Chapter

Bismarck, Liberalism, and Socialism

Marc Mulholland

in Bourgeois Liberty and the Politics of Fear

Published in print October 2012 | ISBN: 9780199653577
Published online January 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780191744594 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199653577.003.0007
Bismarck, Liberalism, and Socialism

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The constitutional struggle between crown-executive and liberal parliament in Prussia, 1860-c.1866, catalysed by the army question, is defined as a form of abortive bourgeois revolution stymied by its excessively narrow base. Engel's contemporaneous study of the episode is anatomised for the light is shines on Marxian understanding of political strategy in the age of middle class liberalism. Otto von Bismarck's success not only in asserting executive supremacy but leading Prussian unification of Germany is explained: a new form of mass-army military state was inaugurated. The growing divergence between socialists and liberals is set in the context of liberal failure in Prussia and bourgeois vengeance unleashed upon the 1871 Paris Commune.

Keywords: Bismarck; Engels; Prussia; German unification; Paris Commune

Chapter.  8320 words. 

Subjects: Modern History (1700 to 1945)

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