- Literally, a customs union; specifically, applied to the several customs unions successively formed under the leadership of Prussia among certain German states for establishing liberty of commerce among themselves and common tariff on imports, exports, and transit.
In 1834 a zollverein was established which included most of the principal German states except Austria. This was terminated by the events of 1866, and in 1867 a more closely organized union was formed, the administration of which was ultimately merged in that of the new German empire, with which it nearly corresponds territorially.
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