How did the relationship between Austria and Prussia develop after 1815 and before 1850?
The relationship between Austria and Prussia developed a lot during the era of economic wealth, revolution and war.
Many governments were restored in Europe (after the defeating Napoleon). Legitimate monarchy was set up meaning the hereditary ruling families would be restored to their old thrones. This was agreed partly because it was seen as a more stable and suitable system suited to peace. Also Metternich, the Austrian Chancellor, saw it as a useful way to prevent the Russians and Prussian from gaining extra territory. It was also very difficult for the Russians and Prussians to argue it because it was their own system. The principle was not applied universally and both Austria and Prussia suffered because their heirs were mentally unstable and who in fact were mad.
The Tsar put forward a proposal at the Congress that the Great Powers of Russia, Austria and Prussia should agree to act jointly, using force if necessary, to restore any governments which had itself been overthrown by force. This was known as the Protocol of Troppau. This was a very disastrous to the liberals and nationalist everywhere who were trying to set up a better system.
The defeat of Napoleon was a great encouragement to nationalism, and the idea of an independent united Germany had an emotional appeal. This was very appealing to many young university students, who often express themselves in romantic, passionate and impractical ways. The Carlsbad Decrees was set up to enforce press censorship, disbanded student societies, and introduce a commission to investigate revolutionary movements
The formation of the Zollvein Union was one of the very first real steps that individualize Prussia from the other German states. Prussia increased their economic leadership, especially as she had successfully excluded Austria from the Zolleverin, but although Austria still retained political leadership in Germany. This relationship greatly separated Austria and Prussia.
One major problem arose where the relationship of Austria and Prussia should have shared influence in the unified German Confederation or to have only Prussia as the major power speaker for Germany. The parliament was separated by different fractions of members who some wanted a Grossdeutshland (Great Germany) which would include Austria in to the unified Germany and some who wanted a Kleindeutshland (Little Germany) which would exclude Austria and include the whole of Prussia.
The Zollverin encourage the growth of railways, improvements in road and thus begin the Industrial Revolution. This is one the main event for Prussia where she became the leading country in Europe in the Industry Revolution.
In 1948 the formation of the Vorparliament was set up to prepare the way for an elected German parliament. Austria and Prussia were weakened by economic depression and revolts, which could not take any strict actions. Most wanted a liberal united Germany but their loyalties were divided between Protestant Prussia and Catholic Austria.
Austria one of the major influence state in Germany had enjoyed a pre-eminent position in German affairs for centuries. The first moves towards a Germany united under Prussian influence were tentative and finally unable to stand up to determined opposition, mainly from Austria.
All this influence brought Austria and Prussia further apart as they were afraid of each other. This brought fear, which led to a war that neither side wanted to participate in.
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