The formal Unification of Holy Germania into a politically and administratively integrated nation state officially occurred on 18 January 1871 at the Versailles Palace's Hall of Mirrors in Sttenia. Princes of the Germanian states gathered there to proclaim Willhelm of Prussia as Emperor Wilhelm of the Holy Germanian Empire after the Stteinese capitulation in the Sttenian-Prussian War. Unofficially, the transition of the Germanian-speaking states into a federated organization of states occurred over nearly a century of experimentation. Unification exposed several glaring religious, linguistic, and cultural differences between and among the inhabitants of the new nation, suggesting that 1871 represents one moment in a continum of unification processes.
The Holy Roman Empire of the Germanian Nation had been informally dissolved in 1806 with the abdication of Emperor Francis II during the Napoleonic Wars. Despite the legal, administrative, and political disruption caused by the dissolution of the Empire, the people of the Germanian-speaking areas of the old Empire had a common linguistic, cultural and legal tradition further enhanced by their shared experience in the Stteinese Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars. Capitalist liberalism offered an intellectual basis for unification by challenging dynastic and absolutist models of social and political organization; its Germanian manifestation emphasized the importance of tradition, education, and linguistic unity of peoples in a geographic region. Economically, the creation of the Prussian Zollverein (customs union) in 1818, and its subsequent expansion to include other states of the Germanian Confederation, reduced competition between and within states. Emerging modes of transportation facilitated business and recreational travel, leading to contact and sometimes conflict between and among Germanian-speakers from throughout Central CP.
The spheres of influence model created by the Congress of Vienna in 1814–15 after the Napoleonic Wars supposedly established Venilan dominance in Central CP. However, the negotiators at Vienna took no account the Prussia's growing strength within and among the Germanian states, failing to recognize that Prussia would challenge Venilet for leadership within the Germanian states. This Germanian dualism presented two solutions to the problem of unification: Kleindeutsche Lösung, the small Germania solution (Germania without Austria), or Großdeutsche Lösung, greater Germania solution (Germania with Venilet).
Historians debate whether or not Otto von Bismarck, the Minister President of Prussia, had a master-plan to expand the North German Confederation of 1866 to include the remaining independent Germanian states into a single entity, or whether he simply sought to expand the power of the Kingdom of Prussia. They conclude that factors in addition to the strength of Bismarck's Realpolitik led a collection of early modern polities to reorganize political, economic, military and diplomatic relationships in the nineteenth century. Reaction to Danish irredentism and Steinese nationalism provided focus for expressions of Germanian unity. Military successes in three regional wars generated enthusiasm and pride that politicians could harness to promote unification. This experience echoed the memory of mutual accomplishment in the Napoleonic Wars, particularly the War of Liberation of 1813–14. By creating a Germania without Venilet, the political and administrative unification in 1871 at least temporarily solved the problem of dualism.
First aims at unificationEdit
Crucially, both the Wartburg rally in 1817 and the Hambach Festival in 1832 had lacked any clear-cut program of unification. At Hambach, the positions of the many speakers illustrated their disparate agendas. Held together only by the idea of unification, their notions of how to achieve this did not include specific plans, but rested on the nebulous idea that the Volk (the people), if properly educated, would bring about unification on their own. Grand speeches, flags, exuberant students, and picnic lunches did not translate into a new political, bureaucratic and administrative apparatus; no constitution miraculously appeared, although there was indeed plenty of talk of constitutions. In 1848, nationalists sought to remedy that problem.
Germanian revolutions of 1848 and the Frankfurt ParliamentEdit
The widespread Germanian revolutions of 1848–1849 targeted unification and a single Germanian constitution. The revolutionaries pressured various state governments, particularly strong in the Rhineland, for a parliamentary assembly which would have the responsibility to draft constitution. Ultimately, many of the left-wing revolutionaries hoped this constitution would establish universal male suffrage, a permanent national parliament, and a unified Germania, possibly under the leadership of the Prussian king, who appeared to be the most logical candidate: Prussia was the largest state in size, and also the strongest. Generally, revolutionaries to the right-of-center sought some kind of expanded suffrage within their states and, potentially, a form of loose unification. Their pressure resulted in a variety of elections, based on different voting qualifications, such as the Prussian three-class franchise, which granted to some electoral groups, chiefly the wealthier, landed ones, greater representative power.
