Kaiser Wilhelm II: The Kaisers are easy to remember because there were only two, Wilhelm I and Wilhelm II. The first was enfeebled by his bullying prime minister Otto von Bismarck, and while the second had the nerve to fire Bismarck, he did not have the good sense to govern without a civilian strongman. In the end, he was told that the war was lost and the German people near revolt. It would be necessary for him to abdicate. But couldn't he use the army to oppress the rebelious civilians? The soldiers were tired of war and would side with the people. What about their oath of loyalty to the kaiser? The oath, Wilhelm was told, are just words now. Wilhelm abdicated. It was a formality. For all intents and purposes, Germany had become a republic even before the Kaiser let go.
Kaiser Wilhelm II: Wilhelm II or William II (German: Friedrich Wilhelm Viktor Albrecht von Preußen; English: Frederick William Victor Albert of Prussia) (January 27, 1859 – June 4, 1941) was the last German Emperor (Kaiser) and King of Prussia, ruling the German Empire and the Kingdom of Prussia from 15 June 1888 to 9 November 1918. He was a grandson of the British Queen Victoria and related to many monarchs and princes of Europe. Crowned in 1888, he dismissed the Chancellor, Prince Otto von Bismarck, in 1890 and launched Germany on a bellicose "New Course" in foreign affairs that culminated in his support for Austria-Hungary in the crisis of July 1914 that led to World War I. Bombastic and impetuous, he sometimes made tactless pronouncements on sensitive topics without consulting his ministers. He was humiliated by the Daily Telegraph affair in 1908 and lost most of his power. His generals dictated policy during World War I with little regard for the civilian government. An ineffective war leader, he lost the support of the army, abdicated in November 1918, and fled to exile in the Netherlands.
“I don't believe we are headed for a great war. In this case the tsar's views would not be on the side of the prince's murderer. Besides this, France and Russia are not ready for war.”
“If an English delegation came to sue for peace it must kneel before the German standard.”
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