History UsefulNotes / ImperialGermany

9th Jan '18 5:09:53 PM Jhonny
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The other best-known characters of the period are, of course, the Kaisers. There were three[[note]]known collectively as "der greise Kaiser, der weise Kaiser und der scheiße Kaiser" - the senile Emperor, the wise Emperor and the shitty Emperor[[/note]]. The first was Wilhelm I, a conservative old Prussian stalwart with magnificent whiskers who had fought in the Napoleonic Wars and was born in the 18th century. His reign was dominated, politically, by Bismarck. Then came Friedrich III,[[note]]They were using the Prussian numbering[[/note]] for 99 days. A man of vague liberal sympathies (he quite admired Britain; he even married UsefulNotes/QueenVictoria's eldest daughter) he was struck down by cancer of the larynx and is a favourite of AlternateHistory. Finally and notoriously, Wilhelm II. A notoriously temperamental man with what we would now diagnose as ADHD and some [[FreudianExcuse major childhood issues concerning his arm defect]], he veered between liberal and conservative, strident militarism and sympathy for socialism, and later defeatism and dreams of victory - in other words, he was a picture of the rather-divided German nation as a whole in one man. He also had serious MommyIssues involving his relationship with Britain: unlike his father, who had a healthy respect for Britain, Wilhelm was at once awestruck and envious, hating his mother but also wanting to be British. He admired British power but at the same time resented what he felt was Britain's attempts to keep Germany "in the shade." He fell out with Bismarck and dismissed him, and the rest of his reign was a succession of brief and unmemorable chancellors with himself as the real centre of gravity until during the war he was rendered irrelevant by OHL (''Oberste Heeres Leitung'', Army High Command) who formed a military Junta centered around Generals Hindenburg and Ludendorff and ruled the country 'on his behalf'. Interestingly UsefulNotes/ImperialJapan, with a constitution and government modeled on Imperial Germany's, also fell prey to [[UsefulNotes/KatanasOfTheRisingSun a much less stable and rational Army-Navy Junta]] in the 1930s [[UsefulNotes/SecondSinoJapaneseWar which got a few tens]] [[UsefulNotes/WorldWarII of millions of people killed]].

to:

The other best-known characters of the period are, of course, the Kaisers. There were three[[note]]known collectively as "der greise Kaiser, der weise Kaiser und der scheiße Kaiser" - the senile Emperor, the wise Emperor and the shitty Emperor[[/note]]. The first was Wilhelm I, a conservative old Prussian stalwart with magnificent whiskers who had fought in the Napoleonic Wars and was born in the 18th century. His reign was dominated, politically, by Bismarck. Then came Friedrich III,[[note]]They were using the Prussian numbering[[/note]] for 99 days. A man of vague liberal sympathies (he quite admired Britain; he even married UsefulNotes/QueenVictoria's eldest daughter) he was struck down by cancer of the larynx and is a favourite of AlternateHistory. Friedrich III also expressed disgust at the more and more open Antisemitism that reached even the higher echelons of society during his life. Finally and notoriously, Wilhelm II. A notoriously temperamental man with what we would now diagnose as ADHD and some [[FreudianExcuse major childhood issues concerning his arm defect]], he veered between liberal and conservative, strident militarism and sympathy for socialism, and later defeatism and dreams of victory - in other words, he was a picture of the rather-divided German nation as a whole in one man. He also had serious MommyIssues involving his relationship with Britain: unlike his father, who had a healthy respect for Britain, Wilhelm was at once awestruck and envious, hating his mother but also wanting to be British. He admired British power but at the same time resented what he felt was Britain's attempts to keep Germany "in the shade." He fell out with Bismarck and dismissed him, and the rest of his reign was a succession of brief and unmemorable chancellors with himself as the real centre of gravity until during the war he was rendered irrelevant by OHL (''Oberste Heeres Leitung'', Army High Command) who formed a military Junta centered around Generals Hindenburg and Ludendorff and ruled the country 'on his behalf'. Interestingly UsefulNotes/ImperialJapan, with a constitution and government modeled on Imperial Germany's, also fell prey to [[UsefulNotes/KatanasOfTheRisingSun a much less stable and rational Army-Navy Junta]] in the 1930s [[UsefulNotes/SecondSinoJapaneseWar which got a few tens]] [[UsefulNotes/WorldWarII of millions of people killed]].
9th Jan '18 5:07:05 PM Jhonny
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The other best-known characters of the period are, of course, the Kaisers. There were three[[note]]known collectively as "der greise Kaiser, der weise Kaiser und der scheiße Kaiser" - the senile Emperor, the wise Emperor and the shitty Emperor[[/note]]. The first was Wilhelm I, a conservative old Prussian stalwart with magnificent whiskers who had fought in the Napoleonic Wars. His reign was dominated, politically, by Bismarck. Then came Friedrich III,[[note]]They were using the Prussian numbering[[/note]] for 99 days. A man of vague liberal sympathies (he quite admired Britain; he even married UsefulNotes/QueenVictoria's eldest daughter) he was struck down by cancer of the larynx and is a favourite of AlternateHistory. Finally and notoriously, Wilhelm II. A notoriously temperamental man with what we would now diagnose as ADHD and some [[FreudianExcuse major childhood issues concerning his arm defect]], he veered between liberal and conservative, strident militarism and sympathy for socialism, and later defeatism and dreams of victory - in other words, he was a picture of the rather-divided German nation as a whole in one man. He also had serious MommyIssues involving his relationship with Britain: unlike his father, who had a healthy respect for Britain, Wilhelm was at once awestruck and envious, hating his mother but also wanting to be British. He admired British power but at the same time resented what he felt was Britain's attempts to keep Germany "in the shade." He fell out with Bismarck and dismissed him, and the rest of his reign was a succession of brief and unmemorable chancellors with himself as the real centre of gravity until during the war he was rendered irrelevant by OHL (''Oberste Heeres Leitung'', Army High Command) who formed a military Junta centered around Generals Hindenburg and Ludendorff and ruled the country 'on his behalf'. Interestingly UsefulNotes/ImperialJapan, with a constitution and government modeled on Imperial Germany's, also fell prey to [[UsefulNotes/KatanasOfTheRisingSun a much less stable and rational Army-Navy Junta]] in the 1930s [[UsefulNotes/SecondSinoJapaneseWar which got a few tens]] [[UsefulNotes/WorldWarII of millions of people killed]].

