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Otto von Bismarck
Transcript of Otto von Bismarck
Otto von Bismarck
Early Years and Background
Early Political Career
In 1847, he began his political career in the Prussian legislature, where he gained a reputation as
an ultra-conservative royalist.
Political Career 1851-1862
In 1851, King Frederick IV appointed Bismarck as the Prussian representative to the German Confederation. Later, he served as an ambassador to Russia and France.
This experience gave him a valuable
insight into the vulnerabilities of Europe's great powers.
He believed that the catholic church had too much influence, particularly in southern Germany.
He exiled and imprisoned Prussian Bishops.
The population of Prussia increased in the 1860s and about
33% of the population was Catholic
. Bismarck thought that the pope and bishops held too much power over the German Catholics; he was further worried about the emergence of the
Catholic Center Party
to prevent the spread of Socialism
In 1878, as socialist movement became popular, Bismarck created the
Unification of Germany
First Welfare State
A welfare state= When the state works to protect and promote the economic and social wellbeing of its citizens.
No socialist aspects
which he believed would lead to less productivity
Centered on insurance programs
which would increase productivity.
Implemented in order to
gain support from the lower classes, and to beat the Socialist party.
Imperialism and Foreign Policy
Wanted to make the German Empire the most powerful in Europe. In 1879, he negotiated an alliance with
to counteract France and Prussia
. Italy later joined the alliance.
To avoid alienating Britain, he arranged the two
Mediterranean Agreements of 1887,
designed to preserve the status quo against the Russian threat.
He also redrew the map of Africa.
Born on 1st of April in 1815 in the northwest of Berlin.
His father was a 5th generation Juncker (A Prussian, landowning noble).
Attended a prestigious school in Berlin, and studied law at the University of Gottingen. After attending university, he worked several years managing his family estate.
Unified national identity
Bismarck and his legacy
Kulturkampf (cultural struggle)
The Iron Chancellor
Situation in Germany before Bismarck
Who was Bismarck?
How did he unify Germany?
How did he modernize Germany after its unification?
In 1862, he returned to Prussia and was appointed Prime Minister by the new king, Wilhelm I.
Married Johanna Von Puttkamer
In 1890, Bismarck resigned after disagreeing with the new emperor, Wilhelm II. He retired to his estate near Hamburg ad died there on Juky 1898.
New German empire's authoritarian constitution creates elected national parliament (Reichstag) but gives Kaiser (Emperor) extensive powers. --
Strengthen the position of the King of Prussia, Wilhelm I.
The German Confederation
The unification of Germany
is his most important legacy. Germany had existed as a group of many districts since the formation of the Roman Empire. A number of rulers tried to unify Germany but did not succeed until Bismarck. Bismarck’s perseverance and cunning intellect made it possible to unify Germany.
Germany became one of the strongest countries in Europe. Bismarck’s careful and realistic foreign policies enabled Germany to peacefully preserve the powerful position. He kept agreeable diplomacy with almost all of the European countries excluding France. France was devastated by war against Germany and became one of the bitterest enemies of Germany. Austria was damaged by the creation of the German empire, however, not as much as France was.
Degrading Austrian Power
Growing Prussian Power
1. Weakening Prussia's main rival - Austria
Next obstacle was the skepticism of the southern provinces which was
highly catholic and anti-military.
Therefore, Bismarck decided
to defeat the common enemy - France.
7 Weeks War
Defeating the common rival - France
In 1870, Bismarck forged a note for the French ambassador, implying that the ambassador had insulted the Prussian King,
In July 1870, France declared war on Prussia.
Franco- Prussian War
Lost Russia as its ally after the Crimean War
Lost some territory after losing a war against France
Production of coal and iron
Promotion of trade with neighbouring states