unification of Germany into a politically and
administratively integrated nation
state officially occurred on 18 January 1871 at the
Palace's Hall of Mirrors in France. Princes of the German states gathered
there to proclaim Wilhelm
of Prussia as Emperor Wilhelm of the
Empire after the French capitulation in the Franco-Prussian War.
- This article deals with the unification of 1871.
the unification of West and East Germany in 1990, see German
Unofficially, the transition of the German-speaking states into a
federated organization of states occurred over nearly a century of
experimentation. Unification exposed several glaring religious,
linguistic, and cultural differences between and among the
inhabitants of the new nation, suggesting that 1871 represents
one moment in a continuum of unification processes.
The Holy Roman Empire of the German
had effectively dissolved when Emperor Francis II
(6 August 1806) during the Napoleonic Wars
. Despite the
legal, administrative, and political disruption associated with the
end of the Empire, the people of the German-speaking areas of the
old Empire had a common linguistic, cultural and legal tradition
further enhanced by their shared experience in the French Revolutionary
and Napoleonic Wars
offered an intellectual basis for unification by
models of social
and political organization; its German manifestation emphasized the
importance of tradition, education, and linguistic unity of peoples
in a geographic region. Economically, the creation of the Prussian Zollverein (customs union) in 1818, and its
subsequent expansion to include other states of the German
Confederation, reduced competition between and within
Emerging modes of transportation facilitated
business and recreational travel, leading to contact and sometimes
conflict between and among German-speakers from throughout Central
spheres of influence model
created by the Congress of Vienna
in 1814–15 after the Napoleonic Wars
supposedly established Austrian dominance in
However, the negotiators at Vienna took no
account of Prussia's growing strength within and among the German
states, failing to recognize that Prussia would challenge Austria
for leadership within the German
states. This German dualism presented two solutions to the problem
of unification: Kleindeutsche Lösung,
small Germany solution (Germany without Austria), or Großdeutsche Lösung,
Germany solution (Germany with Austria).
debate whether or not Otto von
Bismarck, the Minister
President of Prussia, had a master-plan to expand the North German
Confederation of 1866 to include the remaining independent
German states into a single entity, or whether he simply sought to
expand the power of
the Kingdom of Prussia.
that factors in addition to the strength of Bismarck's Realpolitik
led a collection of early
modern polities to reorganize political, economic, military and
diplomatic relationships in the nineteenth century. Reaction to
and French nationalism
provided foci for expressions of
German unity. Military successes in three regional wars generated
enthusiasm and pride that politicians could harness to promote
unification. This experience echoed the memory of mutual
accomplishment in the Napoleonic Wars, particularly the War of
Liberation of 1813–14. By creating a Germany without Austria, the
political and administrative unification in 1871 at least
temporarily solved the problem of dualism.
German-speaking Central Europe in the early nineteenth
In the early 1800s, German-speaking lands included more than
300 political entities within the Holy Roman Empire
. They ranged in size
from the small and complex territories of the princely Hohenlohe family branches to the sizable, well
defined territories as the Kingdom of
Bavaria and the Kingdom of Prussia. Their governance varied: they included
free imperial cities, also of
different sizes, such as the powerful Augsburg and the minuscule Weil der Stadt; ecclesiastical territories, also of varying sizes
and influence, such as the wealthy Abbey of Reichenau and the powerful Archbishopric of Cologne; and
dynastic states such as Württemberg.
formed the Holy Roman Empire, and at times included more than
. Since the fifteenth century, with few
exceptions, the Empire's Prince-electors
had chosen successive heads
of the House of Habsburg
the title of Holy Roman Emperor
Among the German-speaking states, the Holy Roman Empire
administrative and legal mechanisms provided a venue to resolve
disputes between peasants and landlords, and between and within
separate jurisdictions. Through the organization of imperial circles
groups of states consolidated resources and promoted regional and
organizational interests, including economic cooperation and
The War of the Second
(1799–1802) resulted in the defeat of the imperial
and allied forces by Napoleon
; the treaties of Luneville
(1801) and Amiens
(1802) and the Mediatization of 1803
portions of the Holy Roman Empire to the dynastic states;
secularized ecclesiastical territories and most of the imperial
cities disappeared from the political and legal landscape and the
populations living in these territories acquired new allegiances to
dukes and kings. This transfer particularly enhanced the
territories of Württemberg and Baden.
In 1806, after a successful invasion of
Prussia and the defeat of Prussia and Russia at the joint battles
dictated the Treaty of Pressburg
in which the Emperor dissolved the Holy Roman Empire.
Rise of German nationalism under the Napoleonic System
Coat of arms of the German Confederation, also called Deutscher
Under the French Empire
(1804–1814), popular German nationalism thrived in the reorganized
German states. Due in part to the shared experience (albeit under
), various justifications
emerged to identify "Germany" as a single state. For the German
The first, original, and truly natural boundaries of
states are beyond doubt their internal boundaries. Those who speak
the same language are joined to each other by a multitude of
invisible bonds by nature herself, long before any human art
begins; they understand each other and have the power of continuing
to make themselves understood more and more clearly; they belong
together and are by nature one and an inseparable
A common language may serve as the basis of a nation, but, as
contemporary historians of nineteenth century Germany have noted,
it took more than linguistic similarity to unify several hundred
polities. The experience of German-speaking Central Europe during
the years of French hegemony contributed to a sense of common cause
to remove the French invaders and reassert control over their own
lands. The exigencies of Napoleon's campaigns in Poland
(1806–07), the Iberian Peninsula
western Germany, and his disastrous invasion of Russia
1812 disillusioned many Germans, princes and peasants alike.
Napoleon's Continental System
to the near ruin of the Central European economy. The invasion of
Russia included nearly 125,000 troops from German lands, and
the loss of that army encouraged many Germans, both high- and
low-born, to envision a Central Europe free of Napoleon's
influence. The creation of such student militias as the Lützow Free Corps
The débâcle in Russia loosened the French grip on the German
princes. In 1813, Napoleon mounted a campaign in the
German states to bring them back into the French orbit; the
subsequent War of
Liberation culminated in the great battle of Leipzig, also known as the Battle of Nations.
Over 500,000 combatants engaged in
ferocious fighting over three days, making it the largest European
land-battle of the nineteenth century. The engagement resulted in a
decisive victory for the Coalition
of Austria, Russia, Prussia, Sweden and Saxony, and it ended French
power east of the Rhine. Success encouraged the Coalition forces to
pursue Napoleon across the Rhine; his army and his government
collapsed, and the victorious Coalition incarcerated Napoleon on
Elba. During the brief Napoleonic restoration
known as the 100 Days of 1815,
forces of the Seventh Coalition,
including an Anglo-Allied army under the command of the Duke of Wellington
and a Prussian army under the command of
Blücher were victorious at Waterloo (18 June 1815).
The critical role
played by Blücher's troops, especially after having to retreat from
the field at Ligny
the day before,
helped to turn the tide of combat against the French. The Prussian
cavalry pursued the defeated French in the evening of 18 June,
sealing the allied victory. From the German perspective, the
actions of Blücher's troops at Waterloo, and the combined efforts
at Leipzig, offered a rallying point of pride and enthusiasm. This
interpretation became a key building block of the Borussian myth
expounded by the pro-Prussian
nationalist historians later in the nineteenth century.
Reorganization of Central Europe and the rise of German
After Napoleon's defeat, the Congress
established a new European political-diplomatic
system based on the balance of
. This system reorganized Europe into spheres of influence
which, in some
cases, suppressed the aspirations of the various nationalities,
including the Germans and Italians. Generally, an enlarged Prussia and the
38 other states consolidated from the mediatized territories
of 1803 were confederated within the Austrian
Empire's sphere of influence. The Congress
established a loose German Confederation (1815–1866), headed by Austria, with a "Federal
Diet" (called the Bundestag
an assembly of appointed leaders) which met in the city of Frankfurt am
In recognition of the imperial position
traditionally held by the Habsburgs, the kings of Austria became
the titular presidents of this parliament.
Problems of reorganization
Despite the nomenclature of Diet
(Assembly or Parliament),
this institution should in no way be construed as a broadly, or
popularly, elected group of representatives. Many of the states
did not have constitutions, and those that did, such as the
Baden, based suffrage on strict
property requirements which effectively limited suffrage to a small
portion of the male population.
impractical solution did not reflect the new status of Prussia in
the overall scheme. Although the Prussian army had been
dramatically defeated in the 1806 battle of Jena-Auerstedt
, it had
made a spectacular come-back at Waterloo. Consequently, Prussian
leaders expected to play a pivotal role in German politics.
Boundaries of the German Confederation.
Prussia is blue, Austria yellow, and the rest grey.
The surge of German nationalism
stimulated by the experience of Germans in the Napoleonic period
and initially allied with liberalism
shifted political, social and cultural relationships within the
German states. In this context, one can detect its roots in the
experience of Germans in the Napoleonic period. The Burschenschaft student organizations and
popular demonstrations such as those held at Wartburg Castle in October 1817 contributed to a
growing sense of unity among German speakers of Central
Furthermore, implicit and sometimes explicit
promises made during the War of
engendered an expectation of popular sovereignty
and wide spread
participation in the political process, promises which largely went
unfulfilled once peace had been achieved. Agitation by student
organizations led such conservative leaders as Klemens Wenzel, Prince von
, to fear the rise of national sentiment; the
assassination of German dramatist August von Kotzebue
1819 by a radical student seeking unification was followed on
20 September 1819 by the proclamation of the Carlsbad Decrees
, which hampered
intellectual leadership of the nationalist movement. Metternich was
able to harness conservative outrage at the assassination to
consolidate legislation that would further limit the press and
constrain the rising liberal and nationalist movements.
