History: What was Kaiser Wilhelm really like?

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When was Kaiser Wilhelm born?
1859.
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Who was Wilhelm's mother and grandmother?
Mother: An English Princess. Grandmother: Queen Victoria.
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What was the Kaiser's relationship like with his parents?
Cold and unloving.
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Why did the Kaiser surround the palace with troops?
To stop his mother leaving, he suspected she would try to smuggle out his Father's will and other important papers.
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What disability was the Kaiser born with? What didn't this stop him doing?
A badly withered left arm. He was put through rigorous physical training at military school, and was obsessed with physical exercise throughout his life and proving his strength.
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What tragic event happened in 1888? How did this lead to Wilhelm becoming the Kaiser of Germany?
His Grandfather died, Then his father died of throat cancer after being in power for ninety days, so at the age of 29 Wilhelm became Kaiser.
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What five positive qualities did Wilhelm bring to the job?
He was intelligent, well-informed, wanted to make all decisions, had a dazzling personality and fascinated all the people he met.
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What two negative qualities did Wilhelm bring to the job?
He couldn't concentrate on any idea or project for long, and didn't want to look at the detailed information on which decisions should be based.
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What have psychologists suggested about Kaiser Wilhelm?
That he suffered some sort of brain damage at birth which made him unable to concentrate on detail.
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How did the Kaiser feel about his Grandfathers reign?
That he gave too much power to the ministers.
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What did the German Constitution give to the Kaiser? What did he intend to do with this?
They gave him great power, and he intended to use it.
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Why was the Kaiser considered rude?
He called the King of Italy 'the dwarf' and his queen a 'peasant girl' and 'daughter of cattle thief'
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What was the Kaiser fond of? And how did this make him come across as cruel?
Practical jokes, he would turn the studded rings on his fingers inwards to deliver an excruciating handshake.
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What did the Kaiser love?
Military parades. His happiest times were when he was riding at the head of his regiment impressing the crowds. His court was grand and he entertained spectacularly, sometimes throwing bizarre fancy dress parties.
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What did the Kaiser dislike? What did this lead to?
He didn't like people to disagree with him. He soon quarrelled with his Chancellor, Bismarck, who resigned in 1890. After that Wilhelm largely appointed ministers who would do what he wanted. If they didn't, he sacked them.
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Why were leaders of other countries concerned and alarmed by Wilhelm?
He was obsessed with the army and war, and it was also combined with unpredictability. To many, the Kaiser was puzzling and unreliable.
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The Kaiser was ambitious for Germany. What did he want?
He was keen to build up a strong army. He nearly always wore military dress and took an interest in all aspects of military tactics.
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Card 2

Front

Who was Wilhelm's mother and grandmother?

Back

Mother: An English Princess. Grandmother: Queen Victoria.

Card 3

Front

What was the Kaiser's relationship like with his parents?

Back

Preview of the front of card 3

Card 4

Front

Why did the Kaiser surround the palace with troops?

Back

Preview of the front of card 4

Card 5

Front

What disability was the Kaiser born with? What didn't this stop him doing?

Back

Preview of the front of card 5
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