Not by speeches and votes of the majority, are the great questions of the time decided — that was the error of 1848 and 1849 — but by iron and blood.

Speech to the Budget Commission of the Prussian Diet (30 September 1862)
tagged: conflict, war

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More from Otto von Bismarck

They treat me like a fox, a cunning fellow of the first rank. But the truth is that with a gentleman I am always a gentleman and a half, and when I have to do with a pirate, I try to be a pirate and a half.

As quoted in Disraeli, Gladstone, and the Eastern Question : A Study in Diplomacy and Party Politics (1935) by Robert William Seton-Watson

Politics is not an exact science.

Speech to Prussian upper house (18 December 1863)

A conquering army on the border will not be stopped by eloquence.

Speech to North German Reichstag (24 September 1867)

I must protest that I would never seek foreign conflicts just to go over domestic difficulties; that would be frivolous. I was speaking of conflicts that we could not avoid, even though we do not seek them.

Politics is the art of the possible.

Interview (11 August 1867)