In the 19th century, there was one European Statesman that towered above all others, contrary to the expectation of both his friends and foes. Otto von Bismarck as a person managed to captivate my imagination and historical curiosity ever since my first year of university. One of his curiosities, and certainly his greatest achievement, was the unification of Germany under the King of Prussia. Now, what stands out in terms of this achievement is the near-universal consensus that Bismarck was a practitioner of Realpolitik. The fact that he is so well known, and such a historical anomaly due to his Realpolitik, made me wonder if his practice was observable, and why it was seemingly rare in history. So, well, I decided to research it. Since this is a long one, timestamps, as always, will be in the description.
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1:29 Historical Background and Introduction of Analysis
4:00 Realpolitik: The Exception or the Rule?
7:39 Bismarck the Politician
10:39 Bismarck's Realpolitik: Schleswig War (1864)
14:32 Bismarck's Realpolitik: Bruderkrieg (1866)
18:57 Why wasn't Austria invaded?
21:23 Franco-German war and Epilogue
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Franz, Günther, Bismarck’s Nationalgefühl (Springer-Verlag, 2013).
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Holborn, Hajo, "Bismarck's Realpolitik." Journal of the History of Ideas 21:1 (1960) 84-98.
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Rathbun, Brian, "The Rarity of Realpolitik: What Bismarck's Rationality Reveals about
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Photos, paintings and imagery: Public Domain, Wikicommons
Film: Bismarck (1940)
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