The conflict was caused by Prussian ambitions to extend German unification and French fears of the shift in the European balance of power that would result if the Prussians succeeded. On 16 July 1870, the French parliament voted to declare war on the German Kingdom of Prussia, the German coalition mobilised its troops much more quickly than the French and rapidly invaded northeastern France. The German forces were superior in numbers, had training and leadership and made more effective use of modern technology, particularly railroads. The German states proclaimed their union as the German Empire under the Prussian king Wilhelm I, the Treaty of Frankfurt of 10 May 1871 gave Germany most of Alsace and some parts of Lorraine, which became the Imperial territory of Alsace-Lorraine. French determination to regain Alsace-Lorraine and fear of another Franco-German war, along with British apprehension about the balance of power, the causes of the Franco-Prussian War are deeply rooted in the events surrounding the unification of Germany.
In the aftermath of the Austro-Prussian War of 1866, Prussia had annexed numerous territories and this new power destabilized the European balance of power established by the Congress of Vienna in 1815 after the Napoleonic Wars. France was strongly opposed to any further alliance of German states, in Prussia, some officials considered a war against France both inevitable and necessary to arouse German nationalism in those states that would allow the unification of a great German empire. Bismarck knew that France should be the aggressor in the conflict to bring the southern German states to side with Prussia, many Germans viewed the French as the traditional destabilizer of Europe, and sought to weaken France to prevent further breaches of the peace. The immediate cause of the war resided in the candidacy of Leopold of Hohenzollern-Sigmaringen, France feared encirclement by an alliance between Prussia and Spain. The Hohenzollern princes candidacy was withdrawn under French diplomatic pressure, releasing the Ems Dispatch to the public, Bismarck made it sound as if the king had treated the French envoy in a demeaning fashion, which inflamed public opinion in France.
They argue that he wanted a war to resolve growing domestic political problems, other historians, notably French historian Pierre Milza, dispute this. According to Milza, the Emperor had no need for a war to increase his popularity, the Ems telegram had exactly the effect on French public opinion that Bismarck had intended. This text produced the effect of a red flag on the Gallic bull, the French foreign minister, declared that he felt he had just received a slap. Napoleons new prime minister, Emile Ollivier, declared that France had done all that it could humanly and honorably do to prevent the war, a crowd of 15–20,000 people, carrying flags and patriotic banners, marched through the streets of Paris, demanding war. On 19 July 1870 a declaration of war was sent to the Prussian government, the southern German states immediately sided with Prussia. The French Army consisted in peacetime of approximately 400,000 soldiers, some of them were veterans of previous French campaigns in the Crimean War, the Franco-Austrian War in Italy, and in the Mexican campaign.
Under Marshal Adolphe Niel, urgent reforms were made, universal conscription and a shorter period of service gave increased numbers of reservists, who would swell the army to a planned strength of 800,000 on mobilisation. Those who for any reason were not conscripted were to be enrolled in the Garde Mobile, the Franco-Prussian War broke out before these reforms could be completely implemented
Prussia was a historic state originating out of the Duchy of Prussia and the Margraviate of Brandenburg, and centred on the region of Prussia. For centuries, the House of Hohenzollern ruled Prussia, successfully expanding its size by way of an unusually well-organised, with its capital in Königsberg and from 1701 in Berlin, shaped the history of Germany. In 1871, German states united to create the German Empire under Prussian leadership, in November 1918, the monarchies were abolished and the nobility lost its political power during the German Revolution of 1918–19. The Kingdom of Prussia was thus abolished in favour of a republic—the Free State of Prussia, from 1933, Prussia lost its independence as a result of the Prussian coup, when the Nazi regime was successfully establishing its Gleichschaltung laws in pursuit of a unitary state. Prussia existed de jure until its liquidation by the Allied Control Council Enactment No.46 of 25 February 1947. The name Prussia derives from the Old Prussians, in the 13th century, the Teutonic Knights—an organized Catholic medieval military order of German crusaders—conquered the lands inhabited by them.
