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Bismark and the Unification of GermanyThe New EmpireIn 1871 Otto von Bismark a Prussian statesman founded the German Empire and served as its first chancellor for 19 years Bismark gave the German people an identity of their own and unified the 39 German states that made up Prussia in the second half of the 19th century When the empire was established he skillfully pursued strict policies in foreign affairs and succeeded in preserving the peace in Europe for two decades Although he unified the German empire Bismark failed to unify the people Early LifeBismarck was born on April 1 1815 at Sch nhausen Brandenburg in the Kingdom of Prussia The familys economic circumstances were modest as his fathers farming skills were less than average and Bismarck did not know real wealth until the rewards flowed in after the achievement of the German unificationIn religion beliefs Bismark believed that a Christian state that received its sanction ultimately from unity He had nothing but sarcasm for aristocratic liberals who viewed England as a model for Prussia In 1847 he attended the Prussian United Diet where his speeches against Jewish freedom and contemporary liberalism gained him the reputation of an isolated conservative Early CareerIn 1849 Bismark was elected to the Prussian Chamber of Deputies the lower chamber of the Prussian Diet and moved his family to Berlin At this stage he was far from a German nationalist He told one of his fellow conservatives We are Prussians and Prussians we shall remain We do not wish to see the Kingdom of Prussia obliterated in the putrid brew of cosy south German sentimentality Berghahn 98 In 1851 Frederick William IV appointed Bismarck as the Prussian representative to the federal Diet in Frankfurt This was a clear reward for his loyalty to the monarchy In Frankfurt that Bismarck began to reassess his view of German nationalism and the goals of Prussian foreign policy In 1854 he opposed
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