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* TheUnifier: The man was responsible for uniting various small and large states into the German Empire.

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* TheUnifier: %%* The Unifier: The man was responsible for uniting various small and large states into the German Empire.
Empire. - Rogue Launched Trope



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* TheUnifier: The man was responsible for uniting various small and large states into the German Empire.


Historians also note that Bismarck's achievements in a large sense were reversed since for a century after his dismissal in 1890, Germany would be partitioned and occupied by rival powers, with the modern Germany having reduced territory with much of its military reduced by neighboring powers thanks to the catastrophic world wars and violence his successors inflicted on the world. To say nothing of his beloved Prussia which suffered {{AuthorExistenceFailure|Author}} in 1946. Historians oppose any real continuity between Bismarck and Hitler (who ''did'' admire the Iron Chancellor) by noting that Bismarck at least supported the appearance of norms and did not openly lie and break treaties the way the latter did. Others note that Bismarck's time in office condoned and enabled the rise of anti-semitic, social darwinist and chauvinist forces[[note]](albeit for selfish and pragmatic reasons which he always controlled before it went too far)[[/note]], driven by AppealToForce and the use of military victory to patch over domestic problems. At the end of his career, Bismarck's Germany became the economic powerhouse of continental Europe with the largest population. A position, despite later turmoil, that it maintains to this day. While many would not credit Bismarck entirely for that, it would certainly not have been possible without the brief but strong unified German state that he created.

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Historians also note that Bismarck's achievements in a large sense were reversed since for a century after his dismissal in 1890, Germany would be partitioned and occupied by rival powers, with the modern Germany having reduced territory with much of its military reduced by neighboring powers thanks to the catastrophic world wars and violence his successors inflicted on the world. To say nothing of his beloved Prussia which suffered {{AuthorExistenceFailure|Author}} [[AuthorExistenceFailure existence failure]] in 1946. Historians oppose any real continuity between Bismarck and Hitler (who ''did'' admire the Iron Chancellor) by noting that Bismarck at least supported the appearance of norms and did not openly lie and break treaties the way the latter did. Others note that Bismarck's time in office condoned and enabled the rise of anti-semitic, social darwinist and chauvinist forces[[note]](albeit for selfish and pragmatic reasons which he always controlled before it went too far)[[/note]], driven by AppealToForce and the use of military victory to patch over domestic problems. At the end of his career, Bismarck's Germany became the economic powerhouse of continental Europe with the largest population. A position, despite later turmoil, that it maintains to this day. While many would not credit Bismarck entirely for that, it would certainly not have been possible without the brief but strong unified German state that he created.


Historians also note that Bismarck's achievements in a large sense were reversed since for a century after his dismissal in 1890, Germany would be partitioned and occupied by rival powers, with the modern Germany having reduced territory with much of its military reduced by neighboring powers thanks to the catastrophic world wars and violence his successors inflicted on the world. To say nothing of his beloved Prussia which suffered ExistenceFailure in 1946. Historians oppose any real continuity between Bismarck and Hitler (who ''did'' admire the Iron Chancellor) by noting that Bismarck at least supported the appearance of norms and did not openly lie and break treaties the way the latter did. Others note that Bismarck's time in office condoned and enabled the rise of anti-semitic, social darwinist and chauvinist forces[[note]](albeit for selfish and pragmatic reasons which he always controlled before it went too far)[[/note]], driven by AppealToForce and the use of military victory to patch over domestic problems. At the end of his career, Bismarck's Germany became the economic powerhouse of continental Europe with the largest population. A position, despite later turmoil, that it maintains to this day. While many would not credit Bismarck entirely for that, it would certainly not have been possible without the brief but strong unified German state that he created.

to:

Historians also note that Bismarck's achievements in a large sense were reversed since for a century after his dismissal in 1890, Germany would be partitioned and occupied by rival powers, with the modern Germany having reduced territory with much of its military reduced by neighboring powers thanks to the catastrophic world wars and violence his successors inflicted on the world. To say nothing of his beloved Prussia which suffered ExistenceFailure {{AuthorExistenceFailure|Author}} in 1946. Historians oppose any real continuity between Bismarck and Hitler (who ''did'' admire the Iron Chancellor) by noting that Bismarck at least supported the appearance of norms and did not openly lie and break treaties the way the latter did. Others note that Bismarck's time in office condoned and enabled the rise of anti-semitic, social darwinist and chauvinist forces[[note]](albeit for selfish and pragmatic reasons which he always controlled before it went too far)[[/note]], driven by AppealToForce and the use of military victory to patch over domestic problems. At the end of his career, Bismarck's Germany became the economic powerhouse of continental Europe with the largest population. A position, despite later turmoil, that it maintains to this day. While many would not credit Bismarck entirely for that, it would certainly not have been possible without the brief but strong unified German state that he created.


