Friday, June 22, 2007

Otto von Bismarck (von Artemis)

I have always been intrigued by the manifold personality of Otto von Bismarck, one of the most significant politicians of the German history.
Otto Eduard Leopold von Bismarck,was born on April 1, 1815(died July 30 1898) to a wealthy family. When the German Empire was declared(in 1871), he served as its first chancellor.Holding conservative views, Bismarck served at the pleasure of his king. Bismarck was calling the catholics and the socialists public enemies and so he reduced the influence of the catholic church in Germany by making the "Kulturkampf"-an anti-catholic campaign-to seperate the church from the state. Feeling threatened by the socialist party, he instituted the anti-Socialist Laws. Even though, the socialist party gained seats in the Reichstag(the German parlament). Therefore Bismarck enacted the first European labor laws(i.e. the Health Insurance act of 1883). Another one of his determinations was to turn Germany into a military and nationalistic country.These aspects of his domestic policy were contradicting, making it very hard to evaluate. But in contrast to that, Bismarck lead great foreign policies:He didn't want the German Empire to be threatened by any other nation and therefore tried to keep peace in Europe. He also isolated France and offered friendship to many mighty nations.
To sum up, this extraordinary man was the creator of the German Unity. He was the one to establish the first German Empire at the side of his good friend and emperor Wilhelm I. Even without wanting it, Bismarck acted in a progressive way in favour ;of his country.
All in all,Bismarck was a very ambitious and determined man who managed to achieve many of his goals, contributing not only to his own power and his emperors benevolence, but also long-term to the German State

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