Austro-Prussian War Analysis

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Edward Grey, British Foreign Secretary between 1905 and 1916 has viewed a series of conflicts seen throughout the 19th and 20th centuries between European and World powers, as being inevitably caused by great armament. However, as Foreign Secretary only during early World War One, his opinion may not be applicable to other conflicts during this period. This includes the Austro-Prussian War, a war that led to a united Germany which arguably played a role in the origins of two World Wars, World War Two, a war in which 70 nations took part in the conflict, and fighting took place on the continents of Africa, Asia, and Europe, the Cold War, in which conflict occurred via proxy, and the Gulf War as an example of a more modern conflict. Therefore, …show more content…
It was in the Prussian interest to gain an alliance with Austria to defeat Denmark and settle the issue of the duchies of Schleswig and Holstein. The alliance can be regarded as an aid to Prussian expansion, highlighting imperialism as a cause of conflict. The aim of this war has been considered by Charles A. Fyffe as ‘the annexation of the Danish duchies and some other coveted territory to the Prussian kingdom ', J. Droysen’s highlighting of the lack of care for "friend or foe" provides further evidence of expansionist motives. Prussia 's determination to control Schleswig-Holstein, and Austria 's interference in the German Confederation, justify the imperialism as the most important factor in causing the Austro Prussian war. A contemporary news article emphasises this, claiming “there is a natural undercurrent tending to a national feeling and toward a union of the Germans into one great nation, ruled by one common head as a national unit.” This agrees with Fyffe by offering imperialism as a motive for Bismarck’s manipulation of events in bringing about conflict. The strong patriotic feelings in Prussia at the time, as well as Bismarck’s desire to achieve unification means despite Bismarck’s reluctance for war but a desire to create the most beneficial solutions, as described by Taylor, agrees with Fyffe’s view that imperialism was the main cause of the Austro-Prussian War. The argument for imperialism as a leading cause of the Austro-Prussian war is especially strengthened by Bismarck’s desire to unify Germany, and therefore offers a more credible opinion than that of Edward

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