The Peace of Prague was a peace treaty signed at Prague on 23 August 1866, which ended the Austro-Prussian War. The treaty was lenient toward the Austrian Empire because Otto von Bismarck had persuaded William I that maintaining Austria's place in Europe would be better in the future for Prussia than harsh terms. Austria only lost Venetia, ceded to Napoleon III of France, who in turn ceded it to Italy. Austria refused to give Venetia directly to Italy because the Austrians had crushed the Italians during the war. The Habsburgs were permanently excluded from German affairs (Kleindeutschland). The Kingdom of Prussia thus established itself as the only major power among the German states. The North German Confederation was formed, with the north German states joining together, and the Southern German states having to pay large indemnities to Prussia.
- ^ Taylor, A.J.P. (1988). Bismarck: The Man and the Statesman. Hamish Hamilton. pp. 87–88. ISBN 0-241-11565-5.