German Unification

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  • WE THE PEOPLE ARE READY TO RECOGNIZE GERMANY
  • CONGRESS OF VIENNA
  • German Confederation of 39 States
  • Austria and Prussia had a long-standing conflict and rivalry for supremacy in Central Europe during the 18th and 19th centuries. The image above shows the Prussian lion circling around the Austrian elephant, which symbolizes the rivalry.
  • On July 8, 1848, John Middleton, the Secretary of State, stated that the United States was prepared to recognize any unified German Government that "appeared capable of maintaining its power".
  • WE WANT FAIR TAXES!
  • During the early 19th century, Napoleon’s armies occupied the German states. In 1806 Holy Roman Empire was dissolved, and when the Congress of Vienna met in 1814-15, it was decided that a German Confeeration should be created and consisted of 39 states including Prussia and Austria.
  • GERMAN NATIONAL ASSEMBLY
  • The idea of German unification was threatened by the idea of a “greater” Germany versus a “smaller” Germany. The idea of a “smaller” Germany excluded Austria, while the idea of “greater" Germany included the Kingdom of Austria.
  • The first effort at unifying the German states came in 1848. Many people felt that it was time for Germany to become unified. A few ideas that were promoted were abolition of privilege of the aristocracy, a more fair system of taxation, and freedom of religion.
  • On May 18, 1848, the German National Assembly met at Frankfurt am Main, representing the first assembly to be freely elected by the German people. Yet, the government was flawed by its lack of a strong executive power.
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