Consequently, these decrees drove the Burschenschaften
underground, restricted the publication of nationalist materials,
expanded censorship of the press and private correspondence, and
limited academic speech by prohibiting university professors from
encouraging nationalist discussion. The decrees were the subject of
Johann Joseph von
pamphlet Teutschland [archaic: Deutschland] und die
(Germany and the Revolution
) (1820), in
which he concluded that it was both impossible and undesirable to
repress the free utterance of public opinion by reactionary
Economic collaboration: the customs union
Another institution key to unifying the German states, the
, helped to create a
larger sense of economic connectedness. Initially conceived by the
Prussian Finance Minister Hans, Count von Bülow
, as a
Prussian customs union
in 1818, the
linked the many Prussian and Hohenzollern
territories. Over the ensuing
thirty years (and more) other German states joined. The Union
helped to reduce protectionist barriers between the German states,
especially improving the transport of raw materials and finished
goods, making it both easier to move goods across territorial
borders, and less costly to buy, transport and sell raw materials.
particularly important for the emerging industrial centers, most of
which were located in the Rhineland, the
Saar, and the
Roads and railroads
In the early nineteenth century, German roads had deteriorated to
an appalling extent. Travelers, both foreign and local, complained
bitterly about the state of the Heerstraßen
, the military
roads previously maintained for the ease of moving troops. As
German states ceased to be a military crossroads, however, the
roads improved; the length of hard–surfaced roads in Prussia
increased from in 1816 to in 1852, helped in part by the invention
of asphalt, then called macadam. By 1835, Heinrich von Gagern
wrote that roads
were the "veins and arteries of the body politic ..." and
predicted that they would promote freedom, independence and
prosperity. As people moved around, they came into
contact with others, on trains, at hotels, in restaurants, and, for
some, at fashionable resorts such as the spa in Baden-Baden.
Water transportation also improved. The
blockades on the Rhine had been removed by Napoleon's orders, but
by the 1820s, steam engines freed riverboats from the cumbersome
system of men and animals that towed them upstream. By 1846,
180 steamers plied German rivers and Lake Constance and a network of canals extended from the Danube, the Weser and the
As important as these improvements were, they could not compete
with the impact of the railroads. German economist Friedrich List
called the railroads and the
Customs Union "Siamese Twins", emphasizing their important
relationship to one another. He was not alone: the poet August Heinrich
Hoffmann von Fallersleben
wrote a poem in which he extolled the
virtues of the Zollverein,
which he began with a list of
commodities that had contributed more to German unity than politics
or diplomacy. Historians of the Second Empire later regarded the railways as the first indicator
of a unified state; the patriotic novelist, Wilhelm Raabe, wrote: "The German empire was
founded with the construction of the first railway ..."
Not everyone greeted the iron monster
Prussian king Frederick William
III saw no advantage in traveling from Berlin to Potsdam a few hours faster and Metternich refused to ride
in one at all.
Others wondered if the railways were an
"evil" that threatened the landscape: Nikolaus Lenau's
1838 poem An den
) bemoaned the way trains
destroyed the pristine quietude of German forests.
Bavarian Ludwig Railway,
which was the first passenger or freight rail line in the German
lands, connected Nuremberg and Fürth in 1835; it
was long, and operated only in daylight, but it proved both
profitable and popular.
Within three years, of track had
been laid; by 1840, and by 1860, . Lacking a geographically central
organizing feature (such as a national capital
), the rails
were laid in webs, linking towns and markets within regions,
regions within larger regions, and so on. As the rail network
expanded, it became cheaper to transport goods: in 1840,
per ton per
kilometer and in 1870, five Pfennigs
. The effects of the
railway were immediate. For example, raw materials could travel up
and down the Ruhr
Valley, without having to
unload and reload. Railway lines encouraged economic activity by
creating demand for commodities and by facilitating commerce. In
1850, inland shipping carried three times more freight than
railroads; by 1870, the situation was reversed, and railroads
carried four times more. Railroads also changed how cities looked,
how people traveled, and their impact reached throughout the social
order: from the highest born to the lowest, the rails influenced
everyone. Although some of the far-flung provinces were not
connected to the rail system until the 1890s, by mid-century,
certainly by 1865, the majority of population, manufacturing and
production centers had been linked by rail.
This drawing offered a satirical commentary on the prevalence
of toll barriers in the many German states, circa 1834.
Some states were so small that transporters loaded and
reloaded their cargoes two and three times a day.
Geography, patriotism and language
As travel became easier, faster, and less expensive, Germans
started to see unity in factors other
than their language.
The Brothers Grimm
, who compiled a
massive dictionary known as The Grimm
, also assembled a
compendium of folk tales and fables, that highlighted the
story-telling parallels between different regions. Karl Baedeker
wrote guidebooks to different
cities and regions of Central Europe, indicating places to stay,
sites to visit, and giving a short history of castles,
battlefields, famous buildings, and famous people. His guides also
included distances, roads to avoid, and hiking paths to
The words of August Heinrich
Hoffmann von Fallersleben
expressed not only the linguistic
unity of the German people, but their geographic unity as well. In
Deutschland Deutschland über Alles,
Das Lied der
(The Song of the Germans
called upon sovereigns throughout the German states to recognize
the unifying characteristics of the German people. Such other
patriotic songs as Die Wacht am
(The Watch on the Rhine) by Max Schneckenburger
began to focus
attention on geographic space, not limiting "German-ness" to a
common language. Schneckenburger wrote The Watch on the
in a specific patriotic response to French assertions
that the Rhine was France's "natural" eastern boundary. In the
refrain, Dear Fatherland, Dear Fatherland, put your mind to
Rest/The Watch stands true on the Rhine,
and such other
patriotic poetry as Nicholaus Becker's Das Rheinlied
Song of the Rhine) called upon Germans to defend their territorial
homeland. In 1807, Alexander
argued that national character reflected geographic
influence, linking landscape to peoples. Concurrent with this idea,
movements to preserve old fortresses and historic sites emerged,
and these particularly focused on the Rhineland, the site of so
many confrontations with France and Spain.
Vormärz and nineteenth century liberalism
The period of Austrian and Prussian police-states and vast
censorship before the Revolutions of 1848 in
later became widely known as the Vormärz
, the "before March," referring to
March 1848. During this period, European liberalism gained
momentum; the agenda included economic, social, and political
issues. Most European liberals in the Vormärz
unification under nationalist principles, promoted the transition
to capitalism, sought the expansion of male suffrage, among other
issues. Their "radicalness" depended upon where they stood on the
spectrum of male suffrage
wider the definition of suffrage, the more radical.
Hambach Festival: liberal nationalism and conservative
Pro-nationalist participants march to
the ruins of Hambach Castle in 1832.
Students and some professionals, and their spouses,
They carried the flag of the underground
Burschenschaft, which later became the basis of the flag
of modern Germany
1982 postage stamp honoring the 150th
anniversary of Hambach Fest
Despite considerable conservative reaction, ideas of unity joined
with notions of popular sovereignty in German-speaking lands. The
in May 1832 was
attended by a crowd of more than 30,000. Promoted as a county fair
, its participants celebrated
fraternity, liberty, and national unity. Celebrants gathered
in the town below and marched to the ruins of Hambach
Castle on the heights above the small town of Hambach, in
the Palatinate province of Bavaria.
Carrying flags, beating
drums, and singing, the participants took the better part of the
morning and mid-day to arrive at the castle grounds, where they
listened to speeches by nationalist orators from across the
conservative to radical political spectrum. The overall content of
the speeches suggested a fundamental difference between the German
nationalism of the 1830s and the French nationalism of the July Revolution
: the focus of German
nationalism lay in the education of the people; once the populace
was educated as to what was needed, they would accomplish it. The
Hambach rhetoric emphasized the overall peaceable nature of German
nationalism: the point was not to build barricades, a very "French"
form of nationalism, but to build emotional bridges between
As he had done in 1819, after the Kotzebue
assassination, Metternich used
the popular demonstration at Hambach to push conservative social
policy. The "Six Articles" of 28 June 1832, primarily
reaffirmed the principle of monarchical authority. On 5 July,
the Frankfurt Diet voted for an additional 10 articles, which
reiterated existing rules on censorship, restricted political
organizations, and limited other public activity. Furthermore, the
member states agreed to send military assistance to any government
threatened by unrest. Prince
led half of the Bavarian army to the Palatinate to
"subdue" the province. Several hapless Hambach speakers were
arrested, tried and imprisoned; one, Karl Heinrich Brüggemann
(1810–1887), a law student and representative of the secretive
was sent to Prussia, where he was first
condemned to death, but later pardoned.
Liberalism and the response to economic problems
Several other factors complicated the rise of nationalism
in the German states. The man-made
factors included political rivalries between members of the German
confederation, particularly between the Austrians and the
Prussians, and socio-economic competition among the commercial and
merchant interests and the old land-owning and aristocratic
interests. Natural factors included widespread drought in the early
1830s, and again in the 1840s, and a food crisis in the 1840s.
Further complications emerged as a result of a shift in
industrialization and manufacturing; as people sought jobs, they
left their villages and small towns to work during the week in the
cities, returning for a day and a half on weekends.