In 1308, the Teutonic Knights conquered the region of Pomerelia with Gdańsk and their monastic state was mostly Germanised through immigration from central and western Germany and in the south, it was Polonised by settlers from Masovia. The Second Peace of Thorn split Prussia into the western Royal Prussia, a province of Poland, and the part, from 1525 called the Duchy of Prussia. The union of Brandenburg and the Duchy of Prussia in 1618 led to the proclamation of the Kingdom of Prussia in 1701, Prussia entered the ranks of the great powers shortly after becoming a kingdom, and exercised most influence in the 18th and 19th centuries. During the 18th century it had a say in many international affairs under the reign of Frederick the Great. During the 19th century, Chancellor Otto von Bismarck united the German principalities into a Lesser Germany which excluded the Austrian Empire. At the Congress of Vienna, which redrew the map of Europe following Napoleons defeat, Prussia acquired a section of north western Germany.
The country grew rapidly in influence economically and politically, and became the core of the North German Confederation in 1867, and of the German Empire in 1871. The Kingdom of Prussia was now so large and so dominant in the new Germany that Junkers and other Prussian élites identified more and more as Germans and less as Prussians. In the Weimar Republic, the state of Prussia lost nearly all of its legal and political importance following the 1932 coup led by Franz von Papen. East Prussia lost all of its German population after 1945, as Poland, the main coat of arms of Prussia, as well as the flag of Prussia, depicted a black eagle on a white background. The black and white colours were already used by the Teutonic Knights. The Teutonic Order wore a white coat embroidered with a cross with gold insert
House Order of Hohenzollern
The House Order of Hohenzollern was a dynastic order of knighthood of the House of Hohenzollern awarded to military commissioned officers and civilians of comparable status. Associated with the versions of the order were crosses and medals which could be awarded to lower-ranking soldiers. The House Order of Hohenzollern was instituted on December 5,1841 by joint decree of Prince Konstantin of Hohenzollern-Hechingen and these two principalities in southern Germany were Catholic collateral lines of the House of Hohenzollern, cousins to the Protestant ruling house of Prussia. On August 23,1851, after the two principalities had been annexed by Prussia, the order was adopted by the Prussian branch of the house. Also, although the two principalities had become a region of the Prussian kingdom, the princely lines continued to award the order as a house order. The Prussian version was known as the Royal House Order of Hohenzollern. The Princely House Order continued to be awarded, after the fall of the German Monarchy, Prince Karl Antons second son, Karl Eitel Friedrich of Hohenzollern-Sigmaringen, had become prince and king of Romania as Carol I.
Carol I had died childless and was succeeded by his nephew Ferdinand I and this form of the order existed until the Romanian monarchy was abolished in 1947, King Michael awarded a slightly altered order in exile. The Royal House Order of Hohenzollern came in the classes, Grand Commander Commander Knight Member Member was a lesser class for soldiers who were not officers. The Members Cross, especially swords, was a rare distinction for non-commissioned officers. Another decoration, the Members Eagle was often given as an award to lesser officials such as schoolteachers. The Eagles were solely civilian awards, and could not be awarded with swords, all other grades could be awarded with swords. When awarded with swords it was worn on the ribbon of the Iron Cross, all grades could be awarded with swords. During World War I, the grade of the Princely House Order was often awarded to officers. 40, a regiment raised in the principalities of Hohenzollern. Soldier in the regiments sister reserve and Landwehr regiments received the decoration.
Unlike the Royal House Order, awards of the Princely House Order were made on the ribbon of the order regardless of whether they were with or without swords. As with the Prussian and Hohenzollern versions, crossed swords could be used to indicate a wartime or combat award, the badge of the House Order of Hohenzollern was a cross pattée with convex edges and curved arms
Order of Merit of the Prussian Crown
The order was presented in one class and consisted of a badge and a breast star. For military merit the award was presented with crossed swords, the order was presented once with diamonds. In each of the compartments between the four arms of the cross is a crown surmounting the royal monogram. The central disc on the obverse of the shows a golden crown with red enamel, surrounded by a blue-enamelled circular band bearing the gold-lettered motto. The disc on the bears the intertwined initials IR W II. The star of the order is a golden eight-pointed star with straight rays, the sash of the order is blue, edged with orange stripes. The medal was awarded only 57 times, general von Gossler was the only person who received the awards in both departments. Zentralstelle für wissenschaftliche Ordenskunde, München 1997, ISBN 3-00-001396-2, kurt-Gerhard Klietmann, Der Verdienstorden der Preußischen Krone, Mitteilung aus dem Institut für Wissenschaftliche Ordenskunde, Der Herold - Band 12,32
Order of the Rue Crown
The Order of the Rue Crown is a Dynastic order of knighthood of the Kingdom of Saxony. It was established in 1807 by Frederick Augustus I, the first King of Saxony, the order takes its name from the green floral crown of rue found on the Coat of arms of Saxony. The order was created to be the counterpart to the Military Order of St. Henry. The order was limited to 24 knights, but exceptions were made for members of ruling houses. The Order of the Rue Crown was presented in a single grade, the order was granted in a special grade with diamonds, to Portuguese Prime Minister Dom Nuno José de Moura Barreto, Duke of Loulé in 1859 and Chancellor Otto von Bismarck in 1885. From its founding to the fall of the Kingdom of Saxony in 1918, the badge of the order is a gold Maltese cross enameled in green with a white border. The white center medallion features the monogram of Frederick Augustus I of Saxony encircled by a green crown of rue. Between the arms of the cross is a crown of rue. The star of the order is of made of silver, and has eight points, the center of the star bears a gold medallion with the motto of the order PROVIDENTIÆ MEMOR inside a ring of green rue leaves.
