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Germany Essay, Research Paper


The leadership of the movement toward nationalism occurs under William I (Wilhelm) and Otto von Bismarck. His chief minister Prince Otto von Bismarck dominated Wilhelm reign and Bismarck agreed to rule with Wilhelm to form a union in Germany.

The steps that Wilhelm takes to achieve a national identity are to reform the Prussian army, which is a creation of the Napoleonic Wars based on a law of 1814. He had an Army Reform Bill presented to the parliament (Landtag), which actually voted the recommended changes in a provisional form. The difficulties that stood in the way for Wilhelm to achieve the national unity is that he required that the liberals should reduce military expenditure and the reduction of service, which angered the King because it would interfere in the organization of the army.

The steps that Bismarck takes to achieve a national identity are that in 1862, he was appointed Prime Minister and Chancellor of Prussia. He uses real politick, which is reality things. Germany has two major enemies, which are Austria and France. Bismarck defeated Austria in the Seven-Week Wars and defeated France in the Franco-Prussian War of 1870-1871. He turned himself into a democrat in order to see how powerful Prussia would be later.

There was an Ems agreement between Germany and France where king William I agrees to meet with the French ambassador in Prussia. William I told Bismarck the demands of the French ambassador that the Hohenzollern family form the Spanish Throne had been refuse, but Bismarck changed the information in the agreement to make it look like William insulted the ambassador. This cause a war called the Franco- Prussia War against William I and the French ambassador. Germany defeated France and they got into Pan’s and in the great Hall of Mirrors at Versailles, where they declared Germany as a unified nation on January 18, 1871.

The difficulties that stood in the way for Bismarck to achieve the national unity are that the Crimean War, which occurred in 1854-1856, prior him to take office. There were a lot of ethnic groups and some of the people didn’t think they were well represented.

The cultural circumstances that helped the achievement of nationalism in Germany are romanticism. Herder’s Volksgeist idea is his treaties called the “Ideas for a Philosophy of Human History”. Volksgeist is a unique historical character and according to Herder’s, “he says that each nation must be true to its own particular heritage”. Fitche’s who wrote the “Addresses to the German Nation”, which says that the Prussian should stand up and attack the French out. He also adopted Herder’s Volksgeist idea and Herder’s idea says that Germany’s Volksgeist is the best of all. Hegel thinks that men and women have always live within the society because they wanted to enjoy freedom where the laws and customs are protected. Beethoven who came up with the Ninth Symphony the great Mass called “Missa Solemnis”, which expresses the boundless individual will and power. Wolfgang wrote the “Sorrows of Werther”, which expresses his early restlessness and emotionalism.

Germany was very successful in the movement toward nationalism by staying strong, unified as a nation up until now, and romanticism.


Lee Ralph, Philip; E. Lerner, Robert; Meacham, Standish; and Mcnall Burns, Edward. “Germany”. World Civilizations. 1988: pg. 326-331.

Constable, George, ed. “Germany”. Library of Nations. 1984:pg. 80-84.

Schevill, Ferdinand. “Germany”. A History of Europe. 1925:pg. 539-545.

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