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The unification of german confederate states under the policies of otto von bismarck

Bismarck and the Unification of Germany otto von Bismarck Prince Otto Edward Leopold von Bismarck was the mastermind of German Unification and was the first chancellor of the united nation.

Bismarck caused Germany to transform from a loose net of 39 states into the strongest industrial nation of Europe. The unification of Germany had a tremendous impact on European balance of powers for the rest of history.

For nearly 30 years Bismarck dominated Germany and European politics. Germany before Unification Before Bismarck came into power, the Congress of Vienna formed the Germany Confederation, which was really a collection of small states ruled by minor dukes, princes and kings.

Revolutions in nearly every German State occurred. Rebels forced rulers to accept Constitutions, and allow elections to the German National Assembly in Frankfurt. In May 1848, shortly after the revolutionary outbreak in Berlin, delegates from all of the German states met at the Frankfurt Assembly to prepare for the formation of a united and constitutional German nation-state.

The Frankfurt constitution established Germany as a federal union, which was to be headed by a monarch having a title.

Issues Relevant to U.S. Foreign Diplomacy: Unification of German States

After the failure of the Frankfurt Assembly, a disagreement between moderate and radical liberals started and the German Confederation was renewed in 1851. A year later Otto von Bismarck was appointed Prime minister of Prussia.

  • The Napoleonic invasions of central Europe reinforced German nationalism;
  • This unusual background combining an aristocratic rural tradition with an accomplished urbanity invested Otto with a blend of intellectual subtlety and Junker parochialism;
  • Several other German states joined, and the North German Confederation served as a model for the future German Empire.

Bismarck and his Political Tactics Bismarck's ultimate goal was to unite the German states into a strong German Empire with Prussia as its core. On September 30, 1862 Bismarck made his famous blood and iron speech, which implied that if Germany was to unify it would be with the use of military force.

He hated liberalism, democracy and socialism.

  • His governing policy from 1863 to 1866 was based around this war;
  • This frequently expressed nostalgia may have been more guise than reality;
  • In the summer of 1847 the functioning of the Kingdom of Prussia featured a considerable novelty in the form of the Vereinigte Landtag - the first general parliamentary assembly it had ever recognised;
  • Emperor William I died in March 1888 at the age of 91 and was succeeded by his son Frederick who was unfortunately terminally ill and only survived until mid June;
  • There were several different types of people located in Germany, all of them containing different views on the how the Empire should be ruled.

Following his speech, he dismissed the budget proposal and ordered the bureaucracy to collect taxes. This money would go to military use, and Bismarck would expand and strengthen the Prussian armies. These armies would than be used in three wars which Bismarck devised to unify the country. Prussia joined forces with Austria and sent an ultimatum to Denmark on January 16, 1864 demanding a withdrawal of the former constitution, which incorporated Schleswig in Denmark within 48 hours or face military action.

At this point, Denmark looked to the European powers for military support but received none. Denmark was beat by Prussian and Austrian military forces.

Early years

Following their victory, the treaty of Gastein was created to compromise who ruled which lands. The treaty stated Prussia controlled Schleswig and Austria controlled Holstein. His governing policy from 1863 to 1866 was based around this war. One example of this plan was when Prussia made an alliance with Italy, stating that they would help Prussia if war broke out within the next 3 months. When the war actually did brake out, no other German states came to Prussia's aid. Bismarck also persuaded Russia to remain neutral.

Austria was isolated and appeared very weak. Ordering his troops to march into the Holestein, an Austrian territory, provoked the country into declaring war. After isolating Austria from France and Russia and receiving Italy's help in a defensive war against the province, Bismarck was ready for his last step in enticing Austria to war.

He proposed a unified Germany under the kleindeutsch plan to the Frankfurt Assembly. Under this plan he purposely excluded Austria from the German affairs. This action was what finally forced Austria to attack Prussia. Most German states chose to side with Austria in the war against Prussia because they felt they were defending their independence.

However, Prussia with Bismarck's military intelligence was victorious. Following their victory, Bismarck set up peaceful treaties with Austria to remain as future allies. Prussia joined with Northern German states to form the North German confederation.

  1. The eventual unification of the northern German states was shaped by the economic integration of them prior to unification.
  2. Within a few years the brothers were able to restore the lands they managed to profitability and, in 1841, the brothers agreed a division of the estates between them.
  3. Early career In 1849 he was elected to the Prussian Chamber of Deputies the lower chamber of the Prussian Diet and moved his family to Berlin.
  4. Southern and Northern German states along with Prussia combined their powers to defeat the French army.

