Wikipedia:Featured article candidates/Otto von Bismarck1

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Otto von Bismarck[edit]

Self-nomination. Nomination withdrawn. -- Emsworth 19:17, 19 Mar 2005 (UTC)

  • I notice some problems in the first paragraph. I quote:
    A Junker, Bismarck held deep monarchist, aristocratic and Prussian nationalist views. His most significant policy objective was that of securing German unification; he took advantage of skilful diplomacy and a series of wars to achieve this goal
Firstly, calling him a Prussian nationalist doesn't make sense. I know what you are getting at, but this is an awkward term. He was a Prussian patriot, I guess, or some such. A Hohenzollern loyalist. Something along those lines. But he was not a Prussian nationalist, because Prussia was not a nation. As to whether his objective was to unify Germany, well, this is debatable. Without a doubt his objective was to secure Prussian domination of Germany. Whether this demanded unification seems questionable to me. Other points:
  1. I feel like his titles are presented oddly. He was born simply "Otto von Bismarck." He was later made a Count, and then a Prince, and finally Duke of Lauenburg. This doesn't seem clear to me from the text, which explicitly says he was born a count (he was made a count in 1865, after the war with Denmark).
  2. My understanding was that his conversion to pietism was as much the result of his falling for Joanna von Puttkamer as anything else
  3. What the Vereinigte Landtag was should be made clear, since as it is it seems uncertain what the difference is between it and the post-1849 Landtag.
  4. Perhaps something should be mentioned of his defense of the "capitulation" of Olmütz in 1850, and how he was seen as a friend of Austria when he was sent to Frankfurt.
  5. Describing Bismarck in Frankfurt as becoming more moderate seems wrong. He became more anti-Austrian, and more inclined to use kleindeutsch sentiment against Austria.
  6. In terms of Bismarck's appointment as Minister-president, I think his relationship with Roon needs to be discussed. Also some mention of him as the "Prussian Polignac" when he was appointed might be of use.
  7. The Gastein Convention was not supposed to be a permanent solution - Austria certainly had no interest in keeping Holstein. Saying that Austria renigged is also POV, I think - Prussian provocations ought to be mentioned as well.
  8. That almost all German states of note (save Baden, which was neutral) sided with Austria in the war should be mentioned.
  9. I think the "German unification" section should perhaps be called "The Defeat of Austria," or some such, since it only goes up to 1867.
  10. The Prussian elections of 1866 seem to be mischaracterized - the split among the liberals, with one wing now supporting Bismarck, is probably the most important factor here.
  11. The 1866/7 settlement could be bettered described. Bismarck's annexations left Prussia as by far the most powerful state in Northern Germany. Save Saxony, none of the other states is even really worth mentioning. The continued independence of southern Germany should also be mentioned.
  12. The Franco-Prussian War is also mischaracterized a bit, I think. The continuing French resistance after September 1870 deserves mention, especially in the context of Bismarck's negotiations with the south German states.
  13. Bismarck was tight with the National Liberals even before the Kulturkampf - it was a tool for maintaining the connection, not for creating it.
  14. That Austro-Russian, and not German-Russian, disputes were key to the falling out with Russia should be mentioned.
  15. In terms of the scramble for Africa, we should perhaps mention "Bismarck's map of Africa", and how he saw German gains in Africa as a way of getting along better with France through keeping France and Britain opposed to each other.
  16. I don't believe Friedrich III was in a coma. He was in terrible health, but not in a coma, so far as I know. Does anyone have a source for this assertion?
  17. The legacy section should be much improved. Some sense of the historiographical debate over Bismarck should be given.
  18. Lothar Gall's biography should be added to the references section.
That said, this is quite a good article, over all. I'll try to make some of these changes should I get the chance (I've just been reading unification related stuff for my exams, so I'm fairly up on this), but I'm not sure I'll have time. john k 20:45, 19 Mar 2005 (UTC)
  • An additional point - the "reptile fund," whereby Bismarck used money stolen from the exiled King of Hanover after the 1866 war to bribe politicians and newspaper editors, deserves some mention. john k 22:00, 19 Mar 2005 (UTC)
  • Object, at least for now. The prose style is defficient, and the contents fail to address many key points, just as john says. Crisbas 01:32, 20 Mar 2005 (UTC)
  • Object. I knew of most points john mentioned above from my meager high school history course, where we spent a grand total of 4 hours on Bismarck: if I know about it, then certainly this article should contain it to deserve FA. That said, good article. I also consider the claim made above that the article's prose is deficient to be a non sequitur. Phils 12:13, 20 Mar 2005 (UTC)