Template talk:German Confederations 1806–1871

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Austrian emperors as "German monarchs"?[edit]

Please stop to claim that AUSTRIAN Emporers had been "German Monarchs", and stop putting them on the list of "German Monarchs". The German Federation was a loose Federation and Austrian Emporers where only the "presidents", but they were (first of all!) AUSTRIAN Monarchs as they were emporers of the Austrian Empire. Germany didnt start to be an Empire before 1871 when the Dynasty of the "Hohenzoller" founde the "Deutsche Reich". So please keep the Austrian Emporers out of this, they had nothing to do with the German Empire as they had their own Empire. You can find all facts about this in the article Deutscher Bund. -- Rfortner 21:42, 9 June 2007 (UTC)

Hmm, overzealous Austrian nationalism, perhaps? Maybe the template could have a better name, but it is not necessarily incorrect. A big piece of German history goes missing every time you revert this page. Please stop, it could be considered vandalism. Charles 21:50, 9 June 2007 (UTC)
Stop with unwise words like "Austrian nationalism", I am socialdemocratic (and a convinced european!) but quite interested in a CORRECT historical presentation at Wikipedia. I dont do vandalism (this is a polemic by you), but saying that AUSTRIAN Emporers where "German Monarchs" is historically wrong and therefore I HAVE to revert it, sorry. Since 1804 there has been the Empire of Austria (founded by Franz II./I.). The German Confederation has been founded in 1815 after the Congress of Vienna as a loose Confederation of germanspeaking countries, and the austrian Emporers had the presidency. But History of the GERMAN Empire doesnt start before 1871 when it was founded, everything before where loose (con-)federations with other german-speaking countries. So there havent been German Monarchs (in the Meaning of a German Empire) before 1871, its also quite funny to call NAPOLEON (!) a German Monarchr, by the way. These are my facts, which are yours? Nice greetings from Vienna, -- Rfortner 21:56, 9 June 2007 (UTC)
If there have not been German monarchs before 1871 (no, the meaning was not limited to the German Empire), how come you did not delete the whole template? I think I already know the answer. Charles 22:02, 9 June 2007 (UTC)
I didnt feel responsable for Napoleon (with the Rheinbund) and the Norddeutscher Bund and tried to keep my feets on safe ground where I am quite well aware in history ;-) But to be correct you would have to start the template with 1871, everything before have not been "Monarchs" of whole Germany, even the Norddeutscher Bund was only the Northern part of todays Germany while Bavaria was still an indipendent kingdom till 1871 (just one example) -- Rfortner 22:21, 9 June 2007 (UTC)
A responsibility of a good Wikipedian is to never pass a fault. Feeling responsible for only part of a template that you feel is wrong in general is really an irresponsible attitude. Charles 22:27, 9 June 2007 (UTC)
Nice try ;-) ... But as mentioned above I know my domain. When discussing between Austrian Empire and German Empire I have my feets on save ground (and also at all the other topics concerning common history of Germany and Austria, even the unhappy parts like after 1938). But when discussing about the Rheinbund or Norddeutscher Bund I have to be more careful if there may be some detail that I could have missed and which could be an argument against me in a discussion. But as far as I know German history books start the counting of the first national state of Germany - the German Empire - in 1871. Before 1871 they had the typicall german Kleinstaaterei (exagerated federalism) while Austria was unified by the Habsbourgs much more earlier. And till 1871 the Hohenzoller had only been Monarchs of Preussia but not of whole Germany. -- Rfortner 22:36, 9 June 2007 (UTC)
PS: Maybe an interesting article for you: Unification of Germany, read the first paragraph and everything is clear. BEFORE there where a lot of indipendent german(speaking) states. -- Rfortner 22:47, 9 June 2007 (UTC)
Hm, instead of continuing the discussion here, Charles calles this discussion not concluded and uses this to put dubious (and obviously false) information into related articles of AUSTRIAN monarchs. Hm, have you gone out of arguments? ;-) ... Be sure I will not let myself provoke for an edit-war to break the 3RR-rule. But if information is dubious, it will - in the long run - be deleted, just a question of time. -- Rfortner 00:39, 10 June 2007 (UTC)

Sorry guys, but this discussion is a useful as "has Mozart been an Austrian or a German?". I guess there is no politically and historically correct answer. In 1866 Austria left the Deutschen Bund and was completeley independent. Until then of couse Austria was "somewhat" German. But, of course, I also don't like the Austrian monarchs of the 19th century to be called german. In the aftermath, calling them (as Rfortner statet starting perhaps in 1804 with Joseph II) German is like calling George Washington a Briton. While there is some truth in both expressions, it's not how things are expected to be called.--Wirthi 08:27, 10 June 2007 (UTC)

