• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Wilhelm II; the Emperor who lost interest

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Wilhelm II; the Emperor who lost interest Wilhelm II became emperor of the German Reich 1888 and when Bismarck resigned as the German chancellor in 1890, all power was transferred to the new Kaiser. Wilhelm II was a young man determined to force his will through whenever he felt it was necessary. In this essay I am going to discuss to what extent he used this newly gained power and whether he ruled Germany monocratically or if the Reich was ruled by the chancellors. First I am going to look at Wilhelm II as a personal ruler, then as a shadow emperor and at last I will try to come up with a conclusion. Wilhelm II was a personal ruler; the constitution clearly stated that everything had to go through the Kaiser. The German constitution 1871 says that the Kaiser had: the right to dismiss and appoint the chancellor and ministers, dissolve the Reichstag, full control over foreign affairs and had the final say in disputes over the interpretation of the Constitution. ...read more.

Middle

R�hl states that these were the times that the Kaiser's personality had the most influence on the policy making, because, who wants to upset the emperor? However, some historians say that Wilhelm II simply lacked the ability to direct policy, command the army or influence the real decision-makers. Another important historian named Hans-Ulrich Wehler argued that after the departure of Bismarck a power vacuum existed which Wilhelm II was unable to fill. Wehler says that "Wilhelm reigned but did not rule." He contends that real influence was in the hands of powerful elite groups who pulled the strings behind the scenes. This can for example be shown in 1909, 1911 and 1914 when the Foreign Office withheld important reports from the Kaiser. Wilhelm II was also known as the Reisekaiser (travelling emperor) which also strengthens the belief that some decisions were made without the emperor's notice. You can also see that the Kaiser lost interest in politics the further down his reign we go. ...read more.

Conclusion

His chancellors were also easy to control so that they did not get to much power of their own. Then something happened; Wilhelm II lost interest somehow and gave the new chancellor B�low more independence than the former chancellors. B�low was also allowed to sign reports that the Kaiser did not have time to look at which even more shows the fall of Wilhelm II as a personal ruler. The next chancellor was not even selected by the Kaiser; instead it was B�low who had put Bethmann's name forward as his successor. Therefore we can say that in the early period of the Wilhelmine age the Kaiser ruled Germany monocratically without letting anyone do anything without his knowledge. This changed and Wilhelm II gave more and more power to his chancellors and let them do a lot of the decision making. So while the chancellors were ruling Germany the Kaiser was on the royal yacht Hohenzollern on a cruise to the North Sea with the imperial flag fluttering in the breeze showing that the Emperor Wilhelm II was on board. ?? ?? ?? ?? 24/09-07 ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our International Baccalaureate History section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related International Baccalaureate History essays

  1. Thinking Through Qin Shihuang and His Empire. The emperor Qin Shihuang, also called the ...

    Zurcher presented all the evidence logically, which showed events from the birth of Qin Shi Huangdi to his death. Unfortunately, the author does not give any conclusion to his paper. So I feel like to suddenly paused, and does not impress me a lot.

  2. Why Germany Lost The War

    * Given the nature of trench warfare, the way in which Germany could be defeated was if their resources were depleted. This would eventually be the case. The Naval Blockade * The superiority of the British naval force meant that it would be a helpful asset in defeating the Germans.

  1. Just how much of an influence did English sailor William Adams have in increasing ...

    Making this step or leap of faith would have been a very dangerous, yet easy decision to make for Ieyasu. Knowing that the Sakoku policy limited interaction with foreigners, he would have realized that he had to grasp this opportunity.

  2. u.s. constitution

    had with Britain, they modeled their new government after the British Empire. 8. -1791- No excessive bail & fines or cruel & unusual punishment. a. Inspired by the English Bill of Rights, the United States' found fathers established that the punishment or fine shall fit the crime.

  1. Assessing the view that the outbreak of World War One was the responsibility of ...

    Kaiser Wilhelm proved to be a disastrous successor in sustaining Bismarck's alliances. This is where Germany's unification comes into play as it greatly influenced the Kaiser by means of his militaristic and nationalistic ideologies. When Kaiser Wilhelm II came to power leading up to the final ten years of the

  2. IB History HL, Extended Notes: Russia, the Tsars, the Provisional Govenment and the Revolution.

    Land belonged to the people now. 2. Lenin was flexible to the people?s needs. Satisfied peasants but they were still opposed to the idea of land belonging to the state. Industry 1. Worker?s Control Decree, factory committees had the right to control production and oversee management.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work