Kaiser Wilhelm II and German Supremacism

Before Hitler led Germany with a wave of nationalism, Kaiser Wilhelm II was the driving force of supremacism in the nation. As a military leader, he convinced the Prussian armies that they were destined for greatness. His main goal when speaking appeared to be that of impressing people, of swaying them to his beliefs. Kaiser Wilhelm II, much like Adolf Hitler, geared his political career toward influencing others towards excessive patriotism.

The need to impress people, to influence their way of thinking, and to convince them of Prussian greatness may have stemmed from a childhood of neglect and outright disdain. He suffered from a genetic imperfection that affected his left arm, and as a result the youth of Kaiser Wilhelm II was spent suffering harsh judgment from his own mother. He had a number of other personal issues affecting his emotional and mental instability. He appeared to be racist and xenophobic as well given his statements regarding England and France as “black.”

He personally led the military, taking responsibility for the appointment and promotion of officers. He also did this for the general governance of the nation by personally choosing the Reich Chancellor. Kaiser Wilhelm II effectively made it impossible for anyone to naysay by taking such control over the nation that anyone who spoke against him was practically committing suicide, the Express reports.

Not surprisingly given his convictions that Prussians were prone to greater things, he was a big supporter of engaging in war. He valued his military officials more than any other citizen under his rule. Military budgets were high, and any who opposed the military’s rule was often killed. Kaiser Wilhelm II made it very clear that under his regime, militarism was not to be questioned under any circumstances. Even before the onset of World War I, he had been looking for any excuse he could find to bring Germans onto the battlefield to prove their excellence to the world.

Kaier Wilhelm II was an unstable man to be certain, and was an incredibly war-driven one at that. Had a military state been necessary for any reason, he might have been a useful leader. As things were, he was more of a tyrant than anything else. He had a complicated history which led to complex personality issues, but in all plausibility Kaiser Wilhelm II might never have been one of the better leaders for Prussia to have lived under.

Ian Harvey

Ian Harvey is one of the authors writing for WAR HISTORY ONLINE