Compare and Contrast the Unification of Germany, Italy, and the United States

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Compare and Contrast the Unification of Germany, Italy, and the United States

From the 1790s to 1814 French troops successively conquered and occupied the area that later constituted the German Empire. French domination helped to modernize and consolidate Germany and -- toward the end -- sparked the first upsurge of German nationalism. In different ways the French emperor Napoleon I helped German unification. It was important that he encouraged many of the middle-sized German states to absorb huge numbers of small independent territories, mostly bishoprics, church lands, and local principalities.
This consolidation process, called mediation, led to the dissolution of the Holy Roman Empire and brought the same French legal
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After 1850 the industrial revolution in Germany entered its decisive phase. New factories were built at a breath-taking rate, the production of textiles and iron soared, railroads grew and started to connect many distant regions, and coal production and export reached record levels every year. These advances profited from a high level of education, the result of an advanced school and university system. For a long time Prussia had the highest literacy rate and exemplary schools.
Economic progress was most powerful in Prussia and less impressive in Austria. Through the Vienna peace settlement Prussia had received areas that turned out to be enormously precious for industrialization (the Ruhr district, the Rhineland, and parts of Saxony - all with rich coal deposits). Prussia now started to dominate many of the smaller German states economically, and the smaller states -- often hesitantly -- adapted their economies to Prussia. Decisive for this inconspicuous economic unification of Germany was the foundation of a customs union (Zollverein) already in 1834, which excluded Austria and Bohemia. Railroad building followed the lines of trade after 1837. To put it in a nutshell, Germany -- roughly in the borders of the later Second Empire -- was economically and, to a lesser degree, culturally united before
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