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Kaiser Wilhelm II

Wilhelm II or William II (German: Friedrich Wilhelm Viktor Albert; 27 January 1859 – 4 June 1941) was the last German Emperor (Kaiser) and King of Prussia. He reigned from 15 June 1888 until his abdication on 9 November 1918 shortly before Germany's defeat in World War I.

The eldest grandchild of Queen Victoria, Wilhelm's first cousins included King George V of the United Kingdom and many princesses who, along with Wilhelm's sister Sophia, became European consorts. For most of his life before becoming emperor, he was second in line to succeed his grandfather Wilhelm I on the German and Prussian thrones after his father, Crown Prince Frederick. His grandfather and father both died in 1888, the Year of Three Emperors, making Wilhelm emperor and king. He dismissed the country's longtime chancellor, Otto von Bismarck, in 1890.

Upon consolidating power as emperor, Wilhelm launched Germany on a bellicose "New Course" to cement its status as a respected world power. However, he frequently undermined this aim by making tactless, alarming public statements without consulting his ministers. He also did much to alienate his country from the other Great Powers by initiating a massive build-up of the German Navy, challenging French control over Morocco, and backing the Austrian annexation of Bosnia in 1908. His turbulent reign ultimately culminated in his guarantee of military support to Austria-Hungary during the crisis of July 1914, resulting in the outbreak of World War I. A lax wartime leader, he left virtually all decision-making regarding military strategy and organisation of the war effort in the hands of the German General Staff. This broad delegation of authority gave rise to a de facto military dictatorship whose belligerent foreign policy led to the United States' entry into the war on 6 April 1917. After losing the support of the German military and his subjects in November 1918, Wilhelm abdicated and fled to exile in the Netherlands, where he died in 1941.

Birth and Death Data: Born January 27th, 1859 (Kronprinzenpalais), Died June 4th, 1941 (Huis Doorn)

Date Range of DAHR Recordings: 1903

Roles Represented in DAHR: composer

Recordings

Company Matrix No. Size First Recording Date Title Primary Performer Description Role Audio
Victor A-323 7-in. 8/20/1903 Song to Aegir Sousa's Band Band composer  
Victor B-323 10-in. 8/20/1903 Song to Aegir Sousa's Band Band composer  

Citation

Discography of American Historical Recordings, s.v. "Wilhelm, Kaiser, II," accessed July 25, 2021, https://adp.library.ucsb.edu/names/101935.

Wilhelm, Kaiser, II. (2021). In Discography of American Historical Recordings. Retrieved July 25, 2021, from https://adp.library.ucsb.edu/names/101935.

"Wilhelm, Kaiser, II." Discography of American Historical Recordings. UC Santa Barbara Library, 2021. Web. 25 July 2021.

DAHR Persistent Identifier

URI: https://adp.library.ucsb.edu/names/101935

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