Obstacles to Italian Unification
• No Italian language
• North is industrial, South is rural
• Much of land Italy envisions as part of Italy is
held by Ottoman and Austrian Empires
• What will be the central rallying point for Italian
– Catholic Church/Pope?
– One of the Italian kings in the Italian States?
– Radical socialist-type democracy?
• What if Pope isn’t the unifying point? What to do
about the Pope in a secular Italy?
Italian Unification
• Northern Italy unites under Piedmont-Sardinia
(Cavour and King Victor Emmanuel)
• South unites under Garibaldi’s radical
• Garibaldi bows to Victor Emmanuel- Italy is
Victor Emmanuel
German Unification Under Bismarck
Legacy of 1848
• Frederick William IV had failed to unify
Germany under Prussian leadership
– Refused to take crown from ‘the mob’ (Frankfurt
– Was thwarted in his goal to receive crown from
the elite by…
• Austria and Russia
• Why would they resist?
Prussia v Austria
• Both want to be the leaders of German Unification
– Italy’s Success Provides an inspiration
• Several Factors Give the Advantage to Prussia
– More industrialized with modern weaponry and transportation
• Has tremendous coal and iron deposits (Ruhr Valley)
– Leaders of Zollverein, which excludes Austria and is
economically successful
• (this causes many of the smaller German states to want in for economic
– Austria is distracted by Ottomans and Russia and Italians
– Prussia has dynamic leaders
• William I replaces Frederick William
• Otto von Bismarck becomes German Chancellor… real power in
– Austria is multi-ethnic… Prussia isn’t
Breech-loading Needle Gun
-bullet is loaded here instead
of in the muzzle
-has a bolt to
move the
bullet into
-can fire 5 shots to 1 shot of
other contemporary guns
-can be loaded while lying
down, unlike muzzle loaders
Prussia Leadership Aims to Outmatch Austria
• William I (Hohenzollern
head of Prussia) wanted
to build up the military
• blocked by the middle
class German parliament
– Why not called a Diet
• Sics Otto von Bismarck
on the Parliament
– ‘illegal’ tax collection
Otto von Bismarck
• Junker
• Conservative Nationalist
– Elites should join with the mob to run the country at the
expense of the middle class
– Follows Napoleon III’s plan of giving social programs to the
poor in exchange for conservative authority
• Realpolitik
– Politics/diplomacy based primarily on practical routes to
greater power rather than on ideological/moral foundations
– In other words, Bismarck is a modern day _________
– Basic strategy?
• use secret alliances to isolate enemies
• use nationalism, sparked by manufactured wars, to unite Germans
under Prussian leadership
Bismarck Quotes
• Laws are like sausages. It's better not to see them
being made.
• Politics is the art of the possible
• They treat me like a fox, a cunning fellow of the
first rank. But the truth is that with a gentleman I
am always a gentleman and a half, and when I
have to deal with a pirate, I try to be a pirate and a
• The great issues of the day are not decided
through speeches and majority resolutions — that
was the great error of 1848 and 1849 — but
through blood and iron. (a dismissal of liberal nationalism)
Bismarck’s Success
• Prussia from 5th to 1st Great European Power
• raised taxes for Prussian army ‘illegally’
• Military Victories over Denmark, Austria, and
• Eventually wins over all social classes
– How?
– Success!
Wars Lead to Unification- Denmark
• Danes Foolishly try to claim
Schleswig-Holstein (again)
– Area that had been jointly ruled
by German Confederation and
• Austria and Prussia race to
beat Denmark… each wants
to demonstrate that they are
the true defenders and leaders
of the German people
Austro-Prussian War
• After beating Denmark, Bismarck manipulated arguments over
running Schleswig-Holstein into an Austro-Prussian War
– Won by Prussia in 7 weeks
• Trains and needle guns
– Generous peace treaty to Austria
• Why?
