Denmark and Austrian Wars Worksheet


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Lesson Snapshot:

The Danish War – 1864

  •  In 1864 Christian IX, King of Denmark, was also acting as the Duke of Schleswig-Holstein.
  • When he became King of Denmark in 1863 Christian decided that he wanted to make Schleswig
    part of Denmark – a simple unification.
  • The problem here is that many of the people living in Schleswig at this time were German and were
    opposed to the idea of becoming Danish.
  • Bismarck saw this as an opportunity to declare himself Champion of the German people and divide
    Denmark and Schleswig-Holstein.
  • Bismarck was forced to ally with Austria who did not want Prussia acting alone in case it gave them
    more power than Austria in Europe.
  • Bismarck declared war on Denmark and quickly defeated them.
  • After the war was over the Convention of Gastein took place in 1865 where Prussia gained the lands of Schleswig and Austria gained Holstein as a token thanks for their support in the conflicts.
  • Bismarck was being clever with Austria by giving them Holstein because he would have a chance to quarrel with them if they did not run the new lands correctly.

The Austrian War (Seven Week’s War) – 1866

  • Bismarck’s second war was against Austria.
  • Bismarck had always opposed Austrian Power within Germany as a
    diplomat and a politician.
  • This war was not a reaction to situation that arose but more like a
    war that he carefully planned in advance to weaken a stronger
  • Bismarck made an alliance with the weaker country of Italy and
    promised them Venetia (Venice) if the war was successful.
  • In a meeting with France’s Napoleon III at Biarritz Bismarck also made vague promises of future compensation for France if they did
    not get themselves involved in the war on Austria’s side.
  • He was ensuring that Austria was completely isolated and had no
    allies to turn to once the attack began.
  • In 1866 Bismarck provoked Austria into war by suggesting that the
    German Confederation should now be dissolved and a new
    confederation set up that excluded Austria – Kleinedeutschland.
  • The war only last 7 weeks due to the effectiveness of the enlarged
    Prussian army with it’s new breech loading rifle.
  • The Austrian army was soundly defeated at Sadowa in Bohemia.
  • The resulting Treaty of Prague in 1866 abolished the German Confederation and set up a new North German Confederation in 1867 which excluded Austria and made the South German states independent.
  • Success for Bismarck and Prussia.
  • The lands of Schleswig-Holstein were now returned to Prussia by the defeated Austria and soon
    afterwards Prussia also annexed Hanover and several other north German states to enlarge the
    soon to be empire.
  • Austria was also forced to hand over Venetia to Italy even though the Austrian army had actually
    defeated the Italian troops helping Prussia in the war.
  • Italy was rewarded for their loyalty despite their defeat.

Worksheet Task:

  • Aimed at Students studying across AS/A2 or equivalent
  • Premium resource
  • Use as you wish in the classroom or home environment
  • Lesson fact file on the Denmark and Austrian War.
  • Use with other German Unification resources.
  • Includes challenging questions.