Talk:German Empire

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Outdated stuff moved to Talk:German Empire/Archive 1. djmutex 17:14 5 Jul 2003 (UTC)


I think the article contains an error in saying that the Constitution required the Chancellor also to be Prime Minister of Prussia. This was not a constitutional requirement and there was a brief period when Bismarck gave up the Prussia job while remaining Chancellor. In practice, he found this didn't work well so he took the job again. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 14:11, 14 December 2007 (UTC)

Totally wrong!!!

the map is so wrong where the hell are the colonies —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 06:00, 17 June 2009 (UTC)

Another thing that is totally wrong about this is that the Industrial section of this article is plagiarized WORD FOR WORD from the BBC documentary THE GREAT WAR yet I dont see a citation. And by word for word I mean WORD FOR WORD —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs) at 23:05, 26 September 2009 (UTC)

  • Thank you so much for your valuable input. Rather than whine like a little girl about it, why don't you do something about it? Quityergreeting (talk) 21:13, 23 April 2012 (UTC)

Wilhelmine Germany

There is insufficient detail on Wilhelmine Germany and the changes after Bismarck retired.

Reordered information

I moved the long new text written by User:172 from History of Germany over here and cleaned up the first third of it, which had some unintentional duplications. 172, I hope I have not interfered with any of your plans. Besides, I reordered the text: it started out with Italy and Japan, which I moved down, since I figured someone interested in the German Empire would first need the facts and then interesting parallels. I hope I have not deleted any information, but only reordered it. djmutex 17:14 5 Jul 2003 (UTC)

Thank you for the excellent edits. Please feel free to suggest possible additional periods on which I could work, either collaborative with you or independently. 172

Needs sidebar

I wish some one would add a side bar to the german Empire on the right of the article. All of the modern countries in this encyclopedia has one. You need one with its flag, population, head of state, founding, map, and map of the country.

Terminology: "conservative"

The use of the word "conservative" in this article confused me, especially in the intro and the first section. There are at least half a dozen different meanings to the word...could it be disambiguated? Sometimes "conservative" means "political right", sometimes "political left", depending on the country, and that can be either social or fiscal. Sometimes it just means "frugal". -- Beland 05:37, 6 Apr 2005 (UTC)

It's especially confusing, and arguably inaccurate, since Bismarck established in Germany the world's first social-welfare state.--Solicitr (talk) 22:11, 5 November 2008 (UTC)

Duplicate info copied from German monarchy

The German Monarchy lasted from 1871 to 1918. The head of the german monarchy was called a Kaiser. After World War I there were attempts to transform the German Monarchy into a constitutional monarchy thus weakning the Kaisers powers. After the German Monarchy was abolished Wilhelm II went into exile,later he hoped that the Nazi's would revive the Monarchy but they didn't. Today there is not a big demand to the return of a German Monarchy.

~ Booyabazooka 18:29, 2 May 2005 (UTC)

Flag of the German Empire

I understood that there was another version of the Imperial flag. See here. That site says it's the war flag of the Empire. Does anyone know? Should this flag be included? Avalon 06:14, 11 October 2005 (UTC)

That one's most often known as the naval ensign. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 10:43, 26 December 2008 (UTC)

There are several war flags. Even the United Kingdom had a special flag for the army. I do not see any need to put also the "Reichskriegsflagge" on the page.