The economic, social and cultural dislocation of ordinary people,
the economic hardship of an economy in transition, and the
pressures of meteorological disasters all contributed to growing
problems in Central Europe. The failure of most of the governments
to deal with the food crisis of the mid-1840s, caused by the
(related to the
Great Irish Famine
several seasons of bad weather, encouraged many to think that the
rich and powerful had no interest in their problems. Those in
authority were concerned about the growing unrest, political and
social agitation among the working classes, and the disaffection of
. No amount of
censorship, fines, imprisonment, or banishment, it seemed, could
stem the criticism. Furthermore, it was becoming increasingly clear
that both Austria and Prussia wanted to be the leaders in any
resulting unification; each would inhibit the drive of the other to
First efforts at unification
Crucially, both the Wartburg rally in 1817 and the Hambach
Festival in 1832 had lacked any clear-cut program of
unification. At Hambach, the positions of the many speakers
illustrated their disparate agendas. Held together only by the idea
of unification, their notions of how to achieve this did not
include specific plans, but rested on the nebulous idea that the
(the people), if properly educated, would bring about
unification on their own. Grand speeches, flags, exuberant
students, and picnic lunches did not translate into a new
political, bureaucratic and administrative apparatus; no
constitution miraculously appeared, although there was indeed
plenty of talk of constitutions. In 1848, nationalists sought to
remedy that problem.
German revolutions of 1848 and the Frankfurt
The widespread German
revolutions of 1848–1849
targeted unification and a single
German constitution. The revolutionaries pressured various state
governments, particularly strong in the Rhineland
, for a parliamentary assembly which
would have the responsibility to draft constitution. Ultimately,
many of the left-wing revolutionaries hoped this constitution would
establish universal male
, a permanent national parliament, and a unified
Germany, possibly under the leadership of the Prussian king, who
appeared to be the most logical candidate: Prussia was the largest
state in size, and also the strongest. Generally, revolutionaries
to the right-of-center sought some kind of expanded suffrage within
their states and, potentially, a form of loose unification. Their
pressure resulted in a variety of elections, based on different
voting qualifications, such as the Prussian three-class
, which granted to some electoral groups, chiefly the
wealthier, landed ones, greater representative power.
In April 1849, the Frankfurt
offered the title of Kaiser
the Prussian king, Frederick
. He refused for a variety of reasons. Publicly, he
replied that he could not accept a crown without the consent of the
actual states, by which he meant the princes. Privately, he feared
the opposition of the other German princes and the military
intervention of Austria and Russia; he also held a fundamental
distaste for the idea of accepting a crown from a popularly elected
parliament: he could not accept a crown of "clay," he said. Despite
franchise requirements that often perpetuated many of the problems
of sovereignty and political participation liberals sought to
overcome, the Frankfurt Parliament did manage to draft a
constitution, and reach agreement on the kleindeutsch
solution. The Frankfurt Parliament ended in partial failure: while
the liberals did not achieve the unification they sought, they did
manage to work through many constitutional issues and collaborative
reforms with the German princes.
1848 and the Frankfurt Parliament in retrospective
The successes and failures of the Frankfurt Parliament have
occasioned decades of debate among historians of the German past
and contribute to the historiographical explanations of German
nation building. One school of thought, which emerged after
1918 and gained momentum in the aftermath of World War II,
maintained that the so-called failure of the German liberals in the
Frankfurt Parliament led to the bourgeoisie's
compromise with the conservatives,
especially conservative Prussian landholders (Junkers
), and subsequently, to Germany's
path) in the twentieth century. Failure to achieve unification in
1848, this argument holds, resulted in the late formation of the
nation-state in 1871, which in turn delayed the development of
positive national values. Furthermore, this argument maintains, the
"failure" of 1848 reaffirmed latent aristocratic longings
among the German middle class; consequently, this group never
developed a self-conscious program of modernization.
More recent scholarship has opposed this idea, claiming that
Germany did not have an actual Sonderweg
, any more than
any nation's history takes its own distinctive path, an
historiographic idea known as exceptionalism
. Instead, this new group of
historians claims 1848 marked specific achievements by the
liberal politicians; many of their ideas and programs later were
incorporated into Bismarck's social programs (for example, social
insurance, education programs, and wider definitions of suffrage).
In addition, the notion of a unique path relies upon the fact that
some other nation's path (in this case, Britain's) is the accepted
norm. This new argument further challenges the norms of the British
model, and recent studies of national development in Britain and
other "normal" states (for example, France and the United States)
have suggested that even in these states, the modern nation did not
develop evenly, or particularly early, but was largely a
mid-to-late-nineteenth-century proposition. By the end of the
1990s, this latter view became the accepted view, although some
historians still find the Sonderweg
analysis helpful in
understanding the period of National Socialism.
Problem of spheres of influence: The Erfurt Union and the
Punctation of Olmütz
After the Frankfurt Parliament disbanded, Frederick William IV,
under the influence of General Joseph Maria von Radowitz
, supported the
establishment of the Erfurt Union
federation of German states, excluding Austria, by the free
agreement of the German princes. This limited union under Prussia
would have almost entirely eliminated the Austrian influence among
the other German states. Combined diplomatic pressure from Austria
and from Russia (a guarantor of the 1815 agreements that
established European spheres of influence) forced Prussia to
relinquish the idea of the Erfurt Union at a meeting in the small
town of Olmütz in
In November 1850 the Prussians, specifically
Radowitz and Frederick William, agreed to the restoration of the
German Confederation under Austrian leadership. This became known
as the Punctation of
, also known to the Prussians as the "Humiliation of
Although seemingly minor events, the Erfurt Union proposal and the
Punctation of Olmütz bring the problems of influence in the German
states into sharp focus. The question of unification became not a
matter of if
, but when
, and when
contingent upon strength. One of the former Frankfurt Parliament
members, Johann Gustav
, summed up the problem succinctly:
We cannot conceal the fact that the whole German
question is a simple alternative between Prussia and Austria. In
these states, German life has its positive and negative poles – in
the former, all the interests which are national and reformative,
in the latter, all that are dynastic and destructive. The German
question is not a constitutional question, but a question of power;
and the Prussian monarchy is now wholly German, while that of
Austria cannot be.
Unification under these conditions raised a basic diplomatic
problem. The possibility of German unification (and indeed Italian unification
) challenged the
fundamental precepts of balance laid out in 1815; unification of
these groups of states would overturn the principles of overlapping
spheres of influence
foreign secretary Count Karl
), the principal architects of this convention, had
conceived of and organized a Europe (and indeed a world) balanced
by and guaranteed by four powers
Britain, France, Russia, and Austria. Each power had its geographic
sphere of influence; for France, this sphere included the Iberian
peninsula and shared influence in the Italian states; for the
Russians, the eastern regions of Central Europe, and balancing
influence in the Balkans; for the Austrians, this sphere included
much of the Central European territories of the old Reich (Holy
Roman Empire); and for the British, the rest of the world,
especially the seas.
The system of spheres of influence in Europe depended upon the
fragmentation of the German and Italian states, not their
consolidation. Consequently, a German nation united under one
banner presented significant questions: Who were the Germans? Where
was Germany?, but also, Who was in charge?, and, importantly, Who
could best defend "Germany", whoever, whatever, and wherever it
was? Different groups offered different solutions to this problem.
In the Kleindeutschland
(little, or "lesser," Germany) solution, the German states would be
united under the leadership of Prussia; in the Grossdeutschland
solution, the German states would be united under the leadership of
the Austrian state. This controversy, called dualism
, dominated Prusso-Austrian diplomacy,
and the politics of the German states, for the next twenty
Prussia's growing strength: Realpolitik
By 1859, Wilhelm
become regent for his ailing brother Frederick William IV
; Helmuth von Moltke the Elder
held the position of chief of the Prussian General Staff
and Albrecht von Roon
, that of the Prussian Minister of War
. Von Roon
and Wilhelm (who took an active interest in such things)
reorganized the Prussian army and Moltke redesigned the strategic
defense of Prussia, streamlining operational command. Army reforms
(and how to pay for them) caused a constitutional crisis in
Prussia. Problematically, both parliament and the king, via his
minister of war, wanted control over the military budget. Wilhelm,
by 1862 now King Wilhelm I, appointed Otto von Bismarck
as Minister-President of Prussia
Bismarck resolved the crisis in favor of the war minister.
The Crimean War
of 1854–55 and the
Italian War of
disrupted relations among Great Britain, France,
Austria and Russia. In the aftermath of this disarray, the
convergence of von Moltke's operational redesign, von Roon and
Wilhelm's restructuring of the army, and Bismarck's diplomacy
influenced the restructuring of the European balance of power.
Their combined agendas established Prussia as the leading German
power through a combination of foreign diplomatic triumphs, backed
up by the possible use of Prussian military might, and internal
conservativism tempered with pragmatism: Realpolitik
Bismarck expressed the essence of Realpolitik
subsequently famous "Blood and
to the Budget Committee of the Prussian Chamber of
Deputies on 30 September 1862, shortly after he became Minister
President: "The great questions of the time will not be resolved by
speeches and majority decisions—that was the great mistake of 1848
and 1849—but by iron and blood." Bismarck's words, "iron and blood"
(or "blood and iron," as often attributed), have been variously
misquoted or misappropriated as evidence of German lust for blood
and power. First, his speech, and the phrase, "the great questions
of time will not be resolved by speeches and majority decisions,"
is often interpreted as a repudiation of the political process, a
repudiation that Bismarck did not himself advocate. Second, his
emphasis on blood and iron did not imply simply the unrivaled
military might of the Prussian army, but rather two important
aspects: first, the ability of the assorted German states to
produce the iron (and the related war materials) and second, the
willingness to use them if, and when, necessary.
Founding a unified state
The need for both iron and
blood soon became apparent. By
1862, when Bismarck made his speech, the idea of a German
nation-state in the peaceful spirit of Pan-Germanism
had shifted from the liberal and
democratic character of 1848 to accommodate Bismarck's
. Ever the pragmatist, Bismarck understood the
possibilities, obstacles, and advantages of a unified state, and
the importance of linking that state to the Hohenzollern dynasty,
and the latter remains, for some historians, one of Bismarck's
primary contributions to the creation of the empire in 1871. The
conditions of the treaties binding the various German states to one
another prohibited him from unilateral action; the politician and
the diplomat in him realized the impracticality of such an action.
