I know who Otto von Bismarck is, I understand how someone would qualify as a realist. I don't understand what a "Bismarckian realist" is. Could someone explain this concept to me in detail?

  • Can we have a source for that?
    – iphigenie
    Sep 4 '14 at 9:16
  • 1
    @iphigenie Here is my source.
    – Wilhelm
    Sep 4 '14 at 15:06

Realism is a term with thousands of definitions. In this case, this is political realism. The meaning is that politics is based on power -- ultimately physical might. This view is often called Realpolitik. Specifically, Bismarck engaged in several measured trades rather than imagining he could get everything at once.


A "Bismarckian Realist" is a pragmatic and unidealistic approach towards politicking and governing.

With regard to Bismarck himself, he is, in a way, Modern History's First real political pragmatist who had little interest in the loftiness of political idealism and rhetoric.

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