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German Unification a strong united Germany – could anything but good come from this????? German Liberalism March 1848 – popular uprisings in Berlin and Prussia. Frederick William IV believed they were started by foreigners – so he was so to react. There was bloodshed between troops and the people. Frederick William IV called for a written constitution and gave the impression that Prussia would lead German unification. The monarchy appeared to be moving to the liberal side. As time passed – Frederick William IV replaced a moderate cabinet of ministers with a conservative one. April 1849 – Frederick William IV issued his own constitution – dividing the franchise into three classes: The top 5% of taxpayers elected 1/3 of the Prussian Parliament The Frankfurt Parliament In May 1848, representative from all of the German states met at Frankfurt and revised the GERMAN CONFEDERATION. The Frankfurt Parliament set about to write a liberal constitution for a united Germany They alienated conservatives who feared unification and the working class that wanted radical reform. Liberals believed in the free market – while the working class was becoming more socialist/communist in nature. The working class began riots in the streets of Frankfurt. Who should be included in unification – especially what to do with Austria? With Austria was called GROSSDEUTSCH Without Austria was called KLEINDEUTSCH The Habsburgs feared unification would destroy their empire. Liberal Austrians wanted unification with Germany. March 1849 – the Frankfurt Parliament offered the crown of Germany to Frederick William IV. He refused to recognize the right of a Parliament o make a monarch Troops and disillusionment ended the Frankfurt reforms. Economic links between the German states – ZOLLVEREIN – tariffs between German states were ended The economies of the various German states were becoming intertwined. Austria continued to oppose any unification that allowed Prussia to be dominate Frederick William IV continued to oppose unification Liberal nationalists still in disarray from the Frankfurt Parliament/German Confederation defeats. THEN Frederick William IV went insane!!!!!!!!!!! 1858 – Frederick William IV was judged insane and removed from formal power. His brother WILLIAM I became regent and then king of Prussia in his own right in 1861. William I believed that his family – the HOHENZOLLERNS – needed to rebuild and strengthen Prussia. William sought to strengthen Prussia by strengthening the Prussian Army Number of soldiers increased Number of officers increased Conscription extended from2 to 3 years TAX MONEY WAS NEEDED!!!! The Prussian Parliament was dominated by liberals who refused to approve the new taxes. A new election returned liberals to power…..what would William I do? Remember the problems Louis XVI had when they could not get enough money!! OTTO VON BISMARCK William I turned to Prussian junker OTTO VON BISMARCK for help. Bismarck began as a political reactionary – determined to preserve the power of the Prussian junkers. He opposed parliamentary government – but liked constitutions if they preserved the power of a strong monarch. He was also a pragmatist who realized that Prussia needed an industrial base as much as the farm lands of the junkers. “Germany is not looking to Prussia’s liberalism but to her power.” “The great questions of the day will not be decided by speeches and majority decisions …. But by blood and iron.” 1862 Bismarck becomes prime minister and sets out to pull power away from the Prussian Parliament. Bismarck and William I develop the theory that they have the right to collect taxes based upon previously granted taxes. The government collects taxes and builds the army without the Prussian Parliament’s approval and in direct opposition to the parliament’s objections. Bismarck was determined to unite Germany into a conservative nation under the leadership of Prussia. The only way to unite the German states WITHOUT developing liberalism was through war. Bismarck devised a series of wars that had as their ultimate goal – the unification of Germany - KLEINDEUTSCH The Danish War North German states of Schleswig and Holstein had been ruled by the Danish monarchs – but were not actually parts of Denmark – the populations were mixtures of Danish and German people. Holstein was a member of the German Confederation. 1863 – Denmark begins to make Schleswig and Holstein actual parts of Denmark. As “leaders of the German people” Prussia and Austria quickly defeated Denmark in war 1864. Austria was in charge of Holstein and Prussia in charge of Schleswig. Bismarck and Prussia support Russia’s 1863 suppression of a Polish revolt. This was to make Russia look favorable toward Prussia. Bismarck persuades Napoleon III to remain neutral in a Prussian-Austrian War. Bismarck makes a treaty with Italy in 1866 stating that if Italy attacked Austria when Prussia declared war on Austria – Italy would finally get Venetia. NOW Bismarck had to provoke a war with Austria. Austro-Prussian War 1866 “The Seven Weeks War” Bismarck and the Prussians were as obnoxious as possible to the Austrians when discussing how to run Schleswig and Holstein. They deliberately embarrassed the Austrians at every turn. 1866 – Austria asked the German Confederation to try to stop Prussia’s behavior. Austria was defeated and the war was over in seven weeks. The treaty ending the war and was lenient to Austria. Bismarck did not want to destroy Austria – he just wanted to use it to unite Germany. Venetia given to Napoleon III who gave it to Italy Austria removed from the German unification equation. The North German Confederation 1. The German states of Hanover, Hesse, and Nassau and the city of Frankfurt had supported Austria in the Seven Weeks War. Prussia deposed their rulers and took control of them. Prussia and the remaining German states north of the Main River formed a federation under Prussian leadership called the NORTH GERMAN CONFEDERATION. Each state retained its own local government – but foreign affairs, army, etc were controlled by William I who was president of the North German Confederation. The North German Confederation was controlled by: William I of Prussia – president of the Confederation Otto von Bismarck – Prussia’s chancellor and representative to the Confederation. Legislature BUNDESRAT – upper house made of members appointed by the governments of the German states. REICHSTAG – chosen by universal manhood suffrage The North German Confederation was not liberal: Most peasants voted for the conservatives Government ministers reported to the monarch not the legislature All laws had to be proposed by the chancellor Liberals were divided into two groups. 1. wanted unification so badly they accepted the conservative nature of the new government 2. opposed unification because it did not follow the liberal path. The North German Confederation – and eventually Germany – was a military monarchy. The Franco-Prussian War 1870-1871 How does Bismarck unite the southern German states [Wurttemberg, Bavaria, Baden] with the North German Confederation???? Let’s start a war with the French!!!! 1. 1868 – the Spanish military deposed the corrupt Bourbon Queen Isabella II 2. the Spanish wanted a new – non-Bourbon monarch 3. they chose Prince Leopold of Hohenzollern a cousin of William I 4. June 1870 – Leopold accepted the invitation with William’s approval 5. France and Napoleon III are terrified at the prospects of being surrounded by a Hohenzollern Spain and a Hohenzollern Germany. 6. France sends its ambassador to meet with William I who was vacationing at Bad Ems. 7. 12 July 1870 – Leopold of Hohenzollern’s father renounced his son’s acceptance to the throne 8. Problems avoided???? 9. 13 July 1870 – the French ambassador was instructed to ask William I for his assurances that he would not allow a second German candidate for the throne of Spain. 10. William I refused the request and sent a telegram to Bismarck detailing the situation. 11. 13 July 1870 Bismarck wanted a war!!! So he published William I’s telegram – but only after editing it to make it look as if the French insulted the king. The EMS TELEGRAM. 12. 19 July 1870 – France declares war. Napoleon III did not want war – but his government wanted it. 13. 1 September 1870 – France defeated at the BATTLE OF SEDAN – Napoleon III captured by the Germans. 14. 28 January 1871 – Paris surrenders 15. 18 January 1871 – the German Empire proclaimed in the Hall of Mirrors at Versailles. During the war the southern German states had joined the North German Confederation. Their leaders kept their titles – but William I of Prussia became EMPEROR/KAISER WILHELM I OF GERMANY 16. The peace treaty with France – the Treaty of Frankfurt – gave Germany the French provinces of Alsace and Lorraine. Conservative politics created a massively strong military power in the center of Europe.
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