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German Unification Impact on Europe. Germany prior to Confederation.

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Presentation on theme: "German Unification Impact on Europe. Germany prior to Confederation."— Presentation transcript:

1 German Unification Impact on Europe

2 Germany prior to Confederation

3 Prior to Confederation In the early 1800s Prussia was the only German state of any size In fact Prussia was roughly equal to the Austrian empire in terms of size, population, and wealth Austria was opposed to German confederation as a portion of its population was German

4 Prior to Confederation Austria Weakened Austria lost a key ally in Russia when they refused to help Russia fight England and France during the Crimean War Austria was defeated by the French and northern Italian states in the unification of Italy and therefore lost territory and prestige Prussia Strengthened Prussia was ahead of Austria in the industrial revolution Prussia had set up a trade alliance with other German states making trade easier and more profitable

5 1848 Revolts Like other places in Europe Germany experienced several riots demanding changes Unlikely elsewhere in Europe, Prussian King Fredrick William IV sympathized with the rioters King William promised the people a constitution and an elected assembly

6 Otto von Bismarck First came to prominence when the new King Wilhelm wanted to expand his army Bismarck convinced parliament making a famous speech called “Blood and Iron”

7 Otto von Bismarck When Bismarck became Chancellor he had several goals: – unify the north German states under Prussian control – weaken Prussia's main rival, Austria, by removing it from the Bund – make Berlin the centre of German affairs - not Vienna – strengthen the position of the King of Prussia, William I, to counter the demands for reform from the Liberals in the Prussian parliament (the Reichstag).

8 Dealing with Austria Bismarck correctly saw Austria as a stumbling block and set out to deal with them – First Bismarck allied with the Austrians and attacked Denmark in 1864 over two small German nations (Schleswig and Holstein) – Allied with Russia in large part by refusing to help Poland fight Russia – Allied with France in return for supporting France against Belgium – Allied with Italy if Prussia wasn’t the aggressor

9 Seven Weeks War Bismarck ensured that the treaty regarding Schleswig and Holstein was so complicated that there would be arguments Eventually Austria became so frustrated that they declared war on Prussia

10 Seven Weeks War Several German states sided with Austria but proved to be ineffective France sided with Austria but came late and were ineffective Austria was hampered by having to send troops to fight the Italians The Prussian needle gun gave Prussia a technological advantage Austria was quickly and decisively defeated

11 Consequences Austria was forced to pay compensation to Prussia but didn’t lose land Austria agreed to stay out of German affairs A Northern German confederation was established A Southern German confederation was established as a result of the Northern confederation Video Clip

12 Weakening the French After the Seven Weeks war France viewed Prussia with alarm Mean while Prussia looked for ways undermine France’s power and influence Bismarck attempted to weaken France by: – Making a deal with Russia, to keep them out of a war – Keeping ties with Italy to ensure they remained neutral Bismarck also gambled that Britain would not intervene on behalf of France

13 Spain Provides an Excuse Spain offered its vacant crown to a relative of Prussia’s King France feared Prussia gaining more influence and power France put pressure on Prussia’s King Wilhelm I to get his relative to refuse the crown Bismarck published a heavily edited version of a French telegram called the Ems Telegram

14 Franco – Prussian War In the lead up to war the Southern Confederation of Germany joined the Northern Confederation to fight France France had hoped to ally with the Southern Confederation in a war against Prussia and now found itself without any allies against an united Germany

15 Franco - Prussian War Prussia was able to much more quickly mobilize its forces than France This combined with Prussia extensive rail system allowed Prussia to quickly and easily concentrate its forces while French troops were still marching to the battle

16 Franco – Prussian War France held a technological edge in rifles Prussia held the advantage in mobility and tactics The war went badly for France in 6 weeks with France’s leader Napoleon III was captured along with most of the French army

17 Franco – Prussian War The humiliation the French suffered resulted in Napoleon’s opponents over throwing him and declaring the Third French Republic The republic refused to surrender to the surprise of the Prussians Prussia put Paris under siege and this lasted until France’s surrender in mid January 1871

18 Consequences France was forced to give up most of its traditional German speaking territory, most significantly Alsace and parts or Lorraine Germany would also administer Paris and parts of Northern France until such time as France paid Germany the war indemnity (200 million pounds) Germany became officially unified with Wilhelm I as emperor (Kaiser) Bismarck was named Chancellor and was named prince and given an estate

19 The End Now bring on 50 years of war

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