(in the 19th century) a union of German states for the maintenance of a uniform tariff on imports from other countries, and of free trading among themselves.
any similar union or arrangement between a number of states; customs union.
Historical Examples

The Zollverein was the only really German action to which she can point.
The Empress Frederick; a memoir Anonymous

Protocol was boring our host with his views on the Zollverein.
Punch – Volume 25 (Jul-Dec 1853) Various

Even in the earlier stages of its development the Zollverein had a marked effect on the condition of the country.
Encyclopaedia Britannica, 11th Edition, Volume 11, Slice 8 Various

A factor that made for unity among the German states was the Zollverein.
Germany and the Germans Price Collier

The object of the Zollverein was to obtain a uniform rate of customs duties all over Germany.
Revolution and Counter-Revolution Karl Marx

Bismarck used the Prussian railways as well as the Zollverein to build up German unity.
Against Home Rule (1912) Various

Prussia, with her Zollverein, was preparing embarrassments for us.
Sentimental Education, Volume II Gustave Flaubert

Soon after Bavaria entered into an alliance with Prussia, and in 1867 joined the Zollverein.
The New Gresham Encyclopedia. Vol. 1 Part 3 Various

Probably half as much more as is made in France and the Zollverein, is made in all the other parts of the Continent.
The Commercial Products of the Vegetable Kingdom P. L. Simmonds

The Zollverein increasing their import duties on cotton and linen yarn, and putting export duties of 25 per cent.
Lord George Bentinck Benjamin Disraeli

the customs union of German states organized in the early 1830s under Prussian auspices

1843, German, literally “customs union,” from Zoll “toll” (see toll (n.)) + Verein “union,” from vereinen “to unite,” from ver- + ein “one” (see one).


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