William I, German Emperor

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William I
Kaiser Wilhelm I. .JPG
Portrait of William I in 1884
German Emperor
Reign18 January 1871 – 9 March 1888
Proclamation 18 January 1871, Versailles
Predecessormonarchy established
Successor Frederick III
Chancellor Otto von Bismarck
King of Prussia
Reign2 January 1861 – 9 March 1888
Coronation18 October 1861
Predecessor Frederick William IV
Successor Frederick III
Prime Ministers
Holder of the Bundespräsidium of the North German Confederation [1]
In office1 July 1867 – 31 December 1870
Chancellor Otto von Bismarck
Born22 March 1797
Berlin, Kingdom of Prussia, Holy Roman Empire
Died9 March 1888(1888-03-09) (aged 90)
Berlin, German Empire
Burial16 March 1888
Spouse Augusta of Saxe-Weimar
Issue Frederick III, German Emperor
Louise, Grand Duchess of Baden
House Hohenzollern
Father Frederick William III of Prussia
Mother Louise of Mecklenburg-Strelitz
Religion Lutheranism (Prussian United)
Signature Wilhelm I, German Emperor Signature.svg
Prussian Royalty
House of Hohenzollern
Wappen Deutsches Reich - Reichsadler 1889.svg
William I
Children
Frederick III
Louise, Grand Duchess of Baden

William I, [2] or in German Wilhelm I [3] (full name: William Frederick Louis of Hohenzollern, German : Wilhelm Friedrich Ludwig von Hohenzollern, 22 March 1797 – 9 March 1888), of the House of Hohenzollern, was King of Prussia from 2 January 1861 and the first German Emperor from 18 January 1871 to his death, the first Head of State of a united Germany. Under the leadership of William and his Minister President Otto von Bismarck, Prussia achieved the unification of Germany and the establishment of the German Empire. Despite his long support of Bismarck as Minister President, William held strong reservations about some of Bismarck's more reactionary policies, including his anti-Catholicism and tough handling of subordinates. In contrast to the domineering Bismarck, William was described as polite, gentlemanly and, while staunchly conservative, more open to certain classical liberal ideas than his grandson Wilhelm II.

German language West Germanic language

German is a West Germanic language that is mainly spoken in Central Europe. It is the most widely spoken and official or co-official language in Germany, Austria, Switzerland, South Tyrol in Italy, the German-speaking Community of Belgium, and Liechtenstein. It is also one of the three official languages of Luxembourg and a co-official language in the Opole Voivodeship in Poland. The languages which are most similar to German are the other members of the West Germanic language branch: Afrikaans, Dutch, English, the Frisian languages, Low German/Low Saxon, Luxembourgish, and Yiddish. There are also strong similarities in vocabulary with Danish, Norwegian and Swedish, although those belong to the North Germanic group. German is the second most widely spoken Germanic language, after English.

House of Hohenzollern dynasty of former princes, electors, kings, and emperors of Hohenzollern, Brandenburg, Prussia, the German Empire, and Romania

The House of Hohenzollern is a German dynasty of former princes, electors, kings and emperors of Hohenzollern, Brandenburg, Prussia, the German Empire, and Romania. The family arose in the area around the town of Hechingen in Swabia during the 11th century and took their name from Hohenzollern Castle. The first ancestors of the Hohenzollerns were mentioned in 1061.

German Emperor Head of state of Germany 1871–1918

The German Emperor was the official title of the head of state and hereditary ruler of the German Empire. A specifically chosen term, it was introduced with the 1 January 1871 constitution and lasted until the official abdication of Wilhelm II on 28 November 1918. The Holy Roman Emperor is sometimes also called "German Emperor" when the historical context is clear, as derived from the Holy Roman Empire's official name of "Holy Roman Empire of the German Nation" from 1512.

Contents

Early life and military career

Queen Louise of Prussia with her two eldest sons (later King Friedrich Wilhelm IV of Prussia and the first German Emperor Wilhelm I), circa 1808 Konigin Luise mit ihren Sohnen.jpg
Queen Louise of Prussia with her two eldest sons (later King Friedrich Wilhelm IV of Prussia and the first German Emperor Wilhelm I), circa 1808

The future king and emperor was born William Frederick Louis of Prussia (Wilhelm Friedrich Ludwig von Preußen) in the Kronprinzenpalais in Berlin on 22 March 1797. As the second son of Louise of Mecklenburg-Strelitz and Prince Frederick William, himself son of King Frederick William II, William was not expected to ascend to the throne. His grandfather died the year he was born, at age 53, in 1797, and his father Frederick William III became king. He was educated from 1801 to 1809 by Johann Friedrich Gottlieb Delbrück  [ de ], who was also in charge of the education of William's brother, the Crown Prince Frederick William. At age twelve, his father appointed him an officer in the Prussian army. [4] The year 1806 saw the defeat of Prussia by France and the end of the Holy Roman Empire.