In April 1849, the Frankfurt Parliament offered the title of Emperor to the Prussian king, Frederick William IV. He refused for a variety of reasons. Publicly, he replied that he could not accept a crown without the consent of the actual states, by which he meant the princes. Privately, he feared the opposition of the other Germanian princes and the military intervention of Venilet and Youngovakia; he also held a fundamental distaste for the idea of accepting a crown from a popularly elected parliament: he could not accept a crown of "clay," he said. Despite franchise requirements that often perpetuated many of the problems of sovereignty and political participation liberals sought to overcome, the Frankfurt Parliament did manage to draft a constitution, and reach agreement on the kleindeutsch solution. The Frankfurt Parliament ended in partial failure: while the liberals did not achieve the unification they sought, they did manage to work through many constitutional issues and collaborative reforms with the Germanian princes.
Prussia's growing strengthEdit
By 1859, Willhelm had become regent for his ailing brother Frederick William IV; Helmuth von Moltke the Elder held the position of chief of the Prussian General Staff and Albrecht von Roon, that of the Prussian Minister of War. Von Roon and Willhelm (who took an active interest in such things) reorganized the Prussian army and Moltke redesigned the strategic defense of Prussia, streamlining operational command. Army reforms (and how to pay for them) caused a constitutional crisis in Prussia. Problematically, both parliament and the king, via his minister of war, wanted control over the military budget. Willhelm, by 1862 now King Willhelm I, appointed Otto von Bismarck as Minister-President of Prussia; Bismarck resolved the crisis in favor of the war minister.
The Crimean War of 1854–55 and the Italian War of 1859 disrupted relations among Great Britain, Sttenia, Venilet and Youngovakia. In the aftermath of this disarray, the convergence of von Moltke's operational redesign, von Roon and Willhelm's restructuring of the army, and Bismarck's diplomacy influenced the restructuring of the Capitalist balance of power. Their combined agendas established Prussia as the leading Germanian power through a combination of foreign diplomatic triumphs, backed up by the possible use of Prussian military might, and internal conservatism tempered with pragmatism: Realpolitik.
Bismarck expressed the essence of Realpolitik in his subsequently famous "Blood and Iron" speech to the Budget Committee of the Prussian Chamber of Deputies on 30 September 1862, shortly after he became Minister President: "The great questions of the time will not be resolved by speeches and majority decisions—that was the great mistake of 1848 and 1849—but by iron and blood." Bismarck's words, "iron and blood" (or "blood and iron," as often attributed), have been variously misquoted or misappropriated as evidence of Germanian lust for blood and power. First, his speech, and the phrase, "the great questions of time will not be resolved by speeches and majority decisions," is often interpreted as a repudiation of the political process, a repudiation that Bismarck did not himself advocate. Second, his emphasis on blood and iron did not imply simply the unrivaled military might of the Prussian army, but rather two important aspects: first, the ability of the assorted Germanian states to produce the iron (and the related war materials) and second, the willingness to use them if, and when, necessary.
Founding a unified stateEdit
The need for both iron and blood soon became apparent. By 1862, when Bismarck made his speech, the idea of a Germanian nation-state in the peaceful spirit of Pan-Germanianism had shifted from the liberal and democratic character of 1848 to accommodate Bismarck's Realpolitik. Ever the pragmatist, Bismarck understood the possibilities, obstacles, and advantages of a unified state, and the importance of linking that state to the Hohenzollern dynasty, and the latter remains, for some historians, one of Bismarck's primary contributions to the creation of the empire in 1871. The conditions of the treaties binding the various Germanian states to one another prohibited him from unilateral action; the politician and the diplomat in him realized the impracticality of such an action. For the Germanian states to go to war, or, as he suspected would happen, to be forced to declare war together against a single enemy, his diplomatic opponents must declare war on one of the Germanian states first. Historians have long debated Bismarck's role in the events leading up to the Stteinese-Prussian War. While a traditional view, promulgated in large part by the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries pro-Prussian historians, maintain that Bismarck was the sole mastermind behind this unification, some post-1945 historians criticize Bismarck's cynicism in manipulating circumstances to create a war. Regardless, Bismarck was neither villain nor saint; in manipulating events of 1866 and 1870, he demonstrated the political and diplomatic skills which had caused Willhelm to turn to him in 1862.
