German Empire

GermanyGermanImperial GermanyImperial GermanGermansEmpire of GermanyImperialSecond ReichEmpireGerman government
The German Empire (Deutsches Kaiserreich, officially Deutsches Reich), also known the "Second Reich" or Imperial Germany, was the German nation state that existed from the unification of Germany in 1871 until the abdication of Emperor Wilhelm II in 1918.wikipedia
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Unification of Germany

German unificationunificationunified Germany
The German Empire (Deutsches Kaiserreich, officially Deutsches Reich), also known the "Second Reich" or Imperial Germany, was the German nation state that existed from the unification of Germany in 1871 until the abdication of Emperor 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
It was founded on 1 January 1871 when the south German states, except for Austria, joined the North German Confederation and the new constitution came into force changing the name of the federal state to the German Empire and introduced the title of German 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.

German Reich

GermanyReichDeutsches Reich
The German Empire (Deutsches Kaiserreich, officially Deutsches Reich), also known the "Second Reich" or Imperial Germany, was the German nation state that existed from the unification of Germany in 1871 until the abdication of Emperor 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.

House of Hohenzollern

HohenzollernHohenzollernsHohenzollern dynasty
It was founded on 1 January 1871 when the south German states, except for Austria, joined the North German Confederation and the new constitution came into force changing the name of the federal state to the German Empire and introduced the title of German Emperor for Wilhelm I, King of Prussia from the House of Hohenzollern.
The House of Hohenzollern (, also, ) is a German royal dynasty whose members were variously princes, electors, kings and emperors of Hohenzollern, Brandenburg, Prussia, the German Empire, and Romania.

Otto von Bismarck

BismarckChancellor BismarckPrince Bismarck
Berlin remained its capital, and Otto, Prince of Bismarck, Minister-President of Prussia became Chancellor, the head of government.
He was Minister President of Prussia (1862–1890) and Chancellor of the North German Confederation (1867–1871) then the German Empire (1871–1890).

Kingdom of Prussia

PrussiaPrussianPrussian court
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.

Berlin

Berlin, GermanyState of BerlinGerman capital
Berlin remained its capital, and Otto, Prince of Bismarck, Minister-President of Prussia became 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).

North German Confederation

North German FederationGermanyState
It was founded on 1 January 1871 when the south German states, except for Austria, joined the North German Confederation and the new constitution came into force changing the name of the federal state to the German Empire and introduced the title of German Emperor for Wilhelm I, King of Prussia from the House of Hohenzollern. As these events occurred, the Prussian-led North German Confederation and its southern German allies were still engaged in the Franco-Prussian War.
Although de jure a confederacy of equal states, the Confederation was de facto controlled and led by the largest and most powerful member, Prussia, which exercised its influence to bring about the formation of the German Empire.

German colonial empire

German colonyGermany's colonial empireGerman colonies
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

Franco-German WarWar of 1870Franco Prussian War
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 most of Germany as a nation-state (Austria was excluded).

Imperial German Navy

Kaiserliche MarineGerman Imperial NavyGerman
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.

Proclamation of the German Empire

founding of the German EmpireImperial Proclamationconstitutional changes of 1870-71
It was founded on 1 January 1871 when the south German states, except for Austria, joined the North German Confederation and the new constitution came into force changing the name of the federal state to the German Empire and introduced the title of German Emperor for Wilhelm I, King of Prussia from the House of Hohenzollern.
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.

Scramble for Africa

Partition of AfricaEuropean colonizationEuropean colonization of 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 at the time, 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.

Triple Alliance (1882)

Triple AllianceallianceTriple Alliance of 1882
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-Hungarian EmpireAustro-HungarianAustria–Hungary
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).

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 at the time, 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.

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 October 7th, 1879 as part of Bismarck's system of alliances to prevent or limit war.

Kingdom of Italy

ItalyItalianFascist Italy
In 1879, the German Empire consolidated the Dual Alliance with Austria-Hungary, followed by the Triple Alliance with Italy in 1882.
Italy entered into a Triple Alliance with Germany and Austria-Hungary in 1882, following strong disagreements with France about the respective colonial expansions.

Wilhelminism

WilhelmineWilhelmine PeriodWilhelmine Germany
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–German alliance

Ottoman-German Alliancealliance with Germanycloser to Germany
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.

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.

Ottoman Empire

OttomanOttomansTurks
It also retained strong diplomatic ties to the Ottoman Empire.
In the early 20th century the empire allied with Germany, 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.

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 (Ostfront, Восточный фронт, Vostochny front) was a theater 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

Third ReichGermanGermany
This left a postwar federal republic and a devastated and unsatisfied populace, faced with postwar reparation costs of nearly 270 billion dollars, all in all leading to the rise of Adolf Hitler and Nazism.
Nazi Germany is also known as the Third Reich (Drittes Reich), meaning "Third Realm" or "Third Empire", the first two being the Holy Roman Empire (800–1806) and the German Empire (1871–1918).