Utterly convinced of his right to rule, Wilhelm always overestimated his capacity for wise political judgment. His dismissal of Chancellor Bismarck in and ambitious aim to make Germany a world power served to disrupt the established balance of the European order. His obsession with the enlargement of the German Navy, pro-Boer stance during the Second Boer War and blustering claims for German colonial expansion just brought Britain and France closer together.
The boy was of an easy-going and pleasure-loving disposition, averse to sustained effort of any kind, and sensual by nature.
Although he had seven children by his second wife, he had an ongoing relationship with his mistress, Wilhelmine Enke created Countess Wilhelmine von Lichtenau ina woman of strong intellect and much ambition, and had five children by her—the first when she was still in her teens.
Wilhelmine von Lichtenau Frederick William, before the corpulence of his middle age, was a man of singularly handsome presence, not without mental qualities of a high order; he was devoted to the arts — Beethoven and Mozart enjoyed his patronage, and his private orchestra had a Europe-wide reputation.
He also was a talented cellist. For his part, Frederick William, who had never been properly introduced to diplomacy and the business of rulership, resented his uncle for not taking him seriously. This gave the new king much popularity with the masses; the educated classes were pleased by his removal of Frederick's ban on the German languagewith the admission of German writers to the Prussian Academyand by the active encouragement given to schools and universities.
Frederick William also terminated his predecessor's state monopolies for coffee and tobacco  and the sugar monopoly. Though not in name, he in fact became prime minister; in all internal affairs it was he who decided; and the fiscal and economic reforms of the new reign were the application of his theories.
On 18 December a new censorship law was issued to secure the orthodoxy of all published books. Moreover, people like Immanuel Kant were forbidden to speak in public on the topic of religion. Foreign policies[ edit ] The attitude of Frederick William II towards the army and foreign policy proved fateful for Prussia.
The army was the very foundation of the Prussian state, as both Frederick William I and Frederick the Great had fully realised. The army had been their first care, and its efficiency had been maintained by their constant personal supervision. It was the beginning of the process that ended in at the disastrous Battle of Jena.
Although the Prussian army reached its highest peacetime level of manpower under Frederick William IIinfantry and 48, cavalryunder his reign the Prussian state treasury incurred a substantial debt, and the quality of the troops' training deteriorated.
The Dutch campaign ofentered into for purely family reasons, was indeed successful, but Prussia received not even the cost of her intervention.
An attempt to intervene in the war of Russia and Austria against the Ottoman Empire failed to achieve its objective; Prussia did not succeed in obtaining any concessions of territory, and the dismissal of minister Hertzberg 5 July marked the final abandonment of the anti-Austrian tradition of Frederick the Great.
However the king's character and the confusion of the Prussian finances could not sustain effective action in this regard. A formal alliance was indeed signed on 7 Februaryand Frederick William took part personally in the campaigns of andbut the king was hampered by want of funds, and his counsels were distracted by the affairs of a deteriorating Polandwhich promised a richer booty than was likely to be gained by the anti-revolutionary crusade into France.
A subsidy treaty with the sea powers Great Britain and the Netherlands, signed at The Hague, 19 April filled Prussia's coffers, but at the cost of a promise to supply 64, land troops to the coalition.
The insurrection in Poland that followed the partition ofand the threat of unilateral intervention by Russia, drove Frederick William into the separate Treaty of Basel with the French Republic 5 Aprilwhich was regarded by the other great monarchies as a betrayal, and left Prussia morally isolated in the struggle between the monarchical principle and the new republican creed of the Revolution.
Although the land area of the Prussian state reached a new peak under his rule after the third partition of Poland inthe new territories included parts of Poland such as Warsaw that had virtually no German population, severely straining administrative resources due to various pro-Polish revolts.
Frederick William's first marriage, to Elisabeth Christine of Brunswick his first cousin had ended after four years during which both spouses had been unfaithful. In — he had a castle built for her on the Pfaueninsel. Moreover, he was involved in two more bigamist morganatic marriages: Other buildings constructed under his reign were the Marmorpalais in Potsdam and the world-famous Brandenburger Tor in Berlin.
He was succeeded by his son, Frederick William IIIwho had resented his father's lifestyle and acted swiftly to deal with what he considered the immoral state of the court.Early life. Born as Wilhelm Karl Florestan Gero Crescentius, Count of Württemberg, he was the elder son of Wilhelm, 1st Duke of Urach (the head of a morganatic branch of the Royal House of the Kingdom of Württemberg), and his second wife, Princess Florestine of Monaco, occasional Regent of Monaco and daughter of Florestan I, Prince of Monaco..
At the age of four, Wilhelm . Family: Wilhelm’s father was Frederick III, who was briefly the kaiser of Germany and king of Prussia (Wilhelm’s grandfather, Wilhelm I, ruled between January –March ). His mother was Victoria, the eldest daughter of British Queen Victoria.
Germany's last kaiser was born in Potsdam on January 27, , the son of Prince Frederick of Prussia and Princess Vicky, Queen Victoria's eldest child. Hegel: Social and Political Thought. Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel () is one of the greatest systematic thinkers in the history of Western philosophy.
Primary Sources Kaiser Wilhelm II. Wilhelm, the son of Prince Frederick Wilhelm of Prussia and Victoria, daughter of Queen Victoria, was born in Berlin in He received a strict military and academic education at the Kassel Gymnasium and the University of Bonn.
Wilhelm II with Nicholas II of Russia in , wearing the military uniforms of each other's army. German foreign policy under Wilhelm II was faced with a number of significant problems. Perhaps the most apparent was that Wilhelm was an impatient man, subjective in his reactions and affected strongly by sentiment and ashio-midori.com: Victoria, Princess Royal.