Summary diagram: The situation in Germany by 1815.

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  • Holy Roman Empire
    • Destroyed by Napoleon (1806)
      • French Annexation
        • France annexed the territory on the left bank of the Rhine.
      • Amalgamation
        • The 314 small states were amalgamated into 39 states.
      • Reform
        • Confederation of the Rhine
          • Bavaria, Saxony, Baden and 14 other states were formed into the Confederatio-n of the Rhine.  This was under direct French control.  The French legal system replaced the different laws and judicial procedures of the separate states.
        • Many Germans were released from feudal restrictions.  (Powerful landlords could not limit the freedom of the people working on their estate).
      • Confederation of the Rhine
        • Bavaria, Saxony, Baden and 14 other states were formed into the Confederatio-n of the Rhine.  This was under direct French control.  The French legal system replaced the different laws and judicial procedures of the separate states.
    • Formed in the ninth century, the Empire was made up of 314 states and had little power or meaning by 1800.
  • War of Liberation against France (1813-14)
    • Prussia
      • Rhineland to Prussia
        • Vienna Peace Settlement (1814-15)
          • Influence of Metternich
            • Territorial gains in Italy.
            • Maintained Austria's traditional authority over the German states.  Metternich's negotiations at Vienna ensured that Germany would become a loose confederation of states under Austrian control.
              • Dominated by Austria
          • German Confederation (June 1815)
            • 39 States
            • Dominated by Austria
            • Weak
            • Boundaries of the states based on those of the old Holy Roman Empire.
            • 'The Diet' acted as the executive body.
        • Population doubled to 10 million.
      • After defeat to Napoleon in 1806, Prussia was determined to recover her position as a leading German state.  The Prussian government made great efforts to reform Prussian institutions:
        • The army was reorganised.
        • The government was overhauled to provide a more efficient central authority.
        • A new system of education was introduced.
    • Austria
      • Influence of Metternich
        • Territorial gains in Italy.
        • Maintained Austria's traditional authority over the German states.  Metternich's negotiations at Vienna ensured that Germany would become a loose confederation of states under Austrian control.
      • In January 1813 the Prussian King made an alliance with Russia against France.
        • Russian and Prussian armies drove Napoleon's forces back towards France.  In June, Austria also declared war on France and in October, Napoleon was defeated at the Battle of Leipzig.  Within a few months the allies invaded France and forced Napoleon to abdicate, sending him into exile.
          • This was seen as the first collective action of the German nation

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