German Unificatio

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At the end of the eighteenth century and up to 1814, Germany was under the power of Napoleon's French empire. Napoleon created the Confederation of the Rhine, a conglomeration of the fractured north German states. This was the first time that these states had been brought together and as a result a rise in German nationalism began in all the northern states. When Napoleon was defeated in the battle of Leipzig by a coalition of Russia, …

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…declared that Prussia was in control and could largely defy the Federal Council (Bundesrat or Reichstag). The new constitution granted universal and equal manhood suffrage. The Imperial (Federal) Government was given control of all common problems such as national defense, foreign affairs, tariffs, and commercial matters. The head of the Imperial Government was the Kaiser, who happened to be the king of Prussia. He was not an absolute monarch, but he had lots of power.