“The great questions of the day will not be settled by means of speeches and majority decisions, but by iron and blood” Otto Von Bismarck once advocated. This quote generalizes this Iron-chancellor’s attitude towards change. He highlights the importance of wars depicted by Iron which symbolizes Artillery and weaponry, and blood which symbolizes patriotic death. His perception of change was strongly reinforced by the necessity for strong arms and military, he shared this with Napoleon Bonaparte, the early 19th century French emperor who once said “before all else, be armed”.
Hence, it is strongly evident, Otto Von Bismarck’s Machiavellian personality where “the end justifies the means” played a huge role in making him a very untrustworthy figure in regard to the European countries and local politics, in addition to his deceitful and opportunistic behaviour throughout the mid 19th century and the unification of Germany. Otto Von Bismarck was a very opportunistic individual. He realized the political and geographical chaos within Germany after the Congress of Vienna in 1814-1815.
This was greatly due to the high number of local battles and internal wars within the un-unified Germany. The existence of these struggles was mainly because, through the congress’s “balance of power”, European powers were limited to reduce the possibility of the uprising of continental strength which might oppose a threat to Europe. Bismarck, being and opportunistic politician did not like the situation of anarchy and took in hand the responsibility to unify Germany, and by mass election of the people he up rose in between the mid 19th century.
This characteristic trait and behaviour made him an untrustworthy figure in the eyes of his political allies, why? Simply, they worried that such an opportunistic symbol such as Bismarck would un-doubtfully take advantage of a vulnerable situation, like he did in Germany, and introduce a setback, which in turn may misdirect Germany threat to neighbouring areas, leading to continental feud, thus damaging local trade through mercantilism, political alliances such as that between Austria and Prussia, and future democratic recessions such as those in the north German Confederation of the year 1876.
Otto Von Bismarck was now the Machiavellian politician who kept the European powers on high alert through the process of signing treaties and alliances. In addition to this opportunistic behaviour, Bismarck was very deceitfully Machiavellian through his alliances and treaties. One evidential example is three years after his alliance with Austria against Denmark in 1863, Bismarck turned back on Austria, where he then entered Holstein which currently dominated by Austrian troops and occupied it.
This tactic made him a perfect candidate for Machiavelli’s “end justifies the mean” where Bismarck deceitfully attacked the Austrian dominated area, this was simply to expand geographical dominance and reduce the Austrian geographical authority through Denmark which would inspire German unification as the Germans gained confidence in their military and commanding power.
Hence, Bismarck simply used whatever end necessary to reach his “mean” or goal by the deceitful behaviour, but in fact, such manoeuvres reduced the Iron-chancellor’s reputation throughout Europe as a trustworthy character, and perhaps an undesirable contender for a treaty or alliance.
Bismarck’s Machiavellian approach toward politics by his opportunistic behaviour and deceitful ability to conduct temporary alliances made him a very untrustworthy leaders but the prime jewel for the unification of the independent German states. Moreover, his race to glory made him a feared opponent in the eyes of those who speculated agreements the Prussian Chancellor, he was deceitful, and he was opportunistic, but the battle shout he roared during those days, will echo forever in history’s time forever.