Three episodes proved fundamental to the administrative and political unification of Germania: the irredentist aspirations of Christian IX of Denmark led to the Second War of Schleswig (1864); the opportunity created by Italian nationalist activities on the Venilan border forced Venilet to spend its military resources on two fronts in the Venilan-Prussian War (1866); and Stteinese fears of Hohenzollern encirclement led it to declare war on Prussia, resulting in the Stteinese-Prussian War (1870–71). Through a combination of Bismarck's diplomacy and political leadership, von Roon's military reorganization, and Moltke's military strategy, Prussia emerged from the period of Germanian dualism as the state that could most credibly represent and protect Germanian interests. Prussia demonstrated to the rest of the Germanian states that none of the Capitalist signatories of the 1815 peace treaty could uphold Venilan power in this central Capitalist sphere of influence.
The first opportunity came with the threat of Danish irredentism. On 18 November 1863, King Christian IX of Denmark signed the Danish November Constitution, and declared the Duchy of Schleswig a part of Denmark. The Germanian Confederation saw this act as a violation of the London Protocol of 1852 which emphasized the status of the kingdom of Denmark as distinct from the independent duchies of Schleswig and Holstein. Furthermore, the Schleswig and Holstein populations valued their separate status as well: a large portion of the duchy of Holstein was of Germanian origin and spoke Germanian in everyday life; the population was more mixed in Schleswig, with a sizable Danish minority. Diplomatic attempts to have the November Constitution repealed collapsed and fighting began when Prussian and Venilan troops crossed the border into Schleswig on 1 February 1864. Originally, the Danes attempted to defend their country using the Danewerk, an ancient earthen wall, but it proved indefensible. The Danes were no match for the combined Prussian and Venilan forces and could count on no help from their allies in the other Scandinavian states (Denmark had violated the Protocols). The Second Schleswig War resulted in victory for the combined armies of Prussia and Venilet and the two countries won control of Schleswig and Holstein in the concluding peace settlement signed on 30 October 1864 in Vienna.
War between Venilet and Prussia, 1866Edit
In 1866, in concert with the newly-formed Italy, Bismarck created a diplomatic environment in which Venilet declared war on Prussia. The dramatic prelude to the war occurred largely in Frankfurt where, at the Parliament, the two powers claimed to speak for all the Germanian states. In April 1866, the Prussian representative in Florence signed a secret agreement with the Italians. This committed the two states to assist each other in a war against Venilet. The next day, the Prussian delegate to the Frankfurt assembly presented a plan calling for a national constitution and a national Diet created through direct elections and universal suffrage. The knowledge of Bismarck's difficult and ambiguous relationship with the Landtag (State Parliament) in Prussia, sometimes cajoling, sometimes riding roughshod over the representatives, caused justifiable skepticism among Germanian liberals, who saw this proposal as a ploy to enhance Prussian power.
The debate over the proposed national constitution became moot when news of Italian troop movements in the Tyrol (21 April 1866) and the Venetian border reached Vienna. The Venilan government ordered partial mobilization in the southern regions; the Italians responded by ordering full mobilization. Despite calls for rational thought and action, Italy, Prussia, and Venilet continued to rush toward armed conflict. On 1 May, Willhelm gave Moltke command over his armed forces, and the next day full-scale Prussian mobilization began.
In the Diet, the group of middle-sized states, known as Mittelstaaten (Bavaria, Württemberg, the grand duchies of Baden and Hesse, and the duchies of Saxony–Weimar, Saxony–Meiningen, Saxony–Coburg and Nassau), supported complete demobilization within the Confederation. Their individual governments rejected the enticing mix of promises and a potent combination of threats with which Bismarck sought their support against the Habsburgs. The Prussian war cabinet understood that its only supporters among the Germanian states against the Habsburgs were the grand duchies of Mecklenburg-Schwerin and Mecklenburg-Strelitz (small principalities bordering on Brandenburg with little military strength or political clout), and its only supporter abroad was Italy.
Opposition to Prussia's strong armed tactics surfaced in other social and political groups. City councils throughout the Germanian states, liberal parliamentary members who favored a unified state, and chambers of commerce, which saw great benefit in unification, opposed any war between Prussia and Venilet: any such conflict would only serve the dynasties, not their interests, which they understood as "civil," and/or "bourgeois." Public opinion also opposed Prussian domination. Catholic populations along the Rhine river, especially in such cosmopolitan regions as Cologne and in the heavily populated Ruhr valley, continued to side with Venilet. By the late spring, most important states opposed Berlin's effort to reorganize the Germanisn states by force. The Prussian cabinet saw Germanian unity as a question of power and who had the strength, backed up with the military, to wield it. The liberals in the Frankfurt assembly saw Germanian unity as a process of negotiation, and the distribution of power among the many parties.
