Bismarck played an important role~ when he came into power, he had everything laid out for him. It was a matter of how he utilizes them.
Recognized opportunities and utilized them to Germany s benefit (used the Luxemburg issue to gain public opinion of the three Southern German states against France. This led to the Franco-Prussian war of 1870)
Final phase of unification took place when there was a strong disagreement between France and Prussia about the union of the three south German states with the North Confederation. This led to the Franco-Prussian war,
It was Bismarck s intention to inflame the 3 south German states with anti-French feelings so as to get then to be favourable towards the North Confederation.
So far, Bismarck had managed to unify all the states except for the 3southern states. (Initially, he was hesitant to unify them due to religious issues. North Confederation- Protestant, Southern states- Catholics.)
However, as France saw itself as the protector of Catholicism, the 3 southern states were in favour of France. Therefore, Bismarck saw this as a threat to the unification.
Thus, in 1870, Bismarck edited a telegram implying that the ambassador of France had insulted the Prussian King. He leaked the letter to both population (France, and both northern and southern Germany)
Nationalistic sentiments were aroused and both the population was in favour for war.
The 3 southern states were ready to go to Prussia s side without any hesitation.
(2)Leading State (Prussia)
Military is powerful
Stable economically and politically.
Most modernized and developed German state
Prussia took the lead in the creation and direction of the customs union (Zollverein) as it had access to natural resources in the Rhine, Elba and Oder. Therefore, when the Zollverein was successful, Prussia was able...