HIST2086: `Bismarck`

January 5, 2018 | Author: Anonymous | Category: Business, Finance, Investing
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HIST2086 Bismarck: The Iron Chancellor

War with France 1870-1

Lecture 13 26 October 2010

Bismarck’s strategy 1866-70 German unity ‘from above’ with Prussian leadership + dominance as prime goal: • To make use of national movement as ‘integrating ideology’ to give artificial North German Confederation a major task • To safeguard monarchy by employing ‘Bonapartism’: Successful government → loyalty → legitimacy + no ‘peoples war’

Luxemburg Crisis (1) • Grand-duchy of Luxemburg: Person union with Holland + Prussian garrison s. 1839 • Napoleon III’s wish to acquire Luxemburg as price for his mediation in 1866 → Strong need to raise his own prestige in France • Strong anti-French German public mood • Bismarck’s fear of uncontrolled German ‘peoples’ war’ → Conference at London …

Luxemburg Crisis (2) Conference at London, 1867: • Luxemburg declared neutral + 5-power-guarantee • France kept out of Luxemburg + Prussian garrison withdrawn = No territorial gain for France + heavy blow for Napoleon

► Serious damage of Franco-Prussian relations ► Bismarck seen by France as German nationalist + Prussian expansionist + strongly defiant to French hegemony of Europe ► War between France + Prussia soon expected

Napoleon's strategy 1867-70 • Re-strengthen ‘Bonapartism’ by successful foreign politics • To set-up a coalition of France + Austria + Italy ≠ Prussia (+ Russia) But: Austria’s readiness for war only when Russia sided Prussia Italy’s excessive territorial demands incl. Papal State at Rome under French military protection = No formal coalition: Unsuccessful French plans

Hohenzollern Candidature Crisis (1) Spanish revolution of 1868: • Driving out Spanish Queen Isabella • Moderate Spanish right’s search for new monarch to safeguard monarchy → Offer of Spanish crown to Prince Leopold of Hohenzollern = Catholic side-branch of royal Prussian House of Hohenzollern

Hohenzollern Candidature Crisis (2) Bismarck’ perception of candidature: • Option 1: Hohenzollern prince as Spanish King → One French army corps bound at Spanish border in case of French attack on Prussia → French ‘encircled’ • Option 2: Any other Catholic prince as Spanish King supported by France → Replacement of French troops in Rome by Spanish → Italy ready for coalition with France → Prussia ‘encircled’ + no German unity achievable

Hohenzollern Candidature Crisis (3) • Bismarck’s secret encouragement of Hohenzollern candidature • Strong French critic after official publication of candidature + desire for triumph, for intimidation, humiliation of Prussia + creating war-like mood • Spanish renunciation of Leopold’s candidature after strong French pressure: Such voluntary step of Leopold not enough to satisfy French negative ambitions towards Prussia

Hohenzollern Candidature Crisis (4) • France’s demand of official renunciation from King William I on behalf of Leopold for all time = Overemphasising crisis + Napoleon’s overplaying his hand • France’s demand refused by King William but his conciliatory reply to French ambassador Benedetti at Bad Ems • ‘Ems telegram’ amended by Bismarck to provoke war with France → King’s action seemingly more abrupt + dismissive than in reality

Hohenzollern Candidature Crisis (4) Napoleon’s situation: • Option 1: To suffer major diplomatic defeat against Prussia → probably end of Napoleon’s government

• Option 2: To escape into war → probably good chance to defeat Prussia: Declaration of war, 19 Jul 1870

Warfare (1) • Strong anti-French feelings in all-Germany: ‘National uprising’ in North and South

• Neutral stance of Russia + Austria + Britain • Quick mobilisation of Prussian + other German states armies + well-trained troops under Prussian General von Moltke • France’s war declaration with no prior preparation or military action → Slow mobilisation of French army → early battles defeats

Warfare (2) 3 major series of operations: • Battles leading to trapping of French army under Bazaine in Metz (- October 1870) • Surrender of Napoleon III at Sedan (2 Sep 1870) • Investment of Paris (- 28 Jan 1871)

War Results Founding of German Empire at Versailles, 18 Jan 1871 Treaty of Frankfurt, May 1871: • Annexation of French provinces Alsace + (East-) Lorraine by Germany • Heavy French war indemnity = New border line for military strategic reasons = Strong German public pressure on Bismarck to annex French territory as punishment ► Long-lasting French revenge feeling

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