German Confederation of 1815
Established after Napoleonic Wars at Congress of Vienna. Gone from 300 before Napoleon to 100 under Confederation of Rhine down to 38 states in a loose confederation. Members remained sovereign. Failed revolutions of 1848 were followed by restoration of this loose German Confederation. But, great economic and social changes were taking place. Industrialization made dramatic and rapid impact on Germany(iron and coal supplies increased x 6 1850 to 1870). The Zollverein had enhanced economic unity. Railroads were now linking the different German states and furthering industrialization. Germany was now ripe for unification and its population rose dramatically during this time putting additional strain on social structure. GERMAN CONFED DOMINATED BY AUSTRIA. WEAK & INEFFECTIVE BUT STIRRED NATIONALISTS TO SEEK ALTERNATIVES. DISSOLVED AFTER SEVEN WEEK'S (Austro-Prussian)WAR.
This was the established landowning class of Prussia from whom the officer corps was selected for the Prussian Army. It was very conservative and resistant to liberal reforms which might upset their status. Bismarck was originally from this class in the old Brandenburg region, east of the Elbe.
Danes wanting to incorporate Schleswig into their state since many Danes livere there and Denmark going through its own process of consolidation. Diet of German Confederation called for a war against Denmark to prevewnt this. But Bismarck wanted it for Prussia so made a deal with Austria for a joint Austro-Prussian effort to take place. Their combined forces easily overcame Denmark's and Prussia occupied Schleswig (to North) and Austria held Holstein (to South). However, tensions would arise between Prussia and Austria (as Bismarck had foreseen and intended all along) as Prussian troops and supplies moved through Holstein to reinforce Schleswig.
Danish War of 1864
Conflict fought between Danes and the combined forces of Prussia and Austria. Bismarck really wanted both territories for Prussia. Settlement gave Schleswig to Prussia and Holstein to Austria. Bismarck had no intention of leaving it at that. Settled by the CONVENTION OF GASTEIN.
Seven Weeks War
In 1866 - aka The Austro-Prussian War. Bismarck provoked this. This was part of his policy of isolating Austria in order to achieve German unification UNDER PRUSSIAN DOMINATION. The initial dispute was over the occupation and rights of passage through Holstein (occupied by Austrians after Danish War). In this short war (7 weeks) Britain maintained a policy of non-intervention, Russia was busy with internal reform, Italy was lured into non-intervention with promises of Venetia, and Napoleon III was busy with domestic problems and the French army was occupied in Mexico. Battle of Sadowa saw defeat of Austria. Many other German states fought on Austria's side but were defeated and had to acknowledge the supreme power of Prussia.
Battle of Sadowa
Fought in 1866 - aka the BATTLE OF KONIGRATZ. Austrians defeated by Von Moltke's crack Prussian troops. Prussian used needle gun (5 rounds per minute) and railroads for rapid troop movement. Bismarck made peace quickly before the other European powers could bet involved.
Treaty of Prague
Ended Seven Week's War. Austria relinquished Holstein to Prussia and Venetia to Italy. Germany states that had sided with Austria were also penalized...
North German Confederation
After the Battle of Sadowa, Bismarck annexed Hannover, Nassau, Hesse-Cassel and Frankfurt in 1867. Ended the German Federal Union and organized the North German Confederation in which Prussia outweighed 21 other German states. Southern German states, Austria, Bavaria, Baden, Wurtemburg, and Hesse Darmstadt were outside the new organization and formed no union of their own. However, most were tied to Prussia by the Zollverein and by a defensive military alliance.
Leader of Socialists in Germany - unlike Marxists, he believed it possible to improve working class conditions through actions of existing government. Bismarck sensed in masses a potential ally of strong government versus private interests (middle class industrialists), and he negotiated even with socialists like LaSalle (Bis was master of Realpolitik). Majority of German socialists reached an agreemt with Bismarck (much to the annoyance of Marx). In return for democratic suffrage, the accepted the North German Confederation and Bismarck was thus winning popular approval for the emerging empire.
