Nazi Germany is the common English name for the period in German history from 1933 to 1945, when Germany was governed by a dictatorship under the control of Adolf Hitler and the Nazi Party. Under Hitlers rule, Germany was transformed into a fascist state in which the Nazi Party took totalitarian control over all aspects of life. The official name of the state was Deutsches Reich from 1933 to 1943, the period is known under the names the Third Reich and the National Socialist Period. The Nazi regime came to an end after the Allied Powers defeated Germany in May 1945, Hitler was appointed Chancellor of Germany by the President of the Weimar Republic Paul von Hindenburg on 30 January 1933. The Nazi Party began to eliminate all opposition and consolidate its power. Hindenburg died on 2 August 1934, and Hitler became dictator of Germany by merging the powers and offices of the Chancellery, a national referendum held 19 August 1934 confirmed Hitler as sole Führer of Germany. All power was centralised in Hitlers person, and his word became above all laws, the government was not a coordinated, co-operating body, but a collection of factions struggling for power and Hitlers favour.
In the midst of the Great Depression, the Nazis restored economic stability and ended mass unemployment using heavy military spending, extensive public works were undertaken, including the construction of Autobahnen. The return to economic stability boosted the regimes popularity, especially antisemitism, was a central feature of the regime. The Germanic peoples were considered by the Nazis to be the purest branch of the Aryan race, millions of Jews and other peoples deemed undesirable by the state were murdered in the Holocaust. Opposition to Hitlers rule was ruthlessly suppressed, members of the liberal and communist opposition were killed, imprisoned, or exiled. The Christian churches were oppressed, with many leaders imprisoned, education focused on racial biology, population policy, and fitness for military service. Career and educational opportunities for women were curtailed and tourism were organised via the Strength Through Joy program, and the 1936 Summer Olympics showcased the Third Reich on the international stage.
Propaganda minister Joseph Goebbels made effective use of film, mass rallies, the government controlled artistic expression, promoting specific art forms and banning or discouraging others. Beginning in the late 1930s, Nazi Germany made increasingly aggressive territorial demands and it seized Austria and Czechoslovakia in 1938 and 1939. Hitler made a pact with Joseph Stalin and invaded Poland in September 1939. In alliance with Italy and smaller Axis powers, Germany conquered most of Europe by 1940, reichskommissariats took control of conquered areas, and a German administration was established in what was left of Poland. Jews and others deemed undesirable were imprisoned, murdered in Nazi concentration camps and extermination camps, following the German invasion of the Soviet Union in 1941, the tide gradually turned against the Nazis, who suffered major military defeats in 1943
History of Germany since 1990
The history of Germany since 1990 spans the period following the Reunification of Germany, when West Germany and East Germany were reunited after being divided during the Cold War. Germany after 1990 is referred to by historians as the Berlin Republic and this time-period is determined by the ongoing process of the inner reunification of the formerly divided country. The reunified Berlin became the capital of Germany on October 3, December 2 marks the first elections for the city parliament after reunification. The first federal election after reunification, the German federal election,1990, the CDU became the largest party with 43. 8%, followed by the SPD and the Free Democratic Party of Germany. On June 20,1991, the Bundestag decided that the parliament and parts of the government and central administration would be relocated from Bonn to the capital, at this time, the term Berlin Republic emerged. Roman Herzog, a former Judge at the Federal Constitutional Court of Germany, was elected President of Germany in 1994, following the German federal election,1994, Helmut Kohl was reelected as Chancellor for his fifth and last term.
Joschka Fischer, a leading Green politician, became Vice Chancellor, shortly after the formation of the government, Minister of Finance Oskar Lafontaine, a former SPD chairman and rival of Schröder, resigned from the cabinet. He was succeeded as Minister of Finance by Hans Eichel, in 1998, it became known that the CDU/CSU had received anonymous funding. Helmut Kohl subsequently resigned as party chairman, and in 2000. Angela Merkel, the Secretary General of the CDU since 1998, in 1999, Johannes Rau was elected President of Germany. Rau had tried to be elected President for several years, a large tax reform was implemented in 2000. After 2003, the government enacted a number of reforms in social and health policy. The Schröder government stressed environmental issues and promoted the reduction of greenhouse gas, Germany took part in the NATO war against Yugoslavia in 1999, when German forces saw combat for the first time since World War II. Chancellor Schröder supported the war on terror following the September 11 attacks against the United States, Germany sent forces to Kosovo and other parts of the world.
