Why Was Germany Unified Under Prussia and Not Austria? Essay

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Pages: 6

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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e. The Austro-Prussian War of 1866:
i. In 1866, Bismarck maneuvered the Habsburgs into war with Prussia. ii. In less than six weeks, Austria is broken and beaten by the Prussian army. iii. Austria's rapid defeat drove the Habsburgs out of Germany. iv. This Austrian defeat led to Bismarck's creation of the North German Confederation in 1867.
v. However, the victory did not lead to an upsurge of German nationalism or to calls by the southern German states for unity with Prussia, as Bismarck had hoped.
1. Why did Bismarck want German unification?
a. To place the Hohenzollerns in charge. vi. But, German liberals, were happy with the way things look:
1. North German Confederation has:
a. Universal male suffrage;
b. low tariffs;
c. and potential for unification with southern German states. vii. But, since the southern German states were unenthusiastic about national unification, Bismarck helped create an issue by which to push them toward unification with Prussia as leader.
1. The “Ems Dispatch” is a beautiful example of Bismarck’s Realpolitik in action.
2. He engineered this issue by using his influence to have the Spanish crown offered to a member of a Catholic branch of the Hohenzollern family.
a. Remember, Realpolitik: achieving your political and diplomatic aims by any means necessary.
b. This development created French opposition and brought France into