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The Kaiser wanted Germany to achieve her place in the sun, and in order to achieve this they needed a large naval force.

The Kaiser wanted a navy which could rival that of Britain. The leading force in developing the Navy was Admiral von Tirpitz. He believed that Germany building the Navy would scare Britain. He was made Secretary of the Navy in 1897. His first act was to pass laws which would stimulate the ship building programme.

The First Navy Law passed in 1898. It decreed that seven battleships would be built bringing the total naval size to nineteen.

In 1900, the Second Naval Law was passed which doubled the size of the navy to 38 ships.

Tirpitz saw the mission of the German navy of rivalling Britain. For ordinary people, there was a stoking of imperial attitudes and a developing fear of Britain in Germany.

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