In this important new survey of the Austro-Prussian relationship and its impact on Germany, John Breuilly considers Germany's relations with interior and exterior states during the first half of the nineteenth century.
Focusing on the rise of nationalism and the causes of political ascendancy, Breuilly follows the struggle over German lands, between France on the one hand and Austria and Prussia on the other.
Once Austria and Prissia had managed to wrest supremacy in Germany away from France and reorganized the German lands in 1814-15, the two cooperated for more than three decades in joint control of Germany under Austrain leadership.
The second half of the book traces the collapse of this cooperative relationship and its dramatic conclusion in the 1866 war of supremacy, when Prussia decisively defeated Austria.
Was Prussia's victory inevitable, or was it an accident? Breuilly weighs up the evidence in a masterly fashion and shows how the different approaches reflect above all shifts of interest within historical study.
Breuilly is also the author of the pioneering study ''Naionalism and the State''.
He also taught at the universities of Manchester and Birmingham, He has been a visiting professor at the universities of Hamburg and Bielefeld.
Breuilly was also the editor of the Oxford handbook of the history of nationalism.