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"Nationalism Was Probably The Most Important Cause Of Unification". Discuss With Reference To Germany.

843 words - 3 pages

The Germany unification, which was carried out in 1864-1871. The unification movement was often described as a product of nationalism and liberalism. It is fact started by a number of factors including the power struggle between Prussia and Austria, the policy the leaders of Prussia adopted .

Nationalism is the feeling of loyalty shared by a group of people united by same language, race and culture; to express their loyalty to their nation, they attempt to unite themselves into a larger nation state. The German states were only a collection of states before the rise of Napoleon. When Napoleon defeated Austria and Prussia in the early 19th century, he grouped the German states together into a Confederation of the Rhine and helped to promote among the Germans an idea of German nationality. This nationalist movement pushed the liberal-nationalists to do something for their country, and this caused the beginnings of the unifying the Germans. The 1848 revolutions, although a serious blow to the German nationalism, they laid the idea of a united state with persisted in the hearts and minds of liberal-nationalists.

There are other factors that cause the German unification. The growth of liberalism is one of them and cannot be ignored. There have been increasing number of liberals in the middle class people and these people lead the public opinion towards how the country should be ruled. These liberals have the nationalism in them and the nationalism made them demand for a unified country. Liberalism caused the liberals to see the need for a unified country, therefore can be perceived as a cause to the unification.

Causing the unification process was the position of Prussia. In the Vienna Settlement, Prussia was strengthened by the addition of Rhineland, and other lands including parts of Saxony. The Zollverein brought great financial improvements in Prussia and planted a desire for the Prussians to dominate and expand. Moreover, Prussia had the sympathy from the foreign countries such as Britain and France, They were sympathetic to the German liberal and nationalism. The position of Prussia had the nationalists see that there is a hope for Prussia being able to unite the country. By arousing the nationalism, Prussia's potential is among the factors which caused the unification.

There was also the effect of the able leadership. The most obvious leadership at that time was from Bismarck, and his aim was to increase the power of Prussia. He saw that by unifying the country, Prussia could gain in the international status and overtake the role of leading stated from Austria. Unification...

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