The significant events leading up to Germany's increased nationalism and eventually unification.
A loose grouping of 39 German States organized by Napoleon after his conquests.
Confederation of the Rhines
Using the common language of the German states, writers a philosophers came together to start to form a German identity free from German influence.
Creation of a German Identity
After Napoleon's defeats, the 39 states become independent. However, some French influence lasts.
39 Independant States
The Burschenschaft helped inspire nationalistic pride in the up and coming generation by organizing events to demonstrate their support for German unification.
Demonstrations, Protests, and Marches
Legislations and decrees were passed to try to stifle German support for unification. For example, nationalistic professors were removed, the freedom of press was restricted, and student support groups were banned. The purpose of this was to avoid unification which would leave some states weak and vulnerable to attack.
Resistance to Unification
Prussian politician Otto von Bismarck sucked France into the Franco-Prussian War. Then, using the military power of Prussia and the building nationalistic pride of Germany, France was quickly and easily defeated. This lead to a French retreat leaving Germany independent and free of any French influence.
French Loss in Franco-Prussian War
Otto von Bismarck then helped to finish the unification process by operating the discussions between the 39. This was very important since some of the southern states were planning on becoming independent of Germany. The German Confederation was then officially unified as the German Empire lead by Emperor William I (the King of Prussia).
Final Steps Before Official Unification
A Unified and Progressive German Empire
The government of the new German Empire was highly progressive for its time. Its main component was the Reichstag (German Parliament) which allowed men 25 and older to vote for its members. The new German Empire thrived and lasted all the way to World War I.
Journey to Nationhood
A timeline of the major events leading up to Germany's nationalism, independence, and the German Empire.