• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Asses the importance of Bismarck to German unification

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Asses the importance of Bismarck to German unification When Bismarck became chancellor of Prussia in 1862 nationalism had already started 47 years ago in 1815. Although Bismarck greatly helped the move towards unification there were also many other factors involved. These factors included things such as the economic power of the Zollverein and the fact that having a strong country would make them safer, and they all shared the same enemy: France. It is necessary to compare these factor with each other in order to asses the importance of Bismarck to German unification. Historians such as Frank Eyck believe that unification of Germany 'was a natural and desirable development.' In many ways this is true. From 1790s - 1814 French domination helped to modernize and consolidate Germany, thus sparking the first upsurge of German nationalism. When Napoleon defeated the most defiant state, Prussia, they were so distraught about their defeat that they started thorough reforms. This meant that smaller states who suffered under French rule started to turn to Prussia in their common hatred of the French. ...read more.

Middle

After 1850 Germanys industries really began to take off. Factories were built at a spectacular rate, railroads grew connecting different parts of the country and Prussia had one of the best education rates to be seen in a long time. Along with industrialization came a steep up rise in population and huge numbers of people moving into the cities. The result of the railways, education and urbanization was that ideas began to spread and before 1871 Germany was already culturally and economically unified. Although all of these factors were pointing Germany in the right direction for unification there was one man who 'forged the Reich' (Adolf Hitler): this man was Bismarck. One of the first things that he did was to increase Prussia's popularity, and he did so in the war against Denmark. When Denmark attempted to make Schleswig and Holstein an integral part of Denmark, Austria and Prussia fought side by side in order to keep them as part of the German Confederation. ...read more.

Conclusion

The French pressured Prussia not to accept this offer, but unfortunately they pushed it too far. They demanded that no Prussian Prince would ever take the Spanish crown. Bismarck then published these diplomatic communications in a provocative manner, angering the French into declaring war on Prussia. The south German states came to their aid and they had a glorious victory. Meanwhile Bismarck won the consent of the South German states to unite Germany with Prussia at its head. He had achieved his task and in January 1871 the Prussian King proclaimed the German empire. The proclamation of the German empire was the result of a long process to which many factors contributed to. 'German unification was, on the part of Bismarck, a series of favorable situations wisely grasped' (Aronson, the Kaisers) Although the Zollverein, Prussia's military power and industrialization all pointed Germany in the right direction of unification it would have taken many more years, or perhaps never, for Germany to unify. Bismarck took the pieces of jigsaw and put them all together to give us united Germany. Mhairi Thomson 5s2 Word count: 891 ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level Modern European History, 1789-1945 section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level Modern European History, 1789-1945 essays

  1. To what extent was Bismarck responsible for German unification?

    Without any doubt, the real power can be said to have been held by Bismarck, as indeed, Kaiser Wilhelm I is quoted as saying "It isn't easy to be an emperor under a chancellor like this one [Bismarck]". Politically, he was undoubtedly a force to be reckoned with, with an aggressive foreign policy.

  2. What were the obstacles to German Unification immediatly before the 1848 Revolutions

    To combat this Metternich publicly condoned constitutional reform of any sort. This meant that the Confederacy could not enact these constitutional chances because its president, Austria was against them. Without a single German government Unification was not viable and by stopping this Metternich was again putting another obstacle in the way of Unification at this time.

  1. To what extent was German Unification driven by primarily economic forces?

    As Bismarck is accredited with much in the unification of Germany, it is important to consider whether he could have accomplished as much with a poor economy. The historian John Breuilly comments, "Indeed, one could argue that any ordinary statesman in Berlin bent on war with Austria would not have done significantly worse."

  2. "To What Extent Can Bismarck Claim The Credit For German Unification".

    Austria proposed to the bund that Prussia by invading Holstein had violated the rules of the confederation and should be excluded from the bund. This caused Bismarck to withdraw Prussia form the bund. Prussia invited the other German states to join the "Kleindeutsch" federation.

  1. Hitlers Germany

    Many observers have commented on how the Nazis, regardless of the size of their local group, seemed to do more in election campaigns than all the other parties combined. The mass meetings of the election campaigns were carefully organized to the smallest item.

  2. The attitude of the Austrian and Prussia government towards the Unification of Germany

    You could even say that the Prussian Union plan was the start of the period in which Prussia grew in stature, it had proposed, unifying Germany, something directly against the status quo and against Austria, and more importantly Prussia took some active steps to try and turn this proposal into reality.

  1. To what extent was Bismarck in control of the direction Germany's Foreign Policy took ...

    he could use the bogey of a French war of revenge to make the Reichstag maintain a high level of German armaments. And.... Thirdly.... his diplomatic genius could keep France isolated". But the first of these assumptions was grossly misplaced, showing Bismarck's naivety.

  2. The Role of Bismarck in the German Confederation

    over most of the German confederation, except Austria who had refused to join the economic union, granting Prussia a perfect opportunity. After a period of quiet social and economic rearranging, revolutions were triggered by Metternich's and Louis-Philippe fall throughout Germany.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work