Frederick William II (German: Friedrich Wilhelm II; 25 September 1744 in Berlin –16 November 1797 in Potsdam) was the fourth King of Prussia, reigning from 1786 until his death. A subsidy treaty with the sea powers (Great Britain and the Netherlands, signed at The Hague, 19 April 1794) filled Prussia's coffers, but at the cost of a promise to supply 64,000 land troops to the coalition. [2] But an artistic temperament was hardly what was required of a king of Prussia on the eve of the French Revolution, and Frederick the Great, who had employed him in various services (notably in an abortive confidential mission to the court of Russia in 1780), openly expressed his misgivings as to the character of the prince and his surroundings. "[88] In another telegram to Hitler upon the fall of Paris a month later, Wilhelm stated "Congratulations, you have won using my troops." Bismarck, forced for the first time into a situation he could not use to his advantage, wrote a blistering letter of resignation, decrying Wilhelm's interference in foreign and domestic policy, which was published only after Bismarck's death.[18]. It is now widely recognised that the various spectacular acts which Wilhelm undertook in the international sphere were often partially encouraged by the German foreign policy elite. The Kaiser started his journey to the Ottoman Eyalets with Istanbul on 16 October 1898; then he went by yacht to Haifa on 25 October. (Preußen) wurde am 25. Historians have frequently stressed the role of Wilhelm's personality in shaping his reign. When Helmuth von Moltke (the younger) (who had chosen the old plan from 1905, made by General von Schlieffen for the possibility of German war on two fronts) told him that this was impossible, Wilhelm said: "Your uncle would have given me a different answer! But when this is no longer the case, it will be very different for you. During the ceremony, the four-year-old became restless. In 1880 Wilhelm became engaged to Augusta Victoria of Schleswig-Holstein, known as "Dona". Wie geplant wurde sein Neffe Friedrich Wilhelm sein Thronfolger, denn Friedrich hatte keine eigenen Kinder. [29] He had an especially bad relationship with his Uncle Bertie, the Prince of Wales (later King Edward VII). He builds legions, but he doesn't build a nation. [60], More recent British authors state that Wilhelm II really declared, "Ruthlessness and weakness will start the most terrifying war of the world, whose purpose is to destroy Germany. British public opinion had been quite favourable towards the Kaiser in his first twelve years on the throne, but it turned sour in the late 1890s. ISBN 9783866465619. On this document, I should never have given orders for mobilisation.[59]. The army had been their first care, and its efficiency had been maintained by their constant personal supervision. [73] Upon the conclusion of the Treaty of Versailles in early 1919, Article 227 expressly provided for the prosecution of Wilhelm "for a supreme offence against international morality and the sanctity of treaties", but the Dutch government refused to extradite him, despite appeals from the Allies. In May 1940, when Hitler invaded the Netherlands, Wilhelm declined an offer from Churchill of asylum in Britain, preferring to remain at Huis Doorn. Wilhelm enthusiastically promoted the arts and sciences, as well as public education and social welfare. His eighteen-year-old uncle Prince Alfred, charged with keeping an eye on him, told him to be quiet, but Wilhelm drew his dirk and threatened Alfred. [clarification needed][107]. [84] Wilhelm also stated, "For the first time, I am ashamed to be a German. However, Wilhelm II stopped any invasion of the Netherlands. With Bismarck's dismissal, the Russians now expected a reversal of policy in Berlin, so they quickly came to terms with France, beginning the process that by 1914 largely isolated Germany.[20]. He died at Neustrelitz and was succeeded by his only son who became Adolf Friedrich V. Wilhelm consented to the abdication only after Ludendorff's replacement, General Wilhelm Groener, had informed him that the officers and men of the army would march back in good order under Hindenburg's command, but would certainly not fight for Wilhelm's throne on the home front. However, he frequently undermined such progress by making threatening statements towards other countries and voicing xenophobic views without consulting his ministers. After visiting Jerusalem and Bethlehem, the Kaiser went back to Jaffa to embark to Beirut, where he took the train passing Aley and Zahlé to reach Damascus on 7 November. Upon losing the support of the military and his subjects, Wilhelm abdicated his throne and fled to exile in the Netherlands. One memorable quotation from the interview was, "You English are mad, mad, mad as March hares. Much of his time was spent chopping wood and thousands of trees were chopped down during his stay at Doorn.[81]. Frederick William was born in Berlin, the son of Prince Augustus William of Prussia (the second son of King Frederick William I of Prussia) and Duchess Luise of Brunswick-Wolfenbüttel. By Elisabeth Christine of Brunswick-Lüneburg: This page was last edited on 7 February 2021, at 07:57. Formal Organization of the Delegates in Berlin – Seeking a New Government Combination", "Labor's Cause in Europe – The Kaiser's Conference and the English Strike. Partly that was a deception by German officials. Bischoffswerder, too, still a simple major, was called into the king's counsels; by 1789 he was already an adjutant-general. Friedrich Wilhelm II. Friedrich Wilhelm II (King) of PRUSSIA (HOHENZOLLERN) Born: Berlin 1744 Died: 1797 Marmorpalais. Later, as he came into contact with the Crown Prince's political opponents, Wilhelm came to adopt more ambivalent feelings toward his father, perceiving the influence of Wilhelm's mother over a figure who should have been possessed of masculine independence and strength. ; 25 September 1744 – 16 November 1797) was King of Prussia from 1786 until his death. We must drive Juda out of England just as he has been chased out of the Continent. The following January, Wilhelm received a birthday greeting from a son of the late Prince Johann George Ludwig Ferdinand August Wilhelm of Schönaich-Carolath. A nation is created by families, a religion, traditions: it is made up out of the hearts of mothers, the wisdom of fathers, the joy and the exuberance of children ... For a few months I was inclined to believe in National Socialism. Furthermore, the young Emperor had come to the throne determined to rule as well as reign, unlike his grandfather. [109], On 2 December 1919, Wilhelm wrote to Field Marshal August von Mackensen, denouncing his own abdication as the "deepest, most disgusting shame ever perpetrated by a person in history, the Germans have done to themselves ... egged on and misled by the tribe of Judah ... Let no German ever forget this, nor rest until these parasites have been destroyed and exterminated from German soil! He also released his soldiers and officials in both Prussia and the empire from their oath of loyalty to him. [69][full citation needed]. September 1744 – 16. [11], In many ways, Wilhelm was a victim of his inheritance and of Otto von Bismarck's machinations. 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September 1744 geboren . Wilhelm's most contentious relationships were with his British relations. "[83], Wilhelm was also appalled at the Kristallnacht of 9–10 November 1938, saying "I have just made my views clear to Auwi [August Wilhelm, Wilhelm's fourth son] in the presence of his brothers. One of Wilhelm's diplomatic blunders sparked the Moroccan Crisis of 1905, when he made a spectacular visit to Tangier, in Morocco on 31 March 1905. Third, after 1950, later scholars have sought to transcend the passions of the early 20th century and attempted an objective portrayal of Wilhelm and his rule. Deutsch: Friedrich Wilhelm II. It is all the more outrageous that this crime has been committed by a nation that takes pride in its ancient culture. Bismarck, feeling pressured and unappreciated by the young Emperor and undermined by his ambitious advisors, refused to sign a proclamation regarding the protection of workers along with Wilhelm, as was required by the German Constitution. In truth, the constitution defined the empire as a confederation of states under the permanent presidency of Prussia. 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