Having read the template again I think that there is no use in such a template at all. You cannot put such a topic in a box of this small size. If you leave away the Austrian emperors, it would not be complete, but if you put them there, controversies such as this one will arise with questions why the Austrians were German Monarchs. --Wirthi 08:34, 10 June 2007 (UTC)
I think when you talk about Austria and 1804 you mean Franz II./I. and not Josef II.? ;-)
About the template: The only way it makes sense is when you limit it to the monarchs of the German Empire which was found in 1871 (and lastet as monarchie till november 1918 when Wilhelm had to fly from Berlin). All the people before are not correctly spoken EXCLUSIVE German Monarchs, so you have the same problem with Napoleon which funnily enough starts this list of German Monarchs ;-) A propos: I think that THIS template was strongly influenced by Template:Monarchs of France, but french history was (in this context) much more easier than Austro-German-history (so France is today still ONE country while Austrians and Germans had good reasons to split up and history has proven that everytime they did something together again it ended in a WorldWar, in 1914 as well as after 1938).
Therefore a serious recommend for limiting the list by starting it from 1871 (even when the Norddeutscher Bund was more or less the "birthplace" of a the later German Empire which was dominated by the Prussian House of Hohenzoller. But at the same time there where equal Monarchs in other states in the south, e.g. the house of Wittelsbach in Bavaria). By starting it from 1871, the template makes sense. -- Rfortner 11:19, 10 June 2007 (UTC)
PS @ Mozart: If he had been born after 1804, it would be much more easier to discuss about his "nationality".
Again, this is merely the case of an Austrian editor being miffed. Reference this comment: This article is a bad example of the way how some (!) germans pocket the history of some of their neighbour countries. (Talk:List of German monarchs#Article mixing up indipendent things) and his comment regarding what he feels responsible for in correcting "errors" (that is, he cares only for what cause he think he is serving to Austrian history. The fact of that matter is, whether this template is deleted or not, it should be complete and the proper avenue should be taken by editors objecting to its existance. Whether it should be renamed or not, it is missing an important block of information everything Rfortner essentially vandalizes it. The objection here is only to the word German, which is pointless! It's much like objecting to the use of "North America" in the context of Canada, Mexico, etc. It's pointless. One cannot apply the Austrian/German distinction of today to a time where it really did not exist. Charles 14:11, 10 June 2007 (UTC)
Also, it just goes to show Rfortner's motives: He accuses me of being a German editor with a German agenda! My dear friend, I am Canadian! Should I put an userbox on my page to the effect much like you have one indicating that you are indeed Austrian? Charles 14:13, 10 June 2007 (UTC)
Charles, relax and dont overestimate your role here! When I was talking about German users I was pointing to Louis88, and I already left a message for him on his talk. His response shows me that he is much more than you aware of the problems with calling Austrian emporers "German Monarchs".
The problem is the semantic distinction between "German Monarchs" (which the Austrians had not been) and "Monarchs in Germany/Monarchs in Germanspeaking Countries". Thats a big difference!
So the problem with the template is, that it symplifies things in a way that they cannot be simplified. Therefore it should be deleted (like Wirthi said) or it must be limited to the period of the German Empire starting from 1871.
I will not react to stupid words like "vandalize" as I try to discuss a serious topic of Austro-German history here, and personally it seems to me that Charles doesnt have enough knowledge about this complicated relation while Louis88 is quite aware about this but has maybe a different point of view.
-- Rfortner 14:49, 10 June 2007 (UTC)
Excuse me? Overestimate my role? You severely overestimate your own authority in unilaterally declaring what is acceptable and what is not. I explained that perhaps the title of the template it not entirely appropriate. To many, these varying confederations and political entities are successor states of one another that lead to the eventual formation of Germany. A template from 1871 onward does nothing as the information is already presented in the article German Empire. The template, in the meantime, serves to link these states/entities (which did not exist concurrently) about should remain intact until it is or is not deleted. Charles 15:17, 10 June 2007 (UTC)
Charles lets stay on the facts. I have allready presented my facts above, where are yours?
In addition to all the facts listed above: I allready told Louis88 on his talk-page, that its not possible to put the German Empire on the same level as some (con-)federations which had existed before and where the participating countries and their borders where changing many times between 1806 and 1871. While the Austrian Empire had been founded in 1804 (by a strongly centralised administration), the great number of "indipendent" German countries still kept their "Federalism". There is a German term for this exagerated federalism: Deutsche Kleinstaaterei (de:Kleinstaaterei). It was the Prussian chanceler Bismark wo ended this by building the German Empire in 1871, with treaties as well as with military force.
So before the founding of the German Empire you cannot limit Germany in a clear way and you cannot say who was the leading Monarch. For example the Rheinbund was only a cooperation of the Western-German-Countries (and Napoleon had forced them to do so), so why should this be on the same level as the German Empire which had been a real unified state? Only the Norddeutscher Bund can - in some way - be put in the same level as it was the "birthplace" of the German Empire. But even at this time there had been indipendent states like the Kingdom of Bavaria, so how can you speak about a German "Monarch" at this time? Because the Prussian Monarch was not "over" the Bavarian Monarch before 1871! So please dont try to symplify things in a way that they cannot be simplified. To be serious the template would have to include a lot more Monarchs before 1871 ;-)
Last point, as you say: "these varying confederations and political entities are successor states of one another that lead to the eventual formation of Germany": Sorry, but the German (Con-)Federation was ruled by Austrian Emporers and was therefore also am important part of the Austrian history. And it was a loose confederation, nothing more, due to the Deutsche Kleinstaaterei. So once again: Dont simplify things in a way where they lead to wrong interpretations of history, thats not appropiate for Wikipedia and therefore this template in its current status is - simply - wrong.
So: I brought you so many facts about all of this above, I even brought you some links (read Unification of Germany !!!). I havent seen a lot of arguments by you, and Louis88 never responded on this page in English. So how to go on now? Interested in a serious discussion to find a concens to change the template in a correct way before discussing a deletion? -- Rfortner 23:20, 10 June 2007 (UTC)