AKA The Ems Telegram. A liberal revolution in Spain left the provisional government there inviting Prince Leopold of Hohenzollern to assume the throne as a constitutional monarch of Spain. France objected for obvious reasons. Hohenzollerns had declined the offer more than once. But Bismarck used this bizarre situation to further his goals. He allowed a rumour that the offer would be accepted. BENEDETTI, the French ambassador, visited William I (King of Prussia) who was staying at Ems (a natural Spa in southern Germany) and asked for further reassurances that the Hohenzollerns would NOT accept the Spanish throne. William sent a telegram/dispatch to Bismarck back in Berlin notifying him of Benedetti's visit and request. Bismarck edited the telegram to make it appear that Benedetti had been insulted/admonished. Bismarck then "leaked" the edited telegram to the press. This amounted to a "slap in the face" since it hit the Paris newspapers on July 14, 1870. Napoleon III declared war -> the Franco Prussia War of July 1870.
Battle of Sedan
September 2, 1870. France defeated. Napoleon surrendered and taken prisoner. On September 4 there was an insurrection in Paris and the Third Republic was proclaimed.
Siege of Paris
Prussians and other Germans laid siege to Paris - lasts four months. German rulers meanwhile met at Versailles (outside of Paris). Bismarck arranged for the German Empire to be officially proclaimed on January 18, 1871 from the Hall of Mirrors no less. William I (Hohenzollern of Prussia) was proclaimed emperor/kaiser (hereditary). Bismarck assumed the title of chancellor. Ten days later, Paris surrendered. Bismarck insisted on the election of Constituent Assembly by universal male suffrage for France. He also dictated the peace terms which were established at Treaty of Frankfurt.
Treaty of Frankfurt
May 10, 1871. An indemnity of 5 billion gold francs was to be paid. Alsace and Lorraine (eastern provinces of France were to go to Germany (had been part of France since 17th century). There was to be a German military occupation until the indemnity had been paid. NOTE: BY TREATING FRANCE HARSHLY, IT IS SAID, BISMARCK PLANTED THE SEEDS OF WW I.
Indemnity Act of 1867
By this date, Bismarck had annexed to Prussia almost all Germany north of Mainz. Prussian liberals gave in and Prussian parliament passed this act in which Bismarck admitted his high-handedness during the constitutional struggles he had had with parliament back in the early sixties over taxes for military expenditures, but parliament, nonetheless, legalized his action ex post facto (after the fact). This act passes in the new light of Prussia's military successes. THUS "LIBERALISM WITHERED AWAY BEFORE NATIONALISM."
Prussian Constitution of 1850
Rather illiberal constitution granted by Frederick William IV after the revolutions of 1848/9. Within the new empire of 1871, each German state kepts its own constitution. Prussia stayed with that of 1850. However, in affairs of the Reich/empire, the vote was based on universal male suffrage. BUT, the emperor/kaiser, had legal control over foreign and military policy of the empire. THUS, THE GERMAN EMPIRE SERVED AS A MECHANISM TO MAGNIFY THE ROLE OF PRUSSIA, THE PRUSSIAN MILITARY, AND THE EAST ELBIAN ARISTOCRACY IN WORLD AFFAIRS.
This movement increasingly evident after 1848. Slavs in Austrian Empire wanting to maintain framework of empire in which there would be increasing local self-government for nationalities to grow in.
Hapsburg emperor of Austria 1848-1916. Very traditional and pro-Hapsburg rights. Disliked change, liberalism and progressivism. Allied with Catholics and Vatican (which was not very conservative). Lived in pompous dream world surrounded by imperial court, high churchmen, and army leaders. Early in reign he emphasized centralization and material progress. This was distasteful to the Magyars of Hungary since it was tantamount (i.e. the equivalent of ) Germanization.
This was a result of the Ausgleigh of 1867. The compromise established that Wet of the River Leith would be the Empire of Austria, and East of the River Leith would be the Kingdom of Hungary. Both were to be equal. Each would have its own constitution and parliament to which the governing ministries would be responsible. The administrative language of Austria would be German and of Hungary it would be Magyar. Hapsburgs would be the ruler of both monarchies. Dlegations of the parliament would laternates their meetings between Vienna and Budapest and there would be a common ministry of finance, foreign affaris and war. In effect, Austria was a German nation state and Hungary was a Magyar nation state. Problem was - there were many Germanys and Magyars wo were minorities in one of the two states and who felt aggrieved by this settlement. Likewise, there were other minorities who were also left out of calculations (ex. Czechs, Poles, Slovenes in Austria, Croats, Serbs, Slovaks in Hungary).
In 1867 - this was the name given to the compromise between Germans of Austria-Bohemia and Magyars of Hungary. Worked to the common disadvantage of Slavs (due to German and Mahyar prejudice against them.