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Otto Eduard Leopold von Bismarck was born on All Fools Day in 1815 during the Hundred Days and he died in Friedrichsruh on July 30 1898 while the European powers were partitioning Africa and extending their dominion over parts of Asia A political genius Bismarck used everything from his legacy to his connections to become the powerhouse that he was in EuropeBismarck was born in Schoenhausen the wealthy family estate located west of Berlin in the Prussian Providence of Saxony 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 Bismarcks dual heritage would play a considerable role in his life for his ancestors filled classes that dominated Prussia such as the nobility army and civil service Bismarck physically resembled his father and appeared as a Prussian Junker to the outside worldan image which he often encouraged by wearing military uniform even though he was not a regular officerhe was also more cosmopolitan and highly educated than was normal for men of such background for von Bismarcks did not have real wealth other than their name and land until after the unification of Germany So when Otto turned seven his mother who found the providential life to be confining sent him to the progressive Plamann Institute in Berlin and moved to be near him The young Bismarck resented having to exchange his easy life in the country for a more restricted life in Berlin where he was contraposed against the sons of the citys best-educated families He would then move on to go to Fredrick William Gymnasium and several years later pass the university entrance examination in 1832 He then attended the University of Goettingen to study law at his mothers encouragement to get him involved with diplomatic service though he would leave the following fall However while
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