Otto von Bismarck and The Unification of Germany
Senior division, Historical paper
German Unification is the Single most important political development in Europe between 1848 and 1914. This sets the stage for the world wars and particularly for Germany unifies and becomes a great power in Europe. This alters the power in Europe. Two German states Austria and Prussia and 37 other German states which were smaller. This created a problem for Prussia because they could never actually take control. During 1806 one of Napoleons accomplishments was to abolish political entity that was the Roman Empire. By this happening gives Germany the chance to rise. With Napoleons rise he made 300 states of Germany to 39 states of Germany. This created the idea of creating just one German state instead of multiple. During the beginning of the 1800’s, nationalism was a major deal in Europe. This thought of have superiority over other countries was important to the countries of Europe. Johann Gottlieb Fitche wrote about German Nationalism and he says “ The first, original, and truly natural boundaries of states are beyond doubt their internal boundaries. Those who speak the same language are joined to each other by a multitude of invisible bonds by nature herself, long before any human heart begins; they understand each other... they belong together and are by nature one and an inseparable whole.” This shows throughout Germany unifying because this
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Germany started out as a divided nation fighting for dominance in Europe. Otto Von Bismarck was able to take this struggling complexity and unify it. During this process Bismarck turned the small country of Prussia into a powerhouse, growing the population from 11 to 18 million. Bismarck sprung from a landlord class and moved his way up the political ladder as realpolitik, realistic Politician. He was a man of simple ideals; he stressed duty, service, order, and the fear of God. These ideals along with manipulative tactics are what lead Bismarck on his journey of the unification of Germany, proving that without Bismarck’s diplomatic efforts between 1871 and 1890 Europe would not be the stabilized continent it is today.
On the other hand, there were many factors outwith Bismarck's control which were very important in the unification of Germany, for example, the Zollverein. The Zollverein was a voluntary customs union, which encouraged trade between the German states by removing customs duties. It drew the German states closer together and supplied economic unity. Twenty-five of the thirty-nine states were members of the Zollverein - Austria was not a member. As Prussia
Germany became a unified country in 1871 under the leadership of Otto Von Bismarck. The separate states up until this time were independent, Prussia being the strongest and most influential, followed by Austria. There are several contributing factors to the unification of Germany, the most influential of which being the leadership of Otto Von Bismarck. The three wars that Prussia fought with Denmark, Austria and France also played significant roles in the unification of the German states. Another factor to consider is the increase in support of nationalism around Western Europe at the time, and the changes in German society. Through an evaluation of these factors and relevant sources one can
Between 1815, the end of the Napoleonic Wars, and 1850 the German states experienced a growth of nationalism and the desire for unity. The obstacles to German unification were religious divisions, rulers’ fear of losing power, and the opposition from Austria. The tension and rivalry that existed between the two largest German states intensified and the existing religious divisions and made the possibility of unification more difficult.
It has been said by several historians that the second half of the nineteenth century was the ‘Age of Bismarck.’ In the mid 1800’s Bismarck provided dynamic leadership- a trait which had been lacking during the events of 1848-89. Ian Mitchell stated “Bismarck was everywhere.” However, there has been a considerable degree of debate concerning the role of Bismarck in the unification of Germany. Some argue that unification would have been inevitable and had nothing to do with Bismarck, although others argue that the unification was solely down to Bismarck’s role. There are differing opinions on whether Bismarck was a planner or an opportunist or whether he was merely just
Prince Otto von Bismarck and Prince Klemens von Metternich can be compared to the dual sides of a German Mark. A German Mark that has sported different faces when repeatedly tossed over the years. After 1871, the Prussian-friendly German historians hailed Bismarck as the national hero, who had united Germany while Metternich was deemed a failure. Then after the loss of the two world wars, the coin sides were flipped and Bismarck was seen as a bloodthirsty power monger while Metternich was hailed as the national hero. The things that lead to the diverse opinion of these two men were their characters, ideological backgrounds, goals and the means by which they reached their goals, their achievements and lastly, their failures. The question of
Otto von Bismarck was the prime minister of Germany during the time of German unification, formerly the prime minister of Prussia. Bismarck struck quite the nationalist chord in the German peoples, convincing the southern German states to join the the northern ones. He was known as a hardcore conservative, however he was a practitioner of realpolitik, and was able to approve policies that appealed to different ideologies for the sake of the country. Otto von Bismarck’s specific brand of conservatism was different than classic conservatism in that Bismarck attempted to appeal more to the working class, and he had a good few liberal policies. However, Bismarck also had traditionally conservative ideas, such as suppressing opposing views.