Historians also note that Bismarck's achievements in a large sense were reversed since for a century after his dismissal in 1890, Germany would be partitioned and occupied by rival powers, with the modern Germany having reduced territory with much of its military reduced by neighboring powers thanks to the catastrophic world wars and violence his successors inflicted on the world. Historians oppose any real continuity between Bismarck and Hitler (who ''did'' admire the Iron Chancellor) by noting that Bismarck at least supported the appearance of norms and did not openly lie and break treaties the way the latter did. Others note that Bismarck's time in office condoned and enabled the rise of anti-semitic, social darwinist and chauvinist forces[[note]](albeit for selfish and pragmatic reasons which he always controlled before it went too far)[[/note]], driven by AppealToForce and the use of military victory to patch over domestic problems. At the end of his career, Bismarck's Germany became the economic powerhouse of continental Europe with the largest population. A position, despite later turmoil, that it maintains to this day. While many would not credit Bismarck entirely for that, it would certainly not have been possible without the brief but strong unified German state that he created.

to:

Historians also note that Bismarck's achievements in a large sense were reversed since for a century after his dismissal in 1890, Germany would be partitioned and occupied by rival powers, with the modern Germany having reduced territory with much of its military reduced by neighboring powers thanks to the catastrophic world wars and violence his successors inflicted on the world. To say nothing of his beloved Prussia which suffered ExistenceFailure in 1946. Historians oppose any real continuity between Bismarck and Hitler (who ''did'' admire the Iron Chancellor) by noting that Bismarck at least supported the appearance of norms and did not openly lie and break treaties the way the latter did. Others note that Bismarck's time in office condoned and enabled the rise of anti-semitic, social darwinist and chauvinist forces[[note]](albeit for selfish and pragmatic reasons which he always controlled before it went too far)[[/note]], driven by AppealToForce and the use of military victory to patch over domestic problems. At the end of his career, Bismarck's Germany became the economic powerhouse of continental Europe with the largest population. A position, despite later turmoil, that it maintains to this day. While many would not credit Bismarck entirely for that, it would certainly not have been possible without the brief but strong unified German state that he created.


Opinions about Bismarck remain contentious. Admirers can be found among conservatives (Henry Kissinger) and liberals (UsefulNotes/JohnFKennedy). They cite his pragmatism, his mastery of foreign policy (it was Bismarck who codified the word {{Realpolitik}}) and credit him with building the modern welfare state and the modern military-industry complex. Furthermore, after three short wars to unify Germany and solidify it at the start of his career, he spent the next 20 years supporting peace between European powers. Others however have questioned this view. They point out that Bismarck's aggressive and asymmetrical approach to politics had little room for consensus and compromise.

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Opinions about Bismarck remain contentious. Admirers can be found among conservatives (Henry Kissinger) and liberals (UsefulNotes/JohnFKennedy). They cite his pragmatism, his mastery of foreign policy (it was Bismarck who codified the word {{Realpolitik}}) and credit him with building the modern welfare state and the modern military-industry complex. Furthermore, after three short wars to unify Germany and solidify it at the start of his career, he spent the next 20 years supporting peace between European powers. Others however have questioned this view. They point out that Bismarck's aggressive and asymmetrical approach to politics had little room for consensus and compromise. \n His inability (or unwillingness) to achieve rapprochement with France [[TropeCodifier solidified]] the idea of an "Erbfeindschaft" or "hereditary enmity" between Germany and France which would endure and tragically affect European history until two similar conservative political titans, UsefulNotes/CharlesDeGaulle and UsefulNotes/KonradAdenauer set reconciliation in motion on both the political and personal level. Bismarck's difficult and sometimes self-contradictory system of alliances unraveled basically the moment he was sacked and while Germany had managed to be on friendly or benevolently neutral terms with all of Europe (except France) in the 1880s [[UsefulNotes/WorldWarI thirty years later]] Germany was nigh-isolated in Europe while France, the country Bismarck had tried to diplomatically isolate, had alliances with Britain and Russia and even convinced Italy to switch sides, ultimately breaking Germany's neck.


The manner of France's defeat (punitive reparations and taking away of territory against the will of the French citizens living there[[note]]which amounts to modern-day Moselle and Alsace, although the latter was conquered in blood by France less than three centuries before. People there were offered the option of keeping the French nationality, provided they left the area before October 1st 1872[[/note]]) in the Franco-Prussian War was of such a kind that it made long-term peace between the two nations impossible. Bismarck apparently did not want to take the territory but his general staff, namely Moltke the Elder, insisted out of Pangermanism (notably on the basis that people living there spoke various Germanic dialects). Bismarck later justified the harsh peace[[note]]The physical gold from the reparations France had to pay in 1871 was still not entirely used up and part of it stored in a tower in Berlin by the time the Versailles Treaty forced a similarly huge amount of reparations on Germany[[/note]] by arguing that if the peace was too harsh to allow for reconciliation, best to make it ''so'' harsh as to make revenge impossible. [[UsefulNotes/WorldWarI It didn't work.]] [[note]]but then neither did the GoldenMeanFallacy based Treaty of Versailles, which left Germany humiliated enough to seek revenge and strong enough to do it.[[/note]] Bismarck then set about spending the remainder of his career in social and domestic policies while his foreign policies involved trying to form alliances with England, Austria and Russia, to better isolate France. On the domestic front, Bismarck spent much of his time enacting a series of policies to strengthen the state, first against the Catholics (Kulturkampf), [[EnemyMine then allying with the newly formed Catholic Center party]] against the socialists, while at the same time passing welfare laws to the surprise and consternation of his conservative allies, namely pension for elderly workers and access to affordable insurance laws (the first of their kind in Europe). Bismarck saw the latter as preferable to the socialist alternative of regulated workspace, safety inspections, and a shorter working-week. Laws proscribing and restricting socialist parties and left-wing parties were on the books, and Bismarck would lean on nativist conservative fears of the other (i.e. the French, the Poles, the Jews) to better strengthen the center and ruling right coalition. His downfall came with the rise to power of Kaiser Wilhelm II. The latter favoured an expansionist foreign policy while expressing opposition to Bismarck's then anti-socialist policies (not out of any sympathy to socialism but [[SlaveToPR merely because he didn't want to appear as a tyrant so early in his career]]). The fact that Bismarck also made it no secret that he thought the Kaiser's much more overt and rampant anti-Semitism and courting of the country's religious right wing presented a threat to the stability of the realm, also contributed greatly to the falling out between the two. In his retirement, Bismarck spent his time writing his memoirs while giving interviews on how Germany would be ruined and be on the course of disaster without him. The outbreak of UsefulNotes/WorldWarI, breaking out as Bismarck had predicted over "some damned foolish thing in the Balkans" appeared to have vindicated him. While his sacking had been contentious, slowly but surely and even starting during his lifetime, there was a cult of personality around Bismarck. While Wilhelm II tried to establish his grandfather Wilhelm I as OurFounder and attempted to give him nicknames like "The Great" (never stuck) or "Barbablanca" (in allusion to Friedrich I "Barbarossa") it soon became clear that Bismarck was by far the more popular figure and thus ''many'' German cities to this day have streets named after Bismarck, there are statues of him and "Bismarck-towers" are popular hiking destinations and lookout points in the environs of many towns.

