Key Events Leading to the German Unification

  • Creation of Confederation of Rhine

    Primary Source 1
    Napoleon dissolves the Holy Roman Empire and groups the German states into a new confederation, the Confederation of the Rhine. This united the Germanic people into one region and made them realize how similar they were through their cultures, languages, and common interests. This was positive in that it was the first step towards a united German country.
  • German Confederation

    Secondary Source 1
    After the Congress of Vienna, the German states were reorganized into the German Confederation. This grouping united them again into their own German country, but without Napoleon ruling it. This was a positive event in the timeline of German Nationalism because it was the beginning of a combined German country without foreign rule.
  • Adoption of the Zollverein

    Secondary Source 2
    The Zollverein positively affected the German Confederation by uniting the economies between each state. This made each state more dependent on the other and united the leaders of the states within the Confederation.
  • Otto von Bismark elected Prime Minister of Prussia

    Secondary Source 3
    This was a positive event for German Unification. It was the beginings of a strong leader who would lead the German Confederation to unification through 'iron and blood'.
  • Danish War and Seven Weeks' War

    Danish War and Seven Weeks' War
    Prussia prevented Denmark from gaining Schleswig and captured Holstein from Austria. These new territorial gains were positive in the way that Prussia expanded territorially, promoting a pride in the achievments of its military.
  • North German Confederaton Formed

    Primary Source 2The North German Confederaton is founded after the Seven Weeks' War and the Treaty of Prague. The German Confederation dissolved into this, and it only needed the southern german states to be a fully german nation. This was a positive step towards the unification of Germany.
  • Franco-Prussian War

    Franco-Prussian War
    Prussia initiated a war against France, who came and began to attack the southern german states. The southern states then ran for help to Prussia, who then advanced into France and gained the southern states into the North German Confederation. This was positive because it united all of the german states together.
  • Formation of German Empire

    Formation of German Empire
    All of the german states except for Austria joined into the german empire. The empire was declared in the Hall of MIrrors at the Palace of Versailles. This was to humiliate the French who Prussia had just defeated. This was a positive event because it finally united all of the german states except Austria together into one empire.
  • Friedrich Wilhelm IV Pronounced Emperor of Empire

    Primary Source 3
    Wilhelm IV accepted the title of German Emporer of the German Empire. This was positive because the German Empire now had a leader to continue its progress and guide the country down a glorious path.
  • Germany Adopts Constitution

    Primary Source 4
    Germany accepted a constitution and set up a new government for the empire. This was positive because Germany now had a stable government and a strong leader with set rules to go by.