Since more than 24 hours there has been no response to the arguments that I brought here. Louis88, the creator of this template also never responded to those arguments HERE and didnt bring any facts do defend his template. Therefore I adapted the template by limiting it to those Monarchs of Germany where this template-title is appropiate, even when it is not fully clear for the time of the Norddeutscher Bund (before 1871) where southern germanspeaking countries (like Bavaria) where still indipendent. -- Rfortner 18:25, 11 June 2007 (UTC)

Charles, please bring arguments and facts before reverting again! I have brought mine here, so factual your opinion is POV. Also Louis88 never came here to defend his template. So stop starting an edit war without bringing facts and arguments into the discussion. -- Rfortner

You were wrong to revert it in the first place. It is not Louis88's template. There is no ownership here. I said the template might have to be renamed. Leave it intact until then and cease your pathetic vandalism. Charles 00:25, 12 June 2007 (UTC)
When you allready realised that it has to be renamed, how long do you want to wait? One month, one year? Dont be polemic and dont call my changings "vandalism" or "POV" as I have brought detailed arguments. Give us (the interested users) an outlook how you want to deal with this problem and how the renaming or limiting to the period from 1871 will be done. Its also not YOUR template, so stop fighting for it like a mother for her child, thats not appropiate for a serious encyclopadie! And dont let wrong information in Wikipedia in the meanwhile. FIRST think what is appropiate (and correct), and THEN put it in here, not the other way arround! Wiki is (as far as I know) not a testfield for dubious historical theories -- Rfortner 00:53, 12 June 2007 (UTC)
The point of that matter is that it is you saying it is wrong when others can reasonably assess it as right or at least salvageable. Things are not changed only to discuss a different version of changes. It should be intact as is until renamed or tweaked. As it stands, the progression of monarchs makes sense in terms history (the transition from the Holy Roman Empire to the German Empire). It isn't dependent upon the other independent countries because they were not united into large German confederations. I propose that that template be renamed to reflect the progression from the Holy Roman Empire to the German Empire because it is an observable series of political changes leading from one to the other. So far it seems you only object to the use of the word "German". These all, however, refer to German lands... These are not dubious historical theories, these are facts. Charles 01:05, 12 June 2007 (UTC)
I dont want to repeat myself here allways. As you say in your own words, there was a complex transformation process and till 1871 there existed no clearly defined Germany. And dont missinterpret the role of the Holy Roman Empire (HRR): The HRR was just a loose federation of germanspeaking indipendent states, like the EU today, nothing more (thats why in the end it was so easy to give it up). And there have been TWO national states coming out of the HRR: Austria (in 1804) and Germany (in 1871). So please respect that this complex transformation is to complex to simplify it in the little box as this template compares apples and oranges! -- Rfortner 01:12, 12 June 2007 (UTC)
Do not twist my words. My own words do not say it was complex. The Confederation of the Rhine (the remants of the Holy Roman Empire of the German Nation) leads to the German Confederation which leads to the North German Confederation which leads to the German Empire. These are bodies of German states. I am not saying they were Germany, but they were German. Whether they were loose federations or iron tight, they were collections of German states under presidents, emperors, etc. This doesn't really concern the fact that eventually there was Austria and Germany. That is your agenda. Charles 01:22, 12 June 2007 (UTC)
But it was complex, obviously more complex than you realise. What about the other german states, for example: What about Bavaria? They also wont like what you do to German history ;-) -- Rfortner 01:27, 12 June 2007 (UTC)
They were outside of the organized German states. For instance, compare a template of Canadian prime ministers (if one exists). Does it matter that Newfoundland was not part of Canada until the 1940s? No. The fact of the matter is that Bavaria was later added in, but it's previous exclusion doesn't preclude the existence of a German state or confederation, not matter how loose it is deemed. Charles 01:31, 12 June 2007 (UTC)
But there was no Germany before 1871! -- Rfortner 01:32, 12 June 2007 (UTC)
I didn't say that there was... Charles 01:33, 12 June 2007 (UTC)
With your unappropiate comparison with Canada you did. Once again: Please learn a little bit more about German history and first of all you should read Unification of Germany, this will explain to you the "magic date" of 1871 and why everything before was not compareable to the German Empire. As I said: the template currently compares apples and oranges, and I dont understand why you fight so much for this when you dont even know all about Austro-German history during and after the ending of the HRR? -- Rfortner 01:39, 12 June 2007 (UTC)
