Building a german nation

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Otto von Bismark spoke to the Germany’s parliament and delivered his “Blood and iron” speech that set the tone for the nations unification. That Prussia was to be its head in this move.

Steps Toward Unity
The invasion of Napoleon between 1807 and 1812 created a new life within the region.

  • Napoleon annexed lands along the Rhine River for France.

  • He dissolved the Holy Roman Empire.

  • Organized a number of German States into the Rhine Confederation.

At first Napoleon was welcomed as a person that created enlightened and modern policies.

  • He encouraged the freeing of serfs

  • Made trade easier and

  • Abolished laws against Jews

However, his annexing of lands created the effect of sparking German nationalism.

The defeat of Napoleon did not end the conflict of a unified Germany.
In fact the Congress of Vienna created a German Confederation that was at best weak and controlled by a weak Austria alliance.

Prussian Leadership
In the late 1830’s, Prussia created an economic union among the German states called the Zollverein.
This new government creation was to dismantle tariff barriers between the many German states. However, Germany still remained fragmented.

Bismarck and Germany Unity
Bismarck would succeed in unifying Germany where others had failed. Bismarck’s life would start from Prussia’s Junker class (conservative landowning nobles), to be a Prussian diplomat and in 1862 a chancellor (prime minister).
Bismarck’s success was due to being a master of Realpolitik when evaluating the needs of the state.
Bismarck was not a nationalist, but more interested in the development of power within the Hohenzollerns, the ruling dynasty of Prussia.

Bismarck believed that a unified Germany would bring more power to the Hohenzollerns. Thus Otto von Bismarck’s success in creating German unity was due in part to his ability to manipulate others.

Bismarck’s first attempt to build a strong army with national funds was denied by the Liberal legislature. Yet he used money from other areas to begin the development of the German army.
Within the next 10 years Bismarck would Germany into three wars. Each war help create a stronger and more unified Germany.

Wars with Denmark and Austria
At first Bismarck established an alliance with Austria in 1864. The two were able to annex the provinces of Schleswig and Holstein from Denmark.
Then in 1866 Bismarck created an excuse to go to war against Austria and within seven weeks had defeated its one time ally.
The victory allowed Germany to control several other northern German states.
He allowed the Austrians and four other German states to remain independent as to leave no ill feelings between the nations and also to close the door to any possible future threats of revenge against Germany.
Franco-Prussian War
Napoleon III grew worried about the German’s success over the Austrians. The two nation’s long time rivalry led to the Franco-Prussian war in 1870.
The wounds of Napoleon I was still present and the memories of that time were further inflamed by Bismarck.
Bismarck also further incensed the French by rewriting and then releasing a telegram from a conversation between King William I and the French ambassador.
Bismarck moved Prussia and France toward war by editing and releasing the “Ems dispatch” The dispatch made it appear that William I had insulted the French.
As Bismarck had hoped, Napoleon III responded by declaring war on Germany. Within a few short weeks the under supplied and poorly organized French armies were smashed and an old and ill Napoleon III accepted a humiliating peace.

The German Empire
The victory over France inspired the other German leaders from the south and the northern German Confederations to persuade William I of Prussia to accept the title of Kaiser, the first of whom to lead the Second Reich.

In 1871 German Nationalists celebrated the birth of the Second Reich. The name came from the impression that it came as the heir to the Holy Roman Empire.

Bismarck then drafted a constitution that would establish a two-house legislature (Reichstag) that was far from being democratic.
The Bundesrat, upper house, was appointed by the rulers of Germany and could at any time veto any decisions of the Reichstag.


(CHAPTER – 23 / SECTION – 2)

At the conclusion of the Franco-Prussian War the Germans choose to declare their new empire at the palace of Louis XIV. The symbolism would convey to the world that French domination had ended and a new dominating power was emerging from Germany.

The German Industrial Giant
By the late 1800’s the German empire was at the forefront of industrialization within the European landscape. Their chemical, electrical and shipping industries were either the best or second only to Great Britain.
Germany’s industrial growth was in part due to:

  • Ample iron and coal resources,

  • A disciplined and well educated work force,

  • A growing population,

  • Infrastructure development (railroads)

Other means to help further their industrial growth within the 1850’s and 1860’s came when Germans founded large companies that served as a base for expansion.

Science and Government and Industry
The Germans were the first country to realize that the use of science would further their development in product development.
The support at the Universities through research was very helpful in upgrading their factory systems.

The German government also promoted economic development by reorganizing the banking system.
The German’s issued one single currency, reorganized the banking system and coordinated railroads built within the various German states.
During international economic hardship Germany used protective tariffs to ensure that their industries would not be affected by international products that attempted to sell at lower prices.

