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Bismarck Essay

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Bismarck was born in 1815, at Schönhausen, northwest of Berlin, the son of a landowning nobleman (Junker) and an upper-middle-class commoner. In 1862, the Prussian King Wilhelm I appointed him as Prime Minister and Foreign Minister of Prussia. (Hollyday, 1970:11) To justify the increase of the army, Bismarck warned that “the great questions of the day [meaning German unification] will not be settled by speeches and majority decisions … but by blood and iron.”(Williamson, 1998: 94) Thus, Historians called Bismarck the Chancellor of Blood and Iron. Through the Danish- Prussian War of 1864, the Austro-Prussian War of 1866 and the Franco- Prussian War of 1870, he unified Germany. He was thefirst chancellor (1871-90) of the German Empire. However, the successor of Wilhelm I, Wilhelm II, dismissed Bismarck in 1890.
This speech was announced to the German Reichstag in 1888, its main point was to claim the necessity of strong German armament because of its geographical position and because it faced a potential anti German coalition. Germany is located in the heart of Europe and has at least three fronts open to an attack. France and Russia could make an alliance against Germany because of their abhorrence to Germany and warlike nature. At the same time, Bismarck expressed that Germany desired peace and was not interested in any kind of an aggressive war; they were willing to work for peace with their neighbors, especially with Russia.
The unspoken assumption of this document was to raise the nationalism in Germany and gain support from the nationalists and conservatives in the Reichstag. Thus, Bismarck emphasized the threats from Russia and France, and the glory of German unification. If Germany did not do anything to protect its achievements, it would lose everything again. A German army, stronger than any other nation of equal numbers in the world, was the best way to protect this great achievement. However, lack of money was th…

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