In 1862 Bismarck Said, 'the Great Question of the Day Will Not Be Settled by Speeches and Majority Decisions...'

2036 Words Sep 7th, 2009 9 Pages
In 1862 Bismarck said, 'The great question of the day will not be settled by speeches and majority decisions...'
What were 'the great questions of the day' for Bismarck, and how did he settle them up to 1871?

The significance of Otto Eduard Leopold von Bismarck-Schönhausen for world history is indisputable. Bismarck, a German Junker who was born on April 1st 1815 and died on July 30st 1898, is often referred to as the first modern politician of world history and it is very important to know what kind of man he was to understand his motives and what his 'great questions of the day' were.
While his father was from an old noble family his mother was only from a common one with no special background and history. She always told him that he
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Austria had a similar idea and so the two big German powers Austria and Prussia worked together for the last time before the unification.
The crisis led finally into war between Prussia and Denmark in 1864. But not the King in Prussia or some high status generals were making decisions about the troop movement and the war tactics but Bismarck.
Prussia won the war together with Austria. The German confederation decided not to give Prussia control over Schleswig-Holstein but both Austria and Prussia.
Bismarck's aim was not reached but some of his political enemies changed their view on Bismarck and he was better respected, also by the liberals.

However, the second war was the one between Austria and Germany. They had just been allies in the war before but when Bismarck noticed that Austria was blocking the development of Prussian power he realized that if he wanted a German Reich under Prussian control then he needed to break through this blockade. He tried ally with the liberals and nationalists to make his own position stronger and to form a Kleindeutschland.
This was one option of two; Kleindeutschland was Germany united without Austria and Großdeutschland was all German states united. Bismark did not consider Großdeutschland as realizable. He was not planning a war; First his aims were just to get Schleswig-Holstein under the control of Prussia. As a temporal solution Schleswig-Holstein was divided and