germany were often dangerous
Growth and Change in Germany
Social Reforms
German socialists called for state control of all industries due to harsh factory conditions
Bismarck despised socialism, and enacted his own reforms to reduce its appeal among the people of Germany
He helped approve legislation that provided benefits for health, accidents, old age, and disability
Growth and Change in Germany
Size and Reach of the Empire
After unification, Bismarck believed France was still a threat, but didn't want to expand Germany's borders any more
He entered many alliances with other European nations to compensate for the threat
However, Germany did have extensive colonial possessions in Africa, including:
the Cameroons
German East Africa
German Southwest Africa
Growth and Change in Germany
The Fall of Bismarck
In 1888 Wilhelm II, the grandson of Wilhelm I, became kaiser
He fired Bismarck as prime minister after a disagreement
Wilhelm II did continue to make alliances and build up the German military forces though, which had become the most powerful in Europe
Kaiser Wilhelm II
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