If German unification was going to happen in 1848-1849, what would Germany's final borders have been?

Futurist

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May 2014
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#1
Let's say that the Prussian King decides to accept the "crown from the gutter" in 1848-1849 due to the belief that even a "dirty" crown can be made clean with enough effort?

In such a scenario, German unification is going to happen in 1848-1849. However, what would Germany's final borders have been in such a scenario? For instance, is German Austria going to be included? What about the Czech lands? What about Slovenia and the northeastern Italian lands? What about Greater Hungary?

Also, what would the economy, culture, society, demographics, domestic policy, and foreign policy of a Germany which united in the late 1840s look like?
 

stevev

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Apr 2017
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#2
Minority areas of Austria would probably remain in the new Reich but Hungary would not be included. No one wanted a Mittleuropa and small minorities could not defend their independence. It might look like this. It would have overwhelming German culture and probably "sated" and less militaristic . If it could retain the democratic institutions it was founded on, Prussian militarism might have been contained.

 
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Futurist

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May 2014
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#3
What happens to Austrian Galicia?

Also, what do you think that the economy, foreign policy, and domestic policy if this united Germany will look like?
 

stevev

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Apr 2017
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#4
What happens to Austrian Galicia?
Can it defend its independence? What's its ethnic makeup? Since it never was independent or under Russian rule, its likely to remain Austrian.

Also, what do you think that the economy, foreign policy, and domestic policy if this united Germany will look like?
I may have added some text after you posted this. There's a reason why Bismarck wanted a smaller Germany. This large state would be more difficult to govern but if both Austria and Germany were allies agreement on a common foreign policy would be easier. Relations with France, Italy and Russia would tend to be adversarial. Good relations with Britain would follow historic norms. However, as said above, this whole arrangement depends on a less militaristic Prussia. The monarchs would have less power and the Frankfurt Assembly must be able to rule effectively. It would be a federal state with a strong prime minister. I'm not sure about the head of state. Perhaps Austria and Prussia could alternate. Economically, a large common market would be an advantage.
 
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Larrey

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Sep 2011
5,257
#5
What happens to Austrian Galicia?
Most likely a great opportunity for some Polish expansion...
Nationalism in Galicia : 19th century Austrian Politics

But it also depends a bit on how a new German republic founded on German nationalism perceives its role in relation to surrounding, smaller non-German nationalities. One possibility is that the United States of Germany favours and supports similar nationalist republics around it. In which case a Gallician or Ruthenian, or both, republic supported by the rather powerful USG comes into being, and might survive as such.
 

stevev

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Apr 2017
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#6
Most likely a great opportunity for some Polish expansion...
Nationalism in Galicia : 19th century Austrian Politics

But it also depends a bit on how a new German republic founded on German nationalism perceives its role in relation to surrounding, smaller non-German nationalities. One possibility is that the United States of Germany favours and supports similar nationalist republics around it. In which case a Gallician or Ruthenian, or both, republic supported by the rather powerful USG comes into being, and might survive as such.
Since the USG (VSD) would be a federation, Galicia would be largely self governing within the VSD. It seems this is the best option for Galicia given possible annexation by Poland or Russia. Poland was part of the Russian Empire at this time. The Frankfurt Assembly would be in charge of foreign policy, defense, currency and the national bank, immigration and border security, and enforcing the constitution. There would be federal and state courts and shared responsibility for the environment (rather progressive for 1848) and education.
 
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Futurist

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May 2014
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#7
Since the USG (VSD) would be a federation, Galicia would be largely self governing within the VSD. It seems this is the best option for Galicia given possible annexation by Poland or Russia. Poland was part of the Russian Empire at this time. The Frankfurt Assembly would be in charge of foreign policy, defense, currency and the national bank, immigration and border security, and enforcing the constitution. There would be federal and state courts and shared responsibility for the environment (rather progressive for 1848) and education.
Makes sense. Of course, defending Galicia is probably going to be a nightmare unless Hungary allows free passage for German troops through its own territory. After all, Galicia would only barely be connected to the rest of Germany.
 

