Bismarck was the leading politician who created a new united German nation in 1871...a nation that became an economic powerhouse with a benevolent social policy. For example, he created safety nets such as the Sickness Insurance Law of 1883, the Accident Insurance Law of 1884, and the Old Age and Disability Insurance Law of 1889.… Continue reading Quality of life in the new German Empire compared favorably to America
Teutonic Knights have such a compelling history...their story has all the makings of a great mini-series. In its first 200 years, the Teutonic Order was invincible. Its heavy cavalry of ordained Catholic monks, clad in white surcoats with black crosses, numbered some 3000 men. They were the best in Europe and formed the core of… Continue reading Teutonic Knights and their descendants, the Baltic Germans, prospered for 700 years in north eastern Europe.
Frederick the Great was never the type of Monarch to flaunt his royal status...for example, he said a crown was merely a hat that let the rain in....and he never wore any royal regalia. What he did wear was a soldiers tunic and one decoration, the Order of the Black Eagle Breast Star. The motto… Continue reading Frederick wore a soldiers tunic and one decoration… the Order of the Black Eagle Breast Star.
In this famous image by Professor Wilhelm Camphausen, Bismarck is conversing with Napoleon III after the French Emperor was captured at the Battle of Sedan on September 2, 1870. Two months earlier, in July 1870, on the tenuous pretext of opposing a Hohenzollern appointment to the throne of Spain, the French Empire declared war on… Continue reading The quick German victory over France stunned neutral observers in 1870
This is an artist’s rendering of Breslau’s Old City Hall, from an early 20th century series of prints used by the Norddeutscher Lloyd (North German Lloyd) ship company, operating out of Bremen, Germany. The city of Breslau in Silesia has a long German history, but it is no longer part of Germany. It’s the same… Continue reading The city of Breslau in Silesia has a long German history, but it is no longer part of Germany
Most of us know about the famous Battle of Waterloo, commanded by the Duke of Wellington, who decisively defeated Napoleon 200 years ago. But, would it surprise you to know that German soldiers were actually the bulk of the forces that defeated Napoleon at Waterloo? Or that the Germans led by Prussia’s Gebhard von Blücher…… Continue reading At Waterloo, Napoleon was defeated by a combined force of 76,000 Germans, 25,000 British and 17,000 Dutch and Belgians.
Frederick the Great was a commander who repeatedly, even joyfully, risked everything on a single day's battle - his army, his kingdom, often his very life. At a battle near Berlin in 1759, he probably came closest to losing his life. The image shown here depicts that moment…it is an excerpt from a tapestry by… Continue reading At Kunersdorf near Berlin, Frederick the Great came close to losing his life
This map of Germany during the Second Reich, 1871 to 1918, shows Prussia at the height of its power. Prussian states are shown in green, all other German states are shown in yellow. It is interesting to see the map in this simple two color presentation because you don't lose the forest for the trees...Prussia… Continue reading The 1871 map of Germany shows Prussia at the height of its power
Prussian troops supporting Napoleon’s Grande Armée in Russia in 1812 General Yorck and his Prussian troops had been compelled to augment Napoleon’s Grande Armée during the ill-fated invasion of Russia in 1812. This kind of cooperation was mandated by the Treaty of Tilsit, signed five years earlier after Napoleon defeated Prussia and all of Germany… Continue reading Prussian General Ludwig Yorck activated the sought after crusade of German Liberation from Napoleonic France.
The question of who should lead a future united Germany, Prussia or Austria, was answered in 1866. In this first image, Prussian King Wilhelm is congratulating his son, Crown Prince Friedrich III, on the battlefield after their victory over the Austrian Empire. Prussia’s leadership was now assured but would mean the hoped for “Greater Germany”… Continue reading Should Austria or Prussia be the leader of Germany?