My comparison to Canada was in response to your mention of the exclusion of Bavaria. The article Unification of Germany tells me that the North German Confederation was a direct precursor to the German Empire and that the North German Confederation was assembled from states of the German Confederation. The German Confederation was made up of more or less the same states as the Confederation of the Rhine. That establishes the transformation of most of the Confederation of the Rhine to the German Confederation. Clear? Okay. The article you cite makes it clear that the North German Confederation follows the German Confederation. Clear still? Alight. It also states that the North German Confederation was a direct precursor to the German Empire. Thus, it is established:
Confederation of the Rhine → German Confederation → North German Confederation → German Empire
Voila! Each of these bodies had a representative leader or monarch at the top. Thus the template is appropriate, even if the title is not. It isn't a comparison of everything before to the German Empire. It leads up to the German Empire. Charles 01:58, 12 June 2007 (UTC)
You are wrong. Only the Norddeutscher Bund (North German Confederation if you dont speak German) was a more or less direct precursor of the German Empire, but even at the same time there were indipendent germanspeaking states. But your sentence "The German Confederation was made up of more or less the same states as the Confederation of the Rhine" is once again a nonsense which shows that you dont know much about German history of that time. Try to find a map of both federations and you will see the differences. Also before the German Empire, those federations had been loose federations with some military agreements, but not states or Empires. But its quite hard to discuss with you as you dont want to follow simple arguments and still try to prove that you are right. Seems to be a question of pride? I have seen other quarrels that you had here, even some demandings for mediation mentioned on your talk-page. Can you accept facts and opinions from other people? -- Rfortner 03:23, 12 June 2007 (UTC)
I did look at the maps and the bulk of the states of the Confederation of the Rhine became states of the German confederation. In the series of the History of Germany, these entities are listed one after another. The demand for mediation was by a POV-pushing user who has been brought to task by a number of other editors, not just me. Indeed, the mediation was rejected because it was groundless. I can accept facts. I never said that the Confederation of the Rhine was a direct precursor to the German Empire and I didn't even say that the German Confederation was a direct precursor to the German Empire. They all fall in line though, as precursors to one another. Charles 03:33, 12 June 2007 (UTC)
As you say in your own words, the have not been direct precursors. It is right, that somehow one thing leaded to another, but not in a direct way and there had been a lot of countries involved and there were a lot of intermediate steps. Between 1806 and 1871 things changed frequently: Wars where taking place and borders where moved like figures in a chess-game (e.g. between Bavaria and Salzburg), the indipendent german states joined a union of other german states and then their composition changed (of the unions and of the states). Federations where founded and given up, and the Congress of Vienna in 1814/1815 redraw the map of Europe again. And till 1871 the states prefered to be "indipendent" while Austria was (since 1804) ONE unified empire, so till 1871 there was the Kleinstaaterei. Each of this different federations had its own rules, but they cannot be compared to a unified State or Empire. Se the following section from Unification of Germany which shows how indipendent the states where before 1871: The Kingdom of Prussia was the largest of the constituent states, covering some 60 percent of the territory of the German Empire. Before being annexed and turned into Provinces of Prussia, several of these states had gained sovereignty following the dissolution of the Holy Roman Empire, or been created as sovereign states after the Congress of Vienna in 1815.
And the Deutscher Bund was more or less a loose Federation of the "big" states Prussia and Austria and "the rest". The contribution of the Austrian Empire to the Deutscher Bund was quite widespread, so when talking about the Deutscher Bund you cannot hide Austria. So when you see the template as a template for the History of the Development of the German Empire, than you have to name it like this and everything is quite fine (but you still have to take in account IN the template that the Deutscher Bund had a special role and only a part of it was later German Empire while the other part was allready Austria. Not so with the Rheinbund, as it consisted of states who joined the later German Empire). But one cannot name this a history of German Monarchs, thats a false simplification. So with the template-name mentioned above you even can let the template at the articles about Austrian Emperors, as they had played an important role on the way to unifie the other germanspeaking countries, even when militarised Prussia profited from this in the end ;-) But in spite of everything they have not been German Monarchs, as each of the indipedent germanspeaking states hat its own Provinzkaiser (german jesting word for provincial "emperor") and most of this proud states wouldnt have accepted to give to much of their power to a loose federation, so Prussia had to force some of them with military force. -- Rfortner 11:23, 12 June 2007 (UTC)