Besides in Germany the Nazi flag is forbiden and you could go to prison if you show the flag openly, so some neo-nazis run around with the old war flag as their symbol. Stone 19:15, 18 January 2006 (UTC)

The Reichkriegsflagge isn't a Nazi flag! It is a war flag of the Empire - there was an Emperor no Hitler. The Reichkriegsflagge of the Third Reich hasn't got an Iron Cross but a Hakenkreuz. The Reichkriegsflagge is only used by neo-Nazis because original Nazi-Symbols are forbidden. But because many neo-Nazis use the old flag it is forbidden to show it openly in some of the German states. Im sorry about my English. =)

I believe the correct term is "military flag" (at least in English), which of course is something of a euphenism, but a designation that indicates that this flag could be and was displayed even in peacetime in, for example, military installations, and on ships of the navy. (29jan2007) DAS IST NICHT GUT. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 17:32, 29 March 2011 (UTC)

First Empire

I wonder why nothing about the first Empire is told, taking into accountance that it is said, that the Kaiserreich is the second one. I believe the "Heiliges Römisches Reich Deutscher Nation" (Sacred Roman Empire of German Nation) should be mentioned in the text, although it was never more than a symbol and the emperor never achieved to have real power over the feudal nobility. Nevertheless, it is important to understand why a German Empire was so idealized, since it was something that many people wanted to feel as "important" as British landsmen but that German governments never wanted. It would have meant to lose power within a bigger state. For example, the first part of the German hymn (now forbidden) tells how important a unified and big Germany is and was written in a time when such Germany did not exist. The borders mentioned are the borders of the First Empire, idealized for showing the people that they belonged together and that German States should not be in war all the time. The Second Empire was of another nature, since most of Prussia (the most powerful state of the Empire) was not a part of the First one and since the capital (Parliament) of the First one (and German Federation) was more central, lying in Frankfurt a.M. Nbez 14:16, 4 November 2005 (UTC). N.M.B.R.

There are some errors in this statement, for once(and for all) the first part of the German hymn isn't forbidden(!) it just isn't sung by official opportunities. Second, the lines "Germnay, Germany above all/ Above all in the world" don't refer to world domination but that Germany should stand above all the german states which existed to that time and which opposed to the wish of the germans to unify. Certainly the wish to gain more strength compared to other nations wasn't excluded of this, but which nation doesn't at last partly wish to be "important"? More important(in my opinion) was that beyond the language and the culture, the Empire had been the only thing which symbolized the unity of the german peoplem thus making it still important when it was just an empty shell. Another point you are wrong is Prussia's role in the First empire. It was part of it, but some of its regions, roughtly that east of the Weichsel, weren't, this part can roughly be called region/federal state of Prussia and Posen. This region gave the state its name, but it isn't the state itself which had much more territory and inhabitants in the formal bounderies of the First Empire than it had outside. Frankfurt was the capital of the German Federation and a very important city in the First Empire, but it wasn't the capital, since this empire hadn't one in the sense of cities like London or Paris. Rather the place of the important institutions of the Empire changed often along with the change of rulers or dynasties, Wien, Frankfurt and Prag are just some names. Hardwing 10:02, 3 May 2007 (UTC)

Btw the correct term for the 1st empire is "Holy Roman Empire" not sacred. And the 1st verse of the National anthem isnt forbiiden. its just not sung because its considered revisionist. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 11:40, 12 October 2008 (UTC)

You are both wrong... the national anthem of Germany consists of only 1 verse since 1990. Before that, only the third verse was sung but none of them was ever forbidden.--MacX85 (talk) 14:53, 16 June 2009 (UTC)

Constituent Parts

I cannot do it but IMHO this article needs a (linked) list of the various constituent states.

Avalon 20:06, 20 November 2005 (UTC)

Decided to have a go myself. Avalon 22:47, 20 November 2005 (UTC)

World Map

If someone sould find a world map with Germany's posessions in Africa and Asia as well as in Europe that would be great. Cameron Nedland 02:10, 27 January 2006 (UTC)

I have made a map, but should it be put onto German colonial empire page? Stone 19:35, 29 January 2006 (UTC)

Sure.Cameron Nedland 16:42, 17 February 2006 (UTC)


