February 18, 2013 – Unification of Germany
On 1845, there were small German states ruled by Princes that were no yet unified.
- The Northern part of Germany began to experience industrial revolution, a bit later than Britain
Governments in the German states were forced to call for a single election that established a Parliament
led by liberal nationalists (The FrankfurtAssembly) that attempted to create a constitution to unify
- They were divided over how Germany should be unified
- Debated whether or not to have a small Germany focused in the North (Kleindeutch) or a large
Germany that included southern states (Grossdeutch)
King Fredrick William IV of Prussia refused to be emperor of the Germans because he did not want to
rule as a constitutional monarch with limited powers
By 1849, the assembly has disbanded because no rulers would accept the constitution they had written.
- Leadership was then passed to the more conservative Prussian monarchy
By 1853, most of the German states had joined a customs union called the Zollverein for the purposes of
having further economic growth through allowing goods to travel across borders without taxes.
- Under the leadership of the Prussians, this quieted German liberals because they were impressed
by the economic growth
Inside Prussia, parliament does not have a great deal of power because they have a bicameral legislature
1861 – Fredrick William IV gives up his throne due to mental instability and is succeeded by his brother
King William I. He begins to rebuild the Prussian military so they can be a leader in Europe.
- Established a universal draft that required all Prussian men serve 3 years in the military, and all
soldiers were given rigorous training.
Liberals became concerned with William’s monarchy, and his new taxes to raise funds to equip the army.
- William turns to Bismarck to help modernize the Prussian state and army
Bismarck comes from Eastern Prussia and has a university education, and decides to work as an
ambassador for the King to see Prussia emerge as the most powerful German state.
- He is appointed as a diplomat and gains experience in foreign affairs
- He is an opportunist, who exploits all openings when the present themselves and wasn’t afraid to
compromise with the Prussian assembly.
- Would not go into wars unless Prussia would win and benefit from it
He practiced reale politique, or the politics of