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

Extended Essay: Bismarck and The Unification of Germany

Extracts from this document...


Extended Essay To what extend does Otto Von Bismarck deserve his reputation as the man who united Germany? On the 18th of January, 1871, Bismarck proclaimed the German Empire in the Hall of Mirrors in the Palace of Versailles. Germany had been unified be Prussia, under its prime minister Otto von Bismarck. The unification involved three wars and, it has been claimed, was not created by a desire for nationalism but a struggle to determine Prussian dominance within the German states. Up until World War II, it was widely accepted that Bismarck alone was responsible for unification. However, modern historians agree that Bismarck did not begin unification from nothing and have identified other factors influencing unification and the spread of nationalist ideas from 1815. These historians argue that if it weren't for factors such as the Zollverien, cultural and political nationalism and the Strength of Prussia and decline of Austria, Bismarck would not have been nearly as successful. Before Bismarck burst onto the political scene in 1862, it is clear to see that the foundations for unification were already laid, this is shown in the economic strength of Prussia prior to 1871. The Zollverien was and important factor as it brought many German states together economically and excluded Austria. Prussia had gained valuable land in the west in 1815. this land provided her with valuable coal and iron resources. ...read more.


Undoubtedly, most would agree that eit gave the German states a taste for unification in the very format it followed, even if, it was more of a means to perpetuate the divisions of Germany. After the revolutions of 1848, the Frankfurt diet was set up and was a further development which aided unification. Despite failing after a short period of time, it did set the climate for future development and gave middle classes a sample of a united Germany. Political factors were very important as they improved relationships between the states and made co-operation and co-ordination easier. Bismarck was able to build on these relations later when it came to uniting the South German States and the North German States. In addition to these factors, the key position of Prussia after 1862 played a big part in the achievement of Kliendeutch unification. By 1836, Prussia had already emerged as the economic leader of the states due to her control of the Zollverien, which Austria had no say in, and she controlled the main trade rivers of central Europe. This, in addition to the mineral output of Prussia gave her an upper hand in disputes and decisions. Additionally, Prussia's political system was one of modern bureaucracy and was politically stable holding a liberal, nationalistic stance ready to be expanded to the other states in the event of unification. ...read more.


King Willhelm was on holiday at a health resort called Ems when he received the French demand; he politely refused and send Bismarck a telegram informing him of what had happened and how he intended to reply to the French. Bismarck saw his chance and altered the telegram slightly to make it sound as id the king had insulted the French ambassador by refusing to meet him. Bismarck then sent his own version of the Ems telegram to the French and German newspapers for publication. The edited version of the telegram had the effect Bismarck intended. The French government responded to the anger of the public over the "Prussian insult" by declaring war. Bismarck had what he wanted. France appeared as the aggressor in a war against Prussia, thus ensuring the neutrality of the other powers. The strong Prussian army was able to defeat the French and a peace settlement was reached in the Hall of Mirrors in Versailles, in which the German states achieved unity. Therefore, Bismarck's role arguably acted as a catalyst and his ability to manipulate events and engineer situations saw the unification occur in 1871. In conclusion, Several factors aided German unification, for example cultural nationalism, which romanticised the idea of a united Germany, bringing the spirit of nationalism to the upper classes and universities. Political nationalism also helped with organisations like the Bund debating a Kliendeutch/Grossdeutch approach to nationalism, a reduction in the number of fragmented states made cooperation and coordination much easier. Most would argue however that more important was the economic factors oHolHHa Graaaaa Kim Reid 5C1 ...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 Other Historical Periods section.

Found what you're looking for?

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

Here's what a teacher thought of this essay

5 star(s)

This is a very strong response that goes into a great deal of detail and includes thoughtful evaluation to link back to the question. To improve further, the author could reconsider the order of her paragraphs so they flow more logically and come to a more developed judgment in the conclusion.

Marked by teacher Natalya Luck 10/04/2013

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 Other Historical Periods essays

  1. Early Jamestown: Why Did So Many Colonists Die? In early Jamestown, from 1607 ...

    A drought would harm crops and killing them and would leave the colonists with a limited food supply if any. This would lead to the trade with the Native Americans which would not go well going back to the earlier point of their relations with the Native Americans.

  2. The Enlightenment Essay

    Also, the Scientific Revolution was characterized by philosophical approaches to understanding the universe. "The scientists from the Scientific Revolution agreed that through understanding, humans could improve the world" (Hall). They advocated the use of reason for understanding the physical world and more often than not, their findings contradicted church doctrine.

  1. What was the impact of the Norman Conquest

    Amazingly, on rare occasions it is even used now as proof in certain law cases such as land and property disputes. While William's repressive measures were taking place, there were needs for fortification. Motte and Bailey castles were built commonly, both to consolidate peace and in response to local rebellions in the turbulent times.

  2. To what extent was strong leadership the main reason for the success of the ...

    word of Stephen of Blois instead of going on to relieve the Crusaders at Antioch. As well as this, many of the Western lords felted slighted about having to swear an oath of fealty towards Alexius - some even refused outright to do so.

  1. How important was the role of the princes in bringing about the success of ...

    Charles had always wanted to compromise with Luther as he didn't want any more conflict and we can see this with the Diet of Augsburg where he wanted to find some common ground between protestant and catholic people. Charles had never meant to aid the success of the Lutheran Reformation

  2. Evidence for the Trojan War.

    Mycenae was a powerful city during the 13th century. It is evident that Mycenae was a prosperous, flourishing civilisation. As described by Homer, Mycenae was "rich in gold". After his pursuits in Troy, Schliemann excavated the well-known site of Mycenae and found various pieces of evidence to support Homer's observations.

  1. To what extent did WW1 cause the collapse of Tsarism?

    and revolution would begin and he was correct. Nicholas II did not agree with this view, perhaps a noteworthy flaw in the Tsarist regime leading to its downfall; the working classes were an important part in the revolution and the end to the Tsarist state. The 1905 Revolution had a negative effect on the Tsarist support from the working classes of Russia.

  2. To what extent was superior military leadership the reason for success in the first ...

    It would be some years later that the Muslim world would unite and from that time the crusader states? existence would be constantly under threat. At no other time was the Muslim world so disunited and at no other time were the crusaders so successful and so therefore this reason

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