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Assess the importance of nationalism in the unification of Germany until 1866.

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Introduction

Assess the importance of nationalism in the unification of Germany until 1866. Nationalism was important to the unification of Germany until 1866 to some extent. Around the beginning of the 19th century, Germany was a collection of 23 million people divided into 314 states varying in size (Farmer, page 141, line 3). Nationalism was an important factor in bringing about unification in these states. However, there are other factors, such as liberalism and economic development, which will be discussed later. All these factors- nationalism, liberalism, and economic development contributed to the unification of Germany in 1871. Thi Nationalism was the reason Germany became united. Without nationalism among the common German people, both Prussia and Austria would have no force to unite them under. ...read more.

Middle

joined Burschenschaften societies which campaigned for German unification. Similarly, it is important to note that the first of these nationalist festivals, the Wartburg Festival, was a gathering of 500 students that believed in a demonstration against the princes, and a united Germany. It was this festival that led to grander, nationalistic festivals such as the one in Hambach with 25,000 people. Economic development made unification come about in Germany as well. While the economic developments did not unite Germany politically, it united them economically. The Prussian Customs Union of 1815 was one such example. Instead of 39 German states having independent economies, there was one economic union. The benefits of the member states were that there were no internal tariffs, and there was a common external tariff. ...read more.

Conclusion

(Farmer, page 148, line 33) As the evidence above shows, economic development is linked to liberalism and nationalism, and gave rise to the ideologies- thus it is also an extremely important factor in unification. To conclude, all of the reasons were important, and a result of causation. Nationalism was a result of growing liberalism, and liberalism was was a result of the rapid economic development. This is because nationalism was mainly supported by the middle class, and the middle class was composed of liberals who believed that a united Germany would support a more liberal approach to politics. As the above information states, the final explanation is that nationalism was important to German unification because it made unification a desire among the German people, but economic development and liberalism made it happen. ...read more.

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