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GERMAN UNIFICATION. POST-l848 1. A. William I (1861-1888): Regent in Prussia 1857-1861. Initial support for the Constitution of 1848 (he eased restrictions.

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Presentation on theme: "GERMAN UNIFICATION. POST-l848 1. A. William I (1861-1888): Regent in Prussia 1857-1861. Initial support for the Constitution of 1848 (he eased restrictions."— Presentation transcript:


2 POST-l848 1. A. William I (1861-1888): Regent in Prussia 1857-1861. Initial support for the Constitution of 1848 (he eased restrictions on political expression and on the press) but he came into conflict with the Chamber of Deputies over his reorganizing the army to increase efficiency and political reliability (1862). To deal with the opposition, he appointed Otto von Bismarck prime minister. He commanded the army with the advice of his other chief advisor, Helmuth K. B. von Moltke.

3 POST-l848 B. Bismarck takes command 1. Bismarck was an ultraconservative Junker politician whose main goal was to strengthen Prussia's power and status. 2. He concluded that the path to this goal was to weaken Austria by supporting German nationalism. 3. He practiced Realpolitik, the politics of reality. He was willing to use any means to obtain his goals.

4 POST-l848 4. Bismarck needed to weaken the power of the parliament since it repeatedly refused his request for additional funds to build up the army.. Bismarck collected the needed taxes anyway. His view was that middle class parliamentary liberalism was not the way to unify Germany. He said ''Not by speeches and majority votes are the great questions of the day decided - that was the great error of 1848 and 1849 - but by blood and iron". Bismarck believed the middle class could be led to prefer national unity to liberal institutions. He outmaneuvered the liberals in the Parliament, and the middle class ended up supporting monarchial authority.

5 POST-l848 2. War with Denmark (1864): Initiated by Bismarck over Denmark's attempted annexation of Schleswig-Holstein; led to a German alliance with Austria against Denmark (led by Christian IX). The Treaty of Vienna provided for joint administration of the provinces, but Bismarck complained about Austrian administration and provoked a war in 1866.

6 POST 1848 3. War with Austria (1866): Bismarck convinced Italy to join with Prussia against Austria with the promise of gaining Venetia. The Seven Weeks War began with a Prussian invasion of Bohemia, a quick victory at the Battle of Sadowa. Austria surrendered. In the Peace of Prague, the German Confederation was dissolved and a new North German Confederation, led by Prussia, was formed in 1867. Austria paid an indemnity to Prussia and withdrew from German affairs. Bismarck's goal of Prussian expansion was being realized.

7 POST 1848 4. The Dual Monarchy: Nationalists Hungarians saw the defeat of Austria as an opportunity to demand freedom. Emperor Francis Joseph I accepted a compromise which granted Hungarian independence, but the Austrian emperor remained their king. Thus was born Austria- Hungary, ruled by a Dual Monarchy. This agreement was called the Ausgleich. (compromise)

8 POST 1848 5. The Franco-Prussian War (1870-71): Prussia's rise to power alarmed Napoleon III plus he believed fighting German unification would unite the French people behind his faltering rule. The two nations went to war nominally over the candidacy of a Hohenzollern prince for the Spanish throne, but actually over Prussia's growing power in Germany. In 1870 Bismarck used the issue of the Spanish succession to provoke France into an act of war (He knew France was the next obstacle to German unification)

9 POST 1848 A. EMS dispatch: Bismarck released a doctored telegram to the press which described a meeting between the King of Prussia and the French ambassador at the German city of Ems. The careful editing made the French believe their country had been insulted by the Germans and made the Germans believe they were being threatened by France. Napoleon III declared war on Prussia. B. Prussian troops invaded France. Southern German states, Catholic and resistant to Prussian control, now allied themselves with Prussia to avoid French domination. Bismarck had used war to bring southern Germany into the union.

10 POST 1848 C. Battle of Sedan: The French were outnumbered and outgeneraled. Napoleon III was captured and surrendered Sept. 2, 1870. D. Fall of Paris: When news of Sedan reached Paris on September 4, republicans proclaimed the Third Republic and established the Government of National Defense to carry on the war. From September 23 to January 28, Paris was besieged and for the last 23 days was bombarded by German artillery. Napoleon III and Bismarck

11 POST 1848 E. Treaty of Frankfurt: May l0, 1871, France was required to cede Alsace and part of Lorraine to Germany (two provinces rich in coal and iron ore) and to pay an indemnity of unprecedented size--% billion francs (considered immoral by the rest of Europe).

12 THE GERMAN EMPIRE A. Kaiser Wilhelm I: William was proclaimed emperor on January 18, 1871 at ceremonies held at the hall of Mirrors at Versailles - a great humiliation for France. Bismarck became his chancellor. William survived two assassination attempts in 1878.

13 THE GERMAN EMPIRE B. Structure: The German Empire was a federation of 25 German states 71 governed by the Kaiser, a chancellor responsible to the Kaiser, and a its two-house parliament composed of the upper chamber (Bundesrat), 43 appointed members and a lower chamber (Reichstag), 400 members elected by universal male suffrage.

14 THE GERMAN EMPIRE C. Policies 1. Industrialization promoted by Bismarck, particularly the steel industry. French indemnity was used to consolidate railroads, build canals. 2. Bismarck established a common monetary system, a central bank, a unified postal system.

15 THE GERMAN EMPIRE 3. Kulterkampf: ''struggle for culture"; Inspired by 1870 claim of papal infallibility made by Pius IX; Bismarck attacked the Catholic church in an effort to maintain the superiority of state over church; Jesuits expelled, priests had to be Germans, Catholic children had to attend German schools; he abandoned the attack in 1878 because of rising opposition. 4. Worldwide agricultural depression after 1873 resulted in the policy of economic protectionism in Germany.

16 THE GERMAN EMPIRE 5. Socialism grew in Germany and the Social Democratic Party was established. Bismarck outlawed socialist parties in 1878. Bismarck gave Germany an impressive system of social-welfare legislation (sickness and accident insurance, shorter working hours, improved working conditions), partly to weaken socialism's appeal to the workers. FIRST SOCIAL SECURITY SYSTEM IN THE WORLD.

17 THE GERMAN EMPIRE D. Frederick III (1888): Son of William I, he had protested Bismarck's reactionary policy in relation to constitutional questions and the press. He served as regent in 1878 when his father was wounded in an attempted assassination. When his father died, Frederick was already ill with cancer of the throat. He died in the same year he succeeded to the throne.

18 THE GERMAN EMPIRE E. Wilhelm II (1888- 1918): Frederick III's eldest son, he began a long period of personal rule after dismissing Bismarck in 1890 to try to win the support of the workers, but he couldn't stem the rising tide of socialism.

19 THE GERMAN EMPIRE 1. Social Democratic Party: In the elections of 1912, this Socialist party becomes the largest party in the Reichstag. 2. It was strongly nationalistic and patriotic not revolutionary.

20 THE GERMAN EMPIRE 3. Wilhelm II pledged full support to Austria after the assassination of Archduke Francis Ferdinand. He was a figurehead during World War I and abdicated following Germany's defeat fleeing to the Netherlands where he lived until his death in 1941.

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