From the 1790s to 1814 French troops successively conquered and occupied the area that later constituted the German Empire. French domination helped to modernize and consolidate Germany and — toward the end — sparked the first upsurge of German nationalism. In different ways the French emperor Napoleon I helped German unification. It was important that he encouraged many of the middle-sized German states to absorb huge numbers of small independent territories, mostly bishoprics, church lands, and local principalities.
This consolidation process, called mediation, led to the dissolution of the Holy Roman Empire and brought the same French legal codes, measurements, and weights to most German-speaking areas, thus helping to modernize them. In 1806 Napoleon defeated the last independent and defiant German state, Prussia. The Prussians, quite naturally, were concerned about their defeat and started a thorough reform and modernization of the state and army (they “reinvented government”). Reformed Prussia became the hope of many other Germans who started to suffer increasingly under French occupation (which turned more repressive and exploitative) and their often forced cooperation with France.
The Congress of Vienna in 1814-15 created the so-called German Confederation under Austrian and Prussian hegemony, but this unit disappointed the dreams of nationalists. The rivalry of Austria and Prussia paralyzed it in a way comparable to the effects of Soviet-American dualism on the United Nations during the Cold War. Almost everywhere, the old rulers repressed the nationalist movement after 1815. The German princes realized that nationalism required a reform. In a united Germany the princes would have had to cede some rights to a central authority. That the nationalists often voiced liberal demands, such as the granting of constitutions and parliaments, further alarmed the princes and their aristocratic supporters.
After 1850 the industrial revolution in Germany entered its decisive phase. New factories were built at a breath-taking rate, the production of textiles and iron soared, railroads grew and started to connect many distant regions, and coal production and export reached record levels every year. These advances profited from a high level of education, the result of an advanced school and university system. For a long time Prussia had the highest literacy rate and exemplary schools.
Economic progress was most powerful in Prussia and less impressive in Austria. Through the Vienna peace settlement Prussia had received areas that turned out to be enormously precious for industrialization (the Ruhr district, the Rhineland, and parts of Saxony – all with rich coal deposits). Prussia now started to dominate many of the smaller German states economically, and the smaller states — often hesitantly — adapted their economies to Prussia. Decisive for this inconspicuous economic unification of Germany was the foundation of a customs union (Zollverein) already in 1834, which excluded Austria and Bohemia. Railroad building followed the lines of trade after 1837. To put it in a nutshell, Germany — roughly in the borders of the later Second Empire — was economically and, to a lesser degree, culturally united before 1871.
Bismarck thus adopted universal and equal suffrage in his constitutional settlements of 1867 and 1871; but this step, demanded by democrats and many socialists, was dictated by political needs: Bismarck hoped to win support from the lower classes and to use universal suffrage as a weapon against the liberal bourgeoisie, conservative aristocrats, and the Austrians. This strategy was inspired by the French Emperor Napoleon III, who had established an autocracy which often resorted to plebiscites (Bonapartism). By granting universal male suffrage while limiting the power of parliament, Nalopleon III had in opportune moments appealed to the people – with success.
Bismarck practiced Realpolitik, which was an opportunistic and pragmatic approach to politics. He always insisted on the importance of power: unification would not come about through speeches and declarations but by “iron and blood.”
The outcome of the Prussian war against Austria and its South German allies came as a bad surprise mainly to France. For centuries French policy-makers had aimed to keep Germany divided and weak; suddenly a strong German power had been allowed to expand through much of Germany. Alarmed, France tried to renew its traditional ties with the South German states, but to no avail. Even the relatively democratic and anti-Prussian South Germans had become too nationalistic and economically involved with Prussia to ally with a foreign power against it.
Napoleon III declared war on Prussia on 19 July 1870, the biggest mistake of his life. France was isolated, and its declaration of war compelled the South German states to aid Prussia according to the defense treaty. The well-organized Prussian army with its allies destroyed the main French army in early September and took Napoleon prisoner. While the German troops were beleaguering Paris, Bismarck won the consent of the other princes to a unite Germany (excluding Austria) with the Prussian king as German emperor. Several princes, mainly the kings of Bavaria and Wrttemberg, insisted on retaining some autonomy, and Bismarck granted them their own postal service, railroads, and foreign representation.
At Versailles on 18 January 1871 he had his king proclaim the German Empire. The constitution of the new state was almost identical with the one of the North German Confederation. A national parliament, the Reichstag, was elected by universal, equal manhood suffrage and received budgetary rights but lacked the power to overthrow the government, which was solely responsible to the emperor. A second chamber, the Federal Council (Bundesrat), consisting exquisitely of the representatives of the German princes, functioned as a conservative check on the influence of the Reichstag. Armies remained partly the matter of the single states but were bound to follow a common Prussian command at wartime (the emperor was the supreme warlord). The war with France was concluded by the Treaty of Frankfurt in May 1871. France had to cede its eastern provinces Alsace and Lorraine to the new empire and pay high reparations until 1875.
