World War I
World War I known as the First World War or the Great War, was a global war originating in Europe that lasted from 28 July 1914 to 11 November 1918. Contemporaneously described as "the war to end all wars", it led to the mobilisation of more than 70 million military personnel, including 60 million Europeans, making it one of the largest wars in history, it is one of the deadliest conflicts in history, with an estimated nine million combatants and seven million civilian deaths as a direct result of the war, while resulting genocides and the 1918 influenza pandemic caused another 50 to 100 million deaths worldwide. On 28 June 1914, Gavrilo Princip, a Bosnian Serb Yugoslav nationalist, assassinated the Austro-Hungarian heir Archduke Franz Ferdinand in Sarajevo, leading to the July Crisis. In response, on 23 July Austria-Hungary issued an ultimatum to Serbia. Serbia's reply failed to satisfy the Austrians, the two moved to a war footing. A network of interlocking alliances enlarged the crisis from a bilateral issue in the Balkans to one involving most of Europe.
By July 1914, the great powers of Europe were divided into two coalitions: the Triple Entente—consisting of France and Britain—and the Triple Alliance of Germany, Austria-Hungary and Italy. Russia felt it necessary to back Serbia and, after Austria-Hungary shelled the Serbian capital of Belgrade on the 28th, partial mobilisation was approved. General Russian mobilisation was announced on the evening of 30 July; when Russia failed to comply, Germany declared war on 1 August in support of Austria-Hungary, with Austria-Hungary following suit on 6th. German strategy for a war on two fronts against France and Russia was to concentrate the bulk of its army in the West to defeat France within four weeks shift forces to the East before Russia could mobilise. On 2 August, Germany demanded free passage through Belgium, an essential element in achieving a quick victory over France; when this was refused, German forces invaded Belgium on 3 August and declared war on France the same day. On 12 August and France declared war on Austria-Hungary.
In November 1914, the Ottoman Empire entered the war on the side of the Alliance, opening fronts in the Caucasus and the Sinai Peninsula. The war was fought in and drew upon each power's colonial empire as well, spreading the conflict to Africa and across the globe; the Entente and its allies would become known as the Allied Powers, while the grouping of Austria-Hungary and their allies would become known as the Central Powers. The German advance into France was halted at the Battle of the Marne and by the end of 1914, the Western Front settled into a battle of attrition, marked by a long series of trench lines that changed little until 1917. In 1915, Italy opened a front in the Alps. Bulgaria joined the Central Powers in 1915 and Greece joined the Allies in 1917, expanding the war in the Balkans; the United States remained neutral, although by doing nothing to prevent the Allies from procuring American supplies whilst the Allied blockade prevented the Germans from doing the same the U. S. became an important supplier of war material to the Allies.
After the sinking of American merchant ships by German submarines, the revelation that the Germans were trying to incite Mexico to make war on the United States, the U. S. declared war on Germany on 6 April 1917. Trained American forces would not begin arriving at the front in large numbers until mid-1918, but the American Expeditionary Force would reach some two million troops. Though Serbia was defeated in 1915, Romania joined the Allied Powers in 1916 only to be defeated in 1917, none of the great powers were knocked out of the war until 1918; the 1917 February Revolution in Russia replaced the Tsarist autocracy with the Provisional Government, but continuing discontent at the cost of the war led to the October Revolution, the creation of the Soviet Socialist Republic, the signing of the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk by the new government in March 1918, ending Russia's involvement in the war. This allowed the transfer of large numbers of German troops from the East to the Western Front, resulting in the German March 1918 Offensive.
