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Mla Term Paper on Otto Von Bismarck

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Mla Term Paper on Otto Von Bismarck

Wilcoxon 1

Alex M. Wilcoxon

Professor Wasowski

WOH 1030

20 September 2005

MLA Term Paper on Otto Von Bismarck

Otto Von Bismarck is one of the Germans that first come to mind when you think of highly influential Germans. He ranks up there with the ranks of Adolf Hitler, Helmut Kohl, Paul Von Hindenburg, and even the current German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder. All of these leaders have served important roles in the history of the German republic. Otto Von Bismarck's role in the mid to late 1890's indeed did play a major role in the way Germany developed and was viewed by the rest of Europe. Bismarck was involved in a number of important events in his life, including: serving as the Prime Minister of Prussia from 1862 to 1890, becoming the first Chancellor of the German Empire, and being a strong voice against the socialist movement that was growing in the country. (Apsler 25)

Despite all of these important events that Bismarck was involved in, one of the most important moments was the speech that he gave to the German Legislature in 1888. In the speech, Bismarck called for the farther expansion of the German Army. There were a number of reasons for wanting to do this. Among them was to defend Germany from some of its neighbors in Europe. But there were other major factors that went into the process as well. Why exactly was Bismarck so paranoid that he called for the farther expansion of the army? What exactly was the average German thought on the proposed move? Also, how was the German Empire changed as a result of Otto Von Bismarck's beliefs of army expansion?

Wilcoxon 2

Since Bismarck played such an important role in helping to unite a lot of the German speaking areas to create the new nation of Germany in 1871, he felt that he had a special role to defend it from outside threats. In addition to calling for an expansion of the army, he took other steps to make sure the new empire would always "have her day in the son". Some of his major foreign policy goals included: making sure that Germany was in various alliances that attempted to isolate the country that poised the biggest threat to Germany, at least in Bismarck's opinion, France. Also, Bismarck was fearful of fighting a war on two fronts, so he attempted to forge positive relations with Russia. However, the issue in the Balkans would always mean that Russia could have a reason to want to fight Germany. So to keep some of Germanys "hostile" neighbors at bay, he called for the expansion of the army. In his 1888 speech to the parliament, he was very blunt when he said: (Becker, 1888)

"We must be so strong, irrespective of momentary conditions, that we can face any coalition with the

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