Forging a German Empire
The founding of the German Empire in 1871 constituted the German Empire after several steps . It took place in view of the joint victory of the German states in the Franco-German War . As a result of the November treaties of 1870, the southern German states of Baden , Württemberg and Bavaria as well as Hesse, with its areas south of the Main line, joined the North German Confederation , which was dominated by Prussia on January 1, 1871 and which now briefly appeared as the "German Confederation". On the same day, the new federal constitution came into forcein force, which significantly expanded the federal German state to form the newly created German Reich . As Reich anniversary but 18 January was later celebrated at which the Prussian King Wilhelm I in Versailles to the German Kaiser had been proclaimed.
At the time it was referred to as the "Second German Empire" after the Holy Roman Empire of the German Nation .
The founding of the empire was not a single act that could be clearly distinguished from others. In the literature there are several definitions that can be divided into four periods. However, the authors are not always consistent with their delimitation. It often stems from the specific topic or structure of your publication . In itself it is not a contradiction in terms, on the one hand, of the establishment of an empire for a very limited period of time in 1871, and, on the other hand, of an epoch of the establishment of an empire, which is often started with the revolution of 1848/1849 .
Michael Stürmer focuses on Bismarck and the years 1866 to 1878 (from the German War to the Berlin Congress ) in The Foundation of the Reich . But he reaches back to the Holy Roman Empire . The actual history of the event begins there in 1848/1849. The result of the revolution was "a state of limbo", "no return to the order that had collapsed like a house of cards in March 1848, a blockade of the central European nation-state formation." The "Reich founding era" ends for Striker in the second half of the 1870s with the foreign policy consolidation of the empire. Similar to striker, Frank Lorenz Müller asks the question without answering it clearly:
- “Was 1848/49 at the beginning of a period of change that spanned the years 1845 to 1871 and brought about the breakthrough of political, economic and social modernity? […] In the long term, the victory of the counter-revolution in the summer of 1849 had resulted neither in rigor mortis nor in the cemetery. Germany remained changing. "
The “founding of the empire” is briefly described at the turn of the year 1870/1871. Ernst Rudolf Huber describes the time from the Kaiserplan in spring 1870 to the beginning of the war in July, the so-called November treaties , the constitution of the German Confederation of January 1st, "the establishment of the imperial organs" including the imperial proclamation and the Reichstag election in March up to the new constitution of April 1871. The imperial proclamation of January 18, 1871 in particular "remained in the minds of the Germans as the actual act of founding an empire ," said Theodor Schieder . Andreas Kaernbach complains:
- "With understandable joy about the founding of the empire [...] the time of the German and the North German Confederation appeared to many only as a pre-history of the founding of the empire, as a transitional stage, but not as an epoch of its own historical weight."
Many publications add the North German Confederation and its immediate history. Then we come to the years 1866 to 1871. The Prussian victory at Königgrätz , which ended the German-German dualism , is emphasized as the decisive event . Most of the time, the German war against Denmark is added (1864; " Unification Wars "). Some authors start the “decade of the founding of the empire” with the establishment of the German National Association (1859). In the extension to 1878 one speaks of the Liberal Era . The years around 1878 are also referred to as the “Second Reichs foundation” because a new “alliance between harrow and blast furnace” was formed between entrepreneurs in heavy industry and the feudal elite.
Other authors speak of a “time of the founding of the empire” or the “era of the founding of the empire” or of a “path to the founding of an empire” and mean the years from 1848/49 to 1871. Christian Jansen also sees the revolutions of 1848/49 as the “initial spark for the founding of the nation state” because of the party formation at that time . From this point of view, the Paulskirche constitution of 1849 was the first attempt at unification. In the period from 1848 to 1866/1871, dualism was recognized as a problem for the formation of the nation state and resolved (through war), as was the Schleswig-Holstein question . Bismarck was already politically active in 1848/1849 and had demonstrably dealt with the constitutions of the time. The path to the Erfurt Union , with the election of a constituent assembly that agreed a constitution with the princes , was the model for the foundation of the federal government in 1867 .
Establishing a nation state
The founding of an empire only relates to the constitutional and, above all, the political-psychological aspect; The subject of international law , whose national territory was expanded to the German Confederation by the November Treaties in 1870 and then renamed the "German Reich", had existed since the conversion of the North German Confederation from a military alliance into a federal state in 1867.
