Otto Von Bismarck: German Nationalism In The 19th Century German World

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19th century European politics saw the creation of countries and the forging of alliances that are still relevant today. However, the latter part of the 19th century was dominated by one powerful force: nationalism. This force was especially present in Germany, and when the German people demanded to be unified under one flag, Otto von Bismarck answered the call. By single-handedly unifying the German states, Otto von Bismarck secured his place as one of the greatest contemporary European statesmen.
Otto von Bismarck was born in Prussia in 1815, to a Junker father, and a middle-class mother. The Junkers in Prussia, were a sort of aristocracy, but with less wealth and political influence than, say, the 19th century English aristocracy. Since
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So Bismarck, taking advantage of a succession crisis and unrest in the duchies, decided to declare war on Denmark, along with the other German states. Denmark soon proved no match for the armies of the combined German states, and was forced to sue for peace. The resulting peace, signed in 1865, gave the administration of Schleswig to Prussia and the administration of Holstein to Austria, who was Prussia 's mightiest ally during the war ("German-Danish War" 1-4). However, Bismarck wasted no time in dragging Prussia into another…show more content…
Certainly the way Bismarck outmaneuvered his contemporaries, is worthy of immense praise. His strategies as a statesman are still studied today. Bismarck took Prussia, which was considered the weakest of the 5 European powers, and guided her through 3 successful wars, defeating two other powers along the way. He then unified 39 German states, into one empire. However, his accomplishments were tarnished decades after his death. World War 1 was disastrous for Germany, and some historians question whether or not Bismarck deserves some of the blame. For example, he made a permanent enemy of France after forcing her to accept a harsh peace treaty in 1871. France spent the next decades looking for revenge, and found it in World War 1. Still, Germany is a nation that still exists and is still dominant today. This makes Bismarck not only a champion of the German people, but of nationalism
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