German Unification

Topics: Prussia, Otto von Bismarck, German Empire, Kingdom of Prussia / Pages: 14 (3254 words) / Published: Feb 23rd, 2013
The Beginning:
¥ Attempts to unify Germany actually started during the revolutions that swept through Europe in the spring of 1848
¥ Germans lent their voices to the cry of national unity and equality.

¥ Germany in 1848 was not a unified state.
¥ It was a confederation of States made up of 39 individual German countries all under the rule of the hatred Austria
¥ Therefore German people were scattered all over Europe with no sense of identity, culture or feelings of national pride.

The Inspiration:
¥ When revolutions broke out in France in Feb. 1848, Germans living in German states throughout Europe took this as a cue to make their voices heard as well.

The Berlin Revolts:
¥ German liberals and peasants started to push for their claims with revolutionary violence in March. Barricades went up in Berlin and many other capitals of German kingdoms and duchies.
¥ Why were they revolting:
1. Liberal reforms such as freedom of the press, right to elect their own parliament. This was a pressing need particularly among the wealthy bourgeoisie and educated classes of students and university professors.
2. Unemployment- particularly among the peasant class who were feeling the effects of bad harvest.
3. A decline in the standard of living of working class Germans caused by industrialism. long working hours, low wages, poor diets, poor health conditions were characteristics of an industrial worker at this time.
4. Most importantly: The desire to rid themselves of Austrian rule and unite all german people throughout Europe.

How Did Austria respond to these remands?
¥ The Austrian princes and Kings throughout Europe led by Fredrick William IV of Prussia, frightened and poorly prepared for revolution, granted the right to form German parliaments and appointed liberal reforms all over Germany. Prussia was the largest German states of the 39 states.

Setting of the Frankfurt Parliament:
¥ Having been given the right to establish their own

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