The constitution of the German Confederation (DBV) in the version of January 1, 1871 was followed by an edited version of April 16, 1871, which today is mostly referred to as Bismarck's Reich constitution . This finally came into effect on May 4, 1871, retroactively to January 1 of the same year:
The establishment of an empire must therefore be examined on various levels, a legal, a parliamentary and a symbolic level, with the imperial proclamation on January 18 reflecting the symbolic level of acceptance of the imperial dignity. Michael Kotulla states: "What remains to be seen is the symbolic character of this act, which was certainly considered the birth of the Reich in the public consciousness, but was meaningless under constitutional law." This symbolic act corresponded to the actual reality of the enlarged federation and now the whole of Germany .
Imperial proclamation in Versailles
The German War of 1866 led to the dissolution of the German Confederation founded in 1815 in the Peace of Prague . The background to the war was that Otto von Bismarck was striving for a small German nation state under Prussian leadership. According to Bismarck, such a solution to the German question was only possible without Austria, since the Habsburg Monarchy was in fact too important economically and militarily because of its previous hegemonic leadership position in the German Confederation. After the Prussian victory in the Battle of Königgrätz , Bismarck was able, against the will of the Habsburgs, to establish the North German Confederation as a military alliance in August 1866 without Austria ( see also: German dualism , German question ). A year later, the North German Confederation adopted a constitution and thus became a state . As early as January 1870, Bismarck was exploring whether the Federal Presidium could be given the title of imperial (“ Kaiserplan ”), but soon afterwards the Spanish crisis was the focus of attention.
In 1868 the Spanish military deposed Queen Isabella II . Prince Leopold von Hohenzollern-Sigmaringen , who was supported in his candidacy by the Prussian Prime Minister Otto von Bismarck , was traded as a candidate for the royal succession . Shortly after the candidacy was accepted, Leopold von Hohenzollern-Sigmaringen renounced the Spanish throne under the influence of his father, Prince Karl Anton , and the King of Prussia Wilhelm I , as France had threatened war because of this candidacy. The Emperor of the French , Napoléon III. , however, did not want to be content with simply withdrawing the candidacy and sent his ambassador, Vincent Benedetti , to Bad Ems to enter into negotiations with the King of Prussia in this regard. Napoléon demanded an official apology from Prussia and the general renunciation of the Hohenzollern or Sigmaringer from the Spanish throne even for the future, which King Wilhelm I refused to accept. “But they wanted more: the Prussian government was not yet exposed, the victory did not seem complete. That is why Benedetti received the order to demand a sanction for renunciation from King Wilhelm . The king should declare that he would also forbid the Sigmaringer to accept the Spanish crown in the future. ”Wilhelm refused. Bismarck published the discussions about it at the same time, which led to great outrage in Germany and France. Bismarck had deliberately presented the demand and the rejection in a confrontational manner (so-called Emser Depesche ). The French National Assembly (Parliament) approved funding for a war, and then the declared French Empire on July 19, 1870 Prussia War . That is why the southern German states stood on the side of Prussia in accordance with the protective and defensive alliances that came into effect in the event of a defense. The subsequent victories over the French armies in August and September 1870 made southern Germany more willing to join the North German Confederation as a state association with federal structures. In November the Bavarian King Ludwig II signed the letter from Bismarck to the emperor , in December a delegation from the Reichstag (" Emperor's Deputation ") went to occupied France.
Proclamation on January 18th
On December 9 and 10, 1870, the Reichstag and Federal Council decided to propose the title of imperial to the holder of the Federal Presidium (the Prussian King); Wilhelm had accepted the title against an imperial deputation in the Reichstag (December 18). In addition, the country should be renamed "German Empire". This became effective on January 1, 1871 with a new constitution . The later proclamation was only an "act of formal instruction and assumption of office", the "18th January was not the day the Reich was founded ”(ER Huber).
January 18 had been chosen as the day of the imperial proclamation, the day of Frederick III's coronation. from Brandenburg to the first Prussian King Friedrich I in 1701, with which the Kingdom of Prussia was founded . The memory of this event, exactly 170 years ago, made it possible to recall the rise of the Hohenzollern from electors to powerful monarchs in Europe.
At the time of the imperial proclamation, the French capital Paris was besieged by coalition troops. The seat of the great headquarters of the German armies was Versailles. The Prussian leadership and - at least in part - the leaders of the allies were gathered around Paris. These circumstances and possibly also the will to announce the position as a major European power led to the choice of a characteristic setting, the magnificent Hall of Mirrors in the Palace of Versailles, whose ceiling paintings celebrated Louis XIV , the Sun King , as the conqueror of German cities and countries.
