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

"To what extent was the political unification of Germany due to a) the growth of the Zollverein, b) Bismarck's diplomacy and wars?"

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

IB History - Bismarck and the Unification of Germany "To what extent was the political unification of Germany due to a) the growth of the Zollverein, b) Bismarck's diplomacy and wars?" Unification was a fervent desire amongst the Germans, and with or without the Zollverein, Germany was predisposed to unification. However, once the Zollverein came into being, it played an immensely important role - Whilst the political unification of Germany was being secured by military force of the unshakable Prussian army, the basis of the unification had been laid down years before 1871. This basis was neither military or political, but economic. Bismarck provided the role as the facilitator and the Zollverein was a catalyst towards unification; it showed the people the benefits, thus paved the path for unification and stirred the German national feelings and common cultural threads. The Prussian new enlarged Custom's Union, the Zollverein, was the beginning of unity despite the fact that it was an economic move, and not a political one. Although the Zollverein merely started out for economic reasons, political unification of Germany would eventually be brought about by Prussia. ...read more.

Middle

What he wanted was different to what the liberals wanted from the 1848 revolution; "a free union under a Prussian king stripped of his autocratic powers."[2][2] In reality, Bismarck's actions then, determined the future of his cherished Prussia. As Minister-President, and with the destiny of Prussia in his hands, he believed that he was carrying out God's will by expanding Prussia. In reality, Bismarck was the facilitator of the unification. The German's wanted a united Germany, which was not achieved by peaceful means in 1848 by the liberals. Bismarck didn't believe in "speeches and majority decisions" to answer the "great questions of the day", but "blood and iron" to do so.[3][3] This phrase he stated to the Parliament was unquestionably prophetic. It was by this phrase "blood and iron" that events mirrored in the following years. He was determined to make Prussia stronger politically, economically and militarily than any possible enemy. This strength acquired by The Zollverein, reorganising the Prussian army, driving liberals from their official position, and collecting taxes to fund the army forms would achieve Bismarck's dream of a united Germany under Prussian control. ...read more.

Conclusion

This Franco-Prussian War is a clear example of Bismarck's diplomatic brilliance; He had prepared well for this war, securing the "requisite political conditions"[5][5]. With Russia bribed not to interfere, Italy an ally, Britain - isolated, and Austria having just made peace with Germany, France was isolated from any help. This allowed Bismarck to send his troops in to defeat France and further secure the unification of Germany. Political Unification was destined to occur in Germany with or without the Zollverein, but the question was when and how?. The introduction of the Zollverein laid down a base and provided a path towards unification and it brought the German people and their cultural threads together. It was immensely important in economic development, and secured a Prussian dominance economically over Austria. Bismarck's diplomacy also played a significant role towards unification. His determination and character were assets in accomplishing his goals. If his true Junker sense of service towards the Prussian state was not present, Prussia would not have been as strong militarily nor economically. And without his determination to challenge Austria for military supremacy in Germany he would not have seen his giant step toward German unity. In many ways Bismarck's role as facilitator assured the eventual triumph. ...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?

    PAGE 28 3. Whatever view is taken about the 'inevitability' of German unification, it is clear that Bismarck's actions had a definite influence on its nature, but what actions did Bismarck take in order to contend for responsibility for German unification?

  2. To what extent was the contribution of Bismarck to German unification the most important ...

    Bismarck had made Prussia a powerful nation giving the country patriotism which would soon unite them. As soon as the Franco-Prussian war was declared it seemed as if Germany was about to be united. The final proclamation of the German Empire was announced on the 18 January 1871 in the hall of mirrors near Versailles.

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

    These historical statistics show the Austria had fallen behind Prussia in terms of wealth and Austria's military output was decreasing whilst Prussia's was increasing. The decline of Austria is driven by the empires failure in economics throughout the 19th century and to some extent Austria's failure in economics drives the

  2. Assess the success of Bismarck's foreign policy with reference to: a) Keeping France isolated ...

    This development caused outrage in Europe, as none of the countries were happy with the new situation apart from Russia. So Bismarck decided that he should take charge and change the situation to please every country in Europe a bit.

  1. "To What Extent Can Bismarck Claim The Credit For German Unification".

    Bismarck used propaganda to rouse German nationalists against France. The German armies were quickly and efficiently organised, unlike the French. Within eighteen days of the mobilisation order, the German's were able to get 350,000 to the battlefront, whereas the French could only muster 200,000.

  2. To what extent should Bismarck receive credit for the unification of Germany?

    Lastly Bismarck succeeded in bribing France with hints of compensation at the end of the war in exchange for France's neutrality. These alliances in effect isolated Austria, and ensured that if war between Austria and Prussia were to break out, Prussia would be fighting Austria and Austria alone.

  1. The attitude of the Austrian and Prussia government towards the Unification of Germany

    For hundreds of years the Habsburgs had many duchies, archduchies and kingdoms in their family, the Habsburg were meant to rule in the eyes of the German Princes, including Fredrick William IV. Every successor of the Habsburg Empire believed he was the King of Kings, you can see this through

  2. Hitlers Germany

    II The link between the different sides of Hitler's character was his extraordinary capacity for self-dramatization. 'This so-called Wahnsystem, or capacity for self-delusion,' Sir Nevile Henderson, the British Ambassador, wrote, 'was a regular part of his technique. It helped him both to work up his own passion and to make

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