  • First of all Poles didn't desire or "didn't mind to" to become Prussians.
  • Secondly Poles didn't want to "establish" their own state. They wanted to re-establish their own state that was taken in part by Prussia, and territories where they lived -Grand Duchy of Posen, Gdańsk area weren't Prussian lands that were invaded by Poles but former territories of Polish state. Going even further Poles didn't even want to re-establish their state at the time because the main population and lands were in Congress Poland, but demanded restoration of autonomy to Grand Duchy of Poznań which was a guarantee of Prussia(that was violated of course).
  • Thirdly the reason Poles were a problem for Germans was the desire to have an all German state and persecution of Poles and final abolishing of Grand Duchy of Posen. Writing that German couldn't count on loyalty of Poles is simply POV. Why should it count on loyalty of people who were persecuted, discriminated and their land taken by foreign country. This is as writing that Nazis couldn't count on loyalty of Poles in 1939.

--Molobo 12:24, 29 March 2006 (UTC)

What makes you so sure? "As far as Prussia was concerned, there were no special difficulties of integration with the Polish population. The old Prussia was no German nation-state and a Polish nationalism didn't exist at the beginning, either. Only parts of the aristocracy sought a restoration of the Polish state", reads a history book of mine. Sciurinæ 12:44, 29 March 2006 (UTC)

The same that didn't have info about Nazi atrocities or mass murder of Africans I gather ? --Molobo 12:46, 29 March 2006 (UTC)

Anyway mine reads : National rights were demanded and peasant issue settled. Thousands of peasants joined armed formations. --Molobo 12:48, 29 March 2006 (UTC)

So why should that one statement contradict the other? Did the French in the French revolution try to resist becoming Frenchman or could there have been different reasons? At least KMLA's website doesn't seem to think that the two statements are mutually exclusive or at least it indicates that there is some truth in the assertion that Poles on the whole didn't mind to become, to put it in your words, Prussianised. [1] Sciurinæ 01:47, 9 April 2006 (UTC)

The current version does seem problematic to me, and to present a somewhat odd view of the position of Poles within Prussia. I'm not sure how best to go about changing it - I'm not convined that Molobo wouldn't make it just as bad from the other direction. john k 15:52, 29 March 2006 (UTC)

True, for example the sentence "The German government could not count on the Polish-speaking citizens' loyalty anymore, many Poles defied assimilation." seems apologetic to me. The other version seems to me like an indictment. Sciurinæ 16:03, 29 March 2006 (UTC)
What to do, then? john k 16:12, 29 March 2006 (UTC)

I'd strongly suggest for all parties to cite sources. Also, if something is disputed, please don't remove the relavant tags from the article until the dispute is settled here.--Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus Talk 17:41, 29 March 2006 (UTC)

Can you explain the point of your referencing crusade? Do you accuse one of the parties of original research or what? Even a child knows that once can back up any piece of bullshit with "references", e.g., from Polish media as Molobo or from textbooks for adolescents as you do. So, what's the point? Also, please take a note that shameless campainging for more revert warriors to spread propaganda is not likely to earn you additional points. --Ghirla -трёп- 18:41, 29 March 2006 (UTC)

The point of Piotrus' "crusade" is (I assume) that citing sources increases the verifiability of the information in the article, and it can also help to resolve disputes. You can find more reasons in Wikipedia:Citing sources and Wikipedia:Verifiability. It may well be that source X says "red", and source Y says "blue", but even as an outsider I may be able to estimate the authority and credibility of the source X against the source Y. Austrian 21:29, 29 March 2006 (UTC)

The current version is false. Poles in 1848 didn't demand a state. In fact in Prussia Poles didn't pursue actions to establishing their own state largely as the territory and population was not enough to survive on its own, the main state attempts were made in Congress Poland. Polish population in Wielkopolska simply fought to have its rights(including those guaranteed in 1815 and violated later) honoured and preserved. --Molobo 07:59, 7 April 2006 (UTC)

