Bismarck’s role in the unification and consolidation of Germany is central to any understanding of Germany's development as a nation and its consequent role as aggressor in two world wars.

This study provides students with a concise, up-to-date and analytical account of Bismarck's role in modern German history. Williamson guides readers through the complex events leading to the defeats of Austria and France in 1866 and 1870 and the subsequent creation of a united Germany in January 1871. He then explores the domestic and foreign problems Bismarck faced up to 1890 in consolidating unification.

part 1|16 pages

The Setting

chapter 1|14 pages

The Background, 1815–1862

part 2|23 pages

The Defeat of Austria

part 3|18 pages

The North German Confederation

part 4|11 pages

The Economic and Constitutional Context, 1871–1890

chapter 7|3 pages

The Second Reich: a Hybrid State

chapter 8|5 pages

Economic Developments, 1871–1890

part 5|20 pages

Domestic Politics, 1871–1890

chapter 10|11 pages

The Conservative Empire

part 6|18 pages

German Foreign and Colonial Policy

chapter 11|11 pages

Germany and Europe, 1871–1890

chapter 12|5 pages

The Creation of the German Colonial Empire

part 7|7 pages


chapter 13|5 pages

Bismarck in Myth and Reality

part 8|37 pages