The Unification of Germany

1421 Words Jun 14th, 2005 6 Pages
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 group of people not just a …show more content…
At this point William was 70 years of age and had been an army officer since 17. When William attempted to introduce army reforms that would double army size, increase the period of service and remove the Landwehr (citizen militia). The Prussian parliament would not pass this bill as it would give the ‘Junker' class (aristocracy) more power. As William tried alternative means of obtaining his reforms, there was constitutional crisis as the liberals would not support the King's bill and he had sworn to uphold the constitution and as such refrained from using force on the liberals, and even considered abdication. Instead he appointed Otto Von Bismarck as his new Chief Minister in September of 1862. This proved to be an excellent decision on William's part as it resulted in the implication of his reforms and the Unification of the German states under his rule.
Otto Von Bismarck, the man who really set the ball rolling, and ensured it landed in the right hole, is one of the main reasons Germany was unified. He was the Prussian foreign minister and although his actual reason for wanting to unify Germany was to increase the power of Prussia, still he was the main reason for why Germany was united under the rule of the Kaiser. When Bismarck was brought into office in September 1862 he resolved the constitutional crisis in Prussia by simply ignoring Parliament. He ordered the
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