The Importance Of Bismarck To German Unification

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The Importance Of Bismarck To German Unification Essay, Research Paper When Otto von Bismarck was recalled from Paris to become Minister-President of Prussia in 1862, German nationalism was already more than 40 years old. First apparent in the opposition to Napoleon´s occupation of the German states, national feeling grew into a movement after 1815. This feeling was encouraged by a growth of interest in German literature and music and by increased economic cooperation between the north German states. By1848 it was strong enough to make the creation of a united Germany one of the main demands of the revolutionaries. Otto von Bismarck was a Prussian patriot who inherited the traditions of love of king, army and country from his family. Bismarck believed that Germany should be

united under Prussian leadership and that Austria should have nothing to do with Germany. Bismarck was chosen as chancellor by the Prussian king as he had a proven record as a monarchist and had little time for liberal and excessive parliamentary ideas. Bismarck helped his long term plan to unite Germany and to be the ruler by getting in a strong position with the king. The king owned Bismarck a ‘favour´ as Bismarck had solved the king´s constitutional crisis. Bismarck played a crucial part in the unification of Germany as he helped to set up the Northern German Confederation after defeating Austria in the second of three wars. The first war was a bit ‘weird´ as Bismarck´s goal was to get Austria out of Germany but it was the start of a long plan, he teamed up with

Austria and together they quickly defeated the Danish. The duchies of Holstein were to be controlled by Austria and the duchies of Schleswig were to be controlled by Prussia. This was to be a major decision to let Austria control Holstein. Bismarck overcame the barrier that was the threat of Austria. Bismarck was very clever in the way that he provoked war with Austria he complained that Austria was not running Holstein properly. The German confederation backed Austria so Bismarck had what he wanted an excuse to attack the small German states which he quickly defeated Prussia with. He held off Italy, which Bismarck planned, defeated Austria. In the treaty were the terms that Austria was to take no further part in German affairs which Bismarck needed in his unification plans step

towards another major step towards the formation of the northern German confederation in the treaty. Germany was not unified, yet, as the southern states were still separate. Bismarck´s` most opportunistic point was when he provoked a war with France he done this by editing a telegram from the King to the French. He edited it so that it sounded as if the king insulted the French. This made the French declare war on Prussia just as Bismarck had wanted. The southern states declared their support for the Prussians. The Prussians won the war and made the treaty harsh on the French as it was a hard fought war and he wanted to weaken them. Bismarck then pressured the southern German states into unification by saying that if any Kings or Dukes opposed it then they would be overthrown.

The last thing he had to do was persuade the King William, he done this by getting King Ludwig of Bavaria to offer Bismarck the throne and he in turn allowed King William to remain King of Prussia. However Bismarck was not solely responsible for the unification of Germany. Nationalism in Germany with cultural and nationalising was the reason for the creation of the Zollverein, which was in many people´s views a major factor in the unification of Germany. The Zollverein allowed trade between the 39 German states by lowering the tax, which was set by the country very high. This brought the German states closer and with more unity. Prussia had increased its military power by increasing its army and when the northern German confederation was created. The Prussians had an army fit to