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The life and political career of otto bismarck a prime minister of prussia

For nearly a decade, he helped his father manage the family estates. In 1847, Bismarck married Johanna von Puttkamer, who provided him with stability.

Otto von Bismarck – The Iron Chancellor of Germany

It was a year of significant change in his life, when he also embraced the Christian tradition of Lutheranism, and began his political career in the Prussian legislature, where he gained a reputation as an ultra-conservative royalist. He then served as ambassador to Russia and France. In 1862, he returned to Prussia and was appointed prime minister by the new king, Wilhelm I. Bismarck was now determined to unite the German states into a single empire, with Prussia at its core.

With Austrian support, he used the expanded Prussian army to capture the provinces of Schleswig and Holstein from Denmark. He then escalated a quarrel with Austria and its German allies over the administration of these provinces into a war, in which Prussia was the victor.

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Prussia then annexed further territory in Germany. Unable to persuade the southern German states to join with his North German Confederation, he provoked hostilities with France as a way of uniting the German states together.

  1. Bismarck believed that Wilhelm was a lightweight who could be dominated, and he showed scant respect for Wilhelm's policies in the late 1880s.
  2. She had been married to Ferdinand von Bismarck at age 16 and found provincial life confining.
  3. France mobilized and declared war, but was seen as the aggressor; as a result, German states, swept up by nationalism and patriotic zeal, rallied to Prussia's side and provided troops the Bismarck family contributed its two sons to the Prussian cavalry. The Viking Press, 1981.
  4. After a heated argument in Bismarck's estate over imperial authority, Wilhelm stormed out and both parted ways permanently. Sans Souci Press, 1931.

The German victory in the Franco-Prussian War won over the southern German states, and in 1871 they agreed to join a German empire. Wilhelm I of Prussia became emperor. As 'chancellor' of the new Germany, Bismarck concentrated on building a powerful state with a unified national identity.

  • The whole Europe kept wondering how Prussia managed to put Austria off the German throne in such a short time!
  • In 1863, the House of Deputies passed a resolution declaring that it could no longer come to terms with Bismarck; in response, the king dissolved the Diet, accusing it of trying to obtain unconstitutional control over the ministry.

One of his targets was the Catholic Church, which he believed had too much influence, particularly in southern Germany. He also worked to prevent the spread of socialism, partly by introducing health insurance and pensions.

  • The major battles were all fought in one month August 7 to September 1 and the French were defeated in every battle;
  • In a parliamentary state, the head of government depends on the confidence of the parliamentary majority, and certainly has the right to form coalitions to ensure his policies a majority, but in Germany, the chancellor depended on the confidence of the emperor alone, and Wilhelm believed as emperor he had the right to be informed before his minister's meeting;
  • Not only did he find the constant deference to the Austrians in Frankfurt demeaning, but he also realized that the status quo meant acceptance of Prussia as a second-rate power in central Europe;
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  • To the French it was a provocation of war;
  • With Austrian support, he used the expanded Prussian army to capture the provinces of Schleswig and Holstein from Denmark.

Abroad, Bismarck aimed to make the German empire the most powerful in Europe. In 1879, he negotiated an alliance with Austria-Hungary to counteract France and Russia.

Battle of Britain

Italy later joined the alliance. To avoid alienating Britain, Bismarck arranged the two Mediterranean Agreements of 1887, designed to preserve the status quo against a Russian threat. In 1890, Bismarck resigned after disagreeing with the new emperor, Wilhelm II.

  1. Bismarck was born on April 1, 1815, in the aristocratic family of estate owners at Schoenhausen in Prussia. In 1863, the House of Deputies passed a resolution declaring that it could no longer come to terms with Bismarck; in response, the king dissolved the Diet, accusing it of trying to obtain unconstitutional control over the ministry.
  2. Bismarck then issued an edict restricting the freedom of the press; this policy even gained the public opposition of the crown prince, and later Friedrich III of Germany. Page 1 of 4.
  3. The whole Europe kept wondering how Prussia managed to put Austria off the German throne in such a short time! Hence, Bismarck is considered one of the most talented statesmen in history.

He retired to his estate near Hamburg and died there on 30 July 1898.