Otto Eduard Leopold von Bismarck-Schönhausen (Schönhausen1 april 1815 – 30 July Friedrichsruh1898), from 1865, 1871, Fürst von Bismarck, Count from 1890 Duke von Lauenburg, was a 19th-century German statesman , and a dominant figure in world history.

As Prime Minister of Prussia from 1862 to 1890, he oversaw the unification of Germany. In 1867 he became Chancellor of the North German Confederation. He was the designer of the German Empire in 1871, it was the first Chancellor of and dominated the Affairs of State until he was put aside in 1890 by the new emperor, Wilhelm II of Germany. His diplomacy of Realpolitik and powerful Dominion earned him the nickname the "iron Chancellor" as Henry Kissinger pointed out, wrote "the man of blood and iron" prose of an extraordinary directness and clarity, similar in ability with Churchills use of the English language.

Especially after his death, hundreds of Bismarck monuments which glorify the symbol of powerful personal leadership. Historians praised him as a statesman of moderation and balance, which was primarily responsible for the unification of the German States into a single nation State. He used power balanced diplomacy to keep Europe peaceful in the years 1870 and 1880. He created a new nation with a progressive social policy, a result that went beyond its original goals as a practitioner of power politics in Prussia. Bismarck was a devout Lutheran who was loyal to his King (which in turn Bismarck gave full support) and he promoted the Government by a strong, well-trained bureaucracy. Although ultra-conservative around 1850, he was more pragmatic and worked especially with the national-Liberals and moderate conservatives together. As his main opponents, the Social Democrats and he saw during the larger part of the 70 's the Catholic party.


[hide]*1 Early Career

Early career[Edit]Edit

[1][2]Bismarck in 1836

Otto von Bismarck was descended from a distinguished Prussian noble family, that relations with the Hohenzollern, the Royal House of Prussia. He studied law inGöttingen and Berlin and from the second half of the 1940s he was a member of the Prussian Landtag, a kind of Parliament of Prussia but with limited powers. During the1950s he was the Prussian representative to the German Confederation in Frankfurt. During this time he turned increasingly against the old connectedness of Prussia with the other conservative power, Austria.


Bismarck always had to gingerly navigate between the nationalist and conservative movements who at the time lived in Prussia and other German States. The national movement stood for a liberal Germany, for pragmatic reasons under the leadership of Prussia. The Conservatives came mostly from the aristocracy and landed gentry who wanted to stick to the existing situation in which Austria was allowed to keep its leading role in German politics. Although Bismarck was originally no German nationalist, he saw the importance of a Prussian Germany-oriented politics in on.

He attached importance to a militarily strong Prussia but also had an eye for the economic interests of the country, and believed that these interests could be best served with reinforcement of the unity between the different German States. A Confederation was to accommodate both currents. Also he strove at this reinforcement to a counterweight to the power of Austria. His view heard that country is not among the German States family and he felt that the other members of the German Confederation had to make himself away from the Austrian custody of all kinds of German Affairs.


His anti-Austrian attitude in Frankfurt was not very much appreciated by his Government, so he got a different function: the King appointed him the Prussian Envoy in St. Petersburg. A few years later he became-likewise as Envoy-transferred to Paris. During his Russian and French years he did much important contacts with those in power inRussia and France. He won by his attitude and action the esteem and affection of both Alexander II of Russia as of the French Emperor Napoleon III.

Ministry and German unification[Edit]Edit

[3][4]Bismarck as the Iron Chancellor, with a Pickelhaube on the head (1880)

In 1862 , he was taken to Berlin by King Wilhelm I , due to a conflict over army reforms between the room and the Government. Bismarck was appointed Minister-president of Prussia and solved the problem. He did take issue with discussion, but with harassment and legal sleight of hand. In that conflict, he was succeeded to the governmental position virtually no concessions. Soon after this success Bismarck dominated the Prussian King whole and knew his sentence by pressing. The King was the ruler In name but Bismarck pulled the strings behind the scenes. During the years that followed, he went to the formation of a new German Confederation: a Federation without Austria. He achieved this goal through three short wars:

German-Danish War[Edit]Edit

The first was the German-Danish War to the duchies Schleswig and Holstein in 1864. After successful termination of this war broke out between Prussia and Austria there is disagreement about the management of these areas.

