Prussia advances onto Vienna in 1866

Futurist

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Futurist

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Too many non-Germans if annexed as a whole,
The total number of non-Germans annexed would be less than ten million, no?

still too many Catholics if they take only the German parts (I'm pretty sure they'd go for the Slovene Lands as well because the access to the Adriatic via the Austrian Littoral was too important to give up, plus, who'd stop them?).
Would they also go for Fiume?

Also, as I said before, if the will for this would have actually existed, secularization and/or the creation of a broad Pan-German identity would have helped reduce the problem of religious differences.
 

Kotromanic

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Dec 2011
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Apparently it's this book:

Otto von Bismarck - Wikipedia

Steinberg, Jonathan (2011). Bismarck: A Life. Oxford University Press. ISBN 978-0199975396. -- page 253.

So... we have the wikipeida editor's viewpoint?

Though "Oxford University Press" is a great pedigree anyone can update wikipedia, and a page like Bismarck's probably will involve delays to deliberate on reverts, so.... you will have to do better before I believe that Wilhelm advocated this course of "annexing Austria".
 
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Futurist

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So... we have the wikipeida editor's viewpoint?

Though "Oxford University Press" is a great pedigree anyone can update wikipedia, and a page like Bismarck's probably will involve delays to deliberate on reverts, so.... you will have to do better before I believe that Wilhelm advocated this course of "annexing Austria".
Here's the relevant book itself:

Bismarck

Unfortunately, I couldn't find any reference to Wilhelm wanting to annex Austria either on page 253 or on any other page of this book. Maybe you could have a look yourself? ;)
 

Futurist

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K, I checked again and pages 254-255 contain the relevant information. They quote Bismarck as saying that Wilhelm wanted to annex Bohemia, Austrian Silesia, et cetera. Of course, Engelberg challenges Bismarck's account of this--arguing that Bismarck wanted to portray the German military in a bad light due to his later anger towards them.
 

MAGolding

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The total number of non-Germans annexed would be less than ten million, no?



Would they also go for Fiume?

Also, as I said before, if the will for this would have actually existed, secularization and/or the creation of a broad Pan-German identity would have helped reduce the problem of religious differences.
I believe your a responding to a mention of the possibility of annexing the Entire Austrian Empire including Galicia & Lodomeria, Bukovina, Hungary and Croatia, and I think that the non German population of those lands might have been a lot more than ten million in 1866. I think that the discussion of annexing only the German lands is later in the post that you replied to.
 
Oct 2010
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I agree with the consensus here. Firstly Bismarck only wished to humble Austria enough to force her to concede to Prussia being the predominant power in Germany. This allowed him to move subtely onto the next stage of his overall strategy. I am sure he was keenly aware that he had to play this particular game of political poker very adroitley and keep his cards close to his chest. Prussia's manouvering was beginning to arouse hostility amongst the other great powers of Europe going back Schelweig holstein crisis of 1863. Bismarck had formulated a plan to bring about a united Germany under Prussia and in order to do this he had prevent outside intervention and not antigonise the other great powers. Had the Prussian's been too bold in Austria then it is possible that both Russia and France and possibly Britain may have felt obliged to intervene in order to maintain the balance of power. The memory of Napoleon was still within living memory and Bismarck did not want to be cast in the mould of the conqurer but rather the unifier. Although war was almost inevetiable for what he had in mind he was wise enough to realise that if he wished to succeed then he his only hope was to take it out each opponent seperataley and avoid any potential alliances or coalitions being formed amongst the great powers to thwart his plans. to these ends he could not be too punitive with his enemies either Austria or later France and as far as I can see he was able to achieve this.
 
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Futurist

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I believe your a responding to a mention of the possibility of annexing the Entire Austrian Empire including Galicia & Lodomeria, Bukovina, Hungary and Croatia, and I think that the non German population of those lands might have been a lot more than ten million in 1866. I think that the discussion of annexing only the German lands is later in the post that you replied to.
Annexing all of Austria would have been way too much for Prussia to swallow, though.

I agree with the consensus here. Firstly Bismarck only wished to humble Austria enough to force her to concede to Prussia being the predominant power in Germany. This allowed him to move subtely onto the next stage of his overall strategy. I am sure he was keenly aware that he had to play this particular game of political poker very adroitley and keep his cards close to his chest. Prussia's manouvering was beginning to arouse hostility amongst the other great powers of Europe going back Schelweig holstein crisis of 1863. Bismarck had formulated a plan to bring about a united Germany under Prussia and in order to do this he had prevent outside intervention and not antigonise the other great powers. Had the Prussian's been too bold in Austria then it is possible that both Russia and France and possibly Britain may have felt obliged to intervene in order to maintain the balance of power. The memory of Napoleon was still within living memory and Bismarck did not want to be cast in the mould of the conqurer but rather the unifier. Although war was almost inevetiable for what he had in mind he was wise enough to realise that if he wished to succeed then he his only hope was to take it out each opponent seperataley and avoid any potential alliances or coalitions being formed amongst the great powers to thwart his plans. to these ends he could not be too punitive with his enemies either Austria or later France and as far as I can see he was able to achieve this.
Russia could probably be bought off by giving them Galicia, though.
 
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pikeshot1600

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Jul 2009
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As I can recall, geezer that I am, King William was enthused about the opportunity to emphasize Prussian ascendancy by entering Vienna as a victor. Bismarck, and others, including the Crown prince, saw that as an unnecessary affront to Austria, a fellow monarchy and potential future ally. Cooler heads prevailed.

Austria's future direction, both politically and economically, was the Balkans. That was a geography of which Bismarck thought was "not worth the bones of a single German grenadier." The Balkans would also bring Germany into confrontation, and potentially conflict, with Russia. Russia was seen as another monarchy which had more in common with Prussia than it had differences.

German "nationalism" was a tool by which Bismarck served the interests of Prussia. He had no wish to complicate the kingdom's problems by acquiring all sorts of other "nationalisms." I do think it is important to realize that this man was a Prussian first - a Junker and an official of the Kingdom of Prussia, if not a servant of King William - rather than a German nationalist. That aberration would have to wait 50-60 years.
 
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Futurist

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As I can recall, geezer that I am, King William was enthused about the opportunity to emphasize Prussian ascendancy by entering Vienna as a victor. Bismarck, and others, including the Crown prince, saw that as an unnecessary affront to Austria, a fellow monarchy and potential future ally. Cooler heads prevailed.

Austria's future direction, both politically and economically, was the Balkans. That was a geography of which Bismarck thought was "not worth the bones of a single German grenadier." The Balkans would also bring Germany into confrontation, and potentially conflict, with Russia. Russia was seen as another monarchy which had more in common with Prussia than it had differences.

German "nationalism" was a tool by which Bismarck served the interests of Prussia. He had no wish to complicate the kingdom's problems by acquiring all sorts of other "nationalisms." I do think it is important to realize that this man was a Prussian first - a Junker and an official of the Kingdom of Prussia, if not a servant of King William - rather than a German nationalist. That aberration would have to wait 50-60 years.
Ironic that while Bismarck wanted good ties with Russia, he ironically did the one thing that helped ruin German-Russian ties--specifically choosing Austria over Russia in the 1879 Dual Alliance.