The process of German unification was continued by Prussia after the defeat of the liberal, middle-class Germans at the hands of the aristocrats and the military in 1848. Its chief minister Otto von Bismarck carried out this process with the help of the Prussian army and bureaucracy. Over seven years, Prussia fought three wars with Austria, Denmark and France. These wars culminated in Prussian victory and German unification. William I, the Prussian king, was proclaimed German Emperor in January 1871, at Versailles and hence, completed the process of German unification.