Why Was Germany Unified Under Prussia and Not Austria? Essay

Decent Essays
Why was Germany unified under Prussia and not Austria?

I. Introduction
A. Prussia was the foremost country in the unification of Germany
B. Although it may have not been the intent of Prussia to unify Germany, it is certain that Prussia had the greatest amount of influence in German politics
C. Austria was not in a political, economic, or social state to take on such significant role
D. Prussia’s advantages:
a. Almost exclusive German population
b. Leadership more acceptable to German liberals
c. Economic strength, including Zollverein
d. Otto von Bismarck and diplomacy
e. Military, as seen later
E. Simply put, Prussia was in a much better position than Austria

II. Economic strength
A. In 1818, Prussia took the lead by
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Made an agreement with Napoleon III for France’s neutrality in exchange for France’s acquisition of territory in Rhineland or Belgium
C. Allied with Italy on April 8, 1866– support only if war broke out in three months
D. Used pretext that Austria had violated Gastein by sending troops into Holstein to start war
E. Prussia’s army was superior to that of Austria in training and equipment, including breech-loading needle gun, military railroads, and army general staff:
a. Highly trained experts who planned war away from frontline with steady stream of information
b. General Helmuth von Moltke used strategies and new technologies such as telegraph to defeat Austria
F. In just over two weeks, Prussia secured complete victory over Austria
G. August 23, 1866– Peace of Prague:
a. Austria deprived of all influence among German states
b. North German Confederation created under Prussian leadership
c. End of Austrian hopes for Germany
b. One of Bismarck’s highest priorities was building up the Prussian military.
c. Bismarck also sought to isolate Austria diplomatically.
i. This required Prussia to secure good relations with Russia. ii. Bismarck also needed to keep Austria out of the Zollverein.
1. Bismarck, more than anyone, through the Zollverein, kept Austria out by keeping tariffs low.
2. A key strategy Bismarck used was to isolate Austria thereby allowing the Hohenzollern Prussians to establish domination
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