Prussia vs Austria Essay

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To what extent do you agree with the view that by the start of the 1860’s “Prussia was set to dominate Germany for the foreseeable future?” Firstly, one must define “set to dominate”, which could suggest that Prussia was widely accepted that it was inevitable she was going to rule Germany. The “foreseeable future” could suggest a time frame of a decade or so, but not immediately. On one side of the argument, it could be said that Prussia was the most advanced in economy and military in relation to Austria and her international strength was fortified by Austria’s lack of allies. On the other hand, there is the fact that obstructuralism was still at the forefront of foreign policy and there were also huge political divisions. Firstly, the military strength of Prussia compared with that of Austria shows to some extent that Prussia was set to dominate. The introduction of Moltke in 1857 as Chief of the Prussian General Staff, a position he held for the next 30 years due to his success of his military reforms including the increase of military intake to 63,000 a year. In addition Prussia had also developed the breech loader Dreyse, which fired five times as an Austrian muzzle loader. These military reforms suggest to some extent that Prussia was set to dominate because it had overtaken or at least equalled Austria’s might, who was the only main contender to dominate Germany. Source 2 supports the success of the gun and improved military with Moltke saying, “It is generally acknowledged that the great improvement in firearms will entail a substantial change in fighting methods in future wars”. The source adds weight to the argument because the source is a memorandum and has little reason to lie as it is merely to inform; therefore Moltke is sending the memo to another general of staff to ensure Prussian military is ready and efficient, which supports the fact Prussia
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