German Unification

Bismarck essay

German Unification


Bismarck's Leadership

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German Unification

- Opportunist or planner? modern historians say unification was inevitable.

- 1862 - Bismarck resolved constitutional crisis - important part in politics, as he is Prime Minister and trusted by the King.

- Leads Prussia to victory in 3 wars between 1864 - 1871.

- Result is King of Prussia becomes Kaiser of Germany.

- Manipulated Danish situation as he knew they would win against the smaller state (spies and diplomats made situation worse)

- Diplomacy used to ensure Russia did not get involved in war with France.

- Provoked war with France through Em's trelegram.

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German Unification


Prussian Economic Strength

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German Unification

- Zollverein success - customs union which enabled free trade between states, Austria waaas excluded.

- Carr - "mighty lever of unification."

- Not deisgned with the intention of unification but states joined for economic benefits.

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German Unification


Prussian Military Strength

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German Unification

- The economic strength of Prussia helped increase Prussian military strength.

- Bismarck pushed through Von Roon's military reforms and resolved the constitutional crisis.

- People's militia was replaced by a more professional army, full time upper class officers replaced part time middle class officers.

- Prussia managed to win 3 wars - unification in quick succession.

- Defeated French army who had 1 million reserves.

- Bismarck had ensured army was strong enough before going to war - in 1867 he acknowledged limits when he said they must delay going to war with France "Untill the Prussian army is once again strong enough."

- Military strength important - however Bismarck ensured they would be in a position to win therefore it was a combination.

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German Unification


Mistakes of Others

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German Unification

- Austria allow Bismarck to make alliences such as with Russia & France, this isolated Austria.

- Denmark - King had tried to take Holstein and Schleswig - led to war between Prussia and Austria.

- Austria allowed Bismarck to engineer Treaty of Gastein. - Allowing Bismarck to declare war on Austria whenever he wanted.

(Austria accused by Prussia of spreading anti prussian feeling, in Holstein, and Austria would need to go through a hostile Prussia to get to Holstein.)

- France had became isolated from allies & they over reacted to the Em's telegram.

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German Unification


Austrian Weakness

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German Unification

- Defeated twice by Italy in 1859 - Military decline.

- Treaty of Gatein -put them in a vunerable position.

- Lost Russia as a potential ally.

- Treaty of Prague - after defeat by Prussia - it is very lenient as Bismarck did not want a resentful enemy.

- Treaty of Prague - seting up of the North German Confederation - Austria now totally excluded from German affairs.

- Bismarck met with Napoleon III at Biarmitz, hinted he would gain territory, Rhineland, to stay out of war with Austria

- Again Austria had lost a poential ally.

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