Origins and Impact of German Unification on Europe Research Paper by TheWholeDamnShow

Origins and Impact of German Unification on Europe
Examines the impact and historical significance of the unity of the German states after the Napoleonic Wars and their implication on changing Europe.
# 60455 | 5,234 words | 7 sources | MLA | 2004 | US

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The paper is a historical examination into the German national movement that began after the Napoleonic Wars in Europe. The desire for unity among the German states, mainly between Prussia and Austria, would eventually be a main reason for World War I and World War II. This in the desire to see a Greater Germany exist as the competing power in Europe by the late 19th and early 20th centuries, as an opposition to English, French and Russian domination of the continent. The paper is divided up into three main parts. The first section gives a history of the Napoleonic Wars and the growing concept of nationalism in the German states under Napoleon. It was this hope for unity that helped push the French back and convince the world that German unity was in the best interest as a buffer to further French aggression. The second part of the paper deals with the unification of the German states and the problems and progress that existed from the time of 1815-1870. The growing industrial movement is heavily discussed as being the backbone to the new German Confederation of states. The rivalry that existed between Austria and Prussia, which eventually splintered Austria from the Confederation, is also discussed and how the German nation became stronger due to a more powerful Prussian influence. A complete investigation into German culture, economics and military system of the 19th century is given in this section in a very detailed manner. Repeated sources from English observers and German politicians give an insight into how Germany began to grow as a European power during the middle 19th century. A huge part of this section deals with the German economy and their desire to match England in terms of economic dominance of Europe. The German economic system is examined, run by a harsh yet amazingly efficient centralized government that maximizes output and production from its workers. Finally, the last section deals with the establishment of the German Empire, and how nationalism completely took over Germany as the predominant unifying factor of the German people. The Franco-Prussian War and the subsequent territorial grabs by Otto Von Bismarck and Kaiser Wilhelm The First are discussed, right up until the outbreak of World War I where Germany has officially taken its place as the predominant military and economic power on the continent.

From the Paper:

"Throughout the history of Europe, there have been numerous incidents in which a country will affect the entirety of the continent through political, economic or cultural means. These influences upon fellow European countries usually tended to be permanent changes, whether it was the religious division that came upon The Protestant split or The French Revolution's impact on neighboring countries. However, the one event that changed the course of European history and would eventually impact every European nation was the unification of the Germany city-states into a conglomerated country in 1815. Through this development of a united Germany at the Congress of Vienna, Europe would be forever changed and would be forced to compete with Germanic ideals that the new nation would sponsor as it began to build up a nationalistic Germany. What the European powers saw as a means of ending local rivalries and improving economic trade and prosperity to the former states of the Holy Roman Empire, the unification of the German people would taint any optimistic expectations of peaceful coexistence in Europe for the latter half of the 19th century and would take on much more dangerous and bloody connotations as the 20th century unfolded. The united country of Germany, through a series of beliefs and practices that each German citizen began to trust while the country was building itself in the 19th century, would become one of the most dominant and influential nations in European history. These principles were the strong nationalistic feelings that came from the pride and love of what it was to be German, the growing industrial practices that began to be developed in German economic production, and the emphasis on military dignity and strength of the army, coupled with the German tendency to give powerful prominence to German military leaders, would become grounds for building a nation that would tower over the European political environment for years."

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Origins and Impact of German Unification on Europe (2005, August 18) Retrieved December 07, 2023, from

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"Origins and Impact of German Unification on Europe" 18 August 2005. Web. 07 December. 2023. <>