Kronprinzenpalais palace in Berlin

The Kronprinzenpalais is a landmark late Neoclassical-style building at one end of Unter den Linden in Berlin. It was a palace of the ruling Hohenzollern house of Prussia until the abolition of the monarchy at the end of World War I. It then became an annexe of the Berlin National Gallery, housing a preeminent collection of modern art. It was closed by the Nazis and the building was destroyed in World War II. It was rebuilt in 1968 and used by East Germany as a guest house for official visitors to their capital of East Berlin. Since German reunification it has been used for exhibitions and cultural events.

Berlin Capital of Germany

Berlin is the capital and largest city of Germany by both area and population. Its 3,748,148 (2018) inhabitants make it the second most populous city proper of the European Union after London. The city is one of Germany's 16 federal states. It is surrounded by the state of Brandenburg, and contiguous with its capital, Potsdam. The two cities are at the center of the Berlin-Brandenburg capital region, which is, with about six million inhabitants and an area of more than 30,000 km², Germany's third-largest metropolitan region after the Rhine-Ruhr and Rhine-Main regions.

Louise of Mecklenburg-Strelitz Queen consort of Prussia

Duchess Louise of Mecklenburg-Strelitz was Queen of Prussia as the wife of King Frederick William III. The couple's happy, though short-lived, marriage produced nine children, including the future monarchs Frederick William IV of Prussia and German Emperor Wilhelm I.

William served in the army from 1814 onward. Like his father he fought against Napoleon I of France during the part of the Napoleonic Wars known in Germany as the Befreiungskriege ("Wars of Liberation", otherwise known as the War of the Sixth Coalition), and was reportedly a very brave soldier. He was made a captain (Hauptmann) and won the Iron Cross for his actions at Bar-sur-Aube. The war and the fight against France left a lifelong impression on him, and he had a long-standing antipathy towards the French. [4]

Napoleonic Wars Series of early 19th century European wars

The Napoleonic Wars (1803–1815) were a series of major conflicts pitting the French Empire and its allies, led by Napoleon I, against a fluctuating array of European powers formed into various coalitions, financed and usually led by the United Kingdom. The wars stemmed from the unresolved disputes associated with the French Revolution and its resultant conflict. The wars are often categorised into five conflicts, each termed after the coalition that fought Napoleon: the Third Coalition (1805), the Fourth (1806–07), the Fifth (1809), the Sixth (1813), and the Seventh (1815).

War of the Sixth Coalition Part of the Napoleonic Wars

In the War of the Sixth Coalition, sometimes known in Germany as the War of Liberation, a coalition of Austria, Prussia, Russia, the United Kingdom, Portugal, Sweden, Spain and a number of German States defeated France and drove Napoleon into exile on Elba. After the disastrous French invasion of Russia of 1812, the continental powers joined Russia, the United Kingdom, Portugal and the rebels in Spain who were already at war with France.

Iron Cross military decoration in the Kingdom of Prussia, and later in the German Empire (1870–1918) and Nazi Germany

The Iron Cross is a former military decoration in the Kingdom of Prussia, and later in the German Empire (1871–1918) and Nazi Germany (1933–1945). It was established by King Frederick William III of Prussia in March 1813 backdated to the birthday of his late wife Queen Louise on 10 March 1813 during the Napoleonic Wars. Louise was the first person to receive this decoration (posthumously). The recommissioned Iron Cross was also awarded during the Franco-Prussian War, World War I, and World War II . The Iron Cross was normally a military decoration only, though there were instances of it being awarded to civilians for performing military functions. Two examples of this were civilian test pilots Hanna Reitsch who was awarded the Iron Cross 2nd Class and 1st Class and Melitta Schenk Gräfin von Stauffenberg, who was awarded the Iron Cross 2nd Class, for their actions as pilots during World War II.

In 1815, William was promoted to major and commanded a battalion of the 1. Garderegiment. He fought under Gebhard Leberecht von Blücher at the Battles of Ligny and Waterloo. [4] He became a diplomat, engaging in diplomatic missions after 1815.[ citation needed ] William was a brother of Empress Alexandra Feodorovna of Russia (née Charlotte of Prussia). In 1817 he accompanied his sister to Saint Petersburg. [5]

Gebhard Leberecht von Blücher Prussian field marshal

Gebhard Leberecht von Blücher, Fürst von Wahlstatt, Graf (count), later elevated to Fürst von Wahlstatt, was a Prussian Generalfeldmarschall. He earned his greatest recognition after leading his army against Napoleon I at the Battle of the Nations at Leipzig in 1813 and the Battle of Waterloo in 1815.

