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German Unification

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    Napoleon Invades German Lands

    When Napoleon invaded German lands he made crucial territorial changes. He took over the land along thhe Rhine River, crushed the Holy Roman Empire, and organized many German states into the Rhine Confederation.
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    Congress of Vienna

    The goal of the Congress of Vienna was to restore order in Europe and get the government and ecnomy back to the way it was before Napoleon. The Germans saw it as an opportunity to bring up the fact that they wanted to be united as well. They were denied unification by Austrian because they didnt want the German states to gain more power than them.
  • Otto Von Bismarck Birth

    Otto Von Bismarck Birth
    Otto Von Bismarck was born in April of 1815 at his families estate in Berlin. He was a conservative and a noble whe ended up becoming chancelor under William the first.
  • Zollverein

    The Zollverein was an economic union that was created by the Germans. Its purpose was to dissolved tariff, or taxes, between the German states.
  • Frederick William IV is Offered the Throne

    Frederick William IV is Offered the Throne
    At the Frankfurt Assembly, Frederick William IV is offered the throne of the united German states. He declined because the throne was offered by the people, not chosen by god.
  • Frankfurt Assembly Demands Unity

    Frankfurt Assembly Demands Unity
    During a liberal meeting called the Frankfurt Assembly, Germany demanded political untiy. This was their second attempt because they were denied unity the first time.
  • Blood and Iron Speech

    Blood and Iron Speech
    On this day, Otto Von Bismarck gave his blood and iron speech that stated that all questions and issues should not be determined by political views, but by blood and iron. This was implying that the only way to achieve success and unification was through war.
  • Bismarck Declares War on Denmark

    Bismarck Declares War on Denmark
    In 1864, Bismarck declared war on Schlegwig and Holstein from Denmark. Due to his alliance with Prussia and Austria, they were able to take control of both lands.
  • Bismark Declares War on Austria

    Bismark Declares War on Austria
    The Austro-Prussian war lasted seven only weeks and ended in a Prussian victory. This led Prussia to also gain control of several other ununified German states.
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    Campaign Against the Socialists

    The campaign against the socialists began because Bismarck feared that the socialists in society would sabotage the loyalty of the people to their newer states, rulers, and religions. To prevent this, Bismark passed laws that dissolved all socialist groups, shut down their newspapers, and banned any of their meetings. Although he made a great effort of end all socialist practices, his plan backfired on him.
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    Economic Development

    As part of the continuous economic development and improvement of the German states, many beneficial changes were made. The government issued a single currency for the country and reorganized their banking system. The military was also strengthened as well as new railroads and factories.
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    Franco-Prussian War

    Following the Prussian victory over Austria, an ongoing rivalry between Napoleon leading France and Prussia resulted in the Franco-Prussian War. The alliances the German states had with eachother helped them defeat France. Their victory confirmed Prussian leadership of the German states as well as threatened France's position as the most powerful country in Europe.
  • Constitution Drafted by Bismarck

    Constitution Drafted by Bismarck
    Bismarck set up a constitution that set up a two house legislature. The upper house was assigned by German rulers and the lower house was electe by universal male suffrarge. The upper house was not allowed to veto any decisions of the lower house because the power always remained in the hands of the emperor and chancellor.
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    Population Growth

    Gaining new territory and an abundance of natural resources contributed to the population growth. The building of infrastructure and the industrialization of the city was a major factor as well. The increase of about 26 million people provided a large supply of farmers and factory workers in the industry.
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    Campaign Against the Church

    In response to threats against the catholic church, Bismarck put the Kulturekampf into action, which was a battle for civilization. The goal of this was to ensure that all catholics were loyal and devoted to their church and religion. Since this battle failed, Bismark worked to make peace with the church after realizing his mistakes.
  • William I of Prussia becomes Emperor

    William I of Prussia becomes Emperor
    William I was persuaded by the princess from the southern German states to become emperor. He accepted this position shortly after his victor over France.
  • Second Reich is Created

    Second Reich is Created
    After William I had become emperor, German nationalists celebrated the birth of the Second Reich. This was the birth of their new Holy Roman Empire. It was believed to be important because it carried on the legacy of the original land.
  • House of Krupp

    House of Krupp
    The House of Krupp was the home to a family of German industrialists. The house began being used for the production of steel and iron weapons. During the drastic increase in population, production rates were at their best.
  • Bismarck Becomes Chancellor

    Bismarck Becomes Chancellor
    In 1872, Bismarck became chancellor, which is the highest official of a monarch. He was able to unite German states under Prussian rule by following his blood and iron policy.
  • William II becomes Kaiser

    William II becomes Kaiser
    When William's grandfather died, he was next in line to take the position of Kaiser, or emperor of Germany, because his father was dying of cancer. Although he took the throne at the young age of 29, he was extremely confident in his decisions and abilities.
  • Bismarck Resigns

    Bismarck Resigns
    Otto Von Bismarck resigned from his executive position in 1890. Differences between Bismarck and William II had provoked him to back down.