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The German Empire German : Deutsches Kaiserreichofficially Deutsches Reich[5] [6] [7] [8] also known as Imperial Germany[9] was the German nation state [10] that existed from the unification of Germany in until the abdication of Kaiser Wilhelm II in It was founded in when the south German criteria for dating men over 50, except for Austria, joined the North German Confederation.

On 1 Januarythe new constitution came into force that changed the name of the federal state and introduced the title dating sims for girls pc wallpapers full emperor for Wilhelm IKing of Prussia from the House of Hohenzollern.

The German Empire consisted of 26 states, most of them ruled by royal families. They included four kingdomssix grand duchiesfive duchies six beforeseven principalitiesthree free Hanseatic citiesand one imperial territory.

Although Prussia was one of several kingdoms in the realm, it contained about two thirds of Germany's population and territory. Prussian dominance had also been established constitutionally. Afterthe states of Germany had rapidly become industrializedwith particular strengths in coaliron and later steelchemicalsand railways.

InGermany had a population of 41 million people; bythis had increased to 68 million. A heavily rural collection of states inthe now united Germany became predominantly urban. Broad reforms, and grinder dating nz singles you up Kulturkampf marked his period in the office.

Late in Bismarck's chancellorship and in spite of his personal opposition, Germany became involved in colonialism. Claiming much of the leftover territory that was yet unclaimed in the Scramble for Africait managed to build the third-largest colonial empire after the British local dating henderson kyrie flytrap basketball the French ones.

Germany became a great powerboasting a rapidly developing rail network, the world's strongest army, and a fast-growing industrial base. In addition, Bismarck's successors were incapable of maintaining their predecessor's complex, shifting, and overlapping alliances which had kept Germany from being diplomatically isolated. This period was marked by various factors influencing the Emperor's decisions, which were often perceived as contradictory or unpredictable by the public.

It also retained strong delete older woman dating ties to the Ottoman Empire. When the great crisis of arrived, Italy left the alliance and the Ottoman Empire formally allied with Germany. The war on the Western Front became a stalemate. The Allied naval blockade caused severe shortages of food.

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 German declaration of unrestricted submarine warfare in early contributed to bringing the United States into the war. The high command under Paul von Black dating websites for successful mental health and Erich Ludendorff increasingly controlled the country, but in October after the failed offensive in springthe German armies were in retreatallies Austria-Hungary and the Ottoman Empire had collapsed, and Bulgaria had surrendered.

The Empire collapsed in the November Revolution with the abdications of its monarchs. This left a postwar federal republic and a devastated and unsatisfied populace, which later led to the rise of Adolf Hitler and Nazism. The German Confederation had been created by an act of the Congress of Vienna on 8 June as a result of the Napoleonic Warsafter being alluded to in Article how many people lie on online dating sites of the Treaty of Paris.

Bourgeois revolutions ofassociated with highly educated and middle class were crushed in favor of peasants, artisans and Otto von Bismarck's pragmatic Realpolitik. He envisioned a conservative, Prussian-dominated Germany. Three wars led to military successes and helped to persuade German people to do this: the Second Schleswig War against Denmark inthe Austro-Prussian War inand the Franco-Prussian War against France in — The German Confederation ended as a result texas council on family violence teen dating violence the Austro-Prussian War of between the constituent Confederation entities of the Austrian Empire and its allies on one side and the Kingdom of Prussia and its allies on the other.

The war resulted in the partial replacement of the Confederation in by a North German Confederationcomprising the 22 states north of the Main. The patriotic fervour generated by the Franco-Prussian War overwhelmed the remaining opposition to a unified Germany aside from Austria in the four states south of the Main and during November they joined the North German Confederation by treaty.

The second German Constitutionadopted by the Reichstag on 14 April and proclaimed by the Emperor on 16 April, [21] was substantially based upon Bismarck's North German Constitution. The political system remained the same. The empire had a parliament called the Reichstagwhich was elected by universal male suffrage.

However, the original constituencies drawn in were never redrawn to reflect the growth of urban areas. As a result, by the time of the great expansion of German cities in the s and s, rural areas were grossly over-represented.

Legislation also required the consent of the Bundesratthe federal council of deputies from the 27 states.

Executive power was vested in the emperor, or Kaiserwho was assisted by a Chancellor responsible only to him. The emperor was given extensive powers by the constitution.

He alone appointed and dismissed the chancellor so in practice the emperor ruled the empire through the chancellorwas supreme commander-in-chief of the armed forces, and final arbiter of all foreign affairs, and could also disband the Reichstag to call for new elections. Officially, the chancellor was a one-man cabinet and was responsible for the conduct of all state affairs; in practice, the State Secretaries bureaucratic top officials in charge of such fields as finance, war, foreign affairs, etc.

The Reichstag had the power to pass, amend, or reject bills and to initiate legislation. However, as mentioned above, in practice the real power was vested in the emperor, who exercised it through his chancellor. Although nominally a federal empire and league of equals, in practice, the empire was dominated by the largest and most powerful state, Prussia.

Prussia stretched across the northern two-thirds of the new Reich and contained three-fifths of its population. The imperial crown was hereditary in the ruling house of Prussia, the House of Hohenzollern. With the exception of — and —, the chancellor was always simultaneously the prime minister of Prussia. With 17 out of 58 votes in the BundesratBerlin needed only a few votes from the smaller states to exercise effective control.

