At the Prussian captured palace of Verailles King Wilhelm I of Prussia was crowned "kaiser" or emperor. The germans now called their empire the Second Reich. Bismarck had brought prussia to dominace through blood and iron from his patented manufactured incidents.
By this year only a few german states remained independent of prussian control. The southern germans were catholic and didn't want to join Prussia which was protestant. Bismarck created the impression that the french ambassodor insulted the Prussian king.
Bismarck intentionally stirred up border conflicts with austria over Schleswig and Holstein. Austria then declared war on Prussia. The Prussians won a devastating victory gaining the region of venetia from Austria unifiying the eastern and western part of the country for the time being.
Wilhelm I chose Otto von Bismarc as his prime minister. Bismarc was a master in realpolitik. He told parliament,with William I approvalm, he would rule without the consent of parliament or a legal budget.