Otto Von Bismarck was a great leader in the unification of Germany. His skill as a diplomat was unrivalled during his reign as chancellor of Prussia. The mastery he showed in foreign policy was such that he was able to outwit all other powers and make their leaders appear inadequate.
had one of the best education rates to be seen in a long time. Along
“The great questions of the day will not be settled by means of speeches and majority decisions but by iron and blood”—Otto von Bismarck. This excerpt from Otto von Bismarck’s famous Blood and Iron Speech is perhaps the most telling introduction to the politics of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries in Germany, as well as the world. Bismarck made this speech in front of the Landtag’s Budget Committee in 1862 in order to persuade the committee to make necessary increases to Prussian military spending; which would allow then Prussian Foreign Minister Bismarck to conduct the military reforms necessary to wage the Franco-Prussian War and thus unify Germany. However, today it is clear that the theme of blood and iron did not
During the 19th century, Nationalism was a big player when it came to unity in Europe. The man who played the main role in unification in Germany was Otto von Bismarck. He made progression through three wars. The question people still ask today is, did Otto von Bismarck plan to unify Germany, or did he just take advantage of the opportunities that fell into his lap. Otto Von Bismarck was most definitely a planner as shown through countless actions and statements shown threw his time of power during the three wars. The first war was the Danish war were Germany with the help of Austria took control of the provinces of Schleswig and Holstein. The second war was the Austrian-Prussian war, where there was a disagreement over administrations of Schleswig. The third and final war was the Franco-Prussian war, were France was determined to prevent German Unification.
Prussia played a large and important role in the unification of Germany. Without Prussia pushing unification along, Germany as we know it today would not exist. The Germanic states would not have unified as they did and the resulting wars that came about never would have played out. World history, not just European history, would be far different without modern day Germany, and the state that led to its emergence; however, Prussia did not unify Germany overnight. Prussia worked up to unification with a series of wars and interactions throughout their history.
The political and social conditions of Europe before the onset of the World War I were extremely unstable and undergoing a rapid transition that was driven by national interests of different nations living in the region. Nationalism was endorsed to promote patriotism among masses and to achieve political objectives that were in alignment with the national or political interests of countries. As the time passed, the growing influence of imperialism and the ideology of nationalism manifested multifaceted
Bismarck and Kaiser Wilhelm were two German officials around the time of world war one. They both had foreign policies and they were both pretty different. Bismarck’s foreign policy had many aims. One of the aims was to leave territorial expansion behind. He unified Germany and to do so had to incorporate many other states into Prussia. He was also very much in favor of peace instead of war. He also never tried to strengthen the naval forces of Germany especially not to ruin the relationship with England. Next, he decided to keep France isolated as well as friendless so that could not start a war as revenge. He also focused on Germany 's relationship with Austria and Russia. He also distrusted Italy.
Bismarck was the man who did the most to unify Germany. It was clear that unification was one of his major objective which he announced in his famous ‘Blood and Iron speech’. I was fascinated by how he managed to unify the so many divided states. Thus, my historical investigation examines the question, to what extent was the Franco-Prussian war Bismarck’s final step to unify Germany? To assess whether the Franco-Prussian war was Bismarck’s final step for unifying the loose net of 39 German states or not, the investigation analyses the previous steps made by Bismarck to unify Germany. It investigates the events between 1962, when Bismarck became Minister president of Prussia and 1971, when Germany became officially unified. The events analyzed are the Danish war, The Prussian Austrian war and the Franco Prussian war.