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History Girls

on 8 October 2013

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Important People
Historical Context
Northern and Southern German Confederation
Otto Von Bismark
Helmuth Von Moltke
William l
The process of the German Unification was developed during the years of 1864 and finished in 1871 with the war between Prussia and France. This unification wouldn't have been achieved without the help of three important men.
Born in Schonhausen, Prussia, in April 1815, and died in July 1898.
When he left university, he entered the civil service.
In 1847 he became a deputy in the Prussian United Diet, and during this time he believed firmly in the traditional system o goverment and regarded nationalism and liberalism as dangerous forces.
During the first years in the Diet, he had as an aim to establish an alliance with Austria; this idea lasted until he realized that this one meant to subdue Prussia along with all the German states and make them obedient to Vienna. As a result, he now became to abvocate a nationalist scheme for a united German state, which excluded Austria.
In 1857, Bismarck was sent as a Prussian ambassor first to Petersburg and then to Paris.
In 1862, he was recalled and asked to serve as prime minister.
Born in March 1797 and died in March 1888.
He was the King of Prussia during the years 1861 until 1888, and the first German Emperor during the years 1871 until 1888.
Under the leadership of William and his Minister President Otto von Bismarck, Prussia achieved the unification of Germany and the establishment of the German Empire.
William served in the army from 1814 onward. He fought against Napoleon I of France during the part of the Napoleonic Wars, and was reportedly a very brave soldier.
The war and the fight against France left a lifelong impression on him, in particular causing a long-standing antipathy against the French.
During the Revolutions of 1848, William successfully crushed a revolt in Berlin that was aimed at his elder brother, King Frederick William IV.
In October 1849, he became governor-general of Rhineland and Westfalia, with a seat at the Kurfürstliches Schloss in Koblenz. He was indeed a man who helped the achievement of the unification.
He was born in 1800 in a family rundown Prussian resident in the duchy of Holstein, and died in 1891.
When he was eleven years old, he attended Copenhagen school where he was distinguished as royal page.
Later at the age of 22, he joined the Prussian Royal Army and sometime after, he became Capitan.
Moltke’s military genius helped turn Prussia into the hegemonic state in Germany because under his leadership, Prussia defeated Denmark in 1865, Austria in 1866 and France in 1870.
After the wars ended, he was named marshal and earl and later he became a life member of the Senate.
War Prussia-Denmark
There were two important Duchies: the Duchy of Schleswig and the Duchy of Holstein. They were both ruled by Denmark, although Holstein was practically occupied by German people and Schleswig had a strong minority of them. Prussia, wanted to unify this two Duchies to his Confederation. These ideas forced Denmark to declare war to Prussia. This war had a lot to do with the feeling of nationalism of the people who lived in both of them. Austria cooperated with an army of 23.000 men and others German sates contributed with some troops. The military operations were in charge of Moltke, who was German.
Denmark failed to obtain the support of any Great Power and this made him have a weaken army. The Duchies war ended with the victory of Prussia.
As a result, tension increased between Austria and Prussia, as they both wanted to own the territory. This quarrel was resolved in 1865 with the Convention of Gastein. In this Convention, the Duchy of Holstein was given to Austria, and the Duchy of Schleswig was granted to Prussia. Although this really didn’t satisfy any of them and will soon led a war between Austria and Prussia.

War Prussia-Austria
The tension between Prussia and Austria remained awake. In 1865, the Prussian leader, Bismarck, met Napoleon III at Biarritz. The result of this one was that if an Austro-Prussian conflict began he would stay out of it. Prussia made an alliance with The Kingdom of Italy, who wanted Venetia. Bismarck counted that when war arrived, Prussians would attack Austria from the front and the Italians would attack them from the back.
In the government of Venetia there were many internal disruptions and this benefited Bismarck. Austrians considered themselves masters of the diplomacy, although every tactic or movement that they did was a mistake. So Bismarck took advantage of them in a very remarkable way. Austria went with complaints to the Fracfort Assembly and proposed the problem of the Duchies. At the same time Prussia presented a project to do a constitution of a unified Germany. The Assembly voted in favor of Austria, so they declared Prussia separated from the Confederation of Germany.

