From Vienna to Unification: Mapping the German Confederation



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This is a map of Europe in 1815. this is a map of Europe in 1863 as you may notice as I switch back and forth between these two maps very little changes in Germany in this time period or so it seems because as we zoom in we

Can see much much more detail in 1815 there are 41 states in the German Confederation and in this video we will be following their territorial Evolution up to the forming of the German Empire showing even the most pointless border changes that happened in the era let’s dive in our first territorial shift

Comes in 1826 when the saxagoda line of the wetin dynasty became extinct leading to the Ernestine reshuffling of the territories in that region leading to this radical change wow the next change again concerns the state of sexy Coburg and gotha which holds this small province of Lichtenberg to the prussians

The reason for this is simple the great distance between the core sexy Coburg and gotha lands and Lee Timber Additionally the rulers of the small state were spooked by the humbucker festival a demonstration for German unity and democracy which happened very close to Lichtenberg in the Bavarian

Rhineland the next one is the first that would majorly change the balance of power in Germany Hannover had been in a personal Union with the British ever since 1740 uniting the two kingdoms under a single Monarch yet in 1837 upon the Ascension of Queen Victoria in Britain this personal Union would break

As under hadavarian law a female Monarch was impossible thus the fourth largest German state was now free to choose their own destiny the next change would come from outside of the German Confederation itself the kingdom of the Netherlands was not itself a part of the Confederation but they did hold the

Grand duchy of Luxembourg and the duchy of Limburg both of which were part of the Confederation during the Belgian war of independence the belgians took control over both of these territories but no of official borders changed hands until 1839 when the Treaty of London was signed which recognized Belgian Independence returning limber and

Luxembourg to the Dutch though Luxembourg was cut in half divided between the Dutch and the belgians this would Mark the only time that the confederations shrank in size the next change is not directly related to the German Confederation but it does concern the expansion of Austria its biggest

Member since 1815 this small city-state here Krakow existed as a free City jointly controlled by the three major Powers around it after the Krakow uprising of 1846 where Independence Fighters fought for an independent Poland the great Powers decided that it was time for the city to be annexed into

Austria to stop the city-state from serving as a hotbed for Polish nationalism next up come the revolution years of 1848 which would lead to a couple of Border changes in Germany first German revolutionaries in Holstein would rise up against Danish rule while not an official border change Prussia would support rebels fighting for

Independence in this region for years on the other side of Germany we have the twin principalities of hohen zolan Sikh malingan and horizolan hackingen these small regions down here they were held by the Hoenn Solon Dynasty the same Dynasty that ruled over Prussia following Revolutions in Germany in 1848

The security of these two small states came into question as they were simply too small to defend themselves the prussians were initially reluctant to seize this small form of region but upon realizing that if they didn’t wurttemberg likely would in 1850 Prussia annexed both of these small states in

1852 we once again turn our attention to the Holstein dispute as it would end in a German defeat following gray power intervention the Danes would return to their German Holdings but in exchange they had a promise to never merge Holstein and laoenberg into Denmark proper respecting their separate status

As a part of a German consideration then we have some dynastic issues with the ascania dynasty the rulers over three small states in unheld in 1853 the ruling line over this small state unholt’s Curtin became extinct and as such it was reunited with their broader principality of unhealth decile but now

It’s time for some real major shake-ups an alliance between France and Sardinia has declared war on Austria and following Austria’s defeat to sardinians annexed lombardia for themselves following it up with the formation of an Italian State weakening Austria’s Southern Holdings but let’s be honest who cares you’re not here for Italy I

Know what you’re really here for more information on the dynastic shifts of unholt this time the line of anhalt bernberg would become extinct leading to Arnold desau annexing these lands too becoming now simply known as unholt but while the Holstein dispute was seemingly solved decades ago the Germans still

Didn’t like the current Arrangement upon the death of the Danish King the German Confederation didn’t like any of the candidates to the throne to make matters worse in 1863 the Danes passed the November Constitution binding Holstein closer to Denmark than what the Germans deemed acceptable and so Invasion

Prussia and Austria jointly fought the Danes and with the War settled Prussia gained laoenberg and schleswig while Austria gained holisteem though the entire territory was supposed to be jointly occupied by the two German Powers this would lead to a crisis in 1866 as Austria allowed Holstein to call

An assembly which Prussia considered a breach of their joint sovereignty Vengeance escalated both sides were preparing for war and Prussia signed an alliance with the Italians this war would see Germany divided against itself but despite Austria’s defeat in this war the prussians would only seize Holstein from the austrians though they would

Also lose Venice to Italy or more accurately the austrians would give Venice to France since they felt like Italy hadn’t earned it after which France gave it to Italy in North Germany though Prussia would Annex several states which had aligned themselves with Austria a massive expansion the other German states would retain their

Independence while the German Confederation was also dissolved to replace this confederation Prussia was formed and dominate the north German Confederation binding the remaining Northern German states together then as the final and perhaps biggest border shift we have the franco-prussian war German Chancellor Bismarck expertly crafted the situation where France

Declared war on Prussia lean to even the southern German states siding with the prussians against this external threat the prussians would March over northern France crushing the French armies in the Palace of Versailles the symbol of French Prestige the prussians would announce the creation of the German

Empire leading to the unification of the German states while also seizing alsas Lorraine from the French so to recap in 1815 the German Confederation had 41 members and by 1871 only four would be left standing Luxembourg Austria Prussia now Germany and Liechtenstein the small state down here most of the territory of

The former Confederacy was now part of the new German Empire or still a part of the Austrian Empire the only territories which slipped away from the two major German states were the previously mentioned Liechtenstein the duchy of limber which remained with the Dutch half of Luxembourg which was annexed

Into Belgium and finally the other half of Luxembourg which was still ruled by the Dutch in a personal Union before achieving full independence with that I do believe that I have covered all border changes concerning the German Confederation between 1815 and 1871. so this is where I’ll end this video thank

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  1. It makes me sad that Hanover allied with Austria and later the Kingdom of Hanover was dissolved and annexed by the Prussians. They should have become a member of the North Germanic Confederation, and the Duchy of Limburg and the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg should have become member states of a unified Germany.