Bismarck had brought Germany closer to unification, Thus, meaning Bismarck had an important role in the progression of the unification of Germany. Some historians argue whether or not Bismarck was an opportunist or a planner. In the case of the Austro-Prussian War of 1866 it is evident that Bismarck deliberately planned the outbreak of war against Austria. In William Carr’s Germany 1815-1945 he quotes a conversation between Bismarck to Disraeli in 1862: “when the army has been brought to such a state as to command a respect then I shall take the first opportunity to declare war with Austria” proving that Bismarck had planned to go to war with Austria. but he also took advantage of an opportunity which enabled him to go to war with Austria as he stated. Therefore Bismarck can be viewed as both a planner and an opportunist. The wars of unification helped unite Germany as all members of the Bund came together and fought as one in all of these wars.
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
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.
Major problem developed after the Turkey's revolution, Austria's power position was threatened by the expansion in the Balkans, and also left Austria occupying Bosnia, Herzegovina, and Novibazar. This left Austria a need to find new bordering allies, and Germany could use that to avoid potential threats from France. Their alliance, and Austria's unique political system, caused a situation where Germany may need to intervene in situations outside of its own interests, which in a way happened. For the most part, Austria-Hungry did well as a nation, but foreign interests and pressures from Germany would lead the pack into an optimistic failure. Optimism and poor predictions were a few of the things that hit the two countries hard. Failing to predict Great Britain's involvement could have been one of their greatest failures, but perhaps Great Britain not disclosing their plans to get involved is what led to the disaster as well.
Prussia was unified by Prime Minister Otto von Bismarck. Otto von Bismarck was elected Prime Minister in 1862 by William I after a crisis that affected the monarchy in Prussia(Lerman 235). Otto von Bismarck strengthened many aspects of Prussia’s infrastructure. He helped to strengthen the army in Prussia by delivering a speech called “Blood and Iron”. “ In the speech Bismarck expressed Prussia's dissatisfaction with her present boundaries (thereby implying the need to expand them) and expressed his intention
While the religious division of the Prussia Protestant and that of the dominating Austria Catholics was an important factor, the opposition from Austria and the rulers were more important. Nationalism became this progressively intensifying cycle that eventually climaxes into war. Many began to put aside the idealistic ideas of society and began to embrace the realities of society as competitive and combative. Under the calculated guidance of Otto von Bismarck, Germany would finally be on the promising path of unification.
Germany's industrial emphasis can be seen as heightening in this period as a result of their unification; now they had the means of exploiting materials as well as manufacturing it. Part of the reason that during this period, Germany was not seen as an aggressor is due to its Chancellor, Bismarck, who was conscious of the importance of pursuing a peaceful foreign policy and abstained form excessive Imperialism. Berlin, in 1894-95, was the centre for the diplomatic partition of Africa, with Bismarck heading up the talks between the powers. Germany's approach to other countries, and its foreign policy underwent a dramatic change in 1890, when Bismarck was dismissed from office and Caprivi was instated to the position. In
Leading into the Fall of 1914, tactics on both sides of the line involved the rapid mobilization, maneuver and envelopment of the opposing side.10 Pre-1914 doctrine took little into account the effects of emerging new technology and their impact on both defensive and offensive operations. This disconnect between doctrine and technology contributed to the failure of early offensive operations in the Fall of 1914 and resulted in staggering casualties.11 Both sides developed doctrine that took into effect the unique terrain and technology that had been developed prior and during World War I. However by the end of the war, a combination of flexibility, decentralized control, and counterattack at every echelon made the German defensive system the most effective.12 This “elastic defense” had three unique characteristics; dedicated counter-attack force at all levels, decentralized command and control, fluid defensive belts and integrated artillery support at the Division level. Under this new doctrine, Corps headquarters had the role sustaining subordinate units, but not directing their actions during battle.13 This defense-in-depth and the lessons learned during the Verdun battles of 1918 were so successful that British forces adopted many of the German tactics with a special emphasis on their counterattack capability.10 Utilizing the new doctrine, by August 1918, Germany had made substantial gains, however had
The war grew out of the rivalry of the increasing power of Prussia and the decreasing power of Austria. Finally, it was caused by the Schleswig-Holstein controversy. Prussia's backing came from the majority of North German states and Italy. While, the South German states, Nassau, Frankfort, and Hanover gave their assistance to Austria. Though, some Southern Germans would unite with Prussia, since it was the victor of German unity, and was in condition to make her championship successful.
At the Convention of Gastein, Austria took over a German state. This bad feeling for Austria made Prussia more popular. Bismarck then isolated Austria by persuading Russia, France and Italy to remain neutral towards her. Prussia then defeated Austria in a war. Afterwards, the Prussian king and generals wanted to finish Austria off, however, Bismarck showed strength and wouldn't let them. Instead he made peace with Austria to ensure her future support. Bismarck stated: "We shall need Austria's strength ourselves". A good example of opportunism is when Bismarck goaded France into declaring war by editing the EMS telegram. Bismarck edited the telegram to make it seem as if Prussia had insulted France. This angered Napoleon and he declared war. This made France seem like the aggressor, which ensured the neutrality of the other powers. Bismarck described it as: "a red rag to a Gallic bull". All of these points show that Bismarck undoubtedly played an important role in unifying Germany.
Purpose: The purpose is to learn more about Bismarck’s personal life and personality. Since Taylor had already written two previous books describing Bismarck’s foreign policy this biography helps to understand his policies better.