German War[Edit]Edit

This conflict, plus the Prussian Customs Union refusal to admit to the Austria, eventually led to war between Prussia and Austria in 1866 the so-called German war. During this war insisted the Prussian army deep into Austrian area and after six weeks, the Austrian Government asked for an armistice. Bismarck did not grant this request immediately and soon the peace signed in Prague, with as pretty much any provision that the German Confederation was raised.

Bismarck went to the formation of a new German Confederation without Austria. This new Federation now had to no ' Confederation ' more, but a ' Confederation '. The Constitution that Bismarck now enter left is still largely the same as those of today's German Federal Republic. Starting from 1867 there was a North German Confederation(Bavaria and some of the smaller South German States did not included), whose president was the Prussian King and the Prussian Prime Minister got the function ofChancellor. The envoys college in Frankfurt was raised and there was a Federal Government for in the place which was in Berlin, the capital of Prussia. There came a Bundestag Parliament (deputies of the population) and a Federal Council (representatives of the Federal States). The States in southern Germany remained independent but Bismarck searched for a way to the southern States, in the meantime of course without Austria, yet to join his North German Confederation. Soon he got an opportunity to do so if offered on a silver platter.

French-German War[Edit]Edit

In France, there was some concern raised about this huge increase in Prussian power. A nationalist government that took office in 1868 in Paris took every opportunity to profile the new Prussia. An excellent opportunity to this end was a troonopvolgings issue in Spain: there was the last Scion of the ruling Royal family, Isabella II of Spain, ousted from the throne. There was a new dynasty and various Royal houses of Europe believed to have rights to the Spanish throne and proposed candidates. Also a relative of the Prussian King had applied for the vacant Spanish throne. The French Government demanded, however, that these would be withdrawn and called in a telegram to King Wilhelm I of Prussia that he never would give his approval on such a candidacy. Bismarck immediately saw the possibilities in this situation to all German States to get behind: he brought this telegram, later known as the Emser Depesche, outward as a provocation to all German States and sent it in slightly exaggerated shape to the newspaper. The rest went without saying: public opinion, in those times very nationalistic, was seething of indignation and in both countries, France and Germany created a dangerous war vote, which ultimately resulted in the Franco-Prussian War of 1870-1871. During this war locks, such as Bismarck had hoped, indeed the South German States with the North German Confederation.

[5][6]Anton von Werner: proclamation of Emperor Wilhelm I (creation of the German Empire) on 18 January 1871 with Bismarck as a central figure in a white uniform in the Hall of mirrors at Versailles. In reality Bismarck was dressed unobtrusively that day.

Bismarck knew he had achieved its goal and now was left still the last step that was just a formality: on January 18, 1871 the new German Empire was proclaimed in the festive Hall of mirrors at the Palace of Versailles, the prestigious home of the al as good as defeated enemy. The North German Constitution was essentially tracked, although some names changed (for example, Präsidium became emperor and Chancellor was Chancellor).

Chancellor and German Empire[Edit]Edit

It was Bismarck succeeded to unite the German States. The Reich was a fact, without that Bismarck had to close too many compromises with the nationalists. He had a lot of power and its position was untouchable within the realm, only the King could dismiss him. France had been defeated and had to pay huge sums of money. The Empire knew many contradictions: outside the aforementioned problems with the public authorities, which made that the emphasis continued to lie with the bond States and thus particularly Prussia, there were also religious conflicts between the Protestant North and the Catholic South, the contradiction between the emerging new elite and the working class, between the feudal countryside and industry magnates, between the principles of the Enlightenment and the conservative nobility. Bismarck himself choked with its politics and also the emergence of unit within his State acceptance of the State by the different groups of citizens. First were the Conservatives and national Liberals who accepted the State of Bismarck as the proper form of Government. They had to provide a support to the Empire by seen. The conservatives could count on a limited Assembly and a sure retention of privileges. The national Liberals could find themselves with citizenship, free market economy and of course the German State. Then came the Catholics and the middle class. The Catholics accepted the State after the ' Kulturkampf ' was over. The Catholic middle class benefited from the strong German economy and the industrialisation, which let them accept the German State. Finally, after the period is Bismarck, the workers (the proletariat) also accepted the German State, but only when the economy in 1890 under Wilhelm II what attracted and nationalism took extreme forms.

