Discussions on all aspects of Imperial Germany not covered in the other sections.
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What do you think of the Kaiser of WWI? Was a fool or a genious?
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Wilhelm the 2nd had never been a genious. In the beginning of his rule he had Bismarck, who was a genious in my opinion, but after Bismarcks suspension 1890 the Kaiser became weaker. There were heavy inner political problems and Wilhelm could not solve them. He dreamed of a Germany as a great power like Great Britain or France. With the beginning of the 20th century the Reichstag and the political parties became stronger (see the "Daily-Telegraph-Affair") and even after losing WWI he wanted to remain as Kaiser. Thank god, he couldn`t.
- In memoriam
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There is an excellent two volume biography of Wilhelm II, written by Lamar Cecil, an acquaintance of mine and Professor of History at Washington and Lee University. It is entitled Wilhelm II and published by The University of North Carolina Press (vol. I in 1989; vol. II in 1996.) Cecil sumarizes his vew of William II in two quotations, the first from Alexander Pope's lines on the Duke of Buckingham:
"A man so various that he seemed to be,
Not one but all mankind's epitome
Fixed in opinion,ever in the wrong
Was all by fits and starts, and nothing long.
The second, in Cecil's own words:
"It would seem that the last of the kaisers deserves, for his own time and place in history, the brutal envoi that the Duke of Wellington paid to King George IV, an inglorious king who ruled England long before his kinsman was born. He was a sovereign, the Iron Duke regretfully concluded, who lived and died without having been able to assert so much as a single claim on the gratitude of posterity."
[The above is along the same lines of a post I entered several months ago, and I apologize to those I may be boring with its repetition, but it seemed fitting for this new thread.]