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Kaiser Wilhelm II -||- Wilhelm's Chancellors -||- Admiral von Tirpitz and the Naval Race -||- Alliance with Austria-Hungary -||- Relations with Europe -||- Internal Discontent and new Social Orders -||- Industry and Economy -||- The Schlieffin Plan -||- World War I

~~~~~-To Wilhelm II's Germany-~~~~~

Foreign Relations

   

Initially, Germany was the most powerful of the European Empires, thanks to Chancellor Bismarck, who manipulated the entire continent.  Then, Russia, Austria-Hungary, and Britain were friends of Germany, leaving France isolated in her anger over Alsace-Lorraine.  The end of Bismarck’s ‘reign’ as it were, would end this.

            Complications over the Balkans would separate Russia and Austria-Hungary, leaving France an opportunity to ally themselves with Russia.  Officially, the Germans stayed with Austria, although the Kaiser and Tsar Nicolas II had a warming friendship thanks to Alixandra, Tsarina of Russia, and the Kaiser’s cousin.  Perhaps it was a greater tragedy that in the end, the two rulers would have to go to war with each other.  After the end of the Tsar’s family, there are reports that the Kaiser was still being deceived by the Bolsheviks about the Romanov family whenever he asked ‘are they alright and well treated?’. 

            Germany’s relations with Italy involved the Triple Alliance (of Germany, Austria-Hungary and Italy) where Italy agreed to support Germany if she were invaded.  Later however, Italy would become one of the Allied Powers. 

            As for the Ottoman Empire, Germany was allied with Austria, who wanted the lands that the Ottomans were losing.  It did however, join Germany and Austria-Hungary as a Central Power in World War One, only to weaken itself more. 

            Germany’s relation with France is the most obvious.  They were bitter rivals.  So bitter in fact, that the French decided on British friendship, rather than talking to the Germans.  This was all caused over Alsace-Lorraine and the compensation that France had to pay to get the German troops off her land.  She had sworn ultimate vengeance on Germany, and always took Germany’s opposing side.  This attitude of hatred would not end even for some time after World War I.

            It was Germany’s relations with Britain that were the most complicated.  First, there were the ties of the Royal Family, and the Kaiser saw his family a lot.  Second, there were the great economical and trading ties.  Britain was greatly reliant on German industry.  This would have them attempt kinder reparations after the war. 

(PUNCH cartoon on the Morroccan Crises and the 'battles' of the different respective countries: Germany, France and Spain)