German Unification

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    Napoleon invades German Lands

    Napoleon annexed lands along the Rhine river for France, while dissolving Holy Roman Empire. Added a number of german states into the Rhine Confederation. Was welcomed at first with new enlightened policies. But some nationalists dis-liked Napoleon ruling of the german states. The people fought to free Germany and demand a unified German states.
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    Congress of Vienna

    Metternich showed that to unify Germany the people would need to take apart the already established government. Each state with their own government would have to agree on the new policies. Instead of creating unified Germany peacemakers created the German Confederation, a weak alliance headed by Austria.
  • Otto Von Bismarck birth

    Otto Von Bismarck birth
    Otto Von Bismarck was born on April 1st 1815 in Schönhausen, Germany. He was known as the prince of Bismarck, Duke of Lauenburg.
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    Was an economic union created by Prussia. Dissolved tariff barriers between German States. Dissolving the tariff barriers lowered the prices of traded goods.
  • Frederick William IV is offered the Throne

    Frederick William IV is offered the Throne
    The people offered the throne to Frederick William IV. But, he turns it down because it was offered by the people. William IV believed the throne should be given by God.
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    Frankfurt Assembly demands unity May 18 - May 31st 1848

    Six hundred delegates met in Frankfurt to begin drafting a constitution for a unified Germany that would replace the German Confederation. The Frankfurt Assembly failed to complete its work while enthusiasm for the revolution was still at its height.
  • Blood and Iron Speech

    Blood and Iron Speech
    Bismarck calls on Germany to take matters out of diplomacy and into action. Says war is more effective than speeches, and if people don’t like that they can get out of my way.
  • Bismarck declares war on Denmark

    Bismarck declares war on Denmark
    Germany gains Austria’s alliance in a war against Denmark. They declared war to gain Schleswig and Holstein. Austria got Holstein leaving Germany with Schleswig.
  • BIsmarck declares war on Austria

    BIsmarck declares war on Austria
    Prussia and Austria always had a weak alliance, by necessity of being so close. They never truly were allies so when Bismarck saw a chance to bring down Austria's rule over some German states he took it.
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    Campaign against the Socialists

    After Germany was unified there was a growing population of socialists in Germany. Germans organized a social Democratic party that called for true parliamentary democracy and laws to improve for the working class. This made Bismarck worried of a revolution, so he put in place laws to protect the working class including; health care, injury insurance, and retirement insurance.
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    Franco Prussian War

    Prussia’s defeat of Austria in the Seven Weeks’ War in 1866 had confirmed Prussian leadership of the German states and threatened France’s position as the dominant power in mainland Europe. The immediate cause of the Franco-German War, however, was the vacant Spanish throne, which the Prussian chancellor, Otto von Bismarck, wanted an allie to rule over.
  • Bismarck becomes Chancellor

    Bismarck becomes Chancellor
    Under the reign of William the firs Bismarck is declared Chancellor. Bismarck became known as the “Iron Chancellor” referring to his earlier speech “Blood and Iron”.
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    House of Krupp

    The Krupp family was a German dynasty of industrialists. The astounding rise of the Krupp family is very much part of the rapid industrial growth of Germany with its highly concentrated, efficient cartels. As a major weapons manufacturer since the 1860s, the firm was a symbol of the deadly collaboration between the giant industrial complex and the military in Germany and elsewhere, so characteristic of modern warfare.
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    Economic development

    During this time Germany was adjusting in many ways to help their country economically. They created modes of transportation to connect the German states. Germany made a universal currency for all the states to use. Germany also made tariffs to protect businesses and prevent their economy from collapsing when the economic depression hit Europe.
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    Campaign against the Church (Kulturekampf)

    The name given to the struggle in the German Empire was the Kulturkampf, meaning the struggle for culture, or the culture war. It was the first of many similar conflicts between anti-religious governments and the Church that afflicted Europe in the 19th and early 20th centuries, but the Kulturkampf had even greater ramifications than its counterparts in Italy, France, and Spain.
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    Population growth

    German society grew and changed dramatically in the last quarter of the nineteenth century. In the twenty years prior to the First World War, the rate of population growth averaged 1.34 percent, as compared to .47 percent annual growth in 1871. The result was that Germany’s population – 41 million in 1871 – grew to 49.7 million by 1891 and increased to 65.3 million by 1911. The growth stopped at the start of World War I.
  • Second Reich is created

    Second Reich is created
    Since 1815 Germany was made up of 39 states known as the German Confederation. Following victory over France in January of 1871, Prussia was able to persuade her partners within the German confederation that unification was desirable. The Second German Reich was born.
  • William I becomes Emperor of Prussia

    William I becomes Emperor of Prussia
    William was so imbued with the traditions of the Prussian monarchy that it was painful for him to accept Bismarck’s foundation of the German Reich and the imperial title, which came to him by a sham offer from the German princes. William was acclaimed German emperor at Versailles, in conquered France.
  • Constitution drafted by Bismarck

    Constitution drafted by Bismarck
    The Constitution of the German Empire was the basic law of the German Empire from 1871 to 1919. It was enacted on April 16, 1871. It is referred to as Bismarck's imperial constitution- or in german the Bismarcksche Reichsverfassung- by many historians.
  • William II becomes Kaiser

    William II becomes Kaiser
    William II succeeded his father on June 15, 1888, at the age of 29. Within two years of his coronation, Wilhelm broke with Otto von Bismarck, the “Iron Chancellor” who had dominated German politics since the 1860s. Under William II the world was put into World War I.
  • Bismarck resigns

    Bismarck resigns
    In 1890, Bismarck resigned after disagreeing with the new emperor, Wilhelm II. He retired to his estate near Hamburg and died there on 30 July 1898.