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Social Science: Events and Processes - Rise of Nationalism in Europe - Characteristics of the Movements in Poland, Hungary,Italy, Germany and Greece

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Describe the process of unification of Germany.

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Solution

Unification of Germany (1866–1871) can be understood with the following points:

  • In 1848, middle class Germans tried to unite the different regions of the German confederation into a nation state under an elected parliament.
  • In Prussia, nation building acts were repressed by the combined forces of the monarchy and the military was supported by the Junkers, that is, the landowners. 
  • Prussia took over the leadership of the movement for national unification.
  • Otto Von Bismark, the chief minister of Prussia, was the architect of the leading role of Prussia in the process of nation building. 
  • Prussia emerged victorious after fighting three wars over seven years against the combined forces of Austria, Denmark and France and the process of unification of Germany was completed.
  • On 18 January 1871, the new German empire headed by the German Emperor Kaiser William I was established. 
  • The unification of Germany established Prussian dominance in Europe.
  • The new German empire focused on modernising the currency, banking, legal and judicial systems.
Concept: Rise of Nationalism in Europe - Characteristics of the Movements in Poland, Hungary,Italy, Germany and Greece
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