Q. 23.7( 3 Votes )

Write About the contribution of Bismarck in German integration.

Answer :

Otto Von Bismarck, the Prime Minister of Prussia was the chief hero behind the formation of Germany as a nation state. He followed the ‘Blood and Iron Policy’ and believed that only military prowess could bring about the unification of the German state. He made the unification of Germany possible with aid from the Prussian bureaucracy and the military


The Schleswig-Holstein Question:


Bismarck’s first diplomatic step was regarding the Schleswig-Holstein question. Schleswig and Holstein were two duchies were under Denmark in 1850 according to the London Protocol. The Schleswig population was mostly Danish while the population in Holstein was largely Prussian. The then King of Denmark Christian IX, wanted to keep these two duchies under his control. Thus, under the leadership of Bismarck the combined army of Austria and Prussia attacked Denmark in 1864. The Convention of Gastein was concluded in 1865 when Denmark was defeated in the war. Prussia got Schleswig and Austria got Holstein as per the convention.


Isolation of Austria:


In 1863, Bismarck gained an ally in Russia when he aided them in the suppression of the revolt of Poland. He also gained the assurance of neutrality from Napoleon III, the King of France regarding the Austro-Prussian War with the promise to give Belgium or some portions of the Rhine Valley. Along with the support of Italy, he managed to isolate Austria in the field of European Politics.


The Austro-Prussian War or the Battle of Sadowa:


Austria responding to this isolation started creating problems regarding the unification of Germany. She refused to keep Holstein under her control because of its distance from her boundaries and also wanted the return of Schleswig to Denmark. As Austria violated the Convention of Gastein, Bismarck declared war against Austria in 1866. This war was famously known as the Battle of Sadowa and continued for Seven Weeks. It concluded with the defeat of Austria.


The Treaty of Prague and formation of Germany:


The ‘Treaty of Prague’ was concluded between Austria and Prussia on August 23, 1866 following the defeat of Austria. According to this treaty, Schleswig and Holstein were given to Prussia and Austria ceded Venice to Prussia. Austria also had to pay the War- indemnity of � 30,000,00 to Prussia.


After the Treaty of Prague the formation of Germany started when the states of Schleswig, Holstein, Hanover, Nassaa and Frankfort were annexed to Prussia. The North Germany Confederation was formed when the States north to May River were annexed to Prussia.


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