On January 18, 1871, German troops in parade uniforms marched behind music trains around the Palace of Versailles . The delegations of the German field regiments were now crowding into this large area. They raised their flags, torn in battle, to a colorful forest. In the middle of the room there was an altar where military chaplains celebrated a service, at the end of which all those present sang the song Well, thank all God . At the end of the gallery there was a dais raised by a few steps , on which Wilhelm I and the Federal Princes stood.
Otto von Bismarck read the proclamation:
“We take on the imperial dignity, conscious of our duty to protect the rights of the Reich and its members in German loyalty, to preserve the peace, to defend the independence of Germany based on the united strength of its people. We accept it in the hope that the German people will be able to enjoy the reward of their hot and self-sacrificing struggles in lasting peace and within the borders which give the fatherland the security it has lacked for centuries against renewed attacks by France. But God would grant us and our successors at the imperial crown to always be multiples of the German Empire, not in military conquests, but in goods and gifts of peace in the field of national welfare, freedom and order. "
Thereupon the Grand Duke of Baden exalted “His Majesty, Kaiser Wilhelm”, which the other people present replied three times. The ceremony ended while the hurray shouts of the deployed troops continued outside. The expression "Kaiser Wilhelm" avoided the exact, constitutional title "German Kaiser", with which Wilhelm could not yet make friends.
Only the Grand Duchy of Hesse, the Duchy of Braunschweig and the principalities of Reuss (younger and older lines), Schwarzburg-Sondershausen, Waldeck and Lippe were not represented in the imperial proclamation in Versailles.
Representation by eyewitnesses
The ceremony is described in numerous publications of the time, and the most important people and their roles are described in detail. In order to cover up the underlying controversy with mythical terms, it was said, for example, that the crown was "cemented by the blood of all German tribes". The founding of the German Reich took place in a contradicting mixture of modesty and cockiness.
The letter descriptions of the new Emperor Wilhelm I, the future Chancellor Otto von Bismarck , who acted as the driving force behind the founding of the Empire, and the public account of the historian Albert von Pfister , who was present as a soldier, agree on the fact that a Field altar (instead of a throne) was built. While Wilhelm I emphasizes the religious aspect of the ceremonial, Bismarck is offended by the political content of the sermon because he would have obviously preferred an actual mood of religious contemplation to the victory pose. Bismarck is astonishingly openly critical of the behavior of the emperor, who shies away from appearing as an authority over princes and prefers to see himself as a warlord who triumphs with his followers over the inferior. That is why Wilhelm spontaneously brought the princes to himself on the same level. In Pfister's description, the religious focus of the ceremony, which Wilhelm and Bismarck emphasize, is omitted. In contrast, he emphasizes the polarizing public effect. The three reports appear more authentic than later representations, especially the descriptions in source editions and textbook representations between 1918 and 1945, all of which were created under the dominant impression of the shocking defeat of the "Bismarck Empire" in the First World War .
View of the southern German states
The governments of the southern German states, the Grand Duchy of Baden, the Grand Duchy of Hesse, the Kingdom of Württemberg and the Kingdom of Bavaria, faced the unity movement differently - partly in order not to prevent a Greater German solution or to preserve their own sovereignty .
The Grand Duchy of Baden unreservedly supported the agreement. Grand Duke Friedrich I and Prime Minister Julius Jolly had already expressed their wishes for membership on September 3, 1870. They had applied for membership in the North German Confederation as early as 1867 and repeatedly in the spring of 1870, which the North German Reichstag rejected at Bismarck's instigation because of foreign policy considerations ( Lasker interpellation ).
The Kingdom of Württemberg was of the Greater German-Austrian spirit. Under the influence of the Württemberg German Party , the cabinet under King Karl I sent an envoy to the German headquarters in France on September 12 to negotiate a union with the North German Confederation.
The government of the Grand Duchy of Hesse was more like Greater German. However, the north of belonging Mains located province of Upper Hesse and the troops of the remaining Grand Duchy ( Hesse south of the Main ) already for the North German Confederation, which a certain predicament for the government of Grand Duke Ludwig III. meant. The population and the heir to the throne, who later became Ludwig IV, also endorsed the small German solution . Accordingly, the government abandoned the Greater German idea and entered into negotiations with the North German Confederation.