This offensive was successful, but the Allies rallied and drove the Germans back in their Hundred Days Offensive. Bulgaria was the first Central Power to sign an armistice—the Armistice of Salonica on 29 September 1918. On 30 October, the Ottoman Empire capitulated. On 4 November, the Austro-Hungarian empire agreed to the Armistice of Villa Giusti after being decisively defeated by Italy in the Battle of Vittorio Veneto. With its allies defeated, revolution at home, the military no longer willing to fight, Kaiser Wilhelm abdicated on 9 November and Germany signed an armistice on 11 November 1918. World War I was a significant turning point in the political, cultural and social climate of the world; the war and its immediate aftermath sparked numerous uprisings. The Big Four (Britain, the United States, It
Flensburg is an independent town in the north of the German state of Schleswig-Holstein. Flensburg is the centre of the region of Southern Schleswig. After Kiel and Lübeck, it is the third largest town in Schleswig-Holstein. In May 1945, Flensburg was the seat of the last government of Nazi Germany, the so-called Flensburg government led by Karl Dönitz, in power from 1 May, the announcement of Hitler's death, for one week, until German armies surrendered and the town was occupied by Allied troops; the regime was dissolved on 23 May. The nearest larger towns are Odense in Denmark. Flensburg's city centre lies about 7 km from the Danish border. In Germany, Flensburg is known for the Kraftfahrt-Bundesamt with its Verkehrssünderkartei its beer Flensburger Pilsener called "Flens" the centre of the Danish national minority in Germany the greeting Moin Moin the large erotic mail-order companies Beate Uhse and Orion its handball team SG Flensburg-Handewitt the Naval Academy at Mürwik with its sail training ship Gorch Fock Flensburg is situated in the north of the German state Schleswig-Holstein, on the German-Danish border.
After Westerland on the island of Sylt it is Germany's northernmost town. Flensburg lies at the innermost tip of the Flensburg Firth, an inlet of the Baltic Sea. Flensburg's eastern shore is part of the Angeln peninsula. Clockwise from the northeast, beginning at the German shore of the Flensburg Firth, the following communities in Schleswig-Flensburg district and Denmark's Southern Denmark Region all border on Flensburg: Glücksburg, Maasbüll, Hürup and Freienwill, Jarplund-Weding, Handewitt and Aabenraa Municipality on the Danish shore of the Flensburg Firth; the town of Flensburg is divided into 13 communities, which themselves are further divided into 38 statistical areas. Constituent communities have the statistical areas a three-digit number; the communities with their statistical areas: Flensburg was founded at the latest by 1200 at the innermost end of the Flensburg Firth by Danish settlers, who were soon joined by German merchants. In 1284, its town rights were confirmed and the town rose to become one of the most important in the Duchy of Schleswig.
Unlike Holstein, Schleswig did not belong to the German Holy Roman Empire. Therefore, Flensburg was not a member of the Hanseatic League, but it did maintain contacts with this important trading network. Historians presume that there were several reasons for choosing this spot for settlement: Shelter from heavy winds Trade route between Holstein and North Jutland The Angelnway: Trade route between North Frisia and Angeln A good herring fisheryHerrings kippered, were what brought about the blossoming of the town's trade in the Middle Ages, they were sent inland and to every European country. On 28 October 1412, Queen Margaret I of Denmark died of the Plague aboard a ship in Flensburg Harbour. From time to time plagues such as bubonic plague, caused by rat fleas, "red" dysentery and other scourges killed a great deal of Flensburg's population. Lepers were isolated, namely at the St.-Jürgen-Hospital, which lay far outside the town's gates, where the St. Jürgen Church is nowadays. About 1500, syphilis appeared.
The church hospital "Zum Heiligen Geist" stood in Große Straße, now Flensburg's pedestrian precinct. A Flensburger's everyday life was hard, the old roads and paths were bad; the main streets lit at night. When the streets became bad, the citizens had to make the dung-filled streets passable with wooden pathways. Only the few upper-class houses had windows. In 1485, a great fire struck Flensburg. Storm tides beset the town occasionally; every household in the town kept livestock in the yard. Townsfolk furthermore had a swineherd. After the fall of the Hanseatic League in the 16th century, Flensburg was said to be one of the most important trading towns in the Scandinavian area. Flensburg merchants were active as far away as the Mediterranean and the Caribbean; the most important commodities, after herring, were sugar and whale oil, the latter from whaling off Greenland. However, the Thirty Years' War put an end to this boom time; the town was becoming Protestant and thereby more German culturally and linguistically, while the neighbouring countryside remained decidedly Danish.
