Napoleon Bonaparte vs. Otto von Bismark

Essay by MontyGUniversity, Bachelor'sA+, February 2004

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Napoleon vs. Bismarck

How were they alike? How were they different?

Napoleon Bonaparte and Otto von Bismarck affected not only the outlook of their own countries, but the outlook of Europe as a whole. These two men were solely responsible for their countries preeminence during their reign. Although, Bismarck was not the king of his country he seemingly ruled it. Bismarck and Napoleon compare through military success, dominance in Europe, and ruthlessness. The two men differ by military expansion, governing ideologies, and religion. The greatest accomplishments of the two had to be the successes of their military.

The reason for military action by both Napoleon and Bismarck was coherently to unify their countries. Bismarck however was trying to bring Prussia and the German states together as a whole. France was already one nation. Napoleon found that by military success through victories against Austria, Prussia, Russia, and Spain he strengthened France as a nation, which was not the case during the French Revolutions.

Napoleon Bonaparte "was one of the greatest military commanders in history" (see Bismarck may have not been a commander but he was very skillful when it came to military conquest. He also succeeded in strengthening his country through the military successes in Schleswig, Austria, and France. Military success led way to the dominance of France, during Napoleons reign, and Germany, during Bismarck's reign, in all of Europe. Another factor which both men compare to is, that both were very ruthless in the advancement of their countries interests.

Napoleon "joined a conspiracy that pulled down the Directory, the government he had earlier preserved" and became the First Consul (Civilization in the West, 662). Bismarck used illegal means and violence in the pursuit of a unified Germany. Both Bonaparte's and Bismarck's ruthlessness expanded beyond their own countries

through war.