East german unification

However, the creation of a unified Germany in central Europe marked one of the greatest revolutions in the history of international relations. Since the establishment of nation-states in Europe, France, under the Valois-Bourbon royal line, dedicated its foreign policy to the weakening of Habsburg (Austrian and Spanish royal families) and the continued disunity of the Germanic provinces. Now that central Europe was united into two major powers--Germany and Italy--Europe was quite a different place. What would now become of the traditional balance of power in place since the defeat of Napoleon? The whole point had been that no one nation should gain excessive power and strength on the Continent. With the unification of Germany in central Europe--an essential economic and strategic region--was the balance of power doomed?

After Napoleon's defeat, the Congress of Vienna established a new European political-diplomatic system based on the balance of power . This system reorganized Europe into spheres of influence , which, in some cases, suppressed the aspirations of the various nationalities, including the Germans and Italians. [12] Generally, an enlarged Prussia and the 38 other states consolidated from the mediatized territories of 1803 were confederated within the Austrian Empire 's sphere of influence. The Congress established a loose German Confederation (1815–1866), headed by Austria, with a "Federal Diet " (called the Bundestag or Bundesversammlung , an assembly of appointed leaders) that met in the city of Frankfurt am Main . In recognition of the imperial position traditionally held by the Habsburgs, the emperors of Austria became the titular presidents of this parliament. Problematically, the built-in Austrian dominance failed to take into account Prussia's 18th century emergence in Imperial politics. Ever since the Prince-Elector of Brandenburg had made himself King in Prussia at the beginning of that century, their domains had steadily increased through war and inheritance. Prussia's consolidated strength had become especially apparent during the War of the Austrian Succession and the Seven Years' War under Frederick the Great . [13] As Maria Theresa and Joseph tried to restore Habsburg hegemony in the Holy Roman Empire, Frederick countered with the creation of the Fürstenbund (Union of Princes) in 1785. Austrian-Prussian dualism lay firmly rooted in old Imperial politics. Those balance of power manoeuvers were epitomized by the War of the Bavarian Succession , or " Potato War " among common folk. Even after the end of the Holy Roman Empire, this competition influenced the growth and development of nationalist movements in the 19th century. [14]

East german unification

east german unification


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