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Otto von Bismarck

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Otto von Bismarck
Historical Figure
Nationality: Germany
Religion: Lutheran
Date of Birth: 1815
Date of Death: 1898
Cause of Death: Natural causes
Occupation: Lawyer, Politician
Spouse: Johanna von Puttkamer
Children: Marie, Herbert, Wilhelm
Political Party: None (Independent)
Turtledove Appearances:
In the Presence of Mine Enemies
POD: c. 1940
Type of Appearance: Posthumous reference
Southern Victory
POD: September 10, 1862
Appearance(s): How Few Remain
Type of Appearance: Contemporary references
Otto Eduard Leopold von Bismarck, Count of Bismarck-Schönhausen, Duke of Lauenburg, Prince of Bismarck, (1 April 1815 – 30 July 1898), was a Prussian German statesman and aristocrat of the 19th century. As Minister-President of Prussia from 1862–1890, he oversaw the unification of Germany. In 1867 he became Chancellor of the North German Confederation. When the second German Empire was formed in 1871 following the Franco-Prussian War, he served as its first Chancellor until 1890, earning the nickname "The Iron Chancellor". As Chancellor, Bismarck held an important role in the German government and greatly influenced German and international politics both during and after his time of service.

Literary comment

A quote often attributed to Bismarck, that "[l]aws, like sausages, cease to inspire respect in proportion as we know how they are made," or some variation thereof, often makes its way into Turtledove's works.

Otto von Bismarck in In the Presence of Mine Enemies

Otto von Bismarck was designated as an honorary Führer of the Greater German Reich after World War II, taking his place in history beside Adolf Hitler, Heinrich Himmler, and Kurt Haldweim as one of the great leaders of Germany.[1]

Otto von Bismarck in Southern Victory

Upon the unification of Germany following the Franco-Prussian War in 1871, Otto von Bismarck pursued a foreign policy goal of isolating his country's primary enemy, France.[2] As part of this policy, he empowered his ambassador to Philadelphia, Kurd von Schlozer, to negotiate an alliance against France, Britain, and the Confederate States (later joined by Russia and a number of others) with the United States that eventually became the Central Powers alliance system.[3]


  1. In the Presence of Mine Enemies, pg. 200.
  2. See, e.g., How Few Remain, pg. 100.
  3. See, Ibid., pgs. 569-571, generally.
Political offices
Preceded by
Adolf zu Hohenlohe-Ingelfingen
Prime Minister of Prussia
Succeeded by
Albrecht von Roon
Preceded by
Albrecht von Bernstorff
Foreign Minister of Prussia
Succeeded by
Leo von Caprivi
New title
Formation of the
North German Confederation
Chancellor of the North German Confederation
Elevation to empire
New title
Formation of the
German Empire
Chancellor of Germany
Succeeded by
Leo von Caprivi
Preceded by
Albrecht von Roon
Prime Minister of Prussia

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