Germany was established in 1871 when 25 smaller states unified.1 The independent states of Prussia, Bavaria, Saxony etc. had jointly fought and won wars against Denmark (1864), Austria (1866) and France (1870-71) and concluded it wouldn’t be too bad to form one state.

When they were still fighting France and laying siege to Paris, the Germans came together in the Palace of Versailles and declared the Prussian King Wilhelm I. the (first) German Emperor. The new nation didn’t just show its propensity for rudeness by humiliating France, it also proved needlessly complicated when Wilhelm I. started an argument on how he would prefer to be called “Emperor of Germany” and not “German Emperor”.

  1. Prior to that, up to 300 sovereign states had existed on German territory.