For most people Bismarck is the man of "blood and iron"; he coined the phrase himself and he lived up to it. But he was much more; he had an itellectual ascendancy over all the politicians of his day, and his superiority was acknowledged not only by his own people, but by all European statesmen.
The unification of Germany, the defeat of Austria, the fall of the Second Empire, the defeat of France, the alliance of the German Empire and the Habsburg Monarchy, the dismemberment of Denmark—these are his most obvious achievements; no less important was the transformation in the national consciousness of the German people, for which Bismarck was also responsible. Dr. Eyck has analyzed not only the personality but also the accomplishments of a statesman whose influence on Europe in the latter half of the nineteenth century was more far-reaching than that of any other man in his time.
This edition contains minor corrections and a new foreword by the author's son Frank Eyck, also a nineteenth-century historian, evaluating some of the important publications in the field since the book appeared and illuminating his father's attitude to Bismarck.
David Williamson’s Bismarck and Germany has long been a definitive guide to Bismarck’s role in German history. A comprehensive and readable study, the book provides a balanced account of Bismarck as the father of the first 'unified' Germany and examines how he consolidated this new state.
Williamson shows how Bismarck skilfully exploited the economic strength of Prussia and the defeats of Austria and France in 1866 and 1870 to create a united Germany by 1871. The state Bismarck created was initially a workable compromise between the demands of the Liberals, the Prussian Crown and the individual states. However, by the 1880s the Bismarckian constitution had become a straitjacket that distorted the constitutional development of Germany up to 1918, despite the fact that it had many modern characteristics such as universal (manhood) suffrage and, by the standards of the time, an exemplary welfare system.
In this third edition, revised and updated to include recent studies of Bismarck, an expanded introduction extending back to 1815 allows students to place Bismarck's remarkable achievement of German unification in the context of political and economic developments in the preceding decades.
Supported by a comprehensive Documents section, and with a new colour plate section, this new edition of a classic text will be an invaluable resource for students and lecturers alike.
David Williamson has written extensively on modern German and International history. Among his publications are Poland Betrayed: The Nazi Soviet Invasions of 1939 (2009), and The Third Reich (fourth edition 2010). Formerly head of History at Highgate School, he is now a writer and freelance lecturer.
A reevaluation of Bismarck's motives and methods, focusing on the chancellor's rise to power.
This riveting, New York Times bestselling biography illuminates the life of Otto von Bismarck, the statesman who unified Germany but who also embodied everything brutal and ruthless about Prussian culture.
Jonathan Steinberg draws heavily on contemporary writings, allowing Bismarck's friends and foes to tell the story. What rises from these pages is a complex giant of a man: a hypochondriac with the constitution of an ox, a brutal tyrant who could easily shed tears, a convert to an extreme form of evangelical Protestantism who secularized schools and introduced civil divorce. Bismarck may have been in sheer ability the most intelligent man to direct a great state in modern times. His brilliance and insight dazzled his contemporaries. But all agreed there was also something demonic, diabolical, and overwhelming in Bismarck's personality. He was a kind of malign genius who, behind the various postures, concealed an ice-cold contempt for his fellow human beings and a drive to control and rule them. As one contemporary noted: "the Bismarck regime was a constant orgy of scorn and abuse of mankind, collectively and individually."
A brilliant study in power, this comprehensive biography brings Bismarck to life, revealing the stark contrast between the "Iron Chancellor's" unmatched political skills and his profoundly flawed human character.