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The Role of Bismarck in the German Confederation

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  • Essay length: 2273 words
  • Submitted: 17/11/2007
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AS and A Level Modern European History, 1789-1945

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"Why is it that Prussia rather than Austria emerged as the dominant German power by 1867? "

When the German empire was established in 1871, after the defeat of the French Empire, a legend was created that Germany had been unified by the Prussian chancellor Otto von Bismarck. "A legend created by Bismarck to minister to own vanity as an individual and to the cause of his indispensability as a politician." Seaman's thoughts on the German unification show that not all historians believe that it was the "dynamic ruthless realist" who had planned ahead these events to ensure unification of a German empire. Different interpretations have been created to attempt and find Bismarck's actual goal of unification also paying close attention to the actual importance of his role during the unification lasting from 1815 to 1871. This essay will try and determine and assess the importance which Bismarck possessed in creating the new German Empire under Kaiser Wilhelm I.

The first actual event which contributed to the unification of Germany was the Vienna Settlement in 1815. Through its decisions a German confederation had been formed by the Great Powers to not upset the delicate balance of

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