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The Unification of Germany under Otto Von Bismarck

The Unification of Germany under Otto Von Bismarck

History has demonstrated that Bismarck was a renowned figure in German politics. His ideal approach to administration meant that pragmatic concerns of a people should succeed a moral consideration. Bismarck believed that a superior government and jurisdiction could not be merely established through word of mouth, but instead through blood and iron. This statement was justified during his speech in September 1862. He stated that the challenges being faced by the political structures of governments of the day during the 19th Century could not be decided on by speeches and majority votes, which was considered one of the most significant errors during the periods of 1848 and 1849. Bismarck abhorred diplomacy and pursued a political ideology of war to expand his administration.  

The Unification of Germany under Otto Von Bismarck

The astuteness of Otto Von Bismarck was as crucial to Germany nation as it was to his allies from 1862 to 1890. His predictions during the 18th Century of blood and iron as being paramount than democracy was witnessed through the emergence of World War I and World War II. What was ceded in his statement was that it was only war which could settle disputes between nations. He further argued that instances defined by diplomacy and the signing of treaties could not be used to settle disputes anymore. As presented in the excerpts (p. 232), the public opinion was heightened by the potency of war where the interests of varied groups would be involved. Further, the three inert powers could not strike an agreement without the prospect of an armed crisis against each other. 

France, Russia, and Germany tried to seek alternative considerations regarding the danger posed by the later attempts. In this discourse, the idea of peace and reconciliation was adopted by other governments facing similar dilemmas such as Prussia, Austria, Italy, and Germany (p. 218). The aim was to restore peace-related problems by the use of sensitive instruments. This was during the Elbe Duchies, the Italian conflict, and the reforms which were to be introduced in the regime pact in the interest of the European governments. In as much as negotiations seemed to be a neutral way to go, it was only possible if the parties would not destruct it through war threats and assumed preparedness in the view of military honor.

By the onset of the 1860s, Bismarck primary aim was to create a one powerful and unified Germany. As a result, he led Prussia in several war fronts. To achieve his desire and the objectives of his statements as highlighted in his speech, he applied the concept of blood and iron to make Germany a powerful and unified nation. As pointed out, the challenge of the Danish was a manifestation of the broader call for the reorganization of Germany confederation (p. 231). The destinies of Prussia, Austria and Germanic powers were left at the mercies of Otto. From experience, Bismack remarks in 1848, that the pressing challenge in the Germany world would only be settled by blood and iron rather than the through negotiations, voting, and speeches.

The reorganization of Germany resulted in the dispatch of proposals to the emperor of Austria, Francis Joseph who meant to reconsider the question of the confederation which overlooked the Prussian opposition. This attempt was closely followed by the Danish War where Bismarck, because of his skillful tactics agreed to act as a defender. This formed the first attempt of the blood and iron test in Germany. The victory of the later, made Bismarck to extend his might to the other powers. He aimed to secure the neutrality of Russia and France which he succeeded (p. 230). This move was facilitated by his visit to Napoleon III whom he visited in October 1865. After a keen review of the proposal, the emperor Francis preferred the way of peace in Europe which did not come to fruition even though he tried to get the support the support of the European Parliament.

The attempt by Bismarck to bring Germany to the level of France and the UK resulted in ideological conflicts. The question of whether Germany would become an imperial power lingered in Bismarck for an extended period. As a result, this attempt led to World War I and World War II since the question was not amicably answered diplomatically. Also, research shows that World War II decided the attempt by Japan to have an empire in the Asia continent. As quoted in the speech, the position of Prussia in Germany will not be determined by its liberalism but by the level of its power (P. 235). As presented in a circular to Her Majesty in Germany’s Courts, it was clear that the conference at Paris was fruitless when she uttered, “it is with utmost regret that I have to assign you to look into the military unit made by the cabinet of Vienna willingness to attend the projected conference” (p. 234).

To conclude, it is evident that apart from the powers’ participation in global treaties, the position of Denmark at the entrance of Baltic created an atmosphere of rivalry among the other existing forces. Among all the scrambling powers, neither of them wanted Prussia to occupy that strategic area. It should be noted that the 1848 turmoil resulted from the nationalistic base, where Prussia intervened Duchies. Additionally, the pressure exerted by the Russian and British Government to some point made Prussia desist, however, at the end of the 1850s, both Prussia and German militia were applied as agents of the Germany confederation


pp 218

Pp 228

Pp 232

Pp 234/5

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