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German Confederation Dbq

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Aaron Saber

European History Honours

German Confederation DBQ

Germany was a very divided nation prior to 1848. This started with the staatensystem, which divided Germany into 300 states all with their own foreign policies. This would set a long period of time for the nation of Germany that would be hard to get out of. This division of Germany led all the way up to early 19th century, where it caused economic, social, and even political corruption. Politically, the German people were debating on who to place into power and how they should rule. The economic and social issues grew off of each other, as the lower class were facing a major recession, also affecting the way they lived and reacted to other occurrences in Germany.

During this time of the early 19th century, Germany was divided into 38 states politically. After years of tension, many pushed for German unification. Klemens von Metternich, in document 3, explained that the Germans trying to unify Germany was an act of evil that must be stopped. This would take from his absolute power as the minister of Austria. Others stemmed their ideas from the French Revolution, such as document 2's Jospeh von Goerres, who wrote that the revolution inspired Germans to unite and create a stronger Germany. Document 8, written by Joseph von Randowitz, criticized the bourgeoisie and the corruption they caused. He alarms the lower class that they are on the same side as the princes and stay loyal to the king. Both the princes and the lower classes wanted to stop the bourgeoisie.

Economically, the middle class in Germany was very successful through exploiting the lower class workers. One argument came from Friedrich List in document 5. List argued that the division was causing the economic turbulence. List was a middle class businessman and argued that Germany's division did not allow for consistent commerce in Germany, avoiding the issue of industrialisation. Document 9, a newspaper article, explains a riot in Stettin of Prussia in 1847. A man holds two loaves of bread in front of hundreds of German lower class, showing the struggle to live everyday for the lower class.

Socially, Germany was struggling because the lower class were not able to improve their living conditions. Bettina von Arnim in document 7 explains how the middle class exploited the lower class both economically and socially.

Through these several document, it is clear that a nationalist German revival was about to happen within the next 100 years. Germans were pushing for better political, economic, and social conditions throughout the century. These problems came to life in the revolutions of 1848 and would liberate Germany.



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