German nationalism political nationalism

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Reasons AGAINST the Growth of


KU: Deutscher Bund German Confederation – After expulsion of Napoleon the ‘Germany’ was reformed in 1815 into 39 states.

A: German Confederation Assembly did not support Liberalism or Nationalism

(DIET represented rulers, not people)

RULE 2: “The aim of the German Confederation is to… guard the independence of the separate German states.”
KU: 1848 Revolutions – revolutions spread across 50 states in Europe.

Nationalists – united country ruled by an elected national parliament.

Liberals – freedom of speech, freedom of press, political rights.

A: revolutions suggested a growing support for nationalism in ‘Germany’.

FAILURE of the revolutions to bring about major changes by 1850 suggests that nationalists were not strong enough to challenge the power of Austria.
KU: Religion – Northern German states – Protestant.

Southern German states – Catholic

A: North looked to Prussia for help and protection. South looked to Austria.

Leaders of the German states obstructed unification.

…were protective of their individual power & position.

Suspicion of the Protestant north by the Catholic south lingered till the 1860s, when the southern

states DECLINED to join what became the North German Confederation.
POPULAR APATHY – most Germans had little desire to see a united Germany,

nationalism affected mainly the educated/business classes.
KU: Failure to agree whether a united Germany should be:

Grossdeutsch “Greater Germany” – included Austria

Kleindeutsch “Lesser Germany” – excluded Austria

A: The format a united Germany could not even be agreed on, making it seem that unification could never be achieved.

KU: In 1817, conflict between Metternich and students reached its peak when a life-sized model of Metternich was burned at a festival in Wartburg, Saxony.

Carlsbad Decrees – banned student societies / censored newspapers (police state).

A: Metternich’s work to oppose liberalism and nationalism. As spreading nationalist ideas was made forbidden, it was difficult for political nationalism to take hold.

The states within ‘Germany’ had been part of the moribund Holy Roman Empire, traditionally

ruled by the Emperor of Austria.
Post-1815 the chairmanship of the Bund given to Austria on a permanent basis, partly as she was considered to be the major German power.
Post-1815 Austrian military strength and bureaucracy continued to decline in effectiveness; shift in balance of power between Austria and Prussia.
TREATY OF OLMUTZ, 1850 – signalled the triumph of Austria and humiliation of Prussia. German nationalism now seemed a spent force.
KU: Failure of the Frankfurt Parliament

A: Lack of clear aims, decisive leadership, without an armed force to enforce decisions.

KU: No Great Powers wanted the creation of a strong Germany (upset the balance of power)

Britain, Russia, Austria

A: A weak, divided Germany would be less of a threat, than a unified country.

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