→France is defeated in the Franco-Prussian War. Germany takes the French Alsace-Lorraine.
→ States united to form what is now known as modern day Germany, the unification of the Northern German confederation with southern kingdoms including Bavaria and Wurttemberg.
→ 18th January, German Empire is proclaimed in Versailles.
→ Wilhelm I, former King of Prussia, is the first Kaiser of the German Empire.
→ Formation of the Triple Alliance consisting of Germany, Austria-Hungary and Italy.
→ Kaiser Wilhelm I dies, is succeeded by his son, Fredrick, and then by his grandson Wilhelm II on 15th June.
→ June — Second German Naval Law introduced, a naval race with Great Britain has commenced.
→ October — Count Bernhard von Burlow becomes Chancellor, the fourth Chancellor under Wilhelm II’s reign.
→ 22nd January — Queen Victoria of Great Britain and the Empress of India, Wilhelm II’s Grandmother, dies.
→ December — Tariff Law introduced.
→ Sickness Insurance Law gives greater help to sick workers.
→ The French based an army on the Moroccan border, waiting for an opportunity to seize it as a colony.
→ Herero uprising begins in German South West Africa.
→ 8th April — The Entente Cordiale between Britain and France is signed.
→ February — France demanded control over the Moroccan army and police. The Sultan refused.
→ March — The First Moroccan Crisis. The Kaiser visited Tangiers in Morocco. He wanted free trade for Germany in Morocco. He then gave a speech in which he promised to defend Morocco as ‘free and independent’ and ‘subject to no foreign control.’ Both France and Germany threatened war against the other, but France was scared especially after their defeat in the Franco-Prussian War, but the British encouraged France to take a firm stance.
→ First Moroccan Crisis. A conference was held at the Algeciras to resolve the Moroccan issue. France, Britain and Russia forced Germany to promise to stay out of Morocco, Germany was left humiliated.
→ December — Parliamentary crisis leads to election.
→ January — Reichstag elections see Socialist SPD lose votes.
→ The Triple Entente, consisting of Britain, France and Russia is formed.
→ The Bosnian Crisis. Austria fully annexed Bosnia, which through the Treaty of Berlin (1878), the Austro-Hungarian Empire had the right to occupy and administer. Serbia had been hoping to get some land in Bosnia so they could have access to the Adriatic Sea. Serbia called up its army and demanded a coastal strip of Bosnia, Serbia was supported by Russia (Pan Slavism prompted this) which proposed a conference to resolve this issue. Austria-Hungary, Germany and Turkey deemed a conference unnecessary. There was an international crisis, Germany threatened war, Russia and Serbia were forced to back down and Serbia was forced to agree publicly to A-H’s annexation.
→ December — Law passed restricting hours of factory work.
→ July — Burlow resigns; Dr von Bethmann-Hollweg becomes Chancellor.
→ The Second Moroccan Crisis. The Kaiser wanted ‘a place in the Sun’. At the Algeciras, Germany promised to stay out of Morocco, but a French Foreign Legion went in Morocco. In 1910, France had made a huge loan to Morocco and took control of their taxes and customs.
→ March — There was a rebellion in Northern Morocco, the French sent an army to break it up, Germany was angry.
→ May — Reform of Alsace-Lorraine constitution.
→ June — Germany declared that they needed to protect German citizens in Southern Morocco (even though there were no German citizens in this region.)
→ July — The Kaiser sent the gunship Panther to Agadir and ‘rescued’ one German citizen. There was another international crisis; there was war fever in Britain and Germany. Lloyd George attacked Germany and promised support for France (‘The Mansion House speech’.)
→ November — Treaty of Berlin, Germany was forced to remove their gunship and accepted a small piece of land in the Congo. Morocco became a French colony. German resentment: Wilhelm II said: “these events have shown the German people where its enemy is.” One historian commented that ‘the Kaiser was determined not be the loser in the next crisis.’
→ January — Reichstag elections; SPD becomes the largest party.
→ The Balkans War 1912—13. The Turkish Empire was crumbling, a revolution in Turkey allowed Balkan states to declare war against Turkey. At the Treaty of London, the powers insist on the creation of Albania, denying Serbia a coastline. The rest of Turkey’s old lands are carved up by the winners. Bulgaria quarrels with Serbia over their spoils of war; both go to war and Serbia is victorious. Serbia feels bolder but still does not have a coastline. A-H fears Serbia’s power and so Germany underlined its commitment to A-H.
→ June — The Reichstag passes Army and Finance Bills increasing the size of the armed forces.
→ December — The Zabern Affair.
→ 28th June — Heir to the A-H throne, Franz Ferdinand is assassinated by Bosnian-Serbs in Sarajevo in newly annexed Bosnia. There was not initially an international crisis as the Kaiser was on holiday, but there was horror.
→ 28th July —A-H provoked the international crisis by sending Serbia an ultimatum, Serbia refused to accept and A-H declared war on Serbia.
→ 1st August — France and Russia mobilised their troops for war and Germany declared war on Russia, thinking they would be the stronger foe but would take longer mobilise, they took 10 days to mobilise.
→ 4th August — Britain declared war on Germany for violating Belgian neutrality.
→ 6th August — A-H declared war on Russia.