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German Empire

Wappen Deutsches Reich - Reichsadler 1889.svg
Flag of the German Empire.svg

The German Empire (German: Deutsches Kaiserreich, officially Deutsches Reich), was the German nation state that existed from the Unification of Germany in 1871 until the abdication of Kaiser Wilhelm II in 1918.

The German Empire consisted of 26 states, most of them ruled by noble families. They included four kingdoms, six grand duchies, five duchies (six before 1876), seven principalities, three free Hanseatic cities, and one imperial territory. Although Prussia was one of several kingdoms in the realm, it contained about two thirds of Germany's population and territory.

After 1850, the states of Germany had rapidly become industrialized, with particular strengths in coal, iron (and later steel), chemicals, and railways. In 1871, Germany had a population of 41 million people; by 1913, this had increased to 68 million. A heavily rural collection of states in 1815, the now united Germany became predominantly urban. During its 47 years of existence, the German Empire was an industrial, technological, and scientific giant, gaining more Nobel Prizes in science than any other country.

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Algeciras Conference

The Algeciras Conference of 1906 took place in Algeciras, Spain, and lasted from 16 January to 7 April. The purpose of the conference was to find a solution to the First Moroccan Crisis of 1905 between France and the German Empire, which arose as Germany attempted to prevent France from establishing a protectorate over Morocco in what was known as the Tangier Crisis.

Britain and France's Entente Cordiale of 1904 had defined diplomatic cooperation between them and recognized British authority over Egypt and French control in Morocco (with some Spanish concessions). Germany saw this development putting an end to the rivalry between Britain and France, which would further isolate Germany in European affairs.

On 31 March 1905, Kaiser Wilhelm II of Germany visited Morocco's capital, Tangier, and delivered a sabre-rattling speech calling for an international conference to ensure Morocco's independence. German diplomats believed they could convince U.S. President Theodore Roosevelt to challenge French intervention in Morocco. Roosevelt — at that time mediating the Russo-Japanese War, and aware of the U.S. Senate's stance to avoid involvement in European affairs — was disinclined to become involved in the Moroccan crisis. However, with the situation in June 1905 worsening to the point of war between Germany and France (and possibly Britain), in July Roosevelt persuaded the French to attend a January peace conference in Algeciras.

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Manfred von Richthofen

Manfred von Richthofen (2 May 1892 – 21 April 1918), also widely known as the Red Baron, was a German fighter pilot with the Imperial German Army Air Service (Luftstreitkräfte) during the First World War. He is considered the ace-of-aces of the war, being officially credited with 80 air combat victories.

Originally a cavalryman, Richthofen transferred to the Air Service in 1915, becoming one of the first members of Jasta 2 in 1916. He quickly distinguished himself as a fighter pilot, and during 1917 became leader of Jasta 11 and then the larger unit Jagdgeschwader 1 (better known as the "Flying Circus"). By 1918, he was regarded as a national hero in Germany, and respected and admired even by his enemies.

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Did you know?

Football at the 1912 Summer Olympics - German squad.jpg
  • ...that Pickelhauben were popular targets for Allied souvenir hunters during the early months of the war? The spiked helmet remained part of a clichéd mental picture of Imperial Germany as late as the inter-war period even after the actual headdress had ceased to be worn.

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Template:German Empire

States of the German Empire

Kingdoms

Grand Duchies

Duchies

Principalities

Free and Hanseatic Cities

Imperial Territories

Colonies of the German Empire

The German colonial empire (German: Deutsches Kolonialreich) constituted the overseas colonies, dependencies and territories of Imperial Germany. Short-lived attempts of colonization by individual German states had occurred in preceding centuries, but crucial colonial efforts only began in 1884 with the Scramble for Africa. Germany lost control when World War I began in 1914 and its colonies were seized by its enemies in the first weeks of the war. However some military units held out for a while longer: German South-West Africa surrendered in 1915, Kamerun in 1916 and German East Africa only in 1918 by end of the war. Germany's colonial empire was officially confiscated with the Treaty of Versailles after Germany's defeat in the war and the various units became League of Nations mandates under the supervision (but not ownership) of one of the victorious powers.

Proposed Coat of Arms New Guinea 1914.png Proposed Coat of Arms Samoa 1914.png Proposed Coat of Arms Southwest Africa 1914.png Proposed Coat of Arms Cameroon 1914.png Proposed Coat of Arms Togo 1914.png Proposed Coat of Arms East Africa 1914.png
German New Guinea German Samoa German South-West Africa Kamerun Togoland German East Africa

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