Take the 2-minute tour ×
History Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for historians and history buffs. It's 100% free, no registration required.

As the title states, what was the specific significance of the Schleswig-Holstein question (Denmark and Prussia arguing over contested lands bordering the two nations) as it directly relates to German unification in 1871 and the concept of German identity that existed throughout the 19th and 20th centuries?

share|improve this question
    
what is the Schleswig-Holstein question? –  Louis Rhys Oct 12 '11 at 7:47
    
@LouisRhys It was a debate in the 19th century between Denmark and Prussia over what to do with the contested lands bordering the two nations. –  GPierce Oct 12 '11 at 11:47
    
This looks like the exact phrasing you'd see on a school assignment... –  T.E.D. Apr 4 '12 at 15:13
add comment

2 Answers

Schleswig-Holstein became the rallying point for a united Germany, first in a war of Prussia and Austria against Denmark for the two provinces, then in a war of Prussia versus Austria. When Prussia won both times, it established itself as the dominant power in north Germany, around which the north German states coalesced. (Pulling in south Germany came later, after the victorious Franco-Prussian war.)

share|improve this answer
add comment

By supporting German states in their bid for independence from Denmark, Prussia was able to position itself as a champion of German nationalism, particularly in the question between a "small" Germany excluding Austria, and a "great" Germany including it.

share|improve this answer
    
This answer is true but only half true, because in the first stage Austria and Prussia were allies against Denmark. Fortunately, the other answer gets it right. –  Felix Goldberg Dec 26 '12 at 12:27
add comment

Your Answer

 
discard

By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.