Of all German rulers , the King of Bavaria was the most hostile to German unity. Ludwig II was always concerned about his sovereignty. He had received a letter from King Wilhelm of Prussia to promise to preserve Bavaria's independence and integrity. Under the influence of the Bavarian Progressive Party under Marquard Barth , the chamber was largely in favor of German unity. In order not to be isolated, Ludwig's government entered the negotiations with the proposal of a constitutional alliance. This constitutional alliance resulted in the establishment of a new federation with a new federal constitution. Bismarck wanted to give the southern states and especially Bavaria the opportunity to save face. In the November treaties, for example, the word founding or new founding is used, although constitutionally it could only be an accession (according to Art. 79 of the Federal Constitution).
Consequences and evaluation
The Hall of Mirrors at Versailles linked the imperial proclamation on January 18, 1871 with victory in the war and was dominated by uniforms and the demonstration of a military state. Princely authorities, national cabinets and Prussia's military power led the new empire. The empire of 1871 was nevertheless "a lot at the same time: federal state , constitutional constitutional state , imperial state, Prussian hegemonic state, power and military state, above all it was a nation state ."
The war of France against the North German Confederation and the armies of the southern German states allied with it had given the national movement in all of Germany, even if it had not yet been consolidated into a federal state, strong impulses and given the final impetus for state unification on that day was announced and celebrated on the floor of the almost defeated opponent. The mood among the Germans is said to have been passionate on the day of the imperial proclamation, while the emperor himself was more sober. Wilhelm I , who was already getting old at this point in time, had , in his own opinion, “had to exchange the shiny Prussian crown for a dirty crown”, as he informed his son, then Crown Prince Friedrich . He described it as a great misfortune what he had to wear, since the reasons of state demanded it from him. In a letter to his wife Augusta , in which he also described the military-style process of the proclamation, he complained that the Prussian title had been suppressed.
The fact that the final step towards German unity was taken as a result of the war and towards its end therefore appears to be an immediate victory for the people's movement, but must be seen in consideration of many other aspects. Before the German princes, princes, ministers, diplomats and generals present in Versailles , a proclamation to the German people, which was read by Bismarck, announced the acceptance of the German imperial dignity by the King of Prussia. The civil parliamentarians hardly played a role, nevertheless the bourgeois national movement was a constitutive element of the founding of the empire and thus also of the empire. Hagen Schulze wrote: "Certainly the German Reich was not united by speeches and majority decisions, but by blood and iron , but nothing led to success that in the long term ran counter to mass nationalism."
According to Stürmer, the empire was established according to the circumstances before the German Reichstag had the chance to discuss and pass the future constitution . Merely a parliamentary address to the Prussian king recommended the re-establishment of the imperial dignity. The desire for a nation-state, which was demanded by the broad masses of the people, should be fulfilled, but only with consideration of many factors. Among other things, the hegemony of Prussia, the position of the member states , the maintenance of a strong monarchy , the admission of a weaker national democracy were decisive factors in the establishment of an empire. The event, strange in terms of place and time, was due to the need to seize a moment when neither the domestic nor the foreign policy opponents of a Prussian-German nation-state were capable of decisive resistance.
There were essentially two aspects that spoke in favor of completing the founding of the empire as quickly as possible: On the one hand, the new empire should be established during the war, because it weakened the particularism of the southern German states and neither Austria nor France would help the southern states could have rushed. Austria was exhausted and almost unable to act due to the Austro-Prussian War (in which both powers had fought for the leadership role in the German Confederation) and France weakened by the ongoing Franco-German War. The Bavarian government had emphasized its sovereignty at the beginning of the Franco-Prussian War and did not want to disclose anything essential. However , due to the circumstances , even the decision-makers from the Kingdom of Bavaria came to the conclusion in mid-September that they had to enter into a national alliance for foreign and domestic political reasons.
On the other hand, it was important for Prussia at the time to pay attention to the foreign policy situation and to take advantage of the moment. France's power was broken, but the war dragged on and the French sought allies to counterbalance the Prussian-German expansion. They appealed to England , Russia , Austria-Hungary and Italy , which had established themselves as the so-called League of Neutrals in late summer . France's role in the last phase before the outbreak of war and France's declaration of war against Prussia initially meant that the war was limited to Germany and France and the other European powers did not interfere.
