Bismarck and the bourgeoisie : a question of power, 1847-1873
Much of the study in German history since the appearance of the National Socialist Party has been that of a negative continuity that reached its pinnacle in Fascism capturing the state. It is a position which presumes a weak middle class that abdicated political rule for economic dominance, and it assumes that Bismarck, by perpetuating an authoritarian state under monarchical rule, in effect prepared the way for authority again coming to reside in one man on January 30, 1933. The focus of my thesis is to elucidate Bismarck's relation to the hidden side of German Unification [1847-1871] -- the monied side -- which was much more powerful than often portrayed, much more diffuse in its influence and much more appreciated, admired and understood by Otto von Bismarck who did not rule in defiance of it. Money, in the history of German Unification, has not lost its sordid almost occult characteristics, thus continuing to remain largely unexplored even today, by historians cautious to challenge the presupposition that Bismarck's greatness could ever have admitted more than a fleeting disdain for economics. While money, on the one hand, built railroads, factories and financed wars, on the other, it remained tainted, bringing shame with its power and promising only to buy one out of its curse but not provide legitimization on its own merit. A thesis of this nature intends to provide a fuller picture of a very profound individual.