"But there was no Germany before 1871" <-- LOL. Anyway, seeing that Franz II used the style Germaniae Rex until 1806 (as had been done since the 16th century), he can probably be considered a "German monarch" afterwards. Austria was in the German confederation, thus its monarch should be in the list of German monarchs. --SKopp 10:08, 15 June 2007 (UTC)

I think you missunderstood what Louis88 & Charles wanted to say with the template: They didnt put Austrian Emperors in the template because Austria was in the Deutscher Bund (a loose confederation, nothing more), but they put them there because Austria had the "Presidency" in the Deutscher Bund. So you should discuss with the others what the template really means, but as you see by yourself: It is full of missinterpretation ;-) ... Once again: Just because Austrian emperors had the "presidency" in the Deutscher Bund, they still where Emperors of Austria and not Emperors of Germany, as a "National State" (or Empire) of Germany didnt exist before 1871 (Something that you missunderstood in my earlier posting). -- Rfortner 15:59, 15 June 2007 (UTC)

Move of template[edit]

In consideration of all the arguments that we have been discussing here (and the reverts that have been taking place) during the last week I have now moved the template to "Evolution of the German Empire 1806-1918". This is the most correct title for the facts that are simplified in the template. By doing so, we avoid to limit it to the period starting from 1871 (what Louis88 didnt want to do), but we also avoid a request for deletion of the whole template. I hope we can agree on this concensus, as even Charles has mentioned the "renaming"-possibilitie in the discussion above. ... The only problem I still have is a layout problem, as (on my screen) the Headline looks awfull. How does it come? -- Rfortner 18:01, 17 June 2007 (UTC)

