Bismarck’s Memoirs

Author- Otto von Bismark was the first Chancellor of Germany, he created this post for himself after he started three short wars against France, Denmark, and Austria from his seat as Minister President of Prussia. By provoking these three wars he aligned and united the multitudinous German states behind himself and Prussia. Von Bismarck earned himself the nickname “The Iron Chancellor” for his notoriety to rule with a decisively and powerfully.
Context- Bismarck wrote his memoirs after the events which he describes, as it is with most memoirs. He is recalling the end of the war against Austria, a war which the Prussians had decisively won and were being offered terms of surrender. In this memoirs Bismarck describes a situation in which his colleagues were pushing to deny the Austrians the terms of their surrender and to push the war onward.
Language- Bismarck is writing about these events in a memoir, the language does not stir rebellion or motivate individuals to join a cause but it is calm and very informative. He writes to recount information as completely as possible for the reader. The language is not complex, it is not designed for any certain class to be able to read as opposed to others.
Audience- Memoirs are meant to be enjoyed by everyone seeking the information which they contain. Bismarck recounts these events for anyone who wants to take the time to read them.
Intent- The intent of this piece appears to be very informative for the reader. The only other intent which the reader can detect is maybe some boastful tones, Bismarck writes of a time which he stood alone for what was the best for his country and his people; it was a time which it would make sense he may want people to know about.
Message- Bismarck does not have a strong message in this piece, it is not a call to arms or action or a piece criticizing a way of life, it simply recounts an event in his life. The most important message that can be detected is the fact that he was standing alone in a decision that benefitted the people of Germany, Prussia, and even Austria. He successfully advocated for the Prussians to accept Austria’s defeat and not destroy it to a point which future Austrians would seek revenge. As Bismarck puts it “we were not there to administer retributive justice, but to pursue a policy; that I wished to avoid in the German federation of the future the sight of mutilated territories” (Bismarck). By avoiding destroying Austria any further Bismarck helped ensure safety in the future.
Why- Bismarck wrote his memoirs to document the events that happened in his life for future people to enjoy. The purpose of the argument that Bismarck recounts is to save Germany and Prussia any conflict with a vengeful Austria in the future.

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