Why Did Nationalism in Germany Fail? 1815-1850

Topics: Otto von Bismarck, Prussia, German Empire Pages: 6 (1996 words) Published: November 25, 2013
Why did Nationalism Fail!
In 1815, at the end of the Napoleonic wars the Deutscher Bund was created which include all 39 German states, but this was not a united Germany. By 1850, there had been several attempts to united Germany but all failed and Germany remained divided. WHY DID THEY FAIL- LINE OF ARGUMENT – FACTORS Austria opposition

Prince Metternich (Austrian Minister) was strongly opposed to German nationalism and was a major obstacle to the unification of Germany, as Austria was one of the leading German states and Austria held the Presidency of the Bund. Metternich was a conservative and therefore strongly opposed to liberal ideas. The Austrians were keen to keep a ‘lid’ on nationalist sentiment in the German states, as, if it was left unchecked, nationalism could lead to the disintegration of Austria’s vast empire in south-east Europe. If a Kleindeutschland was created, Austria would be excluded from German affairs. An example of Austria stopping Nationalism in Germany is the Carlsbad decrees where they banned student nationalist organisations in 1919. In addition at the meeting in Olmutz in 1850 the Bund was re-conved as it had been before 1848 and Prussia was forced to dissolve the Erfurt union. Overall Austria opposition played a integral role in the failure of Nationalism in Germany as they kept a close eye on German affairs and blocked any attempted of nationalism in Germany. Divisions within the Nationalists

The nationalists themselves were divided on whether ‘Germany’ should be a Kleindeutschland or a Grossdeutschland. An example of this is the failure of the Frankfurt in 1848 union as delegates disagreed on what Germany should be and the meeting was dissolved. There were also divisions about whether a united Germany should be a monarchy or a republic. If it was to be a monarchy, there were divisions over who should take the throne. If there was to be a constitution, there were divisions about who would be entitled to vote and how the new German parliament would be structured. This also played a major role in why nationalism failed in Germany as the Nationalist wanted different things which slowed nationalism down when it had a chance to succeed for example the 1848 revelations. Religious differences

The northern German states were mostly Protestant, and tended to look to Protestant Prussia for leadership, help and protection. Whereas the Southern German states were mostly Catholic and tended to look to Catholic Austria for leadership, help and protection. Overall this created a divide within Germany as they had conflicting interested Opposition from the Rulers of the Individual States

The rulers of the individual states were obviously opposed to nationalism, as a unification of Germany would result in a reduction of their power and prestige. They also felt a sense of paticularism and loyalty to their individual state’s

Nationalism Limited to middle- classes
Nationalism only appealed to intellectual people, the growing middle classes like the student nationalist society called the Burschenschaften ”talkers and dreamers with no real plan of action” (McKichan). 500 member of the Burschenschaften attended the Wartburg festival in 1919 where they burned anti nationalist books. It did not appeal to the working class who were not educated enough to see any advantages in nationalism.

German Unification
In 1850, Germany was still not unified despite attempts in the 1840s to do so, but this changed in January 1871 when Germany was unified in the Hall of mirrors in Versailles after the Franco- Prussian war. LINE OF ARGUMENT------ OTHER FACTORS. Prussian Military

The Prussian Military played a huge role in unifying Germany in 1871. Albert Von Roon the Prussian minister was determined to improve Prussian military strength so he came up with the idea of military reforms. However these reforms were rejected by the Landtag due to the...
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