Learning Center
Plans & pricing Sign in
Sign Out
Get this document free

German Unification


									   German Unification

a strong united Germany – could
  anything but good come from
            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
   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
   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
    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
   Who should be included in unification –
    especially what to do with Austria?
   With Austria was called GROSSDEUTSCH
   Without Austria was called
   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
   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
   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

   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
   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
   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
   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
   1863 – Denmark begins to make
    Schleswig and Holstein actual parts of
   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
     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
   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
       Venetia given to Napoleon III who gave it to Italy
       Austria removed from the German unification
        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
   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
       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
       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
      The Franco-Prussian War 1870-1871

   How does Bismarck unite the southern
    German states [Wurttemberg, Bavaria,
    Baden] with the North German
   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
   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
   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
   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

To top