Skip to content

Content Header

Coercive Diplomacy: Otto von Bismarck and the Unification of Germany

Coercive Diplomacy: Otto von Bismarck and the Unification of Germany published on

Authored by U.S. Army War College

Otto von Bismarck, Prussia’s “Iron Chancellor,” was arguably the dominant political figure in Europe during the nineteenth century. With acute political moves, he adroitly manipulated opportunities to achieve European hegemony for Germany and, thus, considerably altered Europe’s political scene and balance of power. As the principal architect of German unification, he utilized subtle diplomacy, the formation of alliances, Prussia’s formidable army, and a series of calculated-albeit limited-wars against his European neighbors to create Germany’s second empire. As the archetypical statesman who espoused the power of the state in the international system, Bismarck recognized that a successful foreign policy and national strategy required the conscious integration of force and diplomacy in order to achieve his overarching goal of German unification. His political leadership thus succeeded because he understood that the use of force was a complement, and not alternative, to diplomacy. This book examines Bismarck’s manipulation of diplomatic and military instruments of national power to achieve his political goal, concluding that the fusion of force and diplomacy was the essence of Bismarck’s statesmanship

Publication Date:
Oct 05 2014
1502702673 / 9781502702678
Page Count:
Binding Type:
US Trade Paper
Trim Size:
8.5″ x 11″
Black and White
Related Categories:
History / Europe / Germany


Primary Sidebar