In the course of the war, however, the Germans had raised their demands for annexation , while France had signaled readiness for peace and the acceptance of a Prussian solution to the German question , but insisted on defending the territorial borders . This also changed the general mood within Europe, and criticism of the now expansive claims of Prussia and the German states was inevitable. An intervention by the still neutral great powers against Germany could not be ruled out at this point in time, but there was no consensus among the neutrals in this regard. Austria relied more on an understanding with Prussia, in order to absorb the attraction of the new empire on Austria's Germans and perhaps to gain support for its own Balkan policy . The Russian Empire , initially reluctant at the beginning of the war and partly due to the defeat it had suffered in the Crimean War , then took advantage of the moment of the Franco-German war to introduce the so-called "Pontus Clause" of the Paris Peace Treaty, the black Sea neutralized , cancel. This initially turned the United Kingdom against the Russian Empire and thus prevented tsarist Russia and Great Britain from taking joint action against Prussia. The conclusion of the unification of Italy also stood against a European front in favor of France, because Italy took advantage of the French defeat in the Franco-German war without encountering decisive resistance. France was previously forced to withdraw the protection forces. Thus Prussia was able to prevent a “Europeanization of the German question”.
The choice of the historic Versailles as the venue for the visible German unification cemented the German-French hereditary enmity for decades . Of all the major European powers, France was hardest hit by German unification. In contrast to the advocates of the French Revolution , who tried to build their new state on the basis of a popular movement and the will of the people, which ended in terror under the Jacobin rule , on January 18, 1871 the Prussian and then German leadership demonstrated a contrary path to found a new empire. On this day the contrast between the “act of will of the nation ” itself, the failed German revolution of 1848 , and the real founding of an empire, which, as a result of diplomatic actions, had been the work of a few men and of Prussian power. The head of this new empire was not installed by the German people, but by the rulers of the individual states and remained a ruler by the grace of God .
The question of whether the founding of the empire was legally an incorporation or a merger is answered differently. Even if the southern German states did not join the North German Confederation, but the German Reich, according to Kotulla it was an accession, the Reich was not a new creation, but a reform of the North German Confederation. This understanding is the dominant doctrine in constitutional law literature. Even Oliver Dorr believes that this legal opinion "has prevailed overwhelmingly in the German state theory", although "overall [...] national and international legal practice, a mixed picture" would offer. In the handbooks of international law by Georg Dahm , Jost Delbrück and Rüdiger Wolfrum as well as by Wolfgang Graf Vitzthum and Alexander Proelß , however, the unification of the empire in 1870 is referred to as a merger.
Federal members of the German Empire
Germany was founded as a unified German nation- state, although the empire still consisted of many partially sovereign states, each with their own citizenship . The Federal affiliation was with the nationality of the states combined, d. That is, it was acquired through citizenship and expired when it was lost. A citizen of the Reich has since had a federal affiliation mediating link nationality.
According to the constitution of April 16, 1871, the German Empire was made up of the following states:
- Kingdoms : Prussia , Bavaria , Württemberg , Saxony
- Grand Duchies : Baden , Mecklenburg-Schwerin , Hesse , Oldenburg , Saxony-Weimar , Mecklenburg-Strelitz
- Duchies : Braunschweig , Saxe-Meiningen , Anhalt , Saxe-Coburg-Gotha , Saxe-Altenburg
- Principalities : Lippe , Waldeck , Schwarzburg-Rudolstadt , Schwarzburg-Sondershausen , Reuss younger line , Schaumburg-Lippe , Reuss older line
- Free and Hanseatic cities : Hamburg , Lübeck , Bremen
Alsace-Lorraine was incorporated into the federal territory by law of June 25, 1873 as "Reichsland" and in 1911 largely equated with the federal states, so that it has since been represented in the Federal Council .
- Marco Dräger: (K) Cheers to Kaiser Wilhelm? The imperial proclamation in Versailles from the point of view of various personal testimonies. In: Learn History , Issue 156, Friedrich Verlag, Seelze 2013, , pp. 28–37.
- Jean-Baptiste Duroselle : The European states and the foundation of the German Empire. In: Theodor Schieder , Ernst Deuerlein (Ed.): Founding of the Empire 1870/71, facts, controversies, interpretations. Seewald, Stuttgart 1970, .
- Michael Epkenhans : The establishment of an empire in 1870/71. (= CH Beck Knowledge 2902). CH Beck, Munich 2020, ISBN 978-3-406-75032-8 .
- Michael Fischer, Christian Senkel, Klaus Tanner (eds.): Founding of the Empire in 1871. Event - Description - Staging. Waxmann, Münster 2010, ISBN 978-3-8309-2103-5 .