I think the decision of the Frankfurt Parliament was, in the end, against the Poles. [2] The current version doesn't read that Poles demanded a state when they took to the streets at the beginning of the revolution. Correct me if I'm wrong but just like the parliament consisted of academics rather than representatives of the general public, the Polish academics or clergymen or whoever might have demanded their own state, while the Polish general public on the whole had no such demands. I'd almost forgotten the previous discussion with Molobo on talkGermanisation about the topic, at the time when Molobo started his constant portrayals of me as Holocaust denier. Back then I translated more parts of the history book. Here is the post. Sciurinæ 01:47, 9 April 2006 (UTC)

Constituent states of the empire

What was the word used in German to name a "constituent state" the current word is Länder. Was it Länder under the German Empire? --PBS 23:22, 17 April 2006 (UTC)

I believe it was Staat rather than Land. john k 02:17, 18 April 2006 (UTC)

I don't know, but FOTW, here refers to the Landesflagge of Wurtemburg before the Great War. Wouldn't that suggest that the units were Lander? Avalon 21:58, 21 April 2006 (UTC)

de:Deutsches Kaiserreich uses "Bundesstaat" as a general term and then specifies the type of principality each state was. Olessi 22:10, 21 April 2006 (UTC)

The 1871 constitution is a bit inconsistent here, it switches between "Bundesstaat" and simply "Staat" (but never "Land"). Which does not rule out the possibility that the individual states used a different nomer to refer to themselves; Bavaria, for instance, always referred to itself as a Kingdom (which it was), whereas Hamburg used (and still does so in present-day Germany) the style of Free and Hanseatic City. SchnitteUK (talk) 17:37, 23 December 2012 (UTC)

Rev talk

Ok, reasons for the revert: The article in the last version is not politicaly neutral. The German empirie was not more or less militaristic the other european countrys (for example Great Britain) in the age of imperialsim. Semi-democratic half feudal structures were typical for the most states of europe during that time. Prussia was in differnce to other european countrys very tolerant towards ethnical and rligious minoritys (very different to the third Reich). For example the school service was also held in miniority languages (french, polish, danish). Many persons in high positions in business and politics were jewish germans. There were some problems whith polnish nationalistic extremism in the province of Posen. But this was the problem with a small radical group of seperatits which tried to split of these province from Germany. Every state has the rihgt to defend its territorial integrity, and thats what the german reich did. Moderate polnish political parties were voted into the german Reichstag (parlament) during that time. The minority question was handeled peaceful. The province of posen was the only province with a non german mayority (in 1910: 55 % poles 45 % germans) in all other provimces was a clear german mayority (westprusia 70 %, silesia 82 %, elsass -lorraine 96 %,). the miniority question was generally not a big issue. This period of german history was a period of enormous economical growth and social reforms.--Golumbuss 14:45, 26 June 2006 (UTC)

Golumbuss, thanks for writing this. It explains your point of view well, but does not explain your edits. Shall we do it one at a time ? E.g. can you explain why have you removed the "Polish" from "former Polish lands in the east" ? It is important to mention that these land were formerly Polish, as it explains why they were Catholic. What is your problem with this ? --Lysytalk 15:33, 26 June 2006 (UTC)

Well the half of the population in German is catholic (in especially south and West but also in some central parts. The kulturkampf was mainly a power conflict inside germany (north versus south) and not a predomiantly german polnish conflict. For example in the Ermland in Eastprussia the population was from south german descend. The partly slavic masurian population south east from that area for example was predomantly protestant. The interpretation of the kulturkampf as a german-polnish conflict is a polnish nationalistic point of view. Which is typical for the communist history interpretation in poland. Another example take uppersilesia which was predomiantly catholic. Its was catholic because uppersilesia was part of austria during the end of the 30 years religious war inside germany in 1618- 1648. in Austria catholicisem was the state religion in 1648. So all inhabitants were automatically catholic otherwise they had to leave this area. These agreements were part of the westphalian peace agreement in 1648. So nearly all persons in uppersilesia were catholic besides thier nationality. they were german and polnish catholics in that area. the religion was not marking a clear dividing line between both nationalitys. --Golumbuss 18:12, 26 June 2006 (UTC)