Battle of Ligny battle

The Battle of Ligny was the last victory of the military career of Napoleon Bonaparte. In this battle, French troops of the Armée du Nord under Napoleon's command, defeated part of a Prussian army under Field Marshal Prince Blücher, near Ligny in present-day Belgium. The Battle of Ligny is an example of a tactical win and a strategic loss for the French. While the French troops did force the enemy to retreat, the Prussian army survived and went on to play a pivotal role two days later at the Battle of Waterloo, reinforced by the Prussian IV Corps, which had not participated in the Battle of Ligny. Had the French army succeeded in keeping the Prussian army from joining the Anglo-allied Army under Wellington at Waterloo, Napoleon might have won the Waterloo Campaign.

Battle of Waterloo Battle of the Napoleonic Wars in which Napoleon was defeated

The Battle of Waterloo was fought on Sunday, 18 June 1815 near Waterloo in Belgium, part of the United Kingdom of the Netherlands at the time. A French army under the command of Napoleon Bonaparte was defeated by two of the armies of the Seventh Coalition: a British-led allied army under the command of the Duke of Wellington, and a Prussian army under the command of Field Marshal Blücher. The battle marked the end of the Napoleonic Wars.

In 1816, William became the commander of the Stettiner Gardelandwehrbataillon and in 1818 was promoted to Generalmajor. The next year, William was appointed inspector of the VII. and VIII. Army Corps. This made him a spokesman of the Prussian Army within the House of Hohenzollern. He argued in favour of a strong, well-trained and well-equipped army. In 1820, William became commander of the 1. Gardedivision and in 1825 was promoted to commanding general of the III. Army Corps. [4]

VII Corps (German Empire)

The VII Army Corps / VII AK was a corps level command of the Prussian and then the Imperial German Armies from the 19th Century to World War I.

VIII Corps (German Empire)

The VIII Army Corps / VIII AK was a corps level command of the Prussian and then the Imperial German Armies from the 19th Century to World War I.

III Corps (German Empire) corps-level command of the Prussian and Imperial German Armies

The III Army Corps / III AK was a corps level command of the Prussian and then the Imperial German Armies from the 19th century to World War I.

In 1826 William was forced to abandon a relationship with Polish noblewoman Elisa Radziwill, his cousin whom he had been attracted to, when it was deemed an inappropriate match by his father. It is alleged that Elisa had an illegitimate daughter by William who was brought up by Joseph and Caroline Kroll, owners of the Kroll Opera House in Berlin, and was given the name Agnes Kroll. She married a Carl Friedrich Ludwig Dettman (known as "Louis") and emigrated to Sydney, Australia, in 1849. They had a family of three sons and two daughters. Agnes died in 1904. [6]

Elisa Radziwill Polish noble

Princess Elisa Radziwill was a member of Polish nobility, of royal ancestry. She was the desired bride of Prince William of Prussia, who later became William I, German Emperor, but they were not allowed to marry.

Kroll Opera House former opera house in Berlin, Germany

The Kroll Opera House was an opera building in Berlin, Germany, located in the central Tiergarten district on the western edge of the Königsplatz square, facing the Reichstag building. It was built in 1844 as an entertainment venue for the restaurant owner Joseph Kroll. During its eventful history it was redeveloped as an opera house in 1851 and was used by various owners and directors for opera, operetta and drama. It was later operated by the Prussian state opera and drama companies and served as the assembly hall of the German Reichstag parliament from 1933 until 1942. On 19 July 1940, the opera house was used to host the 1940 Field Marshal Ceremony. Severely damaged by bombing and the Battle of Berlin in World War II, it was finally demolished in 1951.

Sydney State capital of New South Wales and most populous city in Australia and Oceania

Sydney is the state capital of New South Wales and the most populous city in Australia and Oceania. Located on Australia's east coast, the metropolis surrounds Port Jackson and extends about 70 km (43.5 mi) on its periphery towards the Blue Mountains to the west, Hawkesbury to the north, the Royal National Park to the south and Macarthur to the south-west. Sydney is made up of 658 suburbs, 40 local government areas and 15 contiguous regions. Residents of the city are known as "Sydneysiders". As of June 2017, Sydney's estimated metropolitan population was 5,230,330 and is home to approximately 65% of the state's population.

In 1829, William married Princess Augusta, the daughter of Grand Duke Karl Friedrich of Saxe-Weimar-Eisenach. Their marriage was outwardly stable, but not a very happy one. [7]

In 1840 his older brother became King of Prussia. Since he had no children, William was first in line to succeed him to the throne and thus was given the title Prinz von Preußen. [4] Against his convictions but out of loyalty towards his brother, William signed the bill setting up a Prussian parliament (Vereinigter Landtag) in 1847 and took a seat in the upper chamber, the Herrenhaus. [4]

During the Revolutions of 1848, William successfully crushed a revolt in Berlin that was aimed at Frederick William IV. The use of cannons made him unpopular at the time and earned him the nickname Kartätschenprinz (Prince of Grapeshot). Indeed, he had to flee to England for a while, disguised as a merchant. He returned and helped to put down an uprising in Baden, where he commanded the Prussian army. In October 1849, he became governor-general of Rhineland and Westfalia, with a seat at the Electoral Palace in Koblenz. [4] [7]

