Prussia was aided by the North German Confederation, and the South German states of Baden, Württemberg and Bavaria. The complete Prussian and German victory brought about the final unification of Germany under King Wilhelm I of Prussia.
The 2nd millennium was the thousand-year period that commenced on January 1, 1001 and ended on December 31, 2000. It encompassed the High Middle Ages, the Renaissance, the Early Modern Age, the age of colonialism, industrialization, the rise of nation states, and the 20th century with the impact of science, widespread education, and universal health care and vaccinations in many nations. The centuries of expanding large-scale warfare with high-tech weaponry (of the World Wars and nuclear bombs) were offset by growing peace movements from the United Nations, the Peace Corps, religious campaigns warning against violence, plus doctors and health workers crossing borders to treat injuries and disease and the return of the Olympics as contest without combat.
Scientists prevailed in explaining intellectual freedom; humans took their first steps on the Moon during the 20th century; and new technology was developed by governments, industry, and academia across the world, with education shared by many international conferences and journals. The development of movable type, radio, television, and the Internet spread information worldwide, within minutes, in audio, video, and print-image format to educate, entertain, and alert billions of people by the end of the 20th century.
Unification of Germany
Modern history, also referred to as the modern period or the modern era, is the historiographical approach to the timeframe after the post-classical era (known as the Middle Ages). Modern history can be further broken down into the early modern period and the late modern period after the French Revolution and the Industrial Revolution. Contemporary history is the span of historic events that are immediately relevant to the present time. The modern era began approximately in the 16th century.
Some events, while not without precedent, show a new way of perceiving the world. The concept of modernity interprets the general meaning of these events and seeks explanations for major developments.
The formal unification of Germany into a politically and administratively integrated nation state officially occurred on 18 January 1871 at the Versailles Palace's Hall of Mirrors in France. Princes of the German states gathered there to proclaim Wilhelm of Prussia as Emperor Wilhelm of the German Empire after the French capitulation in the Franco-Prussian War. Unofficially, the de facto transition of most of the German-speaking populations into a federated organization of states occurred far earlier, via alliances formal and informal between noblemen— but also fitfully as self-interests of parties hampered the process over nearly a century of aristocratic experimentation from the dissolution of the Holy Roman Empire (1806) and the consequent rise of nationalism over the span of the Napoleonic Wars era.
Unification exposed several glaring religious, linguistic, social, and cultural differences between and among the inhabitants of the new nation, suggesting that 1871 only represents one moment in a continuum of the larger unification processes. The Holy Roman Emperor was oft-called "Emperor of all The Germanies", news accounts referred to 'The Germanies' and in the empire, its higher nobility were referred to as "Princes of Germany" or "Princes of the Germanies"—for the lands once East Francia had been ruled as pocket kingdoms, dynastic independent states ruled by its ruling classes since the times well before the rise of Charlemagne (800 AD). Given the mountainous terrains of much of the territory, it is obvious that isolated peoples would develop cultural, educational, linguistic and religious based differences over such a lengthy time period. But Germany of the nineteenth century would enjoy transportation and communications improvements tying the peoples into a greater, tighter culture, as has all the world under the influence of better communications and transportation infrastructures.
William I, German Emperor
The German Confederation (German: Deutscher Bund) was a loose association of 39 German states in Central Europe, created by the Congress of Vienna in 1815 to coordinate the economies of separate German-speaking countries and to replace the former Holy Roman Empire. It acted as a buffer between the powerful states of Austria and Prussia. According to historian Lloyd E. Lee, most historians have judged the Confederation to be weak and ineffective, as well as an obstacle to German nationalist aspirations. It collapsed due to the rivalry between Prussia and Austria, known as German dualism, warfare, the 1848 revolution, and the inability of the multiple members to compromise. It dissolved with Prussian victory in the Seven Weeks War and the establishment of the North German Confederation in 1866.
In 1848, revolutions by liberals and nationalists were a failed attempt to establish a unified German state. Talks between the German states failed in 1848, and the confederation briefly dissolved but was re-established in 1850.
William I, also known as Wilhelm I (full name: William Frederick Louis, German: Wilhelm Friedrich Ludwig, 22 March 1797 – 9 March 1888), of the House of Hohenzollern was the King of Prussia (2 January 1861 – 9 March 1888) and the first German Emperor (18 January 1871 – 9 March 1888). Under the leadership of William and his Minister President Otto von Bismarck, Prussia achieved the unification of Germany and the establishment of the German Empire.
Kingdom of Prussia
The Austro-Prussian War or Seven Weeks' War (in Germany also known as German War, Unification War, Prussian–German War, German Civil War or Fraternal War) was a war fought in 1866 between the German Confederation under the leadership of the Austrian Empire and its German allies on one side and the Kingdom of Prussia with its German allies and Italy on the other, that resulted in Prussian dominance over the German states. In the Italian unification process, this is called the Third Independence War.
The major result of the war was a shift in power among the German states away from Austrian and towards Prussian hegemony, and impetus towards the unification of all of the northern German states in a Kleindeutschland that excluded Austria. It saw the abolition of the German Confederation and its partial replacement by a North German Confederation that excluded Austria and the South German states. The war also resulted in the Italian annexation of the Austrian province of Venetia.
North German Confederation
The Kingdom of Prussia (German: Königreich Preußen) was a German kingdom that included parts of Poland, Russia, Lithuania, Denmark, Belgium and the Czech Republic from 1701 to 1918. It was the driving force behind the 1871 unification of Germany, know as the German Empire, until its defeat in World War I. It took its name from the territory of Prussia, although its power base was Brandenburg. Its capital was Berlin.
Prussia was a great power since its foundation as a kingdom, though it became a military power as a duchy under the Great Elector.
The North German Confederation (German: Norddeutscher Bund) was a federation of 22 independent states of northern Germany, with nearly 30 million inhabitants. It was the first modern German nation state and the basis for the later German Empire (1870-71), when several south German states such as Bavaria joined. According to modern scholars the Confederation and the Empire are identical]citation needed[ as a state, although technically the Empire was a new foundation.
After several unsuccessful proposals from several sides to reform the German Confederation (founded in 1815), the North German major power Prussia left the German Confederation with some allies. It came to war between those states on one hand and states such as Austria on the other. After a quick decision in the Austro-Prussian War of July 1866, Prussia and its allies founded the North German Federation. At first it was a military alliance between independent states (August-Bündnis), but the states already had the intention to form later a federation or confederation with a constitution. This was realised in 1867. The North German Confederation is historically important for the economic and judicial unification of Germany; many of its laws were taken over by the German Empire.