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Triumphs in Europe


The Price of Nationalism

The last half of the 1800s can be called the Age of

Nationalism. By harnessing national feeling,

European leaders fought ruthlessly to create strong, unified nations. Under Otto von Bismarck, Germany emerged as Europe's most powerful empire—but at a considerable cost. In his 1870 diary, Crown Prince Friedrich wrote:

“[Germany had once been admired as a]

nation of thinkers and philosophers, poets and

artists, idealists and enthusiasts ... [but now the

world saw Germany as] a nation of conquerors and destroyers, to which no pledged word, no treaty, is sacred.... We are neither loved nor respected, but only feared",

Listen to the Witness History audio to learn more about nationalism.

Helmet from the Franco-Prussian war era

• Otto von Bismarck (center), chancellor of Germany, meets with European and Turkish leaders at the Congress of Berlin.

Chapter Preview

Chapter Focus Question What effects did nationalism and the demand for reform have in Europe?

Flag of Italy, 1833

Section 1

Building a German Nation

Section 2

Germany Strengthens


Section 3 Unifying Italy

Section 4

Nationalism Threatens Old Empires

Section 5

Russia: Reform and Reaction


Sovie mp commemorating the Decembrist Revolt

Note Taking Study Guide Online

For: Note Taking and Concept Connector worksheets Web Code: nbd-2201



Blood and Iron

Prussian legislators waited restlessly for Otto von Bismarck to speak. He wanted them to vote for more money to build up the army. Liberal members opposed the move. Bismarck rose and dismissed their concerns:

64 Germany does not look to Prussia's liberalism, but to her power.... The great questions of the day are not to be decided by speeches and majority resolu­tions—that was the mistake of 1848 and 1849—but by blood and iron!"

—Otto von Bismarck, 1862

Focus Question How did Otto von Bismarck, the chancellor of Prussia, lead the drive for German unity?

Building a German Nation


Identify several events that promoted German unity during the early 1800s.

Explain how Bismarck unified Germany.

Analyze the basic political organization of the new German empire.

Eerms, People, and Places

)tto von Bismarck annex

hancellor kaiser

tealpolitik Reich

Nate Taking

leading Skill: Recognize Sequence Keep track )f the sequence of events that led to German inification by completing a chart like the one )elow. Add more boxes as needed.

Napoleon raids German lands.

330 Nationalism Triumphs in Europe

Otto von Bismarck delivered his "blood and iron" speech in 1862. It set the tone for his future policies. Bismarck was determined to build a strong, unified German state, with Prussia at its head.

Taking Initial Steps Toward Unity

In the early 1800s, German-speaking people lived in a number of small and medium-sized states as well as in Prussia and the Aus­trian Hapsburg empire. Napoleon's invasions unleashed new forces in these territories.

Napoleon Raids German Lands Between 1806 and 1812, Napoleon made important territorial changes in German-speaking lands. He annexed lands along the Rhine River for France. He dis­solved the Holy Roman Empire by forcing the emperor of Austria to agree to the lesser title of king. He also organized a number of German states into the Rhine Confederation.

At first, some Germans welcomed the French emperor as a hero with enlightened, modern policies. He encouraged freeing the serfs, made trade easier, and abolished laws against Jews. How­ever, not all Germans appreciated Napoleon and his changes. As people fought to free their lands from French rule, they began to demand a unified German state.

Napoleon's defeat did not resolve the issue. At the Congress of Vienna, Metternich pointed out that a united Germany would require dismantling the government of each German state. Instead, the peacemakers created the German Confederation, a weak alliance headed by Austria.

Economic Changes Promote Unity In the 1830s, Prussia created an

economic union called the Zollverein (TSAWL fur yn). It dismantled tariff barriers between many German states. Still, Germany remained politi­cally fragmented.

In 1848, liberals meeting in the Frankfurt Assembly again demanded German political unity. They offered the throne of a united German state to Frederick William IV of Prussia. The Prussian ruler, however, rejected the notion of a throne offered by "the people."

