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Bismarck's policies. While when he was Chancellor, Bismarcks main aim will have been to maintain a strong German Empire, eradicating certain opponents within the Empire and keeping peace in Europe. These aims are reflected in his policies between

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Bismarck's policies On the 23rd September 1862, Bismarck was appointed Minister president and foreign minister of Prussia under King Wilhelm I. and in 1871 he became the first chancellor of the German Empire. During his time as Minister president Bismarck wanted to create a dominant state of Prussia, which was stronger than Austria and had more influence in the German states. Unifying the German states may only have been a way to achieve this. While when he was Chancellor, Bismarck's main aim will have been to maintain a strong German Empire, eradicating certain opponents within the Empire and keeping peace in Europe. These aims are reflected in his policies between 1862 and 1890. Bismarck's first action when he came into power in 1862, was the Iron & Blood Speech, held to the General assembly to convince them of King Wilhelm's plan of increasing the military budget. Bismarck's aim of convincing the assembly succeeded and through this he manifested his position as minister president and also managed to increase Prussia's military power. The 1867 Zollverein constitution provided for a federal council of customs, the Zollbundesrat, which was comprised of personal representatives of the several rulers and an elected customs parliament Zollparlarment. This was a success for Bismarck because it meant that Prussia gained more influence in the German states through both bodies. ...read more.


Bismarck sent General Alvensleben to St. Petersburg to allow Russian troops to pass through Prussian territory in pursuit of Polish rebels, which improved the relationship between the two countries. On the 1st February 1864, the Austrian and Prussian armies invaded Denmark. This however led to a dispute about who was to gain which territory. In general the war with Denmark was a success for Bismarck because it meant Prussian expansion. The issue of who gained which territory was resolved at the Gastein Convention on August 20th 1865. Prussia would administer Schleswig while, Austria received Holstein. However as Holstein was located between Schleswig to the north and Prussia to the south, Austria's influence was very limited. This was a success for Bismarck because he managed to gain territory, while Austria only had limited influence over the territory it gained, especially as the Dutchies were admitted to the Zollverein of which Austria wasn't part. The Austro-Prussian war of 1866 was a success for Bismarck. He managed to demonstrate Prussia's strength to the rest of Europe. He defeated his great rivals, the Austrians and also gained the territory Schleswig. Furthermore it led to the complete dominance of Prussia within the German confederation. Bismarck managed to ensure that the other great powers supported Prussia or at least stayed neutral. The meeting at Biarritz with Napoleon III. ...read more.


Bismarck had to act quickly and signed the Reinsurance Treaty with Russia, which stated that both countries were to stay neutral in case of a dispute with a third power, which wasn't true if Germany attacked France or Russia attacked Austria-Hungary. This inhibited the acute danger of an Austro-Russian war, and put Bismarck into the position of being able to decide between which of the powers he would support in case of war. When Bismarck decided to engage in the Scramble for Africa, particularly in the years 1884-1885 he probably did this to seek new sources of raw materials and consumers for German manufactured goods. However this episode of Bismarck's foreign policies turned out to be a disappointment because there were not as many natural resources as anticipated with the exception of diamonds in South-West Africa and the population there wasn't strong enough or developed enough to be potential customers of German manufactured goods. Otto von Bismarck managed to unite Germany during his time as Minister President of President of Prussia and was successful in making Germany/Prussia one of the great powers in Europe as well as eliminating Austria from Germany. During the period from 1962 to 1971 Bismarck's foreign policies were comparably successful to his domestic policies. However during his time as German Chancellor his domestic policies weren't as successful because he didn't achieve many of his aims such as eradicating socialism, while he fulfilled his primary foreign aim of keeping peace in Europe. Therefore overall his foreign policies between 1962 and 1990 were more successful than his domestic policies. ...read more.

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