For the German states to go to war, or, as he suspected would
happen, to be forced to declare war together
single enemy, his diplomatic opponents must declare war on one of
the German states first. Historians have long debated Bismarck's
role in the events leading up to the Franco-Prussian War. While a
traditional view, promulgated in large part by the nineteenth and
early twentieth centuries pro-Prussian historians, maintain that
Bismarck was the sole mastermind behind this unification, some
post-1945 historians criticize Bismarck's cynicism in manipulating
circumstances to create a war. Regardless, Bismarck was neither
villain nor saint; in manipulating events of 1866 and 1870, he
demonstrated the political and diplomatic skills which had caused
Wilhelm to turn to him in 1862.
episodes proved fundamental to the administrative and political
unification of Germany: the irredentist aspirations of Christian IX of Denmark led to the
Second War of Schleswig
(1864); the opportunity created by Italian nationalist activities
on the Austrian border forced Austria to spend its military
resources on two fronts in the Austro-Prussian War (1866); and French fears of Hohenzollern
encirclement led it to declare war on Prussia, resulting in the
Through a combination of Bismarck's diplomacy and
political leadership, von Roon
military reorganization, and Moltke
's military strategy,
Prussia emerged from the period of German dualism as the state that
could most credibly represent and protect German interests. Prussia
demonstrated to the rest of the German states that none of the
European signatories of the 1815
could uphold Austrian power in this central
European sphere of influence.
The first opportunity came with the threat of Danish irredentism
. On 18 November 1863, King
Christian IX of Denmark
signed the Danish
, and declared the Duchy of Schleswig
a part of Denmark.
Confederation saw this act as a violation of the London Protocol of 1852 which
emphasized the status of the kingdom of Denmark as distinct from
the independent duchies of Schleswig and Holstein.
Furthermore, the Schleswig and
Holstein populations valued their separate status as well: a large
portion of the duchy of Holstein was of German origin and spoke
German in everyday life; the population was more mixed in
Schleswig, with a sizable Danish minority. Diplomatic attempts to
have the November Constitution repealed collapsed and fighting
began when Prussian and Austrian troops crossed the border into
Schleswig on 1 February 1864. Originally, the Danes attempted to defend
their country using the Danewerk, an ancient earthen wall, but it proved
The Danes were no match for the combined
Prussian and Austrian forces and could count on no help from their
allies in the other Scandinavian states (Denmark had violated the
Protocols). The Second Schleswig
resulted in victory for the combined armies of Prussia and
Austria and the two countries won control of Schleswig and Holstein
in the concluding peace settlement signed on 30 October
1864 in Vienna.
War between Austria and Prussia, 1866
In 1866, in concert with the
, Bismarck created a diplomatic environment
in which Austria declared war on Prussia. The dramatic prelude to
the war occurred largely in Frankfurt where, at the Parliament, the
two powers claimed to speak for all the German states. In April 1866, the
Prussian representative in Florence signed a secret agreement with the Italians.
This committed the two states to assist each other in a war against
Austria. The next day, the Prussian delegate to the Frankfurt
assembly presented a plan calling for a national constitution and a
national Diet created through direct elections and universal
suffrage. The knowledge of Bismarck's difficult and ambiguous
relationship with the Landtag
(State Parliament) in
Prussia, sometimes cajoling, sometimes riding roughshod over the
representatives, caused justifiable skepticism among German
liberals, who saw this proposal as a ploy to enhance Prussian
The debate over the proposed national constitution became moot when
news of Italian troop movements in the Tyrol
(21 April 1866) and the Venetian
border reached Vienna. The Austrian government ordered partial
in the southern regions;
the Italians responded by ordering full mobilization. Despite calls
for rational thought and action, Italy, Prussia, and Austria
continued to rush toward armed conflict. On 1 May, Wilhelm
command over his
armed forces, and the next day full-scale Prussian mobilization
Diet, the group of middle-sized states, known as
Mittelstaaten (Bavaria, Württemberg, the grand duchies of Baden and Hesse, and the duchies of Saxony–Weimar,
Saxony–Meiningen, Saxony–Coburg and Nassau), supported
complete demobilization within the Confederation.
Prussia (dark blue) and its allies
(blue) versus Austria (red) and its allies (pink); and Prussia's
territorial gains following the war (light blue)
individual governments rejected the enticing mix of promises and a
potent combination of threats with which Bismarck sought their
support against the Habsburgs. The Prussian war
cabinet understood that its only supporters among the German
states against the Habsburgs were the grand duchies of Mecklenburg-Schwerin and Mecklenburg-Strelitz (small
principalities bordering on Brandenburg with little military strength or political clout),
and its only supporter abroad was Italy.
Opposition to Prussia's strong-armed tactics surfaced in other
social and political groups. City councils throughout the German
states, liberal parliamentary members who favored a unified state,
and chambers of commerce, which saw great benefit in unification,
opposed any war between Prussia and Austria: any such conflict
would only serve the dynasties, not their interests, which they
understood as "civil," and/or "bourgeois." Public opinion also
opposed Prussian domination. Catholic populations along the Rhine river,
especially in such cosmopolitan regions as Cologne and in the heavily populated Ruhr valley, continued to side with Austria.
the late spring, most important states opposed Berlin's effort to
reorganize the German states by force. The Prussian cabinet saw
German unity as a question of power and who had the strength,
backed up with the military, to wield it. The liberals in the
Frankfurt assembly saw German unity as a process of negotiation,
and the distribution of power among the many parties.
several German states initially had sided with Austria, Prussian
troops intercepted their soldiers and sent them home and Austria,
with support only from Saxony, faced
Prussia alone; although France promised support, it came late and
Complicating the situation for Austria,
the Italian mobilization on the border in the south required their
army to fight the Third Italian War of
on a second front and on the Adriatic Sea.
day-long Battle of
Königgrätz, near the village of Sadová, gave
Prussia an uncontested and decisive victory.
Realpolitik and the North German Confederation
Despite French involvement on Austria's side, Wilhelm accepted
's assistance as
mediator; a quick peace was essential to keep Russia from extending
the conflict on Austria's side. Prussia annexed Hanover, Hesse-Kassel, Nassau, and the city of
Frankfurt. Hesse Darmstadt lost some territory, but not its
sovereignty. The states south of the Main River
(Baden, Württemberg and Bavaria) signed separate treaties requiring
them to pay indemnities and to form alliances bringing them into
Prussia's sphere of influence. Austria, and most of
her allies, were excluded from the North German
The end of Austrian dominance of the German states shifted
Austria's attention to the Balkans. In 1867, the Austrian emperor
settlement (the Austro-Hungarian Compromise
) in which he gave his Hungarian holdings equal status
with his Austrian domains, creating the Dual Monarchy of Austria-Hungary
. The Peace of Prague
offered lenient terms
to Austria, in which Austria's relationship with the new
nation-state of Italy underwent major restructuring; although the
Austrians were far more successful in the military field against
Italian troops, the monarchy lost the important province of
Habsburgs ceded Venetia to France, which then formally transferred
control to Italy. The French public resented the Prussian victory
and demanded Revanche pour Sadová
, which contributed to
anti-Prussian sentiment in France, a problem that accelerated in
the months leading up to the Franco-Prussian War
. Austria ceased to
dominate the German-speaking lands of Central Europe, and the first
sphere of influence established in the 1815 Treaty was
irrevocably broken. The reality of defeat for Austria resulted in a
rethinking of internal divisions, local autonomy, and
The new North German Confederation had its own constitution, flag,
and governmental and administrative structures. Prussia, under
Bismarck's influence, had overcome Austria's active resistance to
the idea of a unified Germany through military victory, but however
much this policy lessened Austria's influence over the German
states, it also splintered the spirit of pan-German unity: most of
the German states resented Prussian power politics.
War with France
By 1870 three of the important lessons of the Austro-Prussian
war became immediately apparent: through force of arms, a powerful
state could challenge the old alliances and spheres of influence
established in 1815. Through diplomatic maneuvering, a skillful
leader could create an environment in which a state would have to
declare war first, thus forcing states in protective alliances to
come to the aid of the so-called victim of external aggression.
Finally, Prussian military capacity far exceeded that of Austria,
and Prussia was clearly the only state within the Confederation
specifically, and among the German states generally, capable of
protecting all of them from potential interference or aggression.
In 1866, most of the mid-sized German states had opposed Prussia;
by 1870, these states had been coerced and coaxed into mutually
protective alliances with Prussia. In the event that a European
state declared war on one of their members, they all would come to
the defense of the attacked state. With skillful manipulation of
European affairs, Bismarck created a situation in which France
played the role of aggressor in German affairs, and Prussia, that
of protector of German rights and liberties.
Spheres of influence fall apart in Iberia
The next chink in the armor created in 1815 at Vienna—and
protected and nurtured by Metternich and his conservative allies
over the following forty years—appeared in Spain. In 1868, a
revolution there had overthrown Queen Isabella II
, and the throne had
remained empty while Isabella lived in sumptuous exile in Paris.
The Spanish, looking for a suitable Catholic successor, had offered
this post to three other European princes, each rejected by
Napoleon III (as regional power-broker). Finally, in 1870 the
Regency offered the crown to Leopold of Hohenzollern-Sigmaringen, a prince of the Catholic cadet Hohenzollern
The ensuing furor has been dubbed by historians as the
Over the next few weeks, the Spanish offer turned into the talk of
Europe. Bismarck encouraged Leopold to accept the offer. A
successful installment of a Hohenzollern-Sigmaringen king in Spain
would mean that two countries on either side of France both had
German kings of Hohenzollern descent, which may have been a
pleasing prospect for Bismarck, but was unacceptable to either
Napoleon III or to Agenor, duc de
, his minister of foreign affairs. Gramont wrote a
sharply formulated ultimatum to Wilhelm, as head of the
Hohenzollern family, stating that if any Hohenzollern prince should
accept the crown of Spain, the French government would respond,
although he left ambiguous the nature of such response. The prince
withdrew as a candidate, thus defusing the crisis, but the French
ambassador to Berlin would not let the issue lie. He approached the
Prussian king directly while Wilhelm vacationed in Ems Spa, demanding the King release a statement saying he
would never countenance the installment of a Hohenzollern on the
throne of Spain.
