Hi I’m Jade and today with About.com we are going to discuss the life of Otto van Bismarck.Otto Van Bismarck rose to the rank of Imperial Chancellor, led Prussia through 3 wars, and through a series of aggressive political maneuvers united the German Empire.Much of Bismarck’s early life was unremarkable. Known for fighting, he was raised in the Prussian upper class and worked as a lawyer before returning home to manage his family’s estate. In 1847 he began his diplomatic climb when he became a representative to the Prussian Legislature.Bismarck moved up though a series of positions serving in both national and foreign posts. His work abroad in Frankfurt and Russia gave him diplomatic connections and insight that would be of great benefit as he rose in the political ranks.Unable to pass a budget, King William I appointed Otto Van Bismarck to the Prussian positions of minister-president and foreign minister. Foreshadowing his aggressive power maneuvers to come, on September 30, 1862, Bismarck gave his famous ‘Blood and Iron’ speech to the Budget Committee of the Prussian Chamber of Deputies in which he stated ‘ the questions of the time will not be resolved by speeches and majority decision- but by blood and iron.”Under his guidance, the unification of Germany and dominance of Prussia began with the Second War of Schleswig, defeating Denmark alongside Austria. Prussia gained Schlewig and Bismarck induced Austria to sign the Gastern Convention, which Bismarck later used to justify starting the Austro-Prussian War. The outcome of this second war led to the unification of two-thirds of Germany within the North German Confederation, of which Bismarck became Chancellor.Then, using an edited conversation between King Wilhelm and the French ambassador to Prussia, known as the Ems Dispatch, Bismarck helped engineer the Franco-Prussian War that unified all of Germany with Prussia creating the Reich, a German Empire, and in 1871 Bismarck gained the title of Prince and Imperial Chancellor to the German Empire.In his new position, Bismarck fought against the power of the Roman Catholic Church, established strong welfare programs in the 1880’s, which among other things provided unemployment insurance and old age pensions, and negotiated peace throughout Europe.Bismarck was forced into resigning on March 18, 1890 and died in 1898.Thanks for watching. For more information, please see About.com
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