Bismarcks aggressive attitude to the Catholics and Socialists caused tension within the Empire. The Catholics formed a danger to German State because of their loyalty to the Vatican. The Social Democrats denied the importance of a State in General and aimed at a States-and classless society. This would have to be reached by a violent revolution against the status quo and so against the regime of Bismarck. In addition, Bismarck deliberately strove to a lesser German solution, without which millions of Austria Austrian Germans were excluded by the new German State. In the East of the Reich lived a large Polish minority that do not have the same civil rights as the Germans. The Empire that Bismarck had created, was so incomplete. A State that was not finished yet. This is according to some historians, one of the causes of extreme German nationalism just before both world wars. The Empire should be extended making it all Germans would include. To the outside world was the politics that Bismarck made nor conducive to human development. By its restraint and diplomatic solutions to the other European powers, it could not grow, nationalism within the German Empire because there was simply nothing to ' proud ' to be on.

However, it was not only the politics of Bismarck and the social differences that the development from a unitary State were in the way, the economic situation in Germany also looked bleak. By the economic problems that the minor brought with it (unemployment, inflation, low demand), weakened the standing of the emerging German industry and the German economy, which the German population, outside the social differences and ' failing ' foreign policy, had even less to be proud of.

The approach of Bismarck was not so very very bad, the Chancellor knew the new German State between European and colonial powers and that the State was embedded at its neighbors, especially France, was not popular. The by Bismarck adept politics guaranteed the German State. The Chancellor protected the nationalist population against themselves. In addition, it is this Prussian Jaeger succeeded for the first time in history to forge a German State. All previous German forms of Government had a loose and federative character, while the German Empire was the first German State. In a way, was the purpose of the National Association reached.

Bismarcks rule[Edit]Edit

The period between 1871-1890 is the first existence period of the German Empire. This period was the period-Bismarck , as Otto von Bismarck held the Office of Chancellor. Normally, it is not a person that society changes, but progressive ideas. Sometimes a man to form a society to his hand. Bismarck was such a man, he knew in the changing society of the 19th century to found a Kingdom, based on the ' obsolete ' way of governing: a lot of power for the King and a weak Parliament, in which only the prominent citizens were represented. Of a German nation was therefore during this period, no question, a ' Large-Prussia ' would be a better name, because Prussia the hegemony conducted within the Reich. The previously mentioned social differences were not resolved during this period. Only when Wilhelm II Emperor of the German Empire was and the emphasis began to put on the ' superiority ' of the German people were these problems less visible and replaced by a national euphoria.

Bismarck has broken up the liberal principle-freedom and unity-and there is a choice of made, an error of the national movement that only after the first world war was restored. Bismarck knew the nationalists with the prospect of a unified State. That would be this State led authoritarian under the Kings of Prussia they took but in the bargain. There would always be later in the history of the Empire to exist can be worked, was the reasoning of the national Liberals. The different layers in the population would be won, for the Empire slowly but gradually. But from the outset, the Reich was all a-zero behind. Because the largest groups in the society, the Catholics and Socialists, were under-represented.


Pope Pius IX had stated that the Papal power above the power of the States and infallible was. Bismarck saw this attempt by the Pope to restore his power as a direct attack on the State. ' Dominion ' next to the lordship of the Priest King not tolerated the Chancellor. The loyalty of the Germans would have to lie with the State and not with the Pope. In addition it went also to the principle of the separation of Church and State.This period in German history is called the Kulturkampf. Bismarcks fight focused within the Reich against the Centre Party (' Das Zentrum '). This party had stated that all denominational authorities within the Empire had to be guaranteed and respected.

