The Effect Otto Von Bismarck's Leadership and Politics Had on Pre-World War I Tensions in Europe

The Effect Otto Von Bismarck's Leadership and Politics Had on Pre-World War I Tensions in Europe

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A. Plan of Investigation
The focus of this study is the effect that Otto Von Bismarck's leadership and politics had on Pre-World War One tensions in Europe. This study investigates to what extent the actions of Otto Von Bismarck led to World War One. The focus of this study is the period between Bismarck's appointment to Minister President of Prussia on September 23, 1862 and the Austro-Hungarian declaration of war on Serbia on July 28, 1914. Bismarck's earlier career is discussed briefly but only as a method to understand his political attitudes. And similarly, as Bismarck was removed from office in 1890, the only events discussed between 1890 and 1914 will be based off of policies instilled by Bismarck, not those of Wilhelm II.
Research will be drawn from many sources including several historical studies and online articles. The sources used revolve around Bismarck's attitudes and actions toward German unification and general policy. Sources include works by historians A.J.P. Taylor and James Wycliffe Headlam. The policies of Bismarck during the interwar period were researched as well, through several scholastic journals and written works.






B. Summary of Evidence
Germany was already on its way to unification in the early 1800s. The Congress of Vienna in 1815 had set up the German Confederation, with both Prussia and Austria-Hungary lacking the power to impose their rule over the area (Greusel 71). Austria-Hungary was generally seen as the more dominant of the German states. The capital of the German Confederation was Frankfurt, in the Austrian state of Hesse-Kassel (Headlam 87). Two solutions were considered to this duality: "Großdeutsche" and "Kleindeutsche." The Großdeutsche approach suggested a unification of all Ger...


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...19th Century History. About.com, n.d. Web. 28 Apr. 2014.
Mowbray, James A. "Preceding the Outbreak of War." The Great War. United States Air Force: Air War College, n.d. Web. 30 Apr. 2014.
Otto Von Bismarck, Reden 1847-1869, Hg., Wilhelm Schüßler, Band 10, Bismarck: Die gesammelten Werke, Hg. Hermann von Petersdorff. Berlin: Otto Stolberg, 1924-35, S. 139-40.
Sarkin-Hughes, Jeremy. Germany's Genocide of the Herero: Kaiser Wilhelm II, His General, His Settlers, His Soldiers. Cape Town, South Africa: UCT, 2011. Print.
Schofield, Benedict. Private Lives and Collective Destinies: Class, Nation and the Folk in the Works of Gustav Freytag (1816-1895). London: Modern Humanities Research Association, 2012. Print.
Steinberg, Jonathan. Bismarck: A Life. New York: Oxford UP, 2011. Print.
Taylor, A. J. P. Bismarck the Man and the Statesman. London: Hamilton, 1955. Print.

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