Essay about Blood and Iron - The Main Factors in the Unification of Germany

Essay about Blood and Iron - The Main Factors in the Unification of Germany

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Blood and Iron - The Main Factors in the Unification of Germany


The unification of Germany was not just a matter of the signing a
document stating that the many states had become one country. There
were problems such as varying languages, currencies, and ethnic
minorities to name a few. In the end however one country, Germany was
the states as one but how was it unified? 'Coal and iron' refers to
economic ties unifying Germany and 'blood and iron' refers to the
unification of Germany through force. The role of Bismarck in the
unification of Germany was also a key factor however, if he was to be
put in one category for having unified Germany 'coal and iron' or
'blood and iron' he would be put into the latter. There were attempted
unifications through 'coal and iron' however for various reasons to be
discussed it did not occur. Bismarck realised that economy was not
going to unify Germany so he used force to achieve this, 'my task is
to keep and eye on the currents and steer my ship in them as best I
can'

Trade was a big problem between the states and would need to be sorted
out if they were to unify. The currency of the states was the same
however its value varied between the borders. Between the states trade
was restricted due to internal tariffs and customs barriers. Trading
with other states was inconvenient and expensive. The Rhineland
manufacturers complained about the burden on home industry. There was
no duty charged on foreign imports so the Rhineland, a rich industrial
area did not trade as well with neighbouring states as the foreign
imports were cheaper and just as good. As a result, the Prussian
Customs Union was fo...


... middle of paper ...


...d from the North German Confederation.

By this evidence it can be seen that 'blood and iron' was the main
factor which unified Germany. It is hard to conclude however that it
was only military force. Without economic unity the states might never
have united behind Prussia and just seen her as a tyrant, not a
leader. The weapons for war with Austria would not have been available
and it also created a great sense of nationalism within the states,
permitting success in war. Through war Bismarck was able to unite
Germany politically under Prussia as well. War with Austria was
necessary as Bismarck needed to show that she was weak and should not
be supported, so unity under Prussia would be achieved. Solely 'coal
and iron' did not succeed in unification but with the help of Bismarck
and 'blood and iron' this was possible.

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