In 1999, Germany partially adopted the Euro, which replaced the Deutsche Mark as the currency of Germany in 2002. Several German cities, notably Dresden and Magdeburg, experienced severe flooding during the 2002 European floods, in 2002, Edmund Stoiber was the candidate for Chancellor for the CDU/CSU, the first time a CSU politician was chancellor candidate since the candidacy of Franz Josef Strauss in 1980. Both CDU/CSU and the SPD polled 38. 5% in the German federal election,2002, since the Greens became larger than the liberals, Gerhard Schröders government was reelected. Germany and France vehemently opposed the 2003 Iraq War, leading the administration of George W. Bush to label Germany and France as the Old Europe, Germany supported the United States militarily in other parts of the world, notably in the Horn of Africa and Kuwait
Maximilian I, Holy Roman Emperor
Maximilian I was King of the Romans from 1486 and Holy Roman Emperor from 1493 until his death, though he was never crowned by the Pope, as the journey to Rome was always too risky. He was the son of Frederick III, Holy Roman Emperor and he ruled jointly with his father for the last ten years of his fathers reign, from c.1483 to 1493. Charles father Philip died in 1506, so Charles succeeded Maximilian as Holy Roman Emperor in 1519, Maximilian was born at Wiener Neustadt on 22 March 1459. His father, Frederick III, Holy Roman Emperor, named him for an obscure saint whom Frederick believed had once warned him of imminent peril in a dream, in his infancy, he and his parents were besieged in Vienna by Albert of Austria. One source relates that, during the sieges bleakest days, the prince would wander about the castle garrison, begging the servants. The young prince was an excellent hunter, his hobby was the hunting for birds as a horse archer. The reigning duke of Burgundy, Charles the Bold, was the political opponent of Maximilians father Frederick III.
After the Siege of Neuss, he was successful, the wedding between Maximilian and Mary took place on the evening of 16 August 1477. Maximilians wife had inherited the large Burgundian domains in France and the Low Countries upon her fathers death in the Battle of Nancy on 5 January 1477. Already before his coronation as the King of the Romans in 1486, Maximilian decided to secure this distant and extensive Burgundian inheritance to his family, the House of Habsburg, at all costs. Maximilian undertook the defence of his wifes dominions from an attack by Louis XI and defeated the French forces at Guinegate, the wedding contract between Maximilian and Mary stipulated that only the children of bride and groom had a right to inherit from each, not the surviving parent. Mary tried to bypass this rule with a promise to transfer territories as a gift in case of her death, but her plans were confounded. After Marys death in an accident on 27 March 1482 near the Wijnendale Castle, Maximilians aim was now to secure the inheritance to one of his and Marys children.
Some of the Netherlander provinces were hostile to Maximilian, and they signed a treaty with Louis XI in 1482 that forced Maximilian to give up Franche-Comté and they openly rebelled twice in the period 1482–1492, attempting to regain the autonomy they had enjoined under Mary. Flemish rebels managed to capture Philip and even Maximilian himself, Maximilian continued to govern Marys remaining inheritance in the name of Philip the Handsome. After the regency ended and Charles VIII of France exchanged these two territories for Burgundy and Picardy in the Treaty of Senlis, thus a large part of the Netherlands stayed in the Habsburg patrimony. Maximilian was elected King of the Romans on 16 February 1486 in Frankfurt-am-Main at his fathers initiative and he became emperor of the Holy Roman Empire upon the death of his father in 1493. Much of Austria was under Hungarian rule when he took power, in 1490, Maximilian reconquered the territory and entered Vienna
The affected area roughly stretched from Slovenia in the south to Estonia in the north, and extended into Transylvania in the southeast. In part, Ostsiedlung followed the expansion of the Empire. German historians of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries often exaggerated the importance of the adoption of Salic law and settlement in Central, thus Ostsiedlung is part of a process termed Ostkolonisation or Hochmittelalterlicher Landesausbau, although these terms are sometimes used synonymously. Ethnic conflicts erupted between the newly arrived settlers and local populations and expulsions of native populations are known of. In several areas subject to the Ostsiedlung, the population was discriminated against. Central Europe underwent dramatic changes after the Migration period of 300 to 700 CE, the Roman Empire had lost its dominant position. The Franks had created an empire that, besides former Roman Gallia, had united the former West Germanic tribes, East Francia, an early predecessor of Germany, aimed to be the successor to the Christian Western Roman Empire, and developed into the Holy Roman Empire.
