German Unification Essay

1210 words - 5 pages

Assess the success of German Unification under Otto von Bismarck.German Unification under Otto von Bismarck was a means of distracting and deflecting growing German calls for reform in the structure of society and politics. Bismarck's unification of Germany created a state that was politically backward and unprepared to change with the powerful social upheavals that the rest of Europe was undergoing. This is clearly evident in the emerging emphasis of military life in Prussian society at the beginning of Wilhelm I's reign, the growing dominance of the aristocratic elite in German politics, the wars of unification designed to distract from growing forces of change, Bismarckian Diplomacy designed to create the impression Socialist or Liberal reform. All of these factors left Germany unable to adapt to the changing social and political climate sweeping Europe and left a brittle and antiquated political structure which fell at the beginning of the twentieth century after the First World War.By the beginning of the 19th century in Prussia, the monarchy was already on shaky ground. Revolution had spread throughout europe, in economics, politics and thought. The philosophy of the enlightenment had questioned the rules and beliefs of the Christian church in Europe and the hierarchical feudal system in which wealth and political power rested with royalty and the nobility. The right of European kings and queens to govern with absolute power was questioned through passionate discussion of concepts such as human rights, liberty and the law. In England, monarchs had abandoned divine rule 300 years previously. Through the American War of Independence, it was declared that every man's had the right to "life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness" and that "whenever any form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it was the right of the people to alter or abolish it, and to institute new Government'. The irresistible atmosphere of revolution in Europe lead to the recognition of american independence in 1783. In 1789, French King Louis XIV was deposed and replaced with a new republican government of elected representatives in the pursuit of "liberty, equality and fraternity". Across Europe, a fear of revolutionary change and awareness that revolutionary ideas were not confined by national borders determined the actions of monarchs such as Wilhelm I of Prussia. This would breed the counter-revolution and conservative backlash to the spread of revolutionary thought that Otto von Bismarck would work in to preserve the Prussian social structure. Comment by Nicholas Manganas: Atmosphere of changeWithout Bismarck, there would still have been a German Unification of sorts. The push towards it was too strong. Liberal calls for unification, such as the 1859 the Nationalverein, set up to discuss unification on a Nationalist basis, The German Working Men's Association, set up in 1863, reflected a similar spirit of nationalism. The alarming factor for the...

Find Another Essay On German Unification

Italian And German Unification Essay

553 words - 2 pages Italian and German Unification After 1848, Italian nationalists looked to the kingdom of Sardinia for leadership because Mazzini had failed in Rome. Sardinia's king, Victor Emmanuel II named Count Camillo di Cavour his prime minister. Cavour was a wealthy aristocrat and a moderate nationalist. He also was a realpolitik. Realpolitiks were shrewd,purposeful politicians who wanted to unite Italy by well chosen alliances, not romantic rebellions

" German nationalism was responsible for German unification"

1331 words - 5 pages . He did not even want to." As well as that the empire he created was not even a German empire, as Bismarck had never intended for it to be a German empire.The progression that led to the unification of the German states began long before the arrival of Bismarck. This process started during the Napoleonic wars. Napoleon unwittingly sparked a feeling of nationalism throughout Europe. He had not only united the people of Germany and Italy. German

All About German and Italian Unification

581 words - 2 pages German states were reluctant to join in his unification because of strong religious and political traditions. After the overpowering of France in 1871 the southern states finally joined. This was the defeat the brought them together.Prussia had become the most powerful state in Europe. "Most German's were enormously proud, enormously relieved. And they were somewhat drunk with success, blissfully imagining themselves the fittest and best of the

Outlines German Unification and Bismarks envolvement.

706 words - 3 pages Bismarck was named minister-president.He proceeded to collect the additional taxes on the basis of the 1861 budget, arguing that because the constitution did not provide for the case of an impasse he would have to apply the preceding year's budget. To justify the increase of the army, he clamed that German unification would only be settled by iron and blood."The importance of a state is measured by the number of soldiers it can put into the field

Was Bismarck The Key Figure In The Unification Of German?

