Background of Bismarck

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Family Life

Bismarck's family life:

  • His father was a wealthy Junker.
  • Bismarck liked to present himself as a Junker squire.
  • He was too clever and enterprising to be one.
  • His mother came from a middle class family of merchants.
  • Her relatives were civil servants, University professors and lawyers.
  • However Bismarck did not get on well with his mother.
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Analysis for Q

Bismarck's family background meant that he would have had support towards the rich and Conservatives as he was from a wealthy background:

  • He would have grown up in favour for the Concervatives and wealthy as his father was a Junker.
  • he didn't know whait it was like to work for his wealth or to be poor,
  • He influenced ruthlessness and headstrong leadership.
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Education and Early career

Bismarck's education and early career:

  • Bismarck went to university and developed a reputation as a duellist.
  • He was an expert fencer.
  • He passed his law exams and won an entry to the Prussian Civil Service,
  • He did a year of military service, and retired in 1839, when his mother died to help run the family estates.
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Analysis for Q

Bismarck's high education means that he was very clever and was not stupid, which means that his decision making was wise and thought hardly about. It shows he was hard working meaning that he would work hard in politics,

His year of militatry service shows that he had fight in him and passion for the people of Germany. Therefore it shows that he would empathise with the army and recognise their importance. It also shows that he is a fighter and would have no problems in fighting for the people and winning elections. 

He also knows about Law so he understood that aspect of politics and was able to discipline himself. 

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First event in 1847

The first event in 1847 was Bismarck's marriage:

  • He married Johanna Von Puttkamer.
  • She provided a stable background to his life.
  • She also brought up their numerous children and overlooked his repeated infidelities. 

The second event in 1847 was the start of his political career:

  • Bismarck was elected to the Prussian United Diet (Parliament).
  • He was an arch-conservative and declared 'only two things matter for Prussia: to avoid an alliance with democracy and to secure equality with Austria.'
  • He became Prussian envay to the Bundestag (federal German Council) at Frankfurt,
  • He was Prussian ambassador in Vienna for a short time until 1859.
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Analysis for Q

His marriage with Johanna meant that he had a family and would have stability at home, and that he would have empathy for working families.

The start of his political career meant that he gained a lot of political experience:

His declaration about Prussia meant that he was autocratic and didn't really care for democracy meaning that he may not have cared much about people's rights or rights to vote for their leader, showing he was a dictator-didn't want to be accountable to the people. It also shows that he wanted Prussia be autocratic and be at peace with Austria.

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