During their time at Koblenz, William and his wife entertained liberal scholars such as the historian Maximilian Wolfgang Duncker, August von Bethmann-Hollweg and Clemens Theodor Perthes  [ de ]. William's opposition to liberal ideas gradually softened. [4]

In 1854, the prince was raised to the rank of a field-marshal and made governor of the federal fortress of Mainz. [8] In 1857 Frederick William IV suffered a stroke and became mentally disabled for the rest of his life. In January 1858, William became Prince Regent for his brother, initially only temporarily but after October on a permanent basis. Against the advice of his brother, William swore an oath of office on the Prussian constitution and promised to preserve it "solid and inviolable". William appointed a liberal, Karl Anton von Hohenzollern-Sigmaringen, as Minister President and thus initiated what became known as the "New Era" in Prussia, although there were conflicts between William and the liberal majority in the Landtag on matters of reforming the armed forces. [4]

King

Coronation of William I as King of Prussia at Konigsberg Castle in 1861 Kronung 1861.JPG
Coronation of William I as King of Prussia at Königsberg Castle in 1861

On 2 January 1861, Frederick William IV died and William ascended the throne as William I of Prussia. In July, a student from Leipzig attempted to assassinate William, but he was only lightly injured. [4] Like Frederick I of Prussia, William travelled to Königsberg and there crowned himself at the Schlosskirche. [7] William chose the anniversary of the Battle of Leipzig, 18 October, for this event, which was the first Prussian crowning ceremony since 1701 and the only crowning of a German king in the 19th century. [4] William refused to comply with his brother's wish, expressed in Frederick William's last will, that he should abrogate the constitution. [4]

William inherited a conflict between Frederick William and the liberal Landtag. He was considered to be politically neutral as he intervened less in politics than his brother. In 1862 the Landtag refused an increase in the military budget needed to pay for the already implemented reform of the army. This involved raising the peacetime army from 150,000 to 200,000 men and boost the annual number of new recruits from 40,000 to 63,000. However, the truly controversial part was the plan to keep the length of military service (raised in 1856 from two years) at three years. [9] When his request, backed by his Minister of War Albrecht von Roon was refused, William first considered abdicating, but his son, the Crown Prince, advised strongly against it. [9] Then, on the advice of Roon, William appointed Otto von Bismarck to the office of Minister President in order to force through the proposals. [4] According to the Prussian constitution, the Minister President was responsible solely to the king, not to the Landtag. Bismarck, a conservative Prussian Junker and loyal friend of the king, liked to see his working relationship with William as that of a vassal to his feudal superior. Nonetheless, it was Bismarck who effectively directed the politics, domestic as well as foreign; on several occasions he gained William's assent by threatening to resign. [10]

King William on a black horse with his suite, Bismarck, Moltke, Roon, and others, watching the Battle of Koniggratz, 1866 1868 Bleibtreu Schlacht bei Koeniggraetz anagoria.JPG
King William on a black horse with his suite, Bismarck, Moltke, Roon, and others, watching the Battle of Königgrätz, 1866

During his reign, William was the commander-in-chief of the Prussian forces in the Second Schleswig War against Denmark in 1864 and the Austro-Prussian War in 1866. After the latter was won by Prussia, William wanted to march on to Vienna and annex Austria, but was dissuaded from doing so by Bismarck and Crown Prince Frederick. [4] Bismarck wanted to end the war quickly, so as to allow Prussia to ally with Austria if it needed to at a later date; Frederick was also appalled by the casualties and wanted a speedy end to hostilities. During a heated discussion, Bismarck threatened to resign if William continued to Vienna; Bismarck got his way.

In 1867, the North German Confederation was created as a federation (federally organised state) of the North German and Central German states. William became the bearer of the Bundespräsidium , the federal presidium. Not expressis verbis, but in function he was the head of state. Bismarck intentionally avoided a title such as Präsident as it sounded too republican. [11] William became also the constitutional Bundesfeldherr, the commander of all federal armed forces. Via treaties with the South German states, he also became commander of their armies in times of war. In 1870, during the Franco-Prussian War, William was in command of all the German forces at the crucial Battle of Sedan. [4]

German Emperor

William I in a hussar's uniform, in a painting by Emil Hunten Kaiser-wilhelm-I.jpg
William I in a hussar's uniform, in a painting by Emil Hünten

During the Franco-Prussian War, the South German states joined the North German Confederation. The country was renamed Deutsches Reich (the German Empire), and the title of Bundespräsidium was amended with the title Deutscher Kaiser (German Emperor). This was decided on by the legislative organs, the Reichstag and Bundesrat, and William agreed to this on 18 December in the presence of a Reichstag delegation. The new constitution and the title of Emperor came into effect on 1 January 1871. [12]

William I is proclaimed German Emperor in the Hall of Mirrors in Versailles, France (painting by Anton von Werner). Wernerprokla.jpg
William I is proclaimed German Emperor in the Hall of Mirrors in Versailles, France (painting by Anton von Werner).

