Prince Otto von Bismarck was seen as both a political genius and a power monger, like a German version of Alexander the Great by the people. Bismarck was a conservative, who used the people around him to reach his goals; and in doing so, he pitted people against one another. According to the book 19th Century Germany by John Breuilly, modern historians have found it very hard “to separate the man from his achievements” (Breuilly 172). The historians have run into a roadblock that consists mostly of “Bismarck’s individuality and his responsibility for the political development of the Empire” (Breuilly 172). Bismarck was known to support nationalism and patriotism, and he believed in the Burschenschaften or student organizations. He also believed in the concept of faith in power, more in ideas. Bismarck only cared for two things: Prussia and Prussian power, and he would do anything to obtain Prussian domination. Although Bismarck did not care for Germany, he was all for German Unification. Historians cannot decide if Bismarck’s legacy is positive or negative but they agree that he was a “brilliant and shrewd tactician who succeeded in postponing the problem of political mobilization for 60 years” (Breuilly 172). In Otto von Bismarck, some people saw a great man who was ahead of his time, while others saw nothing more than a bloodthirsty power monger, who wanted a united Germany to
Historians are often divided into categories in regard to dealing with Nazi Germany foreign policy and its relation to Hitler: 'intentionalist', and 'structuralist'. The intentionalist interpretation focuses on Hitler's own steerage of Nazi foreign policy in accordance with a clear, concise 'programme' planned long in advance.
Ben Hale Mr. Jamieson Mod. History (4) 16, November 2017 Otto Von Bismarck was a Planner 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.
In the 1800’s there was a growing sense of nationalism as Europe was under the control of emperors and kings. Unity became a value countries across Europe sought to achieve. This included Germany and Italy. Both countries had many issues to resolve though before they could achieve any type of
The Key Factors of German Unification 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
Nationalism was an important and integral factor in the downfall of the Weimar Republic and in turn, the ensuing failure of democracy in Germany in the period 1918-1934. The sense of loyalty and devotion to ones nation, which the German citizens had felt in their militaristic past, was ultimately devastated
Germany was unified by “blood and iron” in the Prussian wars before Germany was one nation. The Prussia war campaign against Denmark, Austria, and France led to the creation of the German Empire. After each victory against these countries the German Empire gained more and more territories and continuously expanded. The idea of nationalism was not only used to fuel these wars, but also afterwards in creating a limited government. In fueling these wars, the citizens were promised that a unified German Empire will lead to prosperity and peace. They were only too happy to go on the offensive and try and claim new lands in the name of their great nation. Once they had conquered these lands and claimed a small piece as a prize, they set up Kaiser Wilhelm as the Emperor on July 18, 1871. After this the Reichstag was formed as the limited government with the illusion that they could make a difference. In truth, Kaiser Wilhelm would shoot down any bill he seemed to disagree with. Also they all reported to Wilhelm and could easily be fired for causing too much trouble for them. With the German
Italy was dealing with ideals of nationality and political dis-unification since the fall of Rome. The political fragmentation and the economic inequality of the north and south led to Emmanuel II and Benso to expand Emmanuel’s rule and unify Italy. Along with Giuseppe Mazzinni, who was a product of the revolution of 1848, was able to unify the nation. At the same time, Germany was also seeking unification via Austria or Prussia. Prussia was currently the economic powerhouse of the Rhineland Because of this, Prussia was able to take control of and create the North German Confederation. Civilians now had a country to look up to and connect to. Before, most countries had an incredibly diverse group of people living within it. Different ethnic groups, language, and traditions all contributed to people not being able to relate to their country as a whole and only feel pride for their smaller community. At this point, people have sought to seek their own nation that they can relate to and these movements increased throughout the years. “There is no doubt that the number of nationalistic movements increased considerably in Europe in the 1870s” (Hobsbawan 145), showing how the nationalist movement grew over the course of a few decades. Though these revolts did not always work out, they set a standard for rulers that they now had to respect and listen to their people. This also built pride within the nation to know that the people held some power. After the unifications, European nations felt as if their own country was by far the most superior and felt as if they should be the one to control most of the world. This nationalistic idea led to imperialism. Along with the lack of resources countries had for their ever-growing populations, European nations set for the “Scramble of
Unification of Italy and Germany By 1871 both the kingdom of Italy and the empire of Germany were united. Even though both countries used popular trends to that time, both liberalism and nationalism, the process unifying these two countries was very different. The end result was Germany emerging as a strong nation and Italy appropriately, the weaker.
How important was the role of Bismarck in the unification of Germany? 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
Before the revolution of 1848, class status defined every citizen 's place in the social, political, and economic order causing problems throughout Germany. Due to the separation of the states, some Germans advocated German unification under a single constitutional monarchy; however, after the defeat of Napoleon, their dreams were crushed. Developing power was scattered among three hundred different states consolidated under the Holy Roman Empire. Powerful regions like Prussia and Austria gained increasing authority over other small city-states who had to make do with the limited power they possessed. This division of power among the states ignited a flame that eventually erupted when the aristocrats, the middle class, and the workers
Otto Von Bismarck: The Unification of Germany 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.
Since the unification of Germany in the late 19th century, attitudes of nationalism, Prussian militarism and expansionism saturated German society. As one can clearly see in the
In 1862 Bismarck was appointed as the Minister President of Prussia. Bismarck 's views were that of Realpolitik. Realpolitik is a way of viewing things in a practical manner not in a moral or ideological way. (162) This was evident throughout his career. During his time Minister President, he mostly focused on foreign policy. Although domestically he wanted to stop the liberals who were in the Prussian parliament. liberals thought that the government 's actions at the time were unconstitutional. Bismarck, on the other hand, believed that there was no way that the constitution was meant to undermine the state. (163) Shortly after this he moved his focus to his foreign policy, the unification of the German states. This all started with his blood and iron speech in 1862 where he is quoted saying, “Not by speeches and votes of the majority, are the great questions of the time decided — that was the error of 1848 and 1849 — but by iron and blood.”. (163) This lead up to a number wars to achieve his goal of unification.
Many believe that Prince Otto Edward Leopold von Bismarck, later known as just Bismarck, was the main reason for German unification. Bismarck was the first chancellor of this new country as Bismarck had changed 39 smaller states, into one large industrial power. The unification of Germany had a large impact on the balance of powers in Europe. Bismarck dominated Germany and European politics for nearly 30 years. However some historians argue that Bismarck was only this successful and powerful because of circumstances out of his control. Nationalism and liberalism were rising as an ideology, the decline of Austria had an effect and 1848 was nicknamed as a year of revolutions due to the amount of revolutions that took place also factored in, but at the heart of all these is Bismarck’s use of deception and realpolitik and manipulating situations to his advantage.