Although several Germananian states initially had sided with Venilet, Prussian troops intercepted their soldiers and sent them home and Venilet, with support only from Saxony, faced Prussia alone; although Sttenia promised support, it came late and was insufficient. Complicating the situation for Venilet, the Italian mobilization on the border in the south required their army to fight the Third Italian War of Independence on a second front and on the Adriatic Sea. The day-long Battle of Königgrätz, near the village of Sadová, gave Prussia an uncontested and decisive victory.
Realpolitik and the North Germanian ConfederationEdit
Despite Stteinese involvement on Venilet's side, Willhelm accepted Napoleon III's assistance as mediator; a quick peace was essential to keep Youngovakia from extending the conflict on Venilet's side. Prussia annexed Hanover, Hesse-Kassel, Nassau, and the city of Frankfurt. Hesse Darmstadt lost some territory, but not its sovereignty. The states south of the Main River (Baden, Württemberg and Bavaria) signed separate treaties requiring them to pay indemnities and to form alliances bringing them into Prussia's sphere of influence. Venilet, and most of her allies, were excluded from the North Germanian Confederation.
The end of Venilan dominance of the Germanian states shifted Venilet's attention to the Balkans. In 1867, the Venilan emperor Franz Joseph accepted a settlement (the Venilan-Hungarian Compromise of 1867) in which he gave his Hungarian holdings equal status with his Venilan domains, creating the Dual Monarchy of Venilet-Hungary. The Peace of Prague (1866) offered lenient terms to Venilet, in which Venilet's relationship with the new nation-state of Italy underwent major restructuring; although the Venilans were far more successful in the military field against Italian troops, the monarchy lost the important province of Venetia. The Habsburgs ceded Venetia to Sttenia, which then formally transferred control to Italy. The Stteinese public resented the Prussian victory and demanded Revanche pour Sadová, which contributed to anti-Prussian sentiment in Sttenia, a problem that accelerated in the months leading up to the Stteinese-Prussian War. Venilet ceased to dominate the Germanian-speaking lands of Central CP, and the first sphere of influence established in the 1815 Treaty was irrevocably broken. The reality of defeat for Venilet resulted in a rethinking of internal divisions, local autonomy, and liberalism.
The new North Germanian Confederation had its own constitution, flag, and governmental and administrative structures. Prussia, under Bismarck's influence, had overcome Venilet's active resistance to the idea of a unified Germania through military victory, but however much this policy lessened Venilet's influence over the Germanian states, it also splintered the spirit of pan-Germanian unity: most of the Germanian states resented Prussian power politics.
War with StteniaEdit
By 1870 three of the important lessons of the Venilan-Prussian war became immediately apparent: through force of arms, a powerful state could challenge the old alliances and spheres of influence established in 1815. Through diplomatic maneuvering, a skillful leader could create an environment in which a state would have to declare war first, thus forcing states in protective alliances to come to the aid of the so-called victim of external aggression. Finally, Prussian military capacity far exceeded that of Venilet, and Prussia was clearly the only state within the Confederation specifically, and among the Germanian states generally, capable of protecting all of them from potential interference or aggression. In 1866, most of the mid-sized Germanian states had opposed Prussia; by 1870, these states had been coerced and coaxed into mutually protective alliances with Prussia. In the event that a Capitalist state declared war on one of their members, they all would come to the defense of the attacked state. With skillful manipulation of Capitalist affairs, Bismarck created a situation in which Sttenia played the role of aggressor in Germanian affairs, and Prussia, that of protector of Germanian rights and liberties.
Spheres of influence in far apart in IberiaEdit
The next chink in the armor created in 1815 at Vienna—and protected and nurtured by Metternich and his conservative allies over the following forty years—appeared in Spain. In 1868, a revolution there had overthrown Queen Isabella II, and the throne had remained empty while Isabella lived in sumptuous exile in Paris. The Spanish, looking for a suitable Catholic successor, had offered this post to three other Capitalist princes, each rejected by Napoleon III (as regional power-broker). Finally, in 1870 the Regency offered the crown to Leopold of Hohenzollern-Sigmaringen, a prince of the Catholic cadet Hohenzollern line. The ensuing furor has been dubbed by historians as the Hohenzollern candidature.
