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The Unification of Germany by 1871 was a result of Bismarck(TM)s foresight and careful planning To what extent do you agree with this statement?

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Chantelle McMullin June 18th, 2008 Exam Topic 2 " The Unification of Germany by 1871 was a result of Bismarck's foresight and careful planning" To what extent do you agree with this statement? " The great question of the day will not be decided by speeches or by majority decisions- that was the mistake of 1848 and 1849- but by blood and iron." Otto von Bismarck was a very intelligent, master of power politics, who believed in skilfully using war as a way to achieve his goals. His basic strategy of war was never to appear the aggressor, isolate your opponent and always be prepared . Instead, he was a master of manoeuvring his opponents into declaring war and then crushing them in self defence. Once he provoked them he would be ready and waiting to destroy them, while appearing the innocent self-defending one. His major goal was to have a united Germany, with Prussia in control. ...read more.


Over twenty German states belonged to union but Austria was not included. Increasingly, Prussia was assuming the dominant leadership role over Austria within the Confederation. In addition, the Zollverein was working so well that they was lots of support for national unity. In 1864, he fought the first of the three wars necessary to achieve his goals. He had a brief alliance with Austria, which was necessary to defeat Denmark in a war over the duchies Schleswig-Holstein. This victory only led to more conflicts between the two German power houses, with the joint occupation of the land. Bismarck with his great foresight, saw this coming and was already preparing for this. His strategy with Austria was to already have them isolated, then provoke them into declaring war. This is exactly what he did through secret deals and promises. He had Russia and Italy's support and France's promise of neutrality. In 1866, Bismarck fought and won a war against Austria. ...read more.


He agreed, but didn't promised that it was forever. This all took place in the resort town of Ems. You may have heard of the Em's telegram. By altering the telegram, Bismarck provoked France into declaring war. The Franco-Prussian War only lasted six months. The results were a very humiliating defeat for France, causing them to pay tons of money and losing Alsace and Lorraine. This completed the unification with the southern states joining the Confederation. The unification of German Empire was proclaimed in the Hall of Mirrors at Versailles. This greatly changed the balance of power on the European continent. In conclusion, I completely agree that the Unification of Germany by 1871 was a result of Bismarck's foresight and careful planning. Bismarck always knew when a war was going to breaking out ( because usually he provoked it) and was ready to destroy his opponent. He always planned what needed to happen, but never appeared as the aggressor. He used many secret deals and promises to isolate his opponent. He was single-handedly the most successful promoter of German Unification. ?? ?? ?? ?? ...read more.

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