Larrey

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Sep 2011
5,257
#8
Since the USG (VSD) would be a federation, Galicia would be largely self governing within the VSD. It seems this is the best option for Galicia given possible annexation by Poland or Russia. Poland was part of the Russian Empire at this time. The Frankfurt Assembly would be in charge of foreign policy, defense, currency and the national bank, immigration and border security, and enforcing the constitution. There would be federal and state courts and shared responsibility for the environment (rather progressive for 1848) and education.
Well I think a hypothetical Galicia like that would actually be sovereign and independent. And so would a potential Poland. The German republic would have no interest and claim on Galicia as Galician. BUT it would have a self-interest in supporting the creation of states politically and ideologically aligned with itself. It would try to ensure the creation of a liberal order of independent nation states. The multinational dynastic empires would be against it anyway (perceiving it as a deadly threat). And a USG/VSD also would risk very little from the creation of smaller nation-state republic around it, especially if ideologically aligned. But part of that prospect would be that the USG/VSD itself would opt for indirect influence, cooperation and "coproduction" alone, i.e. asserting itself within the limitations of a hegemonic power – making Europe "safe for republican nation-states" so to speak. They might even be able to get republican France in on it, creating a "Paris-Frankfurt" axis or something.

Settling Europe's future like that could get pretty violent. But it's questionable if it would be more violent than the actual history? Possibly the great showdown would have happened in the 19th c. already not the 20th like things happened.

The big fight would be with the Russian empire, on it's European border. If a Galician national project might hypothetically be supported, then a Polish one would be even more so. To the extent the USG/VSD drops claims on Poland, and Polish aspirations drops claims in the USG/VSD in return for support and alliance, it would all be directly pointed at Russia. How that would turn out, who knows. The obvious project ideologically opposing this kind of republican nationalism would be pan-slavism. Russia was already looking to channel it ambitions through it and would likely double down. Depending on what Russia would actually offer estern Europe would be up for contest. But depending on how attractive, or unattractive (if being idiots about it) the USG/VSD might make its model, Russia could always try to match it.

So the VSG would seek out, support, possibly militarily aid and ally itself with nationalist Galician republicans. And the presence of a Liberal nationalist German republic (huge) would in itself be an argument for Galician nationalism to channel its ambitions into nationalist republicanism, with the USG/VSD as an ally.
 

Larrey

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Sep 2011
5,257
#9
Makes sense. Of course, defending Galicia is probably going to be a nightmare unless Hungary allows free passage for German troops through its own territory. After all, Galicia would only barely be connected to the rest of Germany.
Not if Hungary is also a nation-state republic allied to the USG/VSG. That kind of domino effect was precisely what the multinational dynastic empires feared from liberal republicanism as a nationalist project. That's why they fought it tooth and nail. (And when they seriously began fearing losing to it, started reforming somewhat to undercut it.) The nations all form their own nation states. The creation a massive USG/VSD, possibly in alliance with France, means that the entire basis for the political order in 19th c. Europe changes.

(I think you have to factor in that the liberal projects for national self-determination was, and is, a real thing with considerable political support and ramifications.)

And in this scenario we have already seen Austria, that bulwark of dynastic authoritarianism, put out to grass.

The Habsburg break-up would be a mess, and Hungary would really be in the crucible – how it deals with the USG/VSD while trying to maintain its own multinational empire, or give it up for a more reduced Hungarian nation-state but within a new political order? Otherwise it risks ending up on the wrong side of both republican nationalism and a possible pan-slavist alternative. And with no Hansburg Empire to act as insulation for it Hungary is in for a wild ride.

In other words I think a USG/VSD likely starts a process to produce a situation more like the end result of WWI than anything else.
 
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stevev

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Apr 2017
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#10
Well I think a hypothetical Galicia like that would actually be sovereign and independent. And so would a potential Poland. The German republic would have no interest and claim on Galicia as Galician. BUT it would have a self-interest in supporting the creation of states politically and ideologically aligned with itself.
I agree. Galicia is much more geographically related to Hungary and could well be independent. It was not part of the Deutsche Bund. However the security of the new VSD would depend on a close alliance between it and both Hungary and an independent Galicia.

My understanding of the Frankfurt Assembly is that it was based on a constitutional monarchy. I would favor having Prussia, Hanover, Saxony, Bavaria, Württemberg and Austria as royal members of the federation and the Austrian emperor as the titular head of state and King of Austria. He could also be King of Hungary cementing that alliance. However all monarchs would reign but would not rule. Each state would have its own parliament. Going directly to a republic means the Head of State would be elected and that office should be apolitical. Head of State would be the actual title (not emperor) and the name of the country would be the United States of Germany (Vereinigte Staaten von Deutschland).


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