German liberalism is a main reason why Germany in the nineteenth-century could not come out of an authoritarian political system. German liberalism largely originated in a movement of intellectuals without deep roots in the middle classes as such. During and after the Napoleonic wars there emerged a liberal bureaucracy that was prepared to meet liberal demands in part, if only to strengthen government positions in a period of transition and unrest. The civil servants who opted for a modernisation of the governmental systems in Germany were impelled by Enlightenment ideas. The 1830s and 1840s were a crucial period for the formation of liberalism in Germany. In 1858 the prince-regent William announced the beginning of a new era; Prussia was determined to make the promotion of a greater degree of German unity. In 1879, Otto von Bismarck decided to break once and for all with the National Liberal Party.