to:

The manner of France's defeat (punitive reparations and taking away of territory against the will of the French citizens living there[[note]]which amounts to modern-day Moselle and Alsace, although the latter was conquered in blood by France less than three centuries before. People there were offered the option of keeping the French nationality, provided they left the area before October 1st 1872[[/note]]) in the Franco-Prussian War was of such a kind that it made long-term peace between the two nations impossible. Bismarck apparently did not want to take the territory but his general staff, namely Moltke the Elder, insisted out of Pangermanism (notably on the basis that people living there spoke various Germanic dialects). Bismarck later justified the harsh peace[[note]]The physical gold from the reparations France had to pay in 1871 was still not entirely used up and part of it stored in a tower in Berlin by the time the Versailles Treaty forced a similarly huge amount of reparations on Germany[[/note]] by arguing that if the peace was too harsh to allow for reconciliation, best to make it ''so'' harsh as to make revenge impossible. [[UsefulNotes/WorldWarI It didn't work.]] [[note]]but then neither did the GoldenMeanFallacy based Treaty of Versailles, which left Germany humiliated enough to seek revenge and strong enough to do it.[[/note]] Bismarck then set about spending the remainder of his career in social and domestic policies while his foreign policies involved trying to form alliances with England, Austria and Russia, to better isolate France. On the domestic front, Bismarck spent much of his time enacting a series of policies to strengthen the state, first against the Catholics (Kulturkampf), [[EnemyMine then allying with the newly formed Catholic Center party]] against the socialists, while at the same time passing welfare laws to the surprise and consternation of his conservative allies, namely pension for elderly workers and access to affordable insurance laws (the first of their kind in Europe). Bismarck saw the latter as preferable to the socialist alternative of regulated workspace, safety inspections, and a shorter working-week. Laws proscribing and restricting socialist parties and left-wing parties were on the books, and Bismarck would lean on nativist conservative fears of the other (i.e. the French, the Poles, the Jews) to better strengthen the center and ruling right coalition. His downfall came with the rise to power of Kaiser Wilhelm II. The latter favoured an expansionist foreign policy while expressing opposition to Bismarck's then anti-socialist policies (not out of any sympathy to socialism but [[SlaveToPR merely because he didn't want to appear as a tyrant so early in his career]]). The fact that Bismarck also made it no secret that he thought the Kaiser's much more overt and rampant anti-Semitism and courting of the country's religious right wing presented a threat to the stability of the realm, also contributed greatly to the falling out between the two. In his retirement, Bismarck spent his time writing his memoirs while giving interviews on how Germany would be ruined and be on the course of disaster without him. The outbreak of UsefulNotes/WorldWarI, breaking out as Bismarck had predicted over "some damned foolish thing in the Balkans" appeared to have vindicated him. While his sacking had been contentious, slowly but surely and even starting during his lifetime, there was a cult of personality around Bismarck. While Wilhelm II tried to establish his grandfather Wilhelm I as OurFounder and attempted to give him nicknames like "The Great" (never stuck) or "Barbablanca" (in allusion to Friedrich I "Barbarossa") it soon became clear that Bismarck was by far the more popular figure and thus ''many'' German cities to this day have streets named after Bismarck, there are statues of him and "Bismarck-towers" "[[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bismarck_tower Bismarck-towers]]" are popular hiking destinations and lookout points in the environs of many towns.


