Before 1871, it was often far from clear what the term 'Germany' meant. There existed a loose German Confederation, which was very roughly coterminous with the area in which German was the normal language. Like Italy, 'Germany' was divided into a considerable number of separate states. The Austrian Emperor, the King of Prussia and the King of.Denmark all had some territories within the Confederation and others outside it. Three other states - Hanover, Bavaria and Saxony - were sufficiently large and important to merit the rank of kingdoms, and there were numerous smaller states.