The other states retained their own governments, but had only limited aspects of sovereignty. For example, both postage stamps and currency were issued for the empire as a whole. Coins through one mark were also minted in the name of the empire, while higher-valued pieces were issued by the states.

However, these larger gold and silver issues were virtually commemorative coins and had limited circulation. While the states issued their own decorations and some had their own armies, the military forces of the smaller ones were put under Prussian control. Those of the larger states, such as the Kingdoms of Bavaria and Saxony, were coordinated along Prussian principles and would in wartime be controlled by the federal government. The evolution of the German Empire is somewhat in line with parallel developments in Italy, which became a united nation-state a decade earlier.

Some key elements of the German Empire's authoritarian political structure were also the basis for conservative modernization in Imperial Japan under Meiji and the preservation of an authoritarian political structure under the tsars in the Russian Empire. One factor in the social anatomy of these governments was the retention of a very substantial share in political power by the landed elitethe Junkersresulting from the absence of a revolutionary breakthrough by the peasants in combination with urban areas.

Although authoritarian in many respects, the empire had some democratic features. Besides universal suffrage, it permitted the development of political parties.

In the process, he created a system with a serious flaw. There was a significant disparity between the Prussian and German electoral systems. As mentioned above, the king and with two exceptions the prime minister of Prussia were also the emperor and chancellor of the empire — meaning that the same rulers had to seek majorities from legislatures elected from completely different franchises. Universal suffrage was significantly diluted by gross over-representation of rural areas from the s onward.

By the turn of the century, the urban-rural population balance was completely reversed from ; more than two-thirds of the empire's people lived in cities and towns.

Bismarck's domestic policies played an important role in forging the authoritarian political culture of the Kaiserreich. Less preoccupied by continental power politics following unification inGermany's semi-parliamentary government carried out a relatively smooth economic and political revolution from above that pushed them along the way towards becoming the world's leading industrial power of the time.

Bismarck's "revolutionary conservatism" was a conservative state-building strategy designed to make ordinary Germans—not just the Junker elite—more loyal to throne and empire.

According to Kees van Kersbergen and Barbara Vis, his strategy was:. He created the modern welfare state in Germany in the s and enacted universal male suffrage in the new German Empire in Bismarck's post foreign policy was conservative and sought to preserve the balance of power in Europe. British historian Eric Hobsbawm concludes that he "remained undisputed world champion at the game of multilateral diplomatic chess for almost twenty years after[devoting] himself exclusively, and successfully, to maintaining peace between the powers".

Bismarck's chief concern was that France would plot revenge after its defeat in the Franco-Prussian War. As the French lacked the strength to defeat Germany by themselves, they sought an alliance with Russia, which would trap Germany between the two in a war as would ultimately happen in Bismarck wanted to prevent this at all costs and maintain friendly relations with the Russians, and thereby formed an alliance with them and Austria-Hungary, the Dreikaiserbund League of Three Emperors in The alliance was further cemented by a separate non-aggression pact with Russia called Reinsurance Treatywhich was signed in He once wrote that "the most brilliant victories would not avail against the Russian nation, because of its climate, its desert, and its frugality, and having but one frontier to defend", and because it would leave Germany with another bitter, resentful neighbour.

Meanwhile, the chancellor remained wary of any foreign policy developments that looked even remotely warlike. Inhe moved to stop an attempted sale of horses to France on the grounds that they might be used for cavalry and also ordered an investigation into large Russian purchases of medicine from a German chemical works.

Bismarck stubbornly refused to listen to Georg Herbert zu Munster ambassador to Francewho reported back that the French were not seeking a revanchist war, and in fact were desperate for peace at all costs. Bismarck and most of his contemporaries were conservative-minded and focused their foreign policy attention on Germany's neighbouring states.

Most of the money went to developing nations such as Russia that lacked the capital or technical knowledge to industrialize on their own. The construction of the Baghdad Railwayfinanced by German banks, was designed to eventually connect Germany with the Ottoman Empire and the Persian Gulfbut it also collided with British and Russian geopolitical interests. Many consider Bismarck's foreign policy as a coherent system and partly responsible for the preservation of Europe's stability.

For instance, Kaiser Wilhelm II, who dismissed the chancellor inlet the treaty with Russia lapse in favor of Germany's alliance with Austria, which finally led to a stronger coalition-building between Russia and France. Bismarck secured a number of German colonial possessions during the s in Africa and the Pacific, but he never considered an overseas colonial empire valuable due to fierce resistance to German colonial rule from the natives.

Thus, Germany's colonies remained badly undeveloped. Germans had dreamed of colonial imperialism since The largest colonial enterprises were in Africa, [32] where the Herero Wars in what is now Namibia in —07 resulted in the Herero and Namaqua Genocide [33]. ByGermany became the largest economy in Europe and the second largest in the world behind the United States.

Previously, the United Kingdom held that spot. Germany's main economic rivals were the United Kingdom and the United States. Throughout its existence, it experienced economic growth and modernization led by heavy industry. Init had a largely rural population of 41 million, while by this had increased to a predominantly urban population of 68 million. For 30 years, Germany struggled against Britain to be Europe's leading industrial power.

Representative of Germany's industry was the steel giant Kruppwhose first factory was built in Essen. Bythe factory alone became "A great city with its own streets, its own police force, fire department and traffic laws.

There are kilometres of rail, 60 different factory buildings, 8, machine tools, seven electrical stations, kilometres of underground cable and 46 overhead. Under Bismarck, Germany was a world innovator in building the welfare state.

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