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The Confederation of the Rhine was a confederation of Austrian-allied German states following the Austro-Prussian War. The German Confederation was dissolved and reorganized by Austria, who created an independent confederation along the Rhine River as part of a secret agreement with France. This Confederation did not include Prussia, whose power began to decline. Grand Duke Frederick I would be appointed leader of the confederation by Austria.
The Confederation would be rocked by the German Revolution of 1889 as many of the northern states seceded from the Confederation to join the new Republic of Germany. The revolutionary continued as Republic armies would invade the Confederation to unite all of Germany.
FoundationPrior to the outbreak of the Austro-Prussian War, France and Austria had signed a secret treaty. France would remain neutral in the upcoming conflict, and in exchange Austria would create a new independent state on the Rhine that would be allied with both France and Austria. In 1866, the war broke out and Austria and Prussia clashed in several battles in Bohemia. It looked as though Prussia's modern, yet smaller army, would defeat the Austrians, but the Prusians were decisively defeated at Königgrätz, and the tide of the war turned. The assassination of Prussian statesman Otto von Bismarck was a serious blow to Prussian morale as well. The Prussians agreed to an armistice, and Prussia, France, and Austria met at the city of Prague to negotiate. With the German Confederation dissolved, France and Austria were able to make a new confederation: the reborn Confederation of the Rhine, consisting of many German states yet it excluded both Prussia and Austria.
Austria easily maintained influence over the Confederation due to its victory and the war, and appointed Frederick I of Baden as the President of the Confederation. Frederick I would meet with Emperor Napoleon III and formally sign an alliance with the French, bringing the Confederation under the protection of both Austria and France.