In Scandinavia, the former North Germanic tribes entered the Viking Age, affecting the whole of Europe through trade, some former East Germanic tribes had entered and merged into Rome, their own culture ceasing to exist. The Slavs living within the reach of the Frankish Empire were collectively called Wends and they seldom formed larger political entities, but rather constituted various small tribes, dwelling as far west as to a line from the Eastern Alps and Bohemia to the Saale and Elbe rivers. As the Frankish Empire expanded, various Wendish tribes were conquered or allied with the Franks, such as the Obodrites, the conquered Wendish areas were organized by the Franks into marches, which were administered by an entrusted noble who collected the tribute, reinforced by military units. The establishing of marches was accompanied by missionary efforts, Frankish kings initiated numerous, yet not always successful, military campaigns to maintain their authority. Weakened by ongoing conflicts and constant warfare, the independent Wendish territories finally lost the capacity to provide effective military resistance.
From 1119 to 1123, Pomerania invaded and subdued the northeastern parts of the Liutizian lands, in 1124 and 1128, the Pomeranian duke Wartislaw I, at that time a vassal of Poland, invited bishop Otto von Bamberg to Christianize the Pomeranians and Liutizians of his duchy. In 1147, as a campaign of the Northern Crusade, the Wendish Crusade was mounted in the Duchy of Saxony to retake the marches lost in 983, the crusaders headed for Pomeranian Demmin and Stettin, despite these areas having already been successfully Christianized. The Havelberg bishopric was set up again to Christianize the Wends, after Henry the Lion lost an internal struggle with Emperor Frederick I, Mecklenburg and Pomerania became part of the Holy Roman Empire in 1181. Terra Mariana was the name for Medieval Livonia or Old Livonia which was formed in the aftermath of the Livonian Crusade in the territories comprising present day Estonia and Latvia. It was established on February 2,1207 as a principality of the Holy Roman Empire, the nominal head of Terra Mariana as well as the city of Riga was the Archbishop of Riga as the apex of the ecclesiastical hierarchy.
In 1561, during the Livonian war, Terra Mariana ceased to exist, the island of Saaremaa became part of Denmark
New states of Germany
The new states, which had been abolished by the East German government in 1952 and were re-established in 1990, are Brandenburg, Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, Saxony-Anhalt and Thuringia. The state of Berlin, the result of a merger between East and West Berlin, is not considered one of the new states, although many of its residents are former East Germans. Since the reunification, Germany thus consists of 16 states with equal legal statuses, yet the process of the inner reunification between the former Eastern and Western Germany is still ongoing. Persisting differences in culture and mentality among the old East Germany, ossis are stereotyped as racist and largely influenced by Russian culture. Wessis are usually considered snobbish, dishonest and selfish, the terms can be considered disparaging. In 2009, twenty years after the fall of the wall, 62% feel in a kind of limbo, no longer citizens of East Germany but not fully integrated into the unified Germany. Around 11% would have liked to have East Germany back, a 2004 poll found that 25% of West Germans and 12% of East Germans wished reunification had not happened.
Some East German brands have been revived, appealing to former East Germans who are nostalgic for the goods they grew up with, another notable difference is the attitude towards naturism or FKK in German. While it existed in both East and West, only in the East was it a cultural phenomenon in which almost everybody participated. This can still be seen at beaches of former East Germany compared to their West German counterparts, more children are born out of wedlock in eastern Germany than in western Germany. In 2009, in eastern Germany 61% of births were to unmarried women, the states of Saxony-Anhalt and Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania had the highest rate of birth outside wedlock, each with 64%, followed by Brandenburg with 62%. The state of Baden-Württemberg had the lowest rate with 22%, followed by Hesse and Bavaria, the economic reconstruction of eastern Germany is proving to be more long-term than originally foreseen. The standard of living and annual income significantly lower in the new federal states.
