The North German Constitution
was the constitution
of the North German Confederation
, which existed from 1867
. The Constitution of the German Empire
(1871) was closely based upon it. Although it allowed universal male suffrage for Reichstag
elections, it has been described as a 'fig-leaf for absolutism' (Karl Liebknecht
) due to its essential autocracy, that its sole minister (Bundeskanzler
) was responsible to the President of the Federation (i. e. the King of Prussia
), not to the parliament (Reichstag
) (although they could question ministers).
Founder of the North German Constitution
contributed by his political commitments, his views on constitutional issues, and his position on Prussia in Germany
and in Europe. He entered politics in 1847 as a champion of Junker
interests. Revolutions began across Europe; he armed the peasants of his estate in defense of King and Country . His “political realism” set him apart because he was pragmatic. His main focus was concrete interests and gaining power for defense. Bismarck was free of theoretical principles, he did not want to fight change but oppose its liberal character. He became a modern politician who mobilized popular support for his own cause. He also considered himself a Prussian patriot
, not a German nationalist
, in 1848 he states, “Prussia we are and Prussia we wish to remain.” Otto von Bismarck
later became the first Chancellor
(1867-1890) after a series of successful wars in Germany; the Schleswig-Holstein
, Austro-Prussia War, and Franco-Prussian War
. Bismarck was the “father” of the North German states and began the North German Confederation, which in 1871 became the North German Constitution with small amount of changes. The North German Constitution replaced the German Confederation
Bismarck was successful in taking over Germany and was empowering because he won three of the most famous battles that gave him the victory and permitted him to take over Germany and make it in equal country. The three battles that he won and help him take over Germany were:
1. Otto von Bismarck allied with Austria in order to overrule Denmark(the second war of Schleswig) in 1864, which was called Schleswig-Holstein. Conflict broke out in 1863 because King Frederick VII of Denmark left no heir when he died. In this case the line of succession states that the crowns of both Denmark and Schleswig would go to Duke Christian of According Glücksburg, future king Christian IX. The Holstein crown caused more of a ruckus and it was challenged by the House of Augustenburg, the rival Danish royal family, who demanded both crowns. In 1863 Otto Von Bismarck got a chance to intervene which caused to declare war on Denmark. The Second War of Schleswig ended in Danish defeat and the British attempted to get in the middle horribly failed and caused Prussia and Austria to gain Schleswigm, Holstein and Lauenburg.
2. In 1866 he created the Austro-Prussian War . Germany and Prussia became victorious which brought German unification under King William I of Prussia. At this time Napoleon III down fell and it also marked the end of Second French Empire . The Third Republic replaced the Second French Empire and Alsace-Lorraine was taken by Prussia as a part of Germany. The two countries have had tension for years and it began with Hohenzollern, royal dynasty of Prussia, Germany and Romania, who tried to take a Spanish throne. The public released a document called the Ems Dispatch, which made assumptions of insults between the Prussian King and the French Ambassador. France declared war on only Prussia on July 19th. Prussian and German armies defeated French armies across Northern France.
France and Austria were looking forward to take over Germany, but what the leaders of those countries did not know that Bismarck set out a plan to win the war.
With the help of the thirty-two German States that stay together after the Napoleonic Wars. All the states but Austria was a part of the North German Confederation in 1871. This accomplishment was made right after the Franco- Prussian War. Followed by this triumph the thirty-two states then formed the German Empire.
Each state stayed with their own state’s military forces; however, they were controlled by the federal government. Germany was divided into upper and lower classes in order to distinguish military aristocracy. Industrialists’ militarism proved necessary to continue modernization without changing socio-political structures.
Otto Von Bismarck initiated the annihilation of the major differences in the German states . The German states were independent in their creation of legislation for a very long time. The conflicting legal histories were a problem for national. In 1861 the Confederation introduced a common trade code, which was the only similarity between the states. In 1881, a first commission was asked to establish a common Civil Code
for the whole Empire. In January 1
of 1900 the Civil Code was put into effect. This is currently still seen as one of the most impressive legal works of the world and has been the cause of the complementary legislations throughout many countries today.
Hayes, Bascom, Bismarck and Mitteleuropa, The Preparation, 1815-1898 (Associated University Presses, 1994), pp.40-62).
“The Austro-Prussian War’, vol. I, p.392 passim and The Austro-Prussian War. Austria’s War with Prussia and Italy in 1866 (Cambridge, 1996), pp.125-6.
Franco-Prussian War of 1870-71: pp.229-31.
Blackbourn, David, The Long Nineteenth Century: A History of Germany, 1780-1918 (Oxford UP, 1998), pp.9-15.
The North German and allied armies, vol. I, app. 5, pp. 287-294.
Otto Pflanze, Bismarck and the Development of Germany, vol. I: The Period of Unification, 1815-1871 (Princeton, 1990), pp.131.
Franco-Prussian War of 1870-71:pp.314-315
Holocaust Encyclopedia: pp.553-562
North German Confederation, The History Channel website.
- Blackbourn, David. The Long Nineteenth Century: A History of Germany, 1780-1918. New York: Oxford UP, 1998.
- Otto Pflanze. Bismarck and the Development of Germany. 3 vol. (1990).
- Craig, Gordon. Germany 1866-1945. Oxford: Oxford UP, 1978.
- Showalter, Dennis, The Wars of German Unification. Oxford: Oxford UP, 2004.
- Lothar Gall. Bismarck. The White Revolutionary. 2 vol. (1986).
- Tydor, Judth and Laqueur. "The Holocaust Encyclopedia." Yale University Press, New Haven. 2001.
- Gordon Craig 1870-71 War