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

Unification of Germany - Bismarck

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Tim Flynn IB European History Unification of Germany Bismarck Otto von Bismarck achieved the unification of the disjointed German states through the skillful understanding of realpolitik and the Machiavellian use of war as a political tool to eliminate Germany's rival nations, gain the support of the German people and gain territory. This ultimately created a German legacy of strong militaristic tendencies, scheming national relations, and economic clout challenging the European heavyweights like England and France. Bismarck's plan for unification began with his instigation of war with the small German states of Schleswig and Holstein over an insignificant dispute concerning the governing of the states. Bismarck's next move was to bring on a war with Austria resulting from minor disputes over the Schleswig-Holstein conflict. With a victory for Prussia in this second conflict, Bismarck's remaining European rival was France. Through political maneuvering, Bismarck initiates a war with France which portrays Prussia as the victim. Prussia again came out the victor with the support of the newly united German nation behind it. ...read more.

Middle

The final arrangement was as abrasive as possible, and the Seven Weeks War, between Prussia and Austria soon followed because of this outcome. Bismarck entered this war with a unique goal for its conclusion as his main goal was not to instigate a conflict to defeat an enemy, but to merely assert the sovereignty of the German states. He kept this goal in mind when conducting the war, and he avoided creating a humiliating defeat for Austria as Bismarck intended to keep Austria as strong ally for Germany not a bitter foe. This war would give Prussia yet another chance to prove her military clout, defeating one of the most notorious European powers in the east. Prussia was aided by Italy, which was also attempting unification despite Austria's attempts to prevent it. Ultimately, Prussia would be victorious in war, surprising most of Europe, and identifying itself as a new power to be feared in Europe. ...read more.

Conclusion

Otto von Bismarck's legacy as the prime minister of Prussia would lead Germany from its beginnings as a group of disjointed states to a unified and galvanized nation. Like Italy, Germany had quite a few serious issues to resolve once unification took place. Regional differences, developing since the first settlement of the Germanic tribes during the Roman Empire, were distinct, and local princes refused to give up substantial power to the central government. The Berlin assembly, therefore, was kept weak. Germany, like the United States under the Articles of the Confederation, seemed merely a loose of confederation of autonomous states. In Germany's case, one state, Prussia, was absolutely dominant due to its size, power, and military strength. This, combined with Bismarck's skillful conduct in international and national affairs as chancellor, kept the empire together until 1914. He achieved this drastic change by instigating three successful wars which advanced the German cause and asserted its independence. This ultimately led to bitterness among many Europeans towards Germany for her reputation, as well a great industrial and economic success. ...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?

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

    The introduction of railways and the telegram helped transporting troops and supplies quicker giving them the upper hand in any conflict, with the ability to communicate quickly over large distances. This also brought Germany closer. The Prussian army was also a powerful fighting machine equipped with the best weapons such

  1. Hitlers Germany

    On the night of August 19 the Nazi-Soviet trade treaty was signed. The next day Hitler telegraphed Stalin with a request that he see Ribbentrop on August 22 or 23. When he received Stalin's assent, Hitler pounded on the wall with his fists and shouted, "I have the world in my pocket!"

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

    was unchallenged in her dominance, the dominance that the Habsburgs had inherited for centuries, unification would spell the end of this dominance, so Austria would never willingly consent to unification. These were the general attitudes of the Prussian and Austrian governments and I will introduce more evidence to state these

  1. Why did Prussia rather than Austria lead the unification of Germany?

    Schleswig and Holstein had historically been a pivot of national German feeling, but were controlled by the King of Denmark. In 1864 Christian IX of Denmark, determined to exert his authority at the beginning of his reign, decided to formally annex the two 'Elbe duchies', and in the process break

  2. How significant was Bismarck in securing the unification of Germany 1862-71?Bismarck's significance in securing ...

    won the gratitude of Alexander II, and so because of this Russia could be relied upon to remain neutral in a future war with Austria. "Bismarck was also hedging his bets in international diplomacy", S.Lee's view that Bismarck was gambling agrees with mine, that Bismarck at times relied on luck when manipulating instances where he didn't have full control.

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