The ultimate goal of Otto Von Bismarck was to either complete the unification of the thirty-nine independent German states or, to expand the powers of Prussia. Either way, these individual states did unify and, as a result, Germany was created. He used the concepts of realpolitik and “blood & iron” to achieve his goals.
When Wilhelm I came to power, he had ideas to reform the army and double Prussia’s military force. Parliament disagreed with his ideas and didn’t grant him the funding or authority to sustain his proposed plans. Wilhelm was supported by the Junkers or, the wealthy landowning class. Wilhelm then chose Bismarck as Prime Minister because he was the master of realpolitick.
Realpolitick is a German word meaning “the politics of reality”. The idea of realpolitik is of a foreign policy that is not based on morality or principles but based on considerations of power. Realpolitik is in no way idealistic instead, it is a system in which Bismarck antagonized other nations with little regard to ethics or morals. This first became apparent when Bismarck ordered the Prussian military to cross the boarder of Schleswig, a Danish proclaimed territory. This act initiated the Second War of Schleswig, the first of three wars that were required to unify Germany. Prussia and Austria did win the war and control of Schleswig.
Bismarck stated that “the unification of Germany will not happen through speeches, associations, and decisions of majorities, only blood and iron would settle the issue.” This is basically proving that Bismarck would do anything to unify Germany. He believed that he could complete the unification not by diplomacy but by war, power, and force. Bismarck manipulated Austria into declaring the Austro-Prussian war in 1866 in an effort to gain more land and show the power of Prussia. Prussia did win the war in the Battle of Königgrätz. Due to the victory, Bismarck was able to exclude Austria and its allies in the formation of the North German...