The badge of the order is borne on a ribband of grass green worn over the right shoulder
Bavarian Maximilian Order for Science and Art
The Bavarian Maximilian Order for Science and Art was first established on 28 November 1853 by King Maximilian II. von Bayern. It is awarded to acknowledge and reward excellent and outstanding achievements in the field of science, from 1933 onwards the order was no longer awarded, until 1980 when it was reinstated by the Minister-President of the Free State of Bavaria Franz Josef Strauß. Since 1980 the order has been awarded to 184 recipients including 24 woman, the number of living members of the order cannot exceed 100. As of February 2013 there are 92 living members of the order, since 1932 the order has been issued 351 times. Overall the order was awarded to 535 people from 1853 to 2012, in continuation of a bavarian tradition, the Bavarian Maximialian Order for Art and Sciences was created. It is awarded to outstanding achievements in the field of science. The Maximilian Order is preferable awarded to German scientist and artist and it is not restricted to citizens of Bavaria. The order was instituted in one class and two sections, the order is restricted to 100 living members.
The Minister-President, the minister of state for their portfolio. These proposals are evaluated by an advisory committee and it gives its recommendation to the Minister-President for the final decision. All members of the committee are selected for a period of five years. The committee decides with the majority of its members, www. ordenmuseum. de, Der Bayerische Verdienstorden und Bayerischen Maximiliansorden für Wissenschaft und Kunst The law Information of the Bavarian State Chancellery
Order of the Red Eagle
The Order of the Red Eagle was an order of chivalry of the Kingdom of Prussia. It was awarded to military personnel and civilians, to recognize valor in combat, excellence in military leadership and faithful service to the kingdom. As with most German orders, the Order of the Red Eagle could only be awarded to commissioned officers or civilians of equivalent status. However, there was a medal of the order, which could be awarded to non-commissioned officers and enlisted men, lower ranking civil servants and other civilians. The predecessor to Order of the Red Eagle was founded on November 17,1705 and this soon fell into disuse but was revived in 1712 in Brandenburg-Bayreuth and again in 1734 in Brandenburg-Ansbach, where it first received the name Order of the Brandenburg Red Eagle. The statutes were changed in 1777 and the Order named therein as the Order of the Red Eagle, the Order was conferred in one class, limited to fifty knights. The Kingdom of Prussia absorbed both Brandenburg-Bayreuth and Brandenburg-Ansbach in January,1792, and on June 12,1792, King Frederick William II again revived the order as a Prussian royal order.
After the Order of the Black Eagle, the Red Eagle was the second highest order of the kingdom in order of precedence, in 1810, King Frederick William III revised the statutes of the Order, expanding it into three classes. In 1830, a breast star was authorized for the Second Class, the statutes were further revised in 1861, and a Grand Cross was established as the highest class of the Order. By 1918, an affiliated soldiers medal had been available to commoners. The monarchy collapsed on November 9,1918, a new German constitution was signed into law, August 11,1919, effectually putting a legal end to the monarchy. Among these were, All classes but the Medal of the Red Eagle Order could be awarded with swords for distinction in wartime, the swords passed through the arms of the cross behind the center medallion. All classes above the 4th Class could be awarded with Swords on Ring, indicating that the recipient of that class without swords had earlier received a class of the order with swords. A pair of crossed swords were worn above the cross on the ring or above the medallion on the upper arm of the breast star.
