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

Political and Economic Factors behind German Unification

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Certain motivating political and economic factors enabled Germany to gain its unification in the late nineteenth century. Its economic prosperity from the zollverein, technological advances, and political moves in terms of actions allowed it to ultimately acquire a solid unification by 1871. In terms of economic factors, Prussia's economic prosperity and financial stability in the 1850s enabled it to become one of two states powerful enough to bring about the unification of Germany. By 1834, Prussia had established the zollverein, a German customs union that eliminated tolls on rivers and rivers, thus stimulating trade and adding prosperity to member states. ...read more.

Middle

In terms of political factors, in the Danish War of 1864, conflict arose over the duchies of Schleswig and Holstein. Bismarck allied with Austria and defeated the Danes. Bismarck cunningly planned that Austria receive Holstein while Prussia receive Schleswig, anticipating that this would create tension in the future and potentially provide a reason to go to war against Austria. Bismarck knew that in order to achieve German unification, Austria would have to be isolated from German affairs or, less likely, be willing to accept Prussian domination of Germany. This political move would ensure a motive for potential war against Austria by creating friction between Austria and Prussia over the two duchies. ...read more.

Conclusion

Bismarck wanted to continue to unite all of Germany, including Bavaria. However, he was afraid that Catholic-tied Bavaria would side with France against Protestant North Germany, and thereby needed to go to war against France to utilize nationalism to bring together Germany. By tampering with France's Ems Dispatch, this sparked Napoleon III to declare war, making France appear as the "bad guy." Thus, Prussia was able to crush France, clearly identifying itself as a serious power, and thereby becomes united with Bavaria. These political factors - the creation of friction between Austria and Prussia, the isolation of Austria, the minor reparations demanded of Austria, and drawing France into war - ultimately garnered German unification in 1871. ...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. To what extent do the economic factors account for the unification of Germany between ...

    classes believe this to be a suicidal course, and they eventually prevailed with a pro-Prussian line, but only economically. So the importance of the Zollverien is debatable as it did not provide protection for Prussian industries nor create a unified German economy.

  2. Hitlers Germany

    war damages, and to embark upon a policy of reeducating the Germans along the political lines deemed appropriate by the occupying powers. Denazification proceeded by fits and starts between 1945 and 1950. It was clouded over by conflicting ideological aims; the Soviets, who had occupied most of eastern Germany, saw

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

    The Crimean War had ruined any chance of an alliance with anyone for Austria, without any allies she had the possibility of fighting a war on several fronts. Bismarck exploited this massively, his foreign policy of his early years can be seen in this context.

  2. Why did Prussia rather than Austria lead the unification of Germany?

    not least by himself in his Memoirs - as a diplomatic genius who did not make mistakes, and who had a Prussian-led German unification mapped out at every stage years in advance, there are some important considerations that should be taken note.

  1. To what extent was German Unification driven by primarily economic forces?

    that policy until the 1850's when she applied to join, Prussia blocked this entry and so Austria remained isolated in the economic decisions of the German states because she was not in the Zollverein. In regard to the Zollverein, this shows that Prussia is beginning to dominate the Bund in

  2. The Road To German Unification - 1856-1871

    Austria's role within the international setting was more apparent. The reactionary henchman set up to prevent the spread of European nationalism and nationalist sentiment was now the sole defender of the Vienna settlement and so aimed to suppress any forms of European nationalism especially on or within its borders as this would have meant the complete break up of the already crumbling Austrian polyglot empire.

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