German Unification

By aitkenm
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    Napoleon Invades German Lands

    During this timespan, Napoleon annexed parts of German speaking land for France. He took land along the Rhine, and dissolved the Holy Roman Empire. He also made the Rhine Confederation out of several German states.
  • Otto Von Bismarck is Born

    Otto Von Bismarck is Born
    Otto Von Bismarck is born in Schonhausen to a wealthy Prussian family. They were a part of the Prussian Junker class of estate owners.
  • Congress of Vienna

    Congress of Vienna
    The Congress of Vienna met after the French Revolution. It was comprised of European leaders who wanted to make Europe the way it was before, and keep Germany weak so it could not rise to power.
  • Zollverein Put into Place

    Zollverein Put into Place
    The Zollverein was an economic union in Germany. It made it so all German states could trade with each other without having to worry about tax tariffs.
  • Frankfurt Assembly Demands Unity

    Frankfurt Assembly Demands Unity
    Liberals in the Frankfurt Assembly wanted political unity for Germany. They offered the throne to a Prussian ruler.
  • Frederick William IV is Offered the Throne

    Frederick William IV is Offered the Throne
    Frederick William IV is offered the throne of a united Germany by the Frankfurt Assembly. He turns it down, saying he doesn't want a throne offered by the people.
  • Bismarck Becomes Prime Minister

    Bismarck Becomes Prime Minister
    Otto von Bismarck is made Prime Minister of Prussia by King William I. He first served Prussia as a diplomat.
  • Blood and Iron Speech

    Blood and Iron Speech
    Otto von Bismarck's famous "Blood and Iron" speech was given this day. It illustrated his plans and ideas for unifying Germany through military force and war.
  • Bismarck Declares War on Denmark

    Bismarck Declares War on Denmark
    Bismarck made an alliance with Austria, then used them to attack Denmark. He seized Schleswig and Holstein from Denmark.
  • Bismarck Declares War on Austria

    Bismarck Declares War on Austria
    Bismarck invented a reason to attack Austria, and the war lasted for 7 weeks. It ended with a Prussian victory.
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    Franco-Prussian War

    Napoleon III was angry over France losing to Prussia, and did not try to stop any ensuing war. Bismarck did not either, provoking France into battle by rewriting a telegram in an unflattering way. This led to France declaring war on Prussia, and surrendering just a few short weeks later.
  • William I of Prussia Becomes Emperor

    William I of Prussia Becomes Emperor
    Germany was happy about the Prussian defeat of France, and nationalism was high. This allowed them to convince William the First of Prussia to accept the role of kaiser of the German Empire, which he had previously declined.
  • Second Reich is Created

    Second Reich is Created
    The Germans celebrated the birth of the Second Reich. They called it the Second Reich because they considered it to be the heir of the Holy Roman Empire.
  • Constitution Drafted by Bismarck

    Constitution Drafted by Bismarck
    Bismarck's constitution made a two-house legislature of the Bundesrat and Reichstag. The Bundesrat could veto any decisions made, so they really held all the power.
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    Population Growth

    The German Empire experienced a huge population boom over this time. The population grew from 41 million in 1871 to 67 million in 1914. This meant a very large workforce for economic growth.
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    Economic Progress

    Germany's population boom led to a large and highly educated workforce. This meant Germany was able to build up their economic infrastructure. The large abundance of natural resources also helped the economic progress.
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    Campaign Against the Church (Kulturekampf)

    Bismarck distrusted Catholics because he believed their first loyalty was to the Pope instead of Germany. He launched a campaign to make sure all Catholics were loyal to Germany above all else. His plan backfired, causing the Church to gain even more power with the governmant and their followers.
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    The House of Krupp

    The House of Krupp was a large business in the steel industry. It was built up over many years by businessman August Thyssen.
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    Campaign Against Socialists

    Bismarck attempted to crush the socialist party of Germany, but his plan again backfired. He then tried to use peaceful tactics to draw people out of the socialist party by making laws to protect workers. This didn't work either, because the socialist party grew stronger than ever and had a lot of people in the legislature.
  • William II Becomes Kaiser

    William II Becomes Kaiser
    William II succeeded his father William I as Kaiser of the German Empire. He was very confident in his abilities and thought his will to rule was given to him directly by God.
  • Bismarck Resigns

    Bismarck Resigns
    Bismarck was asked to resign by the new Kaiser William II. The new Kaiser believed that he should be the only person with power over the Second Reich.