In the 18th century, thanks to the rum trade, Flensburg had yet another boom. Cane sugar was refined in Flensburg. Only in the 19th century, as a result of industrialization, was the town at last outstripped by the competition from cities such as Copenhagen and Hamburg; the rum blended in Flensburg became a secondary industry in West Indian trade, as of 1864 no longer with the Danish West Indies, but with Jamaica ruled by the British. It was imported from there and sold all over Europe. There is nowadays only one active rum distillery in Flensburg, "A. H. Johannsen". Between 1460 and 1864, Flensburg was, after Copenhagen, the second biggest port in the Kingdom of Denmark, but it passed to the Kingdom of Prussia after the
Treaty of Versailles
The Treaty of Versailles was the most important of the peace treaties that brought World War I to an end. The Treaty ended the state of war between the Allied Powers, it was signed on 28 June 1919 in Versailles five years after the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand, which had directly led to World War I. The other Central Powers on the German side of World War I signed separate treaties. Although the armistice, signed on 11 November 1918, ended the actual fighting, it took six months of Allied negotiations at the Paris Peace Conference to conclude the peace treaty; the treaty was registered by the Secretariat of the League of Nations on 21 October 1919. Of the many provisions in the treaty, one of the most important and controversial required "Germany accept the responsibility of Germany and her allies for causing all the loss and damage" during the war; this article, Article 231 became known as the War Guilt clause. The treaty required Germany to disarm, make ample territorial concessions, pay reparations to certain countries that had formed the Entente powers.
In 1921 the total cost of these reparations was assessed at 132 billion marks. At the time economists, notably John Maynard Keynes, predicted that the treaty was too harsh—a "Carthaginian peace"—and said the reparations figure was excessive and counter-productive, views that, since have been the subject of ongoing debate by historians and economists from several countries. On the other hand, prominent figures on the Allied side such as French Marshal Ferdinand Foch criticized the treaty for treating Germany too leniently; the result of these competing and sometimes conflicting goals among the victors was a compromise that left no one content: Germany was neither pacified nor conciliated, nor was it permanently weakened. The problems that arose from the treaty would lead to the Locarno Treaties, which improved relations between Germany and the other European powers, the re-negotiation of the reparation system resulting in the Dawes Plan, the Young Plan, the indefinite postponement of reparations at the Lausanne Conference of 1932.
Although it is referred to as the "Versailles Conference", only the actual signing of the treaty took place at the historic palace. Most of the negotiations were in Paris, with the "Big Four" meetings taking place at the Quai d'Orsay. On 28 June 1914 the Bosnian-Serbs assassinated the heir to the throne of Austria-Hungary in the name of Serbian nationalism; this caused a escalating July Crisis resulting in Austria-Hungary declaring war on Serbia, followed by the entry of most European powers into First World War. Two alliances faced off, the Triple Entente. Other countries entered as fighting ranged across Europe, as well as the Middle East and Asia. In 1917, two revolutions occurred within the Russian Empire; the new Bolshevik government under Vladimir Lenin in March 1918 signed the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk, favourable to Germany. Sensing victory before American armies could be ready, Germany now shifted forced to the Western Front and tried to overwhelm the Allies, it failed. Instead the Allies won decisively on the battlefield and forced an armistice in November 1918 that resembled a surrender.
On 6 April 1917, the United States entered the war against the Central Powers. The motives were twofold: German submarine warfare against merchant ships trading with France and Britain, which led to the sinking of the RMS Lusitania and the loss of 128 American lives; the American war aim was to detach the war from nationalistic disputes and ambitions after the Bolshevik disclosure of secret treaties between the Allies. The existence of these treaties tended to discredit Allied claims that Germany was the sole power with aggressive ambitions. On 8 January 1918, President Woodrow Wilson issued the Fourteen Points, it outlined a policy of free trade, open agreements, democracy. While the term was not used self-determination was assumed, it called for a negotiated end to the war, international disarmament, the withdrawal of the Central Powers from occupied territories, the creation of a Polish state, the redrawing of Europe's borders along ethnic lines, the formation of a League of Nations to guarantee the political independence and territorial integrity of all states.
