North German Confederation


North German Confederation
(1867–1871)
   The North German Confederation ( Norddeutscher Bund ) was a transitional stage in the unification of the German states after the Prussian victory in the AustroPrussian War of 1866. It involved the union of Prussia with 21 other German states north of the Main River. Otto von Bismarck drafted its constitution, which made Wilhelm I, King of Prussia, the Confederation’s president and himself its chancellor. A Bundesrat or Federal Council of 43 seats - 17 of which were Prussia’s - shared legislative authority with an elected lower house, the Reichstag; but the chancellor was generally unaccountable to the legislature, retained control over the military budget, and provided the link between the crown and people. The Zollverein extended a degree of unity with the states of southern Germany until Prussia’s victory over France in 1871 brought Baden, Bavaria, and Württemberg into political union with the Confederation to form the German Empire under Wilhelm I.
   See also <>.
   FURTHER READING:
    Clark, Christopher. Iron Kingdom: The Rise and Fall of Prussia, 1600–1947. Cambridge: Belknap, 2006;
    Mann, Golo. The History of Germany since 1789. Translated by Marion Jackson. London: Chatto & Windus, 1968.
   CARL CAVANAGH HODGE

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