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Bismarck Otto Eduard Leopold von Bismarck-Schnhausen was a major player in the unification of Germany This Prussian junker or aristocrat was a Prussian nationalist and later a German nationalist As Chief Minister to Wilhelm I of Prussia he devised and executed a klein-deutsch excluding Austria plan to unify Germany It was Bismarcks goal to unite the German states in a strong single German empire with Prussia at its center To do this Bismarck would need to support of a powerful Prussian army Upon request from Bismarck and King Wilhelm I money was denied from the Prussian legislature for military expenditures Though at first Bismarcks policies were not well received by Parliament public opinion began to favor his side in 1864 Bismarck knew that war would be necessary to achieve German unification and so he began to plan accordingly In 1864 Christian IX of Denmark tired to seize the border territories of Schleswig-Holstein Prussia and Austria joined forces verses Denmark to stop Christian IX Denmark lost This resulted in the Gastein Convention This convention declared joint control over Schleswig-Holstein Two years later Bismarck accused Austria of violating the Gastein Convention At this time he also submitted a plan for German unification to the German Diet This plan excluded Austria klein-deutsch As a result of this Austria and other German states declared war on Prussia beginning what is now known as the Seven Weeks War Austria and its allies were quickly defeated and Bismarck incorporated Schleswig-Holstein Hannover and some other territories into Prussia However Austria was treated kindly in the peace settlement In 1866 the old German Confederation was then dissolved and replaced by the North German Confederation which consisted of the northern and central German states under Prussian leadership Austria was not included in the new confederation Other members of the government wanted to march triumphantly through the Austrian capital Bismarck instead negotiated a peace that did not humiliate Austria because his primary goal was
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