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How Did Bismarck Do It?

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The creation of the modern unified German state in January 1871 constitutes the greatest diplomatic and political achievement of any leader of the last two centuries; but it was effected at a huge personal and political price, argues Jonathan Steinberg.

A portrait of Bismarck by Franz von Lenback, 1888.In June 1862 Otto von Bismarck, then 47 years old and not yet minister-president of Prussia, decided to visit London. He had been the Prussian ambassador to St Petersburg since 1859 and for nearly a decade before that served as Prussia’s ambassador to the German Confederation.


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