His father, Karl Wilhelm Ferdinand von Bismarck —was a Junker estate owner and a former Prussian military officer; his mother, Wilhelmine Luise Mencken —was the well educated daughter of a senior government official in Berlin. He had two siblings: The world saw Bismarck as a typical Prussian Junker, an image that he encouraged by wearing military uniforms. Bismarck was well educated and cosmopolitan with a gift for conversation.
The concept of Germany as a distinct region in central Europe can be traced to Roman commander Julius Caesarwho referred to the unconquered area east of the Rhine as Germaniathus distinguishing it from Gaul Francewhich he had conquered.
In the Late Middle Agesthe regional dukes, princes and bishops gained power at the expense of the emperors. Martin Luther led the Protestant Reformation against the Catholic Church afteras the northern states became Protestant, while the southern states remained as the Catholics.
After the French Revolution and the Napoleonic Wars from —, feudalism fell away and liberalism and nationalism clashed with reaction.
The German revolutions of —49 failed. The Industrial Revolution modernized the German economy, led to the rapid growth of cities and to the emergence of the Socialist movement in Germany. Prussia, with its capital Berlingrew in power.
German universities became world-class centers for science and humanities, while music and art flourished. The new Reichstagan elected parliament, had only a limited role in the imperial government. Germany joined the other powers in colonial expansion in Africa and the Pacific.
Germany was the dominant power on the continent. Defeated and partly occupied, Germany was forced to pay war reparations by the Treaty of Versailles and was stripped of its colonies as well as areas given to re-established Poland and Alsace-Lorraine. The German Revolution of —19 deposed the emperor and the various kings and princes, leading to the establishment of the Weimar Republican unstable parliamentary democracy.
In the early s, the worldwide Great Depression hit Germany hard, as unemployment soared and people lost confidence in the government.
The Nazi Party then began to eliminate all political opposition and consolidate its power. Hitler quickly established a totalitarian regime. Beginning in the late s, Nazi Germany made increasingly aggressive territorial demands, threatening war if they were not met.
First came the remilitarization of the Rhineland inthe annexing of Austria in the Anschluss and parts of Czechoslovakia with the Munich Agreement in although in Hitler annexed further territory of Czechoslovakia. Hitler invaded the Soviet Union in June Racism, especially antisemitismwas a central feature of the regime.
In Germany, but predominantly in the German-occupied areasthe systematic genocide program known as The Holocaust killed six million Jews, as well as five million others including German dissidents, gipsies, disabled people, Poles, Romanies, Soviets Russian and non-Russianand others.
Inthe German invasion of the Soviet Union faltered, and after the United States had entered the warBritain became the base for massive Anglo-American bombings of German cities.
Germany fought the war on multiple fronts through —, however following the Allied invasion of Normandy Junethe German Army was pushed back on all fronts until the final collapse in May Under occupation by the Allies, German territories were split up, Austria was again made a separate country, denazification took place, and the Cold War resulted in the division of the country into democratic West Germany and communist East Germany.
Millions of ethnic Germans were deported or fled from Communist areas into West Germany, which experienced rapid economic expansionand became the dominant economy in Western Europe. West Germany was rearmed in the s under the auspices of NATObut without access to nuclear weapons.
In —, Germany was one of the founding countries of the eurozone. In the early s, Germany played a critical role in trying to resolve the escalating euro crisis, especially with regard to Greece and other Southern European nations. In the middle of the decade, the country faced the European migrant crisisas the main receiver of asylum seekers from Syria and other troubled regions.
For more events, see Timeline of German history.Abroad, Bismarck aimed to make the German empire the most powerful in Europe. In , he negotiated an alliance with Austria-Hungary to counteract .
These seemingly incapacitating attacks on the political parties were designed to repress their influence in the Reichstag, however both actually gained support as a direct result of their persecution.
This surely suggests that Bismarck’s devotion to the eradication of his . In history of Europe: Political, economic, and social background and the rise of Bismarck’s Germany, which he did not understand, were developments that reshaped the world in which he had been able to achieve so much by forceful opportunism.
When Palmerston died, in October , it was clear that in foreign relations as well as in . Introduction: Bismarck’s ‘Sovereign Self’ In a society in which court and courtiers occupied the centre of political life and intrigue, Bismarck stayed at home, dined at an unfashionably early hour, and spent much of his later career in the country as far from Berlin as possible.
Bismarck would have disappeared from history and.
Germany hosted the Congress of Berlin (), whereby a more moderate peace settlement was agreed to. Germany had no direct interest in the Balkans, however, which was largely an Austrian and Russian sphere of influence, although King Carol of Romania was a German prince.
The word is quite literal, Realpolitik just means Real Politic In English, as in practical or actual political practice. The idea seems to be coined by Niccolo Machiavelli, though Realpolitik is the German word that originates from 19th century German writer Ludwig von Rochau.