I/ Checkpoint What was the German Confederation?

Bismarck Unites Germany

Otto von Bismarck succeeded where others had failed. Bismarck came from Prussia's Junker (YOONG kur) class, made up of conservative landowning nobles. Bismarck first served Prussia as a diplomat in Russia and France. In 1862, King William I made him prime minister. Within a decade, the new prime minister had become chancellor, or the highest official of a monarch, and had used his policy of "blood and iron" to unite the German states under Prussian rule.

Map Skills In the early 1800s, people living in German-speaking states had local loyalties. By the mid-1800s, how­ever, they were developing a national identity.

Locate: (a) Prussia (b) Silesia (c) Bavaria (d) Schleswig

Region What area did Prussia adc to its territory in 1866?

Analyzing Information Why do

you think Austrian influence was

greater among the southern

German states than among the

Master of Realpolitik Bismarck's success was due in part to his strong will. He was a master of Realpolitik (ray AHL poh lee teek), or realistic politics based on the needs of the state. In the case of Realpolitik, power was more important than principles.

Although Bismarck was the architect of German unity, he was not really a German nationalist. His primary loyalty was to the Hohenzollerns (hoh un TSAWL urnz), the ruling dynasty of Prussia, who represented a powerful, traditional monarchy. Through unification, he hoped to bring more power to the Hohenzollerns.

Strengthening the Army As Prussia's prime minister, Bismarck first moved to build up the Prussian army. Despite his "blood and iron" speech, the liberal legislature refused to vote for funds for the military. In response, Bismarck strengthened the army with money that had been collected for other purposes. With a powerful, well-equipped military, he was then ready to pursue an aggressive foreign policy. Over the next decade, Bismarck led Prussia into three wars. Each war increased Prus­sian prestige and power and paved the way for German unity.

Prussia Declares War With Denmark and Austria Bismarck's first maneuver was to form an alliance in 1864 with Austria. Prussia and Austria then seized the provinces of Schleswig and Holstein from Den­mark. After a brief war, Prussia and Austria "liberated" the two prov­inces and divided up the spoils. Austria was to administer Holstein and Prussia was to administer Schleswig.

In 1866, Bismarck invented an excuse to attack Austria. The Austro­Prussian War lasted just seven weeks and ended in a decisive Prussian victory. Prussia then annexed, or took control of, several other north German states.

Bismarck dissolved the Austrian-led German Confederation and cre­ated a new confederation dominated by Prussia. Austria and four other southern German states remained independent. Bismarck's motives, as always, were strictly practical. Attempting to conquer Austria might have meant a long and risky war for Prussia.

War and Power

In 1866, Field Marshal Helmuth von Moltke analyzed the importance of Prussia's war against Austria. Why, according to von Moltke, did Prussia go to war against Austria?

Primary Source

44 The war of 1866 was entered on not because the existence of Prussia was threatened, nor was it caused by public opinion and the voice of the people; it was a struggle, long foreseen and calmly prepared for, recognized as a necessity by the Cabinet, not for territorial expansion, for an extension of our domain, or for material advantage, but for an ideal end—the establishment of power. Not a foot of land was exacted from Austria.... Its center of gravity lay out of Germany; Prussia's lay within it. Prussia felt itself called upon and strong enough to assume the leadership of the German races",

332 Nationalism Triumphs in Europe

Austro-Prussian War painting

(above) and a medal of victory (left)

France Declares War on Prussia In France, the Prussian victory over Austria angered Napoleon III. A growing rivalry between the two nations led to the Franco-Prussian War of 1870.

Germans recalled only too well the invasions of Napoleon I some 60 years earlier. Bismarck played up the image of the French menace to spur German nationalism. For his part, Napoleon III did little to avoid war, hoping to mask problems at home with military glory.