- Lothar Gall : 1871 - questions to German history. Exhibition catalog. Government of the Federal Republic of Germany, Bonn 1971, .
- Eberhard Kolb (ed.): Europe and the foundation of an empire. Prussia-Germany from the perspective of the great European powers 1860–1880. Oldenbourg, Munich 1980, ISBN 3-486-49811-8 .
- Bastiaan Schot: The Origin of the Franco-German War and the Foundation of the German Empire. In: Helmut Böhme (ed.): Problems of the time when the Reich was founded 1848–1879 Kiepenheuer & Witsch, Cologne / Berlin 1968, .
- Hagen Schulze : The way to the nation state. The German National Movement from the 18th Century to the Founding of the Empire. 3. Edition. dtv, Munich 1992, ISBN 3-423-04503-5 .
- Michael Stürmer : The establishment of an empire. German nation-state and European equilibrium in the age of Bismarckian. dtv, Munich 1993, ISBN 3-423-04504-3 .
- The founding of the Empire in 1871 in the LeMO ( German Historical Museum and House of History )
- Text of the proclamation on the Internet portal Geschichte in Braunschweig e. V.
- Literature on the foundation of the German Empire in the catalog of the German National Library
- See Michael Kotulla , Deutsche Verfassungsgeschichte. From the Old Empire to Weimar (1495–1934) , Springer, Berlin / Heidelberg 2008, marginal number 2011 .
- Karl Kroeschell : Deutsche Rechtsgeschichte , Vol. 3: Since 1650 , 5th edition, Böhlau / UTB, Cologne / Weimar / Vienna 2008, p. 235.
- Kotulla: German constitutional history. From the Old Empire to Weimar (1495–1934) , 2008, marginal number 2042.
- Klaus Stern : The constitutional law of the Federal Republic of Germany. Volume V: The historical foundations of German constitutional law. The constitutional development from the Old German Empire to the reunified Federal Republic of Germany. CH Beck, Munich 2000, ISBN 978-3-406-07021-1 , Rn. 128.
- See with Hans-Ulrich Wehler : Deutsche Gesellschaftgeschichte. CH Beck, Munich 1995, p. VII / VIII: “The second phase of the 'German double revolution' / The German industrial revolution - The political revolution of the establishment of an empire 'from above' 1849–1871 / 73”; “The 'Revolution from Above' from 1862 to 1871”; "From the North German Confederation to the New 'German Revolution': The Great Prussian State Formation of 1867/71".
- Michael Stürmer: The foundation of an empire. German National State and European Equilibrium in the Age of Bismarck , 1993, pp. 39, 100.
- Frank Lorenz Müller : The revolution of 1848/1849. Scientific Book Society, Darmstadt 2002, p. 143.
- Chapter “The foundation of the empire” (third volume of the “German constitutional history since 1789”)
- This is the date Klaus Hildebrand refers to : The past kingdom. German foreign policy from Bismarck to Hitler . Deutsche Verlags-Anstalt, Stuttgart 1995, p. 13/14, but with an extension to the revolution of 1848.
- Ernst Rudolf Huber: German Constitutional History since 1789 , Volume III: Bismarck and the Reich. Kohlhammer, Stuttgart 1963, pp. XXVI / XXVII. The upper chapter “The Bismarck Empire” begins with the August alliance of 1866.
- Theodor Schieder: From the German Confederation to the German Empire . In: Herbert Grundmann (Ed.): Gebhardt. Handbook of German History. Stuttgart 1970, pp. 99–223, here p. 218 (emphasis in the original).
- Andreas Kaernbach: Bismarck's Concepts for Reforming the German Confederation. On the continuity of the politics of Bismarck and Prussia on the German question. Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, Göttingen 1991, p. 12.
- Examples are: Thomas Nipperdey : Deutsche Geschichte 1866–1918. Power state before democracy. Munich 1992, p. 11: “The way to founding an empire: Germany 1866–1871”; Klaus Erich Pollmann: Influence of Parliament during the formation of the nation state 1867–1871 . In: Gerhard A. Ritter (Ed.): Government, Bureaucracy and Parliament in Prussia and Germany from 1848 to the Present , pp. 56–75, here p. 56.
- Hans Rosenberg : Dignitary politicians and 'Greater German' collection efforts in the decade of the founding of the Reich. In: Yearbook for the History of Central and Eastern Germany 19, 1970, , pp. 155-233.
