German unification

German unification

• Zollverein (details of membership, transport etc from nationalism essay)
• Acquired Rhineland from Austria in 1814/15: provided Prussia with most profitable piece of land filled with supplies of iron deposits.
• Make point clear that economic strength was needed to fund technology, transport, military etc.

N.B. Economy, military and Bismarck are essentially inter-linked. All played a part in each factor leading to unification.
• German – especially Prussian – industrial strength is regarded as crucial to German unification.
• Zollverein provided Prussia with technical & military superiority over its enemies in the wars of 1864-1871
• Economic strength allowed Prussia to dominate the Zollverein – an essential preliminary to its subsequent domination of Germany.
• Isolated Austria and got southern states to join north confederation. OTHER FACTORS:
• Highlight the importance of other factors.
• E.G. Economy being used correctly etc. So, Bismarck’s guidance – forcing Landtag to increase taxes. Had this never happened, then would the economy have continued to thrive in the way that it did?
• Importance also of urbanisation – cities required people to man factories to increase industrialisation

No historian disputes the importance of the economy. They all recognise it as crucial to Prussia’s development.
William Carr: The Zollverein was the “mighty lever of unification”.
JM Keynes “unification was gained only through coal and iron”

• Bismarck’s ultimate aim: to increase power and strength of Prussia by whatever means possible!
• Bismarck was a junker, conservative, anti-nationalist. According to Aronson “Contrary to what he was to claim later in life, the unification of Germany was never one of his original ambitions.”
• Bismarck had great influence on Prussian King (as Chancellor from 1862) – seen with the dispute with Landtag army dispute....

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