"Die christliche Religion ist sowohl im einzelnen Staaten bei Einrichtungen in den all if Reiche, welche mit der Religionsübung im Zusammenhang stehen, zugrunde zu legen unbeschadet der Religionsfreiheit,. Damit Verbunden Freiheit des höheren mittlerer und des Unterrichtes, des niederen Staatsaufsicht, unter der Staatschule nicht gesetzlich geregelter Einrichtung, und nach der Willkür der geistigen, sittlichen und Staatsbehörden, sondern nach Reals Verhältnissen des Volkes. "

The battle of Bismarck against the Center had outside the loyalty issue and secularism another reason, namely a political one. The Center had two program points that Bismarck strike.

"Mit dem deutschen Bündnis Österreich, Festes nationales Ost-Reiche. Selbständigkeit der Anerkennung der Redliche and: zum Deutschen Reich notwendige Einheit des gehörigen Einzelländer, soweit es zulässt nach Maßgabe der that Reichsgesetze Reiches ".

In these two program runs were three aspects, the first aspect was a "nationales Bündnis mit Österreich", so basically disapproving of the lesser German solution and the quest for a general German State including Austria. The second aspect was the emphasis the Center concentrated on the Federal States. This lot had to own the Government retain control of Bismarck undercut. The last aspect was that the Centre is not founded on a particular State, but on all modes. The party was stand and tried to resolve differences within the party. That meant, therefore, that both workers and capitalists in the party were represented, United under Catholicism. The principle of a stand-transcending party was the Chancellor strange. A stand had to interfere with its own business and interests. Bismarck found cooperation between the States no problem, but blend into a party for him was unthinkable. He feared that this would create a State within a State. The Center would get the same hierarchy of positions as the Reich itself. Also, also played that Prussia was predominantly Protestant. The Kulturkampf began as early as 1871, just after the first national elections. The Center was in one fell swoop the second batch. Bismarck feared that in the future the Centre might be a majority could be gained. The Chancellor therefore acted right away: all in July of that year were the Catholic departments of the Prussian Culture Ministry lifted. In december of that year were sent to the so-called "Kanzlerparagraphen" as an example Italian Kingdom laws written out. This determined that it was forbidden for clergy to discuss Affairs of the State in a way, which could endanger public order. The following year, were replaced by the Christian schools ' State schools '. In 1873 Bismarck grip with "Mai-Gesetze" directly into the life of the Prussian Catholics. The training and appointment of clergy was State-controlled. It now had to be carried out by asset management Catholic elected officials. Finally, in 1875, decided that one had to marry for the State and that the Church marriage was no more than a ceremonial affair. One should also not first marry for the Church and only then for the State. All these measures were directed against the independence of church or at least tried to reduce his influence. Of religious persecution in the German Empire, as Pope Pius IX claimed, however, fell not to mention. The measures addressed themselves not against the individual believers, which were left untouched, but by the power of the Church as an institution. This power would have to be broken and must be subordinate to the State power.

Bismarck's attempts to limit the power of the Catholic Church have not worked, on the contrary even. Not only the Catholics were outraged by the measures, but also many Protestants. The introduction of the State schools and the State marriage were also rejected by the Conservatives except through the Center. Persisted as the Kulturkampf, the fundamental rights in danger, making even the Liberals – then still allies of Bismarck-the developments started worrying way. The Liberals initially supported the Kulturkampf because of the principle of secularism and the freedom of culture and humanism. But it just worked not. The underlying purpose of Bismarck to the Centre from politics to drift, had failed. The Center Party increased even in seats between 1871 to 1878 by 63 to 84 seats.


