Was Bismarck's Foreign Policy 1871-90 a Success?

Topics: World War I, Otto von Bismarck, League of the Three Emperors Pages: 4 (1483 words) Published: February 16, 2011
Was Bismarck’s Foreign Policy 1871-90 a success?
The Aim of this essay is to study Bismarck's Foreign Policy from 1871-90 and come to a conclusion about whether it was a success. Otto Von Bismarck born on April 1, 1815 at Schönhausen and considered the founder of the German Empire. From 1862 to 1873 Bismarck was prime minister of Prussia and from 1871 to 1890 he was Germany's first Chancellor. Once Germany was unified, Bismarck noticed that Germany was under threat of attack from other countries surrounding it. Bismarck primarily wanted to avoid any challenges against the new European order and to unite the new German state, which faced domestic opposition and great suspicion from the rest of Europe Bismarck wanted to do this, rather than seek further territory or fight more wars, which would put Germany’s unified country under a lot of pressure. Furthermore, France wanted revenge and therefore, Bismarck knew she had to be isolated. Part of Bismarck's foreign policy in which he was successful in achieving was the weakening and isolation of France. The former objective was attained by the peace settlement imposed on France by the Treaty of Frankfurt, which included a large war indemnity. The five main powers in Europe were Great Britain, Russia, France, Austria- Hungary and Germany. Bismarck knew that to isolate France, he would have to form an alliance with at least two of them. Firstly, Bismarck knew that Britain would not present Bismarck with any problems as it was more concerned with its own empire than with the rest of Europe. Also, Britain was more pro-German than pro-French and therefore wouldn’t protest at the isolation. Therefore in fear of a future two-fronted war, Bismarck managed to bring Germany, Austria Hungary and Russia together to form the Dreikaiserbund also known as the league of 3 emperors, in 1872/3. The aim of this alliance was to maintain existing borders in Europe Fight and fight both socialism & republicanism, effectively slowly...
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