The Unification of Germany Essay

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The Unification of Germany

In 1871 the thirty-eight states of what was once the Holy Roman Empire, re-united to become what was known in the early twentieth century as simply, The German Empire, united under the rule of the German Emperor, or Kaiser. There are many factors which led to the unification of the German states; liberalism, nationalism, Otto Von Bismarck, fear of ‘another Napoleon’, the Prussian King William I, and the three wars Prussia fought.

One of the key factors which led to the Unification was nationalism. Nationalism is the idea that certain things such as race, culture, religion, language or territory set them apart from those around them, and they could identify their interests with a
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It was the main reason for the aforementioned 1848 Revolution and although it was separated from nationalism after the revolution, the aristocracy still feared any possible threat to their remaining in power. As a result any form of liberalism that began to form was quickly and decisively crushed, and the unification ensured that Liberalism did not arise again, or at least for quite a significant amount of time.

After Napoleon was crushed, following his return, there was a general fear throughout Europe that another might arise and the Napoleonic wars would be re-enacted. This was important as this fear was a key reason for the Unification. After the struggles of the Napoleonic Wars, no ruler in Europe wanted to go through that all over again. This fear was especially present in Germany where Napoleon had crushed their once proud and powerful Holy Roman Empire. This was important as it was like liberalism, another threat to the power of the absolute monarchs of Germany and as such was another reason for them to unify under the more powerful Prussia to ensure a strong German state that could crush any such ‘uprising’.

William I was an important figure as he was the Prussian King and the person Bismark intended to rule the united Germany. He was a strong absolutist monarch and despised

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