The Iron Chancellor
Otto von Bismarck was given the nickname of the “Iron Chancellor” because of his aggressive style of bringing changes to Germany.
Internationally Bismarck wanted to keep the French weak and isolated. He respected the British superior power at seas, yet sought to dominate the rest of the world on land.
Domestically he sought to erase local loyalties and to crush any opposition to the creation of the imperial state.
The two groups that he targeted were the Catholic Church and the socialists.

Campaign against the Church
As a Lutheran Bismarck distrusted the Catholic Church, which comprised about 1/3 of the population.
This distrust extended to the clergy from whom Bismarck believed their loyalties first were to the Pope and not to Germany.
Bismarck launched the Kulturkampf, or the battle for civilization.
To control the church Bismarck created laws that gave the state the right to supervise Catholic education and to approve appointments of priests.
The Kulturkampf was a failure and Bismarck was forced to make amends with the Church because the Catholic Central party gained new strength.

Campaign against the Socialists
His next fear came from the growth of the socialists. Bismarck feared that socialist ideas would undermine the loyalty of the workers and lead them toward a revolution.
Bismarck created laws that would ban any socialist groups, shut down their newspapers and banned their ability to meet.
This move also backfired and the workers supported the socialist’s attempts to improve the working conditions.

Bismarck again had to make social reforms to help woo workers from socialism. Examples of the changes were:

  • Health and accident insurance,

  • Old age insurance to provide retirement benefits,

These changes did not have the desired effect that Bismark had hoped for because by 1912 the Social Democratic Party had the most seats in the Reichstag.

Kaiser William II
In 1888, William II succeeded his grandfather as Kaiser. Confident in his ability he quickly moved to place his own ideas upon the German nation.
In 1890, William II shocked Europe by asking Bismarck to resign. William continued many of the policies and programs that Bismarck had started.

  • The education system furthered prepared the youth to be obedient to the emperor,

  • The social welfare programs so certain groups of people could maintain their service and contribution to the state,

  • The endless building of the army and navy so an overseas empire could compete with those of France and England.


(CHAPTER - 23 / SECTION – 3)

Even though Italy spoke and exhibited similar cultural experiences they, as a people, had not been politically united since the Roman Empire.
However, by the early 1800’s Italian patriots were working on the creation of a unified country.
It took a strong leader to bring Germany together; it would take a shrewd politician, Camillo Cavour, to unify Italy.

Obstacles to Italian Unity
For hundreds of years Italy had been ruled by foreigners and its people identifying with their local regions.
The Congress of Vienna had even ignored the nationalist’s pleas and was placed under the control of Austria.
Responding to Austria’s control of their country Italian Nationalists created secret patriotic societies.
These groups would attempt from 1820 to 1848 to expel the Austrian rulers from northern Italy. Each time the Austrians would send in troops to crush the rebels.

Mazzini’s Young Italy
Founding the secret society, Young Italy, he continued the attempt to create a free, independent Italy. In 1849, Nationalist leader Mazzini set up a revolutionary republic in Rome.
However, French forces helped end the reign. Like so many before him, Mazzini would spend many years outside of his homeland plotting for a free nation.

The Tide of Nationalism
The first attempts during the mid-1800’s failed to throw out the foreign rulers, but created a feeling of hope that it could happen in the future. The reunited Italy would exist because of its rich history.
(What existed in Italy’s past that would symbolize nationalism)

The Struggle for Italy
In 1848 the Risorgimento, Italian nationalist movement, spread into the kingdom of Sardinia. In 1852 Victor Emmanuel entrusted Count Camillo Cavour as his prime minister.
Like Bismarck in Prussia, Cavour used Realpolitik when evaluating the needs of the state, to help in building a country.

Intrigue with France
Due to the aid with France & Britain in the Crimean War against Russia, Sardinia was able to have a voice at the peace negotiations.
Sardinia was more importantly able to gain the attention of Napoleon III.
In 1858, the two secretly formed an alliance in which France would come to the aid of Italy in time of war with Austria. A year later Cavour was able to provoke a war with Austria.
With the help from France, Sardinia was able to defeat the Austrians and gain the territory of Lombardy.

Garibaldi’s Red Shirts
A long time ally of Mazzini, Giuseppe Garibaldi, stood ready to join up and begin the building of a united Italy.
Garibaldi, with aid from Cavour of two ships and weapons, was able to take his 1,000 troops and march quickly through Sicily and then marched north into Naples.

Unity at Last
Cavour feared the quick advancement of Garibaldi’s forces could bring a separate republic in the southern part of Italy. Cavour sent Victor Emmanuel to stop Garibaldi.
However, Emmanuel fought his way through the Papal States and linked up with the Red Shirts.

