In this timeline, in 1848, the Frankfurt Parliament still fails, but leaves a stronger pan-German sentiment amongst the people there. The Prussian constitution, unlike in our timeline, is more successful in liberalizing the Empire. The Landtag and Herrenhaus are created, and the Prussian constitution declares that the rights of the people come from God, and can not be diminished on earth. The Prussian Constitution is amended again in 1864, with the Landtag gaining the right to initiate legislation and be the originator of tax and revenue bills.
In the Prussian-Austrian War of 1866-1867, Prussia defeats Austria, and gains Hanover, Schleswig-Holstein, Hesse-Kassel, Frankfurt, Nassau, and parts of Hesse-Darmstadt. Italy gains Venetia. Germans in Prussia clamor for the annexation of the Austrian Empire, but the Austrians instead ally with Hungary, and form the Austro-Hungarian Empire. This empire is short-lived, however, with racial strife and the Hungarians unable to keep their minorities in place. By 1871, France is also feeling its chance, and launches a war on Prussia, drawing Italy and Austria into the war. Austria-Hungary collapses during the course of the war, and Prussia annexes Austria, Bohemia, Moravia, and Modrus county, giving access to the Mediterranean. Prussia also claims Alsace-Lorraine, and a Prussian Kaiser is crowned in Versailles.
Kaiser Wilhelm I of the German Empire focuses on unifying the German people, and with Bismarck as his Chancellor, they work towards bringing this about. Internal improvements are made, and German is becoming a language of instruction, though minorities can speak their own language outside of schools and at home. The Kaiser died in 1878 and was succeeded by Friedrich III. Friedrich liberalized the Reich and brought the Reichstag and Reichsrat (former Herrenhaus) more in line with the British and moderately American models. His son, the future Wilhelm II, became a capable administrator through the acquisition of colonies in Africa.
Friedrich, an Anglophile, worked to court British opinion, and American opinion as well. He exchanged German East Africa for Ghana, a big improvement for Britain, allowing the completion of their Cape-to-Cairo rail line, but at the time seen as a bad deal. He improved roads and public health, and encouraged German settlement of their colonies. By the time of his death in 1898, Germans made up 20% of the population of their colonial empire.
Wilhelm II, not a breech birth, and a moderate to liberal personality in this timeline, promoted the settlement of Africa and the colonies, serving as Kaiser until 1920. He guided Germany through World War I, allied with Britain and the United States. To get the US on their side, he gave New Prussia to the US in 1914. World War I pitted Russia, France, and the Ottoman Empire against Germany, the UK, and Italy. By the end of the war, the Treaty of Versailles created a harsh peace for France. Their African colonies were divided between the United Kingdom and Germany, long considered a natural British Ally. The United States, already covering North America, most of the Caribbean, and South America's Guyana state, takes Clipperton Island and the French Caribbean islands. President Paul Trudeau does not seek a third term. In Russia, the communists seize power and turn the Russian Empire into the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics.
The 20s are a boom time for Germany, under Kaiser Franz Joseph II, taking the throne after Wilhelm II died. He pushed through a few liberalization policies and reorganized the German states, shifting Sudeten German lands to the surrounding German states, where they felt better represented, and also ensuring Czech languages were preserved for their children. In this time, Metropolis is released, though it is only a moderate success in Germany and abroad. A credit crunch takes effect beginning in Germany, then the UK, and finally the US, drawing the world into a depression. In the US, FDR comes into power, initiating a massive New Deal program, and initiating tariffs that draw the world further into depression. France, due to Versailles, becomes radicalized, with socialists, communists, and fascists all vying for power. One Fascist, Charles de Gaulle, leads the French National Workers Party to power, and remilitarizes France.
In 1937, he demands a plebiscite in Alsace-Lorraine, which he secretly rigged, and annexes the territory to France. He begins racial purges, and political purges as well. The international community, still sore from WW1, tries not to fight and tries to appease France. Mussolini, a fellow Fascist, seeks alliance with him. The 1936 Spanish revolution creates an Axis on Rome-Madrid-Paris, to which Japan, and Turkey join. In 1939, France launches the first shot on Germany, and attacks through Belgium, drawing the UK into war. FDR is ousted when information comes to light that his administration sympathized and aided France; Teddy Roosevelt Jr, Republican son of TR, Sr. is elected President. TR begins a build up of the military, and aiding the UK. Poland, under the tacit agreement of the USSR, had provided France with a training ground for its troops and even contributed Polish equipment and troops to the French cause.
Germany, the UK, and other countries are in a bad position until Japan hits the US in 1941, drawing them into war. TR Jr. declares war on Japan, and France, Poland, Turkey, Spain and Italy declare war on the US. By 1944, the US/UK/DE triple alliance has turned the tide on Spain. Italy capitulated in 1943 in a revolution, and joined the allies. By 1945, France and Poland capitulated, and their extermination camps came to light. Japan capitulated after dropping 2 atomic bombs. In the postwar settlement, Germany is given the remainder of Lorraine, and recreates South Prussia and New East Prussia. Poland is given its Congress Poland borders, shifted a little east, and Polish are deported from Germany. Greece, which gained OTL Treaty of Sevres borders after WW1, now holds half of Anatolia in the postwar settlement. The massive loss of life, and targeting of Soviet, Polish, French, German, Hungarian, and Greek Jews by France, Poland, and Turkey are blamed equally on the three countries, and a Jewish state is created in the middle east. The Volga ASSR is granted independence from the USSR, and becomes an German protectorate. Volga-Deutschland receives aid from Germany and the German Empire to modernize, which also brings this small country to become a post-war economic powerhouse in the 1950s and 1960s.
The 1950s and 1960s are a boom time for Europe, where Germany, Italy, and Hungary form an economic cooperation league. Greece joins in 1961
Germany and the UK are aided by the Gascon Plan, named for American Quebecker General Gascon, who planned the Normandy Invasion. The USSR, however, maintains an iron grip on eastern Europe, installing communist regimes in East Poland, Hungary, Romania, and Bulgaria. The Korean War still occurs, but is won by the US/UK/DE alliance. China, in this timeline under joint US/UK/DE/CA administration in their economic spheres, becomes communist in the former Soviet zone, where the rest of the Republic of China remains free. The USSR goes on a march across Europe and Asia, spreading the poisonous doctrine of communism. The US under Carter fails to stop this and the Iranian Revolution, leading to Reagan in 1980. Kaiserin Charlotte and Margaret Thatcher meet with Reagan several times. The Volga-Deutschland Crisis erupts in 1984, when a skirmish between border guards occurs on the border between Volga-Deutschland and the Kazakh SSR. The Soviet government threatens to reannex the small German state, but is forced to back down under international pressure.
Germany aided postwar Poland, but it is divided between communist and free Poland until 1993, when it falls, as does the rest of Communist Europe. The USSR falls in 1995, and European Russia begins more modernization. By 2003, a Euromark currency is introduced in Denmark, Germany, Poland, Italy, Hungary, and Greece, later in France, Spain, and Portugal.