Two great people came forward in the 1858 1870 revolution. Garibaldi and Cavour was both associated with the new king of Piedmont Sardinia, Victor Emmanuel 2nd, but it was Cavour who played a role first in the unification of Italy.
Like all people, Cavour also wanted a unified Italy. He also wanted to industrialize Piedmont Sardinia like hes seen in Britain. He founded the newspaper Il Risorgimento in 1847. The newspaper made the Piedmontese aware of Nationalist and democratic ideals. By 1850 he became a minister in Victor Emmanuels parliament, and in 1852, a Prime Minister.
Cavour increased Piedmontese spending, and greatly improved Commerce, communication, Industry, and agriculture, within Piedmont Sardinia, along with developing Transportation, and the Genoese port. His improvements to Piedmont Sardinia made the Piedmontese like their king very much. After convincing Victor Emmanuel 2nd to send troops to assist Britain & France in the Crimean War, Cavour managed to earn Piedmont Sardinia the affect of Britain and France. After an attempted assassination on Napoleon 3rd (new king of France) by an Italian patriot, Napoleon 3rds interest in Italian Liberation was renewed.
Later that year, Cavour & Napoleon 3rd signed a secret agreement. In that agreement Napoleon 3rd made it clear he couldnt attack Austria, but if Austria was to invade Piedmont Sardinia, France would come to the rescue. Additionally, France would gain Nice and Savoy, & Piedmont Sardinia would gain Lombardy Venetia. This was to be a good deal for Piedmont that would gain her a large territory under her control.
Piedmont Sardinia had to somehow provoke Austria into invading. This was achieved by mobilizing troops and protecting conscription refugees.
Piedmont was fully behind their king. The idea of Italy being unified under Piedmont Sardinia was to their liking. Slogans saying Verdi (Initials in Italian meaning: Victor Emmanuel King of Italy) appeared everywhere in Piedmont Sardinia.
On 29th of April, after an ultimatum posed by Austria, the inevitable happened. Austria marched into Piedmont Sardinia and declared war. As agreed, France marched into Piedmont Sardinia and assisted it against the Austrians.
Napoleon 3rd became more and more reluctant about the deal. He noticed Prussia was mobilizing troops (probably to aid Austria), and the war had already taken a great toll on life. This led to a truce signed between France and Austria.
The truce stated: – Piedmont Sardinia would gain Lombardy but Austria would retain Venetia. – Tuscany & Modena would be restored to their former rulers. – A confederation of Italian States led by the pope should be formed.
As agreed, Piedmont Sardinia gained Lombardy. This was the first step towards the unification of Italy under one king. The agreement between France and Austria couldnt be completed though. The people of Tuscany and Modena refused to be ruled by their former Duchies. They wanted to be joined to Piedmont Sardinia. France had no problem except it demanded Nice and Savoy.
As a result, a plebiscite was taken (Both in Tuscany and Modena, & In Nice and Savoy). The plebiscite concluded that Tuscany and Modena would become part of Piedmont Sardinia, and Nice & Savoy would join France. This even further enlarged the Kingdom of Piedmont Sardinia, which now stretched from North to center of the Italian peninsula. Cavour continued working toward unification. Since Piedmont Sardinia gained this land the unification was stuck.
Garibaldi spent 12 years in South America where he got to master the art of guerilla warfare. He had great passion to unification, and wanted to advance Liberalism and Nationalism as much as he could in Italy. After the Republic of Rome came to an end, he escaped back to his island, Caprera. He came back ready to contribute to the Italian unification. He was secretly supported by Cavour and Victor Emmanuel, which provided him with weaponry and shirts. Cavour publicly stated he was against Garibaldi but privately supported him. Garibaldi gathered 1000 volunteers in Piedmont Sardinia to sail off with him to an expedition to Kingdom of the 2 Sicilies.
Garibaldis army easily conquered Sicily and headed on to the Italian mainland. He fought his way (using mainly guerilla warfare) to Naples, which he eventually conquered. By now he had many more volunteers join his army. By now, Garibaldi has achieved the unexpected. He liberated all of Southern Italy.
Cavour and Victor Emmanuel feared he would declare the land he conquered a Republic, or head on and try conquering Rome, greatly provoking the French. Cavour persuaded Victor Emmanuel to lead an army of 35,000 men through the Papal States and not allow Garibaldi invade Rome. After he conducted a plebiscite in the Kingdom of the 2 Sicilies, Garibaldi found out that all they wished was to join Piedmont Sardinia. Shortly afterwards, Garibaldi and King Victor Emmanuel 2nd met in the North of Naples where Garibaldi handed over all the land he conquered to Victor Emmanuel 2nd, thus, acknowledging him as the King of a Unified Italy.
Now, the unification of Italy was complete. Thanks to Garibaldis war knowledge, and Cavours diplomacy, Italy was finally unified under Victor Emmanuel 2nd.
Only 2 areas were left to be unified, Rome and Venetian. Rome seemed to be the natural capital of the unified Italy, and was held by the French, and Venetia, a large territory in the North East part of Italy held by the Austrians. But soon enough, they too were annexed to Italy.
