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Aftermath and consequences
Bismark had successfully managed to play his game in Austria for as long as possible before Napoleon III was forced to avert his gaze from the Americas back to Europe. By the time Napoleon III had pressed for Prussia to make peace with Austria Prussian troops already held Vienna and the Austrian Army was a wreck, its two main sections having been utterly defeated by the Prussians in Bohemia and by the Italians in Custoza. Bismark, buoyed by the success of Prussian troops as well as his allies army, felt that he could pander more to German nationalists to increase his own standing within Prussia and also to make him more popular with the Kaiser.
For the defeated parties
In addition to war reparations, the following territorial changes took place:
- Austria: Forced to cede northern Bohemia and Austrian Silesia to Prussia. Ceded the territories of Venetia, Friuli and Dalmatia to Italy as well. Their defeat at the hands of the Prussians and Italians led to the series of events that would eventually see the Austrian Civil War and the end of a nation that's existed for centuries.
- Schleswig and Holstein: Became the Prussian Province of Schleswig-Holstein.
- Saxony: Annexed by Prussia, became the Province of Saxony.
- Nassau, Hesse-Kassel, Frankfurt and Hesse-Darmstadt: Annexed by Prussia. Combined to form the new Province of Hesse-Nassau.
- Hanover, Saxe-Meiningen, Reuss-Greiz, Schaumburg-Lippe: Spared from annexation but joined the North German Confederation in the following year.