Emperor William I (namely William Frederick Louis of Prussia (Wilhelm Friedrich Ludwig von Preußen)) was the first German emperor. He came from the House of Hohenzollern and was Emperor of the German Empire from 1861 to 1871. For this, he first took up a military career, before he took on his first diplomatic tasks in the 1820s. He was considered a central figure in the history of the German Empire and continued to rule the German Empire until his death (although by then he was no longer emperor).
Thus, Kaiser Wilhelm I accompanied the Germany of that time through a period of many changes and transformations towards becoming a world power. He is also credited with playing a central role in consolidating the German nation as a political and military power. Like his successor – Emperor Frederick III – Emperor William I was considered a dazzling figure, fond of attention and pageantry. His Prussian origins were expressed accordingly in his penchant for exuberant military parades and through his glorification of the military itself.
The following article will therefore deal with the life and death of the first German emperor, Kaiser Wilhelm I, and provide some interesting information about him.
Significance of Emperor Wilhelm I for German History
Emperor Wilhelm I is considered to be of crucial importance in the history of the German Empire in the 19th century. His profound influence on politics and society led to sweeping changes and the initiation of the Industrial Revolution in Germany. Furthermore, Emperor Wilhelm I ensured the territorial expansion of the then German Empire by claiming colonies outside of Europe for the German Empire. Furthermore, his military style of leadership ensured the constant spread of Prussian culture to other parts of the country.
Emperor Wilhelm I laid the foundation for the rise of the German Empire to a world power and united the individual German nations in the course of the foundation of the German Empire in 1871. Thus, Emperor Wilhelm I is an extremely important historical figure whose influence shaped the further course of history both positively and negatively.
Place of death of Emperor Wilhelm I.
Emperor Wilhelm I died in Berlin, the capital of the German Empire at that time. Here he spent his last days in a Berlin hospital. During his reign, Emperor William I lived most of the time in the residence in the middle of the imperial capital. In the meantime, however, he repeatedly spent the night in various royal residences in the Kingdom of Prussia and in the Grand Duchy of Baden. The emperor loved to stay in different parts of Germany and enjoyed the free choice of his accommodations. Within his last months, however, this Berlin no longer left and spent these more or less in his Berlin residence. In his last days, however, he became bedridden and had to spend them in a Berlin hospital, where he was cared for by the doctors there until the end.
When did Emperor Wilhelm I die? Date of death
Death befell the then Emperor William I in the early morning hours of Thursday, March 9, 1888. On this date, Emperor William I died in the Old Palace in Berlin. The cause of death was declared to be cancer, which the emperor had been suffering from for a long time and had now succumbed to. A few days later – namely on March 16, 1888 – the dead Emperor Wilhelm I was buried in the Berlin Mausoleum in the Palace Park in Charlottenburg. At that time, tens of thousands of concerned Berliners and citizens of the German Reich came to the funeral service to pay their last respects to the deceased Emperor Wilhelm I. The funeral was attended by a large number of people.
Emperor Wilhelm I had spoken with Otto von Bismarck about the political situation of the German Empire during his last days. As early as March 4, Emperor Wilhelm I no longer appeared as usual for the changing of the guard in front of his palace. Even the advice of his daughter, the Grand Duchess Luise of Baden, to take it easy, was not heeded until the end. Only a few days later, the then Emperor Wilhelm I was dead. The time of death is given as March 9, 1888, at 8:22 am.
Reactions to the death of Emperor Wilhelm I
The death of the popular Emperor Wilhelm I was followed by a wave of mourning and respect – from all over the German Empire as well as from the international side. The entire population of Germany, as well as all political circles, reacted with regret and posthumously proclaimed him a symbol of the founding and unification of the German Empire. At the same time, his significant achievements during his reign were honored.
Accordingly, his funeral resembled a public ceremony attended by tens of thousands of people. Among them were high-ranking government representatives as well as well-known public figures of the time. Condolences were also offered by other European monarchs of the time. The funeral itself was also the subject of various national and international newspapers and magazines. With the death of Emperor William I, his successor, Emperor Frederick III, became the sole ruler of the German Empire.
Aftermath of the death of Emperor Wilhelm I
The reign of Emperor Wilhelm I was marked by stability, prosperity and prosperity of the German Empire. His death marked the end of an era often referred to in retrospect as the „Golden Age of the German Empire.“ With his successors, Emperor Frederick III and Emperor William II, political turmoil as well as military conflicts returned, inflicting severe instability on the German Empire of the time.
Also, after the death of Emperor William I, the decline of the German monarchy gradually occurred, which was expressed by the demands for political reforms as well as a strengthening of democratic structures. The desire was for closer ties between citizens and the government. Accordingly, the aftermath of the death of Kaiser Wilhelm I had a decisive impact on Germany’s transformation into a democratic state.
Conclusion on the Death of Emperor Wilhelm I
The death of Emperor Wilhelm I on March 9, 1888, is still a significant event in German history today, because it is also considered the inaugural end of the German monarchy. Emperor Wilhelm I led Germany through an exciting period in the middle of the 19th century and initiated the industrial revolution in Germany. His good relations with other, European monarchs as well as his determined leadership style are still admired today. Kaiser Wilhelm I is thus considered one of the most important German emperors of all time.