German Unification Timeline

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    Napoleon Invades German Lands

    Napoleon invades German lands and obtains land along the Rhine river to France. At first some germans welcomed the French emperor. Napoleon's conquests were what sparked nationalism in Germany.
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    Congress of Viena

    The objective of the Congres of Vienna was to reorganize and redistribute land in Europe after Napoleon's conquests. Germany wanted to unify but the congress denied their request because they wanted to focus on returning Europe to the way it was before Napoleon as opposed to creating new countries.
  • Birth of Otto Von Bismarck

    Birth of Otto Von Bismarck
    Otto von Bsmarck was born August 1st 1815 in Schonhausen, Germany. He would later grow up to be insturmental in the unification of Germany.
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    This was a union of Prussia formed to dissolve the tariff barriers between German states. This allowed farmers and merchants to trade between states without paying a heavy tax. The Zollverein was the first major step towards German unification.
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    Frankfurt Assemby demands unity

    The Assembly began drafting a constitution for a unified Germany that would replace the German Confederation. Some of the people in the assembly wanted Austria to be included and others wanted to exclude Austria. The Frankfurt Assembly failed to unify Germany
  • Frederick William IV is Offered the Throne

    Frederick William IV is Offered the Throne
    The people offer the throne to William IV, but he refuses because he will not listen to or take advice from people on a "lower level" than him.
  • Bismarck becomes Chancellor

    Bismarck becomes Chancellor
    Otoo von Bismarck is named chancellor by KIng William I.
  • Blood and Iron Speech

    Blood and Iron Speech
    Bismarck set the tone for his fututre policies to build a strong, unified Germsn state. He conveyed the fact that he would achieve what he he aspired, when he wanted it, or else he would take it forcefully.
  • Bismarck Declares War on Denmark

    Bismarck Declares War on Denmark
    Bismarck formed an alliance with Austria in 1864, then he took the provinces of Schleswig and Holstein from Denmark forcefully, going by his blood and iron policies.
  • Bismarck Declares War on Austria

    Bismarck Declares War on Austria
    Bismarck created an excuse to attack it's former ally Austria. After 7 weeks, Bismarck won and seized their territory along with some other northern provinves.
  • William I of Prussia Becomes Emperor

    William I of Prussia Becomes Emperor
    Princes from the southern German states and the Northern German Confederation persuaded William I to take the position as emperor. This was the beginning of the Second Reich.
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    Campaign against the Socialists

    Socialist groups wanted change for the working class. Bismarck feared a revolution, so he created laws outlawing socailsm newspapers and socialist groups. This backfired and brought those groups closer together. Then, Bismarck gave in and passed socialist health care, accident insurance, and old-age insurance with retirement benefits. This showed the socialists that change could happen without fighting.
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    Franco-Prussian War

    Bismarck tricked Napoleon into attacking Germany. The French army was badly organized and poorly supplied, and Napoleon III surrendered within a few months.
  • The Second Reich is Created

    The Second Reich is Created
    William I becomes emperor with Bismarck as chancellor. Thus begins the second Reich, or empire, considered to be the next Holy Roman Empire.
  • House of Krupp

    House of Krupp
    The metal company Krupp prospers and sells weapons in a global economy.
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    Population Growth

    The German population increased by about 25 million, and it becomes more industrialized. The economy advances and society becomes more efficient.
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    Bismarck campaigns against the church and clergy, who he believes is loyal first to the Pope and not Germany. He passes laws that limit Catholic power and that alllow supervision of Catholic education. Again, these laws backfire and the Catholics rally together and stand against him. Bismarck realizes his mistake and tries to make peace.
  • Constitution Drafted by Bismarck

    Constitution Drafted by Bismarck
    Bismarck sets up a two-house legislature where the upper house, known as the Bundesrat, was appointed by the rulers of the German states. The lower house, the Reichstag, was elected by male voters. The Bundesrat could veto any decisions made by the Reichstag, so the power remained with the emperor and the chancellor.
  • William II becomes Kaiser

    William II becomes Kaiser
    William II was the grandson of William I. He asked Bismarck to resign because he believed in only one ruler.
  • Bismarck Resigns

    Bismarck Resigns
    William II shocks Europe by ordering Bismarck to resign because believe there can only be one man in charge.