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

Was the role of Bismarck essential to the process of German unification?

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Name Stephen Watt Matric. No. 004159780 Course CES 2B: History Tutor Alex Marshall Title Was the role of Bismarck essential to the process of German unification? Word count 1904 words Was the role of Bismarck essential to the process of German unification? Otto Von Bismarck was Prussian Chancellor after 1862 and he is the person given most credit for the achievement of a unified Germany in 1871. His contribution is most definitely immense but it would be too simplistic to regard him as the only factor in the equation. His influence was most obvious during the period of 1862 to 1870 but consideration must be given to the years before 1862, as it was during the period of 1848 to 1860 that German nationalism began to gather momentum. This was pushed along by the growth in industrialisation and liberalism pushing for greater economic freedom for trade which would occur under a united Germany. In March 1848 representatives from 6 States including Prussia issued a declaration for a single German parliament this was by the establishment of a vorparlament or pre-parliament. This assembly was to draw up a conclusion for a unified state. The aim of the assembly was to establish a united German State with a constitutional monarchy.1 After the revolution of 1848 the German people began to take an interest into the political life of the nation. ...read more.

Middle

Bismarck did not support the diets actions instead he invited Austria to assist in enforcing the terms of the treaty of London. Austria reluctantly supported Prussia in demanding the immediate withdrawal of the new constitution. When this did not happen war was declared with Denmark. This led to an easy victory for Prussia and Austria. By the terms of the treaty of Vienna Denmark was forced to give up Schleswig and Holstein. Austria suggested that the Duke of Augustenberg should rule the two states. Prussia did make the offer however the conditions they placed upon it forced the duke to decline the offer. Austria ruled Holstein while Schleswig was ruled by Prussia. Through this war with Denmark Bismarck had been able to test the fighting ability of the Prussian army. The war had been a "foregone conclusion"4. Nevertheless Prussia's reputation had been enhanced and fuel had been provided for future disputes between Austria and Prussia. The Austro-Prussian war In preparation for war with Austria Prussia had to secure the support from other nations. She won support from Russia by not giving assistance to the Polish revolt. In October 1865 Bismarck met with Napoleon III. It seems napoleon came away from the discussions under the impression that he would be rewarded with the French annexation of Belgium or land on the Rhine for French neutrality in any war between Prussia and Austria. ...read more.

Conclusion

The effect was to arouse national anger in both countries. Within a matter of days, French excitement in Paris led to a declaration of war on Prussia. The war that followed went on for too long and there were too many casualties for Bismarck to be lenient with the French "The enormous sacrifices in Blood and treasure which the German people have made in this war, together with all our present victories, would be in vain if power of the French were not weakened for attack and the defensive strength of Germany were not increased."8 France was forced to pay �200,000,000 compensation and the territories of Alsace and Lorraine were lost. However the principal objective of the conflict was too achieve German unification. This was achieved at Louis XIV's palace at Versailles with the successful negotiation of the admission of the South German States to the Northern German Confederation and the offer of the Imperial title to King Willhelm I. As the essay has shown although Bismarck's contribution towards the unification was massive, through the three wars with France, Denmark, and Austria, to say unification would not happen with out Bismarck is too simplistic. Rising nationalism and economic awareness helped a great deal. In effect German unification would have occurred with or without Bismarck. Bismarck merely speeded up the process "Bismarck's task of Unifying Germany was made easier by circumstances. If He played his hand with great skill it was a good one in the first place. ...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. Reasons for Napoleon's Success (to 1807).

    It was a dishonourable settlement to many Spanish. Their country was compelled to become France's ally and supplier of men and resources. * Napoleon insisted on the abdication of Charles IV and, for good measure, made the Spanish heir, Ferdinand (who had no liking for the French)

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

    Germany was not unified, yet, as the southern states were still separate. Bismarck�s` most opportunistic point was when he provoked a war with France he done this by editing a telegram from essaybank.co.uk from the King to the French. He edited it so that it sounded as if the king insulted the French.

  1. To what extent was the contribution of Bismarck to German unification the most important ...

    This reorganisation in the long run benefited Germany profusely. Prussia enhanced in power and prestige while Austria slipped back. By large states being formed, Germany had started on the road to unification. The zollverein was the economic unification of Germany. It was the greatest single economic factor in Germany.

  2. What were the obstacles to German Unification immediatly before the 1848 Revolutions

    Princes and Rulers were an obstacle to unification in 1848 because they were reluctant to lose power, they had lost it when Napoleon conquered them but they regained it and they did not want to lose it again. This made unification extremely difficult because in order to unify Germany 38

  1. To what extent was German Unification driven by primarily economic forces?

    This is seen when the war of 1859 against France, almost bankrupts the Austrian state. With no steady income, the Austrian economy could not hope to fund a lavish army or maintain a powerful, decadent empire. Inconvenient as these factors were for the Austrian Empire it wasn't the most paralyzing.

  2. In the process of consolidating his position, Napoleons reforms, had by 1808, destroyed the ...

    This is an attempt to cement the Revolution in the minds of everyone and to prolong the life of its legacy, which would be upholding it. In comparison, the Educational Reform offered an adequate education only to an elite group - the children of notables.

  1. AS Level Edexcel History Spain 1931-33 Revision Notes

    This policy ignored small farmers in the north of the country, most of whom had to work as well as farm in order to surive. The reform which was enacted horrified major landowners. An ?institute of Agrarian Reform? was to be set up to tackle the land question.

  2. Albert Speers Role as German Armaments Minister during the War

    Later in July, he was placed in charge of designing the first Party rally of 500 000 supporters at Nuremberg when the local architect couldn?t generate a design that captured the conquering attitude of the party. Speer?s proposed, and Hitler approved, design was of an enormous eagle with a 30 metre wing span soaring over the field.

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