During the first federal election, the Social Democrats were 2 representatives of the 382. The Organization of the labour movement was bad. The social democracy at this stage could not be taken seriously. But Bismarck saw this differently. The Chancellor knew with the industrialization of society would be increasing the labour class. He found, therefore, that the social question of the workers was not partisan, but a State matter. As early as 1863 Bismarck had tried to bind the workers to the State by far-reaching social legislation and even the right to vote. Bismarck knew that the Labour Party would grow enormously and tried those growth to stagnate, or at least slow down by social legislation. Still, the question remains why Bismarck a unorganized, little ' gang ' workers as "Reichsfeinde '. In the final analysis, had the German conservatives and the Vrij-conservatives about as much votes during the elections. approximately 300 thousand. Only knew the German-Conservatives 22 seats and the Conservatives even Vrij-33 seats. The reason of Bismarcks hostility to the workers ' Party was not the pursuit of improving the social position of the worker, but on how this place had to be found. The State would have to be cut down and the capital would be fair should be divided among the population. In addition, the workers ' Party was not nationally oriented but globally.

"In der Gesellschaft sind Arbeitsmittel Monopol of the Capitalists put up to that class; hierdurch Abhängigkeit der Arbeiterklasse ist die Ursache that bedingte des Elends und der knechtschaft in all Formen.Arbeitsmittel erfordert die Verwandlung der Befreiung der Arbeit which in Gemeingut der Gesellschaft und die Verwendung und Regelung der genossenschaftliche Gesamtarbeit mit Arbeitsvertrages gemeinnütziger gerechter Verteilung des ".

By their revolutionary ideas, they were not only seen by Bismarck as enemy of the State, but were wary of the other political parties and positions them as well. The Social Democrats were the only one who wanted to overthrow the State objects. Even the village, much maligned by Bismarck, was also hostile to the Socialists.

In 1878 there was an attack on the life of the German Emperor Wilhelm i. the Emperor arrived here unscathed, but undertook called action. A Bill was in the making, the so-called "Ausnahmegesetz", for protection from social democracy. After the first attempt stranded by the lack of the Liberals, I managed the second attempt though. On 21 October 1878 entered the law. It held in that fundamental rights for the Social Democrats was restricted.

"Druckschriften, social democratic, Communist, in welchen Umsturz der soziale oder auf den bestehenden Bestrebungen in einer Gesellschaftsordnung gerichtete State-oder der öffentlichen Frieden, Insbesondere Bevölkerungsklassen treten zu Tage der gefährdenden Weise that Eintracht, sind zu verbieten." And: "Wer für einen Verein oder für eine verbotene Versammlung Räumlichkeiten verbotenen hergibt, wird mit documentation TOST.gefängnis von einem Monat bis zu einem Jahre punished."

The legislation crippled the labour party. The party blades were largely banned, the local chapter had to be raised and membership was not allowed. The party was printed in the illegality. On the one hand, the measures had little effect. The Labour Party continued to exist as a political force, albeit weakened. In the year of Bismarcks resignation, 1890, was the labour party the largest party of the German Empire, the Centre and the national Liberals leaving behind. But still, it was the workers ' Party of the person psychologically harassed a little in politics. Any other party was her hostile. So hostile, that also castigated even by Bismarck Center for the "Ausnahmegesetz" agreed. Bismarck was out to destroy the Social Democrats. This led to the workers, because they actually were allowed to do not with the State, were appropriate and in itself fell everywhere outside. They developed fairly secluded from conservatives, Liberals, Catholics and Protestants. Own associations, meeting places and cafés were established, especially for the worker. This phenomenon would do a bit with the denominational segregation can be compared.

Both the workers and the Catholics, the largest groups within the German Empire, fell outside the boat. They were persecuted and excluded by Bismarck. This led to both groups felt themselves excluded and that allowed the development of nationalism and the acceptance of the State of Bismarck in the road. The realm of Bismarck had to win the victory of many population groups. This was actually a kind of compromise because it is rich between the nationalists and the Conservatives, backed by the Democrats and the Catholics who during the Franco-Prussian war against France in the camp by nationalism and hatred of Bismarck were driven. The acceptance of the State progressed slowly. They actually came really well and never came into existence only after the Kulturkampf. After the death of Pope Pius IX were looking for Bismarck weather bringing together with the Catholics and reduced the Suppression of the workers ' Party. Also the social legislation began to do its work. The effects of Bismarcks politics were in fact disappeared when Wilhelm II became emperor.

