Austro-Prussian War
(1866)
   Also known as the Seven Weeks’ War, the Austro-Prussian War was a short although pivotal episode in the wars of German unification. German Chancellor Otto von Bismarck sought the conflict in order to annex the northern states of the German Confederation and also to expel Austrian influence from southern Germany. After the defeat of Denmark in the Schleswig-Holstein War, Prussia and Austria quarreled over newly acquired territory until a Prussian army under Edwin Hans Karl von Manteuffel forced a weaker Austrian force out of Holstein. On June 14, Austria, Bavaria, Saxony, Hanover, and several smaller German states declared war. After securing the neutrality of France and a secret alliance with Italy (Piedmont-Sardinia), Bismarck ordered Prussian forces under Helmuth von Moltke to the offensive. Austria possessed an army of some 320,000 men, yet could field only 240,000 against Prussia’s 254,000 because of the need to fight Italy simultaneously. The Austrian army was at the time widely considered to be superior, but the very reverse was demonstrated when the better trained and better equipped Prussian army demolished the Austrians at Königgrätz. Prussia was further advantaged by two other factors. Most of the Austrian officers spoke only German, whereas many of their troops spoke one or the other of the several languages of the multinational Habsburg Empire. The Austrians were also outclassed in their mobilization effort, as Prussia had superior railway and telegraph systems. The fighting was made brief by these factors, as well as by Bismarck’s restraint of Prussian generals, who wanted to invade Austria, and his insistence on a magnanimous peace. On August 23, the Treaty of Prague stripped Austria of no territory save Ventia, which went to Italy. The south German states that had been in Vienna’s sphere of influence, however, now quickly came into Prussia’s orbit by way of secret agreements; meanwhile, Frankfurt, Hanover, Hesse-Cassel, Hesse-Nassau, and Schleswig-Holstein were annexed to Prussia.
   In one stroke, Prussia became the unrivaled leader of the German states. The Franco-Prussian War and an even more spectacular demonstration of Prussian military professionalism made it the dominant power on the European continent.
   See also <>; <>.
   FURTHER READING:
    Showalter, Dennis. The Wars of German Unification. London: Hodder Arnold, 2004;
    Wawro, Geoffrey. The Austro-Prussian War. New York: Cambridge University Press, 1996.
   CARL CAVANAGH HODGE

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

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Austro-Prussian War — (Seven Weeks War) Part of the wars of German unification Battle of Königgrätz …   Wikipedia

  • Austro-Prussian War — /aw stroh prush euhn/ the war (1866) in which Prussia, Italy, and some minor German states opposed Austria, Saxony, Hanover, and the states of southern Germany. Also called Seven Weeks War. * * * …   Universalium

  • Austro-Prussian War — /aw stroh prush euhn/ the war (1866) in which Prussia, Italy, and some minor German states opposed Austria, Saxony, Hanover, and the states of southern Germany. Also called Seven Weeks War …   Useful english dictionary

  • Battles of the Austro-Prussian War — The battles of the Austro Prussian War (1866) were:* 24 June, Battle of Custoza: Austrian army defeats Italian army; * 27 June, Battle of Trutnov: Austrians check Prussian advance but with heavy losses * 27 June, Battle of Langensalza: Hanover s… …   Wikipedia

  • Franco-Prussian War — Infobox Military Conflict caption=Pierre Georges Jeanniot s La ligne de feu (1886), depicting the Battle of Mars La Tour partof=the wars of German unification conflict=Franco Prussian War date=19 July 1870 – 10 May 1871 place=France and Prussia… …   Wikipedia

  • Causes of the Franco-Prussian War — The causes of the Franco Prussian War are deeply rooted in the events surrounding balance of power after the Napoleonic Wars. France and Prussia had been combatants against each other, with France on the losing side and Napoleon I exiled to Elba …   Wikipedia

  • Austro-German relations — are relations between Austria and Germany. Due to German being the common language of the two European countries relations between them are close. The Holy Roman Empire to German Unification The House of Habsburg was the family that dominated the …   Wikipedia

  • Prussian Army — The Prussian Army ( de. Preußische Armee) was the army of the Kingdom of Prussia. It was vital to the development of Brandenburg Prussia as a European power.The Prussian Army had its roots in the meager mercenary forces of Brandenburg during the… …   Wikipedia

  • Prussian Navy — Throughout the centuries, Prussia’s military consistently concentrated on its land power, and never sought a similar power at sea. Yet historically there were always Prussian naval forces ( de. Preußische Marine), beginning in the days when… …   Wikipedia

  • war — war1 /wawr/, n., v., warred, warring, adj. n. 1. a conflict carried on by force of arms, as between nations or between parties within a nation; warfare, as by land, sea, or air. 2. a state or period of armed hostility or active military… …   Universalium

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”