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

The Road To German Unification - 1856-1871

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

The Road To German Unification - 1856-1871 EXTENDED ESSAY During the period 1856 - 1871 the unification of the German states was achieved due to a number of interconnected factors, which accumulated together, realised this aspiration. These factors included both internal and external factors; internally Prussia's growth into an economic super power within Europe, military advances and the invoking of latent nationalist sentiment by Bismarck through the use of his shrewd diplomacy and political aptitude all contributed. Externally the shifting international setting into a propitious climate twinned with the roles of France and Austria compelled the unification process. Following the ravages of the Crimean war the international setting fluctuated from being favourable and unfavourable towards the aspiration of German unification. The roles of the major powers; Britain and Russia together with France and Austria played a pivotal part in the eventual unification of Germany. The withdrawal from European affairs and disputes by arguably the two strongest superpowers Britain and Russia had previously been unseen in Europe and so left the door wide open for smaller, upcoming powers such as Prussia to become more active and more influential. While Britain were concerned with maintaining a stronghold over their imperial colonies in Africa and the Indian subcontinent and with Russia occupied in attempts to reverse the black sea clauses France emerged as the predominant European superpower. ...read more.

Middle

Bismarck through appointing two key figures in von Roon and Von moltke modernised the army a central command structure was initially introduced which enabled better and improved communications, logistics and enabled supplies and troops to be mobilised efficiently through the use of the railways. As well as this manpower was increased through the implementation of conscription the numbers went from 40000 to 63000 alongside this the service time of a soldier was increased from 1-3 years this resulted in an army which was bonded together, better organised and more professional. The organisation and efficiency of the new army was shown ion the Franco- Prussian war where France managed to mobilise only 200000 troops onto the battlefield in comparison to the 380000 of Prussia. Alongside all these factors the formation of new barracks and regiments gave a greater strength of unity and this unity was illustrated on the battlefield through the execution of new war tactics such as Von Moltke's empty battlefield strategy where his forces would divide into 3 regiments and then would surround the enemy from all sides leaving them in an uncompromising position. Together with structural advances technological advances such as the needle gun, which could be loaded and fired far more swiftly, and effectively than the previous muzzle loaded rifles allowed the Prussians to grasp victory on various occasions. ...read more.

Conclusion

Bismarck refused to apologise and France declared war making themselves look the aggressor in a war which they lost because of a better, more organised Prussian army. Succinctly through Bismarck's success all of Germany looked to him for leadership in the German unification struggle. However Bismarck could not have known how France and Austria would have reacted to his politics nevertheless through his cunning tactics and from knowing that Prussia had a modern and better organised army than its aggressors he united Germany in conservative and imperialistic manner whether he intended to or not and therefore I deem that Bismarck was an opportunist who learnt to gain the best out of circumstances rather than a master planer. In conclusion Germany was united because of a number of interconnected factors such as the growth of Prussia into an economic superpower, which in turn provided the resources needed for the Prussian army to be strengthened to the extent that it could math if not succeed that of any other European power. As well as this the fluctuating international setting which Bismarck used to great effect alongside invoking latent nationalist sentiment to bring about a viable unification struggle and eventually achieve the endeavour of German unification. ?? ?? ?? ?? 1 By Bilal Abdula 12R - 30/04/07 Mr Khalique - history ...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 was Bismarck responsible for German unification?

    We ........... Conclusion It is possible to argue that Bismarck did not make Germany: rather Germany made Bismarck. A variety of factors e.g. German nationalism, Prussian economic growth, the international situation in the 1860's and the Prussian army, were

  2. To what extent do the economic factors account for the unification of Germany between ...

    "They were better led by Moltke, than Denmark, Austria or France"9. In addition, the German war efforts were well planned. In 1870 nearly 500,000 soldiers were rapidly deployed on the Western front during the Franco-Prussian war, whilst French reservists were still arriving at barracks."10 This is emphasised by many historians,

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

    A victory both territorially and diplomatically for Bismarck, Prussia took the Elbe duchies and also the territories of Hanover, Saxony, Hesse-Kassel, Nassau and the important city of Frankfurt. By this point in 1867, Prussian hegemony was already clear in Germany, yet despite nationalist feeling peaking Bismarck did not desire unification.

  2. How Effectively Did Irish Catholic and Nationalist Leaders Advance Their Cause 1801-1921 ?

    Poor planning and uncoordinated leadership hindered the Easter Rebels, for example their planned rebellion was not wide spread and due to a lack of organisation and the failure to gain arms from Germany, it only took place in Dublin where the general public were not supportive and in many cases did not understand the rebels' actions.

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

    Parnell was able to choose by which party offered the most to Ireland, and managed to get have two Home Rule bills drawn up. Redmond was competent at forging alliances whilst keeping his main objective in sight, shown when he allied himself with the Liberal party when he was in

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

    There were a few states that were excluded by the Zollverein, and these states tried to form rival customs unions to the Zollverein, all ultimately failed and every state apart from one ceded to join the Zollverein. Austria was refused to join the Zollverein when it was created and continued

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

    British public opinion moved to the Turkish side, after the tiny fortress of Plevna held out against Russian assaults for five months. Moreover the Treaty of San Stefano lay counter to 1877 accords signed with Austria, and was also highly offensive to Britain, since it gave Bulgaria, and via Bulgaria to Russia access to the Mediterranean.

  2. The role of Bismarck in bringing about the unification of Germany has been greatly ...

    When Bismarck was made minister president in 1862, he set out three aims in his famous ?iron and blood? speech. The first was to protect the king from the liberals amidst disputes over army reforms, the second was to unify Germany, and the third was isolate Austria from the rest of the German states.

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