Ok, the problem with the headline is now also fixed. -- Rfortner 18:14, 17 June 2007 (UTC)
I strongly support the renaming. Now we are where we wanted to be. The template is still here and has a correct title. The Austrians still are Austrians. I think it is perfect so. --Wirthi 15:34, 18 June 2007 (UTC)
Why is this evolution of the German Empire when such an entity did not exist 1806 to 1871 and actually not even any time prior to that? Of course, Germany existed before 1871 and any contrary claim is ignorant and any protestation that "Austrian Emperors" (of which there were only 4, the first being the last Holy Roman Emperor, 2 presidents of the German confederation) cannot be German laughable.
But the current title is confusing, POV (suggesting that there history moved towards the events of 1866/1871 all the way since 1806).
I understand the problems of the former title but the new one is worse and actually based on nonsensical arguments (the template didn't call no one German - and Austrian rulers actually are German at that time). Str1977 (smile back) 09:14, 9 July 2007 (UTC)
I dont want to restart the discussion about calling Austrians Germans what is simply false when dealing with the nowadays meaning of those terms. Lets come to the main point of your posting: In a historical context this box shows somehow those entities which mainly leaded to the German empire. Because it where the first trys to somehow unifie the very fragmented german states. And till 1866 there was the Austro-Prussian-polarity in the German Federation which ended in the final separation between Austria and the other german states, so for the strongly militarised Prussian the way was free to force the other german states in its empire. Therefore the title is more appropiate than the older one (which was simply FALSE), but if you find a bether one (which doesnt occupy Austrian history like the first one), make your proppositions. -- Rfortner 10:53, 9 July 2007 (UTC)
Rfortner, you are simply mistaken. Prior to 1866 Austria (or at least those parts not Hungarian) were part of the German polity, then in the form of the German confederation. Even your posting reflects this, when you write "between Austria and the other german states". The Habsburg dynasty was recognized as the head of Germany in this context.
Also, you are wrong to distinguish between the "mere federations" and the "German Empire" - the latter is of course different from the Confederation of the Rhine and the German Confederation but it is identical in everything but name and territorial extent to the North German Federation. The German Empire is the North German Federation enlarged - the Empire was a federation too.
Be that as it may, the "evolution" title is terrible. It assumes the POV of borussiphile historiography that German history necessarily moves towards the fulfillment of Prussian hegemony. The evolution of the German Empire starts 1866, not 1806. You, as an Austrian, should understand this better than most.
However, I agree with you on another level: a template restricting itself to the German Empire 1870/1918 would be better as the current one encompasses entities too different to easily put them together. That is the trouble with templates and boxes: nuances and different perspectives cannot be easily expressed. The time span 1806 to 1871 could be subsumed under a different template called "German Confederations 1806-66" or the like.
Str1977 (smile back) 11:55, 9 July 2007 (UTC)
Saying nothing about the little errors like "William I of Germany", when there was in fact no of Germany - he always was "William I, King of Prussia, German Emperor" and eplicitely rejected the proposed title of an "Emperor of Germany". Str1977 (smile back) 12:02, 9 July 2007 (UTC)
Only one remark: I am not an initial supporter of this template (as you can see in the discussion above). I only tried to fix the most obvious problem, as far as austrian history was concerned (calling austrian emperors "German Monarchs"). For the rest and all the details its better do discuss with Louis, who is the "inventor" of this template, as you can see in its history. I only corrected one detailed fault, as he used the Weapon of the HRR for this template, which was obviously false. ... One historical remark: As a matter of fact, in the end it WAS Prussia which won the hegemony over the german states. Sorry for them, and lukily austria was allready an indipendend empire ;-) -- Rfortner
I can say the same: I think the use of such templates is limited, the danger of POV pushing considerate. But since this template right now exists covering the time span of 1806 to 1871, we must deal with it and keep it as NPOV as possible and as I said the "evolution" title pushes an immense POV, namely that all history was leading up to that German Empire. So, ironically an Austrian like you are pushing a pro-Prussian POV.
