Essay Prince Klemens von Metternich and Prince Otto von Bismarck

Essay Prince Klemens von Metternich and Prince Otto von Bismarck

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Prince Klemens von Metternich and Prince Otto von Bismarck can be compared to the dual sides of a Deutsche Mark, a Deutsche Mark that has sported different faces when repeatedly tossed over the years. After 1871, the Prussian-friendly German historians hailed Bismarck as the national hero who had united Germany while Metternich was deemed a failure. Then after the loss of the two world wars, the coin was again flipped, and Bismarck was seen as a bloodthirsty power monger while Metternich still carried the stigma of a failure. The events that lead to the diverse opinion of these two men were their characters, ideological backgrounds, goals, the means by which they reached their goals, their achievements and lastly, their failures. The question of who was better for Germany depends largely on matter of perspective and the outcome of their actions over the years.
The strengths and weaknesses of Klemens von Metternich and Otto von Bismarck are first seen in their character. A person’s character defines who they are and reflects their ideals; these two men’s characters did more than just define them—they radiated from them. Their character strengths and flaws made it possible for them to make the decisions that would keep the peace after the Napoleonic Wars and help unite Germany.
Prince Klemens von Metternich, the “coachman of Germany,” had a towering personality that served him well during his reign as Chancellor of Austria. The article by Nick Pelling, Metternich: Success or Failure, described Metternich’s personality as “anything but dull” (Pelling). Metternich was known to brag about “his ability to bore people into submission” and he referred to his conservative philosophy as a “set of ‘boring old principles’” that was not...


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...ed his earlier tries to unite Germany because it made the majority of German Catholics more sympathetic towards Papal authority. His third failure
Who was better fitted to rule Germany is largely a matter of perspective and there are many pros and cons that need to be weighed before a conclusion is reached.


Works Cited
Breuilly, John. 19th Century Germany: Politics, Culture and Society 1780-1918. A Hodder Arnold Publication, 2001. Print.

Crankshaw Edward. The Fall of the House of Habsburg. New York: Penguin Books USA, Inc., 1963. Print.

Eyck, Erich. Bismarck and the German Empire. 2nd Ed. New York: W. W. Norton & Company, Inc., 1950. Print.

Pelling, Nick. “Metternich: Success or Failure?” New Perspective 4.2 (1998): 1-4. Articles- New Perspective. Sempringham Studies, Dec. 1998. Web. 1 Dec. 2009. .

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