Otto Von Bismarck

Otto Von Bismarck
The Iron Chancellor
Transformed a collection
of small German States
into a Great Empire
Served as the first
Chancellor from 18711890
Initiated social and
welfare reform
Young Life
Born on 1 April 1815 at
Schönhausen in
Brandenburg, Prussia.
His father was an aristocrat
and his mother was from an
upper-middle class family of
academicians and civil
His Education
Went to Gymnasium in Berlin
Studied Law at Göttingen and
in Berlin. He received his
degree in 1837.
Received a civil service
appointment as an apprentice
official but resigned in 1838.
Young Adult Life
From 1838-1847 Otto was
a “Wild Man.” He drank
heavily and gambled
Life changes in 1847 when
he married Johanna Von
Putkammer, converted his
religion and began his
political career.
These gave him stability
and self discipline.
Prussian Legislature
Extremely conservative and
wholeheartedly supported the
Strongly opposed any
challenges to the position of
the land owning aristocracy
Befriended by Prussia’s King
Frederick William IV.
Appointed Ambassador to the German Confederation.
Appointed Ambassador to Russia in St. Petersburg.
1858 Prince Regent William became
Wilhelm I
1860 King and Parliament in deadlock
about funding military reform
Appointed Bismarck Premier in 1862
Found a loophole by using the 1861
budget without parliament approval
“The great questions of today will not
be settled by speeches and majority
decisions…but by blood and iron.”
Wilhelm I
1864 Took provinces of Schleswig and Holstein from
Denmark with an alliance with Austria
1866 7-weeks-war with Austria over the provinces
1866 Parliament retroactively sanctioned the wars
1870 Bismarck edited and important document to France to
sound insulting. He provoked a war to unite Southern
Germany with Northern Germany against a common threat.
Wilhelm Crowned Emperor
Crowned in the hall of mirrors in Versailles
outside Paris, on January 18, 1871
Chancellor of the Empire
Uniform legal codes,
nationalized railways,
compulsory military service
Kulturkampf- (culture struggle)
attack fueled by propaganda
against the Center Party
Became a conflict with The Roman Catholic Church. Bismarck was
force to Negotiate.
Used a similar attack on the Liberal groups successfully
At the same time instituted health, accident, and old age insurance
Foreign Policy
1873 negotiated the
Three Emperor’s League
with Austria-Hungary and
Russia to isolate France
1879 Dual Alliance with
Austria-Hungary in case of
Russian Attack
1877 Two Mediterranean
Agreements to preserve
Status quo
Complex system
After many conflict with young Emperor
Wilhelm II, Bismarck was dismissed in 1890
He retired to his estate and died on July 30,
“Never believe anything until it has been officially
“Politics is the art of the possible, the attainable…the
art of the next best.”
“Laws are like sausages. It’s better not to see them
being made.”
“Better pointed bullets than pointed words.”
Karl Marx 1818-1883 sociologist
Charles Darwin 1809-1882 naturalist
Pope Pius IX 1797-1878
William Wordsworth 1770-1850 Poet
Alphred Lord Tennyson 1809-1892 Poet
More Contemporaries
Gregor Mandel 1822-1884 Austrian
Monk/Teacher Studied Plant Genetics
Henry David Thoreau 1817-1862 Writer
Walt Whitman 1819-1892 Writer
Queen Victoria 1837-1901
Sam Clemens 1835-1910 Mark Twain
Notable Sources
Special Thanks To
Travis “GünTher” roberTs
Author and Historian
The End