How Important Was the Position and Authority of Kaiser Wilhelm Ii in Shaping German Politics in the Years 1890-1914? Essay

658 WordsOct 23, 20143 Pages
In the years since Kaiser Wilhelm II reign ended, historians have been in constant debate about the level of importance his position and authority had on German politics from 1890 to 1914. The Kaisers personality had a large impact on his leadership and the way he lived his life. He was an intelligent man, who used his ability to charm to get his own way. He had many hobbies and held great pride in all of these, which was also reflected in the other aspects of his life. However, he was also heavily sensitive to criticism and was prone to have extreme mood swings making him incredibly difficult to work with as this made him a liability. He also showed evidence of insanity, sadism and megalomania. Historian Michael Balfour described Wilhelm as 'the copybook condemnation of the hereditary system'. This tells us that some historians are of the view that Kaiser Wilhelm was evidence of how bloodline monarchy was not a positive system to establish who ran an empire. This is also backed up by claims that his leadership and understanding of issues was superficial. Although he stated he would have a direct influence on the business of the empire, as he was a firm believer in the divine right of Kings, he lacked powers of steady application and was often distorted by his own prejudices. Despite intending to be involved in the politics of his empire, the Kaiser led a life full of state dinners and other luxuries causing him to be away from Berlin for many periods of time. This meant that the chancellors and other government authorities that the Kaiser had appointed were left to initiate decisions without his input. His authority and position meant that only he could appoint and dismiss the men that made the German Government. Therefore, it could be said that his authority and position were important in shaping German decisions because all decisions made led directly or

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