Reunification cost the federal government €2 Trillion, at reunification, almost all East German industry was considered outdated. The government privatised 8,500 state-owned East German enterprises, since 1990, between €100 billion and €140 billion a year have been transferred to the new states. More than $60 billion were spent supporting businesses and building infrastructure in the years 2006-2008. A €156 billion economic plan, Solidarity Pact II, came into force in 2005, the tax, which raises €11 billion a year, will be maintained until 2019 at least. Ever since the reunification, the unemployment rate in the east has been almost twice that of the west, the unemployment rate reached 12. 7% in April 2010, after having reached a maximum of 18. 7% in 2005
Former eastern territories of Germany
The former eastern territories of Germany are those provinces or regions east of the current eastern border of Germany which were lost by Germany after World War I and World War II. All territories lost in both World Wars account for 33% of the former German Empire, while land ceded by Germany after World War II constituted roughly 25% of its pre-war Weimar territory. The post-war border between Germany and Poland along the Oder–Neisse line was recognized by East Germany in 1950 by the Treaty of Zgorzelec. In 1952, recognition of the Oder–Neisse line as a permanent boundary was one of Stalins conditions for the Soviet Union to agree to a reunification of Germany, the offer was rejected by West German Chancellor Konrad Adenauer. In 1970, West Germany recognised the line as a de facto boundary in the Treaty of Warsaw, with this repeal the post-1990 boundaries of Germany are closed to further expansion. In German there is only one term, meaning East Germany or Eastern Germany. The rather ambiguous German term never gained prevailing use for the GDR as did the English term, since Ostdeutschland has been used to denote the post-war and the respective five states of the reunited Germany.
At the time of the foundation of the German Empire in 1871, prussian territory east of the Oder-Neisse line included West Prussia and Posen, East Brandenburg, and Pomerania. Later, these territories would come to be called in Germany Ostgebiete des deutschen Reiches, the territories ceded to Poland in 1919 were those with an apparent Polish majority, such as the Province of Posen, the east-southern part of Upper Silesia and the Polish Corridor. The city of Danzig with the delta of the Vistula river at the Baltic Sea, was made the Free City of Danzig under the League of Nations, however, as distinct from other lost Czechoslovakian domains, it was not attached to Sudetengau but to Prussia. By late 1938, Lithuania had lost control over the situation in the Memel Territory, between the two world wars, many in Germany claimed that the territory ceded to Poland in 1919–1922 should be returned to Germany. This claim was one of the justifications for the German invasion of Poland in 1939, the Third Reich annexed the former German lands, comprising the Polish Corridor, West Prussia, the Province of Posen, and parts of eastern Upper Silesia.
The council of the Free City of Danzig voted to become a part of Germany again, although Poles and Jews were deprived of their voting rights, in addition to taking territories lost in 1919, Germany took additional land that had never been German. These territories had an area of 94,000 km2 and a population of 10,000,000 people, the remainder of Polish territory was annexed by the Soviet Union or made into the German-controlled General Government occupation zone. The open question was whether the border should follow the Eastern or Lusatian Neisse rivers, and whether Stettin, Germany was to retain Stettin while the Poles were to annex East Prussia with Königsberg. Eventually, Stalin decided that he wanted Königsberg as a warm water port for the Soviet Navy. The wartime Polish government in exile had little to say in these decisions, at the Yalta Conference, it was agreed to split Germany into four occupation zones after the war, with a quadripartite occupation of Berlin as well, prior unification of Germany.
The status of Poland was discussed, but was complicated by the fact that Poland was at this time under the control of the Red Army and this effectively excluded the Polish government-in-exile that had evacuated in 1939
18th-century history of Germany
Germany in the era 1680s to 1789 comprised many small territories. Germany, or more exactly the old Holy Roman Empire, in the 18th century entered a period of decline that would lead to the dissolution of the Empire during the Napoleonic Wars. Since the Peace of Westphalia in 1648, the Empire had been fragmented into independent states. In 1701 Elector Frederick of Brandenburg was crowned King in Prussia, from 1713 to 1740, King Frederick William I, known as the Soldier King, established a highly centralized state. The term German dualism describes the conflict between the two largest German states Austria and Prussia from 1740 to 1866 when Prussia finally forced Austria out of the German Confederation. The Kingdom of Prussia emerged as the state of the Empire. Frederick III became King Frederick I of Prussia in 1701, since there was only one King of the Germans within the Empire, Frederick gained the assent of Emperor Leopold I to his adoption of the title of King in Prussia based on his non-imperial territories.
