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Zollverein

From Academic Kids

Zollverein (German for "customs union") was formed between the 38 states of the German Confederation in 1834 during the Industrial Revolution to create a better trade flow and reduce internal competition. The main contributer was Friedrich List. The Zollverein totally excluded Austria because of its highly protected industry; this would later intensify Austro-Prussian conflict. The Zollverein was dissolved in 1866 because of the south German states' support for Austria in the Austro-Prussian War, but it was re-established in 1867 with the south German states again participating. The new Zollverein was stronger, in that no individual state had a veto.

The Zollverein had been originally established by Prussia early in the 19th century. At first it included only the close neighbours of Prussia, and was seen as a way to transport goods between the two non-contiguous parts of Prussia: Eastern Prussia and Western Prussia. The greater customs union of 38 states was the fruit of a continuous effort by Prussian bureaucrats over several decades. Its gradual inception was made against the more modest efforts of the Austrian bureaucracy to establish their own customs union with neighbouring states.

Some economic historians such as Bohme use the Zollverein to dispute the general view of Bismarck as the unifier of Germany. They point out that, firstly, Prussia's economic dominance made unification inevitable. Economic dominance led to political and military control and once that was achieved unification was only a matter of time. Secondly, the Zollverein established an anti-Austrian tradition among the Prussians. Bismarck cannot be said to have revolutionised Prussian politics when the Zollverein had been working actively against Austria for about 30 years before he came along.

Timeline

1828 Original customs convention between Prussia and the Grand Duchy of Hesse

1831 Hesse-Cassel joined.

1834 Bavaria, Württemberg, Saxony, Thuringia etc joined.

1851 Hanover, Oldenburg joined.

1868 Schleswig-Holstein, Kausenburg, Mecklenburg.

1871 Alsace-Lorraine joined (after being acquired by Germany following the Franco-Prussian war).


Remark "Zeche Zollverein"

A well known german coal mine is called Zeche Zollverein.

External link:

de:Deutscher Zollverein

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