Unification of Germany

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The unification of Germany in 1871 was a major historical event. The process of unifying the many German states was by no means a straightforward or rapid one. Ultimately unification was only possible due to the common race of German people within the German states. Early steps towards the unification of Germany were the formation of the German confederation, the Zollverein and the 1848 revolutions. Bismarck, who became Minister President of Prussia in 1862, introduced a violent foreign policy through a series of wars of unification with neighbouring countries Austria and France to pave the way for unification.

The single most important driving force towards a unified Germany was a common German people and culture across the many German states. Throughout the Middle Ages and right up to the early nineteenth century, Germany comprised of hundreds of independent states, ranging from tiny city states to large and powerful kingdoms such as Prussia and Austria. Although under Napoleon the number of states was significantly reduced from over 390 to 39, most German people still felt it illogical and impractical to have a common people scattered and restricted in so many states. They longed for a sense

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