to:

The other best-known characters of the period are, of course, the Kaisers. There were three[[note]]known collectively as "der greise Kaiser, der weise Kaiser und der scheiße Kaiser" - the senile Emperor, the wise Emperor and the shitty Emperor[[/note]]. The first was Wilhelm I, a conservative old Prussian stalwart with magnificent whiskers who had fought in the Napoleonic Wars.Wars and was born in the 18th century. His reign was dominated, politically, by Bismarck. Then came Friedrich III,[[note]]They were using the Prussian numbering[[/note]] for 99 days. A man of vague liberal sympathies (he quite admired Britain; he even married UsefulNotes/QueenVictoria's eldest daughter) he was struck down by cancer of the larynx and is a favourite of AlternateHistory. Finally and notoriously, Wilhelm II. A notoriously temperamental man with what we would now diagnose as ADHD and some [[FreudianExcuse major childhood issues concerning his arm defect]], he veered between liberal and conservative, strident militarism and sympathy for socialism, and later defeatism and dreams of victory - in other words, he was a picture of the rather-divided German nation as a whole in one man. He also had serious MommyIssues involving his relationship with Britain: unlike his father, who had a healthy respect for Britain, Wilhelm was at once awestruck and envious, hating his mother but also wanting to be British. He admired British power but at the same time resented what he felt was Britain's attempts to keep Germany "in the shade." He fell out with Bismarck and dismissed him, and the rest of his reign was a succession of brief and unmemorable chancellors with himself as the real centre of gravity until during the war he was rendered irrelevant by OHL (''Oberste Heeres Leitung'', Army High Command) who formed a military Junta centered around Generals Hindenburg and Ludendorff and ruled the country 'on his behalf'. Interestingly UsefulNotes/ImperialJapan, with a constitution and government modeled on Imperial Germany's, also fell prey to [[UsefulNotes/KatanasOfTheRisingSun a much less stable and rational Army-Navy Junta]] in the 1930s [[UsefulNotes/SecondSinoJapaneseWar which got a few tens]] [[UsefulNotes/WorldWarII of millions of people killed]].
9th Jan '18 5:05:38 PM Jhonny
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Germany became a major world power at this time, because of its booming economy and powerful army. It produced a lot of leading artists and scientists, and began to dabble in overseas colonialism and to build up a navy to rival Britain.