Economy under Bismarck[Edit]Edit

[7][8]Bismarck home in Friedrichsruh (1892), signed by C.W. Allers

After years of economic boom collapsed in the fairs in 1873. The effect had implications not only for the German Empire, but for the whole of Europe and the United States. The crisis began in Vienna when first the silver price collapsed, after it had reached astronomical heights. The industry ran back as demand waned, as workers lost their jobs. The euphoria that the victory over the French had brought with them to the German economy did now. The idea of free trade and eternal growth ran with a huge dent on this crisis and led to protectionism. Bismarck sought to protect the German economy with the "Schutzzollpolitik". The national Liberals were punished for ' their ' free trade principle during the federal election. The Liberals held only 12% about 33%. A social effect was that the difference between the capitalists and workers was even greater. The under layer pulled out of poverty to the cities, which it almost buckled under the pressure people. People lived under terrible conditions (this was also already so during the boom, it was now only worse, what the envy against the capitalists did grow.) The capitalists felt threatened and were more hostile. The social issue to the forefront and workers joined allied themselves to their interests, just like the capitalists and the middle class. This split in society, the development of nationalism in the way, because it is not part of the State but felt his own group. For example, the worker felt involved in the worker Association but could the blood of his fellow German, which then happened to be capitalist was, though drinking. It was a society where opportunities not fair were divided. The workers lived in appalling conditions in housing and hygiene.

The prominent Social Democrat August Bebel claimed that the causes of the social question is not primarily to the economic inequality of the worker were due, but his inability to keep up with the change of the society and the lack of a clear vision on how to resolve it.

Bismarck, afraid of workers rebellions and the workers ' Party, decided to make social legislation to improve the position of workers. This was of course politically, a genial action. Firstly, tied it to the State worker and inhibited off the the labour party. The steps that Bismarck promoted indirectly took so the development of nationalism and the acceptance of the State. Bismarck also knew, that the ' conversion ' of the State to a welfare State would take years and that the effect would be not immediately noticeable.

"Seit dem Sozialistengesetz ist immer an mich hochstehender Seite und herangetreten von amtlicher, that Mahnung aus dem damals versprochen, es müsse People: es sie auch etwas geschehen, um die Ursachen des Sozialismus positiv, insoweit ihnen eine beiwohnt, zu beseitigen Berechtigung; ist bis zu diesem Augenblick an that Mahnung nicht ich glaube nicht, und herangetreten toto which, dass mit fünfzig Jahren vor uns seit der Frage which consider social class distinctions, unsere schwebt Söhne Only vollständig ins Reine bowls were. "

However, the effects of the legislation were small, because the damage that Bismarck had done with its hostile politics was many times greater. With the help of the Centre and the Conservatives became the new legislation by the Reichstag piloted. The Centre voted for, because the Party felt itself committed with the fate of the workers, with the backdrop of the new politics that the Catholic Church claimed to bind the worker.The Conservatives voted for, because a happy worker is a quiet worker. The Conservatives wanted to prevent a revolution, for fear of becoming a victim of the revenge of the people. The continuity of the State had to be safeguarded. Social legislation was finally abolished under Wilhelm II again. In 1890, the year that Bismarck was fired, began the economy to bounce back. Partly due to the economic boom the Wilhelminian Reich.

Bismarck as a European diplomat[Edit]Edit

After the Franco-Prussian War, Bismarck realized that the annexation of Alsace-Lorraine would lead to a new conflict with France. Therefore, in 1873 the three emperors League founded. The ReichAustria-Hungaryand Russia promised to cooperate in threat from outside.

Germany formed this Alliance after the annexation of Alsace-Lorraine to prevent France ever would be a superpower and might not be compatible.

These wars and their consequences are unthinkable without Bismarck. He may not be the only one, but by far the principal Director of the events of the 1860 's been. After the Franco-Prussian War, he acted as an intermediary with other European conflicts like between EnglandAustriaTurkey and Russia on the Balkans and the Mediterranean Sea. In 1878 , he organized a Congress in Berlin, with which for several decades was ensured peace in the explosive area.

