“Germany Was United More By Iron And Steel Than Iron And Blood”

793 words - 4 pages

The statement that German was united by “iron and blood” refers to the speech given by Prussian statesman Otto Von Bismarck, referring to the ‘Bismarck wars’; the battles heavily acclaimed to be the binding force behind German unification into one, powerful state. However, it is also possible to agree with Kenyes , who challenged Bismarck’s speech and opinions on unification by believing in an economically led charge towards unification; hence the use of the term “iron and steel”

To agree on Bismarck’s “blood and iron” beliefs, You have to start with the ‘Bismarck wars’, wars created to help unite Germany against common enemies. The Danish War of 1864, which was fought over the two ...view middle of the document...

Once again Prussia fought against a much larger, more militaristic and powerful nation. Bismarck was again successful in defeating a seemingly stronger enemy, transforming Prussia into a European state few nations wanted to encounter.

“Iron and steel” unlike “Iron and blood”, refers to economic development and the progression of a nation without means of war. As AJP Taylor believed, supposedly Bismarck was only really interested in Prussian dominance in northern Germany; and unification was never a large feature in his plans for Prussia. However Bismarck, among others of course also demonstrates he was interested in diplomacy and had a strong want for economic development of Bundesrat states. The Zollverein was a union between the German states, and played a key part in uniting the 16 states economically. Each year the Zollverein exported 1,853,356.9 million tonnes of goods, an increasing amount year by year; while on the contrary Austria’s exports were falling (higher exports and lower imports generally indicate economic growth, as imports are leakages of a state’s currency while exports are injections of money into an economy). Part of the reason the Zollverein states were so heavily out performing Austria, was partly down to a Prussian overtaking of the Rhineland. Prussia had also been expanding its railway massively, and In 1860 the Prussians had 7169 miles of railway lines. Railway was the main form of travel over...

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