German Confederation


German Confederation
   The German Confederation ( Deutscher Bund), a loose association of Central European states, mostly but not exclusively German, was created in 1815 by the Congress of Vienna. The Bund was a reorganization of the surviving states of the Holy Roman Empire, abolished by Napoleon Bonaparte in 1806 and replaced by the Confederation of the Rhine. It consisted of 39 states in all and covered a territory stretching from Westphalia in the west to Moravia in the east, from Prussia in the north to Tyrol in the south. The member states were formally committed to mutual defense yet were fully sovereign and had no overarching authority. Hanover was a German state yet also a co-sovereignty under the crown of England; Luxemburg was governed by the Netherlands. Whereas the Rhine confederation had been a creature of Napoleonic hegemony in Central Europe, the Bund became the object of the post-Napoleonic rivalry of Prussia and Austria until the Austro-Prussian War of 1866 decided the matter in Prussia’s favor. Most of the Bund ’s members were integrated in to the new German Empire established in 1871.
   FURTHER READING:
    Fulbrook, Mary. A Concise History of Germany. New York: Cambridge University Press, 2004;
    Mann, Golo. The History of Germany since 1789. Translated by Marian Jackson. New York: Praeger, 1968.
   CARL CAVANAGH HODGE

Encyclopedia of the Age of Imperialism, 1800–1914. 2014.

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