German Empire

GermanyGermanImperial GermanImperial GermanyGermansImperialEmpireGerman governmentSecond ReichEmpire of Germany
The German Empire (Deutsches Kaiserreich, officially Deutsches Reich), also known as Imperial Germany, was the German nation state that existed from the unification of Germany in 1871 until the abdication of Kaiser Wilhelm II in 1918.wikipedia
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Unification of Germany

unificationGerman unificationunified Germany
The German Empire (Deutsches Kaiserreich, officially Deutsches Reich), also known as Imperial Germany, was the German nation state that existed from the unification of Germany in 1871 until the abdication of Kaiser Wilhelm II in 1918.
Princes of the German states, excluding Austria, gathered there to proclaim William I of Prussia as German Emperor after the French capitulation in the Franco-Prussian War.

Constitution of the German Empire

constitutionImperial ConstitutionBismarckian Constitution
On 1 January 1871, the new constitution came into force that changed the name of the federal state and introduced the title of emperor for Wilhelm I, King of Prussia from the House of Hohenzollern.
The Constitution of the German Empire (Verfassung des Deutschen Reiches) was the basic law of the German Empire of 1871-1918, from 16 April 1871, coming into effect on 4 May 1871.

House of Hohenzollern

HohenzollernHohenzollernsHohenzollern dynasty
On 1 January 1871, the new constitution came into force that changed the name of the federal state and introduced the title of emperor for Wilhelm I, King of Prussia from the House of Hohenzollern.
The House of Hohenzollern is a German dynasty of former princes, electors, kings and emperors of Hohenzollern, Brandenburg, Prussia, the German Empire, and Romania.

German Reich

ReichGermanyGerman
The German Empire (Deutsches Kaiserreich, officially Deutsches Reich), also known as Imperial Germany, was the German nation state that existed from the unification of Germany in 1871 until the abdication of Kaiser Wilhelm II in 1918.
The word Kaiserreich is applied to denote an empire with an emperor; hence the German Empire of 1871–1918 is termed Deutsches Kaiserreich in standard works of reference.

Kingdom of Prussia

PrussiaPrussianPrussians
As these events occurred, the Prussian-led North German Confederation and its southern German allies were still engaged in the Franco-Prussian War.
It was the driving force behind the unification of Germany in 1871 and was the leading state of the German Empire until its dissolution in 1918.

Otto von Bismarck

BismarckChancellor BismarckPrince Otto von Bismarck
Berlin remained its capital, and Otto von Bismarck remained Chancellor, the head of government.
Later receiving the support of the independent South German states in the Confederation's defeat of France, he formed the German Empire in 1871, unifying Germany with himself as Imperial Chancellor, while retaining control of Prussia at the same time.

Berlin

Berlin, GermanyGerman capitalWest Berlin
Berlin remained its capital, and Otto von Bismarck remained Chancellor, the head of government.
First documented in the 13th century and situated at the crossing of two important historic trade routes, Berlin became the capital of the Margraviate of Brandenburg (1417–1701), the Kingdom of Prussia (1701–1918), the German Empire (1871–1918), the Weimar Republic (1919–1933), and the Third Reich (1933–1945).

German colonial empire

German colonyGerman coloniesGerman
Late in Bismarck's chancellorship and in spite of his personal opposition, Germany became involved in colonialism.
The German colonial empire (Deutsches Kolonialreich) constituted the overseas colonies, dependencies and territories of Imperial Germany.

Franco-Prussian War

War of 1870Franco-German WarFranco-Prussian
As these events occurred, the Prussian-led North German Confederation and its southern German allies were still engaged in the Franco-Prussian War.
The German states proclaimed their union as the German Empire under the Prussian king Wilhelm I, finally uniting Germany as a nation-state.

Imperial German Navy

GermanImperial NavyGerman Navy
In less than a decade, its navy became second only to Britain's Royal Navy.
The Imperial German Navy (Kaiserliche Marine, "Imperial Navy") was the navy created at the time of the formation of the German Empire.

North German Confederation

GermanyStateNorth German
As these events occurred, the Prussian-led North German Confederation and its southern German allies were still engaged in the Franco-Prussian War. It was founded in 1871 when the south German states, except for Austria, joined the North German Confederation.
On 1 January 1871, the country adopted a new constitution, which was written under the title of a new "German Confederation" but already gave it the name "German Empire" in the preamble and article 11. As the state system largely remained the same in the German Empire, the North German Confederation continues as the German nation state which still exists.

Proclamation of the German Empire

founding of the German EmpireImperial Proclamationconstitutional changes of 1870-71
It was founded in 1871 when the south German states, except for Austria, joined the North German Confederation.
On the same day, the new Constitution of the German Confederation came into force, thereby significantly extending the federal German lands to the newly created German Empire.