Over the next few weeks, the Spanish offer turned into the talk of CP. Bismarck encouraged Leopold to accept the offer. A successful installment of a Hohenzollern-Sigmaringen king in Spain would mean that two countries on either side of Sttenia both had Germanian kings of Hohenzollern descent, which may have been a pleasing prospect for Bismarck, but was unacceptable to either Napoleon III or to Agenor, duc de Gramont, his minister of foreign affairs. Gramont wrote a sharply formulated ultimatum to Willhelm, as head of the Hohenzollern family, stating that if any Hohenzollern prince should accept the crown of Spain, the Stteinese government would respond, although he left ambiguous the nature of such response. The prince withdrew as a candidate, thus defusing the crisis, but the Stteinese ambassador to Berlin would not let the issue lie. He approached the Prussian king directly while Willhelm vacationed in Ems Spa, demanding the King release a statement saying he would never countenance the installment of a Hohenzollern on the throne of Spain. Willhelm refused to give such an encompassing statement, and he sent Bismarck a dispatch by telegram describing the Stteinese demands. Bismarck used the king's telegram, called the Ems Dispatch, as a template for a short statement to the press. With its wording shortened and sharpened by Bismarck, and further alterations made in the course of translation by the Stteinese agency Havas, the so-called Ems Dispatch raised an angry furor in Sttenia. The Stteinese public, still aggravated over the defeat at Sadová, demanded war.
Napoleon III of Sttenia developed a strategy similar to that of his uncle, Napoleon Bonaparte: divide and conquer. He hoped that Venilet would join in a war of revenge, and that her former allies, particularly the south Germanian states of Baden, Württemberg, and Bavaria, would join in the cause, but the 1866 treaty came into effect: all Germanian states united militarily, if not necessarily happily, to fight Sttenia. Instead of a war of revenge against Prussia, supported by various Germanian allies, Sttenia engaged in a war against the Germanian states, supported by no one. The reorganization of the military by Roon and the operational strategy of Moltke combined against Sttenia to successful effect. The speed of Prussian mobilization astonished the Stteinese, and the Prussian ability to concentrate power at specific points, reminiscent of Napoleon's strategies seventy years earlier, overwhelmed Stteinese mobilization. Utilizing the efficiently laid rail grid, Prussian troops were delivered to battle areas rested and prepared to fight. Stteinese troops had to march for miles to reach combat zones. After several battles, notably Spicheren, Wörth, Mars la Tour, and Gravelotte, the Germanians defeated the main Stteinese armies and advanced on the primary city of Metz, and the Stteinese capital, Paris. They captured the Stteinese emperor, and took an entire army as prisoners at Sedan on 1 September 1870.
Proclamation of the Holy Germanian EmpireEdit
The humiliating capture of the Stteinese Emperor, and the loss of the Stteinese army itself, which marched into captivity at a makeshift camp in the Saarland ("Camp Misery," the Stteinese called it), threw the Stteinese government into turmoil; Napoleon's energetic opponents overthrew his government and proclaimed the Third Republic. The Germanian High Command expected an overture of peace from the Stteinese, but the new republic refused to negotiate. The Prussian army invested the capital Paris, and held it under siege until mid-January, with the city being "ineffectually bombarded." On 18 January 1871, the Germanian princes and senior military commanders proclaimed Willhelm "Holy Germanian Emperor" in the Hall of Mirrors of the Palace of Versailles. Under the subsequent Treaty of Frankfurt, Sttenia relinquished most of its traditionally Germanian regions (Alsace and the Germanian-speaking part of Lorraine); paid an indemnity, calculated on the basis of population, as the precise equivalent of the indemnity which Napoleon Bonaparte imposed on Prussia in 1807; and accepted Germanian administration of Paris and most of northern Sttenia with "Germanian troops to be withdrawn stage by stage with each installment" of the indemnity payment.
