'Germany was economically united a decade before she came politically united.' How far do you agree with this statement?

Essay by Craven_MistB-, January 2004

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Before we decide whether Germany was economically united we must first decide what is meant by the term politically united. In some ways you could say that Germany was politically united in 1815 after the congress of Vienna because firstly they had a council called the diet which all of the 39 members of the German Confederation sent representatives to. This also represented the policy of Gross Deutschland, which included the whole of the Austrian (Hapsburg) Empire as they where part of the Confederation. But if we take this as when Germany was politically united because during this time the Diet and the War of Liberation (against Napoleon) were the only signs of any form of a united Germany and the diet was so ineffectual because every single representative had to agree on any action taken by the diet ' for representatives were more concerned with safeguarding the interests and the sovereignty of their states then working for the Confederation as a whole'.

Also the War of Liberation was hardly a united politically Act as of the 39 German states only Prussia and Austria had united to kick Napoleon out of their territory (albeit several states such as Brunswick and Hanover did help the British at Waterloo) and also through the Peninsular war the K.G.L fought for Wellington but only because they where outcasts and supposed traitors from Germany. So therefore in 1815 there where barely any signs of a politically united Germany.

The next time that Germany was fairly united was the period 1848-1849. In the 1848 revolutions where able to set up the second national parliament that ended the diet this was called the Frankfurt Parliament. This parliament worked on the same basis as the diet; each state sent representatives. But that is where the similarities...