Otto Eduard Leopold von Bismarck, Count and Prince (born April 1, 1815 - Died July 30, 1898), was the Chancellor of the Kingdom of Prussia from 1862 to 1890. A Junker's son rose in strict discipline, he studied law at Gottingen and Berlin. He entered the Prussian administration in 1836. In the aftermath of the revolutions of 1848, he represented Prussia at the Diet of Frankfurt until 1859, and became the ambassador to St. Petersburg and Paris.
He was the first chancellor (1871 - 1890) of the German Empire. Regarded as the architect of German unity, was he a Prussian nationalist or German nationalist? This question reveals the historiographical disputes related to him. Some historians like Otto Becker and Meyer see a German nationalist in Bismarck, whose primary goal was the national unification of Germany, while others think that Bismarck started as a Prussian nationalist, and that he made the transition to German nationalism rather late (Fester: In 1865, Marcks 1866, Eyeka 1877.)
Some others, especially Wilhelm Mommsen in 1959, saw him as a nationalist who founded Prussian German unity at the expense of Austria, to secure the hegemony of Prussia. We will ask ourselves: how Bismarck worked to bring about the unification of Germany around and the hegemony of Prussia?
His vision of Germany was first and foremost that of a Prussian Germany (I) in which Prussia was to be hegemonic (II), and therefore at its realization in the Prussian Germany, Prussia was placed at the heart of the New Germany (III).
According to Lothar Gall, the vision of Bismarck's Germany was not exactly the romantic Hegelian view which tends to associate the German nation with the German state. Bismarck intended to build Germany with Prussia. Bismarck's Germany is inseparable from the Prussian identity, which must be preserved.
Tags: Kingdom of Prussia, Prussian Germany, Prussian administration , Prussian Germany, Prussian nationalist, Gottingen and Berlin
[...] Prussia as a natural part of German unification "Three factors constituted the image of Germany: a historical factor (language, culture), a political factor (Federal Union), and a specifically Prussian factor."(Gall) It was only the historical factor that partly united the so-called supporters of the Greater Germany (that is to say Germany in the Hegelian sense / Herder, which includes all German). Bismarck was more pragmatic. He was outside the claims which could be seen as romantic, such as that of the Prussian king Frederick William IV. [...]
[...] For him, there was no question of a central constitution which would somehow mediate Prussia (conscious that the southern states were wary of Prussian hegemony). He did not give any importance to the talk of giving the Habsburg monarchy a strong position which was institutionally consolidated, and similar to the one it had occupied in the virtual Germanic Confederation since 1815, and he had to oust Austria's initiative to secure a leading role for Prussia. Here we find Bismarck's will to prevent the foundation of a Greater Germany around Vienna. [...]
[...] Austria called on the Germanic Confederation to counter Prussia, and the Prussian army won a crushing victory over the Austrians at Sadowa on July Austria signed a peace treaty with Prussia in Prague on August It was excluded from Germany. Prussia, meanwhile, annexed most of its opponents in northern Germany. The Germanic Confederation was replaced on December by a German Confederation of the North, with 21 states under the overwhelming domination of Prussia. The power belonged to the President, a position inherited by none other than the king of Prussia William assisted by a Chancellor in the person of Bismarck. [...]
[...] Thus Bismarck was indeed a Prussian patriot, who worked to give Prussia its full place in the united Germany. Conclusion Bismarck is the preferred enemy for Austria, at least with respect to Germany and Prussia, which he wants as the core of the German state. In this, he was a true nationalist Prussian. At the same time, he was a German nationalist, because ultimately his desire was to see a unified Germany. He was a patriotic Prussian as he prioritized the interests of Prussia before those of the German cause, "which would be look to when they matched those of his country" (Caron & Vernus). [...]
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