The beginning of a war followed this, where Prussia, with the help of Italy, fought against Austria. Prussians had a very well trained army and magnificent modern weapon, which helped a lot for its victory. Moltke leaded the battle of Königgrätz or Sadowa in July 1866 that ended the war in witch Austria was defeated. Furthermore, at the end of it, the Treaty of Prague was created. In it, Prussia got Schleswig-Holstein, The Kingdom of Hannover, Hesse, Nassau and Franckfort and the North German Confederation that was formed by 22 states. On the other hand, Italy obtained the city of Vienna.
War Prussia-France
Since 1868 the Kingdom of Spain was without a king, because their queen Isabel III revoke her place. So the parliament of Spain decided to offer the throne to the Prince Leopold of Hohenzollern-Sugmaringen, cousin of the King of Prussia, William I. France didn’t want this to happen they found Leopold candidature fully unacceptable. He feared encirclement by an alliance between Prussia and Spain. The Prince Leopold was withdrawn of the candidature, under France diplomatic pressure. After this William I sent a telegram (The Telegram of Ems) to France to put an end to the crisis between France and Prussia. Bismarck believed that a war with France was a great opportunity to win the South’s Prussian territory to join it with the North Prussian land, forming The German Empire. So he alters the message and put instead an insult to France. After this episode, war was declared between France and Prussia.

During the war Prussia counted with the help of The Confederation of the South. The German military Moltke commanded the war. The war between Prussia and France finished with the defeated of France. On the 10th of May of 1871 French government signed the Treaty of Francfort putting an end to the war. Prussia got Alsacia and part of Lorena. Also France was forced to pay a compensation for the damage done to Prussia. And Prussia realized French prisoners from the war.

After this came the creation of a unified German Empire, with the King of Prussia, William I as the emperor. Germany quickly established itself as the main power in continental Europe with the most strongest and professional army. Although Great Britain remained the dominant world power.
The Revolutions of 1848 in the German states, also called the March Revolution, were part of the Revolutions of 1848 that broke out in many countries of Europe. There were a series of loosely coordinated protests and rebellions in the states of the German Confederation, including the Austrian Empire. The revolutions emphasized popular discontent with the traditional, largely autocratic political structure of the thirty-nine independent states of the Confederation that inherited the German territory of the former Holy Roman Empire. Furthermore, they demonstrated the popular desire for increased political freedom, liberal state policies, democracy, nationalism, and freedom from censorship. The middle class elements were committed to liberal principles while the working class sought radical improvements to their working and living conditions. However, the middle class and working class components of the Revolution split, and in the end the conservative aristocracy defeated it, forcing many liberals into exile. In this revolution liberalism and nationalism grew.
The unification movement was often described as a product of nationalism and liberalism. Nationalism is the feeling of loyalty shared by a group of people united by same language, race and culture; to express their loyalty to their nation, they attempt to unite themselves into a larger nation state. The German states were only a collection of states before the rise of Napoleon. When Napoleon defeated Austria and Prussia in the early 19th century, he grouped the German states together into a Confederation of the Rhine and helped to promote among the Germans an idea of German nationality. This nationalist movement pushed the liberal-nationalists to do something for their country, and this caused the beginnings of the unifying the Germans. The 1848 revolutions, laid the idea of a united state with persisted in the hearts and minds of liberal-nationalists.