Wilhelm refused to give such an
encompassing statement, and he sent Bismarck a dispatch by telegram
describing the French demands. Bismarck used the king's telegram,
called the Ems Dispatch
, as a template
for a short statement to the press. With its wording shortened and
sharpened by Bismarck, and further alterations made in the course
of translation by the French agency Havas,
Ems Dispatch raised an angry furor in France. The French public,
still aggravated over the defeat at Sadová, demanded war.
Napoleon III of France
developed a strategy similar to that of his uncle, Napoleon Bonaparte
: divide and conquer.
He hoped that Austria would join in a war of revenge, and that her
former allies, particularly the south German states of Baden,
Württemberg, and Bavaria, would join in the cause, but the
1866 treaty came into effect: all German states united
militarily, if not necessarily happily, to fight France. Instead of
a war of revenge against Prussia, supported by various German
allies, France engaged in a war against the German states,
supported by no one. The reorganization of the military by Roon
and the operational strategy of
France to successful effect. The speed of Prussian mobilization
astonished the French, and the Prussian ability to concentrate
power at specific points, reminiscent of Napoleon's strategies
seventy years earlier, overwhelmed French mobilization. Utilizing
the efficiently laid rail grid, Prussian troops were delivered to
battle areas rested and prepared to fight. French troops had to
march for miles to reach combat zones. After several
battles, notably Spicheren,
Wörth, Mars la
Tour, and Gravelotte, the Germans defeated the
main French armies and advanced on the primary city of Metz, and the
French capital, Paris. They captured the French emperor, and took
an entire army as prisoners at Sedan on
1 September 1870.
Proclamation of the German Empire
The humiliating capture of the French Emperor, and the loss of the
French army itself, which marched into captivity at a makeshift
camp in the Saarland ("Camp Misery," the French called it), threw
the French government into turmoil; Napoleon's energetic opponents
overthrew his government and proclaimed the Third Republic
. The German High
Command expected an overture of peace from the French, but the new
republic refused to negotiate. The Prussian army invested
the capital Paris, and held
it under siege until mid-January, with the city being
"ineffectually bombarded." On 18 January 1871, the German princes
and senior military commanders proclaimed Wilhelm "German
Emperor" in the Hall of
Mirrors of the Palace of Versailles. Die Reichsgründung 1871 (The Foundation
of the Empire, 1871), Lebendiges virtuelles Museum Online, accessed
2008-12-22. German text translated: [...] on the wishes of Wilhelm
I, on the 170th anniversary of the elevation of the
House of Brandenburg to princely status on 18 January 1701,
the assembled German princes and high military officials proclaimed
Wilhelm I as German Emperor in the Hall of Mirrors at the
Versailles Palace. Under the subsequent Treaty of Frankfurt, France
relinquished most of its traditionally German regions (Alsace and the
German-speaking part of Lorraine); paid an indemnity, calculated
on the basis of population, as the precise equivalent of the
indemnity which Napoleon Bonaparte imposed on Prussia in 1807; and
accepted German administration of Paris and most of northern France
with "German troops to be withdrawn stage by stage with each
installment" of the indemnity payment.
Importance in the unification process
Victory in the Franco-Prussian War proved the capstone of the
nationalist issue. In the first half of the 1860s, Austria and
Prussia both contended to speak for the German states; both
maintained they could support German interests abroad, and protect
German interests at home. In responding to Danish irredentism, they
both proved equally diligent in doing so. In 1866, however, Austria
demonstrated its inability to focus on the affairs of the German
states while she contested southern borders with Italy. After the
victory over Austria, Prussia could assert her authority to speak
for the German states and defend German interests, at least
internally; Austria, on the other hand, directed more and more of
her attention to possessions in the Balkans. The victory over
France in 1871 confirmed Prussia as the dominant player in a
unified German state. With the proclamation of Wilhelm as
, Prussia assumed the leadership of the new empire.
The southern states became officially incorporated into a unified
Germany at the Treaty of
Versailles of 1871
(26 February 1871; later ratified in
the Treaty of Frankfurt
of 10 May 1871), which formally ended the War. Although
Bismarck had led the transformation of Germany from a loose
confederation into a federal nation
, he had not done it alone. Unification occurred by
building on a tradition of legal collaboration under the Holy Roman
Empire and economic collaboration through the Zollverein.
The difficulties of the Vormärz,
the impact of the
1848 liberals, the importance of Roon's military
reorganization, and Moltke's strategic brilliance, all played a
part in political unification.
Political and administrative unification
The new German Empire included 25 states, three of them
cities. It realized the
, ("Lesser German Solution", with the exclusion of
Austria), as opposed to a Großdeutsche Lösung
German Solution", which would have included Austria. Unifying
various states into one nation required more than some military
victories, however much these might have boosted morale. It also
required a rethinking of political, social and cultural behaviors,
and the construction of new metaphors about "us" and "them." Who
were the new members of this new nation? What did they stand for?
How were they to be organized?
Constituent states of the Empire
Though often characterized as a federation of monarchs, the German
Empire, strictly speaking, federated a group of states.
Member states of the German Empire
(peach), with Kingdom of Prussia shown in blue.
Political structure of the Empire
The 1866 North German
became (with some semantic adjustments) the
of the German Empire
. With this constitution, the new Germany
acquired some democratic features: notably the Imperial Diet
, which—in contrast to
the parliament of Prussia—gave citizens representation on the basis
of elections by direct and equal suffrage
of all males who had attained
the age of 25. Furthermore, elections were generally free of
chicanery, engendering pride in the national parliament. However,
legislation required the consent of the Bundesrat
federal council of deputies from the states, in which, and over
which Prussia had a powerful influence. Prussia thus exercised
influence in both bodies, and with executive power vested in the
Prussian King as Kaiser
, who appointed the federal
chancellor. The chancellor was accountable solely to, and served
entirely at the discretion of, the Emperor. Officially, the
chancellor functioned as a one-man cabinet and was responsible for
the conduct of all state affairs; in practice, the State Secretaries
officials in charge of such fields as finance, war, foreign
affairs, etc.) acted as unofficial portfolio ministers. With the
exception of the years 1872–1873 and 1892–1894, the imperial
chancellor was always simultaneously the prime minister of the
imperial dynasty's hegemonic home-kingdom, Prussia. The Imperial
Diet had the power to pass, amend or reject bills, but could not
initiate legislation. (The power of initiating legislation rested
with the chancellor.) The other states retained their own
governments, but the military forces of the smaller states came
under Prussian control. The militaries of the larger states (such as
the Kingdoms of Bavaria and
Saxony) underwent reform to coordinate with Prussian
military principles, with the federal government controlling
Historical arguments and the Empire's social anatomy
hypothesis attributed Germany's difficult
twentieth century to the weak political, legal, and economic basis
of the new Empire. The Prussian landed
, the Junkers
, retained a
substantial share of political power in the unified state. The
hypothesis attributed their power to the absence
of a revolutionary breakthrough by the middle classes, or by
peasants in combination with the urban workers, in 1848 and again
in 1871. Recent research into the role of the Grand Bourgeoisie in
the construction of the new state has largely refuted the claim of
political and economic dominance of the Junkers
social group. This newer scholarship has demonstrated the
importance of the merchant classes of the Hanseatic cities
and the industrial
leadership (the latter particularly important in the Rhineland) in
the ongoing development of the Second Empire.
Additional studies of different groups in Wilhelmine Germany have
all contributed to a new view of the period. Although the
did, indeed, continue to control the officer
corps, they did not dominate social, political and economic matters
as much as the Sonderweg
theorists had hypothesized.
power had a counterweight in the western
provinces in the form of the Grand Bourgeoisie—which included
bankers, merchants, and industrialists, and entrepreneurs—and in
the growing professional class of bureaucrats, teachers,
professors, doctors, lawyers, scientists, etc. Consequently, while
thesis may still be useful to explain
Germany's experience with National Socialism, it no longer
dominates studies of Central Europe in the nineteenth century.
Instead, scholars have begun to describe how such conservative
social policies as Bismarck's absorbed or appropriated many of the
elements of the liberal revolutionaries of the 1840s and socialists
in the 1860s and
later: imperial policy reflected a cautious but pragmatic approach
to social, political, and economic problems. In particular,
Bismarck's predominantly conservative values echoed the classical conservatism
of Edmund Burke
: the belief that specific members
of society are inherently better prepared and better qualified to
lead, and that these individuals often come from the strata of the
landed elite and moneyed interests.
Beyond the political mechanism: forming a nation
If the Wartburg and Hambach rallies had lacked a constitution and
administrative apparatus, that problem was addressed in between
1867 and 1871. Yet, as Germans discovered, grand speeches,
flags, and enthusiastic crowds and
a constitution, a
political reorganization, and the provision of an imperial
superstructure, and the revised Customs Union of 1867–68, still did
not make a nation
A key element of the nation-state
the creation of a national culture, frequently—although not
necessarily—through deliberate national policy. In the new German
nation, the Kulturkampf
(1872–78) that followed political, economic, and administrative
unification attempted to address, with a remarkable lack of
success, some of the contradictions in German society. In
particular, it involved a struggle over language, education, and
religion. A policy of Germanization
non-German people of the empire's population, including the
minorities, started with language, in particular, the German language
, compulsory schooling
), and the attempted
creation of standardized curricula for those schools to promote and
celebrate the idea of a shared past. Finally, it extended to the
religion of the new Empire's population.