Bismarck furthered the crisis by rewriting and then releasing to the press a telegram that reported on a meeting between King William I and the French ambassador. Bismarck's editing of the "Ems dispatch" made it seem that William I had insulted the Frenchman. Furious, Napoleon III declared war on Prussia, as Bismarck had hoped.

A superior Prussian force, supported by troops from other German states, smashed the badly organized and poorly supplied French soldiers. Napoleon III, old and ill, surrendered within a few weeks. France had to accept a humiliating peace.

Checkpoint What techniques did Bismarck use to unify the German states?

Birth of the German Empire

Delighted by the victory over France, princes from the southern German states and the North German Confederation persuaded William I of Prussia to take the title kaiser (KY zur), or emperor. In January 1871, German nationalists celebrated the birth of the Second Reich, or empire. They called it that because they considered it heir to the Holy Roman Empire.

A constitution drafted by Bismarck set up a two-house legislature. The Bundesrat (BOON dus raht), or upper house, was appointed by the rulers of the German states. The Reichstag (RYKS tahg), or lower house, was elected by universal male suffrage. Because the Bundesrat could veto any decisions of the Reichstag, real power remained in the hands of the emperor and his chancellor.

Checkpoint How was the new German government, drafted by Bismarck, structured?

Vocabulary Builder

edit—(ED it) v. to make additions, deletions, or other changes to a piece of writing

Progress Monitoring Online

For: Self-quiz with vocabulary practice Web Code: nba-2211

Terms, People, and Places

For each term, person, or place listed at

the beginning of the section, write a

sentence explaining its significance. Note Taking

Reading Skill: Recognize Sequence Use your completed chart to answer the Focus Question: How did Otto von Bismarck, the chancellor of Prussia, lead the drive for German unity?

Comprehension and Critical Thinking

Summarize What territorial and eco 

nomic changes promoted German


Analyze Information Identify three examples of Bismarck's use of Realpolitik.

Draw Conclusions How did

the emperor and his chancellor retain power in the new German government?

• Writing About History

Quick Write: Generate Arguments

Choose one topic from this section that you

could use to write a persuasive essay. For example, you could write about whether Ger­many's war against Austria was justifiable. Make sure that the topic you choose to write about has at least two sides that could pro­voke an argument.

Chapter 10 Section 1 333

French bayonet




The New German Empire

In 1870, German historian Heinrich von Treitschke (yawn TRYCH kuh) wrote a newspaper article demanding the annexation of Alsace and Lorraine from France. A year later, annexation became a condition of the peace settlement in the Franco-Prussian War:

44 The sense of justice to Germany demands the lessening of France.... These territories are ours by the right of the sword, and ... [by] vir­tue of a higher right—the right of the German nation, which will not permit its lost children to remain strangers to the German Empire",

Focus Question How did Germany increase its power after unifying in 1871?

Germany Strengthens


Describe how Germany became an industrial giant.

Explain why Bismarck was called the Iron Chancellor.

List the policies of Kaiser William II.

Terms, People, and Places

Kulturkampf William II

social welfare

Nate Taking

Reading Skill: Recognize Sequence Keep track of the sequence of events described in this section by completing a chart like the one below. List the causes that led to a strong German nation.

334 Nationalism Triumphs in Europe

In January 1871, German princes gathered in the glittering Hall of Mirrors at the French palace of Versailles. They had just defeated Napoleon III in the Franco-Prussian War. Once home to French kings, the palace seemed the perfect place to proclaim the new German empire. To the winners as well as to the losers, the symbolism was clear: French domination of Europe had ended. Germany was now the dominant power in Europe.

Germany Becomes an Industrial Giant

In the aftermath of unification, the German empire emerged as the industrial giant of the European continent. By the late 1800s, German chemical and electrical industries were setting the stan­dard worldwide. Among the European powers, German shipping was second only to Britain's.

