The unification of Germany and Otto von Bismarck

Page history last edited by PBworks 16 years, 7 months ago

Week 23: Emergence of Industrial Society IDs


Leaders of many different nations began making changes to avoid revolutions in their own country's after the failed revolutions of 1848.

One of these leaders was the conservative, Otto Van Bismark, the prime minister of Prussia.  Among the most important of the reforms he made to prevent revolution was his work with parliament to extend voting rights to all people, although they were grouped by categories of wealth, extension of rights to jews, extended rights for the press, and the promotion of mass education.


Bismark began a series of war that extended Prussian rule into Germany in the 1860's, following the success of the Italian ruler Camillo de Cavour who did the same.  Bismark used nationalism to fuel the people's support for these wars and battles.


In 1863 Bismark justified the Prussian and Austrian defeat of Denmark with the Danish incorporation of Schleswig and Holstein, two heavily German provinces.  He then made pretext for the declaration of war against Austria, and led Germany to become the greatest German power by 1866.  A final war in France led to complete German unity in 1871. 


The new German empire had a national parliament with a lower house based on male suffrage and a higher house based on conservative state governments.  This compromise for the structure of the government won over not only most liberals, but many conservatives as well.


Otto Von Bismark

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