Wilhelm II Thesis

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Across the world the name of Wilhelm II is well known. He was the third and last German kaiser. He once commanded an entire empire which one of the best militaries in the world. When he assumed the throne, the future of Germany looked very bright; then World War I came. A mighty empire was brought to its knees, and a once beloved kaiser was forced to abdicate and into exile. Whether for fame or infamy, the name of Wilhelm II will continue to be known throughout history for all time. The man who would come to be known as Wilhelm II across the world was born on January 27th, 1859 to Vicky, daughter of Queen Victoria of England, and Friedrich, “Fritz,” Crown Prince of Prussia (MacDonough 16, 21). On March 4th, he was christened Friedrich Wilhelm Victor Albert (MacDonough 22). Until the age of six, he was known as “Willy.” Wilhelm was the oldest; Vicky also had seven other…show more content…
Wilhelm II 's first act was to issue a proclamation to the German army forcing them to swear an unbreakable allegiance to him (Cecil 124). He next fired many military officers he deemed to old to effectively do their duties (Cecil 124). Cecil writes, “In the first years of his reign, Wilhelm 's existence centered exclusively around the army” (128). He also followed his grandfather 's parting advice and gave word to the Austrio-Hungarian emperor Franz Josef that Germany would stand by Austria and support the fellow empire even in times of war (Cecil 131). After multiple conflicts between Emperor and Chancellor in domestic and foreign affairs, Otto von Bismarck (the Iron Chancellor) resigned the post he had held for so long and was succeeded by General von Caprivi (Cecil 167). These arguments with the architect of German unification and a military genius only gave the Junkers more cause for concern about Wilhelm II 's rule. As the years passed into the new century, Wilhelm 's policies on both foreign and domestic fronts would further alienate his own people and many other

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