For some Germans, the definition of nation
pluralism, and Catholics
particular came under scrutiny; some Germans, and especially
Bismarck, feared that the Catholics' connection to the papacy might
make them less loyal to the nation. As
, Bismarck tried without much success to limit the
influence of the Roman Catholic
and of its party-political arm, the Catholic Center Party
, in schools and
education and language-related policies. The Catholic Center Party
remained particularly well entrenched in the Catholic strongholds
of Bavaria and southern Baden, and in urban areas that held high
populations of displaced rural workers seeking jobs in the heavy
industry, and sought to protect the rights not only of Catholics,
but other minorities, including the Poles, and the French
minorities in the Alsatian lands. The May Laws of 1873 brought
the appointment of priests, and their education, under the control
of the state, resulting in the closure of many seminaries, and a
shortage of priests. The Congregations Law
1875 abolished religious orders, ended state subsidies to the
Catholic Church, and removed religious protections from the
Integrating the Jewish community
The Germanized Jews
vulnerable population in the new German nation-state. Since 1780,
after emancipation by the Holy Roman Emperor Joseph II
, Jews in the former
Habsburg territories had enjoyed considerable economic and legal
privileges that their counterparts in other German-speaking
territories did not: they could own land, for example, and did not
have to live in the Jewish quarter (also called the Judengasse
, or "Jews' alley"). They could also
attend university and enter the professions. During the
Revolutionary and Napoleonic eras, many of the previously strong
barriers between Jews and Christians broke down. Napoleon had
ordered the emancipation of Jews
throughout territories under French hegemony. Wealthy Jews, like
their French counterparts, sponsored salons
; in particular, several Jewish
held important gatherings in Frankfurt and
Berlin, in which German intellectuals developed their own form of
republican intellectualism. Throughout the subsequent decades,
beginning almost immediately after the defeat of the French,
reaction against the mixing of Jews and Christians limited the
intellectual impact of these salons. Beyond the salons, Jews
continued a process of Germanization
in which they intentionally adopted German modes of dress and
speech, and worked to insert themselves into the emerging
nineteenth century German public
. The religious reform movement among German Jews
reflected this effort.
By the years of unification, German Jews played an important role
in the intellectual underpinnings of the German professional,
intellectual and social life. The expulsion of Jews from Russia in
the 1880s and 1890s complicated integration into the German public
sphere. Such Jews arrived in north German cities in the thousands;
considerably less well-educated and less affluent, their often
dismal poverty dismayed many of the Germanized Jews; many of the
problems related to poverty (such as illness, overcrowded housing,
unemployment, school absenteeism, refusal to learn German, etc.)
emphasized their distinctiveness for not only the Christian
Germans, but for the indigenous Jewish populations as well.
Writing the story of the nation
Another important element in nation-building, the story of the
heroic past, fell to such nationalist German historians as the
liberal constitutionalist Friedrich Dahlmann
his conservative student, Heinrich von Treitschke
and others less conservative, such as Theodor Mommsen
(1817–1903), and Heinrich von Sybel
(1817–1895), to name
two. Dahlmann himself died before unification, but he laid the
groundwork for the nationalist histories to come through his
histories of the English and French revolutions, by casting these
revolutions as fundamental to the construction of a nation, and
Dahlmann himself viewed Prussia as the logical agent of
Heinrich von Treitschke's History of Germany in the Nineteenth
, published in 1879, has perhaps a misleading title: it
privileges the history of Prussia over the history of other German
states, and it tells the story of the German-speaking peoples
through the guise of Prussia's destiny to unite all German states
under its leadership. The creation of this Borussian myth
the Latin name for Prussia) established Prussia as Germany's
savior; it was the destiny of all Germans to be united, this myth
maintains, and it was Prussia's destiny to accomplish this.
According to this story, Prussia played the dominant role in
bringing the German states together as a nation-state; only Prussia
could protect German liberties from being crushed by French or
Russian influence. The story continues by drawing on Prussia's role
in saving Germans from the resurgence of Napoleon's power in 1814,
at Waterloo, creating some semblance of economic unity, and uniting
Germans under one proud flag after 1871. It is the role of the
nationalist historian to write the history of the nation; this
means viewing that nation's past with the goal of a nationalist
history in mind. The process of writing history, or histories, is a
process of remembering and forgetting: of selecting certain
elements to be remembered, that is, emphasized, and ignoring, or
forgetting, other elements and events.
Mommsen's contributions to the Monumenta Germaniae
laid the groundwork for additional scholarship
on the study of the German nation, expanding the notion of
"Germany" to mean other areas beyond Prussia. A liberal professor,
historian, and theologian, and generally a titan among late
nineteenth-century scholars, Mommsen served as a delegate to the
Prussian House of Representatives from 1863–1866 and again
from 1873–1879, and as a delegate to the Reichstag
1881–1884, for the liberal German
for the National
. He opposed the antisemitic
programs of Bismarck's
and indeed the vitriolic text that Treitschke
often employed, and, with the publication of his Studien über
(Studies of the Jewish Question
encouraged assimilation and Germanization of Jews.
- See, for example, James Allen Vann, The Swabian Kreis:
Institutional Growth in the Holy Roman Empire 1648–1715. Vol.
LII, Studies Presented to International Commission for the History
of Representative and Parliamentary Institutions. Bruxelles, 1975.
Mack Walker. German home towns: community, state, and general
estate, 1648–1871. Ithaca, 1998.
- Robert A. Kann. History of the Habsburg Empire:
1526–1918,Los Angeles, 1974, p. 221. In his abdication,
Francis released all former estates from their duties and
obligations to him, and took upon himself solely the title of King
of Austria, which had been established since 1804. Golo Mann,
Deutsche Geschichte des 19. und 20. Jahrhunderts,
Frankfurt am Main, 2002, p. 70.
- Johann Gottlieb Fichte, Address to the German Nation, 1808, Accessed
6 June 2009.
- James Sheehan, German History, 1780–1866, Oxford,
1989, p. 434.
- Jakob Walter, and Marc Raeff. The diary of a Napoleonic
foot soldier. Princeton, N.J., 1996.
- Sheehan, p. 384–387.
- Although the Prussian army had gained its reputation in the
Years' War, its humiliating defeat at Jena and Auerstadt crushed the pride many Prussians felt in
their soldiers. During their Russian exile, several officers,
including Carl von Clausewitz, contemplated
reorganization and new training methods. Sheehan, p. 323.
- Sheehan, p 322–23.
- David Blackbourn, and Geoff Eley. The peculiarities of
German history: bourgeois society and politics in
nineteenth-century Germany. Oxford & New York, 1984, part
1; Thomas Nipperdey, German History From Napoleon to Bismarck,
1800–1871, New York, Oxford, 1983. Chapter 1.
- Sheehan, p. 398–410; Hamish Scott, The Birth of a Great
Power System, 1740–1815, US, 2006, p. 329–361.
- Lloyd Lee, Politics of Harmony: Civil Service, Liberalism,
and Social Reform in Baden, 1800–1850, Cranbury, NJ,
- Adam Zamoyski, Rites of Peace: The Fall of Napoleon and the
Congress of Vienna, New York, 2007, p. 98–115, 239–40.
- L.B. Namier, (1952) Avenues of History. London, ONT,
1952, p. 34.
- Nipperdey, p. 1–3.
- Sheehan, p. 407–408, 444.
- Sheehan, p. 442–445.
- Sheehan, p. 465–67; Blackbourn, Long Century, p.
- Sheehan, p. 465.
- Sheehan, p. 466.
- Sheehan, p. 460–470. German Historical Institute
- Sheehan, p. 467–468.
- Sheehan, p. 502.
- Sheehan, p. 469.
- Sheehan, p. 458.
- Sheehan, p. 466–467.
- They traced the roots of the German language, and drew its
different lines of development together. The Brothers Grimm
online. Joint Publications.
- Hans Lulfing, Baedecker, Karl, Neue Deutsche
Biographie (NDB). Band 1, Duncker & Humblot, Berlin 1953, p.
- Peter Rühmkorf, Heinz Ludwig Arnold, Das Lied der
Deutschen Göttingen: Wallstein, 2001, ISBN 3892444633, p.
- Raymond Dominick III, The Environmental Movement in
Germany, Bloomington, University of Indiana, 1992, p.
- Jonathan Sperber, Rhineland radicals: the democratic
movement and the revolution of 1848–1849. Princeton, N.J.,
- Sheehan, p. 610–613.
- Sheehan, p. 610.
- Sheehan, p. 612
- Sheehan, p. 613.
- David Blackbourn, Marpingen: apparitions of the Virgin Mary
in nineteenth-century Germany. New York, 1994.
- Sperber, Rhineland radicals. p. 3.
- Blackbourn, Long Century, p. 127.
- Sheehan, p. 610–615.
- Blackbourn, Long Century, p. 138–164.
- Badische Heimat/Landeskunde online 2006 Veit's Pauls Church Germania. Accessed
5 June 2009.
- Jonathan Sperber, Revolutionary Europe, 1780–1850, New
- Blackbourn, Long Century, p. 176–179.
- Examples of this argument appear in: Ralf Dahrendorf,
German History, (1968), p. 25–32; Hans Ulrich Wehler,
Das Deutsche Kaiserreich, 1871–1918, Göttingen, 1973, p.
10–14; Leonard Krieger, The German Idea of Freedom,
Chicago, 1957; Raymond Grew, Crises of Political Development in
Europe and the United States, Princeton, 1978, p. 312–345;
Jürgen Kocka and Allan Mitchell. Bourgeois society in
nineteenth-century Europe. Oxford, 1993; Jürgen Kocka, "German
History before Hitler: The Debate about the German Sonderweg."