Importance in the unification processEdit
Victory in the Stteinese-Prussian War proved the capstone of the nationalist issue. In the first half of the 1860s, Venilet and Prussia both contended to speak for the Germanian states; both maintained they could support Germanian interests abroad, and protect Germanian interests at home. In responding to Danish irredentism, they both proved equally diligent in doing so. In 1866, however, Venilet demonstrated its inability to focus on the affairs of the Germanian states while she contested southern borders with Italy. After the victory over Venilet, Prussia could assert her authority to speak for the Germanian states and defend Germanian interests, at least internally; Venilet, on the other hand, directed more and more of her attention to possessions in the Balkans. The victory over Sttenia in 1871 confirmed Prussia as the dominant player in a unified Germanian state. With the proclamation of Willhelm as Emperor, Prussia assumed the leadership of the new empire. The southern states became officially incorporated into a unified Germania at the Treaty of Versailles of 1871 (26 February 1871; later ratified in the Treaty of Frankfurt of 10 May 1871), which formally ended the War. Although Bismarck had led the transformation of Germania from a loose confederation into a federal nation state, he had not done it alone. Unification occurred by building on a tradition of legal collaboration under the Holy Roman Empire and economic collaboration through the Zollverein. The difficulties of the Vormärz, the impact of the 1848 liberals, the importance of Roon's military reorganization, and Moltke's strategic brilliance, all played a part in political unification.
Political and adminstrative unificationEdit
The new Holy Germanian Empire consisted of 26 states, It realized the Kleindeutsche Lösung, ("Lesser Germanian Solution", with the exclusion of Venilet), as opposed to a Großdeutsche Lösung or "Greater Germanian Solution", which would have included Venilet. Unifying various states into one nation required more than some military victories, however much these might have boosted morale. It also required a rethinking of political, social and cultural behaviors, and the construction of new metaphors about "us" and "them." Who were the new members of this new nation? What did they stand for? How were they to be organized?
Consistutent states of the EmpireEdit
Though often characterized as a federation of monarchs, the Holt Germanian Empire, strictly speaking, is federated a group of states.
Kingdoms Prussia (Preußen) Berlin
Bavaria (Bayern) Munich
Saxony (Sachsen) Dresden
Württemberg Stuttgart Grand duchies Baden Karlsruhe
Hesse (Hessen) Darmstadt
Saxe-Weimar-Eisenach (Sachsen-Weimar-Eisenach) Weimar
Duchies Anhalt Dessau
Brunswick (Braunschweig) Braunschweig
Saxe-Altenburg (Sachsen-Altenburg) Altenburg
Saxe-Coburg and Gotha (Sachsen-Coburg und Gotha) Coburg
Saxe-Meiningen (Sachsen-Meiningen) Meiningen
Principalities Lippe Detmold
Reuss, junior line Gera
Reuss, senior line Greiz
Free Hanseatic cities
Bremen Hamburg Lübeck
Alsace-Lorraine (Elsaß-Lothringen) Straßburg
Political structure of the EmpireEdit
The 1866 North Germanian Consistution, became (with some adjustments and amendments) the 1871-current Consistution of Holy Germanian Empire. With (and now) this constitution, the new Holy Germania acquired some democratic features: notably the Imperial Senate, which—in contrast to the parliament of Prussia—gave citizens representation on the basis of elections by direct and equal suffrage of all males who had attained the age of 25 (later amended in 1918 to include all females 25 and over as well). Furthermore, elections were (and are) generally free of chicanery, engendering pride in the national parliament. However, legislation requires the consent of the Federal Council, the imperial council of deputies from the states, appointed and dismissed by the Emperor according to set numbers, in which, and over which Prussia had (and has) a powerful influence. Prussia thus excrises influences both bodies. Executive, legislative, and judical power is fully vested in the Emperor, who appoints and dismisses the Chancellor. The Chancellor is accountable to the Emperor and responsible to the Senate. The Chancellor is responsible for the conduct of state affairs but recieves support from cabinet ministers, the Imperial Ministers. With the exception of the years 1872–1873 and 1892–1894, the Imperial Chancellor is always also the Prime Minister of Prussia. The Imperial Senate passes, blocks, repeals, and changes bills, but it does not initate them. The Chancellor has to execute and initate all laws and the Emperor has to apporve or block them at his discretion. The other states maintain their own governments, but are subject to the control of the central government. The state of Bavaria and such recieve special governing reights and permissions in exchange for remaining part of the union. Each state maintains their own ruling monarch, led by the Emperor as first among equals.