- Helga Grebing: The "German Sonderweg" in Europe 1806-1945. A criticism. Kohlhammer, Stuttgart [a. a.] 1986, pp. 101, 104.
- Examples of similarly far-reaching periodizations: Hagen Schulze: Small German History . CH Beck, Munich 1996, p. 105: “Blood and Iron (1848–1871)”. Helga Grebing: The "German Sonderweg" in Europe 1806-1945. A criticism. Kohlhammer, Stuttgart [a. a.] 1986, p. 90: “From the 'unfinished revolution' of the people to the successful 'revolution from above' 1848–1878”. Wolfgang J. Mommsen: The struggle for the national state. The foundation and internal expansion of the German Empire under Otto von Bismarck 1850 to 1890 . Propylaea: Berlin: 1993.
- Christian Jansen: Unity, Power and Freedom. The Paulskirche left and German politics in the post-revolutionary epoch 1849–1867. Droste, Düsseldorf 2000, p. 13.
- Egmont Zechlin : The German unity movement . Ullstein, Frankfurt am Main 1967, p. 165.
- Jörg-Detlef Kühne : The imperial constitution of the Paulskirche. Model and realization in later German legal life . Habil.-Schr., Univ. Bonn 1983, 2nd edition, Luchterhand, Neuwied 1998 (1985), pp. 108-110, pp. 117/118.
- Resolution of the North German Federal Council and Reichstag with the consent of the governments of Baden, Hesse, Bavaria and Württemberg of December 9 and 10, 1870, printed in: Ernst Rudolf Huber (Ed.): Documents on German Constitutional History , Vol. II: German Constitutional Documents 1851–1900 , 3rd edition, Stuttgart / Berlin / Cologne / Mainz 1986, no. 232. For comparison with regard to the proper name, the Frankfurt Constitution of 1849 should only be the constitution of the "German Empire" (printed by Ernst Rudolf Huber (ed .): Documents on German Constitutional History , Vol. I: German Constitutional Documents 1803-1850 , 3rd Edition, Stuttgart / Berlin / Cologne / Mainz 1978, No. 108).
- Cf. Werner Ogris: Der Norddeutsche Bund. On the hundredth anniversary of the August treaties of 1866 , in: JuS 6 (1966), p. 306 ff.
- Kotulla: German Constitutional Law 1806–1918. A collection of documents and introductions. Volume 1: Germany as a whole, Anhalt states and Baden , Springer, Berlin 2005, ISBN 978-3-540-26013-4 , p. 247 .
- Kotulla: German Constitutional Law 1806–1918. A collection of documents and introductions. Vol. 1, 2005, p. 249 .
- Kotulla: German constitutional history. From the Old Empire to Weimar (1495–1934) , 2008, marginal numbers 2052, 2054 .
- See Daniel-Erasmus Khan : The German State Borders. Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen 2004, pp. 55 , 66 .
- Peter Schwacke, Guido Schmidt: Staatsrecht , 5th edition, W. Kohlhammer Verlag, Stuttgart 2007, Rn. 164, p. 59 .
- "According to the treaty, the German Reich existed since January 1, 1871." Quoted from Helmut Böhme: Die Reichsgründung , Munich 1967, p. 234
- Kotulla: German Constitutional Law 1806–1918. A collection of documents and introductions. Volume 1: All of Germany, Anhalt States and Baden. Springer, Berlin 2006, p. 243.
- Jürgen Müller : The German Confederation 1815–1866 , Oldenburg, Munich 2006, p. 35 f.
- Quotation from Bastiaan Schot: The emergence of the Franco-German War and the founding of the German Empire , in: Helmut Böhme (Ed.): Problems of the foundation of the Reich 1848–1879 , Cologne 1968, p. 290.
- Lothar Gall: 1871 - questions to German history. Exhibition catalog , Bonn 1971, p. 128.
- Ernst Rudolf Huber: German constitutional history since 1789. Volume III: Bismarck and the empire. 3rd edition, W. Kohlhammer, Stuttgart 1988, pp. 750 f. (Emphasis in the original).
- Georges Roux: The great ceremony at Versailles 1871 . From: Milestones of History (German edition; OT: George Weidenfeld / Nicolson: Milestones of History , London), Manfred Pawlak Verlagsgesellschaft mbH, Herrsching 1990, ISBN 3-88199-748-2 , p. 555.
