German Unification Dbq

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There are many factors that can, in some way, shape or form be held responsible for triggering the outburst of World War 1. These include militarism, nationalism, industrialization and the list goes on. The region in which all of these factors were most evident is Germany. Not only was the Empire great in size, it was also a dominant industrial, military and economic power (BBC). But the Reich hadn’t always been this vigorous. As a matter of fact, the 25 independent German-speaking states hadn’t even been unified half a century before the First World War broke out (Llewellyn). So how did Germany become this influential so rapidly, and how did the German Unification of 1871 lead to World War I? The start of the series of events that resulted…show more content…
At this point, Austria-Hungary was weakened and, thus, neutral. Russia allied with Prussia as it had supported Russia during the Crimean War (when Austria-Hungary had not), and Italy was eager to take Rome from France. Napoleon III was becoming concerned with Prussia’s increasing power and growing less popular himself (The Flow of History). When the vacant Spanish crown was presented to one of Wilhelm I’s family members, the French commanded him to refuse. The proposal was rejected and Bismarck published The Ems Telegram, mocking the French ambassador, and solely meant to provoke. Napoleon wanted to redeem himself so, in response to the outraged French, he declared war on Prussia (BBC). Lasting from 1870 to 1871, the Franco-Prussian war was fought quickly. Although the popular belief was held that the French army was the most powerful in Europe, the Prussian military prevailed once again (The Flow of History). The Treaty of Frankfurt (May 10, 1871) granted Alsace-Loraine to Germany and required France to pay a war compensation of five billion francs. Meanwhile, the unification of Germany was completed. On January 18, before the war had even finished, Wilhelm I was declared Kaiser of the Second Reich in Versailles, France…show more content…
Steel production exceeded Britain’s rates after 1900 (The Flow of History), the railway industry nearly doubled between 1865 and 1875 and a capital of 1.4 billion talers was made by over 800 new businesses (Barkin). German capitalism resulted in higher employment rates, living standards and urban growth. Bismarck established laws regarding unemployment relief, old age pensions and protection for sick and injured workers, that were celebrated amongst German workers (Alpha

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