In 1862 he was appointed Minister President of Prussia during the conflict between King Wilhelm I and the legislature over the reform of the army. How Bismarck resolved the situation serves as a excellent example of his political ingenuity: By exploiting a border conflict in Denmark, Bismarck was able to provoke a war against the Danes in 1864, and as he predicted, the war was fairly swift and ended in a clear Prussian victory as Denmark was outmatched both in manpower and technology and not able to rally any allies to their cause. At the same time the war allowed him to paint the liberal politicians in the legislature who had blocked the army reform as unpatriotic for not supporting the army in a time of war, causing them to ultimately roll over and agree to implement the reform. In one fell swoop, he had brought glory and territory to Prussia and successfully subdued his political opponents. During this time, Bismarck began to reconsider his conservative views. He was still a reactionary and anti-democratic aristocrat but he also saw the way the wind was blowing. As such [[TheMoralSubstitute he started coming around to German Unification provided]] that it was led and carried out by aristocrats and that it could create an autocratic state that nonetheless made the middle-class into its partners against the rising socialist tides (that the Forty-Eighters collapsed when they tried to oppose). The way to deal with it was a complex fusion of domestic and foreign policy, by which internal problems and reforms and the potential precedent it could set for democratization was defused by diverting it first to war, then pragmatic concessions and compromises that fell short of original demand, and which allowed the Prussian military Junker class and their aristocratic friends to continue ruling the way they did. Bismarck was good at foreign policy, not in building peace, but in provoking war and making Prussia look like the defenders against the aggressors. This served him well against Denmark, against Austria, and then definitively in the UsefulNotes/FrancoPrussianWar, against the former hegemon of continental Europe. In 1871, after Wilhelm I crowned himself Emperor of Germany, he promoted Bismarck to [[UsefulNotes/TheChancellorsOfGermany Chancellor of the German Empire]]. It should be said, that while the [[PuppetKing Chancellor was supposed to be subservient to the Emperor, Bismarck tended to just do what he wanted]] and the Prussian King acquiesced. Bismarck had achieved the ends he had wanted, but the means he used for achieving it, could not be easily done away with.

The manner of France's defeat (punitive reparations and taking away of territory against the will of the French citizens living there[[note]]which amounts to modern-day Moselle and Alsace, although the latter was conquered in blood by France less than three centuries before. People there were offered the option of keeping the French nationality, provided they left the area before October 1st 1872[[/note]]) in the Franco-Prussian War was of such a kind that it made long-term peace between the two nations impossible. Bismarck apparently did not want to take the territory but his general staff, namely Moltke the Elder, insisted out of Pangermanism (notably on the basis that people living there spoke various Germanic dialects). Bismarck later justified the harsh peace[[note]]The physical gold from the reparations France had to pay in 1871 was still not entirely used up and part of it stored in a tower in Berlin by the time the Versailles Treaty forced a similarly huge amount of reparations on Germany[[/note]] by arguing that if the peace was too harsh to allow for reconciliation, best to make it ''so'' harsh as to make revenge impossible. [[UsefulNotes/WorldWarI It didn't work.]] [[note]]but then neither did the GoldenMeanFallacy based Treaty of Versailles, which left Germany humiliated enough to seek revenge and strong enough to do it.[[/note]] Bismarck then set about spending the remainder of his career in social and domestic policies while his foreign policies involved trying to form alliances with England, Austria and Russia, to better isolate France. On the domestic front, Bismarck spent much of his time enacting a series of policies to strengthen the state, first against the Catholics (Kulturkampf), [[EnemyMine then allying with the newly formed Catholic Center party]] against the socialists, while at the same time passing welfare laws to the surprise and consternation of his conservative allies, namely pension for elderly workers and access to affordable insurance laws (the first of their kind in Europe). Bismarck saw the latter as preferable to the socialist alternative of regulated workspace, safety inspections, and a shorter working-week. Laws proscribing and restricting socialist parties and left-wing parties were on the books, and Bismarck would lean on nativist conservative fears of the other (i.e. the French, the Poles, the Jews) to better strengthen the center and ruling right coalition. His downfall came with the rise to power of Kaiser Wilhelm II. The latter favoured an expansionist foreign policy while expressing opposition to Bismarck's then anti-socialist policies (not out of any sympathy to socialism but [[SlaveToPR merely because he didn't want to appear as a tyrant so early in his career]]). The fact that Bismarck also made it no secret that he thought the Kaiser's much more overt and rampant anti-Semitism and courting of the country's religious right wing presented a threat to the stability of the realm, also contributed greatly to the falling out between the two. In his retirement, Bismarck spent his time writing his memoirs while giving interviews on how Germany would be ruined and be on the course of disaster without him. The outbreak of UsefulNotes/WorldWarI, breaking out as Bismarck had predicted over "some damned foolish thing in the Balkans" appeared to have vindicated him.

to:

In 1862 he was appointed Minister President of Prussia during the conflict between King Wilhelm I and the legislature over the reform of the army. How Bismarck resolved the situation serves as a excellent example of his political ingenuity: By exploiting a border conflict in Denmark, Bismarck was able to provoke a war against the Danes in 1864, and as he predicted, the war was fairly swift and ended in a clear Prussian victory as Denmark was outmatched both in manpower and technology and not able to rally any allies to their cause. At the same time the war allowed him to paint the liberal politicians in the legislature who had blocked the army reform as unpatriotic for not supporting the army in a time of war, causing them to ultimately roll over and agree to implement the reform. In one fell swoop, he had brought glory and territory to Prussia and successfully subdued his political opponents. During this time, Bismarck began to reconsider his conservative views. He was still a reactionary and anti-democratic aristocrat but he also saw the way the wind was blowing. As such [[TheMoralSubstitute he started coming around to German Unification provided]] that it was led and carried out by aristocrats and that it could create an autocratic state that nonetheless made the middle-class into its partners against the rising socialist tides (that the Forty-Eighters collapsed when they tried to oppose). The way to deal with it was a complex fusion of domestic and foreign policy, by which internal problems and reforms and the potential precedent it could set for democratization was defused by diverting it first to war, then pragmatic concessions and compromises that fell short of original demand, and which allowed the Prussian military Junker class and their aristocratic friends to continue ruling the way they did. Bismarck was good at foreign policy, not in building peace, but in provoking war and making Prussia look like the defenders against the aggressors. This served him well against Denmark, against Austria, and then definitively in the UsefulNotes/FrancoPrussianWar, against the former hegemon of continental Europe. In 1871, after Wilhelm I was crowned himself Emperor of Germany, he promoted Bismarck to [[UsefulNotes/TheChancellorsOfGermany Chancellor of the German Empire]]. It should be said, that while the [[PuppetKing Chancellor was supposed to be subservient to the Emperor, Bismarck tended to just do what he wanted]] and the Prussian King acquiesced. Bismarck had achieved the ends he had wanted, but the means he used for achieving it, could not be easily done away with.

