Bismarck and the unification of germany pdf
Otto von Bismarck - Biography, World Wars & Facts - HISTORYThe German Confederation was the loose association of 39 states created in to coordinate the economies of separate German-speaking countries, which most historians have judged to be weak and ineffective as well as an obstacle to German nationalist aspirations. The German Confederation German: Deutscher Bund was an association of 39 German states in Central Europe, created by the Congress of Vienna in to coordinate the economies of separate German-speaking countries and to replace the former Holy Roman Empire. It acted as a buffer between the powerful states of Austria and Prussia. Britain approved of the confederation because London felt there was need for a stable, peaceful power in central Europe that could discourage aggressive moves by France or Russia. Most historians have judged the Confederation as weak and ineffective, as well as an obstacle to the creation of a German nation-state. It collapsed because of the rivalry between Prussia and Austria known as German dualism , warfare, the revolution, and the inability of members to compromise. It was replaced by the North German Confederation in
The Unification of Germany 1862–71
Why did a Prussian aristocrat succeed where the liberal business class failed? As we saw in last week's column, Germany failed to pull off a bourgeois, or capitalist, revolution in The country remained divided, politically and legally, into many small states. But the aims of a unified German state and capitalist development were eventually achieved by Otto von Bismarck, a member of the Junkers, as Prussia's landlord class was known. Bismarck was made chancellor of Prussia, the most powerful German state, in
A motley collection of states
The ceremony took place in the palace of Versailles outside Paris rather than in Berlin — and this overt symbol of militarism and conquest would foreshadow the first half of the next century as the new nation became a major power in Europe. A photograph of Otto von Bismarck later in his life. Before Germany had always been a motley collection of states — which shared little more than a common language. Custom, systems of rule and even religion varied wildly across these states — of which there had been more than on the eve of the French Revolution, and the idea of unifying them was as distant and disparaged as a United States of Europe is today. Until Bismarck. Listen Now. As the 19th century progressed, and particularly after several German states had played a role in defeating Napoleon , nationalism did become a genuinely popular movement.
A master strategist, Bismarck initiated decisive wars with Denmark, Austria and France to unite 39 independent German states under Prussian leadership. Although an arch-conservative, Bismarck introduced progressive reforms—including universal male suffrage and the establishment of the first welfare state—in order to achieve his goals. He manipulated European rivalries to make Germany a world power, but in doing so laid the groundwork for both World Wars. His father was a fifth-generation Junker a Prussian landowning noble , and his mother came from a family of successful academics and government ministers. Throughout his life Bismarck would emphasize his rural Junker roots, underplaying his considerable intellect and cosmopolitan outlook.