Whether Kulturkampf was directed against Polish population or not is a matter of POV. German histriography predominantly believes it was not, while Polish claims it was. I'm not trying to say who was right, but where there are different points of view, both should be presented. Nevertheless, it is a fact that these were the previously Polish lands in the east, so why do you insist on removing/hiding this information ? --Lysytalk 19:05, 26 June 2006 (UTC)

Sorry only in the posen province was a 55 % polnish mayority in all others provinces were no Poles are just a miniority. (see census of 1910) For example 96,4 of the peole of Danzig were Germans thats a fact claming all these people were germainzed poles is stupid these people felt themselves as germans, thats what they marked in the census. That was thier right of self determination. Even if some were of slavic descent if they saw themselves as germans they are germans. That was thier free will. All other catogories claiming them as poles because thier slavic descend are to a certain point rassist. the free will of people makes the point. sorry --Golumbuss 08:21, 27 June 2006 (UTC)

This is not true. My grandparents were from Bromberg (now Bydgoszcz), and they had to speak German until the end of WW2. They and the other Poles there felt Polish but would speak Polish at home only and use German outside because of the discrimination. Of course in schools and even in kindergarten they could use only German. Your theories about self-determinatin are nice but the reality looked different there. Then, then Bromberg came to Poland after WW1, they were considered kind of German by the other Poles from the east. --Lysytalk 12:42, 27 June 2006 (UTC)

Hi lysy Well I didn´t said that there were no Poles for example in Bromberg. If you talk about your grandparents they must be very old if they went to school during the Kaiserreich (before 1918). I assume they tsalk about the Nazi time (Bromberg belonged only during that time to Westprussia). I have no doubt about the suppression of poles during the nazi time. But Bromberg belonged in the Kaiserreich (before 1918) to the province of Posen. In this province there was a polnish mayority (55 %). Thats a fact. But another fact was that prussia was relatifly tolerant. opposit to how poland treated the german minority (during the era of the dictator Pilsudski and under communist rule). I mean in Germany today are living many people of poles descent especially in the Ruhr area which moved during the Kaiserreich there. It was a economically prosperous time. I dont think that the mayority in these areas desired to live in poland. If you see the results of all areas were a vote (controlled by an international comission) was held if the people want to stay in Germany or became polnish in 1920 poland lost, also in areas with a polnish regional mayority (see uppersilesia (70 % for germany), also south masuria (97 % for germany). If all theses people would have been so hardly suppressed why have they voted for Germany?.--Golumbuss 16:18, 27 June 2006 (UTC)

No, I meant during the Kaiserreich exactly, not the Nazi time (they moved to Warsaw after WW1). As for Masuria, as far s I know the Masurs would strongly support Germany in the beginning of 20th century, and Nazi party was very popular there during 1930s, probably more supported than in any other part of Germany. It would be interesting to have more information on mistreatment of Germans by Pilsudski, that you mentioned. --Lysytalk 21:33, 27 June 2006 (UTC)

Well as far as i know around one to two million Germans were forced to leave (mostly not violent) by varioues discriminations (includung expropriation) the province of Posen and Westprussia between 1918 and 1939. In eastern uppersilesia there were violent expulsions (in lower numbers) carried out by ultra- nationalistic groups (Korfanty- group) before and after they Poland lost the referendum about the territorial status of the region. --Golumbuss 09:33, 28 June 2006 (UTC)

