Otto von Bismarck’s Treaty with Austria

In 1865, Prussian leader Otto von Bismarck manipulated Austria into signing an unfair treaty. He did this through his dealings with Austria’a negotiator, a man by the name of Count Blome.

Bismarck had some information on Blume that he used to his advantage. He knew that Blume was very fond of the card game quinze. He also knew Blume was in the habit of stating that he could judge a man’s character based on the way that man played quinze. That being the case, when Bismarck received Blume, he suggested that they play a game of quinze prior to the start of the treaty’s negotiations. Blume accepted. Bismarck then proceeded to play in a completely impetuous and ridiculous manner, and even made his conversational style match his playing style. He lost a large sum of money–but in the process, he successfully managed to make Blume develop a certain conception of Bismarck: one of stereotypically over-aggressive Prussian, and someone who acts without the use of any intelligent thought. The following day, when Bismarck handed Blume a document detailing the terms of the Prussian-Austrian treaty, Blume barely even bothered reading it, assuming that a man like Bismarck would not even have the acumen to try and pull one over on Austria. He quickly signed the treaty–a treaty that heavily favored Prussia.

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