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Germany became a major world power at this time, because of its booming economy and powerful army. It produced a lot of leading artists and scientists, and began to dabble in overseas colonialism and to build up a navy to rival Britain.
Britain. None of which did it any favors on the foreign policy scene and Wilhelm II was bad at diplomacy and PR to boot with [[UsefulNotes/WorldWarI ultimately predictable results]].
9th Jan '18 5:04:24 PM Jhonny
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The German Empire consisted of 4 Kingdoms (UsefulNotes/{{Prussia}}, Bavaria, Saxony and Württemberg), 6 Grand Duchies, 5 Duchies, 7 Principalities, 3 Free Cities and 1 Imperial Territory (Alsace-Lorraine). Prussia was by far the most dominant state, as it made up 64% of the empire and the [[UsefulNotes/PrussianKings King of Prussia]] was also the German Emperor.

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The German Empire consisted of 4 Kingdoms (UsefulNotes/{{Prussia}}, Bavaria, Saxony and Württemberg), 6 Grand Duchies, 5 Duchies, 7 Principalities, 3 Free Cities and 1 Imperial Territory (Alsace-Lorraine). Prussia was by far the most dominant state, as it made up 64% of the empire and the [[UsefulNotes/PrussianKings King of Prussia]] was also the German Emperor.
Emperor. Except for one brief interval, the Chancellor was also Prime Minister in Prussia, but after Bismarck's resignation the Kaiser took a more direct role in the politics of both anyway.
9th Jan '18 5:02:59 PM Jhonny
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Imperial Germany was a constitutional monarchy with an elected parliament, the ''Reichstag,'' and while in the United Kingdom around 50% of men failed to meet qualifications to vote, Imperial Germany had universal manhood suffrage. Furthermore, Bismarck introduced an advanced welfare system for the sick, the old, and the infirm. And yet while it was technically governed by rule of law, its constitution was weak, and a great deal of influence was in the hands of generals, landowners, and industrialists. While parliament had the power to pass bills, all laws had to be approved by the Chancellor, who was not elected but personally appointed by the Emperor, and was responsible only to him. Thus the true power lay not with the people, but the Kaiser. Although not bad for the age, and not a full-on autocracy like pre-1906 UsefulNotes/TsaristRussia, none of this added up to democracy, at least not by contemporary standards.

to:

Imperial Germany was a constitutional monarchy with an elected parliament, the ''Reichstag,'' and while in the United Kingdom around 50% of men failed to meet qualifications to vote, Imperial Germany had universal manhood suffrage. Furthermore, Bismarck introduced an advanced welfare system for the sick, the old, and the infirm. Not out of the kindness of his heart, mind you, he feared not doing it might make the workers restive so he gave them something to not lose everything. And yet while it was technically governed by rule of law, its constitution was weak, and a great deal of influence was in the hands of the emperor, aristocrats (Junkers), generals, landowners, and industrialists. While parliament had the power to pass bills, all laws had to be approved by the Chancellor, who was not elected but personally appointed by the Emperor, and was responsible only to him. Thus the true power lay not with the people, but the Kaiser. Although not bad for the age, and not a full-on autocracy like pre-1906 UsefulNotes/TsaristRussia, none of this added up to democracy, at least not by contemporary standards.
9th Jan '18 5:01:27 PM Jhonny
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Imperial Germany was a constitutional monarchy with an elected parliament, the ''Reichstag,'' and while in the United Kingdom around 50% of men failed to meet qualifications to vote, Imperial Germany had universal suffrage (though still only for men). Furthermore, Bismarck introduced an advanced welfare system for the sick, the old, and the infirm. And yet while it was technically governed by rule of law, its constitution was weak, and a great deal of influence was in the hands of generals, landowners, and industrialists. While parliament had the power to pass bills, all laws had to be approved by the Chancellor, who was not elected but personally appointed by the Emperor, and was responsible only to him. Thus the true power lay not with the people, but the Kaiser. Although not bad for the age, and not a full-on autocracy like pre-1906 UsefulNotes/TsaristRussia, none of this added up to democracy, at least not by contemporary standards.

to:

