Germany did not form until 1871. Before 1871 there were German states which included Prussia; Prussia was one of the most powerful German states. Prussia played a major role in the French Revolution wars and the Napoleonic Wars. After Napoleon’s defeat in 1815, Prussia was one of the greatest European powers to come forth. Prussia was only a north German Baltic state, but it was rewarded more German territory after Napoleon’s defeat.
Prussia’s first development was more commercial than industrial. In 1832, Zollverein, a customs union, was created and then free trade was encouraged in the German states. Just about all of the German states had joined in the trade by 1844.
In 1830 railways were built in France and this triggered trade, communications, and economic growth among the German states. The first German railway was created in 1835 and it was very successful that in one decade there were railways everywhere in the German states. By 1850 German states had made half as many railways as Britain and twice as many as in France.
Germany had started to catch up with Britain and France between 1850 and 187
Prussia and the other German states