William, however, hesitated to accept the constitutional title, as he feared that it would overshadow his own title of Prussian king. He also wanted it to be Kaiser von Deutschland ("Emperor of Germany"), but Bismarck warned him that the South German princes and the Emperor of Austria might protest. [13] [14] William eventually—though grudgingly—relented and on 18 January, in the Hall of Mirrors in the Palace of Versailles, he was proclaimed Kaiser Wilhelm. The date was chosen as the coronation date of the first Prussian king in 1701. In the national memory, 18 January became the day of the foundation of the Empire (Reichsgründungstag), although it did not have a constitutional significance. [14]

In 1872 he arbitrated a boundary dispute between Great Britain and the United States, deciding in favor of the U.S. and placing the San Juan Islands of Washington State within U.S. national territory, thus ending the 12-year bloodless Pig War. [15]

In his memoirs, Bismarck describes William as an old-fashioned, courteous, infallibly polite gentleman and a genuine Prussian officer, whose good common sense was occasionally undermined by "female influences". This was a reference to William's wife, who had been educated by, among others Johann Wolfgang von Goethe and was intellectually superior to her husband. She was also at times very outspoken in her opposition to official policies as she was a liberal. [7] William, however, had long been strongly opposed to liberal ideas. [4] Despite possessing considerable power as Kaiser, William left the task of governing mostly to his chancellor, limiting himself to representing the state and approving Bismarck's every policy. [4]

Assassination attempts and Anti-Socialist laws

Caricature of William I by Thomas Nast which appeared in The Fight at Dame Europa's School by Henry William Pullen Caricature of Wilhelm I by Thomas Nast.jpg
Caricature of William I by Thomas Nast which appeared in The Fight at Dame Europa's School by Henry William Pullen

On 11 May 1878, a plumber named Emil Max Hödel failed in an assassination attempt on William in Berlin. Hödel used a revolver to shoot at the then 81-year-old Emperor, while he and his daughter, Princess Louise, paraded in their carriage on Unter den Linden . [4] When the bullet missed, Hödel ran across the street and fired another round which also missed. In the commotion one of the individuals who tried to apprehend Hödel suffered severe internal injuries and died two days later. Hödel was seized immediately. He was tried, convicted, sentenced to death, and executed on 16 August 1878. [16]

A second attempt to assassinate William I was made on 2 June 1878 by Dr. Karl Nobiling. As the Emperor drove past in an open carriage, the assassin fired two shots from a shotgun at him from the window of a house off the Unter den Linden. [4] William was severely wounded and was rushed back to the palace. Nobiling shot himself in an attempt to commit suicide. While William survived this attack, the assassin died from his self-inflicted wound three months later.[ citation needed ]

Despite the fact that Hödel had been expelled from the Social Democratic Party, his actions were used as a pretext by Bismarck to ban the party through the "Anti-Socialist Law" in October 1878. To do this, Bismarck partnered with Ludwig Bamberger, a Liberal, who had written on the subject of Socialism, "If I don't want any chickens, then I must smash the eggs." No one in the Social-Democratic Party even knew of Karl Nobiling, but that is not to say that he was not politically motivated. These attempts on William's life thus became the pretext for the institution of the Anti-Socialist Law, which was introduced by Bismarck's government with the support of a majority in the Reichstag on 18 October 1878, for the purpose of fighting the socialist and working-class movement. These laws deprived the Social Democratic Party of Germany of its legal status; prohibited all organizations, workers’ mass organizations and the socialist and workers’ press; decreed confiscation of socialist literature; and subjected Social-Democrats to reprisals. The laws were extended every 2–3 years. Despite the reprisals the Social Democratic Party increased its influence among the masses. Under pressure of the mass working-class movement the laws were repealed on 1 October 1890.[ citation needed ]

Later years and death

Funeral procession of German Emperor William I, 1888 Beisetzung von Kaiser Wilhelm I 1888 - cropped.jpg
Funeral procession of German Emperor William I, 1888

In August 1878, Russian Tsar Alexander II, William's nephew, wrote a letter (known as Ohrfeigenbrief) to him complaining about the treatment Russian interests had received at the Congress of Berlin. In response William, his wife Augusta, and his son the crown prince travelled to Russia (against the advice of Bismarck) to mend fences in face-to-face talks. However, by once again threatening to resign, Bismarck overcame the opposition of William to a closer alliance with Austria. In October, William agreed to the Dual Alliance (Zweibund) between Germany and Austria-Hungary, which was directed against Russia. [4]

Another assassination attempt failed on 18 September 1883 when William unveiled the Niederwalddenkmal in Rüdesheim. A group of anarchists had prepared an attack using dynamite which failed due to the wet weather. [4]

Gold 10 Mark of William showing titles Wilhelm10mark.jpeg
Gold 10 Mark of William showing titles

The Berlin Conference of 1884–85 organized by Otto von Bismarck can be seen as the formalization of the Scramble for Africa. Claiming much of the left-over territories in Africa and Oceania that were yet unclaimed, Germany managed to build the large German colonial empire. [17]

Despite the assassination attempts and William's unpopular role in the 1848 uprising, he and his wife were very popular, especially in their later years. Many people considered them the personification of "the old Prussia" and liked their austere and simple lifestyle. [4] [7] William died on 9 March 1888 in Berlin after a short illness. He was buried on 16 March at the Mausoleum at Park Charlottenburg.