It called for a democratic peace uncompromised by territorial annexations. The Fourteen Points were based on the research of the Inquiry, a team of about 150 advisors led by foreign-policy advisor Edward M. House, into the topics to arise in the expected peace conference. After the Central Powers launched Operation Faustschlag on the Eastern Front, the new Soviet Government of Russia signed the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk with Germany on 3 March 1918; this treaty ended the war between Russia and the Central powers and annexed 1,300,000 square miles of territory and 62 million people. This loss equated to a third of the Russian population, a quarter of its territory, around a third of the country's arable land, three-quarters of its coal and iron, a third of its factories, a quarter of its railroads. During the autumn of 1918, the Central Powers began to collapse. Desertion rates within the German army began to increase, civilian strikes drastically reduced
First Schleswig War
The First Schleswig War or Three Years' War was the first round of military conflict in southern Denmark and northern Germany rooted in the Schleswig-Holstein Question, contesting the issue of who should control the Duchies of Schleswig and Holstein. The war, which lasted from 1848 to 1851 involved troops from Prussia and Sweden. Under international pressure, the Prussians had to withdraw their forces; as a result, the war ended in a Danish victory over the rebels and the signing of the London Protocol in 1852. A second conflict, the Second Schleswig War, erupted in 1864. At the beginning of 1848, Denmark included the Duchy of Schleswig, the king of Denmark ruled the duchies of Holstein and Saxe-Lauenburg within the German Confederation; the majority of the ethnic Germans in Denmark lived in these areas. Germans made up a third of the country's population, the three duchies were behind a half of Denmark's economy; the Napoleonic Wars, which had ended in 1815, had fanned both German nationalism.
Pan-German ideology had become influential in the decades prior to the wars, writers such as Jacob Grimm and the Norwegian Peter Andreas Munch argued that the entire peninsula of Jutland had been populated by Germans before the arrival of the Danes and that therefore Germans could justifiably reclaim it. Jens Jacob Asmussen Worsaae, an archaeologist who had excavated parts of the Danevirke, countered the pro-German claims, writing pamphlets which argued that there was no way of knowing the language of the earliest inhabitants of Danish territory, that Germans had more solid historical claims to large parts of France and England, that Slavs by the same reasoning could annex parts of eastern Germany; the conflicting aims of Danish and German nationalists contributed to the outbreak of the First Schleswig War. Danish nationalists believed that Schleswig, but not Holstein, should be a part of Denmark, as Schleswig contained a large number of Danes, whilst Holstein did not. German nationalists believed that Schleswig and Lauenburg should remain united, their belief that Schleswig and Holstein should not be separated led to the two duchies being referred to as Schleswig-Holstein.
Schleswig became a particular source of contention, as it contained a large number of Danes and North Frisians. Another cause of the war was the questionable change to the rules of ducal succession in the duchies. King Christian VIII of Denmark died in January 1848, his only legitimate son, the future Frederick VII, seemed unable to beget heirs, thus the duchies appeared to pass to the rule of the House of Oldenburg, which might have resulted in a division of Denmark. Accordingly, Christian VIII had decreed a change to the succession law in the duchies to allow succession through the female line; the implementation of this law was illegal. The Schleswig-Holsteiners, being inspired from the successes of the French in the revolution in Paris of February 1848, sent a deputation to Copenhagen to demand the immediate recognition by King Frederick VII of a joint state of Schleswig-Holstein previous to its admittance into the German Confederation. King Frederick's reply, in which he admitted the right of Holstein as a German confederate state to be guided by the decrees of the Frankfurt diet, but declared that he had neither "the power, nor wish" to incorporate Schleswig into the confederation, was followed or perhaps preceded by an outbreak of open rebellion.
Schleswig-Holsteinian Prince Frederik of Noer took the 5th "Lauenburger" Rifle Corps and some students of Kiel university to take over the fortress of Rendsburg in Schleswig-Holstein. The fortress contained the main armoury of the duchies, the 14th, 15th, 16th Infantry Battalions, the 2nd Regiment of Artillery, as well as some military engineers; when Noer's force arrived, they found that the gates to the fortress had been left open for an unknown reason and promptly walked in, surprising the would-be defenders. After delivering a speech to the defenders, the prince secured the allegiance of the battalions and regiment of artillery to the provisional government. Danish officers, serving in the defence of the fortress were allowed to leave for Denmark on the assurance that they did not fight against Schleswig-Holstein in the coming war. Wishing to defeat Denmark before Prussian and German troops arrived to support them, 7,000 Schleswig-Holsteinish soldiers under General Krohn occupied Flensborg on March 31.
