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Bismarck's relationship with Nationalism

Relationship with Nationalism:

  • Until the mid 1850s, Bismarck had shown little but contempt for nationalism.
  • However, by the late 1850s, Bismarck's views changed because he realised that the nationalist movement might be manipulated in the interests of enhancing Prussian power and aid the creation of a united Germany under Prussian control.
  • 1859: Bismarck was moved from the Bundestag to become Prussian ambassador in Russia.
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Analysis for Q

Bismarck's relationship with nationalism means that he wanted to make Prussia stronger and saw benefits of nationalism. However these benefits were in his own interests, not the people's.

It also shows that he changed his mind all the time as he disagreed at first.

It forms the attitude to 'blood and iron.' Bismarck seems to almost be manipulative and unpredictable.

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Becoming Chief Minister 1862

Becoming Chief Minister:

  • 1862: Bismarck returned to Prussia to become Chief Minister on the condition he could 'make his own music.'
  • His appointment was one of the most momentous occasions in Prussian, German and European history.
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Analysis for Q

Becoming Chief Minister meant that he was very demanding and stubborn, which are the personal qualities of politicians. 

It also shows that he wanted be autocratic more than democratic therefore he didn't want help. 

It also shows that he was well-respected and iconic as it's one of the momentous occasions in Prussian history. 

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Acts of Diplomacy to 1870

Bismarck's acts of diplomacy:

  • There were conflicts that helped to create the state.
  • He also saw himself as a man of destiny convinced he would have a great impact on the world. 
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  • Bismarck became famous for this.
  • He realised that a Conservative State would not survive without popular support.
  • He also recognised the growth of power of the Liberal middle classes and that it needed to bind this group to the state.
  • Thus wanting to maintain Conservatism but using liberals as part of the method.
  • Themes to consider:
    • Dislike of ideas and idealism.
    • Seperate personal morality from political morality.
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Realpolitik: Dislike of ideas and idealism

  • Realpolitik could conflict with Bismarck's version.
  • Too many ideas would create confusion.
  • There was no need for ideas as German state was already there.
  • It would prevent the German State to develop.
  • Bismarck uses war/conquoring to get what he wants, instead of ideas to develop it.
  • He believed in ideas more abstract and didn't like ideas from other backgrounds of society.
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Realpolitik: Separation between personal and polit

Realpolitik would seperate personal morality from political morality:

  • Bismarck did not let personal views interfer with politics.
  • He didn't mix personal life with business.
  • He was Protestant but accepted conflict between religion, to develop the new German State. 
  • He was not moral as he just saw it from a political view. 
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