Making Economic Progress Germany, like Great Britain, pos­sessed several of the factors that made industrialization possible. Germany's spectacular growth was due in part to ample iron and coal resources, the basic ingredients for industrial development. A disciplined and educated workforce also helped the economy. The German middle class and educated professionals helped to create a productive and efficient society that prided itself on its sense of responsibility and deference to authority. Germany's rapidly grow­ing population—from 41 million in 1871 to 67 million by 1914—also provided a huge home market along with a larger supply of industrial workers.

Strong German -* nation


Industrial development


Abundant natural resources •

The new nation also benefited from earlier progress. During the 1850s and 1860s, Germans had founded large companies and built many rail­roads. The house of Krupp (kroop) boomed after 1871, becoming an enor­mous industrial complex that produced steel and weapons for a world market. Between 1871 and 1914, the business tycoon August Thyssen (TEES un) built a small steel factory of 70 workers into a giant empire with 50,000 employees. Optics was another important industry. German industrialist and inventor Carl Zeiss built a company that became known for its telescopes, microscopes, and other optical equipment.

Promoting Scientific and Economic Development German industrialists were the first to see the value of applied science in develop­ing new products such as synthetic chemicals and dyes. Industrialists, as well as the government, supported research and development in the uni­versities and hired trained scientists to solve technological problems in their factories.

The German government also promoted economic development. After 1871, it issued a single currency for Germany, reorganized the banking system, and coordinated railroads built by the various German states. When a worldwide depression hit in the late 1800s, Germany raised tar­iffs to protect home industries from foreign competition. The leaders of the new German empire were determined to maintain economic strength as well as military power.

Checkpoint What factors did Germany possess that made industrialization possible there?

The Iron Chancellor

As chancellor of the new German empire, Bismarck pursued sev­eral foreign-policy goals. He wanted to keep France weak and isolated while building strong links with Austria and Russia. He respected British naval power but did not seek to compete in that arena. "Water rats," he said, "do not fight with land rats." Later, however, he would take a more aggressive stand against Britain as the two nations competed for overseas colonies.

Otto von Bismarck

Otto von Bismarck (1815-1898) spent his early years on his father's
country estate. He worked briefly as a civil servant, but found the work
boring. At 24, Bismarck resigned his post as a bureaucrat. "My ambition
strives more to command than to obey," the independent-minded young

man explained.

The resignation did not end his career in government. While he was a delegate to a United Diet that was called by Prussian King Frederick William IV, Bismarck's conservative views and passionate speeches in defense of government policies won him the support of the king. He then served as a diplomat to the German Federation. He became chancellor of the German empire in 1871, a position he held for 19 years. What path did Bismarck take to win political power?

Vocabulary Builder

synthetic—(sin THET ik) adj. prepared or made artificially

Vocabulary Builder

coordinate—(koh AWR dih nate) v. to design or adjust so as to have harmonious action

Chapter 10 Section 2 335

On the domestic front, Bismarck applied the same ruthless methods he had used to achieve unification. The Iron Chancellor, as he was called, sought to erase local loyalties and crush all opposition to the imperial state. He targeted two groups—the Catholic Church and the Socialists. In his view, both posed a threat to the new German state.

Campaign Against the Church After unifi 

cation, Catholics made up about a third of the German population. Bismarck, who was Luthe­ran, distrusted Catholics—especially the clergy—whose first loyalty, he believed, was to the pope instead of to Germany.

In response to what he saw as the Catholic

threat, Bismarck launched the Kulturkampf

(kool TOOR kahmpf), or "battle for civilization," which lasted from 1871 to 1878. His goal was to make Catholics put loy­alty to the state above allegiance to the Church. The chancellor had laws passed that gave the state the right to supervise Catholic education and approve the appointment of priests. Other laws closed some religious orders, expelled the Jesuits from Prussia, and made it compulsory for couples to be married by civil authority.

