Mia McDonough

Compare and contrast the foreign policy goals and achievements of Metternich (1815-1848) and Bismarck (1862-1890).

Metternich, Foreign Minister of Austria from 1815-1848, and Bismarck of Prussia from 1862-1890, were the same in their foreign policy goals with their conservative beliefs that the ideas of liberalism and revolution must be crushed, however Metternich often engaged in war while Bismark only participated in war if completely necessary

-Big symbol of conservatism in the first half of the 19th century
-Foreign Minister of Austria
-Played a crucial role at the congress of Vienna:
  • guided by the principle of legitimacy=to restore peace and order in Europe it is necessay to restore the legitimate monarchs who would preserve traditional institutions
  • New arrangement of territory: Metternich believes it to have avoided great danger by creating a balance of power
-To maintain the new conservative order after 1815, he espoused the principle of interventio, by which he meant that the great powers had the right to intervene militarily in other countries in order to crush revolutionary movements against legitimate rulers
-Used spies to search and crush liberal or nationalist plots
-Metternich only postponed an revolutionary explosion until 1848 with his realization that forces of liberalism and nationalism threatened to tear the empire apart
-Had the Karlsbad Decrees of 1819 drawn up which closed the Burschenschaften (which were student societies dedicated to fostering the goal of of free, united Germany), provided for censorship of the press, and placed the universities under close supervision and control
  • This helped Metternich and the cooperative German rulers maintain the conservitive status quo

-waged war only when all other diplomatic alternatives had been exhausted and when he was he was reasonably sure that all the military and diplomatic advantages were on his side
  • often was a defender of peace because he believed that the advantages won from war "no longer justifies the risks involved"
-foremost practioner of Realpolitik: the politics of reality
-blamed liberals for the breakdown of the constitutions government of Prussia
-In the three wars he waged, Bismarck's victories were just as much diplomatic and political as they were militarily
  • Danish War (1864) -Bismarck realizes that in order for Prusssia to expand its power, Austria would have to be excluded from German affairs
  • Austro-Prussian War (1866) -bismark is able to show that liberalism and nationalism can be separated
  • Franco-Prussian War (1870-1871)