German Unification

  • William II Crowned Kaiser

    William II Crowned Kaiser
    On this day, the second German emperor, William II was crowned. This triggered an intense shift in policy, as William II was much more interested in personal powere than his predessecor had been.
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    Napoleon Invades German Lands

    Between 1803 and 1806, Napoleon annexed several territories previously controlled by small German states. This spread the ideas of nationalism and freedom to the german people. It was also used to spur anger at the French during the Franco-Prussian War
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    Congress of Vienna

    This was a meeting between representatives of several European superpowers. The goal was to creat a course of action to solve the problems brought about by the French Revolution and Napoleonic Wars. It was decided that Germany would be kept in small seperate states, as it posed less of a threat in this way.
  • Otto von Bismarck's Birth

    Otto von Bismarck's Birth
    On this date Otto von Bismarck was born. He was born in Schönhausen, Germany.
  • Creation of Zollverein

    Creation of Zollverein
    On this date, the Zollverein was instituted. This was a trade union between Prussia and the several German nation-states, and it eliminated tariffs between the countries. Over time, more German states were added until they were all part of the union.
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    Frankfurt Assembly

    This was the first freely elected parliament in all of Germany. It was a result of the March Revolution, and session was held for over a year. The parliament demanded unity for Germany.
  • Frederick WIlliam IV Offered the Crown

    Frederick WIlliam IV Offered the Crown
    On this date, Frederick William IV of Prussia was offered the throne of all of Germany. However, he refused it because it was offered to him by the lower classes.
  • Bismarck becomes Prime Minister

    Bismarck becomes Prime Minister
    On this date, King William I of Prussia appointed Otto von Bismarck as prime minister. The two had similar conservative policies, so they worked together very well.
  • Blood and Iron Speech

    Blood and Iron Speech
    This is when Otto von Bismarck delivered his most famous speech. In it, he said, "Not through speech and majority decisions will the great questions of the day be answered, but by blood and iron."
  • War on Denmark is Declared

    War on Denmark is Declared
    On this date, the combined forces of Prussia and Austria declared war on Denmark. The reason for the war was a dispute for control over the territories of Schleswig and Holstein.
  • Seven Weeks War

    Seven Weeks War
    On this date, Prussia declared war on Austria. In just 7 short weeks, the Prussians were victorious and had gained full control of Schleswig and Holstein.
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    Franco-Prussian War

    Bismarck was eager for a war in order to expand Prussia's control over Europe. The fuler in France, Napleon III was also eager for a war in order to encourage nationalism. War was declared. However, the French forces wiere no match for the fighting machine that was the Prussian military, and were forced into a humiliating treaty.
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    Population Booms

    Between 1871 and 1914, the populaton in the German Empire dramatically increased. The population grew from 41 million in 1871 to 68 million in 1914. This lead to a larger working class, which lead to higher production.
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    House of Krupp

    The House of Krupp is a family company that has been around from 1826 to the present. During the rise of the German Empire, they played an important role in providing jobs and shaping the Empire into an economic superpower. This made them quite powerful, as well as formiddable.
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    Economic Development

    During this time, the German Empire was growing as an economic superpower. The government was attempting to stimulate the economy and doing quite a good job of it. Families like the Krupps were also providing quite a bit of jobs for the growing economy. The new nation quickly developed into the most economically dominant country in Europe.
  • William I of Prussia Becomes Emperor

    William I of Prussia Becomes Emperor
    On this date King William I of Prussia was crowned as the German Emperor. He was the first one, and he lead the country alongside Otto von Bismarck until his death.
  • The Second Reich is Created

    The Second Reich is Created
    On this date, the German Empire was officially formed, becoming the Second Reich. Following its inception, it experienced several years of dominance on the European stage, both militarily and commercially.
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    At the formation of the Empire, catholics made up about 37% of the population. Threatened by the influence possessed by the Roman Catholic Church, Bismarck enacted policies to encourage secularity and to persecute the catholic minority. The plan backfired, however, and reenergised the catholics to fight for power. Therefore, it was abandoned in 1778.
  • Bismarck Becomes Chancellor

    Bismarck Becomes Chancellor
    On this date, Otto von Bismarck founded the German Empire. He made himself the first Chancellor, a position that remains in the German government to this day.
  • BIsmarck Drafts Constitution

    BIsmarck Drafts Constitution
    On this date, the constitution of the German empire was officially enacted. Heavily influenced by Bismarck, it is often refferred to as Bismarck's imperial constitution.
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    Attack Against the Socialists

    During this time, Bismarck campaigned to keep the socialist party out of the Reichstag, Germany's legislative body. The SPD, as it was and is known, campaigned to gain seats. The effort lapsed during 1790.
  • William II Becomes Kaiser

    William II Becomes Kaiser
    The next emperor, William II was crowned on this day. This began a major shift in policy, both domestically and abroad.
  • Bismarck's Resignation

    Bismarck's Resignation
    On this date, the great German Chancellor Otto von Bismarck resigned. He was forced into resignation by the recently crowned Kaiser William II, who was greedy for personal power.