Evaluate the role of Bismarck in German History. There have been many historians that said that the second half of the nineteenth century was the ‘Age of Bismarck. In the mid sass’s Bismarck provided great leadership, which was an attribute that Germany did not have during the events of 1848-89. Bismarck was everywhere and aware of the situation that surrounded Prussia. However, there have been a number of debates about the role of Bismarck in the unification of Germany.
Some historians argue that the unification would have been inevitable and had nothing to do with Bismarck; however others argue that the unification happened only because of Bismarck. He also provoked neighboring states which in order to separate them of unification such as France and Austria. Other factors such as the role of the Prussian military, the Austrian weakness all had an input in the unification of Germany, as did cultural nationalism. Bismarck was the Chancellor of Prussia, which was one of the German states that together formed the German confederation.
Austria, a very powerful neighbor, was against the German unification. It was the clever moves and decisions made by Bismarck that made the other German states realize that Prussia alone can become he natural leader of a future German state instead of Austria. He then made Prussian militarily power stronger and with this defeated Austria in war. War broke out all starting with Bismarck writing a new alternate proposal of the constitution provoking Austria to declare war. However, this wasn’t enough to push them to the edge of war.
Austria and Prussia had gained Dutch provinces Holstein and Schlesinger in 1864 as allies in the German Confederation as a result of the Danish war. Bismarck wished to rule both provinces in order to expand Prussia’s territory. As a result Prussia succeeded and forced Austria to leave the German Confederation and gaining the treaty of Prague which would allow Prussia to rule both provinces. After the change of the constitution being accepted Bismarck became the first and only Bandleaders, the head of the executives.
First he created a North German Confederation under Prussian leadership and proved that a unified German state was possible. In further wars, he defeated the Southern states, who where in alliance with France, and stood against any other unification of the region. This led to the total unification of Germany under Prussia. It was the strong leadership of Bismarck that led to accomplished dream of German unity. Bismarck became the first Chancellor of the new German Empire. Bismarck was a visionary and wished to expand his territories even more after winning the war against Austria-Hungary.
He wished to expand Prussia even more. In order to start a war with France he applied the same technique he used on Austria- Hungary, which was to provoke them to declare war causing a Franco- Prussian opposition. Bismarck succeeded once he used German Press to humiliate France, including its king and its people. France feeling offended, without thinking declared AR on Prussia in July 1870. Germany under the North German Confederation fought the French winning another great victory.
With this victory Germany was awarded the provinces of Laces and Lorraine. Bismarck was happy with Germany’s results. He had achieved his goal of uniting Germany as one empire and he had expanded his own into both France and Austria. He commanded the largest army in all of Europe. From this point on Bismarck would try to maintain his power and avoid war in Europe. However he kept tensions in Europe Just below the point where war could break out and managed to prevent ajar war from happening for the remainder of the nineteenth century.
Bismarck role in Germany was to bring what it was missing. A better more organized leader that could bring a better and stronger image of Germany to Europe.