Study Notes

Origins of the Weimar Republic - Kaiser Wilhelm II

Level:
GCSE
Board:
AQA, Edexcel, OCR

Last updated 19 Jan 2019

The Kaiser was the King or Emperor of Germany. He was the grandchild of Queen Victoria. He ruled Germany from 1888 to 1918.

Wilhelm was a power hungry leader who longed for Germany to have a great Empire similar to that of Britain or France. His ambitions regularly brought him into conflict with Britain and France such as the Agadir Crisis. This ambition led to an alliance with the Austro-Hungarian Empire which would ultimately plunge the world into the First World War after the assassination of Austrian Archduke Franz Ferdinand.

Throughout the First World War, Wilhelm proved ineffective as a leader and left much of the decision making to his top generals. When it became quickly apparent that the war was lost, Wilhelm abdicated the throne and fled to the Netherlands. Wilhelm became the last Emperor of Germany.

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