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Otto von Bismarck was considered the mastermind and leader of the unification of Germany in 1871. He served as Germany’s first chancellor until 1890. The full title and name of Otto von Bismarck was Otto Eduard Leopold, Prince of Bismarck, Duke of Lauenburg von Bismarck-Schönhausen. In German: Otto Eduard Leopold Fürst von Bismarck, Herzog zu Lauenburg.
See the fact file below for more information on the Otto von Bismarck or alternatively, you can download our 23-page Otto von Bismarck worksheet pack to utilise within the classroom or home environment.
Key Facts & Information
- Otto Eduard Leopold von Bismarck-Schönhausen was born on April 1, 1815.
- Otto von Bismarck’s birthplace was Schönhausen, Kingdom of Prussia.
- His parents were Karl Wilhelm Ferdinand von Bismarck (1771-1845) and Wilhelmine Luise Mencken (1789-1839).
- Otto Von Bismarck has three alma maters:
- University of Gottingen
- University of Berlin
- University of Greifswald
- He had only one spouse during his lifetime – Johanna von Puttkamer.
- They married in 1847
- They had three children: Marie, Herbert, and Wilhelm
- Johanna died in 1894
- Otto von Bismarck died on July 30, 1898, at the age of 83, in Friedrichsruh, German Empire.
- His resting place is the Bismarck Mausoleum in Friedrichsruh, Germany.
- Karl Wilhelm Ferdinand von Bismarck, Otto’s father, was a former Prussian military officer. He became a prominent land owner, in other terms, a Junker.
- Wilhelmine Luise Mencken, Otto’s mother, came from a well-educated family, as her father was Berlin’s senior government official.
- The Bismarck family moved to Kneiphof, Pomerania in 1816, where Otto von Bismarck spent his childhood.
- Otto Von Bismarck had two siblings:
- Bernhard (1810-1893), his older brother
- Malwine (1827-1908), his younger sister
- Bismarck was well-educated and indeed had a talent in conversing as he knew how to speak in English, French, Italian, Polish, and Russian.
- Bismarck got his elementary education at Johann Ernst Plamann’s elementary school.
- Bismarck received his secondary education from 1832 to 1833.
- After that, he studied law at the University of Götingen.
- While studying at the University of Göttingen, Bismarck became a member of the Corps Hannovera Göttingen, one of the oldest German Student Corps founded on January 18, 1809.
- Bismarck then studied at University of Berlin from 1833 until 1835.
- Bismarck was stationed as an army reservist in Greifswald, and in 1838, he took agriculture at the University of Greifswald.
- In 1847, Bismarck was sent to Berlin as a delegate to the new Prussian parliament.
- In the following years, starting from 1851 until 1862, Bismarck served several ambassadorships.
- He became ambassador at the German Confederation in Frankfurt, in St. Petersburg, and in Paris.
- This duty enabled Bismarck to observe and through the following years he developed insights regarding the weaknesses of ruling powers in Europe.
THE IRON CHANCELLOR
- In 1861, William I was hailed the King of Prussia.
- He appointed Bismarck as his chief minister in 1862.
- Bismarck technically manipulated William I during his reign.
- Bismarck waged a series of wars in 1864, in order to establish Prussian power in Europe.
- He started the Austro-Prussian War in 1866 by attacking Denmark.
- He also started and led the Franco-Prussian War that lasted from 1870 until 1871.
- He instigated a war by editing a letter written by William I to make France and Prussia feel insulted by each other.
- During this war, Bismarck saw an opportunity to ally and unify with other loose confederations of Germany against France.
- Bismarck successfully unified Germany and crowned William as emperor.
CHANCELLOR OF THE GERMAN EMPIRE
- After unifying Germany in 1871, Bismarck was raised to the rank of a Prince or “Fürst.”
- Bismarck was also appointed as the first Imperial Chancellor of the German Empire.
- Bismarck retained his Prussian offices, so he remained as Prussian Minister-President and Foreign Minister.
- Bismarck pursued a campaign against Catholics.
- The cultural campaign or struggle was known as Kulturkampf.
- The Kulturkampf continued until 1878, when Bismarck allied with the Catholics against socialist threat.
- In order to counter the socialist state, Bismarck created Europe’s first modern welfare state, he had:
- Established national healthcare in 1883
- Implemented accident insurance in 1884
- Implemented old age pensions in 1889
- When Wilhelm I died in 1888, Friedrich III was his successor, however, he was terminally ill. He only reigned for 99 days and died.
- Wilhelm II succeeded him, a monarch who opposed Bismarck’s careful foreign policy.
- A series of conflicts between Bismarck and Wilhelm II forced Bismarck to resign, of course, as the king insisted.
- Bismarck resigned on March 18, 1890. He was 75 years old.
- He was succeeded by Leo von Caprivi, Minister President of Prussia.
- Bismarck spent his final years writing his memoirs titled Gedanken und Erinnerungen, or Thoughts and Memories.
- He became ill in 1896, diagnosed with gangrene in his foot.
- He died on July 30, 1898.
Otto von Bismarck Worksheets
This is a fantastic bundle which includes everything you need to know about the Otto von Bismarck across 23 in-depth pages. These are ready-to-use Otto von Bismarck worksheets that are perfect for teaching students about Otto von Bismarck who was considered the mastermind and leader of the unification of Germany in 1871. He served as Germany’s first chancellor until 1890. The full title and name of Otto von Bismarck was Otto Eduard Leopold, Prince of Bismarck, Duke of Lauenburg von Bismarck-Schönhausen. In German: Otto Eduard Leopold Fürst von Bismarck, Herzog zu Lauenburg.
Complete List Of Included Worksheets
- Otto von Bismarck Facts
- Bismarck’s Biography
- All About Germany
- Truths About Otto
- Political Timeline
- The Iron Chancellor
- Cartoon Analysis
- Picture Narrative
- Keyword Narrative
- German Leaders
- Traits of a Leader
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