Otto Eduard Leopold, Prince of Bismarck, Duke of Lauenburg (1 April 1815-30 July 1898), simply known as Otto von Bismarck, was a conservative German statesman who dominated European affairs from the 1860s to his dismissal in 1890. After a series of short victorious wars he unified numerous German states into a powerful German Empire under Prussian leadership, then created a â€śbalance of powerâ€ť that preserved peace in Europe from 1871 until 1914. As Minister President of Prussia 1862-90, Bismarck provoked wars that made Prussia dominant over Austria and France, and lined up the smaller German states behind Prussia. In 1867 he also became Chancellor of the North German Confederation. Bismarck designed and created the German Empire in 1871, becoming its first Chancellor and largely controlling its affairs until he was removed by Kaiser (Emperor) William II in 1890. His diplomacy of Realpolitik and powerful rule gained him the nickname the â€śIron Chancellorâ€ť.