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The Unification of Germany

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Tasks Task

"Who or what created Germany?"

Sherlock von Holmes (you) must answer the question: "Who unified Germany?" As a detective, you will use the Internet to find clues and information that will help you find your suspects. You may write down clues beside each suspect on your paper.

The suspects include:

Kaiser Wilhelm I                      

Otto von Bismarck



1. Make sure you review information about each of your suspects so you can make an educated decision.

2.  Once you select your prime suspect, collect clues (facts) to findout how your suspect "done it".

3. All Sherlock’s will write a one page or more typed scenario describing how the deed was done and how you solved the case.

4. Be specific! Back up your theories (suspisions) with facts found in your WebQuest. After you have completed your case, you must present your evidence to your fellow detectives if time permits. 


Make sure you also answer the following questions while researching:

1. How did governments respond to the new power gainedduring the Industrial Revolution?

2. How did nationalism influencethe unification of Germany? 

3. Who was Otto von Bismarck and why is he important?

4. Find out what autocratic military state and social welfare state mean and how do they relate to the unification of Germany.

Autocratic military state:

Social welfare state:


Read: German Unification

 Until the late 1800’s, Germany and Italy were not their own nations. Parts of each of these countries were controlled by princes, dukes and other nobles. After Napoleon I was defeated at Waterloo, the rulers of Europe agreed at the Congress of Vienna to restore power to Europe’s royal families. These conservative rulers believed that the monarchy was the best form of government to ensure peace and stability. Liberals and nationalists within these countries posed a threat to this way of life. Liberals wanted to protect the civil liberties of the people and believed that a government elected by the people was the best way to ensure things such as freedom of speech, press and assembly. Nationalists insisted that people owed their allegiance to the nation, not a king or royal family. Their belief was that each ethnic group should have its own form of government. Both the liberals and nationalists were a threat to the power of the royal families of Europe.

 In 1860, there was no German nation. Those who considered themselves to be "German" lived in Prussia and 39 other small states ruled by princes, dukes and kings, all part of the Austrian Empire. German nationalists were encouraged by the success of the Italian unification and began to look for ways to unite the German states. Prussia, the largest of these states, was the logical leader for this movement. Prime Minister Otto von Bismarck used militarism to take land from Denmark and drive the Austrians from German territory. As a result of the Franco-Prussian war, the German states asked king William I of Prussia to become Kaiser, or emperor, of the new German Empire. The nation of Germany was unified for the first time. Germany became an industrialized, military power, where citizens had few political rights, but received some benefits from the government. In the years that followed, Germany became a global economic and military power.

Below are internet sources/videos to further your research to this mystery. Just click on the links.


Rise of Nationalism
Was Bismarck the Key Factor in the Unification of Germany?
A definition of a social welfare state
Definition of Autocracy
Responses to the Industrial Revolution
Make sure you scroll down on this site. Do not click on the side bar to the left.
Timeline of Events
Unification of Germany
German Unification Powerpoint
This Powerpoint will have alot of information that you need to know about the German Unification.
What is Nationalism?
Definition of Nationalism
German Unification Map
Look at the map to see how Germany was unified
A Before and After map of Germany
Compare the before and after map of Germany
Otto von Bismarck
Kaiser Wilhelm I
German Nationalism
Social welfare state & the unification of Germany
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