The National Verein, its work being done, was now dissolved; but Bennigsen was chiefly instrumental in founding a new political party - the National Liberals, - who, while they supported Bismarck's national policy, hoped to secure the constitutional development of the country.
And he was far the ablest and most dangerous critic of Bismarck's policy.
In the social reform he supported Bismarck, and as the undisputed leader of the largest party in the Reichstag he was able to exercise influence over the action of the government after Bismarck's retirement.
The occasion for war was engineered entirely by Bismarck; and it is doubtful how far Moltke was in Bismarck's confidence, though as a far-seeing general he took advantage of every opening which the latter's diplomacy secured for him.
Delbriick, however, began to feel himself uneasy under Bismarck's leanings towards protection and state control.
On the introduction of Bismarck's plan for the acquisition of the railways by the state, Delbriick resigned office, nominally on the ground of ill-health (June 1, 1876).
During the negotiations which ended the war he gave valuable assistance by persuading the king to accept Bismarck's policy as regards peace with Austria.
The object was to injure Bismarck's reputation, and a very unseemly dispute ensued.
His father, Eugen von Puttkammer, Oberprasident of Posen, belonged to a widely extended noble family, of which Bismarck's wife and Robert von Puttkammer's own wife were also members.
In spite of Bismarck's support Puttkammer was forced to resign on the 8th of June 1888.
He was elected a member of the Reichstag, where he joined the National Liberal party, for like many other exiles he was willing to accept the results of Bismarck's work.
In 1875 he was appointed Prussian plenipotentiary in the Bundesrat; in 1877 he became Bismarck's lieutenant in the secretaryship for foreign affairs of the Empire; and in 1878 he was, with Bismarck and Hohenlohe, Prussian plenipotentiary at the congress of Berlin.
According to Prince Bismarck's own account of the matter, as given in his Gedanken and Erinnerungen, these negotiations were initiated by the chancellor, who, between the 5th and 9th of November 1870, entertained pourparlers with Archbishop Ledochowski on the question of the territorial interests of the pope.
It could neither afford to trifle with the sympathies of the French Catholics nor to interrupt the progress of those elements, which would naturally be a thorn in the side of the young German Empire, thus undo Bismarck's work, and restore the Vatican policy to its pristine strength and vigour.
The open protection it accorded to the Old Catholic movement contributed in no small measure to estrange those influential elements which, whilst favouring the suppression of Ultramontane tendencies, desired no schism in the Church, and viewed with horror the idea of a National Church in Bismarck's sense (see OLD Catholics).
Finally, in the war of 1866, in spite of Bismarck's efforts to secure her neutrality, Bavaria sided actively with Austria.
In 1885 great festivities in honour of Bismarck's eightieth birthday, which had been arranged in Graz, were forbidden by the government, and the Germans of Styria were very indignant that the party did not take up the matter with sufficient energy.
After Bismarck's fall in 1890 he was chosen Prussian minister of finance, and held this post for ten years.
If Busch is to be believed, Prince Bismarck's view was that Lord Rosebery had "quite mesmerized" Count Herbert Bismarck; and the latter, from his father's standpoint, conceded too much to Lord Rosebery, who proved himself to be, in Bismarck's language, "very sharp."
A speech made by Lasker on the 7th of February 1873, in which he attacked the management of the Pomeranian railway, caused a great sensation, and his exposure of the financial mismanagement brought about the fall of Hermann Wagener, one of Bismarck's most trusted assistants.
Simson continued as president of the Reichstag until 1874, when he retired from the chair, and in 1877 resigned his seat in the Diet, but at Bismarck's urging, accepted the presidency of the supreme court of justice (Reichsgericht), and this high office he filled with great distinction until his final retirement from public life in 1891.