The title came into general acceptance with the Treaty of Utrecht, Swedens defeat by Russia, Poland, Denmark–Norway and Prussia in the Great Northern War marked the end of significant Swedish power on the southern shores of the Baltic Sea. In the Prusso–Swedish Treaty of Stockholm, Prussia regained Stettin and other parts of Swedens holding in Pomerania, the Hohenzollerns of Brandenburg had held the reversion to the Duchy of Pomerania since 1472. During this time, the set in motion by the Great Elector reached their culmination, as the Junkers. In 1740, King Frederick II came to the throne, in 1744, Frederick invaded again to forestall reprisals and to claim, this time, the province of Bohemia. When Frederick preemptively invaded Saxony and Bohemia over the course of a few months in 1756–57 and this war was a desperate struggle for the Prussian Army, and the fact that it managed to fight much of Europe to a draw bears witness to Fredericks military skills. The situation became progressively grimmer until the death of Empress Elizabeth of Russia, the accession of the Prussophile Peter III relieved the pressure on the eastern front.
This result confirmed Prussias major role within the German states and established the country as a European great power and this gave the start to the rivalry between Prussia and Austria for the leadership of Germany, referred to as German dualism. From 1763, against resistance from the nobility and citizenry, an enlightened absolutism was established in Prussia and Austria, the economy developed and legal reforms were undertaken, including the abolition of torture and the improvement in the status of Jews, the emancipation of the peasants began. The Kingdom of Prussia annexed most of the Polish province of Royal Prussia, including Warmia, the new territory connected East Prussia with Pomerania, uniting the kingdoms eastern territories. After Frederick died in 1786, his nephew Fredrick William II continued the partitions, in 1795, the Kingdom of Poland ceased to exist and a large area to the south of East Prussia became part of Prussia. These new territories were organized into the Provinces of New Silesia, South Prussia, the French Revolution sparked a new war between France and several of its Eastern neighbors, including Prussia and Austria
Kingdom of Prussia
It was the driving force behind the unification of Germany in 1871 and was the leading state of the German Empire until its dissolution in 1918. Although it took its name from the region called Prussia, it was based in the Margraviate of Brandenburg, the kings of Prussia were from the House of Hohenzollern. Prussia was a power from the time it became a kingdom, through its predecessor, Brandenburg-Prussia. Prussia continued its rise to power under the guidance of Frederick II, more known as Frederick the Great. After the might of Prussia was revealed it was considered as a power among the German states. Throughout the next hundred years Prussia went on to win many battles and it was because of its power that Prussia continuously tried to unify all the German states under its rule. Attempts at creation of a federation remained unsuccessful and the German Confederation collapsed in 1866 when war ensued between its two most powerful states and Austria. The North German Confederation which lasted from 1867–1871, created a union between the Prussian-aligned states while Austria and most of Southern Germany remained independent.
The North German Confederation was seen as more of an alliance of military strength in the aftermath of the Austro-Prussian War, the German Empire lasted from 1871–1918 with the successful unification of all the German states under Prussian hegemony. This was due to the defeat of Napoleon III in the Franco-Prussian War of 1870–71, in 1871, Germany unified into a single country, minus Austria and Switzerland, with Prussia the dominant power. Prussia is considered the predecessor of the unified German Reich. The Kingdom left a significant cultural legacy, today notably promoted by the Prussian Cultural Heritage Foundation, in 1415 a Hohenzollern Burgrave came from the south to the March of Brandenburg and took control of the area as elector. In 1417 the Hohenzollern was made an elector of the Holy Roman Empire, after the Polish wars, the newly established Baltic towns of the German states including Prussia, suffered many economic setbacks. Many of the Prussian towns could not even afford to attend political meetings outside of Prussia, the towns were poverty stricken, with even the largest town, having to borrow money from elsewhere to pay for trade.