You have also removed the explanation of why Catholics were perceived by Bismarck as a threat to unification. Why were they a threat (and why have you removed the explanation ?) --Lysytalk 19:07, 26 June 2006 (UTC)
Claiming that Kulturkampf was aimed at Poles is ridiculous, that isolated view does not deserve to be mentioned in more that half a sentence in English Wikipedia, if at all. A few over-eager Poles and their edit-warfare had prevented not only this article from been written properly. Prussia had to fight many wars against Catholic states during its history, and as late as 1866, a war was fought against Austria, Bavaria etc. In 1870, France hoped that the catholic states would fight again against Prussia. In 1871, the Empire was politically united as a federation of kingdoms etc., it but it was not yet united internally, which Bismarck wanted to do in the same style as externally, with Prussia as undisputed leader. As a response, Bavaria actively promoted its identity, and still remains "different" nowadays as a "free state". --Matthead 23:30, 26 June 2006 (UTC)


I agree with a point raised earlier in this discussion, that a nation-info sidebar should be added. There is one for austria-hungary, one for the russian empire, even one for nazi germany, as well as one for every current nation. I think one should be added to this article. -Alex, 00:08, 27 July 2006 (UTC).

The sidebar for German hisotry needs to be moved for the article's layout to be smoother, but I don't know how to move the template. Where it is right now is indented too far to the left and interferes with text/image spacing. Could someone please fix (or let me know how and I will). Thanks! - IstvanWolf 12:09, 14 January 2007 (UTC)

Germany's golden age?

Hey, I've never seen this term explicitly used (or even suggested), but it strikes me that this period was probably Germany's golden age. I mean, think about it: it was probably the strongest state in the world on land (and was challenging the UK at sea), it had decisive political influence and ambitions, its economy propelled most of Europe, it was mostly unified and at peace (except for the whole Kulturkampf thing, maybe), scientists like Planck, Otto, and Einstein were thriving and making Germany an intellectual centre, and while the Kaiser and the elite kept Germany firmly rooted in its past, it was joining the modern age with its strong industry, liberal political groups, and so on. I know the Nazi Empire was stronger and the 1700s more productive on an artistic/cultural level, but doesn't the German Empire seem like the closest thing Germany had to a Golden Age?

I'm bringing this up because it might be worth mentioning in the article. Has anyone seen this in a book? Brutannica 01:00, 8 September 2006 (UTC)

Ha! No, I haven't forgotten about this. It seems another article about this time period (Grunderzeit) specifically refers to this era as Germany's Golden Age, citing much the same rationale. Despite my lack of expertise in the subject, I'll be bold and post something about this on the article within the next few days. Hopefully then it'll attract some attention. Brutannica 18:12, 30 March 2007 (UTC)

Golden Age could be confusing, since we have the Term "Goldene 20er" (lit. Golden Twenties) meaning Roaring Twenties. "Gründerzeit is justed often. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 11:44, 12 October 2008 (UTC)

I believe that this era is called the Gilded Age, not the Golden Age. Germany was prosperous and powerful but culture suffered. Nietsche's criticisms of Germany were mainly aimed at the staleness of this era. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 08:30, 17 March 2010 (UTC)

New Navbox

I just added population and area data from the German site. Next, I was thinking of making a navbox for all the states, similar to the Weimar Republic one - I'll put it together when i get time (a day or so). —- 52 Pickup 17:46, 14 September 2006 (UTC)

Done - Template:States of the German Empire52 Pickup 07:35, 15 September 2006 (UTC)

New Infobox

After putting up the nation infobox a few days ago, I have developed a template to replace it: Template:Infobox Historical State. It is based on Template:Infobox Country but has been modified for use with now-extinct states. At the moment I am also working on a similar template for extinct provinces.

