Bismark, German Unification Essay

1363 Words6 Pages
To what extent was Bismarck solely responsible for the unification of Germany by 1871? There is often historical debate over who and what was responsible for the unification of Kleindeutsch (small Germany); Otto Van Bismarck was by no means solely responsible for the unification of Germany, however, he was a key player in bringing unification around and has to be recognised as an important factor contributing towards German unification by 1871. Other elements of German life that allowed for Unification to finally be brought about included the strong position of the German economy by 1871, nationalisn and its rapid growth up to and including 1871 and the political factors that made unification in Germany possible in the end The economic union in Germany had quite a large and to all effects major impact upon the unification of Germany. This is not to state however, that it was by any means the main factor contributing to the unification of Germany. Mckinnon emphasizes that the unification of Germany was not an unavoidable outcome of economical forces. However, he does admit that Austrian exclusion from the Zolverein consequently cut them off from German economic life, which lead to important political consequences.Merriman agrees with this and adds that Bismarck was given great support from businessmen that believed they would be given significant economic benefits due to unification. These facts illustrate that although historians such as Keynes state “the German empire was not founded on blood and iron but on coal and iron.” Historians views still differ greatly today, Keynes articulately emphasizes upon how the economic union failed to have a huge impact on the unification of Germany nevertheless he claims that all the impact that the economy did have is easily traced back to Bismarck as the driving force behind it. Perhaps the most important economic factor
Open Document