Political and Economic Factors behind German Unification

Authors Avatar

        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. Likewise, due to Bismarck’s taxation used to reorganize the military, regardless of Parliament’s opposition, this enabled Prussia to hold a strong military force, competent to defeat future rival European powers. Economic prosperity allowed the Prussian military to be able to afford technological advances machines, such as the breech-loading needle gun and superior network of railroads. These economic factors that sparked Prussia’s financial prosperity and military strength led all other German states, except Austria, to join Prussia’s customs union and look up to Prussia as the key to bringing about German unification.

Join now!

        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 ...

This is a preview of the whole essay