Feedback would be greatly appreciated. — 52 Pickup 15:51, 19 September 2006 (UTC)

Well done! Great work. —Nightstallion (?) 09:03, 26 September 2006 (UTC)

Treaty of Versailles link

I'm not much of a history buff, but the link titled "Treaty of Versailles" in one of the articles takes you to the treaty that ended the first world war. The article, however, says the "Treaty of Versailles in 1871." Are there 2 Treaties of Versailles? And did the wrong one get linked to? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 2006-11-26T04:00:30

Good catch! Yes, it was a link to the wrong treaty. I have added a new stub article on the correct treaty, altered the link to point to it, added some disambiguation notes and altered the disambiguation article (Treaty of Versailles (disambiguation) accordingly.--Boson 11:05, 26 November 2006 (UTC)

Spelling -ise / -ize

I see that the article contains a mixture of spelling variants (British mixed with US) and sometimes they get changed. Can we agree on one version?
It is my impression (but only that) that more words are and were spelled with "-ise", which would favour standardizing on "-ise".
The article is about a European subject, which would favour the European spelling. The most common European (i.e. British) spelling is probably "-ise".

Personally, while otherwise using British spelling throughout, I would prefer to use "-ize" because this is the standard US spelling and is also recommended by significant British publishers, notably the British Oxford University Press (including the Oxford English Dictionary), but this applies to all Wikipedia articles, and I accept that opinions differ on what British spelling to use.
As I see it, leaving a mixture is unacceptable; so should we standardize on "-ize" or "-ise"?--Boson 00:39, 27 December 2006 (UTC)

I am in favour of ize.--Boson 00:39, 27 December 2006 (UTC)

I am in favour of -ise and other British English spellings. Charles 01:04, 27 December 2006 (UTC)

I am in favour of ise for the reasons set out in the first three paragraphs above. Avalon 02:33, 28 December 2006 (UTC)

After Bismarck

Looking at the fact, that the period of time the first paragraph talks about is approximately 24 years long, longer than the time Bismarck was in charge, I doubt whether it is said enough about this period. My English is relatively bad, so I won’t do it myself. But here are some important issues:

The militarism the article talks about as implemented by the emperor was a social phenomenon, about which later (Weimar) politicians said, that it was one reason for WW I. Because of this all Germans were guilty for forcing the war and had to accept their responsibility. In the article it looks like the population didn’t support the militarism. It was just the other war around. Bismarck’s policy of a “satuierter Staat” (satisfied Country) was not strongly supported by the Germans.
Also the sentence “Ein Platz an der Sonne” (a place at the Sun) should be mentioned. It stands for the German demand for colonies.
Also Wilhelm II’s fleet policy should be mentioned. The german fleet was heavily expanded, which made the British Empire look at Germany anxiously. “Politik der freien Hand”)
Also some of Wilhelm II’s unpredictable and foolish acts (for example during the second morocco-crisis (“Panthersprung nach Agadir”) or as he wrote the “Krüger Depesche” to congratulate Paul Kruger for fighting down a riot of British settlers, which was forced by the British government) should be placed here.
Also a link to the Fashoda-crisis and its solution and the Entente Cordiale or the Triple Entente should be amended, as they were referred as a surrounding of Germany by enemies (“Umringt von Feinden”).
Another matter is, that it is not clear whether Bismarck himself would have been able to keep up his system of treaties for a longer period of time, because of it’s complexity. Some historians believe, that this system had to lead to a new European war, it only was the question, when.

I hope that an English-speaking person will read this and will take him- or herself some time to think of the things I tried to point out. Indeed it is necessary, as the history part of the Germany article is let’s say … short. They are not even mentioning the Rhine Confederation.

Mit freundlichem Gruße Unwillig zur Registration 02:04, 3 January 2007 (UTC)


Added all the Chancellors, but the last couple don't show on list. Is there a limit to how many can be entered? GrahamBould 14:10, 18 January 2007 (UTC)

Yes, there is a limit of 5. It is not intended to list every single office holder (that is better left to the article itself). When there are more than 5, it is standard to give just the first and last. - 52 Pickup 10:54, 8 February 2007 (UTC)


Does the Area listed apply to its overseas territories, as well?

No: see [3] - 52 Pickup 07:27, 4 April 2007 (UTC)

Thanks. Josh 04:42, 8 April 2007 (UTC)

ready for GA-examination?

