This article is about the emperors of the German Empire. For full list of German monarchs before 1871, see List of German monarchs.
The German Emperor
: Deutscher Kaiser
) was the official title of the Head of State
and ruler of the German Empire
, beginning with the proclamation of Wilhelm I
as emperor during the Franco-Prussian War
, on 18 January 1871 at the Palace of Versailles
, and ending with the official abdication of Wilhelm II
on 18 November 1918.
The title "German Emperor" was carefully chosen by Otto von Bismarck
after discussion until (and after) the day of the proclamation. Wilhelm I of Prussia accepted this title grudgingly as he would have preferred "Emperor of Germany" which was however, unacceptable to the federated monarchs, and would also have signalled a claim to lands outside of his reign (Austria
, Swiss Confederation
etc.). The title Emperor of the Germans
, as proposed in 1848, was ruled out as he considered himself chosen "By the Grace of God
", not by the people as in a democratic republic.
By this ceremony, the North German Confederation
) was transformed into the German Empire (Deutsches Kaiserreich
). This empire was a federal state
; the emperor was head of state and president
of the federated monarchs (the kings
, the grand dukes
, as well as other principalities, duchies and of the free cities
and... Read More