Bismarck/Wilhelm ll

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by skivers3
Last updated 5 years ago

Social Studies
Politicians and Presidents

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Bismarck/Wilhelm ll

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Kulturkampf: With Germany unified, William I and Bismarck turned to entrenching their domestic power. For much of the 1870s Bismarck pursued a Kulturkampf (cultural struggle) against Catholics, who made up 36 percent of Germany’s population, by placing parochial schools under state control and expelling the Jesuits. In 1878 Bismarck relented, allying with the Catholics against the growing socialist threat.In the 1880s Bismarck set aside his conservative impulses to counter the socialists by creating Europe’s first modern welfare state, establishing national healthcare (1883), accident insurance (1884) and old age pensions (1889). Bismarck also hosted the 1885 Berlin Conference that ended the “Scramble for Africa,” dividing the continent between the European powers and establishing German colonies in Cameroon, Togoland and East and Southwest Africa (

Who was Bismarck?

Call me the "Iron Chancellor"

Germany became a modern, unified nation under the leadership of the “Iron Chancellor” Otto von Bismarck (1815-1898), who between 1862 and 1890 effectively ruled first Prussia and then all of Germany. A master strategist, Bismarck initiated decisive wars with Denmark, Austria and France to unite 39 independent German states under Prussian leadership. Although an arch-conservative, Bismarck introduced progressive reforms—including universal male suffrage and the establishment of the first welfare state—in order to achieve his goals. He manipulated European rivalries to make Germany a world power, but in doing so laid the groundwork for both World Wars (

Wilhelm II (1859-1941), the German kaiser (emperor) and king of Prussia from 1888 to 1918, was one of the most recognizable public figures of World War I (1914-18). He gained a reputation as a swaggering militarist through his speeches and ill-advised newspaper interviews. While Wilhelm did not actively seek war, and tried to hold back his generals from mobilizing the German army in the summer of 1914, his verbal outbursts and his open enjoyment of the title of Supreme War Lord helped bolster the case of those who blamed him for the conflict. His role in the conduct of the war as well as his responsibility for its outbreak is still controversial. Some historians maintain that Wilhelm was controlled by his generals, while others argue that he retained considerable political power. In late 1918, he was forced to abdicate. He spent the rest of his life in exile in the Netherlands, where he died at age 82.

They named a big boat after me!


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