This was formed in 1867, and created a new powerful German state. Bismarck granted equal manhood suffrage and the budget control switched over to Parliament. The German states were allowed to govern themselves but they still were under the influence of the German Emperor.

This pleased many Germans because it was a step towards total German Unification and it also granted Prussia more power. After three wars Bismarck finished his plan and totally unified Germany. Franco-Prussian war Through the course of the Austrian-Prussian war, Bismarck made a territorial agreement with France in turn for neutrality, but he never intended on keeping his part of the deal. Bismarck's final step to unification was war with France, but first he had to manipulate countries to be on his side.

After this victory, Prussia could then unify Germany once and for all. Bismarck provoked a patriotic war with France by mocking the French in a letter which was later printed in newspapers.

The letter vexed nationalistic feelings, causing France to declare war on Prussia.

Southern and Northern German states along with Prussia combined their powers to defeat the French army. Although Bismarck was pleasant to Austria, this was not the case towards the French. He brutally punished the already weak country with the Treaty of Frankfurt and took vitally important land from them.

This created bad feelings among the French towards the Germans and later created problems. In general the constitution stayed the same as Northern Germany's before unification; Bismarck only made a few changes. The three major changes were a German national Parliament, the Reichstag was now elected by the German people, and Germany developed a federal council. Also the country now had budgetary rights, but could not overthrow the government. Bismarck had succeeded in making Prussia in control of all-important decisions.

An example of this is that each German State still had separate armies, but the armies were under Prussian order. Although Germans were pleased with unification, the rest of Europe felt that Germany was going to offset the European balance of power. By Germany gaining power it allowed Bismarck to control most of Europe. Germany is outlined in red The German empire in 1871 is highlighted in the map above. German Nationalism Nationalism, a feeling of loyalty towards one's country, differed from German nationalism.

Bismarck used wars to cause national unity within Germany but these nationalistic feelings soon disappeared once the country was actually unified. There were several different types of people located in Germany, all of them containing different views on the how the Empire should be ruled.

Bismarck was apart of the Junkers or upper class, who supported militarism, and didn't like universal suffrage because it was a threat on their way of life.

On the other hand, Southern German states embraced a liberal constitution, and a movement towards democracy grew in this region. Politics were not the only difference; religion broke down nationalism as well. Catholics who lived in the Empire felt uncomfortable living in a Protestant dominated environment.

Otto von Bismarck: Early Years

This party opposed many of Bismarck's ideas and enticed him to make restrictions on Catholic education and work. Both Protestants and Catholics disliked Bismarck for putting restrictions on religion. Along with confinements on religion Bismarck started putting restriction on politics.

He created anti- socialist laws, which banned Socialism, prohibited the printing of Socialist ideas and Socialist meetings. All of these restrictions prove that German Nationalism was credited to the three wars but after these wars were won, Germany's many differences shone brightly through the country's seeping cracks. Foreign Policy Bismarck made Germany the strongest military power on the continent.

Geographically Germany was between large military powers. Bismarck had to be sure no country would attack Germany. This caused him to create a secret alliance with Austria-Hungary and a triple treaty including Russia, Austria and Germany: The new country stayed out of the imperialistic race with Africa and Asia to keep peace between the other European countries.

Eventually it did get into the imperialistic race but under Bismarck's rule Germany maintained a solid foreign policy. A map of the five great powers.

Otto von Bismarck

Bismarck after unifying Germany tried to keep good relations with these countries. Germany, after defeating the French in the Franco-Prussian war, they utterly humiliated them through the Treaty of Frankfort. After this treaty the French people had sour feelings towards Germany.

The country had created this treaty to make sure the French would never attack Prussia again but the opposite occurred.

  1. Geographically Germany was between large military powers. Germany before Unification Before Bismarck came into power, the Congress of Vienna formed the Germany Confederation, which was really a collection of small states ruled by minor dukes, princes and kings.
  2. From 1861 a bitter dispute arose between the Prussian government and Parliament over the size of, and length of service in, the army.
  3. Although Bismarck was pleasant to Austria, this was not the case towards the French. King William I was prepared to attend but Bismarck made a case that he should politely decline the invitation.

Bismarck manipulated several countries during this time and bad feelings just don't go away. His foreign policy created alliances which was a major long term cause of WW1.

These alliances created tension within the continent and allowed Europe to get into a world war situation.