The Unification of Germany

  • Creation of German Confederation

    Creation of German Confederation
    Napoleons defeat did not answer the problem. As a result, Metternich said that a united Germany would need to dismantle the government of each German State. As another option, the peacemakers made the German Condederation. The German Confederation was a weak alliance that was headed by Austria.
  • Bismark's Rise to Power

    Bismark's Rise to Power
    Otto von Bismarck came from Prussia's Junker class. The Junker class was made up of conservative landowning nobles. He first served Prussia as a diplomat in Russia and France. Then, in 1862, King William I made him prime minister. He then became chancellor (highest official of the monarch) and used his policy of "blood and iron."
  • The Austro-Prussian War

    The Austro-Prussian War
    This war lasted nearly seven weeks. The result of this war was a Prussian victory. As a "reward" Prussia then annexed (took over) many northern German states.
  • Annexation of Denmark

    Annexation of Denmark
    After Bismarck formed an alliance with Austria in 1864. Prussia and Austria declared war on Denmark. After a small war, Prussia and Austria liberated the two provinces of Holstein and Schleswig, and split up the spoils. Austria got Holstein and Prussia got Schleswig.
  • The Franco-Prussian War

    The Franco-Prussian War
    Napoleon III did little to avoid war. He was hoping to cover the problems at home with military glory. Bismarck made the issue worse by releasing a telegram to the press saying there was a meeting between King William I and The French Ambassador. Napoleon then angrily declared war on Prussia, just like Bismarck wanted. During the war, Napoleon surrendered after a few weeks due to his age and because he was ill.
  • The Birth of the German Empire

    The Birth of the German Empire
    After the victory over France, William I took the title of Kaiser (emperor). In January, German nationalists celebrated the begining of the second Reich (empire). It was considered their heir to the Holy Roman Empire