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Britain and the German Question: Perceptions of Nationalism by Frank Lorenz Muller

By Frank Lorenz Muller

This publication analyzes the British angle to 1 of the dominant problems with 19th-century Europe. either in Germany and past, politicians grappled with the German Question—the dual challenge of uniting the numerous German states and of intergrating the ensuing Reich into the ecu states approach. This unique research explores how the makers of British overseas coverage spoke back to those concerns among the July Revolution of 1830 and Bismarkch's "Wars of German Unification," and explains what sort of united Germany they desired to see.

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Their warnings predated the formation of the Zollverein and accompanied it throughout the Vormärz. As early as March 1828, commenting on the recent customs agreement between Prussia and Hessen-Darmstadt, Milbanke in Frankfurt gloomily predicted ‘that our commerce with the interior of Germany [. . ’ In November 1831 and December 1833 Chad in Berlin and Erskine in Munich evoked the frightful image of Napoleon’s continental blockade to describe the damaging effect of the German Customs Association.

31 Thus, even if the Foreign Secretary may not have endorsed without qualification the rejection of the German opposition by his more conservative diplomats in Frankfurt, Stuttgart and Vienna, there can be no question of his being a protector pure and simple of the German movement of opposition. It had little appeal for him. Indeed, in October 1833, reviewing the events since the July Revolution, Palmerston expressed his attitude in a letter to the King’s private secretary. ’32 Threatening to ‘play the Devil in Germany’: the party of repression When Metternich and the conservative German governments eventually set out to contain this ‘dangerous faction’, they became the target of a venomous campaign in Britain’s liberal press.

The Webster– Ashburton Treaty of 1842, which settled the delineation of the eastern section of the US–Canadian border, considerably improved the acrimonious relationship between London and Washington. During the presidential campaign of 1844, however, a call was raised for the annexation of the Oregon territory by the United States, provoking a fierce reaction in Britain. 67 Britain’s relations with the European powers continued to be dominated by the complex and overlapping issues of opposition to Russia and Austria, cooperation with France, advancement of constitutionalism and the Eastern Question.

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