What is the history of Germany


German Empire (1871-1918)

In 1870 it came to Franco-German War. It was triggered by the question of who should occupy the free Spanish throne. It ended with the defeat of France, which had to give up part of Alsace and Lorraine.

In January 1871 the German states were finally united into one empire. For this Empire founding the Prussian Prime Minister Otto von Bismarck was particularly committed. The Prussian king, who had been on the throne since 1861, now became German emperor: Wilhelm I. Bismarck became the first Reich Chancellor.

The German Empire was a constitutional monarchy. There was a democratically elected parliament, the Reichstag. However, the real power lay with the emperor - and with his imperial chancellor. In its foreign policy endeavored Bismarck now a balance of European powers. Bismarck created new ones Social laws, but also fought against social democracy. The SPD, founded in 1875, grew stronger and stronger.

In 1888 Wilhelm I died. His successor Friedrich III. lived only a few months, so now Wilhelm II. came to the throne. That is why the year 1888 is also called that Three emperor year. In 1890 he dismissed the old Chancellor and began a different foreign policy. This was out to conquer. Wilhelm II built up a fleet of warships and began to acquire colonies - most of which, however, were already in the hands of Spain, England or the Netherlands.

In 1914 the First World War triggered by the assassination of the Austrian heir to the throne. Austria-Hungary therefore declared war on Serbia, and Germany joined the dual monarchy. Serbia was supported by Russia, Great Britain and France. The war lasted until 1918, in which millions of people died and were injured. As a loser in the war, Germany had to surrender its colonies and areas such as Alsace-Lorraine and pay high reparations under the Treaty of Versailles.