There are other factors that cause the German unification. The growth of liberalism is one of them and cannot be ignored. There have been increasing number of liberals in the middle class people and these people lead the public opinion towards how the country should be ruled. These liberals have the nationalism in them and the nationalism made them demand for a unified country. Liberalism caused the liberals to see the need for a unified country, therefore can be perceived as a cause to the unification.
Zollverein is German customs union established in 1834 under Prussian leadership. It created a free-trade area throughout much of Germany and is often seen as an important step in German reunification.
Unified Country
North German Confederation
It was a federation of 22 independent states of northern Germany, with nearly 30 million inhabitants. It was the first modern German nation state and the basis for the later German Empire (1870/1871), when several south German states such as Bavaria joined. Moreover After several unsuccessful proposals from several sides, to reform the German Confederation (founded in 1815), the North German major power Prussia left the German Confederation with some allies. It came to war between those states on one hand and states such as Austria on the other. After a quick decision in that Austro-Prussian War of July 1866, Prussia and its allies founded the North German Federation. First it was a military alliance between independent states (August-Bündnis), but already with the intention to form later a federation or confederation with a constitution. This was realized in 1867. The North German Confederation is historically important for the economic and judicial unification of Germany, many of its laws were taken over by the German Empire.
South German Confederation
The South German Confederation was formed by the southern German states after the failure of the German Confederation in 1866. At first the confederation was hoped to associate with Austria for the unification of Germany but their plan failed due of the Austro-Prussian war, which happened at the same time. Finally this confederation was absorbed into the newborn German Empire in 1871.
Acquisition after the War against Austria
Prussia, after getting the neutrality of Napoleon III and Victor Emmanuel II alliance, declared war on Austria, led by the desire to seize some territories.
The powerful Prussian army in a few weeks, imposed on who defeated the Austrians at the Battle of Sadowa (1866), signing then, the Peace of Prague, which Prussia, considerably widened their territory with the addition of the duchies of Schleswig, Holstein, the kingdom of Hanover and other regions, Austria, in turn, definitely renounced part of Germany and accepted the dissolution of the German Confederation. Soon after, all German states were unified based on the North German Confederation, which recognized as sovereign to William I. Moreover, Austria had to return Venice, which, in turn, was incorporated into Italy.

Acquisitions after the War against France
Prussia, converted in great power, and under the able leadership of William I and his Chancellor Otto von Bismarck, look for the opportunity to face France, in order to snatch the provinces of Alsace and Lorraine.
In 1871 the pretext for war arose when Prince Leopold of Hohenzollern, a cousin of the King of Prussia, aspire to the crown of Spain, vacant by the dethronement of Isabel II, to which France opposed, not be between two nations dominated by the Prussian nobility. Soon after, Napoleon III declared war on Prussia, arguing that William I had snubbed the French ambassador to refuse to receive him in his palace. But William I, anticipating events, mobilized a powerful army of 500,000 soldiers, under the command of General Moltke, won a landslide victory over the French at the battles of Freschwilier, Rezonville and that of Saint Privat.
The final meeting was held in Sedan (September 2, 1870), where the French troops were completely defeated, being taken prisoner Napoleon III himself. By knowing the Capitulation of Sedan, a revolution broke out in Paris proclaimed the
abolition of the monarchy and the restoration of the Republic. (Third Republic), under the chairmanship of Leon Gambetta.
The new interim government that replaced the monarchy, decided to continue the war, but the Prussian army in Paris occupy sweeping advance. Then France surrendered to Prussia. By the Treaty of Frankfort (May 1871) stipulated:
1. The French ceded Alsace and Lorraine
2. He agreed to pay a war indemnity equivalent to five billion francs.
With the incorporation of Alsace and Lorraine, Prussia, hereinafter referred to Germany, culminated, and the company of German or German Unification.

* Historia universal 17-el silo XIX en Europa y Norteamérica (editorial: Salvat)

* Atlas Histórico mundial de la revolución francesa a nuestros días – hernan kínder and Werner Hilgemann (78) * http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/644021/William-I * http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/231186/Germany/58190/Franco-German-conflict-and-the-new-German-Reich * http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/657790/Zollverein Importante * http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/343324/Friedrich-List * http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Map-DR-Prussia.svg * http://es.wikipedia.org/wiki/Guerra_austro-prusiana * http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Franco-Prussian_War * http://www.historiacultural.com/2010/09/guerra-franco-prusiana-1870.html

* http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/German_Confederation * http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Confederation_of_the_Rhine * http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Revolutions_of_1848_in_the_German_states * http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Austro-Prussian_War * http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Unification_of_Germany * http://www.europe-cities.com/en/657/germany/history/chronology/ * http://www.worldatlas.com/webimage/countrys/europe/germany/detimeln.htm * http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Franco-Prussian_War * http://www.saburchill.com/history/chapters/empires/0045.html
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