Otto Von Bismarck Essay

619 words - 2 pages

Otto Von Bismarck

Otto Von Bismarck was a great leader in the unification of Germany. His skill as a diplomat was unrivalled during his reign as chancellor of Prussia. The mastery he showed in foreign policy was such that he was able to outwit all other powers and make their leaders appear inadequate.

Bismarck was an unrivalled diplomat during his reign. His German Reich constitution of April 1871 allowed him to dictate the government on his own terms. However, the parliament only “had the power to initiate debate upon any point of his (Bismarck’s) policy, but neither he nor any other minister was responsible to the assembly for his actions" (T. A. Morris, p116). Furthermore, the constitution was designed to give the impression that power was shared equally between the emperor and the chancellor, however Bismarck had the upper hand in all crucial decision-making, as he was adept at convincing Wilhelm of the correctness of his policy.

A further example of the extent to which he was a great chancellor is the fact that he was able to deal with the internal opposition. Bismarck was able to gain the support of the National-Liberal party as they were sympathetic to the chancellor because he had brought about national unity, the party's major policy aim, and also because many short-term goals of the two partners coincided - most notably "consolidation of that national unity and the centralisation of the administration of the Reich" (Morris, p118). His association with the National Liberals strengthened his position by giving him a strong presence in the Reichstag, and can therefore be seen as a preventive means of dealing with internal opposition. Bismarck’s political successes were remarkable, but he demonstrated an undeniably unethical way of treating internal opposition, coupled by significant opportunism. However, he was succumbing to the broad demands of the public only to be able to...

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