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Saber and Scroll

Abstract

Any modern day discussion concerning the Father of Germany automatically invokes the name of Otto von Bismarck and, by virtue of his accomplishments, any list of other accomplished German leaders would also include Frederick II, or Frederick the Great. Ironically, because both men were actually Prussian, they both sought (at least initially in the case of Bismarck) the expansion of Prussia, not necessarily the creation of a unified German nation. Despite a full century separating the two men, they both came to power in Prussia, inheriting a nation of unique challenges, both domestically and internationally. While there were differences in some of their actions and the paths chosen, there remain eerie similarities. Whether planned or completely subconsciously, Bismarck used Frederick the Great’s successful expansion of Prussia as a foundation for his own actions.

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