German national assembly

The Unification of Germany

  • Creation of German Confederation

    Creation of German Confederation
    Liberals meeting in the Frankfurt Assembly demanded German political unity. They offered the throne of a united German state to Frederick William IV of Prussia. The Prussian ruler rejected the notion of a throne offered by "the people."
  • Bismarcks Rise to Power

    Bismarcks Rise to Power
    King William I made Otto von Bismarck prime minister. Within a decade, the new prime minister had become chancellor. Used policy of "blood and iron" to unite the German states under Prussian rule.
  • Wars of Unification

    Wars of Unification
    Bismarck formed an alliance with Austria. Austria and Prussia then seized the provinces of Schleswig and Holstein from Denmark. After a short war , Prussia and Austria took the two provinces and divided them up. Austria controlled Holstein and Prussia controlled Schelswig.
  • Austro-Prussian War

    Austro-Prussian War
    Bismarck made up an excuse to invade Austria. The Austro-Prussian War lasted a short seven weeks and ended in a decisive victory in favor of the Prussia. After, Prussia annexed several other north German states
  • Franco-Prussian War

    Franco-Prussian War
    A growing rivalry between Prussia and France led to war. The Prussian victory over Austria angered Napoleon III, the ruler of France. A superior Prussian force smashed the poorly equppied and unprepared French force. Napoleon III surrendered within a few weeks.
  • Birth of German Empire

    Birth of German Empire
    William I took the title of kaiser, emperor. The second Reich was formed and was celebrated by German nationalists. Bismarck drafted a constitution that set up a two-house legislature. The two houses were the Bundesrat, the upper house, and the Reichstag, the lower house.