Explain How The Inherent Strength Of Prussia, Combined With Bismarck’s Political Skills Achieved German Unification.

Bismarck, that was the founder of Germany, is known for his cleverness as a politician.
He had conservative values, however in politics he sometimes made sacrifices (opportunist). He didn’t believe in democracy but preferred oligarchy, he wasn’t a dictator though.
His life goal was to unify Germany and make of it, a great power. The unification took place in 1871, but in order to achieve it, many years had to pass. Prussia, a country with a strong army and a large number of population was ready to bring closer to her the Saxon areas that were under Austria-Hungarian influence. She was going to achieve this, by forming an economic confederation, that would assure, free trade among the countries that would be part of it, the Zolverein. So after some time Prussia managed to gain the favor of the small states and also started getting more powerful, because those areas were very rich. This was the first step made by Prussia in order to complete the unification of the Germanic states.
However the facts that brought Prussia and the states closer were the wars that fought together. The first one took place in 1863, against Denmark, which threatened the Germanic states. Prussia and Austria-Hungary formed an alliance and were able to defeat easily the Danish. The reason that Prussia allied with Austria-Hungary was that, she wanted to prevent the confederation of forming an army, that’s because Prussia wanted those states to be week.
However the wars weren’t over, in fact in 1866 Austria-Hungary and Prussia got into war. The reason for this new conflicts was that the two were in dispute over the territories that used to be under Denmark’s control. Once again the winner was Prussia, that with good diplomatic moves, managed to keep neutral Russia and Britain and make an alliance with Italy. Prussia started growing and advancing in all sectors.

France started feeling threatened, in fact she didn’t like the idea of the creation of a new power in the area. So another war was about to happen. Prussia was the one who declared war, because she wanted to bring her people and the confederation, closer by making them fighting together. The victory of Prussia, in 1870, was of great importance, the sense of national unity was born and Bismarck thought it was the right time to form the new state.
In 1871 the Federal German empire was born, and the dream of a skilful politician was about to come true.

Category: History