To what extent was Wilhelm II foreign policy a continuation of Otto von Bismarck’s foreign policy?
Both Otto von Bismarck and Wilhelm II were in places of great power in Germany, Bismarck being Chancellor and Wilhelm being the Kaiser, therefore it is hard to say which had more influence because they both effected the state of Germany in major ways. When presented with the question of whether or not Wilhelm II’s foreign policy could be considered to be a continuation of Bismarck’s, the answer is arguably yes, it was a continuation because Wilhelm set goals along similar lines of Bismarck’s goals. However, a counterargument can be presented, as the results of Wilhelm’s actions were almost opposite of what Bismarck was trying to achieve.
Realizing that without power they could in no way influence the outcome of anything nationally or internationally Bismarck and Wilhelm held power in high importance. Therefore it was natural for Bismarck to want to become a European power, and eventually succeeded in becoming so. Because of this it was understandable that Wilhelm would want to continue on with Bismarck’s legacy and make Germany into a world power. The means in which Wilhelm II took to achieve this was to colonize Africa and to enlarge the German navy. By doing this Wilhelm aggravated Britain because they had the largest navy in the world and because Wilhelm was colonizing along the borders of British colonies. Wilhelm’s increase in German navy fleets started an arms race with Britain in 1910; losing hope of an alliance with the country and also losing hope of keeping France isolated, a hope in which Bismarck also had. Because Bismarck (along with Wilhelm) dreaded a two front war with France he strung a web of alliances with countries such as Russia, Austria-Hungary, and Italy and was hoping to add Britain to his long list of allies.
The differences that Bismarck and Wilhelm had in character were extreme for Bismarck stayed neutral and was careful not to take...