Imperial Germany was a constitutional monarchy with an elected parliament, the ''Reichstag,'' and while in the United Kingdom around 50% of men failed to meet qualifications to vote, Imperial Germany had universal suffrage (though still only for men).manhood suffrage. Furthermore, Bismarck introduced an advanced welfare system for the sick, the old, and the infirm. And yet while it was technically governed by rule of law, its constitution was weak, and a great deal of influence was in the hands of generals, landowners, and industrialists. While parliament had the power to pass bills, all laws had to be approved by the Chancellor, who was not elected but personally appointed by the Emperor, and was responsible only to him. Thus the true power lay not with the people, but the Kaiser. Although not bad for the age, and not a full-on autocracy like pre-1906 UsefulNotes/TsaristRussia, none of this added up to democracy, at least not by contemporary standards.
9th Jan '18 5:00:37 PM Jhonny
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A full third larger than modern Germany, it incorporated a large part of modern Poland[[note]]at the time Poland was still partitioned between Austria-Hungary, Russia and Prussia with Russia ultimately getting most of it[[/note]] (which itself lost all of its eastern territories to the Soviet Union after World War II and was compensated by territories taken from eastern Germany), Alsace-Lorraine[[note]]it was called "Reichsland Elsaß-Lothringen", but technically the "Lorraine" part was only Moselle, which is only one department (roughly one fourth) of Lorraine, the other departments, Meurthe-et-Moselle, Vosges and Meuse remained French[[/note]] (part of modern France), small slices of Lithuania. Belgium and Denmark, and what is now the Kaliningrad exclave of the Russian Federation. All had German populations at a time but in some places, primarily the Duchy of Posen (today Poznan in Poland) they were not a majority or "German in sentiment". [[RuleOfCautiousEditingJudgement Be very careful when you talk about this. It may spontaneously combust, and not only with Germans.]] Germans were kicked out of many places after UsefulNotes/WorldWarI and far more after UsefulNotes/WorldWarII, but in Germany and these places [[ElephantInTheLivingRoom it's considered polite not to mention this.]]

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A full third larger than modern Germany, it incorporated a large part of modern Poland[[note]]at the time Poland was still partitioned between Austria-Hungary, Russia and Prussia with Russia ultimately getting most of it[[/note]] (which itself lost all of its eastern territories to the Soviet Union after World War II and was compensated by territories taken from eastern Germany), Alsace-Lorraine[[note]]it was called "Reichsland Elsaß-Lothringen", but technically the "Lorraine" part was only Moselle, which is only one department (roughly one fourth) of Lorraine, the other departments, Meurthe-et-Moselle, Vosges and Meuse remained French[[/note]] (part of modern France), small slices of Lithuania. Belgium and Denmark, and what is now the Kaliningrad exclave of the Russian Federation. All had German populations at a time but in some places, primarily the Duchy of Posen (today Poznan in Poland) they were not a majority or "German in sentiment". [[RuleOfCautiousEditingJudgement Be very careful when you talk about this. It may spontaneously combust, and not only with Germans.]] Ethnic minorities, especially those living near the borders of the Empire (e.g. Poles in the East, Danes in the North, Alsatians in the West) were often discriminated against and tended to vote for separatist or ethnic parties that were mostly ignored by other political forces. Germans were kicked out of many places after UsefulNotes/WorldWarI and far more after UsefulNotes/WorldWarII, but in Germany and these places [[ElephantInTheLivingRoom it's considered polite not to mention this.]]
9th Jan '18 4:57:53 PM Jhonny
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The name 'Germany' for centuries was used as a geographical term to refer to the many states and nations that made up the area between France, Austria, Poland-Lithuania, the Netherlands, and Sweden. Most of these weren't really able to object when the Great Powers used the region as a battlefield, but in 1871, Germany was unified for the first time ever (though the UsefulNotes/HolyRomanEmpire was a basically German institution, it hadn't been meaningfully unified since the 10th century). Now, some historians have stated, Germany had turned from a sponge (i.e. soft and absorbing attacks) to a steel block. Its neighbors were pretty uncomfortable with that.

to:

