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

How consistent were Bismarcks aims and methods from 1862 1871?

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

How consistent were Bismarck?s aims and methods from 1862 ? 1871? Otto van Bismarck is credited with the unification of Germany. However, it can be argued that he deliberately fostered this myth, and that it was never his aim to begin with. Bismarck had not intended unification for he was a Prussian patriot first and foremost. He distrusted the Southern Catholic German states and feared the submergence of Prussia in a united Germany. Above all else, Bismarck was consistently concerned to uphold and to extend the power of the Prussian state and Prussian king, and, to a lesser degree, to exclude Austria. He was brought in as Prime Minister by the King of Prussia, King William I, in 1862 to combat liberal demands, however modest they were. ...read more.

Middle

Prussia was to resort to brute force to gain what she wanted. He was now declaring a policy of firm diplomacy and war which Bismarck consistently maintained during the years 1862 ? 1871. Bismarck?s first inconsistency was his approach to Austria over the Schleswig-Holstein question. The new king of Denmark, Christian IX, tried to annex the two provinces of Holstein and Schleswig. Prussia and Austria opposed the scheme, and went to war with Denmark in 1864. Denmark was defeated and surrendered the two provinces to the Germanic powers by the treaty of Vienna. Bismarck had been aware that he could not take on Denmark alone without Austria. This temporary alliance shows that Bismarck was willing to modify his policies when it suited his needs. However, Bismarck was quick to revert back to his policy of excluding Austria from the German Confederation. ...read more.

Conclusion

Prussia declared the German Empire, or Second Reich, on January 21, 1871. Bismarck became chancellor of Germany and also Prime Minister of Prussia. His title was defined in the Constitution of 1871. Bismarck had created a united German national state, although it is debatable whether German nationalism or Prussian power was more important in his campaign. Therefore I believe that he was consistent in his aim of extending the power of Prussia, because the North German Confederation can be described as little more than an extension of Prussia and Prussian power. In conclusion, I believe that Bismarck was generally consistent in his aims, and only modified them to suit his needs. This was demonstrated by his alliance with Austria to defeat Denmark, and then turning on them in the Seven Weeks War. His method of ?blood and iron? remained a consistent aspect in his aggressive foreign policy, especially in the years 1862 to 1871. ...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 in control of the direction Germany's Foreign Policy took ...

    Bismarck can clearly been seen as one of the strongest proponents of peace in the Eastern Crisis of 1877, this is apparent, even before the crisis. Bismarck understood that there was a European Conflict, just waiting to happen in the Balkans.

  2. Bismarcks appointment of Minister President of Prussia (1862) was the most important turning point ...

    It also affected the nature of Prussia, whereas she had previously been a predominantly Eastern European power she now had a pan-German outlook, though it appeared to begin with that she had little in common with her western population. The distance between the two main blocks of land meant that

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

    By the late 1870s German landowners and industrialists were clamouring for protective tariffs, by declaring protectionist policies, Bismarck could win influential support. Bismarck saw the opportunity to break with the National Liberals and broaden his support, after the 1878 elections, when the National Liberals had lost some 30 seats.

  2. “How significant was Bismarck in securing the unification of Germany 1862 – 1871?”

    However, it would be events following the negotiations of the duchies that reinforce Bismarck's portrayal as the genius of unification. The first step in these events was his meeting with Napoleon III at Biarritz in October 1865. Here "vague promises were made to the French"(iv)

  1. To what extent was the political unification of Germany due to:- (a) The growth ...

    In 1834, Prussia, under the leadership of the Junkers (The Prussian landed aristocracy), began a German customs union, Zollverein, in order to make trade and business between German states easier. Before Zollverein, goods passing from one small German state to another required a duty payment, which made it practically impossible

  2. "How far do the sources suggest consistent aims in Mussolini's foreign policy 1922-1939?"

    The sources have been written and spread over a long period of time and interlink with vital events in the history of Fascism. Some of the sources show consistency with Mussolini's foreign policy aims. Source 2 and source 4 both suggest that one of his aims was to spread Fascism and to increase domestic support for the regime.

  1. Why did Prussia achieve so much power in Germany by 1871?

    Bismarck's shrewd diplomacy, where he played off power with power, had a major effect. Firstly, Bismarck used the alliance system to great advantage. He knew that if he was to extend his power over all of Germany, he would have to defeat Austria, and gain the favour of the German states.

  2. Why was Bismarck a successful leader of Prussia during the period from 1862 to ...

    In order for Prussia to raise Austria and France must be moved out the way. Bismarck set about modernizing the Prussian military and spent vast amounts of money and time ensuring Prussia had a formidable fighting force. He tackled liberals within Germany who protested against such large amounts of money

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