During the Congress of Berlin in 1878, under his leadership, the so-called "Oriental issue" resolved. The French expansion plans in Africa were addressed. Great Britain and Italy complained about the Russian influence in the Mediterranean Sea. Austria-Hungary was unhappy with the Russian expansion in the Balkans.

Bismarck mediated and Bulgaria was divided among TurkeyRomaniaand Serbia . SouthBulgaria became to the Turkish sultan returned. Austria-Hungary was which Angers Serbia charged with supervision of Bosnia and Herzegovina. Against the will of Turkey took Britain Cyprus in possession. As compensation for the Russian loss was offered her the Caucasus . And because France was a problem here in Tunis offered, saw them.

When the Russian Tsar in 1879 protested against Germany, that he always chose the side of Austria-Hungary, Bismarck decided on 7 October to close a secret military Treaty with Russia in which he promised that Germany would remain neutral in the event of an attack by Austria-Hungary on Russia.

[9][10]Bismarck in 1886 in his Office

The three left Russia in 1887 by the deteriorated relationship with Germany Emperor bond. Bismarck offered the Russians the "rugdekkings Treaty" in which he attacked the German neutrality would be if Russia promised by Austria-Hungary. He loved this Treaty be hidden for Austria-Hungary.

He was less successful on domestic terrain. He was intelligent enough to realize that the world was changing radically increasing industrialization; There he focused on in his economic policy. However, he had little regard for the social and societal consequences that that entailed. If he fought any efforts to utterly conservative nobleman emancipation; especially that of Catholics and of workers.

During the Kulturkampf he wanted the influence of the Catholic press binding by means of all kinds of censorship on their sheets. He tried silence with the workers on the one hand 'Socialists laws' (ban on socialist party formation) and on the other hand with far-reaching legislation in the field of health care, education and the elderly, which he tried to take the wind out of the sails of them. Also, he led the General men's suffrage for Reichstag Parliament building to meet the Liberals slightly; even though he sure watched that got the Reichstag powers on important topics.

[11][12]Drawing by John Tenniel in the satirical magazine Punch, March 1890.The captain leaves the ship shed Bismarck while Wilhelm II check him.

In 1888 came a new emperor, Wilhelm II, who wanted to present itself as a powerful and self conscious head of State. Bismarck ran him in the road and was dismissed in 1890.He was succeeded by count Leo von Caprivi. Bismarck got a farewell an estate, Dukes title and a seat in the Reichstag, which he no longer used. Bismarck after his dismissal was the center of a cult. In many places in Germany was founded a Bismarck monument , often in the form of a tower. He died in Friedrichsruh 1898 on its lock.


[13][14]Bismarck-Monument, Hamburg byHugo Lederer (1902/06)

Bismarck was in politics a loner. He was an absolute conservative, but could work with him, all kinds of parties and politicians when it came out. He himself called a "Realpolitiker ': a realistic politician who made use of the opportunities provided. In that respect he was sanctified for him the goal always principled and little resources. His way of governing was authoritarian and often confrontational. When he took office as Prime Minister of Prussia, he provoked the Liberal MEPs first reason that political goals could be accomplished with majority decisions and speeches, but ' durch Blut und requirements ', in other words: by force.

In the field of foreign policy he strove to pronounce on a way to a security policy. The Reich was a newcomer to the European power game and as a result were the traditional balance of power between the major powers, Russia, Austria, Great Britain and France, completely turned upside down. The Reich was admired,[source? ]but also feared and distrusted. No one understood this better than Bismarck. Off Germany's geographic position was highly unfavorable; it bordered on as many as three other major powers and it was of the utmost importance that the relations with this major powers remained good. As Bismarck covered a war began, he was diplomatic in other superpowers; When the war had broken out, he only had to find that the enemy was. Nevertheless, Bismarck carried out wars that lasted always short; There was no room for rancor. This allowed Bismarck relatively shortly after the war of 1866 again good relations with Austria and eventually enter into an Alliance.

