INTRODUCTION The Unification of Germany was a patriotic process that took place in the second half of the XIX century and finished in the creation of the German Empire in 1871. Prior to the formation of a unified national state, Germany was divided in 38 states. Among them Austria and Prusia had economic and political importance.
ANTECEDENTS Intellectual roots: There was a Germanic world, with its language, its civilization that had been formulated by Fichte in 1808 in his “Addresses to the German nation”. Economic roots: The first step was the creation of the Zollverein in 1834, a customs union that managed to combine in a large market to dozens of states.
OTTO VON BISMARCK However, the political unification was made possible by Otto von Bismarck, the Prussian Chancellor, combining diplomatic skills and the use of force, Prussia became the axis of the unifying process. Otto von Bismarck,during his last years of life, he was called ‘The Iron Chancellor’ because of his hard hand in the decisions of his country.
STAGES OF THE UNIT1. War of the Duchies of Southern Denmark In 1864 Federico VII of Denmark died without issue, Prussia and Austria declared war on Denmark, which claimed the duchies of Schleswig and Holstein, located in northern Germany. The German victory was fast.
STAGES OF THE UNIT2. Austro-Prussian War The differences between the victors were used by Bismarck for starting a war against Austria (1866). The victory of Prussia (Battle of Sadowa) surprised everyone by his speed.
STAGES OF THE UNIT3. Franco-Prussian War Finally, Bismarck went to war with France, which he won the Battle of Sedan (1870) to.This represented the culmination of German unification and the start of the second German Reich, or empire led by the Kaiser Friedrich Wilhelm I.