Bismarck: The Man and Statesman

Bismarck: The Man and Statesman

A.J.P. Taylor

Language: English

Pages: 288

ISBN: 0394703871

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub

Bismarck: The Man and Statesman

A.J.P. Taylor

Language: English

Pages: 288

ISBN: 0394703871

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub


A reevaluation of Bismarck's motives and methods, focusing on the chancellor's rise to power in the 1860's and his removal from office in 1890.

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federal constitution—and none was ever made. 1 Of the other two brothers: ‘Charles would have gone to prison, Albrecht become a drunkard.’ 1 This story, which comes from Disraeli, was perhaps manufactured later, like many of Bismarck’s own. III PRIME MINISTER OF PRUSSIA BISMARCK was 47 when he became prime minister. No man has taken supreme office with a more slender background of experience. He had never been a minister and had spent only a few months of rebellious youth in the

there should be a plebiscite in northern Sleswig. Bismarck agreed to both. He had no ambitions south of the Main; and he himself believed in the national principle particularly where the territory concerned had no strategic importance.1 A fortnight after Sadova, Austria had accepted Bismarck’s terms; France approved of them; Russia did not object. Yet Bismarck’s greatest struggle was still to come. The obstacle which almost broke his will was William I. The king had never understood Bismarck’s

the absence of Kathi Orlov from Biarritz and her death a few years later deprived foreign travel of its charm so far as Bismarck was concerned—all that remained of the romance was a god-child at Biarritz, much persecuted during the Franco-German war. But there were consolations, some of them valued by Bismarck. On 28 March William I created him a prince of the German empire. He was not impressed: ‘I was a rich Junker and I have become a poor prince.’ He alleged that his fellow-Junkers envied him,

Things did not really go as easily as this. For one thing, the old gentleman (whom Bismarck accused of always sleeping heavily) would complain of a restless night just when Bismarck meant to describe his own insomnia. He called the Emperor heartless and liked to repeat the saying: ‘There are white men, there are black men, and there are monarchs.’ Once, returning from an interview, he exclaimed: ‘I cannot be the servant of princes.’ William I lamented on his side: ‘It is not easy to be emperor

Rechtstaat, fought the Roman Catholic church, and went over to Free Trade. He was too great, too domineering, too skilful, to be controlled by a parliamentary majority; but it began to look as though a liberal majority would control the government when he went. Laissez-faire ruled in foreign affairs as at home. Bismarck made alliances solely as the prelude to wars; and he made wars to settle immediate practical dangers. He assumed until 1878 that the balance would work itself once it had been set

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