Evaluate the Role of Bismarck in German Hisotry

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Evaluate the role of Bismarck in German History.

There have been many historians that said that the second half of the nineteenth century was the ‘Age of Bismarck’. In the mid 1800’s Bismarck provided great leadership, which was an attribute that Germany did not have during the events of 1848-89. Bismarck was everywhere and aware of the situation that surrounded Prussia. However, there have been a number of debates about the role of Bismarck in the unification of Germany. Some historians argue that the unification would have been inevitable and had nothing to do with Bismarck; however others argue that the unification happened only because of Bismarck. He also provoked neighboring states which in order to separate them of unification such as France and Austria. Other factors such as the role of the Prussian military, the Austrian weakness all had an input in the unification of Germany, as did cultural nationalism.

Bismarck was the Chancellor of Prussia, which was one of the German states that together formed the German confederation. Austria, a very powerful neighbor, was against the German unification. It was the clever moves and decisions made by Bismarck that made the other German states realize that Prussia alone can become the natural leader of a future German state instead of Austria. He then made Prussian militarily power stronger and with this defeated Austria in war. War broke out all starting with Bismarck writing a new alternate proposal of the constitution provoking Austria to declare war. However, this wasn’t enough to push them to the edge of war. Austria and Prussia had gained Dutch provinces Holstein and Schleswig in 1864 as allies in the German Confederation as a result of the Danish war. Bismarck wished to rule both provinces in order to expand Prussia’s territory. As a result Prussia succeeded and forced Austria to leave the German Confederation and gaining the treaty of Prague which...
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