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German Unification - Nationalism

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When it comes to the unification of Germany, there are many different opinions on which had had a bigger effect on the unification aspect. Many believe it was Prussia’s ability to persevere and ambition of achieving their goal, and others think it was Germanys nationalism and the mindsets that many of the German leaders had. Between these different beliefs its safe to say that they both major causes that had assisted the unification of Germany.

Nationalism refers to pride in ones country, but it can also refer a feeling of superiority over other countries. During the Napoleonic Wars Germany had succeeded in gradually defeating Napoleon, which had brought upon a sense of urgency to Germany that they were much more powerful then most of them had thought. That major event, had led to something that could’ve potentially had the greatest impact on Germany as a whole. That winning and powerful mindset had brought upon a nationalistic feelings throughout the country. German philosophy had played a big role in the country’s way of thinking. The thing that had separated Germany from the rest of Europe was their philosophy. Germany had believed that they were superior to everyone and even more to the Slavs who were an ethnic group of Europe. Two of the greatest German philosophers was Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel and Karl Marx Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel and Karl Marx had a strong belief in idealism. Idealism was the belief in optimism and a perfect society. The philosophy of idealism had also contributed to the country first philosophy, which meant that Germany would always put themselves first in a way, and think they were much more dominant than everyone. (Document A)

Otto von Bismarck was the prime minister of Prussia at the time that all of this was going on. Otto von Bismarck of Prussia wanted to unify with Germany because he believed that it would potentially make them more powerful, which can result in expanding their empire. He had wanted Prussia to be the leading power over Germany. Germany didn’t know how they had felt about this situation. They didn’t know wither or not to unify with Prussia or Austria. They were considering Austria because they had shared many similar cultural aspect of their daily life. Prussia was thought out to be a mini Germany. This was when the German question came into play. The German question is not about the laws and the principals they will potentially have depending on whom they unify with in the future, but the amount of power they will have. A main reason towards why Germany had leaned away from Austria in the unification process was because they felt that Austria’s lack of power would affect Germany in the long run. That being said, Germany thought that even if they unified with Austria they still would be powerful enough to take over and unify the other countries of Europe.

(Document B)

While Germany was trying to figure out who they should to unify with, Austria and Prussia were experiencing some conflicts. The problem that is occurring is that Austria is not being cooperative and they weren’t willing to join Prussia in the unification of Germany. They had wanted to be the leading power and that was destined for failure at this time. Prussia knew that they only way they were going to put an end to Austria and stop them from unifying with Germany were if they had declared war on them. Prussia had finally taken



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