As for your last remark it betrays a lack of grasp on the historical development (and English orthography): Austria was an independent or sovereign state - legally just like all the states within the Confederation were independent and even more so because of its size and power. But in that the Austrian Empire was no different from the Principality of Waldeck. (And don't forget, there were restrictions on sovereignity in the German Confederation - there were Federal interventions in Hesse-Kassel, Frankfurt and finally one unsuccesful one against Prussia ... just as the European Union does indeed restrict sovereignity). It was Prussia that won the German War and it was Prussia that henceforth was hegemon in non-Austrian Germany (so much that the name in the end came to be restricted to it) - but until then Austria was the rightful head of the German polity, though after 1849 increasingly challenged by Prussia.
So what I am saying is:
  • from 1814 to 1866 the German polity that existed was the German Confederation (and this is the most precise definition of Germany that we have, conflicting only regarding the easternmost provinces of Prussia and regarding Bohemia and Moravia) and that polity was presided over by the Austrian Emperor as presidents of that Confederation. (Leaving aside the interlude of the Imperial Vicar, Archduke John.)
  • it was replaced in 1866 by the North German Federation (the English Confederation here is actually a misnomer) that resulted from Prussian victory and ostensibly were the result of the reforms Prussia had proposed prior to the war. In contrast to the German Confederation this Federation was already a federal state (a Bundesstaat, not a Staatenbund) and it comprised Prussia, her allies and her conquests (Hanover, Hesse-Kassel, Nassau, Frankfurt, Schleswig-Holstein). Her unconquered opponents remained outside for the moment but Bavaria, Württemberg and Baden were tied to Prussia by alliances, which in 1870 were activated in the war against France.
  • the German Empire was born in 1871 by these three states joining the North German Federation. Based on the offer in a letter by the Bavarian King, the Grand Duke of Baden proclaimed William, hitherto President of that Federation Emperor - but that was only a change in title.
As for the Rhine Confederation, it is indeed a bit problematic to refer to it as the German polity (no such problem exists with the German Confederation) - it was one of the three big chunks of Germany at that time, the other being Austria and Prussia. But under the header of "German confederations 1806-1871) it certainly belongs. I am asking you and everyone else: what about such a split? Str1977 (smile back) 16:30, 9 July 2007 (UTC)
One more thing: in your edit summary you talked about Presidency and Monarchs - the latter is not as clearly defined as you would have it. Especially if you accept the Prussians as monarchs of Germany after 1871 - but they did not rule directly over anything outside of Prussia (the special cases of Waldeck and Braunschweig set aside), they merely presided among the princes and states of the German Empire. Str1977 (smile back) 16:33, 9 July 2007 (UTC)
Maybe, but you cannot deny, that there was a German Empire which was found in 1871, so this was the first german national state. Quite contrairy, the Deutscher Bund was just a loose confederation of indipendent germanspeaking states, a loose construction like the EU today, so its presidency didnt have the same value like the emperor of a (even federalistic) empire. So dont compare things which are not compareable, the rest is not my business. I am not a prussian-POV pusher, which would be quite funny for an austrian who is quite happy that Austra was indipendent enough to stop Prussian ideas of forcing Austria into the German Empire with military force! -- Rfortner 21:29, 9 July 2007 (UTC)
Indeed I think it ironic too that you as an Austrian push a pro-Prussian POV unintentionally. Maybe because it coincides with a certain Austrian POV that wants to transfer the separation from Germany (which was not actually finalised until 1945) back in time. This is the same thinking that leads to debates about whether Mozart was Austrian OR German when in fact he clearly was both.
You are also seriously mistaken about Prussian objectives: Prussia never tried to force Austria into the German Empire - they wanted to kick Austria out all the way (so agreeing with your POV) because it was so big and contained so many non-German subjects
But back on topic:
The German Empire might be the first nation state in Germany BUT there was Germany before - nation states anyway were not fashionable before 1800. And you are trying to suppress this fact that Austria was part of the Germany that existed before and that the Casa d'Austria was the head of Germany as it existed before.
I will now proceed with a very bold step. The one which you refused to comment on despite being asked twice. Well, if the rest is none of your business then don't complain afterwards.
Ah, and yes: could you please please please improve your spelling or install a spell-check. Your postings are hardly readable. Str1977 (smile back) 08:30, 10 July 2007 (UTC)