Over 7,000 Danish soldiers landed east of the city, Krohn, fearing he would be surrounded, ordered his forces to withdraw. The Danes were able to reach the Schleswig-Holsteiners before they were able to retreat, the subsequent Battle of Bov on April 9 was a Danish victory. At the battle, the Prince of Noer, senior commander of the Schleswig-Holsteinish forces, did not arrive until two hours after fighting had started, the Schleswig-Holsteiners were more prepared for the withdrawal they had intended to make than for an engagement. April 12: The diet recognized the provisional government of Schleswig and commissioned Prussia to enforce its decrees. General Wrangel was ordered to occupy Schleswig. April 23: Prussian victory in battle at Schleswig. April 23: German victory in battle at Mysunde. April 24: Prussian victory in battle at Oeversee. May 27: Battle at Sundeved. May 28: Battle at Nybøl. June 5: Danish victory over Germans in battle at Dybbøl Hill. June 7: Battle at Hoptrup. June 30: Battle at Bjerning.
The Germans had embarked on this course of participation in the Schleswig-Holstein War alone, without the European powers. The other European powers were united in opposing any dismemberm
World War II
World War II known as the Second World War, was a global war that lasted from 1939 to 1945. The vast majority of the world's countries—including all the great powers—eventually formed two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis. A state of total war emerged, directly involving more than 100 million people from over 30 countries; the major participants threw their entire economic and scientific capabilities behind the war effort, blurring the distinction between civilian and military resources. World War II was the deadliest conflict in human history, marked by 50 to 85 million fatalities, most of whom were civilians in the Soviet Union and China, it included massacres, the genocide of the Holocaust, strategic bombing, premeditated death from starvation and disease, the only use of nuclear weapons in war. Japan, which aimed to dominate Asia and the Pacific, was at war with China by 1937, though neither side had declared war on the other. World War II is said to have begun on 1 September 1939, with the invasion of Poland by Germany and subsequent declarations of war on Germany by France and the United Kingdom.
From late 1939 to early 1941, in a series of campaigns and treaties, Germany conquered or controlled much of continental Europe, formed the Axis alliance with Italy and Japan. Under the Molotov–Ribbentrop Pact of August 1939, Germany and the Soviet Union partitioned and annexed territories of their European neighbours, Finland and the Baltic states. Following the onset of campaigns in North Africa and East Africa, the fall of France in mid 1940, the war continued between the European Axis powers and the British Empire. War in the Balkans, the aerial Battle of Britain, the Blitz, the long Battle of the Atlantic followed. On 22 June 1941, the European Axis powers launched an invasion of the Soviet Union, opening the largest land theatre of war in history; this Eastern Front trapped most crucially the German Wehrmacht, into a war of attrition. In December 1941, Japan launched a surprise attack on the United States as well as European colonies in the Pacific. Following an immediate U. S. declaration of war against Japan, supported by one from Great Britain, the European Axis powers declared war on the U.
S. in solidarity with their Japanese ally. Rapid Japanese conquests over much of the Western Pacific ensued, perceived by many in Asia as liberation from Western dominance and resulting in the support of several armies from defeated territories; the Axis advance in the Pacific halted in 1942. Key setbacks in 1943, which included a series of German defeats on the Eastern Front, the Allied invasions of Sicily and Italy, Allied victories in the Pacific, cost the Axis its initiative and forced it into strategic retreat on all fronts. In 1944, the Western Allies invaded German-occupied France, while the Soviet Union regained its territorial losses and turned toward Germany and its allies. During 1944 and 1945 the Japanese suffered major reverses in mainland Asia in Central China, South China and Burma, while the Allies crippled the Japanese Navy and captured key Western Pacific islands; the war in Europe concluded with an invasion of Germany by the Western Allies and the Soviet Union, culminating in the capture of Berlin by Soviet troops, the suicide of Adolf Hitler and the German unconditional surrender on 8 May 1945.
Following the Potsdam Declaration by the Allies on 26 July 1945 and the refusal of Japan to surrender under its terms, the United States dropped atomic bombs on the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki on 6 and 9 August respectively. With an invasion of the Japanese archipelago imminent, the possibility of additional atomic bombings, the Soviet entry into the war against Japan and its invasion of Manchuria, Japan announced its intention to surrender on 15 August 1945, cementing total victory in Asia for the Allies. Tribunals were set up by fiat by the Allies and war crimes trials were conducted in the wake of the war both against the Germans and the Japanese. World War II changed the political social structure of the globe; the United Nations was established to foster international co-operation and prevent future conflicts. The Soviet Union and United States emerged as rival superpowers, setting the stage for the nearly half-century long Cold War. In the wake of European devastation, the influence of its great powers waned, triggering the decolonisation of Africa and Asia.
