The Impact Of Kaiser Wilhelm II, The Emperor Of Germany

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Kaiser Wilhelm II, the emperor of Germany (1888-1918), significantly impacted not only the governance of his country, Germany, but ultimately influenced the rising tensions between rival nations on an international level. Kaiser’s authoritarian upbringing caused dysfunctional relationships within his family and his British monarchy. This led to his hatred toward Britain. His erratic nature may not personally have decided that Germany should go to war, however he had put into place the structures which fostered a culture of militarism and hence an aggressive foreign policy for the outbreak of war, particularly in ousting Bismarck. Wilhelm’s bellicose and expansionistic motives to achieve a ‘place in the sun’, overthrew Bismarck’s realpolitik …show more content…
Bismarck strategically distracted France from pursuing revenge by encouraging French imperialism. The chancellor established a sturdy system of alliances to maintain peace in Germany, consolidate its economy and industries and to isolate its enemy. When Kaiser Wilhelm came into power in 1888, Bismarck feared the Kaisers political ineptitude for the nation. A radical shift in foreign policy occurred in 1890 when Bismarck was ousted of chancellorship. Wilhelm’s decisions had many ramifications, in particular, disturbing the progress and stability that Bismarck had achieved for Germany. Wilhelm and his pressure group, the Pan-German league, were greatly influenced by the notion of ‘World Policy’. Here, his desire to control colonies, international trade and achieve a status equal to Britain, completely neglected Bismarck’s hard work in using diffusing tensions between rival nations. Driven by Wilhelm’s love/hate relationship and rivalry with Britain, he wanted to expand his naval power and imperial possessions. This desire grew tension amongst the great powers and he became known as the ‘war lord. Kaiser Wilhelm conducted an unprecedented build-up of naval forces in Germany and took pride in his powerful navy calling it ‘Kaiser’s boast’. The nation’s perceptions began to change as the intemperate …show more content…
His rude, patronizing language and offensive comments, definitely contributed to rising tensions between Germany and great political powers; Britain. The event of which he played most significance in throughout his lifetime was his influence on the initiation of WW1. His incompetence to lead, was reinforced through the support he provided Austria-Hungary on their attack of Serbia. Kaiser was well aware of his military’s strength, According to historian Langer et al ‘he believed in force’. This fuelled a European arms race, whereby nations invested in new weapons and emerging technology to gain imperial possessions. Historian Robert K Massie believed ‘Wilhelm’s bombastic, thrusting nature, definitely contributed to the arms’. Wilhelm’s desire for power and wealth, overthrew his main concerns and priorities for the nation and this is seen through his support and ultimate outbreak of WW1.

Kaiser Wilhelm II played a profound significance on the national and international outcomes that resulted as in the July crisis of 1914. Kaisers ultimate support in the initiation of WW1, was the result of his upbringing, relationship with British monarchy, ousting of Bismarck

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