1) The renaming is ok from my side, but I dont know what other users will say about it.

2) There where INDIPENDENT german(speaking) states but there was no German Empire or National State of Germany before 1871, while Austria was allready an Empire after 1804. (And even before 1804 Austria was much more unified by the Habsburg-Administration than Germany before 1871).

3) Sorry to correct you, but Prussia would realy have liked to force Austria in its Empire, but they realised that Austria was to unified and had to much military force to do so. THEN they decided to do everything to kick it out of this confederation, while otherwise they would have done the same to Austria as what they did to Bavaria. During the Time of the Deutscher Bund there where considerations from outside of Austria about seperating the germanspeaking-part of Austria and integrating THIS into a German Empire, but Austria refused to do say, namely its Prime-Minister Schwarzenberg.

4) Sorry for my spelling, but English is not my mother-language, and I dont see the need to write in perfect English here in an endless discussion. I do take care when I edit articles, but not here for such a discussion. -- Rfortner 11:29, 11 July 2007 (UTC)

1) Okay. Louis seems to accept it.
2) Why do you insist on such relative recent concepts like a nation state. Austria was no nation state either. Nonetheless, Germany did exist ... not as a nation state but as a confederation (1814-1866) and as a Federal state since 1867, and before 1806 as a monarchy (the HRE was, contrary to some opinions, at its core not a federation of INDEPENDENT states, though it de facto developed into one). In fact, Austria was not an Empire at all in 1804 - then the Emperor only declared the Kaisertum Österreich to preserve his title, while it was unclear what that Kaisertum would be. The Hungarians for instance never accepted that were part of this. In any case, I am not sure what we are arguing about, contentwise.
3) Sorry to correct you but Prussia aimed at nothing of the sort but always opted for a Kleindeutsche Lösung (or for the status quo). You can of course say that this was realpolitik born out of Austria's strength but nonetheless they never tried to subdue Austria. Not in 1849 (Erfurt Union) and not in 1866. What some Prussians wanted was to annex parts of Austria as a reward for their victory of 1866, but Bismarck (who I think not unjustifiably should be considered the main man at the time) persuaded them to spare Austria, looking towards the upcoming war against France. It is actually unthinkable that they would do to big Austria what they did (with a corrupt and half-mad King's and his liberal government's assistance) to relatively small Bavaria. Bismarck's concept was aimed at the Kleindeutsche Lösung and necessarily exluded Austria. However, some democrats in 1848 wanted to include the German parts of Austria into a centralized German Republic.
4) I am no native speaker too. You should take care to improve your spelling. It is very discomforting to read "indipendent" over and over again.
Str1977 (smile back) 13:06, 11 July 2007 (UTC)
1) Honestly, its a very good solution from my point of view, as the histoy is presented in a correct way and there is no mixture of things which didnt realy fit toegther (because it was quite funny to see Austrian Emperors in the same timeline with German Emperors who had done everything to get rid of Austria).
2) Quite contrairy to Germany, Austria was unified much more earlier by the Habsburgs, lately under Maria Theresia who reformated the administration and invented the first penal code for Austria (Constitutio Criminalis Theresiana C.C.T.) in 1768. So while Germany had to struggle with its well known Kleinstaaterei, Austria was allready unified by a centralised administration (Something which is valid till today: While Federalism is quite important in Germany and its political system, in Austria its a less important value). So what I am arguing about is, that the Austrian Empire was in some way a unified state, while Germany was still divided in many independent (often just quite small) states. Thats the difference I was arguing about.
3) Sorry for disagreeing, but what I mean was the dispute between a Großdeutsche Lösung (by diving Austria and giving its germanspeaking part to a German Empire) and a Großösterreich(ische) Lösung which would have unified WHOLE Austria (also its non-germanspeaking parts) with the Deutscher Bund. Großösterreich was a project preferred by Austria and its prime-minister Prince Felix of Schwarzenberg, while the Großdeutsche Lösung was preferred by others during the Frankfurter Fürstentag in 1863. At this time, Prussia allreday did everything to enlarge its influence over the other german-speaking states. And as we all know it finally ended with the Kleindeutsche Lösung with Prussian kings as German Emperors. -- Rfortner 13:44, 11 July 2007 (UTC)
1) Thanks. Though I see no problem with having adverse people in one line. We have rulers opposed to each other before and after that too. But of course I prefer my solution ;-)
2) The problem here is that you juxtapose Germany and Austria as if they were unrelated entities. Austria proper (the Erblande) were part of Germany at that time as were the Bohemian lands. Of course there is Austria in the sense of all Habsburg possessions but this came into being only by the Pragmatic Sanction (but without uniting it by administration and/or a diet) and was proclaimed a Kaisertum in 1804 - Hungary always looming as a problem. The centralised adminstration was mainly focused on parts of the whole Empire - but other German states were centralized too.
3) I know about the Großdeutsche Lösung meaning to divide the Austrian Empire by including one part and excluding another - but that was (as I pointed out) never a Prussian thing but the aim of liberal politicians at Frankfurt. It is quite clear why they aimed at this: they wanted to restore the extent of the Holy Roman Empire which also included parts of the Austrian Empire - and actually these was the extent of the German Confederation too. Of course, this could only work under a constituional, weak monarchy in Austria. But you know that in the end Austria was divided in the Ausgleich of 1867. The Großösterreichische Lösung was no solution in terms of creating a German nation state.
Str1977 (smile back) 06:43, 12 July 2007 (UTC)
1) D'accord ;-)
2) Sorry, but I dont agree with the phrase that Austria proper (the Erblande) were part of Germany. Of which kind of Germany? Austria was part of the Holy Roman Empire (HRE or HRR in german), which was in the end a quite weak federation of independent states, nothing else. The real power of the emperor was quite weak, while the independent states had most of the real power in daily politics. So being emperor of the HRE was a job with a lot of honour but quite little power. Contrairy to this, the Austrian Empire was a real state with a centralised gouvernment. And a unified state of Germany didnt exist before 1871, before this I dont see a strong centralised administration (and even after 1871 the federalism was quite important for the "proud" germanspeaking states). -- Rfortner 08:03, 12 July 2007 (UTC)
Austria proper was part of the geographical region called Germany and it was part of the German Kingdom which formed the primary and later the only part of the Holy Roman Empire (which then was subtitled "of the German Nation"). You know, that kingdom which began with the Eastern Frankish Kingdom, which came to be ruled by Luidolfings, Salians, Hohenstaufens (among them Barbarossa who made Austria a Duchy) and eventually Habsburgs.
The HRE was not a federation (which is different states joining forces) but a kingdom with the the princes of the realm assembling more and more power and autonomy (but never complete) - in its latter years (centuries) it was a kingdom in decline.
The Austrian Empire in 1804 was no state either - it was a collection of territories held by the Emperor, some of which were quite centralised and others that weren't.
You need not look for "a strong centralised adminstration" in pre-1867 Germany because that is not needed. Still, Germany did exist at the time and Austria proper was part of it.
As a side note: federalism does not equal Föderalismus in German but rather has connotations of the opposite of an effective central government. OTOH, before 1866 there was not Föderalismus in Germany but sovereignity of the individual states, or when dismissed negatively, Partikularismus or Kleinstaaterei.
Str1977 (smile back) 09:00, 13 July 2007 (UTC)


What are you calling Germany, Str1977? The HRE (with today’s Czech republic, parts of Italy, Switzerland, Belgium, Luxembourg, Austria, Netherlands,… in it, but for example not the whole of Prussia?), the German confederation (it was just as association of Central European states – you wouldn’t call the EU a state, would you, even though it has a greater “state-character” then the German confederation had)? Sorry, but Austria was no part of Germany before 1938 – because Germany didn’t exist – only German speaking territories (maybe that is what you mean by geographical region – but then it has nothing to do with a state or a nation). And of course the Austrian empire is defined as a state from today’s view; no serious historian would deny that. Austrian emperors after 1806 are not German emperors and emperors of the HRE are usually called only holy roman emperors (because the name “HREGN” was seldom officially used). The “German question” wasn’t really important till the middle of the 19th century and the first German state was the German Empire (1871). mv, 16.07.2007