German Confederation

The German Confederation (German: Deutscher Bund) was the loose association of Central European states created by the Congress of Vienna in 1815 to coordinate the economies of separate German-speaking countries. It acted as a buffer between the powerful states of Austria and Prussia. Great Britain approved of it because London felt that there was need for a stable, peaceful power in central Europe that could discourage aggressive moves by France or Russia. According to Lee (1985), most historians have judged the Confederation to be weak and ineffective, as well as an obstacle to German nationalist aspirations. It collapsed due to the rivalry between Prussia and Austria (known as German dualism), warfare, the 1848 revolution, and the inability of the multiple members to compromise.

In 1848, revolutions by liberals and nationalists were a failed attempt to establish a unified German state. Talks between the German states failed in 1848, and the confederation briefly dissolved but was re-established in 1850.

The dispute between the two dominant member states of the confederation, Austria and Prussia, over which had the inherent right to rule German lands ended in favour of Prussia after the Austro-Prussian War in 1866, and the collapse of the confederation. This resulted in the creation of the North German Confederation, with a number of south German states remaining independent, although allied first with Austria (until 1867) and subsequently with Prussia (until 1871), after which they became a part of the new German state.

Read more about German Confederation:  Members, Situation in Space and Time, Impact of The French Revolution and The Napoleonic Invasions, Romanticism, Nationalism, and Liberalism in The Vormärz Era, Zollverein: Economic Integration, The Revolutions of 1848, Bismarck and The Wars of Unification, Territorial Legacy

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