The manner of France's defeat (punitive reparations and taking away of territory against the will of the French citizens living there[[note]]which amounts to modern-day Moselle and Alsace, although the latter was conquered in blood by France less than three centuries before. People there were offered the option of keeping the French nationality, provided they left the area before October 1st 1872[[/note]]) in the Franco-Prussian War was of such a kind that it made long-term peace between the two nations impossible. Bismarck apparently did not want to take the territory but his general staff, namely Moltke the Elder, insisted out of Pangermanism (notably on the basis that people living there spoke various Germanic dialects). Bismarck later justified the harsh peace[[note]]The physical gold from the reparations France had to pay in 1871 was still not entirely used up and part of it stored in a tower in Berlin by the time the Versailles Treaty forced a similarly huge amount of reparations on Germany[[/note]] by arguing that if the peace was too harsh to allow for reconciliation, best to make it ''so'' harsh as to make revenge impossible. [[UsefulNotes/WorldWarI It didn't work.]] [[note]]but then neither did the GoldenMeanFallacy based Treaty of Versailles, which left Germany humiliated enough to seek revenge and strong enough to do it.[[/note]] Bismarck then set about spending the remainder of his career in social and domestic policies while his foreign policies involved trying to form alliances with England, Austria and Russia, to better isolate France. On the domestic front, Bismarck spent much of his time enacting a series of policies to strengthen the state, first against the Catholics (Kulturkampf), [[EnemyMine then allying with the newly formed Catholic Center party]] against the socialists, while at the same time passing welfare laws to the surprise and consternation of his conservative allies, namely pension for elderly workers and access to affordable insurance laws (the first of their kind in Europe). Bismarck saw the latter as preferable to the socialist alternative of regulated workspace, safety inspections, and a shorter working-week. Laws proscribing and restricting socialist parties and left-wing parties were on the books, and Bismarck would lean on nativist conservative fears of the other (i.e. the French, the Poles, the Jews) to better strengthen the center and ruling right coalition. His downfall came with the rise to power of Kaiser Wilhelm II. The latter favoured an expansionist foreign policy while expressing opposition to Bismarck's then anti-socialist policies (not out of any sympathy to socialism but [[SlaveToPR merely because he didn't want to appear as a tyrant so early in his career]]). The fact that Bismarck also made it no secret that he thought the Kaiser's much more overt and rampant anti-Semitism and courting of the country's religious right wing presented a threat to the stability of the realm, also contributed greatly to the falling out between the two. In his retirement, Bismarck spent his time writing his memoirs while giving interviews on how Germany would be ruined and be on the course of disaster without him. The outbreak of UsefulNotes/WorldWarI, breaking out as Bismarck had predicted over "some damned foolish thing in the Balkans" appeared to have vindicated him. \n While his sacking had been contentious, slowly but surely and even starting during his lifetime, there was a cult of personality around Bismarck. While Wilhelm II tried to establish his grandfather Wilhelm I as OurFounder and attempted to give him nicknames like "The Great" (never stuck) or "Barbablanca" (in allusion to Friedrich I "Barbarossa") it soon became clear that Bismarck was by far the more popular figure and thus ''many'' German cities to this day have streets named after Bismarck, there are statues of him and "Bismarck-towers" are popular hiking destinations and lookout points in the environs of many towns.


