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Austro-Prussian War

Subject History

DOI: 10.1111/b.9781405189224.2011.x


Also known as the Six (or Seven) Weeks' War, this conflict lasted from early June until mid-July 1866. Not only the speed but the very fact of prussia's victory seem easier to rationalize in retrospect than they did to predict at the time. In essence, the principal battle fought at sadowa (July 3) marked the climax of bismarck's longstanding determination to exclude the habsburg empire from any scheme of german unification . The war's more immediate origins lay in wrangling between Austria and Prussia over the schleswig-holstein region, which they had seized from Denmark in 1864. While asserting joint formal sovereignty, the two powers had also agreed in 1865 an administrative partition (see gastein , convention of ). In June 1866 Bismarck made his decisive bid to remove Austrian influence from northern Germany, aiming to gain control over Holstein as well as Schleswig and to disband the german confederation (which the Habsburg regime viewed as the proper arbiter of the sovereignty issue). In so far as this dispute split the German states, the ensuing military confrontation was not only an international conflict between two major powers (further complicated by Italian support for the Prussian side) but a civil war as well. It was one in which Austria enjoyed the greater measure of support from “the third Germany.” Most notably, the monarchs of bavaria , hanover ... log in or subscribe to read full text

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