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Did Bismarckengineer, and was therefore mainly responsible, for the Franco-Prussian War in 1870?
The first 200 words of this essay...
Course: MO3317 02/04/04
Tutor: Dr Frank Müller
Did Bismarck engineer, and was therefore mainly responsible, for the Franco-Prussian War in 1870?
By: Hubertus Nesselrode
By the time King William I resorted to the appointment of the unpopular Otto von Bismarck as Minister President in September 1862, Prussia had degraded into a pitiable state: The Prussian Landtag was obstinately refusing to allow funds that were needed for vital army reforms. The Prussian army itself had performed so badly at Royal manoeuvres in 1861 that a French observer belittled it as "C'est compromettre le métier."1 A look at the map fermented the humiliation received at Olmütz - Prussia had ragged and incoherent borders, she was surrounded by populous and overwhelmingly powerful neighbours and within Germany her Hohenzollern rulers were curtailed by the Habsburg Emperors. It would take more than "speeches and majority resolutions" to solve "the great questions of our time." Indeed it would take "iron and blood"2 and Bismarck was the right man "when the power of the bayonet becomes unlimited." 3
Within four years of his coming to power Bismarck had engineered Denmark's defeat and driven Austria out of Germany. After Königgrätz
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