Politics Student

In: Historical Events

Submitted By amallinson85
Words 2690
Pages 11
Was Germany any closer to being unified by 1849? The period from 1815-1849 is often described as “time period where nothing happened” in terms of unification, this can be seen with Germany remaining divided by 1849. However, throughout this period there was significant steps that both enhanced, and hindered how close Germany was to being unified, these include economic changes with the Prussian customs union, political changes within the congress of Vienna and social changes through the 1848-49 revolutions. There were significant economic changes throughout the period from 1815-1849, most importantly the creation of the Prussian customs union in 1818 that then went on to become the Zollverein in 1834. This was done after the Napoleonic war and the following peace brought fierce competition from British goods and the poor harvest of 186-17, it was intended to develop trade in the post war slump with neighbouring states by linking the German key rivers with the Rhine, Main and Danube. The states were also linked with the building off 2,800km of new road. “Prussia’s policy was deliberately aggressive and designed to enrich itself” this led to a trade war which Prussia soon won, and by 1834 rival trade zones joined with the customs union to create the single Zollverein. It can be argued that this brought Germany close to unification as it gave Prussia, the only nation capable of overcoming Austria’s opposition to unification economic power. The Zollverein also brought Germany closer to unification as it included every German state but Hannover, Oldenburg, Mecklenburg, Hanseatic towns and Austria were not members. Tis isolated Austria and was a factor in their gradual economic decline and eventual loss of power, this brought German closer to unification as it Austria who were the main opponents of unification, if their power was reduced and Prussia’s was increased…...

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