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

"Bismarck's Foreign policy was a Success." Is This Statement True?

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

"Bismarck's Foreign policy was a Success." Is This Statement True? The balance of power in Europe had been suddenly altered after the German victory over France in 1871. The resultant German Empire, with its large population great economic power, strong army and extensive resources, looked clear to be an important factor in international relations. However, even for Bismarck this looked set to be a challenge, due to the need not only to establish the Empire as a nation, but to also found an external security that would prove to be vital throughout his reign as Chancellor. Although was this set policy an overall success? Bismarck's main objectives in the proposal of the instituted policies were to isolate France in Europe; maintain the balance of peace on the continent - particularly between Austria and Russia, who Bismarck feared would come to blows over the escalating problems in the Balkans - as well as maintaining his secured German territory; avoid fighting a war on two fronts and the Chancellor also desired, perhaps greedily, to have the control and power of two other powers in Europe as well as in Germany. The ideal for Bismarck was to establish a run of successful policies to achieve these goals and thus substantiate Germany as both the most powerful and influential of the Great Powers in Europe. ...read more.

Middle

Once more this was successful for Bismarck in that it isolated France and prevented the situation of having to choose between Austria and Russia. The final of Bismarck's foreign policies also secured successes for the Chancellor. The Triple Alliance of 1882 between Germany, Austria and Italy reassured Bismarck that unless a Franco-Russian alliance was formed then the prospect of war from either nation whilst standing alone could be easily contained. This alliance was, from Bismarck's viewpoint, aimed directly towards the segregation of France, as he was aware that she could not, and so would not attack Germany single-handedly. However, yet again the Dreikaiserbund was destroyed in 1885 due to further problems in the Balkans, and it became clear that disputes in this area were unlikely to ever be fully resolved. This time Bismarck needed to desperately to avoid the prospect of a war on two fronts. This concluded in the Reinsurance Treaty of 1887, which tried to localize the problem by assuring Russia that Bismarck would not support Austria in a clash over the Balkans territory. By documenting that in the case of a war between two of the powers that the remaining power would remain neutral, Bismarck succeeded in both preventing a war on two fronts and obtaining the neutrality he desired. ...read more.

Conclusion

The Reinsurance Treaty was very similar in that it was only short-term as France and Russia did eventually join in the 'Entente'. Bismarck further created himself problems, as the Second Mediterranean Agreement left him with no alliance to Russia, and so creating possible problems for the future. Finally by the end of Bismarck's office in 1890 France still viewed Germany with contempt and searched for revenge, while the situation in the Balkans continued to flare as did the tension between Austria and Russia. This leads me to believe that although Bismarck's foreign policy was successful in achieving his main objectives and solving problems in the short-term, all they did for the long-term was to simply delay the problems rather than resolving them. The Chancellor in fact made it difficult to maintain neutrality over the Balkans crisis in the long-term and it could even be said that too many alliances were made in an effort to obtain his goals, that it became too difficult to retain such a documented relationship with the other powers, and that perhaps Bismarck did not leave himself enough loose ends to play with the policies in the way he saw fit. Conclusively, it was probably an advantage for Bismarck that he left office in 1890, as it left Kaiser William II with the resulting problems to resolve and he was able to leave behind the tangle of long-term problems he had created. ...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. Assess the view that the failures of the Congress of Vienna outweighed the successes.

    popular will, this august assembly acting only by might of the strongest, erected a political edifice without any moral foundation.'40. Furthermore, Adam Zamoyski argues that the exclusion of the second-rank states led to the decline of the formerly powerful states such as Sweden, Denmark, Holland and Naples with a consequent

  2. Stalins Russia, 1924-53 revision guide

    * The Left Communists were against NEP. They argued that the peasants benefited at the expense of the proletariat. They were in favour of ending NEP immediately. * The Right accepted NEP as a pragmatic policy to be tolerated as long as it produced sufficient food supplies.

  1. Reasons for Napoleon's Success (to 1807).

    1807 represented about a third of the total strength of his armed forces. vi) Napoleon's Strategic Planning * It used to be stated in campaign histories that Napoleon planned his campaigns and battles well ahead and in meticulous detail, and that his victories cam from following his plans minutely; but

  2. Assess the success of Bismarck's foreign policy with reference to: a) Keeping France isolated ...

    therefore avoid a war and a difficult decision, and also keep France isolated by preventing it from forming potential alliances. Bismarck went even further to isolate France: under the terms of the Treaty of Frankfurt France had to pay Germany 5 000 million French francs, and while they still owed this money, German troops were allowed to occupy France.

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

    kept Austria under control, than it did to form the North German Confederation. Indeed, if Prussia had have pressed on to Vienna, one might wonder how the German State would be structured today, for it would surely have a vastly different shape.

  2. "Foreign success; domestic failure." How fair is this summary of Bismarck's governance of Germany

    All candidates for the priesthood now had to attend a secular university before commencing training, and all religious appointments became subject to state approval, the penalty, if failure to comply, was imprisonment or expulsion. By 1876 all but 12 Prussian Catholic bishops were in exile or under house arrest and more than 1000 priests were suspended from their posts.

  1. "Mussolini was an all powerful dictator" - How accurate is this statement?

    He still had to keep the elite, church and king happy if he was to survive and he did not have any power in southern Italy. Furthermore the judiciary also had the power to help the individual, however they did not, just as the other institutions did not, although they

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

    Therefore Italy joined The Triple Alliance of 1882. The terms of the alliance if Italy or Germany were attacked by France, each would aid the other; if Austria was attacked by Russia, Italy would remain neutral, although Austria would aid Italy if she was attacked by France; if one of the parties was attacked by two or more

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