German Unification

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German Unification

The French Revolution of 1789 had a huge impact on Germany because it

showed the oppressed people of the German States that they could rise

up to their monarchs and change the way their country was run. Once

Napoleon reduced the number of German States from 360 to 16, the

German people started feeling nationalistic and people were proud of

their country. So people now had a feeling of how their life’s could

be and how they wanted them to be.

Soon after Napoleons downfall the Ancien Regimes were put back and

German unification was put on hold. During this time the Romantic

Movement happened. It saw a revival in German thought and culture and

it encouraged people not to be afraid of change. It also increased the

knowledge of a victorious past with medieval tales of chivalry through

music and literature.

During the 1830s and 1840s many developments occurred in Germany.

Roads, railways and newspapers were improved. Since the literacy rate

was rising, people could communicate easier and news of nationalism


By 1850, many people were fighting for the Unification of Germany

since they had experienced life within a unified country and that’s

how they wanted to live.

Early attempts at unification

The first attempt to create a unified Germany was made my Napoleon

Bonaparte when he created the Confederation of the Rhine in which he

reduced the number of states and showed the German people how it felt

like, living in a unified country. Napoleon gave the people a

nationalistic feeling and something to be proud of. This failed

because once Napoleon was overthrown, the old monarchs were put back


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...871, in Versailles,

the King was proclaimed Kaiser William I.

It seems like Otto von Bismarck did plan ahead most of the events he

wanted to do, but most of them also had to do with luck. There was no

way of ensuring that all of his plans were going to run smoothly. To

his luck, nothing really went wrong but if it had, there could have

been major catastrophes. Then again, Bismarck had planned everything

brilliantly and to the last detail. He was quick and left no time for

intervention and he seemed to always be one step ahead of his rivals

and most of all, he always appeared to be the innocent party.

I think most of all, Otto von Bismarck knew how to take advantage of

certain situations and he did, to his benefit. He was also a very

enthusiastic man who wanted nothing more then the unification of

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