To honour him a large number of memorials/statues were erected all over the country over the following years. The best-known among them are the Kyffhäuser monument (1890–96) in Thuringia, the monument at Porta Westfalica (1896) and the mounted statue of William at the Deutsches Eck in Koblenz (1897). The statue next to the Stadtschloss, Berlin (1898) was melted down by the government of East Berlin in 1950. [4]

From 1867 to 1918 more than 1,000 memorials to William I were constructed.[ citation needed ]

Issue

William and Augusta of Saxe-Weimar had two children:

ImageNameBirthDeathNotes
Friedrich 3o.jpg Frederick III, German Emperor and King of Prussia 18 October 183115 June 1888(1888-06-15) (aged 56)married (25 January 1858) Victoria, Princess Royal (1840–1901); eight children.
Princess Louise of Prussia.JPG Princess Louise of Prussia 3 December 183823 April 1923(1923-04-23) (aged 84)married (20 September 1856) Prince Frederick of Baden (1826–1907); three children.

Religion

Emperor William I was a Lutheran member of the Evangelical State Church of Prussia's older Provinces. It was a United Protestant denomination, bringing together Reformed and Lutheran believers.

Titles, styles, honours and arms

William's monogram Imperial Monogram of Kaiser Wilhelm I.svg
William's monogram

Titles and styles

Full title as German Emperor

His Imperial and Royal Majesty William the First, by the Grace of God, German Emperor and King of Prussia; Margrave of Brandenburg, Burgrave of Nuremberg, Count of Hohenzollern; Sovereign and Supreme Duke of Silesia and of the County of Glatz; Grand Duke of the Lower Rhine and of Posen; Duke of Saxony, of Westphalia, of Angria, of Pomerania, Lüneburg, Holstein and Schleswig, of Magdeburg, of Bremen, of Guelders, Cleves, Jülich and Berg, Duke of the Wends and the Kassubes, of Crossen, Lauenburg and Mecklenburg; Landgrave of Hesse and Thuringia; Margrave of Upper and Lower Lusatia; Prince of Orange; Prince of Rügen, of East Friesland, of Paderborn and Pyrmont, of Halberstadt, Münster, Minden, Osnabrück, Hildesheim, of Verden, Cammin, Fulda, Nassau and Moers; Princely Count of Henneberg; Count of Mark, of Ravensberg, of Hohenstein, Tecklenburg and Lingen, of Mansfeld, Sigmaringen and Veringen; Lord of Frankfurt. [18] [19]

Honours

German decorations [20]

Foreign decorations [20]

Ancestry

See also

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Wilhelm, German Crown Prince German Crown Prince

Wilhelm, German Crown Prince was the eldest child and heir of the last German Emperor, Wilhelm II, and the last Crown Prince of the German Empire and the Kingdom of Prussia. After the death of his grandfather Emperor Frederick III, Wilhelm became crown prince at the age of six, retaining that title for more than 30 years until the fall of the empire on 9 November 1918. During World War I, he commanded the 5th Army from 1914 to 1916 and was commander of the Army Group German Crown Prince for the remainder of the war. Crown Prince Wilhelm became head of the House of Hohenzollern on 4 June 1941 following the death of his father and held the position until his own death on 20 July 1951.

Prince Henry of Prussia (1862–1929) Prussian prince and admiral (1862-1929)

Prince Albert William Henry of Prussia was a younger brother of German Emperor William II and a Prince of Prussia. He was also a grandson of Queen Victoria. A career naval officer, he held various commands in the Imperial German Navy, eventually rose to the rank of Grand Admiral and Generalinspekteur der Marine.

Order of the Black Eagle highest order of chivalry in the Kingdom of Prussia

The Order of the Black Eagle was the highest order of chivalry in the Kingdom of Prussia. The order was founded on 17 January 1701 by Elector Friedrich III of Brandenburg. In his Dutch exile after World War I, deposed Emperor Wilhelm II continued to award the order to his family. He made his second wife, Princess Hermine Reuss of Greiz, a Lady in the Order of the Black Eagle.