All classes could be awarded with or without crown as an added distinction, the Grand Cross, 1st and 2nd Class could be awarded with oak leaves, indicating prior receipt of the next lower class of the order, and/or with diamonds, as a special distinction. Royal family members were awarded the Grand Cross with crown, the Maltese cross badge was suspended from a miniature of the Prussian crown, which covered the usual suspension ring. The Grand Cross was awarded at least once with crossed marshals batons, the crossed batons were worn above the Maltese cross badge of the Grand Cross, on its suspension ring. The 3rd Class could be awarded with bow, indicating prior receipt of the 4th Class, prussians who were Knights of the Order of St. John of Malta
Order of Saint Hubert
The Bavarian Order of Saint Hubert is a Roman Catholic dynastic order of knighthood founded in 1444 or 1445 by Gerhard VII, Duke of Jülich-Berg. He sought to commemorate his victory over the House of Egmond at the Battle of Linnich on 3 November, which is Saint Huberts day. In 1778, Charles Theodore, Duke of Jülich and Berg, the order was open to men and women, although limiting the number of male companions to sixty. It commemorated the conversion of Saint Hubert and his standing as the saint of hunters. Over time, the award had other uses as a reward for loyalty to the monarch, sources agree that the Order of Saint Hubert honors a military victory of the Duke of Jülich, on Saint Huberts day,3 November 1444. Consequently, the date of the founding depends on the source, still other sources date the founding of the Order as late as 1473 or 1475. Twentieth century investigation has helped to clear up some of the confusion, the original Latin statutes of the foundation use Good Friday, in this case 26 March 1445.
Furthermore, there is written evidence that the Order existed prior to March 1445. These remained the governing documents of the Order until 1708, in this confirmation probably lies the root of confusion over the date of the Orders foundation. Initially the Order was a brotherhood, reflecting the overlapping religious. Saint Hubert was the saint of hunters and knights. The founding of the Order of the Golden Fleece in the early 15th century started a trend in confraternal princely orders. The purpose of these, whether established by monarchs or princes, was to foster loyalty to a sovereign, when Reinhold IV, Duke of Gelder, died in 1423, his nephew Arnold inherited the dukedom. Arnolds cousin, Adolf of Berg, inherited territories near Liège, Arnold believed that Adolf had inherited the better of the two properties, and coveted it for himself. He tried to take it by force and failed, a compromise was reached by which the two agreed to a truce. Adolf of Berg died in 1437 and his cousin, Gerhard IV, Arnold reasserted his old claim, maintaining that the truce to which he and Adolf agreed was no longer valid, and prepared to take the duchies by force.
Confident in his right to the inheritance, Gerhard met Arnold in battle, at the village of Linnich and he and his knights defeated Arnold and his knights on Saint Huberts day in 1444. In celebration, Gerhard declared the founding of the Order, to reward his loyal, the Order remained in collateral branches of the family of the Dukes of Jülich and Berg until 1521, when the male line holding the two duchies and the county of Ravensberg became extinct
The German Empire was the historical German nation state that existed from the unification of Germany in 1871 to the abdication of Kaiser Wilhelm II in 1918, when Germany became a federal republic. The German Empire consisted of 26 constituent territories, with most being ruled by royal families and this included four kingdoms, six grand duchies, five duchies, seven principalities, three free Hanseatic cities, and one imperial territory. Although Prussia became one of kingdoms in the new realm, it contained most of its population and territory. Its influence helped define modern German culture, after 1850, the states of Germany had rapidly become industrialized, with particular strengths in coal, iron and railways. In 1871, it had a population of 41 million people, and by 1913, a heavily rural collection of states in 1815, now united Germany became predominantly urban. During its 47 years of existence, the German Empire operated as an industrial, Germany became a great power, boasting a rapidly growing rail network, the worlds strongest army, and a fast-growing industrial base.
In less than a decade, its navy became second only to Britains Royal Navy, after the removal of Chancellor Otto von Bismarck by Wilhelm II, the Empire embarked on a bellicose new course that ultimately led to World War I. When the great crisis of 1914 arrived, the German Empire had two allies and the Austro-Hungarian Empire, however, left the once the First World War started in August 1914. In the First World War, German plans to capture Paris quickly in autumn 1914 failed, the Allied naval blockade caused severe shortages of food. Germany was repeatedly forced to send troops to bolster Austria and Turkey on other fronts, Germany had great success on the Eastern Front, it occupied large Eastern territories following the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk. German declaration of unrestricted submarine warfare in early 1917 was designed to strangle the British, it failed, but the declaration—along with the Zimmermann Telegram—did bring the United States into the war. Meanwhile, German civilians and soldiers had become war-weary and radicalised by the Russian Revolution and this failed, and by October the armies were in retreat, Austria-Hungary and the Ottoman Empire had collapsed, Bulgaria had surrendered and the German people had lost faith in their political system.
