Originally Posted by Der Alte
If we are to describe his role in Germany's history it would be a very long post.
Bismarck was the driving force in uniting the 40+ states on German soil into the German Empire in 1870. He furthermore through his very sophisticated political work of alliances etc. gave Europe a period of peace between 1871 and 1914. The men after him, in particular Emperor Wilhelm II, undid piece by piece Bismarck's achievements in foreign politics; they were not able to keep up his intricate peace work and drove Germany and Europe into WW1.
I completely agree I was lucky enough to have a high school history teacher that discussed Bismarck in depth rather than just dates and places which opened up a life long interest in the man.