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Constitutionalism or Staatssreich? Bismarck, Crown Prince Frederick William, Crown Princess Victoria and the Succession Crisis of 1880-85

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Though Otto von Bismarck exercised great power as Chancellor of the German Empire, historians have overlooked the extent to which it was threatened during the 1880s by the imminent accession of Crown Prince Frederick William. The article focuses on the means by which Bismarck strove to maintain his power, and how many of his plans were thwarted by the crown prince. The heir to the throne had to also fend off his wife's campaign to enact radical liberal reforms during her husband's coming reign. The ability of the crown prince to resist the campaigns of both his wife and Bismarck shows that his influence was indeed considerable, and that estimates of Bismarck's power are in need of revision.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: August 1, 2001

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