Only with France, in the aftermath of the Franco-Prussian War, he had a ' miscalculation ' created. After the Franco-Prussian War France Alsace-Lorraine had to cede the new Germany. Bismarck stood there after all, he had not actually behind his own goal-the German unit-reached and wanted to humiliate the defeated French, but could also not too much – especially under the great pressure of the Prussian generals and the German public opinion-not much else. He believed the French would eventually acquiesce in the loss of this of origin German language area (largely only French possession since 1648). However, it did not; the Frenchmen remained wrokken about this and relations between France and Germany are until after the first world war no longer normalized. Bismarck then in its foreign policy has strived to isolate France politics of all other major powers. That's him-as long as he reigned-therefore did manage.

The safety principle of the new Germany was very high on the agenda. There were two ways to that political reality: Germany could strive for harmonious relationships with the neighbouring countries or Germany could deter the others with intimidation and power politics. Bismarck chose the first option, its successors for the second.

Bismarck was also not in favour of colonization. When Reich was founded in Versailles was the world for a long time were distributed among the then superpowers. Active colonization politics would be above all England in the wheels driving, reason enough to see them. Although Bismarck was a fierce opponent of colonization, he called out to some trading colonies protectorates of the Reich. It came to CameroonTogolandGerman South-West Africa and German East Africa. It should be absolutely no idealistic nor recognize imperialist objectives. It was an act of pure self-preservation of Bismarck. The Crown Prince and so heirs of Wilhelm I Friedrich III -had very liberal views and sought a liberal domestic politics. The Crown Prince would also have been planning to come closer to the United Kingdom, which is also a liberal exchange rate feed. Bismarck saw here a threat to his position as Chancellor. He had to so to Friedrich III and Liberals counter, cause an anti-British atmosphere in the German Empire. By colonizing and the German war fleet to build, in the United Kingdom region Bismarck. The result was a more aggressive attitude of the United Kingdom with regard to the German Empire. Of course, there was in response a anti-British public opinion in Germany, which is also politically translated. When Friedrich III was terminally ill and so was unable to follow his father-Bismarck was sure his position within the Empire. As a result, also fell the need to colonize road. Bismarck quickly retreated back from the colonial Hornet's nest of the nineteenth century. However, after Bismarck went the helm fully to. The German politics went increasingly strive for power politics and a way to get to Europe to impose hegemony. Also for the successors of Bismarck was this nothing but a form of ' security strategy ', but the psychological effect was counterproductive. Not only by the increasing economic predominance of Germany (between 1880 and 1890 Germany had the industrial lead of England retrieved) but also by the ill-considered statements made by Wilhelm II and his other great powers were spanned fleet politics becoming more distrustful and worried. These were gradually by the German action driven in each other's arms, causing the first world war could throw its shadows.

Marriage and children[Edit]Edit

Otto von Bismarck was married Johanna von Puttkamersince 1847. They had three children: Marie (1847-1926), Herbert (1849 – 1904) and Wilhelm (1852-1901).


Bismarck since 1857 was awarded the Grand Cross in the order of the oak Crown. After 1871 and Bismarck of the German States and got his retirement from abroad dozens of high awards; in some cases these were decorated with diamonds.


  • Gedanken und Erinnerungen, autobiography, three parts, 1898 — 1919
  • Ausgewählte Work, 1927

External link[Edit]Edit


Adolf zu Hohenlohe-Ingelfingen

Minister-president of Prussia

Government-Bismarck I 1862-1872


Albrecht von Roon


Albrecht von Bernstorff

Minister of Foreign Affairs of Prussia

Government-Bismarck I/Government-Roon/Government-Bismarck II 1862-1890


Herbert von Bismarck (a.i.)


Albrecht von Roon

Minister-president of Prussia

Government-Bismarck II 1873-1890


Leo von Caprivi




Government-Bismarck 1871-1890


Leo von Caprivi


Karl von Hoffmann

Trade Minister of Prussia



Hans von Berlepsch

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