Character(s) or Pairing(s): GERMANY. And some other people.
Rating: PG-13 for some language
Warnings: Image-heavy, TOO MUCH TALKING, blatant favoritism
Summary: Alright, so as much as I can get on board with the "HRE passed out and woke up a couple centuries later as Germany" school of thought, it occurred to me a while back that he must have staggered out of bed at some point, because there is definitely stuff going on in that interim. Cool stuff, with politics and culture and moral ambiguity and everything! Let's try to make sense of some of that stuff, shall we?
Actually, culture is probably a good place to start, especially if we're working on the HRE -> Germany assumption, 'cause you've got Baroque literature! Kid!Ludwig writes a bunch of poems and stories and picaresque adventure novels about the Thirty Years' War and doesn't know why.
German literature is actually sort of unique in that it didn't come from huge city centers like London and Paris (because it couldn't), but rather from smaller less exciting-sounding places like Jena and Weimar. But once it really got going again in the 18th century there was so much to read and so many little movements and oh, the Enlightenment, oh Empfindsamkeit, and I am a giant dork.
These movements spilled on over into art and music and whatnot too, of course-- German Romanticism. Lots of things. Lots of composers. Some of whom may have been technically Austrian, but who cares.
(Oh, but let's not forget the historically canonical emo phase.
idk, my bff Schiller.
On a side note, Liechtenstein had some pretty close ties to Germany back in the day and even belonged to some of the various confederations of German states that came about later; hence German being the national language there.
Switzerland was doing its own thing, hence German only being one of its four languages. Oh, Europe.
SPEAKING OF, those German states. MESSED. UP. Couldn't go anywhere without crossing into another independent territory.
It sucked. D:
And CERTAIN OTHER COUNTRIES didn't do much to improve the state of things.
Napoleon finally dissolved the Holy Roman Empire and set up a confederation of German states under his "protection" in 1806. It didn't last.
So then we had the German Confederation, which included parts but not all of both Austria and Prussia and was still pretty wonky, thanks in part to the Austrian government meddling in free press and social freedoms in general.
Folks were kinda ticked. And by 1848, enough people were ticked about enough things to try to do something about it.
Ah, Germany. One of Europe's late bloomers.
But the revolution in Germany saw surprising mass support from the people, and they established a shiny new parliament in Frankfurt! And it was a COLOSSAL DISORGANIZED FAILURE. Meanwhile, Prussia feigned enthusiasm and waited the whole mess out.
For you see, Prussia (and a certain fellow named Otto von Bismarck) had Plans.
The whole spirit of revolt in Europe at the time sparked nationalist sentiments in Danish territories populated largely by Germans. After one war, Prussia teamed up with Austria to win the second one and take those regions from Denmark...
...then sort of kind of used the debate about just how to handle said regions to start a war with Austria. Grabby-hands Prussia at it again.
So THEN the question came up about just where the German states were going to align themselves in all of this and things got even crazier. And here's where my brain really breaks 'cause it's like, some smaller states were grouped together to have one vote on the decision?
And apparently Liechtenstein's group did this, I don't know. I keep finding contradictory sources on how exactly it all went down, but Bismarck seems to have had a problem with Liechtenstein
ANYWAY. AUSTRO-PRUSSIAN WAR. Also called the "Bruderkrieg" or "War of Brothers", and aptly so! In the end, it came down to Austria and Germany...
Versus Prussia, Italy (gunning for some territories under Austrian control) and, uh, Germany.
(For the record, Liechtenstein itself wound up staying neutral, though apparently they were obligated to send a whopping detachment of 80 men to serve some obscure defensive duty.)
In the end, Austria got whupped but good, and Prussia set up the North German Confederation. Austria was not invited, because Prussia was weird and possessive and wanted stronger influence over German affairs.
So Austria and a couple of loyal southern states went their not-so-merry way
Oh, but PRUSSIA WASN'T DONE YET.
Pretty much. And guess whose land the fighting finished on this time?
(Random trufax: the German word for war, Krieg, is interestingly similar to the word kriegen, meaning "to catch/get". I find this pragmatic and oddly fitting.)
And after the Franco-Prussian war, those southern states came back and joined in to make the German Empire! And from then on, it gradually starts to become more Germany's story than Prussia's on the world stage.
...Which brings us to WWI. Oh dear, I've come full circle, haven't I? Time to move on from central Europe, I think.
The point? German history is
Also also, read books.
That is all.