To talk about the Austro-Prussian War, we have to talk about the intricate relationship between Prussia and Austria, Prussia and Austria were two states in the once scattered German Confederation, Austria was the old state in the German Confederation, and Prussia was a new upstart state known for its rapid industrialization and tough military strength, both of which had the same ambition, that is, to establish a German state with its own state as the main body.
As the saying goes, there is no room for two tigers in one mountain, and this also applies in Germany, and Prussia must defeat Austria if it wants to dominate Germany, and Austria is the same.
Thus the Austro-Prussian War broke out, which was won by Prussia and Austria as the defeated side. So the question arises, that is, after the Austro-Prussian War, Prussia, which was bent on dominating the German region, did not take Austria in one fell swoop and only suppressed it. Aren't you afraid that Austria will recover and fight back? This article analyzes from the following aspects.
The beginning and end of the Austro-Prussian War
In 1862, Bismarck became Prime Minister of Prussia, and during his tenure as Prime Minister of Prussia, Bismarck was known as the iron-blooded Prime Minister and was committed to promoting the unification of Germany centered on Prussia.
During his reign, three dynastic wars broke out, all of which ended in victory, one of which was the Austro-Prussian War.
In 1866, Prussia declared war on Austria, and a major war was on the verge of breaking out.
Austria lost to Prussia and won the war by an absolute advantage, when Prussian Wilhelm I and many generals wanted to take advantage of the victory and pursue, completely crush Austria, and bring Austria into Prussia's sphere of influence.
However, Bismarck objected, advocating that if it was good, he chose to conclude a contract with Austria at this time to end the war, which of course did not go smoothly.
King Wilhelm I of Prussia and Bismarck had a fierce conflict, the two sides did not give each other, Bismarck knew the overall situation, thought that this was not the best time to annex Austria, a slight mistake may even catch the whole of Prussia, so he did not hesitate to submit his resignation to force, out of trust in Bismarck and cherished talents, Wilhelm I finally made concessions and temporarily stopped planning the next step for Austria.
In July of the same year, Bismarck signed an armistice with Austria as a representative of Prussia, which stipulated that Austria would withdraw from the German Confederation and henceforth not bother with any fifteen of the German Confederation, recognizing Prussia's dominance in German unification, and ceding Venetia to Italy, and Frankfurt am Main to Prussia and paying Prussia three million pounds.
Look at the big picture and consider yourself
Seeing this, many people must be puzzled by Bismarck's decision, Bismarck has been committed to promoting the Prussian-led German regional unification movement, after the Austro-Prussian War, Prussia clearly has a great opportunity to attack wantonly, capture Vienna and occupy Austria, and finally why did Bismarck choose a temporary truce, and even under the pressure of King Wilhelm I of Prussia and many generals to stop the next attack?
So we have to ask why, and the reason is that Bismarck considered the situation in Europe at the moment, and did not focus only on the immediate interests but looked at the overall situation in the matter of attacking Austria, and made the most comprehensive thinking.
To say that Bismarck did not want to annex Austria? Then the answer is impossible, if you don't want to, why bother to fight the Austro-Prussian War?
Bismarck was ambitious, but he also knew how to weigh the four sides, Austria was an old power, although it lost the Austro-Prussian War, but its national heritage and intricate relations were not severed, Prussia wanted to annex such a large country as Austria is not a simple matter.
To put it simply, although Prussia at that time had an advantage, but in terms of land area, its territory was not as large as Austria's, and the connection between many small states was not as deep as Austria's, if at this time greed was not enough, it would only add troubles to various ethnic and religious issues, and it was not beneficial to Prussia in a short time.
France and Russia were watching, and Bismarck had to guard against it
In the European continent, there are many powerful countries, they maintain a delicate balance between them, Prussia itself can be regarded as a great power on the European continent, if Austria is annexed, it will inevitably not be feared and besieged by the European powers.
France, which has always boasted of having the strongest army on the European continent, has been weakened by infighting. Russia, over a piece of land bordering Austria, clashed and did not prevail.
As for France and Russia, if Prussia annexed Austria at this time, there would undoubtedly be a superpower in Central Europe, which was not what they wanted to see, and it was difficult to guarantee that they would not deal with Prussia because of an alliance of interests.
Against the backdrop of this unstable domestic foundation and foreign scrutiny, Prussian Chancellor Bismarck was wise to immediately stop the king and his generals from continuing the attack, because the capture of Austria was not originally part of Prussia's plan to unify Germany, and if he broke the original plan because of greed at this time, it was undoubtedly a risk for Prussia.