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German And Italian Unification

Uploaded by fatherflem on Mar 26, 2004

Germany and Italy: The Struggle For Unification
The rise of nationalism in Germany and Italy was long combated by the established regimes, but a unified Germany and Italy was an inevitability. The people of these two countries suffered from a long history of disorganization and disunity, but strong leadership in the end united them both. The similarities between Germany and Italy range from the subtle to the very obvious, but there also are some major differences.

The situation in Germany was this; Germany was composed of a confederation of German states and was not unified. Austria was the dominant force in this confederation, and was an anti-nationalistic and anti-liberalistic force in Europe. The chief rival in the confederation was Prussia, who’s growing industrialization led to a larger middle class. As the middle class grows, the pressure to become more liberalistic grew. Prussia was becoming a very progressive and nationalistic nation, which was led by Otto Von Bismarck. Bismarck looked at the decline of Austria after the resignation of one of its best leaders, Metternich, as a golden opportunity. Austria was also weakened by its lack of involvement in the Crimean war in which it lost its best ally, Russia. Bismarck was a master diplomat who knew exactly what he was doing, by securing friendship with key countries namely Russia and Italy. The Prussian economy was also a key factor in the unification. Economically Austria was far behind Prussia, because Austria had made key reforms to encourage the economy. The superior economy and the diplomatic isolation of Austria lead to its downfall. The German unification was mainly a product of Prussian military and economic superiority, but Bismarck was still a huge factor in the events leading up to unification. An example of this is that before any major conflict took place between Prussia and Austria, Bismarck made vague mention to Napoleon III that if they stayed out of the conflict, they would be awarded territory. This was a complete lie, but it kept the French out of that conflict. It could be argued that Bismarck really was that interested in German unification, but actually thought of it more as Prussian expansion. Whatever his personal reasons for were, the results were the same. Germany was now one country, and much stronger for it.

The story of Italy’s unification is a bit more complicated. The main figure in Italian unification was Camillo Cavour. Cavour was the...

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Uploaded by:   fatherflem

Date:   03/26/2004

Category:   European

Length:   4 pages (816 words)

Views:   29708

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