Bismarck: Machiavellian Poltician

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Throughout history men have been struggling to become the

strongest or most dominant force in society. Scores of men,

throughout history, have taken notice that it is easier to

control several smaller states as opposed to one unified

state. In the late 15th and early 16th centuries a man by the

name of Nicolo Machiavelli reflected the actions of famous

men and their assent to power in his book The Prince. If

Machiavelli's advice was followed, a ruler could almost

guarantee success. But perhaps the first politician in the

modern world to follow the advice of The Prince, was a

man by the name of Otto Eduard Leopold von Bismarck.

Otto von Bismarck was born on April 1st 1815, in

Schonhausen, Northwest of Berlin in the district of
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Bismarck determined that this

cause should be a war, (Richards, 1977, 142) for there is

no better bonding agent then that of the threat to one's

livelihood. Bismarck used the Danish war to help

consolidate his internal position in Prussia and to strengthen

Prussian military transportation. (Christopher, 1991, p.103)

"Liberal sentiment in Germany had always been stirred by a

desire to separate Schleswig- Holstein from Denmark. The

liberals called for a repudiation of international agreements

by Prussia (such as the 1852 Protocol which put the

Danish issue on ice), while Bismarck declared in the Diet

that he would not be a party to a breach of international

obligations. So Bismarck made an agreement with Austria,

the avowed enemy of German unity, to proceed within the

context of the 1852 Protocol. The two powers then sent an

ultimatum to Denmark on January 16,1864 demanding a

withdrawal of the constitution of November 18 (which

incorporated Schleswig in Denmark) within 48 hours or

face military action. Denmark, counting on the support of

European Powers, rejected the ultimatum. France hesitated

to join England, which refused to act alone. So the powers

did nothing. An attempt at mediation also failed. Denmark

was therefore reduced to submission by Prussian and

Austrian military force. In the Treaty of Gastien (August

1865) Prussia and Austria decided to dispose of the


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