The Empire collapsed in the November 1918 Revolution as the Emperor and all the ruling monarchs abdicated, and a republic took over. The German Confederation had been created by an act of the Congress of Vienna on 8 June 1815 as a result of the Napoleonic Wars, German nationalism rapidly shifted from its liberal and democratic character in 1848, called Pan-Germanism, to Prussian prime minister Otto von Bismarcks pragmatic Realpolitik. He envisioned a conservative, Prussian-dominated Germany, the war resulted in the Confederation being partially replaced by a North German Confederation in 1867, comprising the 22 states north of the Main. The new constitution and the title Emperor came into effect on 1 January 1871, during the Siege of Paris on 18 January 1871, William accepted to be proclaimed Emperor in the Hall of Mirrors at the Palace of Versailles. The second German Constitution was adopted by the Reichstag on 14 April 1871 and proclaimed by the Emperor on 16 April, the political system remained the same.
The empire had a parliament called the Reichstag, which was elected by universal male suffrage, the original constituencies drawn in 1871 were never redrawn to reflect the growth of urban areas
Kingdom of Bavaria
The Kingdom of Bavaria was a German state that succeeded the former Electorate of Bavaria in 1805 and continued to exist until 1918. The Bavarian Elector Maximilian IV Joseph of the House of Wittelsbach became the first King of Bavaria in 1805 as Maximilian I Joseph, the crown would go on being held by the Wittelsbachs until the kingdom came to an end in 1918. Since the end of the kingdom and the empire in 1918, on 30 December 1777, the Bavarian line of the Wittelsbachs became extinct, and the succession on the Electorate of Bavaria passed to Charles Theodore, the Elector Palatine. After a separation of four and a half centuries, the Palatinate, to which the duchies of Jülich, between the French and the Austrians, Bavaria was now in a bad situation. Before the death of Charles Theodore the Austrians had again occupied the country, Maximilian IV Joseph, the new elector, succeeded to a difficult inheritance. By the Treaty of Lunéville Bavaria lost the Palatinate and the duchies of Zweibrücken, the 1805 Peace of Pressburg allowed Maximilian to raise Bavaria to the status of a kingdom.
Accordingly, Maximilian proclaimed himself king on 1 January 1806, the King still served as an Elector until Bavaria seceded from the Holy Roman Empire on 1 August 1806. The Duchy of Berg was ceded to Napoleon only in 1806, the new kingdom faced challenges from the outset of its creation, relying on the support of Napoleonic France. The kingdom faced war with Austria in 1808 and from 1810 to 1814, lost territory to Württemberg, Italy, in 1808, all relics of serfdom were abolished, which had left the old empire. In the same year, Maximilian promulgated Bavarias first written constitution, over the next five years, it was amended numerous times in accordance with Paris wishes. During the French invasion of Russia in 1812 about 30,000 Bavarian soldiers were killed in action, on 14 October, Bavaria made a formal declaration of war against Napoleonic France. The treaty was passionately backed by the Crown Prince Ludwig and by Marshal von Wrede, finally in 1816, the Rhenish Palatinate was taken from France in exchange for most of Salzburg which was ceded to Austria.
It was the second largest and second most powerful state south of the Main, in Germany as a whole, it ranked third behind Prussia and Austria. On 1 February 1817, Montgelas had been dismissed, and Bavaria had entered on a new era of constitutional reform, on 26 May 1818, Bavarias second constitution was proclaimed. The Landtag would have two houses, a house comprising the aristocracy and noblemen, including the high-class hereditary landowners, government officials. The second house, a house, would include representatives of small landowners, the towns. The rights of Protestants were safeguarded in the constitution with articles supporting the equality of all religions, the initial constitution almost proved disastrous for the monarchy, with controversies such as the army having to swear allegiance to the new constitution. Within the Kingdom of Bavaria, the Palatinate enjoyed a legal and administrative position