Otto von Bismarck Fact Sheet: Who was Otto von Bismarck? The following short biography and fact sheet provides interesting facts about the life, times and history of Otto von Bismarck.
Otto von Bismarck Fact File: Lifespan: 1815 - 1898 *** Full Name: Otto Eduard Leopold, Prince of Bismarck, Duke of Lauenburg also known as Otto von Bismarck *** Occupation: Conservative Prussian Statesman *** Date of Birth: He was born on April 1st, 1815 *** Place of Birth: He was born in Schonhause in the Prussian province of Saxony. *** Family background: His father was Karl Wilhelm Ferdinand von Bismarck was a wealthy estate owner and formerly of the Prussian Military and his mother was Whilhemine Luise Mencken a very well educated daughter of a Berlin official in senior government *** Early life and childhood: He grew up on his father’s estate and although he did not go without, his father perhaps not the most profitable of farmers *** Education: He began his education at Johann Ernst Plamanns’s elementary school and then on to Friedrich-Wilhelm and Graues Kloster secondary school ***
Otto von Bismarck Fact 1: He was born during the 19th century, a time of great innovations in science and industry.
Otto von Bismarck Fact 2: He further his education by attending the University of Gottingen to study law and where he became a member of one of the oldest German Student Corps, Corps Hannovera. From there he went on to the University of Berlin and to study agriculture he attended the University of Greifswald.
Otto von Bismarck Fact 3: He not only spoke his native German, but French, English, Italian, Russian and Polish were all languages he spoke fluently.
Otto von Bismarck Fact 4: Although he began his career in law he soon abandoned that path and instead spent a year as an army officer before having to return home at the death of his mother to take over running the family estate.
Otto von Bismarck Fact 5: Although he had been a trifle rakish during his youth at thirty years of age he developed a very close friendship with the new wife of a friend. Sadly she died of typhoid but her influence stuck with him as he not only became a Pietist Lutheran he married her sister Johanna von Puttkamer.
Otto von Bismarck Fact 6: He would become a Pietist Lutheran as was his wife and together they had three children and remain happily married and devout Pietist’ for the rest of their lives.
Otto von Bismarck Fact 7: His early political career saw him become a reactionary politician with strong royalist leanings.
Otto von Bismarck Fact 8: In 1848 Prussia was facing a revolution completely overwhelming King Frederick William IV who decided his best course of action was to leave Berlin and took up residents at Potsdam, the military headquarters and although had first felt a military intervention to put down the revolt was necessary decided against it.
Otto von Bismarck Fact 9: The King offered various solutions which included a merging of Prussia and the other German states becoming a single nation state.
Otto von Bismarck Fact 10: Eventually concessions were made and Ludolf Camphausen was selected from the liberal camp to be Minister President.
Otto von Bismarck Fact 11: The King would appoint him as his envoy to the Diet of German Confederation in Frankfurt as well as making him ambassador to Russia and France.
Otto von Bismarck Fact 12: By 1862 he would be appointed Minister President and Foreign Minister.
Otto von Bismarck Fact 13: In the ensuing years, although the King was not overly enamored of Bismarck, it was a case of better the devil you know, if he had failed to support him, although he was wholly unpopular, he was likely faced with a liberal replacement, which was not to his liking.
Otto von Bismarck Fact 14: His overall aim was always to unify the German states and although he had partially succeeded there was still a way to go.
Otto von Bismarck Fact 15: In 1863 he faced a difficult diplomatic crisis when in November that year Frederick VII of Denmark died cause a rift over who should succeed him.
Otto von Bismarck Fact 16: By 1864 he would be responsible for winning the war between Prussia and Denmark.
Otto von Bismarck Fact 17: He would be made chancellor of the New German Empire and well as a Prince after a successful campaign not only against France but also in finally unifying the southern states of Germany under threat by France, to agree to unification with special concessions.
Otto von Bismarck Fact 18: By 1871 he was in fact the founder of the German Empire and first chancellor. Within a couple of years he became the Prussian Prime Minister.
Otto von Bismarck Fact 19: In 1890 having butted heads with Emperor William II he was forced to resign his chancellorship, the Emperor saw his as a threat.
Otto von Bismarck Fact 20: He would be made the Duke of Lauenburg and he would spend his remaining years writing his memoirs.
Otto von Bismarck Fact 21: At the great age of 83 years on July 30th 1898 he died in Friedrichruh and his body laid to rest in the Bismarck Mausoleum.
Influence & Legacy: His greatest achievement was in unifying the German states. Having accomplished that feat over many years it would lead Germany to become one of the most powerful countries in Europe.