Kaiser Wilhelm the Ii Essay

370 WordsJun 12, 20122 Pages
Kaiser Wilhelm the II: The Last Prussian Emperor Wilhelm was born on 27 January 1859 in Berlin, the eldest child of Prince Frederick of Prussia and Victoria, daughter of Queen Victoria of the United Kingdom. A difficult birth left Wilhelm with a gimpy arm, which he always tried to hide. In 1881, after a time in the army, Wilhelm married Augusta Victoria, Princess of Schleswig-Holstein, and they had seven children. In 1888, Wilhelm's father succeeded as Frederick III. He died shortly afterwards, making Wilhelm Kaiser at the age of 29. Although he had previously admired the great German statesman Otto von Bismarck, within two years Wilhelm had forced his resignation. He was a strong believer in increasing the strength of the German armed forces, especially the navy. His policies towards Britain were contradictory. He alienated Britain with his naval expansion and a policy of aggressive German imperialism also supported their fight against the British. But he was also closely related to the British royal family and was particularly fond of his grandmother, Queen Victoria. Following the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand in Sarajevo in 1914, Wilhelm encouraged the Austrians to adopt an uncompromising line against Serbia, effectively writing them a treaty for German support in the event of war. He appeared not to realize the chain reaction this would trigger. Russia and her allies France and Britain entered the war against Germany and Austria. Wilhelm tried to scale back the mobilization of Germany's armed forces, but was prevented by the Germany military. While theoretically supreme commander, Wilhelm found himself excluded from military decisions, but crippled chances of a compromise peace by encouraging the grandiose war aims of certain generals and politicians. In 1918, the United States' full scale entry into the war, combined with severe German
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