The manner of France's defeat (punitive reparations and taking away of territory against the will of the French citizens living there[[note]]which amounts to modern-day Moselle and Alsace, although the latter was conquered in blood by France less than three centuries before. People there were offered the option of keeping the French nationality, provided they left the area before October 1st 1872[[/note]]) in the Franco-Prussian War was of such a kind that it made long-term peace between the two nations impossible. Bismarck apparently did not want to take the territory but his general staff, namely Moltke the Elder, insisted out of Pangermanism (notably on the basis that people living there spoke various Germanic dialects). He then set about spending the remainder of his career in social and domestic policies while his foreign policies involved trying to form alliances with England, Austria and Russia, to better isolate France. On the domestic front, Bismarck spent much of his time enacting a series of policies to strengthen the state, first against the Catholics (Kulturkampf), [[EnemyMine then allying with the newly formed Catholic Center party]] against the socialists, while at the same time passing welfare laws to the surprise and consternation of his conservative allies, namely pension for elderly workers and access to affordable insurance laws (the first of their kind in Europe). Bismarck saw the latter as preferable to the socialist alternative of regulated workspace, safety inspections, and a shorter working-week. Laws proscribing and restricting socialist parties and left-wing parties were on the books, and Bismarck would lean on nativist conservative fears of the other (i.e. the French, the Poles, the Jews) to better strengthen the center and ruling right coalition. His downfall came with the rise to power of Kaiser Wilhelm II. The latter favoured an expansionist foreign policy while expressing opposition to Bismarck's then anti-socialist policies (not out of any sympathy to socialism but [[SlaveToPR merely because he didn't want to appear as a tyrant so early in his career]]). The fact that Bismarck also made it no secret that he thought the Kaiser's much more overt and rampant anti-Semitism and courting of the country's religious right wing presented a threat to the stability of the realm, also contributed greatly to the falling out between the two. In his retirement, Bismarck spent his time writing his memoirs while giving interviews on how Germany would be ruined and be on the course of disaster without him. The outbreak of UsefulNotes/WorldWarI, breaking out as Bismarck had predicted over "some damned foolish thing in the Balkans" appeared to have vindicated him.

to:

The manner of France's defeat (punitive reparations and taking away of territory against the will of the French citizens living there[[note]]which amounts to modern-day Moselle and Alsace, although the latter was conquered in blood by France less than three centuries before. People there were offered the option of keeping the French nationality, provided they left the area before October 1st 1872[[/note]]) in the Franco-Prussian War was of such a kind that it made long-term peace between the two nations impossible. Bismarck apparently did not want to take the territory but his general staff, namely Moltke the Elder, insisted out of Pangermanism (notably on the basis that people living there spoke various Germanic dialects). He Bismarck later justified the harsh peace[[note]]The physical gold from the reparations France had to pay in 1871 was still not entirely used up and part of it stored in a tower in Berlin by the time the Versailles Treaty forced a similarly huge amount of reparations on Germany[[/note]] by arguing that if the peace was too harsh to allow for reconciliation, best to make it ''so'' harsh as to make revenge impossible. [[UsefulNotes/WorldWarI It didn't work.]] [[note]]but then neither did the GoldenMeanFallacy based Treaty of Versailles, which left Germany humiliated enough to seek revenge and strong enough to do it.[[/note]] Bismarck then set about spending the remainder of his career in social and domestic policies while his foreign policies involved trying to form alliances with England, Austria and Russia, to better isolate France. On the domestic front, Bismarck spent much of his time enacting a series of policies to strengthen the state, first against the Catholics (Kulturkampf), [[EnemyMine then allying with the newly formed Catholic Center party]] against the socialists, while at the same time passing welfare laws to the surprise and consternation of his conservative allies, namely pension for elderly workers and access to affordable insurance laws (the first of their kind in Europe). Bismarck saw the latter as preferable to the socialist alternative of regulated workspace, safety inspections, and a shorter working-week. Laws proscribing and restricting socialist parties and left-wing parties were on the books, and Bismarck would lean on nativist conservative fears of the other (i.e. the French, the Poles, the Jews) to better strengthen the center and ruling right coalition. His downfall came with the rise to power of Kaiser Wilhelm II. The latter favoured an expansionist foreign policy while expressing opposition to Bismarck's then anti-socialist policies (not out of any sympathy to socialism but [[SlaveToPR merely because he didn't want to appear as a tyrant so early in his career]]). The fact that Bismarck also made it no secret that he thought the Kaiser's much more overt and rampant anti-Semitism and courting of the country's religious right wing presented a threat to the stability of the realm, also contributed greatly to the falling out between the two. In his retirement, Bismarck spent his time writing his memoirs while giving interviews on how Germany would be ruined and be on the course of disaster without him. The outbreak of UsefulNotes/WorldWarI, breaking out as Bismarck had predicted over "some damned foolish thing in the Balkans" appeared to have vindicated him.


On the personal level, Bismarck had a detached, almost psychopathic nature. He seemed unable to separate [[ItsAllAboutMe his personal ambitions from the national interest]]. He had no true loyalty to any cause or person, viewing everyone and everything ultimately as tools to achieve his ends. It was purely by the sheer force of his will and his political genius that he succeeded and survived for so long. It was clear the German government, which he had helped create, was designed to benefit one person above all: himself. On paper, the Kaiser had ultimate control and Bismarck for expediency paid lip-service to this in public, but Bismarck seemed to assume that the Kaiser would always defer to his judgment and that he, the Chancellor, would always be in control. This held true for the first emperor, Kaiser Wilhelm I but when his grandson Wilhelm II, a more dynamic individual, came to power this system fell apart. Bismarck found the new emperor difficult to control. Bismarck offered his resignation to the Kaiser in protest, a tactic he had used previously to get what he wanted. Kaiser Wilhelm II, however, ''accepted.'' By this point, Bismarck had double-crossed nearly everybody at least once, and with no support or allies he was effectively booted out of politics completely, leaving Germany completely unprepared to navigate a post-Bismarck world. In his retirement, Bismarck often lamented that Germany was doomed without his guidance. If this was true, it was largely because of his own insistence that he always be there to guide it, rather than constructing a system of government that didn't require a political genius at the helm.

to:

