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

1713 Words 7 Pages
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
…show more content…
Many of the smaller surrounding states saw the successes of the customs union and so decided to join themselves. From then on many large states joined. The customs union became known as the Zollverein.

The Zollverein was a great success and was a large step to the unification of Germany. The systems of weights and measures was homogenised within the states of the Zollverein. The major differences between the states were now becoming not so apparent. Due to the abolition of customs barriers and the currency no longer varying from each state trade increased between the countries. This did not occur however without the help of the railways. Lines were extended throughout the states of the Zollverein. Because of this, delegates were able to travel quickly and efficiently to other states to agree trade treaties. Communication between the states increased greatly and now not only were economic barriers broken down but also physical ones. Communication to enable unity increased greatly through the railways. One economist described the railway network as 'the firm girdle around the loins of Germany binding her limbs together into a forceful and powerful body'.

The Zollverein also aided in the unification of Germany as it increased feelings of 'one country' in other words, nationalism. The railways helped with the spread of German press. Now
Open Document