Briefly Trace the Process of German Unification

By Devyani Singh|Updated : August 18th, 2022

The Unification of Germany into the German Empire was announced on 18 January 1871 into a federal-dominated Prussia. The announcement was made at the Hall of Mirrors at the Palace of Versailles in France. This event majorly impacted European politics for decades. 

The Process of German Unification

There existed a confederated realm of German princedoms that had some adjacent lands included in it as well. It dates back to the Treaty of Verdun of 843. However, there never existed a German sense of national identity. This only came towards the beginning of the 19th century, in the 1800s. 

  • The German Confederation united the middle-class workers of the states. However, their plans would not pan out due to the actions of Junkers, the large landowners of Prussia.
  • Prussia won wars with Austria, Denmark, and France over seven years time and this methodically solidified their position in Europe and unified Germany under Prussian Empire. 
  • The unification of Germany was announced on 18 January 1871. The Hall of Mirrors at the Palace of Versailles in France saw the princes from most of the German states assembled, to accept King Wilhelm I of Prussia as the German Emperor during the Franco-Prussian War. An important figure in the process was the Prussian Minister Otto von Bismarck. 
  • Throughout this process, a lot of importance was assigned to modernising the currency, army, banking, and judicial systems in Germany.

This event had a major effect on Europe’s politics for the decades to come. The German empire was officially unified and came to be dominated by the Prussian federalist structure.

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FAQs

  • The unification of Germany was announced on 18 January 1871 in the Hall of Mirrors at the Palace of Versailles in France. The Princes of most of the German states gathered there to proclaim King Wilhelm I of Prussia as German Emperor during the Franco-Prussian War.

  • Otto Von Bismarck was responsible for the unification of Germany. He was the Prussian Chancellor, also called the Iron Chancellor. His main goal was to further strengthen the position of Prussia in Europe and unite the German states under the Prussian empire.

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