Otto Von Bismarck Realpolitik

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From 1862-1890, German Chancellor and Prussian Statesman Otto Von Bismarck utilized a foreign policy known as Realpolitik. Realpolitik is politics/diplomacy based on practical and logical political possibilities that completely excludes morals and ethics from decisions. Bismarck utilized this foreign policy in order to expand Prussia’s rule over Germany while minimizing any casualties or war from Prussia itself by manipulating other countries and people in order to achieve certain goals. For instance, in December 1863, Bismarck after seeing Denmark was planning to incorporate Schleswig, convinced Austria to invade Schleswig without involving Prussia at all in order to maintain the safety of his country while still gaining dominance over German …show more content…
After he was crowned, he disagreed with several tactics used by Chancellor Otto Von Bismarck and as a result dismissed him in 1890. Wilhelm used a much more aggressive foreign policy compared to Bismarck which was named Weltpolitik. Bismarck unlike Wilhelm had always used subtle tactics in order to minimize direct war and casualties of the Prussian military. Wilhelm on the other hand was far more ambitious and relied on his emotions much more than Bismarck when it came to foreign policy. In an attempt to make Germany more powerful, Wilhelm dedicated a massive amount of resources towards the expansion of the navy. However, even though the larger navy turned Germany into a greater world power, it caused severe financial strife for Wilhelm. Eventually, Wilhelm’s aggressive foreign policy led to his ultimate downfall. This was since on August 1914, Wilhelm signed the order for Germany declaring war against Russia and France. During the war, Kaiser though commander in chief of the military became a figurehead to two generals, Paul von Hindenburg and Erich Ludendorff. In late 1918, Germany had suffered severe war casualties and experienced great financial strife due to the rash decisions and foreign policy of Kaiser Wilhelm II. As a result, he lost the support of the people and his navy mutinied, thus, dethroning him. This shows how Wilhelm’s Weltpolitik though more ambitious than Bismarck’s …show more content…
Bismarck’s decisions though unethical at times were ultimately beneficial towards Prussia. This is because he was able to manipulate other countries to work for him, minimize Prussian casualties during wars, and only fought battles he knew his country would be able to win. Subsequently, he was able to unify the German empire and put it under the influence of Prussia. Bismarck played an important role in WWI because by defeating France in a war and forcing them to give certain things to Prussia, he severely insulted them leading to WWI. In addition, since he raised such a powerful government, when he left, the country called for stronger leaders to rule Germany. Kaiser Wilhelm II’s foreign policy of Weltpolitik was practically the polar opposite of Bismarck’s Realpolitik for it was based on emotion and thus led to several bad decisions.Wilhelm put Germany into financial, social, and political distress by attempting to expand the navy and by declaring war and then becoming a figurehead for his generals. Kaiser Wilhelm II was significant to WWI because he caused several conflicts in it and led to the downfall of Germany during the war. All in all, Bismarck’s Realpolitik though less ambitious, was more cautious and led to the prosper of Germany unlike Wilhelm’s rash foreign policy which let to the downfall of Germany during WWI, however both leaders in

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