Most countries whose industries had been damaged moved towards economic expansion. Political integration in Europe, emerged as an effort to end pre-war enmities and create a common identity; the start of the war in Europe is held to be 1 September 1939, beginning with the German invasion of Poland. The dates for the beginning of war in the Pacific include the start of the Second Sino-Japanese War on 7 July 1937, or the Japanese invasion of Manchuria on 19 September 1931. Others follow the British historian A. J. P. Taylor, who held that the Sino-Japanese War and war in Europe and its colonies occurred and the two wars merged in 1941; this article uses the conventional dating. Other starting dates sometimes used for World War II include the Italian invasion of Abyssinia on 3 October 1935; the British historian Antony Beevor views the beginning of World War II as the Battles of Khalkhin Gol fought between Japan and the fo
Unification of Germany
The unification of Germany into a politically and administratively integrated nation state occurred on 18 January 1871, in the Hall of Mirrors at the Palace of Versailles in France. Princes of the German states, excluding Austria, gathered there to proclaim William I of Prussia as German Emperor after the French capitulation in the Franco-Prussian War. Unofficially, the de facto transition of most of the German-speaking populations into a federated organization of states had been developing for some time through alliances formal and informal between princely rulers, but in fits and starts; the self-interests of the various parties hampered the process over nearly a century of autocratic experimentation, beginning in the era of the Napoleonic Wars, which prompted the dissolution of the Holy Roman Empire in 1806, the subsequent rise of German nationalism. Unification exposed tensions due to religious, linguistic and cultural differences among the inhabitants of the new nation, suggesting that 1871 only represented one moment in a continuum of the larger unification processes.
The Holy Roman Emperor had been called "Emperor of all the Germanies". In the empire, higher nobility were referred to as "Princes of Germany" or "Princes of the Germanies"—for the lands once called East Francia had been organized and governed as pocket kingdoms since before the rise of Charlemagne. In the mountainous terrain of much of the territory, isolated peoples developed cultural, educational and religious differences over such a lengthy time period. By the nineteenth century and communications improvements brought these regions closer together; the Holy Roman Empire, which had included more than 500 independent states, was dissolved when Emperor Francis II abdicated during the War of the Third Coalition. Despite the legal and political disruption associated with the end of the Empire, the people of the German-speaking areas of the old Empire had a common linguistic and legal tradition further enhanced by their shared experience in the French Revolutionary Wars and Napoleonic Wars. European liberalism offered an intellectual basis for unification by challenging dynastic and absolutist models of social and political organization.
Economically, the creation of the Prussian Zollverein in 1818, its subsequent expansion to include other states of the German Confederation, reduced competition between and within states. Emerging modes of transportation facilitated business and recreational travel, leading to contact and sometimes conflict among German speakers from throughout Central Europe; 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 Prussia's growing strength within and among the German states and so failed to foresee that Prussia would rise to challenge Austria for leadership of the German peoples; this German dualism presented two solutions to the problem of unification: Kleindeutsche Lösung, the small Germany solution, or Großdeutsche Lösung, the greater Germany solution. Historians debate whether Otto von Bismarck—Minister President of Prussia—had a master plan to expand the North German Confederation of 1866 to include the remaining independent German states into a single entity or to expand the power of the Kingdom of Prussia.
They conclude that factors in addition to the strength of Bismarck's Realpolitik led a collection of early modern polities to reorganize political, economic and diplomatic relationships in the 19th century. 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 in the War of Liberation of 1813–14. 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 Bonaparte's 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, replaced the Holy Roman Empire by the Confederation of the Rhine as a French client-state. 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. 1819: The Carlsbad Decrees suppressed any form of pan-Germanic activities to avoid the creation of a'German state'. 1834: The Prussian-led custom union evolved into the Zollverein that included all Confederation states except the Austrian Empire. 1848: Revolts across the German Confederation, such as in Berlin and Frankfurt, forced King Frederick William IV of Prussia to grant a constitution to the Confederation. In the meantime, the Frankfurt Parliament was set up in 1848 and attempted to pro
The Austrian Empire was a Central European multinational great power from 1804 to 1867, created by proclamation out of the realms of the Habsburgs. During its existence, it was the third most populous empire after the Russian Empire and the United Kingdom in Europe. Along with Prussia, it was one of the two major powers of the German Confederation. Geographically, it was the third largest empire in Europe after the Russian Empire and the First French Empire. Proclaimed in response to the First French Empire, it overlapped with the Holy Roman Empire until the latter's dissolution in 1806; the Kingdom of Hungary – as Regnum Independens – was administered by its own institutions separately from the rest of the empire. After Austria was defeated in the Austro-Prussian War of 1866, the Austro-Hungarian Compromise of 1867 was adopted, joining together the Kingdom of Hungary and the Empire of Austria to form Austria-Hungary; the power of nationalism to create new states was irresistible in the 19th century, the process could lead to collapse in the absence of a strong nationalism.