Poverty in these towns was partly caused by Prussias neighbors, who had established and developed such a monopoly on trading that these new towns simply could not compete and these issues led to feuds, trade competition and invasions. However, the fall of these gave rise to the nobility, separated the east and the west. It was clear in 1440 how different Brandenburg was from the other German territories, not only did it face partition from within but the threat of its neighbors. It prevented the issue of partition by enacting the Dispositio Achillea which instilled the principle of primogeniture to both the Brandenburg and Franconian territories, the second issue was solved through expansion
In heraldry and vexillology, the double-headed eagle is a charge associated with the concept of Empire. Most modern uses of the symbol are directly or indirectly associated with its use by the Roman/Byzantine Empire, whose use of it represented the Empires dominion over the Near East and the West. But the symbol itself is, in fact, much older, the eagle by itself has long been a symbol of power and dominion. The double-headed eagle motif appears to have its origin in the Ancient Near East. It re-appears in the High Middle Ages, from ca, in a few places, among them the Holy Roman Empire and Russia, the motif was further augmented to create the less prominent triple-headed eagle. Polycephalous mythological beasts are very frequent in the Bronze Age to Iron Age pictorial legacy of the Ancient Near East, especially in the Assyrian sphere, use of the double-headed eagle in Hittite imagery has been interpreted as royal insignia. A monumental Hittite relief of an eagle grasping two hares is found at the eastern pier of the Sphinx Gate at Alaca Hüyük.
After the Bronze Age collapse, there is a gap of more than two millennia before the re-appearance of the double-headed eagle motif, the early Byzantine Empire continued to use the imperial eagle motif. A modern theory, forwarded by Zapheiriou, connected the introduction of the motif to Emperor Isaac I Komnenos, Zapheiriou supposed that the Hittite motif of the double-headed bird, associated with the Paphlagonian city of Gangra might have been brought to Byzantium by the Komnenoi. The double-headed eagle motif was adopted in the Seljuk Sultanate of Rûm, a royal association of the motif is suggested by its appearance on the keystone of an arch of the citadel built at Ikonion under Kayqubad I. The motif appears on Turkomen coins of this era, notably on coins minted under Artuqid ruler Nasir al-Din Mahmud of Hasankeyf. The oldest preserved depiction of an eagle in Serbia is the one found in the donor portrait of Miroslav of Hum in the Church of St. Peter and Paul in Bijelo Polje. The double-headed eagle in the Serbian royal coat of arms is attested in the 13th and 14th centuries.
An exceptional medieval depiction of a double headed eagle in the west, in Serbia, the Nemanjić dynasty adopted a double-headed eagle by the 14th century. The double-headed eagle was used in coats of arms found in the Illyrian Armorials. The white double-headed eagle on a red shield was used for the Nemanjić dynasty, a Nemanjić eagle was used at the crest of the Hrebeljanović, while a half-white half-red eagle was used at the crest of the Mrnjavčević. Use of the eagle was continued by the modern Karađorđević, Obrenović. The double-headed eagle remained an important motif in the heraldry of the families of Russia
Territorial evolution of Germany
The territorial changes of Germany include all changes in the borders and territory of Germany from its formation in 1871 to the present. Modern Germany was formed in 1871 when Otto von Bismarck unified most of the German states, with the exception of Austria. After the First World War Germany lost about 10% of its territory to its neighbours and this republic included territories to the east of todays German borders. The period of Nazi rule from the 1930s through the end of the Second World War brought significant territorial losses for the country, Nazi Germany initially expanded the countrys territory dramatically and conquered most of Europe, though not all areas were added to Germany proper. The Nazis fortunes changed after the failure of the invasion of Soviet Union, the Nazi regime eventually collapsed, and the Allies occupied Germany. The former eastern territories of Germany were ceded to Poland and the Soviet Union, in the west, the Saar area formed a French-controlled protectorate with limited autonomy, but its own citizenship laws.
