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German Unification

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    Napoleon invades German lands

    Napoleon invaded Germany and made important territorial changes in the German speaking lands. He took over some land along the Rhine for France and abolished the Holy Roman empire. He also organized many German states into the Rhine confederation. At first many Germans were for Napoleon and his new policies, but not everyone liked this and began to demand independence.
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    Congress of Vienna

    The Congress of Vienna's goal was to establish lasting peace in Europe. During this Metternich pointed out that if Germany were to unify it would require the government of each German state become obsolete. This would not work with there goals and so they created the German Confederation, which was a weak alliance that was controlled by Austria.
  • Zollverein

    Prussia created the Zollverein, which was an economic union that dismantled the tariff barriers between the German states. The states, however, were still politically apart. Not all of the German states immediatly went along with this new system.
  • Fredrick William IV is offered the throne

    Fredrick William IV is offered the throne
    Fredrick William IV was from Prussia and was offered the throne by the Frankfurt Assembly. He refused it, however, due to the fact that it was offered to him by the people. He did not much care for this notion.
  • Otto Von Bismarck birth

    Otto Von Bismarck birth
    Otto Von Bismarck was born in Schönhausen in Germany. He was born into an aristocratic family and his parents were Karl Wilhelm Ferdinand Von Bismarck and Wilhelmine Luise Mencken.
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    Frankfurt assembly demands unity

    Many liberals in Germany had a meeting in which they demanded political unity. The offered Fredrick William IV the throne. They failed in the end to create unity for Germany.
  • Bismarck becomes prime minister

    Bismarck becomes prime minister
    Before Bismarck was the prime minister he was a diplomat and went to Russia and France. There he gained experience. He then became prime minister which is the principal minister of a sovereign of to the state.
  • Blood and Iron speech

    Blood and Iron speech
    The speech was because Bismarck wanted votes for more funding for the military. Many members of the legislature opposed this, though. To persuade than he talked about how to solve problems more could be done through force and less through speeches and meetings.
  • Bismarck declares war on Denmark

    Bismarck declares war on Denmark
    Bismarck first formed an alliance with Austria. Together, Austria and Prussia took over Schleswig and Holstein from Denmark. Austria was then to control Holstein and Prussia had Schleswig.
  • Bismarck declares war on Austria

    Bismarck declares war on Austria
    Bismarck wanted to have an excuse to fight Austria and so he made one. A war ensued lasting 7 weeks. Prussia ended up winning and during this Prussia took over many north German states. He also dissolved the Austrian headed German confederation and set up a new confederation that was headed by Prussia instead.
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    Franco Prussian war

    The Prussia victory over Austria had angered Napoleon III of France and as the Germans remembered Napoleon I invading, Bismarck played up the idea of a French menace to ignite German nationalism. Bismarck then made it seem as if William I had insulted Napoleon III and Napoleon declared war. This was just what Bismarck wanted. Prussia ended up defeating the French army.
  • House of Krupp

    House of Krupp
    The House of Krupp was a large company which advanced after 1871. It became a large industry complex. Their products were steel and weapons, which was provided in the worldwide market.
  • Second Reich is created

    Second Reich is created
    A constitution was made and Germany was unified. It was called the Reich and reich means empire and it was called this as it was believed that the new empire was the heir to the Holy Roman Empire.
  • Bismarck becomes chancellor

    Bismarck becomes chancellor
    Chancellor means the highest official of a monarch. He got this position within a decade after becoming prime minister. In this position he used his policy of “blood and iron” to unite Germany under Prussia.
  • Economic development

    Economic development
    In Germany economic growth occured starting in 1871. The government helped promote economic development and they issued a single currency throughout Germany. They reorganized banking and coordinated railroads that were built by the various states. During the depression in the late 1800s the government raised the tariffs to protect the home industries from foreign competition. The leaders were eager to maintain economic strength along with military strength.
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    Campaign against the Socialists

    Bismarck saw the socialists a threat as he thought that these people would undermine the loyalty of the working class and a revolution would break out. He had laws passed against them and this backfired. After this failed he tried to pass laws that helped protected them, but they did not abandon their socialism as was wanted.
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    Campaign against the church (Kulturekampf)

    Bismarck was a Lutheran and distrusted the Catholics and launched the Kulturekampf which means battle for civilization. The goal of this was to get the Catholics to put the state above the church. He had laws passed that supervised and regulated them. All of these went against him as these people went with the church and the Catholic Center party gained power in the Reichstag. Bismarck, being a realists recognized his error and tried to make peace with them.
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    Population growth 1871-1914

    Between these years the population grew from 41 million to 67 million. This helped provide workers and a home for new industry. These factors helped industry advance.
  • William I of Prussia becomes Emperor

    William I of Prussia becomes Emperor
    The people of Germany were very happy with the victory over France. The German states and the North German Confederation then persuaded William I of Prussia to take the title Kaiser. Kaiser means emperor.
  • Constitution drafted by Bismarck

    Constitution drafted by Bismarck
    Bismarck made a 2 – house legislature in it. This included the Bundesrat or the upper house in which the members were appointed by the rulers of the states. There was also the Reichstag meaning lower class, had its members elected by a universal male suffrage. Because the Bundesrat could undo things that the Reichstag did, the real power was with the Kaiser and the chancellor.
  • William II becomes Kaiser

    William II becomes Kaiser
    William II succeeded his grandfather. He believed that his rule came from God. He resisted efforts to introduce democratic reforms. During his reign the government began to provide programs for social welfare, cheap transportation, electricity, and public schools. He also helped with the military funds and asked Bismarck to resign.
  • Bismarck resigns

    Bismarck resigns
    William II asked him to resign as William wanted to be the only dominator. Bismarck, at that point had been dominating in Europe. William II said “There is only one master in the Reich and that is I.”