The most important influence of the transfomation of the disparate German states into a unified German nation was the leadership of Otto von Bismark. A product of the Prussian Junker, Bismark unified German and coalesced the country into the most powerful entity in Europe.
Bismark, as chancellor from 1853 created a parliamentary system, which consolidated power in the hands of the chancellor. In addition, Bismarck reinvigorated the German military establishment. At the same time, he implemented a complicated system of interlocking alliances amongst the states of Western Europe.
In order to centralize power in the hands of the Prime Minister, Bismarck instituted parliamentary reforms that gave substantional influence to the junker class in Prussia. Under Bismarck auspics the parliament enacted legislations which empowered the masses but in a manner which reinforced central power.
The Prussian empire was composed of twenty-five German states of different sizes and forms of government. The Federal Government was made up of the executives (the emperor, his chancellor and staff), a Federal council, also known as the Budestrat that was composed of delegations from the separate states, and a National Parliament, Reichstag, which was elected through secret ballots.
Unlike the German constitution of 1849, Bismarck’s did not have a bill of rights nor was there a declaration of fundamental liberties. Tolls and postage were collected by local authorities instead of by the federal council. This showed a system that was disclined to tolerate federal intervention in what they called local matters.
Bismarck wished before anything to increase the financial and industrial strength. “This was done through a fundamental reorganization of the Customs Union (Zollverein) so as to provide it with a bicameral legislature. This would have competence for commercial and navigational negotiaion, and the regulation of indirect takes and excises.” Another financial strength was the control of the Ruhr as it gave Prussia iron and coal. The invention, the Bessemer converter allowed lead to be fabricated in large amounts.
As for the industrial strength, first railways, were built, there was rapid expansion, by 1850 6000km, impetus to industrialisation, and military planning Germany takes the lead in more scientific processes, chemistry, dyes and fertilisers and physics, electrical dynamo and telegraph.
Bismarck was able to make the gap between the liberals and conservatives narrower by the interaction of administrative and outside measures. He was aware that other European countries did not wish to see the formation of a powerful new nation amongst them.
Bismarck knew that the 1848 revolution failed in unifying Germany because they lacked the backing of the princely governments. Bismarck succeeded because he preserved the independent position of the army. Gerneral von Roon,, his war minister believed that one of the main reasons for the collapse of the quality of the Prussian army between 1820 and 1860. Bismarck needed to strengthen the army. He was famous for his saying; "The great questions of the day will not be decided by speeches and resolutions of majorities, but by blood and iron." Bismarck knew that the diet did not allow military appropriations of the budget; therefore he had the entire budget voted down in the Prussian Upper House. Bismarck brilliantly found a way out of the constitution by stating that is did not say what would be the course of action
Military victory was ultimately the glue that created Germany. In 1864 Prussia and Austria went to war against Denmark in a dispute over the succession of the new ruler. King Fredrick VII consented to the Danish public and ignoring the London Protocol of 1852, separated Schleswit from Holstein, adding one and introducing a new constitution to the other. The diet of the German...