The Second Reich Essay

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The Rise of the Second Reich Due to the Prussian Revolutions in March of 1848, Prussian King Frederick William IV entertained the idea of a constitution with the Landtag. The King would also begin discussions of a unified Germany, under Prussian control. Instead of doing this, however, Frederick William IV decided not to have a constitution drawn up and chose to simply take the territories instead. Russia and the Habsburg Empire were not pleased with this idea and the Habsburgs were free to counter the Prussians. At the Punctuation of Olmutz, Prussia was forced to give up its idea and submit to Austrian leadership of the German Confederation. Prussia was humiliated and wanted revenge. Because of the humiliation their country had endured, Junkers began to support major changes in order to make Prussia an economic power on the continent. From 1850-1860, Prussia went through a crash industrialization. While this began to strengthen Prussia, it also created some problems such as slums, a sense of socialism and class tension. In 1857, Wilhelm I takes over as the King of Prussia. Wilhelm went to the Landtag to explain the need for money, from taxes, to build an army that would be sufficient enough for protection for a Napoleon III led France and also for revenge against Austria (the Habsburgs). The Landtag declined Wilhelm’s request, so the King turned to Albercht Von Roon, his Minister of War, for advice. Von Roon suggested the King look to Otto Van Bismarck and Wilhelm soon made Bismarck the president of the Landtag. In September of 1862, Bismarck explained to the Landtag his desire to get revenge on Austria. He explains that he wants to unify Germany, under Prussia, through war. Bismarck declares that it will take “blood and iron” to accomplish this. The Landtag does not agree with him, so Bismarck declares Prussia is in a state of emergency, giving the King
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