With the onset of the Cold War, the part of Germany was unified as the Trizone. Western-occupied West Berlin declared its accession to the Federal Republic of Germany in 1949 but was denied by the occupying powers, the Soviet zone, including the Soviet sector of Berlin, became the communist German Democratic Republic in October the same year. Effective 1 January 1957 the Saar Protectorate declared its accession to the Federal Republic of Germany, part of the motivation behind the territorial changes is based on historical events in Germany and Western Europe. Migrations that took place more than a millennium led to pockets of Germans living throughout Central. The existence of these enclaves was sometimes used by German nationalists, such as the Nazis, the territorial changes of Germany after World War II can be interpreted in the context of the evolution of global nationalism and European nationalism. The latter half of the 19th century and the first half of the 20th century saw the rise of nationalism in Europe, previously, a country consisted largely of whatever peoples lived on the land that was under the dominion of a particular ruler.
As principalities and kingdoms grew through conquest and marriage, a ruler could wind up with different ethnicities under his dominion. The concept of nationalism was based on the idea of a people who shared a bond through race, language. Furthermore, nationalism asserted that people had a right to its own state. Many interior conflicts were a result of more or less pressurising citizens of alternative ethnicities and/or other native languages to assimilate to the ethnicity dominant in the state, switzerland was the bright exception showing that patriotism only needs civic pride and legal equality, not a common native language. Much conflict would arise when one nation asserted territorial rights to land outside its borders on the basis of a bond with the people living on the land. Yet another source of conflict was the desire of some nations to expel people from territory within its borders because people did not share a bond with the majority of people of that nation
Unification of Germany
The unification of Germany into a politically and administratively integrated nation state officially occurred on 18 January 1871, in the Hall of Mirrors at the Palace of Versailles in France. Princes of the German states gathered there to proclaim Wilhelm I of Prussia as German Emperor after the French capitulation in the Franco-Prussian War. The Holy Roman Empire of the German Nation, which had included more than 500 independent states, was dissolved when Emperor Francis II abdicated during the War of the Third Coalition. Economically, the creation of the Prussian Zollverein in 1818, and its subsequent expansion to other states of the German Confederation. Emerging modes of transportation facilitated business and recreational travel, leading to contact, the model of diplomatic spheres of influence resulting from the Congress of Vienna in 1814–15 after the Napoleonic Wars endorsed Austrian dominance in Central Europe. The negotiators at Vienna took no account of Prussias growing strength within and among the German states and this German dualism presented two solutions to the problem of unification, Kleindeutsche Lösung, the small Germany solution, or Großdeutsche Lösung, the greater Germany solution.
Reaction to Danish and French nationalism provided foci for expressions of German unity, military successes—especially those of Prussia—in three regional wars generated enthusiasm and pride that politicians could harness to promote unification. This experience echoed the memory of mutual accomplishment in the Napoleonic Wars, by establishing a Germany without Austria, the political and administrative unification in 1871 at least temporarily solved the problem of dualism. 1797, The French First Republic annexed the Left Bank of the Rhine as a result of the War of the First Coalition,1802, Previous annexations by France confirmed following its victory in the War of the Second Coalition. 1804, Francis I of Austria declared the new Austrian Empire as a reaction to Napoleon Bonapartes proclamation of the First French Empire in 1804. 1806, As a result of the War of the Third Coalition, Napoleon I annexed some territories East of the Rhine,1807, Prussia lost one half of its territory following the War of the Fourth Coalition.
1815, After the defeat of Napoleon, the Congress of Vienna reinstated the Germanic states into the German Confederation under the leadership of the Austrian Empire,1834, The Prussian-led custom union evolved into the Zollverein that included almost all Confederation states except the Austrian Empire. 1848, Revolts across the German Confederation, such as in Berlin and Frankfurt, in the meantime, the Frankfurt Parliament was set up in 1848 and attempted to proclaim a united Germany, but this was refused by William IV. The question of a united Germany under the Kleindeutsch solution or the so-called Großdeutsch began to surface,1864, The Danish-Prussian War started as Prussia protested against Danish incorporation of Schleswig into the Kingdom of Denmark. The Austrian Empire was deliberately drawn into war by Otto von Bismarck. The Austro-Prussian victory led to Schleswig, the part, being governed by Prussia and Holstein. 1866, Bismarck accused the Austrian Empire of stirring up troubles in Prussian-held Schleswig, Prussian troops drove into Austrian-held Holstein and took control of the entire state of Schleswig-Holstein.
Austria declared war on Prussia and, after fighting the Austro-Prussian War, was swiftly defeated, Napoleon III declared war against Prussia