Napoleon Bonaparte And Napoleon: Leaders Of Change During The Period Of Germany

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The Age of Revolution was a period of time following the Enlightenment in which there were many rebellions, revolutions, and uprisings. The revolutionaries of the Age of Revolution, between 1789 and 1871, drew from Enlightenment ideals in order to create change in their societies. These changes most often dealt with instituting governments that fit the needs and interests of the people they governed. Napoleon Bonaparte of France and Otto von Bismarck of Germany were two significant leaders of change during the Age of Revolution. Although both Napoleon Bonaparte and Otto von Bismarck had similar militaristic policies of expansion and used nationalism to unite the people, they differed in the amount of political power they both vested. Whereas …show more content…
Napoleon sought to extend his authority throughout the European continent while working to stabilize France at the same time. He was able to accomplish this by being an imaginative strategist and tactician. Napoleon’s armies were able to conquer a variety of lands under his leadership. They conquered the Iberian and Italian peninsula, defeated Austrian and Prussian forces, and occupied the Netherlands. Additionally, Napoleon 's troops were able to dissolve the crumbling Holy Roman Empire. Napoleon reorganized the once Holy Roman Empire into a confederacy of German states. In 1804, he even went as far as to crown himself emperor of the massive empire of territories he had accumulated. Furthermore, Austria, Prussia, and Russia were forced to ally with Napoleon. Through his conquests, Napoleon was able to establish French hegemony in Europe. However, Napoleon’s empire began to crumble when he devastatingly decided to invade Russia. Similarly to Napoleon, Otto von Bismarck used aggressive military expansionist policies to unify Germany. Bismarck’s policy of “blood and iron” was used to bring about the unification of Germany. As prime minister of King Wilhelm I of Prussia, Bismarck was given the task of reforming and expanding the Prussian army; Bismarck did just that. He intentionally provoked three wars with Denmark, Austria, and France between 1864 and 1870. Effortlessly, Bismarck quickly defeated each opponent. Due to the wars that Bismarck waged, King Wilhelm I of Prussia was able to proclaim himself emperor of the Second Reich. This “Second German Empire” embraced almost all German-speaking peoples into one national state. All in all, each leader was able to have success due to their expansionist

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