Wednesday Aug 6, 1806 to Wednesday Jan 18, 1871
GermanyThe unification of Germany into the German Empire, a Prussian-dominated nation state with federal features, officially occurred on 18 January 1871 at the Palace of Versailles in France. Princes of most of the German states gathered there to proclaim King Wilhelm I of Prussia as German Emperor during the Franco-Prussian War.
Germanized Jews remained another vulnerable population in the new German nation-state. Since 1780, after emancipation by the Holy Roman Emperor Joseph II, Jews in the former Habsburg territories had enjoyed considerable economic and legal privileges.
German-speaking Central Europe included more than 300 political entities, most of which were part of the Holy Roman Empire or the extensive Habsburg hereditary dominions. They ranged in size from the small and complex territories of the princely Hohenlohe family branches to sizable, well-defined territories such as the Kingdoms of Bavaria and Prussia.
The War of the Second Coalition resulted in the defeat of the imperial and allied forces by Napoleon Bonaparte. The treaties of Lunéville (1801) and the Mediatization of 1803 secularized the ecclesiastical principalities and abolished most free imperial cities and these territories along with their inhabitants were absorbed by dynastic states.
In 1806, after a successful invasion of Prussia and the defeat of Prussia at the joint battles of Jena-Auerstedt, Napoleon dictated the Treaty of Pressburg and presided over the creation of the Confederation of the Rhine, which, inter alia, provided for the mediatization of over a hundred petty princes and counts and the absorption of their territories, as well as those of hundreds of imperial knights, by the Confederation's member-states.
The German campaign was fought in 1813. Members of the Sixth Coalition, including the German states of Austria and Prussia, plus Russia and Sweden, fought a series of battles in Germany against the French Emperor Napoleon, his marshals, and the armies of the Confederation of the Rhine - an alliance of most of the other German states - which ended the domination of the First French Empire.
The Congress of Vienna was an international diplomatic conference to reconstitute the European political order after the downfall of the French Emperor Napoleon I. It was a meeting of ambassadors of European states chaired by Austrian statesman Klemens von Metternich, and held in Vienna.
The first Wartburg Festival was a convention of about 500 Protestant German students, held on 18 October 1817 at the Wartburg castle near Eisenach in Thuringia. The former refuge of reformator Martin Luther was considered a national symbol and the assembly a protest against reactionary politics and Kleinstaaterei.
The "March Revolution" in the German states took place in the south and the west of Germany, with large popular assemblies and mass demonstrations. Led by well-educated students and intellectuals, they demanded German national unity, freedom of the press, and freedom of assembly.
The Crimean War was a military conflict fought from October 1853 to February 1856 in which Russia lost to an alliance of France, the Ottoman Empire, the United Kingdom and Piedmont-Sardinia.
German Civil War was fought in 1866 between the Austrian Empire and the Kingdom of Prussia, with each also being aided by various allies within the German Confederation. Prussia had also allied with the Kingdom of Italy, linking this conflict to the Third Independence War of Italian unification. The Austro-Prussian War was part of the wider rivalry between Austria and Prussia, and resulted in Prussian dominance over the German states.
In April 1866, the Prussian representative in Florence signed a secret agreement with the Italian government, committing each state to assist the other in a war against Austria. The next day, the Prussian delegate to the Frankfurt assembly presented a plan calling for a national constitution, a directly elected national Diet, and universal suffrage.
Franco-Prussian War or Franco-German War, often referred to in France as the War of 1870, was a conflict between the Second French Empire and the North German Confederation led by the Kingdom of Prussia. Lasting from 19 July 1870 to 28 January 1871, the conflict was caused primarily by France's determination to restore its dominant position in continental Europe, which it had lost following Prussia's crushing victory over Austria in 1866.
Bismarck acted immediately to secure the unification of Germany. He negotiated with representatives of the southern German states, offering special concessions if they agreed to unification. The negotiations succeeded; patriotic sentiment overwhelmed what opposition remained. While the war was in its final phase, Wilhelm I of Prussia was proclaimed German Emperor on 18 January 1871 in the Hall of Mirrors in the Château de Versailles.
In 1871, Bismarck was raised to the rank of Fürst (Prince). He was also appointed as the first Imperial Chancellor (Reichskanzler) of the German Empire, but retained his Prussian offices, including those of Minister-President and Foreign Minister.
The German Empire or the Imperial State of Germany, also referred to as Imperial Germany, the Second Reich, the Kaiserreich, as well as simply Germany, was the period of the German Reich from the unification of Germany in 1871 until the November Revolution in 1918, when the German Reich changed its form of government from a monarchy to a republic.