Journal of Contemporary History, Vol. 23, No. 1 (January,
1988), p. 3–16; Volker Berghahn, Modern Germany. Society,
Economy and Politics in the Twentieth Century. Cambridge,
- For a summary of this argument, see David Blackbourn, and Geoff
Eley. The peculiarities of German history: bourgeois society
and politics in nineteenth-century Germany. Oxford & New
York, 1984, part 1.
- Blackbourn and Eley. Peculiarities, Part I.
- Blackbourn and Eley, Peculiarities, Chapter 2.
- Blackbourn and Eley, Peculiarities, p. 286–293.
- Jürgen Kocka, "Comparison and Beyond.'" History and
Theory, Vol. 42, No. 1 (February, 2003), p. 39–44, and Jürgen
Kocka, "Asymmetrical Historical Comparison: The Case of the German
Sonderweg," History and Theory, Vol. 38, No. 1 (February,
1999), p. 40–50.
- For a representative analysis of this perspective, see Richard
J. Evans, Rethinking German history: nineteenth-century Germany
and the origins of the Third Reich. London, 1987.
- A. J. P.
Taylor, The Struggle for Mastery in Europe 1914–1918,
Oxford, 1954, p. 37.
- J.G.Droysen, Modern History Sourcebook: Documents of German
Unification, 1848–1871. Accessed April 9, 2009.
- Zamoyski, p. 100–115.
- Blackbourn, The long nineteenth century, p.
- Holt, p. 27.
- Holt, p. 13–14.
- Blackbourn, Long Century, p. 175–179.
- Hollyday, 1970, p. 16–18.
- Blackbourn, Peculiarities, Part I.
- Bismarck had "cut his teeth" on German politics, and German
politicians, in Frankfurt: a quintessential politician, Bismarck
had built his power-base by absorbing and co-opting measures from
throughout political spectrum. He was first and foremost a
politician, and in this lay his strength. Furthermore, since he
trusted neither Moltke nor Roon, he was reluctant to enter a
military enterprise over which he would have no control. Mann,
Chapter 6, 316–395.
- Isabel V. Hull, Absolute Destruction: Military culture and
the Practices of War in Imperial Germany, Ithaca, NY, 2005, p.
- Michael Eliot Howard, The Franco-Prussian War: the German
invasion of France, 1870–1871. New York, MacMillan, 1961, p.
- Mann, 390–395.
- A.J.P. Taylor, Bismarck: The Man and the Statesman.
Oxford, Clarendon, 1988. Chapter 1, and Conclusion.
- Howard, p. 40–57.
- Sheehan, 900–904; Wawro, 4–32; Holt, p. 75.
- Holt, p. 75.
- Sheehan, p. 900–906.
- Sheehan, p. 906; Wawro, 82–84.
- Sheehan, p. 905–906.
- Sheehan, p. 909.
- Geoffrey Wawro, The Austro Prussian War: Austria's War with
Prussia and Italy in 1866. Cambridge, Cambridge University,
1996, p. 50–60; 75–79.
- Wawro, 57–75.
- Sheehan, 908–909
- Taylor, Bismarck, p. 87–88.
- Sheehan, p. 910.
- Sheehan, p. 905–910.
- Rosita Rindler Schjerve Diglossia and Power: Language
Policies and Practice in the Nineteenth Century Habsburg
Empire, 2003, ISBN 311017653X, p. 199–200.
- Bridge and Bullen, The Great Powers and the European States
- Sheehan, p. 909–910; Wawro, Chapter 11.
- Blackbourn, Long Century, Chapter V: From Reaction to
Unification, p. 225–269.
- Howard, p. 4–60.
- Howard, p. 50–57.
- Howard, p. 55–56.
- Howard, p. 56–57.
- Howard, p. 55–59.
- Howard, p. 64–68.
- Howard, p. 218–222.
- Howard, p. 222–230.
- Taylor, Bismarck, p. 126
- Taylor, Bismarck, p. 133.
- Crankshaw, Edward. Bismarck. New York, The Viking
Press, 1981, p. 299.
- Howard, Chapter XI: the Peace, p. 432–456.
- Blackbourn, Long Century, pp. 255–257.
- Alon Confino. The Nation as a Local Metaphor: Württemberg,
Imperial Germany, and National Memory, 1871–1918. Chapel Hill,
University of North Carolina Press, 1997.
- Richard J. Evans, Death in Hamburg: Society and Politics in
the Cholera Years, 1830–1910. New York, 2005, p. 1.
- Blackbourn, Long Century, p. 267.
- Blackbourn, Long Century, p. 225–301.
- David Blackbourn and Geoff Eley. The peculiarities of
German history: bourgeois society and politics in
nineteenth-century Germany. Oxford [Oxfordshire] and New York,
Oxford University Press, 1984. Peter Blickle, Heimat: a
critical theory of the German idea of homeland, Studies in
German literature, linguistics and culture. Columbia, S.C., Camden
House; Boydell & Brewer, 2004. Robert W. Scribner, Sheilagh C.
Ogilvie, Germany: a new social and economic history.
London and New York, Arnold and St. Martin's Press, 1996.
- To name only a few of these studies: Geoff Eley, Reshaping
the German right: radical nationalism and political change after
Bismarck. New Haven, 1980. Richard J. Evans, Death in
Hamburg: Society and Politics in the Cholera Years,
1830–1910.New York, 2005. Evans, Richard J. Society and
politics in Wilhelmine Germany. London and New York, 1978.
Thomas Nipperdey, Germany from Napoleon to Bismarck,
1800–1866. Princeton, NJ, 1996. Jonathan Sperber, Popular
Catholicism in nineteenth-century Germany. Princeton, N.J.,
- Blackbourn, Long Century, Chapter VI, particularly
- Blackbourn, Long Century, p. 240–290.
- For more on this idea, see, for example, Joseph R. Llobera, and
Goldsmiths' College. The role of historical memory in
(ethno)nation-building, Goldsmiths sociology papers. London,
1996; Alexandre Escudier, Brigitte Sauzay, and Rudolf von Thadden.
Gedenken im Zwiespalt: Konfliktlinien europäischen
Erinnerns, Genshagener Gespräche; vol. 4. Göttingen: 2001;
Alon Confino. The Nation as a Local Metaphor: Württemberg,
Imperial Germany, and National Memory, 1871–1918. Chapel Hill,
- Blackbourn, Long Century, p. 243–282.
- Blackbourn, Long Century, p. 283; 285–300;
- Sperber, Jonathan. Popular Catholicism in
nineteenth-century Germany, Princeton, N.J., 1984.
- Marion Kaplan, The making of the Jewish middle class:
women, family, and identity in Imperial Germany, New York,
- Kaplan, in particular, p. 4–7 and Conclusion.
- Blackbourn and Eley, Peculiarities, p. 241.
- Karin Friedrich, The other Prussia: royal Prussia, Poland
and liberty, 1569–1772, New York, 2000, p. 5.
- Many modern historians describe this myth, without subscribing
to it: for example, Rudy Koshar, Germany's Transient Pasts:
Preservation and the National Memory in the Twentieth Century.
Chapel Hill, 1998; Hans Kohn. German history; some new German
views. Boston, 1954; Thomas Nipperdey, Germany history
from Napoleon to Bismarck.
- Richard R. Flores, Remembering the Alamo: memory,
modernity, and the master symbol. 1st ed, History, culture,
and society series. Austin, TX, 2002.
- Josep R. Llobera and Goldsmiths' College. The role of
historical memory in (ethno)nation-building. Goldsmiths
sociology papers. London, Goldsmiths College, 1996.
- Berghahn, Volker. Modern
Germany: Society, Economy and Politics in the Twentieth
Century. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1982. ISBN
- Blackbourn, David.
Marpingen: apparitions of the Virgin Mary in Bismarckian
Germany. New York: Knopf, 1994. ISBN 0679418431
- __. The long nineteenth century: a history of Germany,
1780–1918. New York: Oxford University Press, 1998. ISBN
- __ and Geoff Eley. The
peculiarities of German history: bourgeois society and politics in
nineteenth-century Germany. Oxford & New York: Oxford
University Press, 1984. ISBN 978-0198730576
- Blickle, Peter. Heimat: a critical theory of the German
idea of homeland. Studies in German literature, linguistics
and culture. Columbia, S.C.: Camden House Press, 2004. ISBN
- Bridge, Roy and Roger Bullen, The Great Powers and the
European States System 1814–1914, 2nd ed. Longman, 2004. ISBN
- Confino, Alon. The Nation as a Local Metaphor: Württemberg,
Imperial Germany, and National Memory, 1871–1918. Chapel Hill:
University of North Carolina Press, 1997. ISBN
- Crankshaw, Edward. Bismarck. New York, The Viking
Press, 1981. ISBN 0333340388
- Dahrendorf, Ralf.
Gesellschaft und Demokratie in Deutschland. München:,
- Dominick, Raymond III, The Environmental Movement in
Germany, Bloomington, Indiana University, 1992. ISBN
- Escudier, Alexandre, Brigitte Sauzay, and Rudolf von Thadden.
"Gedenken im Zwiespalt: Konfliktlinien europäischen Erinnerns," in
Genshagener Gespräche Vol. 4. Göttingen, Wallstein, 2001.
- Evans, Richard J. Death in
Hamburg: Society and Politics in the Cholera Years, 1830–1910.
New York: Oxford University Press, 2005. ISBN 978-0143036364
- __. Rethinking German history: nineteenth-century Germany
and the origins of the Third Reich. London, Routledge, 1987.
