What was the condition of Germany before 1871?

From 1815-1866 Germany consisted of 39 states which for most purposes were sovereign. (Before about 1794 it had just over 360 states!) Many of the states were poor and some were badly run. Nearly all were undemocratic till the late 1850s, and even in those states which nominally had parliaments the governments sometimes just did what they wanted and treated the constitution with utter contempt. Many of the German states kept their citizens under surveillance and censored the press. 'Insulting the monarchy' could - and did - land people in jail. Some parts of the German lands began to industrialize, initially on a modest scale, from about 1825 onwards (Kingdom of Saxony, the Ruhr and parts of the Nothern Rhineland) and from 1840 onwards also Upper Silesia. From 1850-1873 there was a prolonged boom. and living standards rose, especially in the industrial and adjacent areas and the big cities. There was a significant gap in living standards between these regions and agricultural areas far away from industry. Some parts of the country far from industry were still poor even c. 1870. However, many of the German-speaking countries were among the first to make education compulsory and the school system in Prussia was envied and copied abroad. Its universities, with their emphasis on research were held in very high regard, too. From 1862 onwards Prussia took the leading role in uniting Germany. One of the most important steps was the expulsion of Austria from Germany by war in 1866. (Until then Austria had been the official 'tog dog' in Germany ...) In the war of 1866 Prussia annexed a number of states such a Hanover and Electoral Hesse that had backed Austria. In 1867 Prussia established the North German Confederation, and during the Franco-Prussian War of 1870-1871 the South German states also joined to create the German Empire - which was firmly under Prussian leadership. By 1880 at the latest Germany was acknowledged as the leading military and industrial power in Continental Europe. Joncey
Germany was divided in to many small areas with all different governments