Visionary Leaders Project Guided Questions
1) Who is your guided leader? (Give some background: When born/died, basic life overview, personality).
-My guided leader is Otto Von Bismarck (1815-1898). Otto Von Bismarck was conservative Prussian statesman, and was later the Prime Minister of Prussia, appointed by King Wilhelm I. He dominated German and European affairs from the 1860s until 1890. Early on in his political career, promised to promulgate a constitution, agreed that Prussia and other German states should merge into a single nation-state in 1848. In 1849, he opposed the unification of Germany, arguing that Prussia would lose its independence in the process. He grew up representing the land-owning nobility. His mother also had close connections to the Prussian court. ...view middle of the document...
He launched his political career during the revolutions of 1848.
3) In concrete terms, what was your leader’s “vision”? (Political goals, life mission, etc.) How does that vision connect to nationalism?
-Otto Von Bismarck’s “vision” was to preserve German hegemony in a Europe and to secure Prussia's position in Germany and Europe. As for dealing with the bankruptcy crisis, his stance was to refuse to compromise with the legislature and collect the taxes anyway. His visions connected to nationalism because he wanted to join together with Germany and Europe. He also claimed that the Prussians weren’t English or French, they were in fact, “good Germans.” This is seeing everybody similarly within the country and all these people together form to create a nation, which is related to nationalism.
4) Who were your leader’s allies? Who were your leader’s enemies/opponents? Is your leader still controversial today?
-Otto Von Bismarck’s allies were Austria-Hungary and Italy. Bismarck’s enemies were France and the Austrian Empire. My leader is not controversial today. Instead, he is characterized as a hero because of his important contributions to Germany and his accomplishments. He is responsible for the Austro-Prussian War, and the Franco-Prussian War.
5) What happened to your leader? Was he/she successful in achieving his/her vision? Why or why not?
-Otto Von Bismarck was successful in achieving his vision, being primarily responsible for German Unification. His achievements have been described as, "the greatest diplomatic and political achievement by any leader in the last two centuries." After Germany was unified, it was one of the most powerful nations in Europe. Bismarck's psychology and personal traits however, have not been so positively received by scholars. He was described as "intimidating and unscrupulous, playing to others' frailties, not their strengths."