– As a result- Hungary manages to force a dual monarchy on Austria
• Bismarck founds North German Confederation
• Uses the popularity of his victory to add a house to the German
Parliament elected by… you guessed it…
– Universal male suffrage
– Reichstag
• Gets the middle class (now the upper) house of Parliament to
retroactively accept his ‘illegal’ pre-war taxes
– Middle Class has just traded _____________ for ___________
Prussia Versus France
• Napoleon III had stayed out of the Austro-Prussia
war because his central goal was to play Germany
against itself (age-old French policy) and come out
of it with maybe some territory for France, too
– Kind of what he did in Italian struggle for independence,
• However, Prussia wins too decisively -- becomes a
threat to France
– If Prussia grabs the South German states it will become a
serious threat to France
• Napoleon III- “If Bismarck incorporates the south
German states into a unified Germany our guns will
go off by themselves”
Spark of Tension Between France and
• An uprising in Spain leaves succession in doubt
• to goad France, Bismarck maneuvers a Hohenzollern
into position to get the throne
– Bismarck is Machiavellian… his king doesn’t even know
what Bismarck is doing
• Why is this an impossible development for France?
– Think geography.
• Bismarck sees a war with France as a great opportunity
– South German states are Catholic…are hesitant to join
Bismarck’s nation
– However, they do feel more German than French
– Do you see the point, then, of a war.
Ems Dispatch Story
• Napoleon III sends an ambassador to ask William I to withdraw
the Hohenzollern candidate from pursuing the Spanish throne
– The ambassador is a bit careless- he publicly demands a promise from
William I when the king is vacationing at a spa called Ems
– William I is offended and refuses, even though he actually had already told
the prospective king of Spain to withdraw
– William I sends a telegram to Bismarck to tell him about the incident- his
telegram is calm and diplomatic
• Bismarck edits the telegram
– He makes the French ambassador seem more belittling, offensive, and
– He makes William I’s dismissal of the French ambassador more belittling,
offensive, and disrespectful
– Then he sends this edited telegram to …
• The French press
• What is he doing?
Unedited version
His Majesty the King has written to me:
Count Benedetti intercepted me on the promenade and ended by demanding of me in a very importunate manner that I
should authorize him to telegraph at once that I bound myself in perpetuity never again to give my consent if the
Hohenzollerns renewed their candidature. I rejected this demand somewhat sternly as it is neither right nor possible to
undertake engagements of this kind [for ever and ever]. Naturally I told him that I had not yet received any news and
since he had been better informed via Paris and Madrid than I was, he must surely see that my government was not
concerned in the matter.
[The King, on the advice of one of his ministers] decided in view of the above-mentioned demands not to receive
Count Benedetti any more, but to have him informed by an adjutant that His Majesty had now received [from
Leopold] confirmation of the news which Benedetti had already had from Paris and had nothing further to say to the
His Majesty suggests to Your Excellency that Benedetti's new demand and its rejection might well be communicated
both to our ambassadors and to the Press.
Bismarck's published, doctored version
After the news of the renunciation of the Prince von Hohenzollern had been communicated to the Imperial French
government by the Royal Spanish government, the French Ambassador in Ems made a further demand on His
Majesty the King that he should authorize him to telegraph to Paris that His Majesty the King undertook for all time
never again to give his assent should the Hohenzollerns once more take up their candidature. His Majesty the King
thereupon refused to receive the Ambassador again and had the latter informed by the adjutant of the day that His
Majesty had no further communication to make to the Ambassador.
Franco-Prussian War
• Prussians kick butt
• Capture Napoleon III !!!
• Parisians refuse to surrender, even without their
– Bismarck sieges and shells Paris
• Important roots of war on civilian populations (see World Wars to
– Parisian slaughter circus elephants for meat!
• Harsh Treaty at the End of the War
– Reparations
– Loss of Alsace-Lorraine
– Humiliating coronation in the Hall of Mirrors
• Kaiser Wilhelm
So many
What I really
want is bear…
but will he still
see me as a
Far Reaching Importance of the Franco-Prussian War
• French are pissed
– Alsace and Lorraine didn’t want to be German
• South German states join Northern Confederation…
– Kaiser William
– 2nd Reich (what was the 1st Reich?)
• Germans are ‘drunk with success’
– Social Darwinism
– Second Reich
• What does this mean?
• Why should this title be eerie?
• Flight of the Valkyries/Wagner
• Humongous impact on French
– Humiliation and anger
– Paris Commune