- Flores, Richard R. Remembering the Alamo: memory,
modernity, and the master symbol. Austin: University of Texas,
2002. ISBN 978-0292725409
- Friedrich, Karin, The other Prussia: royal Prussia, Poland
and liberty, 1569–1772, New York, 2000. ISBN
- Grew, Raymond. Crises of Political Development in Europe
and the United States. Princeton, Princeton University Press,
1978. ISBN 0691075980
- Hollyday, F. B. M. Bismarck. New Jersey, Prentice
Hall, 1970. ISBN 978-0130773623
- Holt, Alexander W. The History of Europe from 1862–1914:
From the Accession of Bismarck to the Outbreak of the Great
War. New York: MacMillan, 1917.
- Howard, Michael
Eliot. The Franco-Prussian War: the German invasion of
France, 1870–1871. New York, MacMillan, 1961. ISBN
- Hull, Isabel. Absolute Destruction: Military culture and
the Practices of War in Imperial Germany. Ithaca, NY, Syracuse
University Press, 2005. ISBN 978-0801472930
- Kann, Robert A. History of the Habsburg Empire:
1526–1918. Los Angeles, University of California Press, 1974
- Kaplan, Marion. The making of the Jewish middle class:
women, family, and identity in Imperial Germany. New York,
Oxford University Press, 1991. ISBN 978-0195093964
- Kocka, Jürgen and Allan Mitchell. Bourgeois society in
nineteenth century Europe. Oxford, Oxford University Press,
1993. ISBN 978-0854964147
- __. "German History before Hitler: The Debate about the German
Sonderweg." Journal of Contemporary History Vol. 23, No. 1
(January 1988), p. 3–16.
- __. "Comparison and Beyond.'" History and Theory Vol.
42, No. 1 (February 2003), p. 39–44.
- __. "Asymmetrical Historical Comparison: The Case of the German
Sonderweg". History and Theory Vol. 38, No. 1
(February 1999), p. 40–50.
- Kohn, Hans. German history; some
new German views. Boston: Beacon, 1954.
- Koshar, Rudy, Germany's Transient Pasts: Preservation and the
National Memory in the Twentieth Century. Chapel Hill, 1998. ISBN
- Krieger, Leonard. The German Idea of Freedom, Chicago,
University of Chicago Press, 1957. ISBN 978-1597405195
- Lee, Lloyd. The politics of Harmony: Civil Service,
Liberalism, and Social Reform in Baden, 1800–1850. Cranbury,
NJ, Associated University Presses, 1980. ISBN 978-0874131437
- Llobera, Josep R. and Goldsmiths' College. "The role of
historical memory in (ethno)nation-building." Goldsmiths
Sociology Papers. London, Goldsmiths College, 1996. ISBN
- Mann, Golo. Deutsche Geschichte
des 19. und 20. Jahrhunderts. Frankfurt am Main:
Fischer, 2002. ISBN 978-3103479058
- Namier, L.B.. Avenues
of History. New York, Macmillan, 1952.
- Nipperdey, Thomas. Germany from Napoleon to Bismarck,
1800–1866. Princeton, Princeton University Press, 1996. ISBN
- Schjerve, Rosita Rindler, Diglossia and Power: Language
Policies and Practice in the nineteenth century Habsburg
Empire. Berlin, De Gruyter, 2003. ISBN 978-3110176544
- Schulze, Hagen. The course of
German nationalism: from Frederick the Great to Bismarck,
1763–1867. Cambridge & New York, Cambridge University
Press, 1991. ISBN 978-0521377591
- Scott, H. M. The Birth of a Great Power System. London
& New York, Longman, 2006. ISBN 978-0582217171
- Scribner, Robert W. and Sheilagh C. Ogilvie. Germany: a new
social and economic history. London: Arnold Publication, 1996.
- Sheehan, James J. German history 1770–1866. Oxford
History of Modern Europe. Oxford, Oxford University Press, 1989.
- Sked, Alan. Decline and Fall of the Habsburg Empire
1815–1918. London, Longman, 2001. ISBN 978-0582356665
- Sorkin, David, The transformation of German Jewry,
1780–1840, Studies in Jewish history. New York, Wayne State
University Press, 1987. ISBN 978-0814328286
- Sperber, Jonathan. The European Revolutions,
1848–1851. New Approaches to European History. Cambridge,
Cambridge University Press, 1984. ISBN 978-0521547796
- __. Popular Catholicism in nineteenth century Germany.
Princeton, Princeton University Press, 1984. ISBN
- __. Rhineland radicals: the democratic movement and the
revolution of 1848–1849. Princeton, Princeton University
Press, 1993. ISBN 978-0691008660
- Stargardt, Nicholas. The German idea of militarism: radical
and socialist critics, 1866–1914. Cambridge, Cambridge
University Press, 1994. ISBN 978-0521466929
- Talor, A. J. P.,
The Struggle for Mastery in Europe 1914–1918, Oxford,
Clarendon, 1954. ISBN 978-0198812708
- __. Bismarck: The Man and the Statesman. Oxford:
Clarendon, 1988. ISBN 978-0394703879
- Vann, James Allen. The Swabian Kreis: Institutional Growth
in the Holy Roman Empire 1648–1715. Vol. LII, Studies
Presented to International Commission for the History of
Representative and Parliamentary Institutions. Bruxelles, Editions
de la librairie encyclopedique, 1975. ISBN 978-0801415531
- Victoria and Albert Museum, Dept. of Prints and Drawings, and
Susan Lambert. The Franco-Prussian War and the Commune in
caricature, 1870–71. London, 1971. ISBN 0901486302
- Walter, Jakob, and Marc Raeff (trans/ed). The diary of a
Napoleonic foot soldier. Princeton, Princeton University
Press, 1996. ISBN 978-0140165593
- Walker, Mack. German home towns: community, state, and
general estate, 1648–1871. Ithaca, Syracuse University Press,
1998. ISBN 978-0801485084
- Wawro, Geoffrey. The
Austro-Prussian War. Cambridge, Cambridge University Press,
1996. ISBN 0-521-62951-9
- ___. Warfare and Society in Europe, 1792–1914. 2000.
- Wehler, Hans Ulrich. Das
Deutsche Kaiserreich, 1871–1918. Göttingen: Vandenhoeck &
Ruprecht, 1973. ISBN 978-0907582328
- "wr/as", Die Reichsgründung 1871 (The Foundation of
the Empire, 1871), Lebendiges virtuelles Museum Online, Accessed
2008-12-22. The article is signed "wr/as".
- Zamoyski, Adam. Rites of Peace: The Fall of Napoleon and
the Congress of Vienna. New York, HarperCollins, 2007. ISBN
- Further reading
- Bazillion, Richard J. Modernizing Germany: Karl
Biedermann's career in the kingdom of Saxony, 1835–1901.
American university studies. Series IX, History, vol. 84. New York,
Peter Lang, 1990. ISBN 082041185X
- Bucholz, Arden. Moltke, Schlieffen, and Prussian war
planning. New York, Berg Pub Ltd, 1991. ISBN 0854966536
- ___. Moltke and the German Wars 1864–1871. New York,
Palgrave MacMillan, 2001. ISBN 0333687582
- Clemente, Steven E. For King and Kaiser!: the making of the
Prussian Army officer, 1860–1914. Contributions in military
studies, no. 123. New York: Greenwood, 1992. ISBN 0313280045
- Cocks, Geoffrey and Konrad Hugo Jarausch. German
professions, 1800–1950. New York, Oxford University Press,
1990. ISBN 0195055969
- Droysen, J.G. Modern History Sourcebook: Documents of German
Unification, 1848–1871. Accessed April 9, 2009.
- Dwyer, Philip G. Modern Prussian history, 1830–1947.
Harlow, England, New York: Longman, 2001. ISBN 0582292700
- Friedrich, Otto. Blood and iron: from Bismarck to Hitler
the von Moltke family's impact on German history. 1st ed. New
York, Harper, 1995. ISBN 0060168668
- Groh, John E. Nineteenth century German Protestantism: the
church as social model. Washington, D.C., University Press of
America, 1982. ISBN 0819120782
- Henne, Helmut, and Georg Objartel. German student jargon in
the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. Berlin & NY, de
- Hughes, Michael. Nationalism and society: Germany,
1800–1945. London & New York, Edward Arnold, 1988. ISBN
- Kollander, Patricia. Frederick III: Germany's liberal
emperor, Contributions to the study of world history, no. 50.
Westport, Conn., Greenwood, 1995. ISBN 0313294836
- Koshar, Rudy. Germany's Transient Pasts: Preservation and
the National Memory in the Twentieth Century. Chapel Hill,
University of North Carolina Press, 1998. ISBN 0807847011
- Lowenstein, Steven M. The Berlin Jewish community:
enlightenment, family, and crisis, 1770–1830. Studies in
Jewish history. New York, Oxford University Press, 1994. ISBN
- Lüdtke, Alf. Police and State in Prussia, 1815–1850.
Cambridge, New York & Paris, Cambridge University Press, 1989.
- Ohles, Frederik. Germany's rude awakening: censorship in
the land of the Brothers Grimm. Kent, Ohio, Ohio State
University Press, 1992. ISBN 0873384601
- Schleunes, Karl A. Schooling and society: the politics of
education in Prussia and Bavaria, 1750–1900. Oxford & New
York, Oxford University Press, 1989. ISBN 0854962670
- Showalter, Dennis E. Railroads and rifles: soldiers,
technology, and the unification of Germany. Hamden, CT, Hailer
Publishing, 1975. ISBN 0979850096
- Smith, Woodruff D. Politics and the sciences of culture in
Germany, 1840–1920. New York, Oxford University Press, 1991.
- Wawro, Geoffrey. The Franco-Prussian War: The German
Conquest of France. Cambridge, Cambridge University Press,
2005. ISBN 052161743X