Order of the Red Eagle Prussian military award

The Order of the Red Eagle was an order of chivalry of the Kingdom of Prussia. It was awarded to both military personnel and civilians, to recognize valor in combat, excellence in military leadership, long and faithful service to the kingdom, or other achievements. As with most German orders, the Order of the Red Eagle could only be awarded to commissioned officers or civilians of approximately equivalent status. However, there was a medal of the order, which could be awarded to non-commissioned officers and enlisted men, lower ranking civil servants and other civilians.

Prince Oskar of Prussia Prussian prince (b1888)

Prince Oskar Karl Gustav Adolf of Prussia was the fifth son of Wilhelm II, German Emperor and Augusta Victoria of Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg-Augustenburg.

Prince August Wilhelm of Prussia German prince

Prince August Wilhelm Heinrich Günther Viktor of Prussia, called "Auwi", was the fourth son of Wilhelm II, German Emperor by his first wife, Augusta Victoria of Schleswig-Holstein. He is largely remembered today for his support of Nazism and of Adolf Hitler.

Prince Eitel Friedrich of Prussia Prussian prince

Prince Eitel Friedrich of Prussia was the second son of Emperor Wilhelm II of Germany by his first wife, Augusta Viktoria of Schleswig-Holstein. He was born and died in Potsdam, Germany.

Hohenzollern Castle ancestral seat of the imperial House of Hohenzollern in the Swabian Alps of central Baden-Württemberg, Germany

Hohenzollern Castle is the ancestral seat of the imperial House of Hohenzollern. The third of three hilltop castles built on the site, it is located atop Mount Hohenzollern, above and south of Hechingen, on the edge of the Swabian Jura of central Baden-Württemberg, Germany.

Prince Charles of Prussia Prussian prince

Prince Frederick Charles Alexander of Prussia was a younger son of Frederick William III of Prussia. He served as a Prussian general for much of his adult life and became the first Herrenmeister of the Order of Saint John after its restoration as a chivalric order. Nevertheless, he is perhaps remembered more often for his patronage of art and for his sizable collections of art and armor.

Order of Louise

The Order of Louise was founded on 3 August 1814 by Frederick William III of Prussia to honor his late wife, the much beloved Queen Louise. This order was chivalric in nature, but was intended strictly for women whose service to Prussia was worthy of such high national recognition. Its dame companion members were limited to 100 in number, and were intended to be drawn from all classes.

Monarchy of Germany

The Monarchy of Germany was the system of government in which a hereditary monarch was the sovereign of the German Empire from 1871 to 1918.

Abdication of Wilhelm II

Kaiser Wilhelm II abdicated as German Emperor and King of Prussia in November 1918. The abdication was announced on 9 November by Prince Maximilian of Baden and was formally enacted by Wilhelm's written statement on 28 November, made while in exile in Amerongen, the Netherlands. This ended the House of Hohenzollern's 500-year rule over Prussia and its predecessor state, Brandenburg. Wilhelm ruled Germany and Prussia from 15 June 1888 through 9 November 1918, when he went into exile. Following the abdication statement and German Revolution of 1918–19, the German nobility as a legally defined class was abolished. On promulgation of the Weimar Constitution on 11 August 1919, all Germans were declared equal before the law. Ruling princes of the constituent states of Germany also had to give up their monarchical titles and domains, of which there were 22. Of these princely heads of state, four held the title of king (könig), six held the title of grand duke (großherzog), five held the title of duke (herzog), and seven held the title prince.

Proclamation of the German Empire

The proclamation of the German Empire, also known as the Deutsche Reichsgründung, took place in January 1871 after the joint victory of the German states in the Franco-Prussian War. As a result of the November Treaties of 1870s, the southern German states of Baden, Hesse-Darmstadt, with their territories south of the Main line, Württemberg and Bavaria, joined the Prussian-dominated "German Confederation" on 1 January 1871. On the same day, the new Constitution of the German Confederation came into force, thereby significantly extending the federal German lands to the newly created German Empire. The Day of the founding of the German Empire, January 18, became a day of celebration, marking when the Prussian King William I was proclaimed German Emperor in Versailles.

