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- This stream talks about the Unification of Germany, which is a major era where realpolitik is considered.
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Origins of Realpolitik📖
- Realpolitik ideas go back as far as human history. One of the first written examples of advice using the ideology is The Art of War.
- Concepts used in Realpolitik are present throughout written history, and are particularly noticeable through the actions of Machiavelli, Metternich, and Richelieu.
- The term "realpolitik" was first introduced in a German writing in 1853, and was used to describe the diplomacy of Bismarck.
Ideas of Realpolitik💡
- Realpolitik translates in English as "the politics of things." The concept revolves around realistic political approaches.
- Oftentimes, this meant abandoning moral, ethical, and religious concerns in a regard for what politicians believed was the greater good.
- Leaders utilizing this method would sacrifice some of the political principles they believed in to appease the public.
Bismarck and Realpolitik 👫
- Bismarck was very vocal about his ideology and is quoted as saying real change is made through "blood and iron" not diplomacy.
- For example, Bismarck used this method to unify Germany. He ensured Prussian dominance over Austria by doctoring a telegraph and causing a war where many German states united with Prussia. In doing so, he sacrificed the truth.
- He also gave up many of his own beliefs by doing things which stood in opposition to his morals and religion. He lied to the public, started unnecessary wars, engineered the deaths of innocent people, and allowed other politicians leeway in areas that he felt strongly about.