"Supreme opportunism was the key to unification" How far would you agree with this statement in reaction to Bismarck and Germany?

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“Supreme opportunism was the key to unification”  How far would you agree with this statement in reaction to Bismarck and Germany?

The Prussian leader Otto Von Bismarck is often singularly credited with uniting Germany. However, there is much historical debate over whether this is well deserved or not, as it is argued that unification would have happened anyway, regardless of Bismarck, because of the pressures that were increasing in the 19th century.  For example, Germany had the shame of the Frankfurt parliament collapse in 1849 which was brought on by the Revolutions in Germany; the first attempts to challenge Austria’s power in Germany.  The Parliament broke down due to it’s divided leadership and inexperience.  It was called ‘a layers parliament’ meaning that it was too divided and ‘talked too much and did too little’.  This also led to Frederick William IV refusing to lead a united Germany, then the fail of the Erfurt Parliament and the ‘Humiliation of Oldmutz’ which had all recently taken place.  Therefore, there was much pressure on Germany and it’s military leader to thrive and prove to its people and the other nations that it was still a powerful country.  Nevertheless, the key debate is how skilled Bismarck was in uniting Germany, or whether he was mainly being opportunistic.  There were many factors which contributed to Bismarcks successes in unifying Germany, such as the Military, the Economic factors, the Political factors, and the Personality of Bismarck.  For example, Prussia had weak enemies - Austria was in decline, the Danes were too amateur and not in control, and the French were too arrogant.  Besides this, Bismarck had the advantage of Prussia’s already strong economic power, and the growing success of the Zollverein was another factor that pushed Germany towards unification.  Thus, it is apparent that circumstances suited Bismarck; and he was showing great opportunism and drive.  Some described him as operating ‘like an architect who had a master plan’, which he followed in order to build a united Germany. The best description, however, is probably that Bismarck acted as a catalyst who sped up changes which would have happened anyway, but he also had the political skill and acumen to take advantage of circumstances as they arose and over which he often had no direct control.  This shows that Bismarck was an opportunist first, making his policies open to flexibility, and it was this that led to his success, as well has his strong policy of ‘Blood and ‘Iron’, which basically means that democratic power was wasted and military power served as the success measure for German unification.  

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Thanks to Bismarck, Germany had strong military power due to its huge modern army and two outstanding generals, Von Roon and Von Moltke, who ultimately caused the victory of the three Wars that Bismarck commanded.  Von Moltke was a conservative and brilliant military straegist, who had clever direction and use of resources; he thought of using rail roads for rapid troop transport. The speed of the Prussian troops enabled them to achieve their surprising victory over Austria.  Prussia’s strong military force enabled them to win the three wars, starting with Denmark in 1864.  The cause was due to the Danish ...

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