The name 'Germany' for centuries was used as a geographical term to refer to the many states and nations that made up the area between France, Austria, Poland-Lithuania, the Netherlands, and Sweden. Most of these weren't really able to object when the Great Powers used the region as a battlefield, but in 1871, Germany was unified for the first time ever (though the UsefulNotes/HolyRomanEmpire was a basically German institution, it hadn't been meaningfully unified since the 10th century). Now, some historians have stated, Germany had turned from a sponge (i.e. soft and absorbing attacks) to a steel block. And the way it paraded around in uniform all day and had won its unity through force of arms, it looked like it would pick a find at the next opportunity. Its neighbors were pretty uncomfortable with that.
4th Jan '18 6:02:01 PM nombretomado
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** And a rather strange one: if the rule of succession in Britain had been absolute primogeniture (as it has been since 2013) rather than male-preference primogeniture (as it was in 1901, and indeed had been from at least the [[UsefulNotes/TheHouseOfTudor 16th century]][[note]]In theory, Britain had this rule as far back as the [[TheHouseOfNormandy 12th century]], but until the Tudors it had never been an issue as either the King had a son or had no children at all, except for right near the beginning with the rivalry between [[UsefulNotes/HenryTheSecond Henry II]]'s mother Matilda and King Stephen, which ended very peculiarly.[[/note]] until 2013), Wilhelm II would have become King of the United Kingdom in August 1901 ([[UsefulNotes/QueenVictoria Queen Vicky]] having died in January of that year and her eldest child, Wilhelm's mother [[NamesTheSame Victoria]], died that August). One rather wonders about the history of Europe since then if that had been the case... (Of course, no modern monarchy adopted absolute primogeniture until Sweden in 1980; there's some evidence that the medieval Kingdom of Navarre had this rule, but that was a very long time ago.) Would Wilhelm (or King William V as he would've been known in Britain) have chafed under the system of constitutional monarchy (in reality he never seemed to understand that his cousin King George V had far less power over Britain than Wilhelm II had over Germany), or would such a system have spread to Germany as well?

to:

** And a rather strange one: if the rule of succession in Britain had been absolute primogeniture (as it has been since 2013) rather than male-preference primogeniture (as it was in 1901, and indeed had been from at least the [[UsefulNotes/TheHouseOfTudor 16th century]][[note]]In theory, Britain had this rule as far back as the [[TheHouseOfNormandy [[UsefulNotes/TheHouseOfNormandy 12th century]], but until the Tudors it had never been an issue as either the King had a son or had no children at all, except for right near the beginning with the rivalry between [[UsefulNotes/HenryTheSecond Henry II]]'s mother Matilda and King Stephen, which ended very peculiarly.[[/note]] until 2013), Wilhelm II would have become King of the United Kingdom in August 1901 ([[UsefulNotes/QueenVictoria Queen Vicky]] having died in January of that year and her eldest child, Wilhelm's mother [[NamesTheSame Victoria]], died that August). One rather wonders about the history of Europe since then if that had been the case... (Of course, no modern monarchy adopted absolute primogeniture until Sweden in 1980; there's some evidence that the medieval Kingdom of Navarre had this rule, but that was a very long time ago.) Would Wilhelm (or King William V as he would've been known in Britain) have chafed under the system of constitutional monarchy (in reality he never seemed to understand that his cousin King George V had far less power over Britain than Wilhelm II had over Germany), or would such a system have spread to Germany as well?
21st Dec '17 8:02:45 PM ritzoreo
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Imperial Germany was a constitutional monarchy with an elected parliament, the ''Reichstag,'' and while in the United Kingdom around 50% of men failed to meet qualifications to vote, Imperial Germany had universal suffrage (though still only for men). Furthermore, Bismarck introduced an advanced welfare system for the sick, the old, and the infirm. And yet while it was technically governed by rule of law, its constitution was weak, and a great deal of influence was in the hands of generals, landowners, and industrialists. While parliament had the power to pass bills, all laws had to be approved by the Chancellor, who was not elected but personally appointed by the Emperor, and was responsible only to him. Thus the true power lay not with the people, but the Kaiser. Although not a full-on autocracy like pre-1906 UsefulNotes/TsaristRussia, although not bad for the age, none of this added up to democracy, at least not by contemporary standards.

to:

Imperial Germany was a constitutional monarchy with an elected parliament, the ''Reichstag,'' and while in the United Kingdom around 50% of men failed to meet qualifications to vote, Imperial Germany had universal suffrage (though still only for men). Furthermore, Bismarck introduced an advanced welfare system for the sick, the old, and the infirm. And yet while it was technically governed by rule of law, its constitution was weak, and a great deal of influence was in the hands of generals, landowners, and industrialists. While parliament had the power to pass bills, all laws had to be approved by the Chancellor, who was not elected but personally appointed by the Emperor, and was responsible only to him. Thus the true power lay not with the people, but the Kaiser. Although not bad for the age, and not a full-on autocracy like pre-1906 UsefulNotes/TsaristRussia, although not bad for the age, none of this added up to democracy, at least not by contemporary standards.
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