Prussia advances onto Vienna in 1866

Futurist

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May 2014
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Apparently Prussian King (later German Kaiser) Wilhelm wanted to advance onto Vienna during the Austro-Prussian War of 1866 but was dissuaded from doing so by Bismarck and his own son Crown Prince Frederick:

William I, German Emperor - Wikipedia

"During his reign, William was the commander-in-chief of the Prussian forces in the Second Schleswig War against Denmark in 1864 and the Austro-Prussian War in 1866. After the latter was won by Prussia, William wanted to march on to Vienna and annex Austria, but was dissuaded from doing so by Bismarck and Crown Prince Frederick.[4] Bismarck wanted to end the war quickly, so as to allow Prussia to ally with Austria if it needed to at a later date; Frederick was also appalled by the casualties and wanted a speedy end to hostilities. During a heated discussion, Bismarck threatened to resign if William continued to Vienna; Bismarck got his way. "

Anyway, what if Wilhelm would have gotten his way in regards to this and Bismarck would have resigned?
 
Apr 2019
111
Ireland
Annex the whole of the Austrian empire? I would guess if this was so that Bismark wasn't interested in inheriting Austria's vast empire on the grounds that this new European superstate would find itself bereft of friends out of fear.
 
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Futurist

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May 2014
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Annex the whole of the Austrian empire? I would guess if this was so that Bismark wasn't interested in inheriting Austria's vast empire on the grounds that this new European superstate would find itself bereft of friends out of fear.
I would think that the goal would be to annex the German-majority parts of Austria and perhaps Czechia and/or Slovenia as well while the rest of Austria would either become an independent Hungarian state or, in the case of Galicia and Bukovina, be annexed to Russia.
 
Feb 2019
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I doubt Wilhelm would have enough support to go through with it, both from Bismarck and his son as well as some other elements in the government would be opposed. If he annexed Austria he would fulfill the dream of ''Greater Germany'' but he would also inherit a huge amount of Catholics and various ethnicities, this would do far more harm than good I think.
 
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Futurist

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I doubt Wilhelm would have enough support to go through with it, both from Bismarck and his son as well as some other elements in the government would be opposed. If he annexed Austria he would fulfill the dream of ''Greater Germany'' but he would also inherit a huge amount of Catholics and various ethnicities, this would do far more harm than good I think.
Theoretically, though, an increased focus on secularization could help reduce this problem. If religion would have become less important in comparison to a Pan-German identity, then Germans might be able to overcome their religious differences. I mean, Hitler managed to pull this off in the late 1930s in real life--he made everyone (except the Jews and Roma, of course) feel like they are a part of the Greater German nation.

Also, in regards to the Czechs, there could be an attempt to convert them en masse back into the Hussite Church in order to weaken Catholicism in Czechia.
 

Kotromanic

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Dec 2011
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Iowa USA
Theoretically, though, an increased focus on secularization could help reduce this problem. If religion would have become less important in comparison to a Pan-German identity, then Germans might be able to overcome their religious differences. I mean, Hitler managed to pull this off in the late 1930s in real life--he made everyone (except the Jews and Roma, of course) feel like they are a part of the Greater German nation.

Also, in regards to the Czechs, there could be an attempt to convert them en masse back into the Hussite Church in order to weaken Catholicism in Czechia.
Bismarck believed in Prussia as a Lutheran Kingdom. Neither ancient Wilhelm or the reactionary Bismarck would have implemented this idea.
 

Futurist

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May 2014
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Bismarck believed in Prussia as a Lutheran Kingdom. Neither ancient Wilhelm or the reactionary Bismarck would have implemented this idea.
Then why did the first Kaiser Bill want to conquer Vienna and annex Austria?
 

Kotromanic

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Dec 2011
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Iowa USA
Then why did the first Kaiser Bill want to conquer Vienna and annex Austria?
Is there a good source which gives Wilhelm's desire to actually annex Austria?

There's a big gap between inflicting a humiliating end to a campaign and advocating annexation. However, there's nothing enjoy more than being surprised by something I learn here.
 
Apr 2019
111
Ireland
Bismarck believed in Prussia as a Lutheran Kingdom. Neither ancient Wilhelm or the reactionary Bismarck would have implemented this idea.
The Southern German States were incorporated into the new Germany in 1871 after the defeat of France, these were mostly Catholic.
 
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Shtajerc

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Jul 2014
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Too many non-Germans if annexed as a whole, still too many Catholics if they take only the German parts (I'm pretty sure they'd go for the Slovene Lands as well because the access to the Adriatic via the Austrian Littoral was too important to give up, plus, who'd stop them?).
 
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