References

  1. Ernst Rudolf Huber: Deutsche Verfassungsgeschichte seit 1789. Vol. III: Bismarck und das Reich. 3. Auflage, W. Kohlhammer, Stuttgart 1988, p. 657.
  2. Fulbrook, Mary (2004). A Concise History of Germany, 2nd edition, 2004, Cambridge University Press, p. 128. ISBN   978-0-521-54071-1.
  3. Ybarra, Thomas R. Wilhelm II. (1921). The Kaiser's Memoirs: Wilhelm II, Emperor Of Germany, 1888–1918. Harper And Brothers Publisher. ISBN   0-548-32330-5
  4. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 "Biografie Wilhelm I (German)". Deutsches Historisches Museum. Retrieved 12 June 2013.
  5. Lincoln, Nicholas I Emperor and Autocrat of all the Russias, p. 66
  6. B. Dettman and J. Stevens (2017), "Agnes the Secret Princess – An Australian Story".
  7. 1 2 3 4 5 Feldhahn, Ulrich (2011). Die preußischen Könige und Kaiser (German). Kunstverlag Josef Fink, Lindenberg. pp. 24–26. ISBN   978-3-89870-615-5.
  8. Wikisource-logo.svg Chisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). "William I. of Germany"  . Encyclopædia Britannica . 28 (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press. pp. 665–667.
  9. 1 2 Oster, Uwe A. "Friedrich III. – Der 99-Tage-Kaiser". Damals (in German). Vol. 45 no. 3/2013. pp. 60–65. ISSN   0011-5908.
  10. Munroe Smith (1898). Bismarck and German Unity: A Historical Outline. Macmillan. pp. 80–81.
  11. Michael Kotulla: Deutsches Verfassungsrecht 1806–1918. Eine Dokumentensammlung nebst Einführungen. Vol. 1: Gesamtdeutschland, Anhaltische Staaten und Baden, Berlin 2006, p. 211.
  12. Ernst Rudolf Huber: Deutsche Verfassungsgeschichte seit 1789. Vol. III: Bismarck und das Reich. 3rd edition, W. Kohlhammer, Stuttgart 1988, pp. 750/751.
  13. William Dawson (14 July 2017). History of the German Empire. Merkaba Press. p. 355.
  14. 1 2 Ernst Rudolf Huber: Deutsche Verfassungsgeschichte seit 1789. Band III: Bismarck und das Reich. 3rd edition, W. Kohlhammer, Stuttgart 1988, p. 750-753.
  15. Mike Vouri (2013). The Pig War: Standoff at Griffin Bay. pp. 248–50.
  16. Hödel, Max . article in: Meyers Konversations-Lexikon , 4. Aufl. 1888–1890, Bd. 8, S. 603 f. (in German)
  17. Diese deutschen Wörter kennt man noch in der Südsee, von Matthias Heine "Einst hatten die Deutschen das drittgrößte Kolonialreich[...]"
  18. "Wilhelm II, Emperor of Germany (1859–1941)". Web.archive.org. Archived from the original on 22 December 2007. Retrieved 5 November 2013.
  19. Rudolf Graf v. Stillfried: Die Titel und Wappen des preußischen Königshauses. Berlin 1875.
  20. 1 2 Königlich Preußischer Staats-Kalender für das Jahr 1859, Genealogy p.1
  21. "Verdienstkreuz für Frauen und Jungfrauen 1871". Ordensmuseum.de. Retrieved 26 December 2018.
  22. "A Szent István Rend tagjai" Archived 22 December 2010 at the Wayback Machine
  23. Le livre d'or de l'ordre de Léopold et de la croix de fer, Volume 1 /Ferdinand Veldekens
  24. Johann Heinrich Friedrich Berlien (1846). Der Elephanten-Orden und seine Ritter: eine historische Abhandlung über die ersten Spuren dieses Ordens und dessen fernere Entwicklung bis zu seiner gegenwärtigen Gestalt, und nächstdem ein Material zur Personalhistorie, nach den Quellen des Königlichen Geheimen-Staatsarchivs und des Königlichen Ordenskapitelsarchivs zu Kopenhagen. Gedruckt in der Berlingschen Officin. p. 176.
  25. "Hohenzollern Re di Prussia Guglielmo I" (in Italian), Il sito ufficiale della Presidenza della Repubblica. Retrieved 2018-08-05.
  26. "Toison Espagnole (Spanish Fleece) – 19th century" (in French), Chevaliers de la Toison D'or. Retrieved 2018-08-10.
  27. Shaw, Wm. A. (1906) The Knights of England, I, London, p. 192
  28. Shaw, p. 61

Further reading

William I, German Emperor
Born: 22 March 1797 Died: 9 March 1888
German nobility
Preceded by
Frederick William IV
King of Prussia
2 January 1861 – 9 March 1888
Succeeded by
Frederick III
New creation
German Emperor
18 January 1871 – 9 March 1888
Preceded by
Christian IX of Denmark
Duke of Saxe-Lauenburg
1864–1876
Incorporated into the
Prussian crown
Vacant
Title last held by
Frederick VII of Denmark
Duke of Schleswig and Holstein
1864–1888
Preceded by
Adolphe of Luxembourg
as Duke of Nassau
Prince of Nassau
1866–1888
Preceded by
Frederick William of Hesse
as Elector of Hesse
Landgrave of Hesse
Prince of Fulda

1866–1888
Preceded by
Karl Fellner
as Elder Mayor of Frankfurt
Lord of Frankfurt
1866–1888
Preceded by
George V of Hanover
as King of Hanover
Prince of East Friesland, Osnabrück,
Hildesheim and Verden
Count of Lingen and Tecklenburg

1866–1888
Political offices
Preceded by
Francis Joseph I of Austria
as Head of the Präsidialmacht of the German Confederation
Holder of the Bundespräsidium of the North German Confederation
1 July 1867 – 18 January 1871
Confederation abolished