On 1866, Austria had to withdraw its army from Venetia to help it fight an allied force of Italy and Prussia. Victor Emmanuel easily marched into Venetia, and confirmed its annexation to Italy through a plebiscite.
On 1870, France too had to withdraw its forces from Rome after it engaged in a war with Prussia. Now that Rome wasnt guarded, the Piedmonts army easily entered the Papal States conquering Rome and declaring it the capital of Italy on October 2nd 1870.
During the late seventeen hundreds, many tumultuous events resulted in Colonial opposition to Great Britain. The conditions of rights of the colonists will slowly be changed as the constriction of the parliament becomes more and more intolerable. During the Seven Years’ War England was not only alarmed by the colonists’ insistence on trading with the enemy, but also with Boston merchants hiring James Otis in order to protest the legality of the writs of assistance (general search warrants) used to hunt out smuggled goods. “Let the parliament lay what burdens they please on us, we must, it is our duty to submit and patiently bear them, till they will be pleased to relieve us….”. This is a very strong dictum, that in 1764, the colonists were of a submissive nature, and were weakly pleading for self-autonomy. This small fire of anger will become a huge conflagration as the rights are slowly rescinded.
On October 19, 1765 the Stamp Act Congress and Parliamentary Taxation committee’s passed some laws that attempted to strengthen the grip of the English crown. “I.That his Majesty’s subjects in these colonies, owe the same allegiance to the Crown of Great Britain that is owing from his subjects born within the realm, and all due subordination to that august body, the Parliament of Great Britain.” This statement can be used as a summation of the entire document that the Stamp Act Congress had initiated. The statement depicts the colonists has having to be submissive and servile in the view of Great Britain, this policy angered the colonists very much, and was another component of the transition of the colonists’ rights and liberties.
When the Declatory Act was passed in March of 1766, many colonies were attempting to claim that they were “seceding” from England.
“Whereas several of the houses of representatives in his Majesty’s colonies and plantations in America, have of late, against law, or to the general assemblies of the same, the sole and exclusive right of imposing duties and taxes upon his Majesty’s subjects in the said colonies….be it declared …., that the said colonies and plantations in America, have been, are, and of right ought to be, subordinate unto, and dependent upon the imperial Crown and Parliament of Great Britain;”. The Parliament of course denounced the attempt at independence and still dogmatically passed the following law to show that the colonists were still British subjects. Again, the colonists were infuriated and later will resist the British imperialism on the colonies.
“All before, are calculated to regulate trade, and preserve promote a mutually beneficial intercourse between the several constituent parts of the empire””, yet those duties were always imposed with design to restrain the commerce of one part”. This statement by the colonist (John Dickinson), shows that the sole reason for new taxes is just for the British government to make money, at the expense of the economy of the colonies. Dickinson makes a important distinction between the rights of the colonies and the authority of the parliament. Dickinson’s comments were ubiquitous among the colonists, and thus infuriated them to rebellion, and the seizure of basic democratic rights.
“From necessity of the case, and a regard to the mutual interest of both countries, we cheerfully consent to the operation of such acts of the British parliament as are bona fide restrained to the regulation of our external commerce, for the purpose of securing the commercial advantages of the whole empire to the mother country , and the commercial benefits of it’s respective members excluding every idea of taxation, internal or external, for raising a revenue on the subjects in America without their consent ….”
The continental congress had presented it’s colonial rights. These rights enable the colonies to be more autonomous with exception to those several states that are under the British control. One important element of the document, is the idea of taxation without representation; the said that raising taxes without consent was illegal and that the commercial benefits of the colony should be shared within the colonies, instead of England becoming more and more economically prosperous. The whole idea of mercantilism was about to be crushed, due to this idea, of self-autonomy with respect to colonial economics.
“Ye that oppose independence now, ye know not what ye do, ye are opening a door to eternal tyranny…. This statement made by Thomas Paine shows the foreshadowing, of what colonists would do. The British are trying to prevent independence, and from doing so, they are being tyrannical. Again, the rights of the colonists are being questioned and rebellion shortly will be forthcoming.
“That whenever any form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the right of the people to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new government, laying it’s foundations on such principles and organizing it’s powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their safety and happiness.”. What the declaration is really saying, is that a society who has no or little rights (such as the colonies) should be destroyed, thus separation from England. A new society would follow, where the people of the society would have these rights necessary for self-autonomy. The Declaration of Independence was a strong justification for revolution. The Revolution follows the Declaration of Independence, where a transition occurs. The transition has to do with the rights of the colonists.
The colonists acquire their rights through resistance to British imperial conformity, by resisting certain policies detrimental to the inalienable rights of a democracy. The transitional period was from 1760’s to 1770’s. This is a crucial period of time, because this is where the center of power is transferred from the British government (Parliament) to the colonial citizens. A major component to this center of power was the rights of the colonists; the colonists gained their rights through resistance to an imperial power. This transition is depicted through the progression of time in the documents.