The Austrian Empire had the advantage of size, but multiple disadvantages. There were rivals on four sides, its finances were unstable, the population was fragmented into multiple ethnicities and languages that served as the bases for separatist nationalism, it had a large army with good forts. Its naval resources were so minimal, it typified by Metternich. They employed a grand strategy for survival that balanced out different forces, set up buffer zones, kept the Habsburg empire going despite wars with the Ottomans, Frederick the Great and Bismarck, until the final disaster of the First World War; the Empire overnight disintegrated into multiple states based on nationalism. Changes shaping the nature of the Holy Roman Empire took place during conferences in Rastatt and Regensburg. On 24 March 1803, the Imperial Recess was declared, which reduced the number of ecclesiastical states from 81 to only 3 and the free imperial cities from 51 to 6; this measure was aimed at replacing the old constitution of the Holy Roman Empire, but the actual consequence of the Imperial Recess was the end of the empire.
Taking this significant change into consideration, the Holy Roman Emperor Francis II created the title Emperor of Austria, for himself and his successors. In 1804, the Holy Roman Emperor Francis II, ruler of the lands of the Habsburg Monarchy, founded the Empire of Austria, in which all his lands were included. In doing so he created a formal overarching structure for the Habsburg Monarchy, which had functioned as a composite monarchy for about three hundred years, he did so because he foresaw either the end of the Holy Roman Empire, or the eventual accession as Holy Roman Emperor of Napoleon, who had earlier that year adopted the title of an Emperor of the French. To safeguard his dynasty's imperial status he adopted the additional hereditary title of Emperor of Austria. Apart from now being included in a new "Kaiserthum", the workings of the overarching structure and the status of its component lands at first stayed much the same as they had been under the composite monarchy that existed before 1804.
This was demonstrated by the status of the Kingdom of Hungary, a country that had never been a part of the Holy Roman Empire and which had always been considered a separate realm—a status, affirmed by Article X, added to Hungary's constitution in 1790 during the phase of the composite monarchy and described the state as a Regnum Independens. Hungary's affairs remained administered by its own institutions, thus no Imperial institutions were involved in its government. The fall and dissolution of the Holy Roman Empire was accelerated by French intervention in the Empire in September 1805. On 20 October 1805, an Austrian army led by General Karl Mack von Leiberich was defeated by French armies near the town of Ulm; the French victory resulted in the capture of many cannons. Napoleon's army won another victory at Austerlitz on 2 December 1805. Francis was forced into negotiations with the French from 4 to 6 December 1805, which concluded with an armistice on 6 December 1805; the French victories encouraged rulers of certain imperial territories to ally themselves with the French and assert their formal independence from the Empire.
On 10 December 1805, Maximilian IV Joseph, the prince-elector and Duke of Bavaria, proclaimed himself King, followed by the Duke of Württemberg Frederick III on 11 December. Charles Frederick, Margrave of Baden, was given the title of Grand Duke on 12 December; each of these new states became French allies. The Treaty of Pressburg between France and Austria, signed in Pressburg on 26 December, enlarged the territory of Napoleon's German allies at the expense of defeated Austria. Francis II agreed to the humiliating Treaty of Pressburg, which in practice meant the dissolution of the long-lived Holy Roman Empire and a reorganization under a Napoleonic imprint of the German territories lost in the process into a precursor state of what became modern Germany, those possessions nominally having been part of the Holy Roman Empire within the present boundaries of Germany, as well as other measures weakening Austria and the Habsburgs in other ways. Certain Austrian holdings in