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Bismarck and Metternich

By bonfire Mar 20, 2011 1023 Words
Compare and contrast the foreign policy goals and achievements of Metternich (1815-1848) and Bismarck (1862-1890)

Metternich and Bismarck had many foreign goals in mind. Many of which led to their great achievements. Metternich was a chief constructor of the Congress of Vienna opposed to ideas of liberals and reformers who wanted to return power to the ruling families deposed by the prior Revolutions. Bismarck sought to unite Germany by engaging into wars including the Danish War, the Austro-Prussian War, and finally the Franco-Prussian War. Many of Metternich’s and Bismarck’s goals resulted in their achievements. His most important legacy is the unification of Germany. Both, Metternich and Bismarck sought to bring unity and stability to their nations, but in different ways. While Metternich was hard at work using his diplomatic skills trying to prevent German unification during the first half of the nineteenth century, Bismarck on the other hand was known as the Iron Chancellor, in the later nineteenth century set on to unite Germany through his many wars.

I. Foreign policy goals and achievements of Metternich
A. Congress of Vienna
1. Metternich was one of the main leaders in the establishment of the Congress of Vienna. 2. The Congress created the German Confederation, replacing the dissolved Holy Roman Empire. It also was composed of thirty-nine states under the leadership of Austria. Austria sought to prevent any step towards a constitution in as many of the independent states as possible. 3. The four major nations of Europe (Great Britain, Russia, Austria, and Prussia) all sought for a balance of power. B. Nationalism and Liberalism

1. Metternich advocated intervention in nationalist and liberalistic movements. 2. He thought that liberal parliamentary government would lead to fighting among national groups and Habsburg rulers. 3. He had suppressed the Italian revolt, hoping to make Austrian influence on Italy supreme. C. Metternich was the leader of conservatism in Europe

1. He guided the course in the Congress of Vienna.
2. He chose the middle course between France and Russia to maintain a balance of power. 3. He was the chief statesman of the Holy Alliance (Russia, Austria, and Prussia) 4. He also opposed German unity

II. Foreign policy goals and achievements of Bismarck
A. He was a Machiavellian
1. He believed in “iron and blood,” which was industry and war. B. Unite Germany
1. The Danish War (1864)
a. Bismarck sought for a kleindeutsch, which was a small German solution to unification where Austria was to be excluded from a united German state. b. The Danish lost the war and in the Convention of Gastein, Austria was put in charge of Holstein and Prussia with Schleswig. c. Napoleon III was convinced to remain neutral in an Austro-Prussia conflict. Then a treaty enabled Italy to gain Venetia if Austria was attacked in support of Prussia when war would break out.

2. The Austro-Prussian War (1866)
a. There was constant tension between Prussia and Austria over which nation had control over Schleswig ad Holstein. b. Prussians were given orders by Bismarck to act as obnoxious as possible to the Austrians, which caused them to complain to the German Confederation. This was claimed to be a violation of the 1864 alliance and the Convention of Gastein. c. Up came the Seven Week’s War (Austro-Prussian War) leading and defeat of the Austrians and the Battle of Koniggratz. d. The Treaty of Prague ended the conflict where Austria only lost Venetia, which was given to Italy as promised. Now Prussia was the only major power over the German states. 3. Franco-Prussian War (1870)

a. It was the last step in to getting the southern states to unite. b. Bismarck was successful in driving France into the war. The southern states joined Prussia to fight against the French. c. In the battle of sedan, the Germans defeated France, receiving the territory of Alsace and part of Lorraine. Along with the territory, Napoleon III was also captured. d. Bismarck had finally united Germany. However, liberalism was crushed since the new state was conservative. The German Empire was proclaimed at the Palace of Versailles. 4. The Dual Alliance (1879)

a. A secret defensive alliance made by Bismarck with Austria to provide for mutual aid in the event when either nation was to be attacked by Russia. 5. The Triple Alliance (1882)
a. Due to France’s established protectorate over Tunisia in North Africa, the Italians were angered. Bismarck made connections with Italy, Russia, and Austria. This made France to be more isolated than ever. III. Similarities

1. Both, Metternich and Bismarck wanted stability in their nations. Metternich wanted to keep the Habsburg Empire together Bismarck sought for unification of Germany through his many wars in different regions. 2. Metternich and Bismarck desired a monarchy.

3. Both men were conservative.
IV. Differences
1. Bismarck fought for liberalism and nationalism while Metternich sought to crush them. 2. Bismarck wanted other countries to declare war without his invention because he never wanted to be regarded as the instigator of wars. 3. Metternich wanted to keep Germany from uniting because he was concerned that the multiethnic composited of the Hapsburg Empire meant nationalism and liberalism were potentially more dangerous than in other countries. Bismarck sought for Germany’s unification at all costs. 4. Metternich was opposed to any kinds of progress, but Bismarck enacted a variety of social programs that were acceptable to the conservatives.

Metternich and Bismarck shared similar goals, both hoping and eventually achieving a united state after much deliberation and planning. They also desired a strong monarchy, supporting more of an absolute rule rather than a constitutional government. Metternich was determined to stop any nationalistic or liberalistic movement, being part of major groups against these movements as the Congress of Vienna. Meanwhile, Bismarck was more concerned about unifying Germany by any means including war, eager to pursue any factor that would lead to his nation’s unification. Though these leaders differed and shared many goals, both were able to achieve stabilization of their nations through own process, whether it was through warfare or through compromising.

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