Overview of 19th Century Germany

1890 marks the boom in German population and industry
                        In 1890 German steel production was ½ that of Great Britian. It surpassed Britain's by 1896.
1897  The German population growth has led to the idea of "Weltpolitik"-outside colonies are necessary for raw resources.
            Weltpolitik figures include Bülow (state secretary of Foreign Affairs)and Tirpitz (State Sec. of Navy), but there are also Social Democrats who oppose this policy because they felt that social problems should be the main focus before expanding. (Weltpolitik was actually designed FOR the purpose of distracting people from problems at home.) The Weltmach said that Germany had a right to colonize even though most colonial land already belonged to European powers. They called this "compensation" because the colonial boundaries had been made without Germany's consent. Additionally, they felt that Central Europe was too small and restricted by English dominance. General Caprivi felt that if they kept to the Continent, Germany would feel secure but later suffer "economic strangulation." Müller in the Naval Cabinet turns the Navy's focus away from the Continent because war he felt that war was eminent but that the German Navy was not yet strong enough.
          Kaiser William II saw Weltpolitik as an extension of his Divine Right. (18 January 1986 "The Germany Empire is now the World Empire.")

German Unification

            Frederic VII of Denmark claims Schleswig-Holstein
            -Schleswig-Holstein appeal to the Frankfurt Parliament for aid
            The Frankfurt Parliament tries to draft a constitution for a unified Germany, but the political opinion is too split.
            -Liberals want a Constitutional Monarchy
            -Radicals want a Republic with universal male suffrage

          Violent fighting during the “March Days”
        -King Frederick William IV makes concessions to the liberals:
                                    -more liberal cabinet
                                    -releases imprisoned liberals
                                    -authorizes Civic Guard
                                    -says “Prussia is henceforth merged with Germany.”

            10 April
            Britain and Russia state positions against Prussian occupation of Schleswig-Holstein and Britain threatens to get involved in the Baltic. 

            15 April
            Prussia pulls out of Sleischwig-Holstein to avoid antagonizing England and Russia (but also to avoid helping the Liberals in the Frankfurt Parliament!)

            Nationalist von Gagern becomes president of Frankfurt Parliament

            27 October
            The Frankfurt Parliament finally decides on the "Kleindeutsch" (Smaller Germany) policy without Austria and only with Germanic Staties (not Hungary, etc).

            The Declaration of the Rights of the German People

            King Frederick William IV of Prussia rejects the Constitution that called for a united Germany under Prussian Kaiser with a bicameral Parliament
            -It was too associated with the Revolutionaries
            -It was not put forward by powerful people –will not accept “crown from a gutter”       
            The Frankfurt Parliament is forcefully dispersed

1852              Treaty of London
            -Schleswig-Holstein are under Denmark's authority, but not a part of Denmark. Denmark is not allowed to absorb the twin Duchies.

            Prussia declares neutrality in the Crimean War (vaguely supports the Anti-Russian Austria)

            Bismarck states that he resents the Metternich System because it purposely makes Prussia inferior to Austria
            Christian IX of Denmark claims Schleswig-Holstein
            Prussia declares war on Denmark
                        -Austria joins in to 'look good' to the German population

            Prussian-Danish War ends
                        -Prussia gets Schleswig and Austria gets Holstein
            Bismarck declares the reorganization of the German Confederation without Austria

            von Moltke wants to invade Austria, but Bismarck does not as he wants a quick peace with them so he can win their support in fighting France
            Military alliance with Piedmont
            -If Piedmont joins Prussia in war against Austria and win, they will get Venetia

            Military alliance with France
            -France will get Venetia if they stay neutral in the war with Austria
            -Vague hints about maybe giving France land in the Rhineland or possibly supporting the Doctrine of Nationalities whereas it concerns Belgium -known as the "Belgium Document"
             3 May
            Thiers (French Prime minister under Louis-Philippe (Reigned 1830-48). Thiers never took office under Napoléon III, but as of 1863 was a very prominent conservative statesman.) states that he is against German unification because it will mean the loss of France’s dominance on the Continent

            23 June            Battle of Sadowa
            Decisive victory for the Prussians, lead by von Moltke
            25 June
            Thiers says it was not just Austria but France that lost at Sadowa
            23 August            Treaty of Prague
                                    -Austria gives up political influence in Schleswig-Holstein
                                    -A non-punitive peace as Bismarck wants no hostility

1867              Der Ausgleich
                        The Habsburg Empire becomes the dual monarchy Austria-Hungary

            German Prince Leopold runs for the Spanish crown

            3 July
            France is upset by a German on the Spanish throne –feels ‘surrounded’ by Germans
            -The Crown Prince –Later Kaiser William II- has Prince Leopold turn down the throne
            12 July
            The French demand a public statement from Prussia not to offer a Prussian again for a foreign crown.

            13 July
            William I rejects the French demand

            14 July
            Bismarck publishes the Ems telegram
                        -A rewording of the Kaiser's response in such a way that it is extremely rude. The Ems telegram is purposely published on the anniversary of Bastille Day to insult the French and provoke them into declaring war.

            19 July
            France declares war on Prussia
            17 August                      Battle of Wörth
            Shows the over-confidence of the French as they did not even bother to dig defensive trenches and consequently lost.
            3 September            Battle of Sedan
            A disastrous defeat for the French who are trapped, after having taken a valley, by mass artillery fire from the Prussians on the surrounding highlands. This battle demonstrates the Prussian superiority in military technology and shows the French tactics are thus outdated.

            Siege of Paris

            18 January
            The II Reich is declared at Versailles.

            27 January
            Armistice between France and Germany. France votes on whether or not to continue the war.

            26 February            Treaty of Frankfurt
                                                -High war indemnity
                                                -Germans hold Victory parade down Champs-Élysées
                                                -All of Alsace and half of Lorraine given to Germany
                                                -Germany to occupy Northern France until reparations are paid off

            Very punitive, but this is worse for Germany because now the Germans have made a big enemy out of France
            10 June
            -Victory parade down Champs-Élysées
1873              The League of Three Emperors
                        Germany, Austria-Hungary, and Russia

              Also, the last of the German soldiers are out of France

1878              Congress of Berlin
            According the Russians, Bismarck "stabs them in the back" by making them give up territory gained in the 1877-1878 Russo-Turkish War.

            The League of Three Emperors falls apart.
1879              Austro-German Dual Alliance
            Austria becomes Germany's first military ally.

1881               Triple Alliance
                        Italy allies with Germany and Austria-Hungary. A continuation of Bismarck's foreign policy of isolating France, which is even more important now that they are sworn enemies.

                        2nd League of Three Emperors (renewed in 1884)
1887              Reinsurance Treaty
            -Brings Russia closer to Germany in exhange for getting support in Russo-Austrian squabbles over the Balkans
            -Isolates France
            +Salisbury declines the offer of an Anglo-German alliance
            England again rejects the offer of an Anglo-German alliance
            18 March
            Bismarck resigns
            Kaiser William II rejects renewal of Reinsurance Treaty

  1894            Franco Russian Dual Alliance