On the personal level, Bismarck had a detached, almost psychopathic nature. He seemed unable to separate [[ItsAllAboutMe his personal ambitions from the national interest]]. He had no true loyalty to any cause or person, viewing everyone and everything ultimately as tools to achieve his ends. It was purely by the sheer force of his will and his political genius that he succeeded and survived for so long. It was clear the German government, which he had helped create, was designed to benefit one person above all: himself. On paper, the Kaiser had ultimate control and Bismarck for expediency paid lip-service to this in public, but Bismarck seemed to assume that the Kaiser would always defer to his judgment and that he, the Chancellor, would always be in control. This held true for the first emperor, Kaiser Wilhelm I I, but when his grandson Wilhelm II, a more dynamic individual, came to power this system fell apart. Bismarck found the new emperor difficult to control. Bismarck offered his resignation to the Kaiser in protest, a tactic he had used previously to get what he wanted. Kaiser Wilhelm II, however, ''accepted.'' By this point, Bismarck had double-crossed nearly everybody at least once, and with no support or allies he was effectively booted out of politics completely, leaving Germany completely unprepared to navigate a post-Bismarck world. In his retirement, Bismarck often lamented that Germany was doomed without his guidance. If this was true, it was largely because of his own insistence that he always be there to guide it, rather than constructing a system of government that didn't require a political genius at the helm.

Added DiffLines:

* After meeting Bismarck at the Congress of Berlin, UsefulNotes/BenjaminDisraeli cast him as the Count of Ferroll in his 1880 novel ''Literature/{{Endymion}}''.
* In the 1941 film ''Film/ThePrimeMinister'', a biopic of Disraeli, Bismarck is shown ranting whilst his shadow falls across the map of Europe, implying that the 1870s Eastern crisis was caused by German desire to dominate the Balkans (a false implication, but the film was made in Britain during UsefulNotes/WorldWarII).


* [[VideoGame/TheLegendOfHeroesTrailsOfColdSteel Giliath Osborne]], from the ''VideoGame/KisekiSeries'', is a NoHistoricalFiguresWereHarmed version of Bismarck, right down to his nickname, [[RedBaron the Blood and Iron Chancellor]].

to:

* [[VideoGame/TheLegendOfHeroesTrailsOfColdSteel Giliath Osborne]], from the ''VideoGame/KisekiSeries'', ''VideoGame/TrailsSeries'', is a NoHistoricalFiguresWereHarmed version of Bismarck, right down to his nickname, [[RedBaron the Blood and Iron Chancellor]].


The manner of France's defeat (punitive reparations and taking away of territory against the will of the French citizens living there[[note]]which amounts to modern-day Moselle and Alsace, although the latter was conquered in blood by France less than three centuries before[[/note]]) in the Franco-Prussian War was of such a kind that it made long-term peace between the two nations impossible. Bismarck apparently did not want to take the territory but his general staff, namely Moltke the Elder, insisted out of Pangermanism (notably on the basis that people living there spoke various Germanic dialects). He then set about spending the remainder of his career in social and domestic policies while his foreign policies involved trying to form alliances with England, Austria and Russia, to better isolate France. On the domestic front, Bismarck spent much of his time enacting a series of policies to strengthen the state, first against the Catholics (Kulturkampf), [[EnemyMine then allying with the newly formed Catholic Center party]] against the socialists, while at the same time passing welfare laws to the surprise and consternation of his conservative allies, namely pension for elderly workers and access to affordable insurance laws (the first of their kind in Europe). Bismarck saw the latter as preferable to the socialist alternative of regulated workspace, safety inspections, and a shorter working-week. Laws proscribing and restricting socialist parties and left-wing parties were on the books, and Bismarck would lean on nativist conservative fears of the other (i.e. the French, the Poles, the Jews) to better strengthen the center and ruling right coalition. His downfall came with the rise to power of Kaiser Wilhelm II. The latter favoured an expansionist foreign policy while expressing opposition to Bismarck's then anti-socialist policies (not out of any sympathy to socialism but [[SlaveToPR merely because he didn't want to appear as a tyrant so early in his career]]). The fact that Bismarck also made it no secret that he thought the Kaiser's much more overt and rampant anti-Semitism and courting of the country's religious right wing presented a threat to the stability of the realm, also contributed greatly to the falling out between the two. In his retirement, Bismarck spent his time writing his memoirs while giving interviews on how Germany would be ruined and be on the course of disaster without him. The outbreak of UsefulNotes/WorldWarI, breaking out as Bismarck had predicted over "some damned foolish thing in the Balkans" appeared to have vindicated him.

to:

