HISTORY BISMARCK Essay

Submitted By rohanr17
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1. Otto von Bismarck is part of the Junker family, and joined politics when he became a member of the Federal Diet, and later as ambassador to Russia and France. In 1862, he became minister president of Prussia and was a supporter of German unification as it would strengthen Prussia. He is commonly described as a sharp political realist and a perceptive opportunist. Bismarck was able to exert much influence over German politics as he had a close relationship with King Wilhelm 1 of Prussia. Even though Bismarck threatened to resign multiple times, King Wilhelm stopped Bismarck as he realized how valuable and important he is. Bismarck was able to create and maintain numerous alliances with the powers of Europe. Within Germany, Bismarck was able to limit and repress “obstacles” such as the Catholic Church and the socialist movement. Bismarck’s use of Realpolitik’s and his relationships with the different powers in Europe was able to exert such influence over German politics in the latter part of the 19th century.

2. W.T Stead, an admirer, describes Bismarck as a giant who keeps watch and keeps guard of the Great Empire which he helped found. Even though Stead claimed that Bismarck was “a man of war from his youth up”, Bismarck disagreed and stated that he was no dictator and didn’t believe in unnecessary war. According to J.L Motley, a friend from student days, Bismarck was a “man of very noble character and of very great powers of mind”. Motley believed Bismarck was destined to be Prime Minister, as he believed that Bismarck was a man of honor, courage, a high sense of humor, and honesty. He too was very knowledgeable and was described as carrying an “Atlas” upon his shoulder in which holds the destinies of a great nation. He again was compared to a giant by American General Schurz as Bismarck appeared so grand and yet so human. Bismarck though was not liked by everyone. For example, Lady Emily Russell believed that Bismarck manipulated the King and parliament allowing him to have his own way in everything. He governs the country without even taking the trouble to consult with the Emperor about his plans. According to Heinrech Abeken, Bismarck was very distracted and tended to not listen to his subordinates. But later went on to add that all is forgiven as his great qualities have made him the instrument of God.

3. Bismarck contributed to the unification of Germany though his three military victories: the second war of Schleswig, the Austro-Prussian War, and the Franco-Prussian War. After the winning the Second War of Schleswig, both Prussia and Austria won control of Schleswig and Holstein. Bismarck then proceeded to create a scenario in which Austria declared the Austro-Prussian War. Prussia, coming out victorious, allowed Prussia to annex some territory and allowed Bismarck to exclude Austria when forming the North German Confederation with the states that supported Prussia. This war caused the decline of Austrian power of the German nations. After this, Bismarck manipulated an Ems telegram, which caused the French to start the Franco-Prussian War. After Prussia winning the war, it confirmed that Bismarck and Prussia were the leaders of the unified Germany. At the Treaty of Versailles of 1871, which ended the Franco-Prussian war, claimed that Bismarck would be the first chancellor of unified Germany. One could describe Bismarck as an initiator and a strategist. He was able to create perfect sceneries was these war, and each war being important in the strengthening of Prussia. One should note that all of Prussian’s opponents started the wars, and that Bismarck came out victorious in all.

4. Bismarck’s only desire is to strengthen Prussia’s power in Europe. Bismarck is a very opportunistic and strategic political leader. Bismarck believes in the idea of alliances and trustful relationships. It is obvious that Bismarck had a…