1.Discuss Otto von Bismarck’s social policies and the motivation behind them.

Chancellor Otto von Bismarck was able to use the Prussian industry and German nationalism to make his state strong and dominant in Western Europe. In 1866 he attacked and defeated Austria. Instead of taking the land though he formed and alliance with surrounding states in order to create an early Germany. He attacked Austria but did not take any territory because he felt that it would better serve his needs if the Austrians were just scared, not annexed into Prussia. He then used Napoleon III’s strong hostility towards the North German Confederation to justify a war with the French. He knew the Austrians would be to afraid to do anything about it.

2. Discuss the concept of nationalism. What made people have nationalistic feelings for other people? How did nationalism bring nations together and tear them apart? Nationalism is defined as patriotism to ones country. Leaders realized the importance of utilizing this nationalism and how it could help them achieve their political goals. Nationalism and the desire to promote it led to the development of public schools, daily newspapers, and it helped to unite all the peoples of a country. It could however bring tensions between countries, like the feud between the French and Germans. Nationalism is a joining force that helped to create new institutions. People who unite under one flag usually have many reasons too. One of those reasons is language. The reason why Germany could so successfully unite was because they all spoke the same language. Religion was also a factor in uniting people; the more people who belonged to one religion, the more united the people would be. Nationalism did not just come though. It needed to spread by the government and its leaders, and they realized that the easiest way to do that was to use the daily printed newspapers. They could publish glorifying stories of their overseas accomplishments and achievements. It would require the people under them to be educated though. That was another driving factor of nationalism, the more educated the people were, the more willing they’d be to support nationalism. This created the need for the governments to create and support public schooling and educations for the local population; this included the poor who could not necessarily afford it as well as women, who had not been allowed in schools before. This spread of education and literacy allowed nationalist parties to gain support and focus the population’s anger not on the government but on the foreigners. Nationalism played a large role in feuds between major powers as well. Language is always a factor in nationalism and when large groups of people all speak one language they tend to identify and unite under one flag easier. This belief caused Germany to think that Alsace and Lorraine were theirs because most of the people there spoke German. The French however believed that the land was theirs because the land had been established French in the French revolution and most of the people in the country identified themselves as French. This is one example of how nationalism can cause two conflicting viewpoints and make two countries fight each other over conflicting views in their nationalism.

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