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

"Popular Nationalist Sentiment; Military Superiority; Economic Power; The Genius of Bismark." Which of these Factors Seems to you to be the Most Important in the Eventual Unification of Germany Between 1863 and 1871?

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

"Popular Nationalist Sentiment; Military Superiority; Economic Power; The Genius of Bismark." Which of these Factors Seems to you to be the Most Important in the Eventual Unification of Germany Between 1863 and 1871? On the 18th January 1871, Wilhelm 1 was proclaimed Emperor of a united Germany. The unification of Germany was, like all historical events, multi- causal, the most influential reasons being the Bismark's cynical and unscrupulous diplomacy, military superiority of Prussia and economic power, and lastly, popular nationalist sentiment. Bismark seems to be the most important factor of these. He was a successful diplomat with strong anti liberal views. Even though parliament refused to approve taxes for enlarging the Prussian army, Bismark simply carried on collecting them, showing his willingness to go to extreme measures to achieve his aims. Between 1864 and 1871 Bismark engaged in three wars which brought about the unification of Germany. Firstly, the Danish war of 1864. This successful war for Bismark meant that he presented himself as the champion of German interests. By the convention of Gastein in 1865, Prussia took Schleswig and Austria took Holstein. This gave Bismark the chance to pick a quarrel with Austria whenever he saw the need. ...read more.

Middle

Military superiority in Prussia also aided the unification process. The declaration of a German Reich followed the victories of the Prussian army over Austria and France. Within a month the French armies were decisively defeated, the Prussian capturing over 160 000 French soldiers. The Prussian army was able to mobilise at speed compared to France. The Austrian was lasted only seven weeks as Austria had to fight on two fronts and Prussia's planning and weaponry were far superior to that of Austria. Chief of Staff, Von Moltke was a good organiser and planner of the army. He was able to increase their size, improve tactical mobility and also the provision of supplies. Without this strength of backing the unification of Germany would not have been possible. The Prussian army also had good quality weaponry, shown in the introduction of the 'breech-loading Dreyse gun.' Also, in 1866 Prussian soldiers had three times the rate of fire in comparison to Austrians. There was also major training carried out to improve the use of this new technology. Economic factors such as the Zollverein inspired a desire for greater national unity, which excluded Austria, setting the scene for eventual Prussian takeover. ...read more.

Conclusion

However, this feeling was not strong throughout Germany as people could see that the German nation would be dominated by Prussia, so were not so favourable towards unification. In conclusion, although Bismark does seem the most important and influential factor in the unification of Germany, other factors were of great importance in aiding him to carry this out. He relied upon the Prussian military power, as only military strength could overcome Austria's hostility, who wanted a divided Germany. Similarly, it was likely that France would eventually try to prevent the emergence of a greater power to its east. Therefore, the roles of Roon, Moltke and the minister of war in building up the Prussian army, were crucial to Bismark's success. The economic development of Prussia also underlay its military power. Prussia was already the most industrialised state in Germany before Bismark came to power, and the zollverein allowed it to gain economic supremacy over other German states. However, there was little popular demand for unification amongst the German nation as a whole and the majority of Germans were uninspired. However, the leaders of Prussia decided it was time for unification and they had the power to achieve this. Laura Westwood 1 ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE International relations 1900-1939 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 GCSE International relations 1900-1939 essays

  1. How and why did Piedmont-Sardinia play an important part in Italian Unification

    This also improved Piedmont's position with the French. Piedmont earned a place in the Paris peace Conference where Cavour made sure that the problems existing in Italy were addressed and he urged liberal reforms to be implemented to prevent revolts that were likely to occur otherwise. At a secret meeting that followed after this, between Napoleon III and

  2. Describe the Different Stages to Italian unification between 1856 - 1871.

    their two countries were not as blissful as he could have desired. A few days later the Franco-Sardinian alliance was signed- 'Secret Treaty, and which Must Always Remain Secret, between Their Majesties the King of Sardinia and the Emperor of the French' (Turin, 24 January 1859).

  1. Why has Prussia replaced Austria as the leading Germanic power by 1870?

    However, this lack of materials meant that industrialisation was non-existent for the most part of the 19TH century. This meant that no railways were built, which disadvantaged the army hugely, as it took a whole 45 days to mobilise because there was no quick way of travelling.

  2. Unification Movements - Italian unification

    (This helped the economy and military strength.) * 3. Strengthened the military power (because wars were inevitable) * Afterwards Bismarck tried to use diplomatic means and wars (iron and blood) to succeed unification. * The Danish War (1864) * Schleswig and Holstein were administered by Denmark. * Denmark tried to annex these two places but Prussia opposed because Holstein had lots of Germans.

  1. ITALIAN UNIFICATION

    in 1827 and soon became secretary of the group in Genoa. He got distressed with their vagueness of their aims and ambitions and in November 1830 was betrayed by one of his friends. He was sent to prison for three months where he thought out political ideas and decided that

  2. What contribution did the Zollverein make to the unification of Germany?

    Even in 1830, Prussia's finance minister indicated to Frederick William III that such a union could isolate Austria from German affairs. Hence, in spite of Austria's preeminence in the Bund, Germany's principal political focal point, there was a separate entity around which Kleindeutschland enthusiasts could gather.

  1. Italian Unification

    "(The plan for) Piedmont was to expand over northern Italy once Austria had been defeated, but the Pope and the King of Naples were to be left alone, and no stipulations were made about the form of government to be adopted in the proposed Kingdom of Central Italy"2.

  2. To what extent was the unification of Prussia due to weaknesses of Austria?

    influence on Germany as she had her own numerous issues to solve in the spring and summer of 1848. The trend of her not being able to fully commit herself to German affairs and to rise up to her Dual Power title that she shared with Prussia was continued during

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