• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Discuss the changes in German Nationalist thought after 1848 and describe their attitude towards Bismarck up to the creation of the German Empire in 1871.

Extracts from this document...


Z�e Terry Discuss the changes in German Nationalist thought after 1848 and describe their attitude towards Bismarck up to the creation of the German Empire in 1871. In 1871, for the first time, the idea of a united Germany without Austria, which was put forward in 1848, had been achieved. The Germans now had a nation state under their leader William I, the Prussian king, and now the German Emperor with Bismarck as his imperial chancellor. The new state also had 'an apparently liberal constitution with the establishment of a Reichstag elected by universal manhood suffrage.' Few liberals in 1948 would have believed that the nationalist aim of a unified Germany would have been carried forward by Prussia, who had always been known as a reactionary state. Nationalism had not been achieved by liberal nationalist persuasion but by the diplomacy of Bismarck, the Zollverein, and three short wars. During the late 1840's and early 1850's, Germany suffered a series of defeats that caused nationalist ideas to deflate. But after 1859, when the wars of Italian Unification were taking place, the German nationalist spirit was revived. The Nationalverein, (National Society), a liberal minded, middle class society was set up in 1859 with the aim of promoting the idea of a Kleindeutsch, in the hope that Prussia lead the cause and in turn become more liberal minded. ...read more.


But due to a lack of distrust, the liberals refused to accept this as true, and continued to view Bismarck as an anti-liberal reactionary, with no hope of uniting Germany. This view was increased in 1864 when the Schleswig-Holstein question came into play. The Danes wanted to incorporate Schleswig-Holstein into their Danish Empire, which was gravely opposed by German Nationalists who turned to the German Confederation to stop this taking place. Bismarck however stepped in, ignoring both the Confederation and the nationalists, and joined with Austria to fight for Schleswig to be annexed to Prussia and for Austria to gain Holstein. The nationalists were angered by this as they felt that Prussia had acted in her own self interest as opposed to unification. But this can be argued that Bismarck was in fact acting on the Kleindeutsch's interest by removing Austrian influence in Northern Germany when Prussia later pushed on to try and gain Holstein from Austria, which led to war. In an attempt to gain support, Bismarck once again called upon the nationalists for support, which again fell on deaf ears. Bismarck managed to win the war against Austria which caused a sudden turn about in the nationalist attitude towards him. ...read more.


Prussia did not get to put their candidate on the throne due to interference from France, and it didn't cause the war that Bismarck had hoped for until France started making demands on the Prussian King, which he refused. This gave Bismarck the chance he needed to provoke Prussia. Bismarck managed to provoke France to declare war through exploitation of a meeting between the King of Prussia and the French Ambassador. This drove German nationalists into an anti-French frenzy and encouraged the romantic ideals of 1848 to reappear. Germany won the war which again, encouraged by Bismarck, sent the country into a patriotic fervour which was also encouraged by nationalist media. Unification seemed certain. Bismarck later negotiated with the Southern states who reluctantly agreed to let Prussia dominate Germany, but still give recognition to the Southern monarchies. Bismarck has no choice but to take nationalism into account when dealing with the unification of Germany and hence the German Empire was in consistency with the ideas of nationalists even though the constitution wasn't a liberal as some of the nationalists would have liked. "A German Empire emerged in 1871 and not simply a Greater Prussia; it was a sense of Germanness that gave it its identity. Nationalism gave Bismarck's ambitions for Prussia a sense of moral legitimacy." ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level Modern European History, 1789-1945 section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level Modern European History, 1789-1945 essays

  1. What were the obstacles to German Unification immediatly before the 1848 Revolutions

    To combat this Metternich publicly condoned constitutional reform of any sort. This meant that the Confederacy could not enact these constitutional chances because its president, Austria was against them. Without a single German government Unification was not viable and by stopping this Metternich was again putting another obstacle in the way of Unification at this time.

  2. To what extent was Bismarck responsible for German unification?

    The legacy of the Napol�onic Wars, in which the great number of various states (over three hundred) were reduced to a mere thirty nine, must surely have been the ignition for the road to unification, for indeed, much unification had already taken place through the merger of various states into the thirty nine.

  1. Why was Prussia able to win the war with Austria in 1866?

    Finally Bismarck met Napoleon III at Biarritz where he negotiated French neutrality in exchange for Belgium territory and a little territory in Western Germany. This prevented Prussia from being flanked in the same way he had organised for Austria. The Crimean war causes Prussia to win the Seven Weeks War

  2. Hitlers Germany

    Government Presidential Even before the famous New York stock-market crash on October 24, 1929, business activity in Germany had experienced a slowdown resulting in 1.3 million unemployed by the fall of that year. The stock-market crash, however, had an even greater effect on the German economy because it led to

  1. To what extent was Bismarck in control of the direction Germany's Foreign Policy took ...

    that the tension between the two, over Germany's defeat of Austria in 1866, had eased. Although the pact was unofficial, it sent a message to France that the conservative eastern block had been rebuilt. Thus the Dreikaiserbund, indirectly, reduced the threat of war on two fronts, on the Rhineland and in the Balkans.

  2. How significant were the obstacles to German Nationalism between 1815 and 1919?

    Generally speaking, most Germans were happy with the German Confederation and were loyal to their ruling dynasties rather that to Germany as a whole. However, this is not to say that there weren't any outspoken nationalist figures such as Arndt and Father Jahn, there were some nationalist movements at the

  1. How effectively did Irish Catholic and nationalist leaders advance their cause in the years ...

    This showed that although O'Connell had perfected a tactic, he had not realised that new tactics were required to further his cause. Parnell identified himself with the more militant side of the Home Rule party, and he soon became a master of obstruction.

  2. Albert Speers Role as German Armaments Minister during the War

    But Hitler disagreed with Speer?s plan and opted for an illegal roundup of foreign labourers to work in the armaments factories. The foreign workers were badly treated; they worked in appalling conditions, endured violence, illness and death. Speer?s role as Armament?s Minister during the war from 1942 to 1945, was

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work