The manner of France's defeat (punitive reparations and taking away of territory against the will of the French citizens living there[[note]]which amounts to modern-day Moselle and Alsace, although the latter was conquered in blood by France less than three centuries before[[/note]]) before. People there were offered the option of keeping the French nationality, provided they left the area before October 1st 1872[[/note]]) in the Franco-Prussian War was of such a kind that it made long-term peace between the two nations impossible. Bismarck apparently did not want to take the territory but his general staff, namely Moltke the Elder, insisted out of Pangermanism (notably on the basis that people living there spoke various Germanic dialects). He then set about spending the remainder of his career in social and domestic policies while his foreign policies involved trying to form alliances with England, Austria and Russia, to better isolate France. On the domestic front, Bismarck spent much of his time enacting a series of policies to strengthen the state, first against the Catholics (Kulturkampf), [[EnemyMine then allying with the newly formed Catholic Center party]] against the socialists, while at the same time passing welfare laws to the surprise and consternation of his conservative allies, namely pension for elderly workers and access to affordable insurance laws (the first of their kind in Europe). Bismarck saw the latter as preferable to the socialist alternative of regulated workspace, safety inspections, and a shorter working-week. Laws proscribing and restricting socialist parties and left-wing parties were on the books, and Bismarck would lean on nativist conservative fears of the other (i.e. the French, the Poles, the Jews) to better strengthen the center and ruling right coalition. His downfall came with the rise to power of Kaiser Wilhelm II. The latter favoured an expansionist foreign policy while expressing opposition to Bismarck's then anti-socialist policies (not out of any sympathy to socialism but [[SlaveToPR merely because he didn't want to appear as a tyrant so early in his career]]). The fact that Bismarck also made it no secret that he thought the Kaiser's much more overt and rampant anti-Semitism and courting of the country's religious right wing presented a threat to the stability of the realm, also contributed greatly to the falling out between the two. In his retirement, Bismarck spent his time writing his memoirs while giving interviews on how Germany would be ruined and be on the course of disaster without him. The outbreak of UsefulNotes/WorldWarI, breaking out as Bismarck had predicted over "some damned foolish thing in the Balkans" appeared to have vindicated him.


The manner of France's defeat (punitive reparations and taking away of territory against the will of the French citizens living there[[note]]which amounts to modern-day Moselle and Alsace, although the latter was conquered in blood by France less than three centuries before[[/note]]) in the Franco-Prussian War was of such a kind that it made long-term peace between the two nations impossible. Bismarck apparently did not want to take the territory but his general staff, namely Moltke the Elder, insisted out of Pangermanism (notably on the basis that people living there spoke various Germanic dialects). He then set about spending the remainder of his career in social and domestic policies while his foreign policies involved trying to form alliances with England, Austria and Russia, to better isolate France. On the domestic front, Bismarck spent much of his time enacting a series of policies to strengthen the state, first against the Catholics (Kulturkampf), [[EnemyMine then allying with the newly formed Catholic Center party]] against the socialists, while at the same time passing welfare laws to the surprise and consternation of his conservative allies, namely pension for elderly workers and access to affordable insurance laws (the first of their kind in Europe). Bismarck saw the latter as preferable to the socialist alternative of regulated workspace, safety inspections, and a shorter working-week. Laws proscribing and restricting socialist parties and left-wing parties were on the books, and Bismarck would lean on nativist conservative fears of the other (i.e. the French, the Poles, the Jews) to better strengthen the center and ruling right coalition. His downfall came with the rise to power of Kaiser Wilhelm II. The latter favoured an expansionist foreign policy while expressing opposition to Bismarck's then anti-socialist policies (not out of any sympathy to socialism but [[SlaveToPR merely because he didn't want to appear as a tyrant so early in his career]]). The fact that Bismarck also made it no secret that he thought the Kaiser's much more overt and rampant anti-Semitism and courting of the country's religious right wing presented a threat to the stability of the realm, also contributed greatly to the spilt. In his retirement, Bismarck spent his time writing his memoirs while giving interviews on how Germany would be ruined and be on the course of disaster without him. The outbreak of UsefulNotes/WorldWarI, breaking out as Bismarck had predicted over "some damned foolish thing in the Balkans" appeared to have vindicated him.

to:

The manner of France's defeat (punitive reparations and taking away of territory against the will of the French citizens living there[[note]]which amounts to modern-day Moselle and Alsace, although the latter was conquered in blood by France less than three centuries before[[/note]]) in the Franco-Prussian War was of such a kind that it made long-term peace between the two nations impossible. Bismarck apparently did not want to take the territory but his general staff, namely Moltke the Elder, insisted out of Pangermanism (notably on the basis that people living there spoke various Germanic dialects). He then set about spending the remainder of his career in social and domestic policies while his foreign policies involved trying to form alliances with England, Austria and Russia, to better isolate France. On the domestic front, Bismarck spent much of his time enacting a series of policies to strengthen the state, first against the Catholics (Kulturkampf), [[EnemyMine then allying with the newly formed Catholic Center party]] against the socialists, while at the same time passing welfare laws to the surprise and consternation of his conservative allies, namely pension for elderly workers and access to affordable insurance laws (the first of their kind in Europe). Bismarck saw the latter as preferable to the socialist alternative of regulated workspace, safety inspections, and a shorter working-week. Laws proscribing and restricting socialist parties and left-wing parties were on the books, and Bismarck would lean on nativist conservative fears of the other (i.e. the French, the Poles, the Jews) to better strengthen the center and ruling right coalition. His downfall came with the rise to power of Kaiser Wilhelm II. The latter favoured an expansionist foreign policy while expressing opposition to Bismarck's then anti-socialist policies (not out of any sympathy to socialism but [[SlaveToPR merely because he didn't want to appear as a tyrant so early in his career]]). The fact that Bismarck also made it no secret that he thought the Kaiser's much more overt and rampant anti-Semitism and courting of the country's religious right wing presented a threat to the stability of the realm, also contributed greatly to the spilt.falling out between the two. In his retirement, Bismarck spent his time writing his memoirs while giving interviews on how Germany would be ruined and be on the course of disaster without him. The outbreak of UsefulNotes/WorldWarI, breaking out as Bismarck had predicted over "some damned foolish thing in the Balkans" appeared to have vindicated him.

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