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Otto Eduard Leopold von Bismarck was born on All Fools Day in1815 during the Hundred Daysand he died in Friedrichsruh onJuly 30 1898 while the European powers were partitioningAfrica and extending their dominion over parts of Asia1George O Kent Bismarck and His Times p 1A political genius Bismarck used everything from his legacy tohis connections to become the powerhouse that he was in EuropeBismarck was born in Schoenhausen the wealthy family estatelocated west of Berlin in the Prussian Providence of SaxonyHis father Karl WilhelmFerdinandvon Bismarck was aJunkerestate owner and a former Prussian military officer hismother Wilhelmine Luise Mencken was the well-educateddaughter of a senior government official in Berlin Bismarcksdual heritage would play a considerable role in his life forhis ancestors filled classes that dominated Prussia such asthe nobility army and civil service2George O Kent Bismarck and His Times pBismarck physically resembled his father and appeared as aPrussian Junker to the outside worldan image which he oftenencouraged by wearing military uniform even though he was nota regular officerhe was also more cosmopolitan and highlyeducated than was normal for men of such background for vonBismarcks did not have real wealth other than their name andland until afterthe unification of Germany3Edward Crankshaw Bismarck pSo when Otto turned seven his mother who found the providentiallife to be confining sent him to the progressive PlamannInstitute in Berlin and moved to be near him The youngBismarck resented having to exchange his easy life in thecountry for a more restricted life in Berlin where he wascontraposed against the sons of the citys best-educatedfamilies He would then move on to go to Fredrick WilliamGymnasium and several years later pass the university entranceexamination in 1832 He then attended the University ofGoettingen to study law at his mothers encouragement to gethim involved with diplomatic service though he would leave thefollowing fall4George O Kent Bismarck andHis Times p 3-4However while there hejoined the Hanovera fraternity and madefriends of some foreign students among them John LothropMotley the
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