- Philipp W. Fabry: Germany between empire and nation state. The imperial concept and political reality since 1871 . Deutsche Corpszeitung, Vol. 76, August 1975, pp. 153-162 and October 1975, pp. 198-202.
- Description of the ceremony at Thomas W. Gaehtgens : Anton von Werner. The proclamation of the German Empire. A historical picture in the change of Prussian politics . Fischer-Taschenbuch, Frankfurt am Main 1990, ISBN 3-596-10325-8 , pp. 14-17.
- Theodor Toeche-Mittler: The imperial proclamation in Versailles on January 18, 1871 with a list of the festival participants , Ernst Siegfried Mittler and Son, Berlin 1896.
- H. Schnaebeli: photographs of the imperial proclamation in Versailles , Berlin 1871st
- Friedrich von Dincklage-Campe: War memories , Bong & Company, Leipzig / Berlin 1895, p. 1.
- Letter from Wilhelm to his wife Augusta, based on Ernst Berner (ed.): "Kaiser Wilhelm the Great Letters, Speeches and Writings", Vol. 2, Berlin 1906, pp. 251 f.
- Albert von Pfister: The German Fatherland in the 19th century. A representation of the cultural-historical and political development, written for the German people, Deutsche Verlags-Anstalt, Stuttgart 1900.
- Stern: The State Law of the Federal Republic of Germany , Vol. V, Rn. 127.
- Kotulla: German constitutional history. From the Old Empire to Weimar (1495–1934) , 2008, p. 526.
- Egmont Zechlin: The foundation of the empire , in: Walter Hubatsch (Ed.): German history. Events and Problems , Frankfurt am Main 1967, p. 170.
- Quotation from Nipperdey: Deutsche Geschichte 1866-1918 , Vol. 2, 3rd, through. Edition 1995, p. 80 .
- Cf. Manfred Görtemaker: Germany in the 19th century. Lines of development. Opladen 1983, pp. 210-215.
- Nipperdey: Deutsche Geschichte 1866–1918 , Vol. 2, CH Beck, Munich 1992, p. 80.
- Hagen Schulze: The way to the nation state. The German National Movement from the 18th Century to the Founding of the Empire , in: Martin Broszat, Wolfgang Benz, Hermann Graml (Hrsg.): German History of the Latest Time from the 19th Century to the Present , Munich 1985, p. 124.
- Stürmer: The founding of an empire. German Nation-State and European Equilibrium in the Age of Bismarckian , 1993, p. 82.
- Nipperdey: Deutsche Geschichte 1866-1918 , Vol. 2, 1992, p. 85.
- Cf. Dieter Hertz-Eichenrode: German History 1871–1890. The Empire in the Bismarck Era , Stuttgart 1992, pp. 9-14.
- "The largely passive attitude of the Tsarist empire towards the rise of Prussia to the leading power was caused by the defeat in the Crimean War [...]." Quoted from Eberhard Kolb: Europe and the foundation of an empire. Prussia-Germany from the perspective of the great European powers 1860-1880 , in: Theodor Schieder, Lothar Gall (ed.): Historische Zeitschrift , Munich 1980, p. 105.
- Cf. Jean-Baptiste Duroselle: The European States and the Foundation of the German Empire. In: Theodor Schieder, Ernst Deuerlein (Ed.): Founding of the Empire 1870/71. Stuttgart 1970, p. 388.
- Cf. for the expression and its meaning z. B. Matthias Zimmer: Modernism, State and International Politics. VS Verlag, 2008, p. 173.
- Michael Kotulla: German constitutional history. From the Old Reich to Weimar (1495–1934) . Springer, Berlin 2008, p. 526.
- Oliver Dörr: The incorporation as an offense of state succession . Duncker & Humblot, Berlin 1995, pp. 266-271.
- Georg Dahm / Jost Delbrück / Rüdiger Wolfrum: Völkerrecht , Vol. I / 1: The basics. The subjects of international law , 2nd edition, de Gruyter, Berlin 1989, p. 155; Marcel Kau: The state and the individual as subjects of international law . In: Wolfgang Graf Vitzthum and Alexander Proelß (eds.): Völkerrecht . 8th edition, de Gruyter, Berlin / Boston 2016, ISBN 978-3-11-063326-9 , p. 250, marginal number 175 (both accessed via De Gruyter Online).
- Section 1, Paragraph 1 of the Act on Acquisition and Loss of Federal and National Citizenship of June 1, 1870.
- Law on the Constitution of the German Empire of April 16, 1871.