Bismarck, Otto (Eduard Leopold), prince von

Bismarck, Otto (Eduard Leopold), prince von
born April 1, 1815, Schönhausen, Altmark, Prussia
died July 30, 1898, Friedrichsruh, near Hamburg

Prussian statesman who founded the German Empire in 1871 and served as its chancellor for 19 years.

Born into the Prussian landowning elite, Bismarck studied law and was elected to the Prussian Diet in 1849. In 1851 he was appointed Prussian representative to the federal Diet in Frankfurt. After serving as ambassador to Russia (1859–62) and France (1862), he became prime minister and foreign minister of Prussia (1862–71). When he took office, Prussia was widely considered the weakest of the five European powers, but under his leadership Prussia won a war against Denmark in 1864 (see Schleswig-Holstein Question), the Seven Weeks' War (1866), and the Franco-Prussian War (1870–71). Through these wars he achieved his goal of political unification of a Prussian-dominated German Empire. Once the empire was established, he became its chancellor. The "Iron Chancellor" skillfully preserved the peace in Europe through alliances against France (see Three Emperors' League; Reinsurance Treaty; Triple Alliance). Domestically, he introduced administrative and economic reforms but sought to preserve the status quo, opposing the Social Democratic Party and the Catholic church (see Kulturkampf). When Bismarck left office in 1890, the map of Europe had been changed immeasurably. However, the German Empire, his greatest achievement, survived him by only 20 years because he had failed to create an internally unified people.

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Universalium. 2010.

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  • Bismarck,Prince Otto Eduard Leopold von — Bismarck, Prince Otto Eduard Leopold von. Called “the Iron Chancellor.” 1815 1898. Creator and first chancellor of the German Empire (1871 1890). Instrumental in victory over Austria (1866) and the creation of the North German Confederation… …   Universalium

  • Prince Otto Eduard Leopold von Bismarck — noun German statesman under whose leadership Germany was united (1815 1898) • Syn: ↑Bismarck, ↑von Bismarck, ↑Otto von Bismarck, ↑Prince Otto von Bismarck, ↑Iron Chancellor • Derivationally related forms: ↑Bismarckian ( …   Useful english dictionary

  • von — /von/; Ger. /fawn/, unstressed /feuhn/, prep. from; of (used in German and Austrian personal names, originally to indicate place of origin and later to indicate nobility): Paul von Hindenburg. * * * (as used in expressions) Friedrich Leopold… …   Universalium

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  • Leopold — /lee euh pohld /, n. a male given name: from Germanic words meaning people and bold. * * * (as used in expressions) Friedrich Leopold Baron von Hardenberg Berchtold Leopold count von Bismarck Otto Eduard Leopold prince von Dvorák Antonín Leopold… …   Universalium

  • otto — /ot oh/, n. attar (def. 1). * * * (as used in expressions) Bismarck Otto Eduard Leopold prince von Dix Otto Graham Otto Everett Jr. Hahn Otto Jansen Cornelius Otto Jespersen Jens Otto Harry Klemperer Otto Kuusinen Otto Vilhelm Liman von Sanders… …   Universalium

  • Otto — /ot oh/; Ger. /awt oh/, n. a male given name: from a Germanic word meaning rich. * * * (as used in expressions) Bismarck Otto Eduard Leopold prince von Dix Otto Graham Otto Everett Jr. Hahn Otto Jansen Cornelius Otto Jespersen Jens Otto Harry… …   Universalium

  • Eduard — (as used in expressions) Bernstein Eduard Bismarck Otto Eduard Leopold prince von Boltzmann Ludwig Eduard Eduard Schnitzer Mörike Eduard Friedrich Shevardnadze Eduard Amvrosiyevich Taaffe Eduard count von * * * …   Universalium

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