French colonial empire

FrenchFrench EmpireFrance
Claiming much of the leftover territory that was yet unclaimed in the Scramble for Africa, it managed to build the third-largest colonial empire after the British and the French ones.
Republicans, at first hostile to empire, only became supportive when Germany started to build their own colonial empire.

Scramble for Africa

Partition of AfricaEuropean colonizationin Africa
Claiming much of the leftover territory that was yet unclaimed in the Scramble for Africa, it managed to build the third-largest colonial empire after the British and the French ones.
During a time when Britain's balance of trade showed a growing deficit, with shrinking and increasingly protectionist continental markets due to the Long Depression (1873–96), Africa offered Britain, Germany, France, and other countries an open market that would garner them a trade surplus: a market that bought more from the colonial power than it sold overall.

British Empire

BritishEmpireBritain
Claiming much of the leftover territory that was yet unclaimed in the Scramble for Africa, it managed to build the third-largest colonial empire after the British and the French ones.
By the start of the 20th century, Germany and the United States had begun to challenge Britain's economic lead.

Triple Alliance (1882)

Triple AllianceTriple Alliance of 1882a defensive alliance
In 1879, the German Empire consolidated the Dual Alliance with Austria-Hungary, followed by the Triple Alliance with Italy in 1882.
The Triple Alliance was an agreement between Germany, Austria-Hungary, and Italy.

Austria-Hungary

Austro-HungarianAustro-Hungarian EmpireAustrian
In 1879, the German Empire consolidated the Dual Alliance with Austria-Hungary, followed by the Triple Alliance with Italy in 1882.
Austria-Hungary was geographically the second-largest country in Europe after the Russian Empire, at 621538 km2, and the third-most populous (after Russia and the German Empire).

Dual Alliance (1879)

Dual Alliancetheir allianceAlliance of 1879
In 1879, the German Empire consolidated the Dual Alliance with Austria-Hungary, followed by the Triple Alliance with Italy in 1882.
The Dual Alliance was a defensive alliance between Germany and Austria-Hungary, which was created by treaty on 7 October 1879 as part of Bismarck's system of alliances to prevent or limit war.

Ottoman–German alliance

alliance with Germanycloser to GermanyDetails
When the great crisis of 1914 arrived, Italy left the alliance and the Ottoman Empire formally allied with Germany.
The Ottoman–German Alliance was an alliance between the German Empire and the Ottoman Empire that was ratified on August 2, 1914, shortly following the outbreak of World War I.

Wilhelminism

WilhelmineWilhelmine PeriodEmpire
This period was marked by various factors influencing the Emperor's decisions, which were often perceived as contradictory or unpredictable by the public.
The Wilhelmine Period comprises the period of German history between 1890 and 1918, embracing the reign of Emperor Wilhelm II in the German Empire from the resignation of Chancellor Otto von Bismarck until the end of World War I and Wilhelm's abdication during the November Revolution.

Ottoman Empire

OttomanOttomansTurks
It also retained strong diplomatic ties to the Ottoman Empire.
The empire allied with Germany in the early 20th century, hoping to escape from the diplomatic isolation which had contributed to its recent territorial losses, and thus joined World War I on the side of the Central Powers.

Erich Ludendorff

LudendorffGeneral LudendorffGeneral Erich Ludendorff
The high command under Paul von Hindenburg and Erich Ludendorff increasingly controlled the country, but in October after the failed offensive in spring 1918, the German armies were in retreat, allies Austria-Hungary and the Ottoman Empire had collapsed, and Bulgaria had surrendered.
Erich Friedrich Wilhelm Ludendorff (9 April 1865 – 20 December 1937) was a German general, the victor of the Battle of Liège and the Battle of Tannenberg.

Oberste Heeresleitung

German High CommandSupreme Army CommandOHL
The high command under Paul von Hindenburg and Erich Ludendorff increasingly controlled the country, but in October after the failed offensive in spring 1918, the German armies were in retreat, allies Austria-Hungary and the Ottoman Empire had collapsed, and Bulgaria had surrendered.
The Oberste Heeresleitung (, Supreme Army Command or OHL) was the highest echelon of command of the army (Heer) of the German Empire.

Eastern Front (World War I)

Eastern FrontRussian FrontEastern
However, Imperial Germany had success on the Eastern Front; it occupied a large amount of territory to its east following the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk.
The Eastern Front or Eastern Theater of World War I (, Восточный фронт, Vostochnıy front) was a theatre of operations that encompassed at its greatest extent the entire frontier between the Russian Empire and Romania on one side and the Austro-Hungarian Empire, Bulgaria, the Ottoman Empire and the German Empire on the other.

Nazi Germany

GermanGermanyNazi
This left a postwar federal republic and a devastated and unsatisfied populace, which later led to the rise of Adolf Hitler and Nazism.
Nazi Germany is also known as the Third Reich, from German Drittes Reich, meaning "Third Realm" or "Third Empire", the first two being the Holy Roman Empire and the German Empire.