Sensing the nationalistic moment Garibaldi gave Naples and Sicily to Emmanuel and in 1861 southern Italy voted to approve recognizing Victor Emmanuel as King of Italy.
Only two regions lay outside the unified country Rome and Venetia. Two wars would bring about the unification of the country.
First Bismarck negotiated a deal to sell Venetia after the Austro-Prussian war and France was forced to withdraw from Rome after the Franco-Prussian war in 1870.

Challenges Facing the New Nation
Italy had not historically maintained a united country like some other nations. The new country was about to face some new challenges.

The greatest challenge lay between the northern and southern differences of the new nation. The north had flourished in business and culture. The south was more rural and poor in development.
Religion once more would be a factor dividing the country. The Pope was still upset about the seizure of the Papal States.
In a gesture of reconciliation the government offered the papacy the small territory of the Vatican.

However, the Pope still directed the Catholics not to cooperate with the new unified government and hostility still existed between the two powers.

Victor Emmanuel created a constitutional monarchy. The upper house (were representatives appointed by the king) could veto any of the lower houses (elected by the people) proposed laws.
The right to vote was still restricted to a small number of men.
In the late 1800’s two movements attempted to end the monarchy’s rule. Socialists would organize strikes and anarchists moved to abolish all of the government by turning to sabotage and violence.

Despite the challenges and set backs Italy was able to make strong economic progress.
Lacking any solid resources for the development of industries, Italy was still able to build an industrial base in the north.
With the development of new jobs people began to move to the cities.
Yet the population explosion tensions were relieved by the emigration of people to the United States, Canada and Latin America.


(CHAPTER - 23 / SECTION – 4)

The 400 years of rule by the Hapsburgs came to a close with the invasion of Napoleon and the continued loss of land to Germany and Italy.
How did nationalism bring strength to some and weakness to others?
(Religious and ethnic differences of people in the new countries)

A Declining Empire
What once held the vast regions of Eastern Europe was now facing the loss of territory to Bohemia, Hungary, Romania, Poland, the Ukraine and northern Italy.

Challenge of Change
Since the Congress of Vienna, Austria has been able under Francis I and Metternich’s rule to hold off the liberal forces of change.
To hold off the forces of change papers could not even print the word constitution, not discuss the demands made by the liberals.
The Hapsburgs also tried to limit industrial growth because they deemed it a threat to traditional ways.
However, industrialization could not be held off and soon the Austrian nation was engulfed with development of factories.
With the new factories also came the problems that had plagued other developed industrialized nations; poor working conditions, under paid workers and move toward socialism.

A Patchwork of People
The Hapsburg nation was made up of a multitude of ethnic groups. In fact of the 50 million who lived in the empire only 25% of them were able to speak German.
Almost 50% of the people were from Slavic groups. The multi ethnic groups often shared similar areas.
National movements broke out across the Hapsburg Empire because several ethnic national groups shared the same region.
Every attempt from these groups to establish their own nation was crushed by the Hapsburg armies.

Early Reforms
Within this powder keg of problems emerged a young 18 year-old king, Francis Joseph. His rule would last until 1916 until the last days of WWI.
Early during his reign the Austrians lost a humiliating defeat to the French and Sardinia in 1859. To off-set this set back Francis Joseph attempted to bring reforms to help strengthen the empire. His limited reforms included a new constitution.

This new legislative body was dominated by German-speaking Austrians. Thus the constitutional reforms did little to please the other ethnic groups. The move from the Hungarians was nothing less than total self-government.

The Dual Monarchy
In 1866, after a crushing defeat by the Prussians, a new pressure mounted from the Hungarians for change.
In 1867, Francis Deak helped work out a compromise that led to the Dual Monarchy of Austria-Hungry.
Under this agreement the Austrian and Hungry would be separate states. Each country would have:

  • its own constitution and parliament,

  • would share ministries of finance, defense and foreign affairs,

  • but would remain independent in all other areas

Hungarians welcomed the change, yet the Slavic people resented it.

The ensuing battle of the mixed cultures would create a stalemate within the development of the new nations.
Balkan Nationalism
The Ottoman Empire was very similar of that within the Hapsburg Empire because of the multi ethnic groups within its boarders.
Spanning from Eastern Europe to the edges of northern Africa and the Middle East the empire would soon be torn apart from the variety of people.
An illusion was born from the growing European nations in regard to their view of the Ottoman Empire. In fact the Europeans referred to the Ottoman Empire as the Sick man of Europe”.
A variety of other nations started to look at the regions within the Ottoman Empire and laid claim to and began to control vast regions.
Competing interests within the region by the Russians, French and British created a potential revolt by the people.
In fact the Ottoman region began to be regarded as the “Balkan powder keg” due in part to infighting between nationalities.

The next great explosion came in the early 1900’s.

Which was the start of?

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