Otto Von Bismarck-Schoenhausen

Quote Topics Cited
All this colonial business is a sham but we need it for elections. Expansionism, Colonialism & Imperialism
Be polite. Write diplomatically. Even in a declaration of war one observes the rules of politeness. Diplomacy & Diplomats
Better pointed bullets than pointed words. Oratory, Discussion & Debate
Consistency frequently launches its devotees into obstinacy. Human Nature
Constantinople is not worth the bones of a single Pomeranian grenadier. Military & Veterans ;Foreign Policy, World & International Affairs
Earthly majesty is always akin to the fallen angel, who is proud and unhappy, beautiful but troubled, and whose plans and efforts, though vast, are denied access. Leaders & Leadership
Everything changes. Miscellaneous
Give the working-man the right to work as long as he is healthy; assure him care when he is sick; assure him maintenance when he is old. Work, Workers & The Labor Force ;Elderly, Aging. Old Age, Social Security & Pensions
He who has his thumb on the purse has the power. Budgets & Budgeting
History is simply a piece of paper covered with print; the main thing is still to make history, not to write it. History
I am grateful for even the sharpest criticism as long as it addresses the point. Miscellaneous
I have been taught by experience, and never hesitate to sacrifice personal feeling to the requirements of the hour. Loyalty & Loyalty Oaths
I have wished to crush Rome that I might crush Christianity. Religion & God
I see in our relation with the [Austrian] Bund an error of Prussia's which, sooner or later, we shall have to repair ferro et igni ["sword and fire"], unless we take advantage betimes of a favorable season to employ a healing remedy [i.e. war] against it. War & Peace
I would like to warn you against the mistake that causes people to advance the hands of their clocks, thinking that thereby they are hastening the passage of time History
If the English should land on our soil, I shall have them arrested Defense & National Security
If we think it necessary to wage war, we shall do so with or without your consent. Legislating & Legislative Process
In Prussia it is only kings who make revolutions. Rebellion, Revolution, Insurgency & Resistance
In revising our tariff our own interest is the only thing that can guide us. Foreign Trade
industries which had lost 14 per cent of their labor power through the Sunday rest would perhaps be incapable of carrying on, so that finally the workers would lose their livelihood. Work, Workers & The Labor Force
It is owing to the great obstinacy of individuals that it is difficult to govern with the Constitution in Prussia. A constitutional crisis is no disgrace: it is an honor. We are, perhaps, too cultured to endorse a Constitution. Management & Managing Government
It is very painful to me, in my attachment to the service of the Royal House and to Your Majesty, and after long years of familiarity with conditions which I had regarded as permanent, to sever myself from the accustomed relations with Your Majesty and the general policy of the Empire and of Prussia; but after conscientious consideration of Your Majesty's intentions, which I should have to be prepared to carry out were I to remain in the service, I cannot do otherwise than most humbly beseech Your Majesty graciously to please release me, with the statutory pension, from the offices of Imperial Chancellor, Prime Minister [of Prussia], and Prussian Minister of Foreign Affairs Power
It was repugnant to my convictions and my experience so far to encroach upon the independence of the worker, in his professional life and his rights as the head of a family, as to forbid him by law to exploit his own working capacities, and those of his family, according to his own judgment. I do not believe that the workingman is in himself grateful because he is forbidden to earn money on certain days, and during certain hours, as he may choose. Reform, Change, Transformation & Reformers
Laid up in ice [mis à la glace]. Diplomacy & Diplomats
Laws are like medicine, they cure an evil by a lesser or transient evil. Law, Courts, Jails, Crime & Law Enforcement
Laws are like sausages. It is better not to see them being made. Law, Courts, Jails, Crime & Law Enforcement
Learn to respect sincerity of conviction in our opponents. Miscellaneous
Liberalism is but childishness, which is easily brought to reason; but revolution is a force, and one must know how to use it. Rebellion, Revolution, Insurgency & Resistance
Never believe anything until it has officially been denied. Propaganda & Disinformation
No one, not even the most malicious democrat, can form a conception of the charlatanism and self-importance of our assembled diplomacy [the Prussian parliament]. Detriments & Qualifications ;Public Office: Benefits
One clings to principles for only as long as they are not put to the test. When that happens one throws them away as the peasant does his slippers. Politics, Politicians & Political Campaigning & Fund Raising
Politics are not an exact science. Politics, Politicians & Political Campaigning & Fund Raising ;Social Sciences
Politics is the art of the possible, the attainable, the art of the next best. Politics, Politicians & Political Campaigning & Fund Raising
Public opinion wavers. Public Opinion & Polling
So long as I am Chancellor we shall not pursue a colonial policy. Foreign Policy, World & International Affairs
The bureaucracy is what we all suffer from.. Bureaucracy
The decision [to go to war] can only come from God, the God of battles, when He shall let fall from his hands the iron dice of destiny. War & Peace
The Englishman is like the dog in the fable. The dog who cannot bear that another dog should have a few bones although the overfed brute is sitting with a bowl full to the brim. Compliments, Insults & Rebukes
The great questions of the day are not to be decided by speeches and majorities ... but by iron and blood. Military & Veterans
The great statesmen are those who hear the hoof beats of the horses of history. Leaders & Leadership
The most important fact of the 20th century will be that the English and the Americans speak the same language. Intergovernmental Relations
The past is buried and I mourn it with greater pain than many among you, because no human power can awaken it when the Crown itself has scattered ashes upon the coffin. Rebellion, Revolution, Insurgency & Resistance
There are times when one must govern liberally and times when one must be dictatorial. Management & Managing Government ;Dictators, Despots, Autocrats, Autocracies & Dictatorships
To fight against the government with any means is a basic right and sport of every German. Rebellion, Revolution, Insurgency & Resistance
To rule with the help of one's enemies is always the worst kind of policy. Miscellaneous
Universal suffrage is the government of a house by its nursery Compliments, Insults & Rebukes
We can neither ignore the history of the past nor create the future. History
We cannot make great historical events, but must adapt ourselves to the natural course of things and limit ourselves to securing what is already ripe. History
We cannot make history; we must wait while it is being made. History
We Germans fear God, but nothing else in the world. Wir Deutsch fürchten Gott, aber sonst nichts in der Welt. War & Peace
We had to avoid wounding Austria too severely; we had to avoid leaving behind in her any unnecessary bitterness of feeling or desire for revenge; we ought rather to reserve the possibility of becoming friends again with our adversary of the moment, and in any case to regard the Austrian state as a piece on the European chessboard and the renewal of friendly relations as a move open to us. If Austria were severely injured, she would become the ally of France and of every other opponent of ours; she would even sacrifice her anti-Russian interests for the sake of revenge on Prussia. War & Peace
What matter if they hang me, provided the rope by which I am hung bind this new Germany firmly to your throne. Loyalty & Loyalty Oaths
When a man says he approves of something in principle, it means he hasn't the slightest intention of putting it in practice. Miscellaneous
With bad laws and good civil servants it's still possible to govern. But with bad civil servants even the best laws can't help. Bureaucracy
Woe to the statesman whose reason for entering a war do not appear so plausible at its end as at its beginning. War & Peace ;Foreign Policy, World & International Affairs