(German: “Customs Union”) Free-trade area throughout much of Germany established in 1834 under Prussian leadership. The customs union developed from the 1818 Prussian tariff law that abolished internal customs dues and the customs union set up in 1828 in southern Germany by Bavaria and W├╝rttemberg. By 1834 other German states had joined, for a total of 18 members; more joined in subsequent years. The Zollverein represented an important step in German unification. See also Friedrich List.

This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise.
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