1483 words - 6 pages caused amongst those who believe that Bismarck was fully responsible for German unification and those who believe other factors played an equally or even more important part. The historian Pflanze is an example of someone who considers Bismarck to be solely responsible, as opposed to Bohme, who gives full credit to economic factors in unifying Germany1. However, there is also a middle view, supported by historians such as Medlicott, who argue that

Economic Factors in Unification of German People in the 19th Century

1463 words - 6 pages Economic Factors in Unification of German People in the 19th Century There is little debate about the factors concerned in nineteenth century German unification, the argument commences when the most important is put to question. To find the most important we must surely look to the primary factors, the instigating forces, or seeds if you will, that are required for the formation of a Nation State. The great

The Role of Nationalism in German Unification: Three Post-Holed examples

2251 words - 9 pages Nationalism, or the love of one's country, has been the central theme in the sustained unification of most successful countries. Throughout German history, several unification attempts were not associated with a strong and sustained sense of nationalism. The Germanic peoples came together under strong leadership to achieve common goals and needs, including increased political, economic and military strength. The lack of sustained nationalism

The Process of the Unification and Founding of the German Empire in a European Context: Otto Von Bismarck

2316 words - 9 pages Nordedeutscher Bund. Once the triumph was over Bismarck quickly began discussions for the union of the south German States and the Norddeutscher Bund. In 1871 the Deutsches Reich founding and the much anticipated unification of Germany had happened. Wilhem I was crowned emperor of the Deutsches Reich. Although there were many events leading up to the eventual unification of Germany and founding of the German Empire they appeared to be quite small

The unification of Germany was achieved through a policy of "Blood and Iron". How did Bismarck go about unifying the German states?

1081 words - 4 pages to German unification. Since the political approach had failed, Bismarck adopted a policy of "blood and Iron" for his plans of unifying Germany. Bismarck was a cunning politician who always made the other side seem the aggressor and in this way always appeared the victim. By manipulating political situations, Bismarck succeeded in going to war, and defeating, all the counties that stood the way of a united Germany under Prussian rule.Bismarck's

"Nationalism was probably the most important cause of unification". Discuss with reference to Germany.

843 words - 3 pages this caused the beginnings of the unifying the Germans. The 1848 revolutions, although a serious blow to the German nationalism, they laid the idea of a united state with persisted in the hearts and minds of liberal-nationalists. There are other factors that cause the German unification. The growth of liberalism is one of them and cannot be ignored. There have been increasing number of liberals in the middle class people and these people lead the

The Unification of Germany Between 1863 and 1871

1155 words - 5 pages Austria, seeming more planned. In 1866 he provoked war by proposing that the German confederation should be dissolved and a new one set up excluding Austria. Lasting only seven weeks, this proved a great success as it led to the setting up of the new 'North German Confederation,' making the unification of Germany easier as Prussia's main rival was excluded. The 'Peace of Prague' Treaty was then signed which achieved

Similar Essays

German Unification Essay

1991 words - 8 pages German Unification It would be impossible to tell the story of German Unification without giving Bismarck's role due prominence. Between 1862 and 1871 the map of Germany was altered radically, and Bismarck played a key role in the events, which led to the foundation of the new Reich, but his success was due to a combination of factors

German Unification Essay

1964 words - 8 pages German Unification is believed to be, by some, the most significant achievement of mid-nineteenth century nationalists, where the divided states of Germany joined into the German Empire. For years before unification the powerful neighbors of Germany had worked to keep her divided. Then in 1871 conditions occurring in Europe allowed King William 1 of Prussia, his chief minister Otto Van Bismarck, and his General Chief of Staff, Helmuth von Moltke

German Unification Essay

1066 words - 4 pages Luisa Orduz SantacruzAugust 23rd, 20131002Aim for a unified GermanyOtto von Bismarck was the Chancellor of the German Empire by the end of the 19th century. Under the rule of Kaiser Wilhelm I, he came up with diverse ruling strategies and policies to unify Germany and make it rise as the most powerful kingdom in Europe. To accomplish his main goal, one of Bismarck's strategies was persecution of minorities in German territory. Besides that, to

German And Italian Unification. Essay

531 words - 2 pages Following the Napoleonic invasions, feelings of nationalism were left in both Italy and Germany causing the people to unite. Italian unification, or Risorgimento was able to succeed due to Giuseppe Mazzini's inspiration, Count Camillo Di Cavour's shrewd politics, and Giuseppe Garibaldi's military initiative. It was Bismarck's ingenious political maneuvers that led Germany to its unification in 1871. Both the Italian and German unification would