Germany 1871 CE

Prussia has united the other German states within the new German Empire.

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What is happening in Germany in 1871CE

In 1848, taking their cue from the revolution in Paris that year, a wave of revolutionary uprisings swept through the German states, demanding constitutional government and the unification of Germany. This achieved very little, and the conservative government of the princes had all won back control the next year (1849).

In the years after 1849, the rise of Prussia to a position of leadership within Germany, under the brilliant statesmanship of its chancellor, Otto von Bismark, led inexorably to the Franco-Prussian War of 1870. The French army was crushed at the battle of Sedan and, following its victory, Prussia announced the creation of the German Empire.

The German Empire is a federal system in which the constituent states retain much of their power, but are under the overall suzerainty of the king of Prussia, who now has the title “Kaiser” (“Caesar”, or “Emperor”). An Imperial parliament, the Reichstag, has been established, but it has comparatively little power compared to that of the Kaiser and his ministers.

The unification of Germany presents Europe with a new power in its midst. Germany is the second most populous state in Europe after Russia, and, more importantly, one of the leading industrial powers in the world.

Next map, Germany in 1914

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