Bismarck's moves against the Catholic Church backfired. The faithful rallied behind the Church, and the Catholic Center party gained strength in the Reichstag. A realist, Bismarck saw his mistake and worked to make peace with the Church.

Campaign Against the Socialists Bismarck also saw a threat to the new German empire in the growing power of socialism. By the late 1870s, German Marxists had organized the Social Democratic party, which called for parliamentary democracy and laws to improve condi­tions for the working class. Bismarck feared that socialists would under­mine the loyalty of German workers and turn them toward revolution. Following a failed assassination plot against the kaiser, Bismarck had laws passed that dissolved socialist groups, shut down their newspapers, and banned their meetings. Once again, repression backfired. Workers were unified in support of the socialist cause.

Bismarck then changed course. He set out to woo workers away from socialism by sponsoring laws to protect them. By the 1890s, Germans had health and accident insurance as well as old-age insurance to pro­vide retirement benefits. Thus, under Bismarck, Germany was a pioneer in social reform. Its system of economic safeguards became the model for other European nations.

Although workers benefited from Bismarck's plan, they did not aban­don socialism. In fact, the Social Democratic party continued to grow in strength. By 1912, it held more seats in the Reichstag than any other party. Yet Bismarck's program showed that conditions for workers could be improved without the upheaval of a revolution. Later, Germany and other European nations would build on Bismarck's social policies, greatly increasing government's role in providing for the needs of its citizens.

Checkpoint Why did Bismarck try to crush the Catholic Church and the Socialists?

A Political Game of Chess This politi­cal cartoon shows Otto von Bismarck and Pope Pius IX trying to checkmate each other in a game of chess.

How does this cartoon reflect the re­lationship between Bismarck and the Catholic Church?

How did the conflict between church and state affect German politics in the 1870s?

336 Nationalism Triumphs in Europe

Kaiser William II

In 1888, William II succeeded his grandfather as kaiser. The new emperor was supremely confident in his abilities and wished to put his own stamp on Germany. In 1890, he shocked Europe by asking the domi­nating Bismarck to resign. "There is only one master in the Reich," he said, "and that is I."

William II seriously believed that his right to rule came from God. He expressed this view when he said:

Primary Source

64 My grandfather considered that the office of king was a task that God had assigned to him.... That which he thought I also think.... Those who wish to aid me in that task ... I welcome with all my heart; those who

oppose me in this work I shall crush?,

—William II

Not surprisingly, William resisted efforts to introduce democratic reforms. At the same time, however, his gov­ernment provided programs for social welfare, or pro­grams to help certain groups of people. His government also provided services such as cheap transportation and electricity. An excellent system of public schools, which had flourished under Bismarck, taught students obedi­ence to the emperor along with reading, writing, and mathematics.

Like his grandfather, William II lavished funds on the German military machine, already the most pow­erful in Europe. He also launched an ambitious cam­paign to expand the German navy and win an overseas empire to rival those of Britain and France. William's nationalism and aggressive military stance helped increase tensions on the eve of World War I.

Checkpoint Why did William II ask Bismarck to resign in 1890?

Social Reform

Under Bismarck's leadership, Germany pioneered social reform. By 1884, Germans had health and accident insurance. By 1889, they had disability and old-age insurance. Why did Bismarck introduce these social reforms?

Progress Monitoring Online

For: Self-quiz with vocabulary practice Web Code: nba-2222

Terms, People, and Places Co

For each term, person, or place listed at 3. the beginning of the section, write a

sentence Pxplaining its significance.

Note Taking 4.

Reading Skill: Recognize Sequence Use your completed chart to answer the 5. Focus Question: How did Germany

increase its power after unifying

in 1871?mprehension and Critical Thinking

Summarize How did Germany become an industrial giant in the late 1800s?

Demonstrate Reasoned Judgment Do you think Bismarck's methods were justified by his social reforms? Explain. Draw Conclusions Do you think the supporters of a democratic government in Germany in the late 1800s had hope of success? Explain.

• Writing About History

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