- 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.
Prussian Economic Strength
- 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.
Prussian Military Strength
- 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.
Mistakes of Others
- 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.
- 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.