2004
Volume 133, Issue 2
  • ISSN: 0040-7518
  • E-ISSN: 2352-1163

Abstract

Abstract

A century and a half ago Bismarck’s fundamentally changed Europe’s states system. It marked the end of a quest for German unity that, since the 1830s, had been a central theme of European politics. This era has so far received little attention, and only a few historians appreciate that the rise of Germany in the nineteenth century triggered not only anxiety and fear among its neighbours, but feelings of sympathy and hope as well. This article aims to chart the whole range of reactions and to reintroduce openness to this historical process. It analyses a variety of conceptions of a new European states system in order to understand how Polish, Italian, French, and British politicians and activists anticipated and tried to influence the emergence of a strong and powerful German nation state in Europe’s centre. The conditionality of their support stresses the influence of these neighbouring nations on European-German relations then and now.

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2020-08-01
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