This article looks pretty close to being ready for GA-status. Perhaps the only things that might be needed are some citations and some formatting issues. What do you think? - 52 Pickup 07:12, 4 April 2007 (UTC)

After looking at what is necessary for GA-status, the article needs to be properly cited. For starters, there are a number of texts in the "Litereature" section, but none actually cited. So that is probably a good place to start. Does anyone actually have access to these references? - 52 Pickup 21:03, 25 April 2007 (UTC)

Merge/Delete: States of the German Empire

The article States of the German Empire is given in this article in the German Empire#Constituent states of the empire section as a "main article:" link but contains no extra information. The German interwiki link for this particular article is simply the same German subsection of this article (de:Deutsches Kaiserreich#Gliederung des Deutschen Reiches).

Therefore, I propose that this minor article be merged into this one and this section cleaned up. - 52 Pickup 08:41, 4 April 2007 (UTC)

No objections. Olessi 18:32, 17 April 2007 (UTC)
Done - 52 Pickup 21:01, 25 April 2007 (UTC)

"Protestant empire"

As there is some dispute over the inclusion of this paragraph, I have moved it to the talk page.

Germany in the Hohenzollern period was the only true Protestant (Evangelical) empire in history. The Indian Empire had its own religious traditions when under Anglican (Catholic-Reformed fusion) rulers who held dominion over a collective of nations (commonly called the British Empire) that were not empires or composing an official empire but also happened to be Protestant.

Although not formally an empire, the Swedish Empire was an expansionary Protestant state as well. I am not sure how relevant the paragraph is for this article, at least for the introduction. Olessi 18:32, 17 April 2007 (UTC)

Calling Sweden an "empire" is like calling Portugal an "empire". Having power, monopolies and colonies does not make an empire. Kings of Sweden and Portugal, for example, have never been "emperors". The Hohenzollern dynasty was the only Protestant imperial family in history--as tied to a Protestant state. The British Empire was analogous to the Swedish or Portuguese Empires, in denoting a collective mass of power and domination. The Indian Empire, though held by the Protestant British Royal Family, was Hindu. It is therefore worthy of note that Germany was the only Protestant empire in history, while there have been numerous Catholic and Orthodox empires that we shall go without naming due to widespread familiarity. I'm sorry if you (or User:The Enlightened) don't like "odd" facts about the constitutional nature of imperial states, but we deserve to know the full and essential character of such important polities. Your (or User:The Enlightened) confusion as to the relevance of religion in the sphere of government, has no place and is revisionist. We all know that the Evangelical Lutheran Church was extremely important to Germany at one time. Your (or User:The Enlightened) objection comes from a secular, post-modern perspective and is unnecessary argument. It may go without saying that Germany was officially Protestant, but overstating the obvious only works with the right audience. There are multitudes of people who know nothing of Germany whatsoever. We have a duty to let them know the attitudes and convictions of Germany. User:Neustriano 14:18, 20 April 2007 (UTC)

While Protestants did outnumber Catholics roughly 2 to 1 (which can be mentioned in the article), the Kaiserreich was a secular state (Martin Kitchen's A History Of Modern Germany 1800-2000). Bismarck did not start the Kulturkampf because of pro-Protestant / anti-Catholic views, but because the Prussian government was worried that the Catholics would look to Rome and not the Prussian state. Many of the Liberals (such as Virchow) who supported the Kulturkampf hoped that a Bismarck victory would free the schools from any religious control, be it Protestant or Catholic (Erich Eyck's Bismarck and the German Empire). An attempt to turn the empire into an officially Protestant country would have been opposed by the south and the west. Could you please cite your sources attesting to the German Empire being a Protestant empire? Olessi 20:37, 24 April 2007 (UTC)

The "Indian empire" was only one part of a larger "British empire". Your claim that Germany was the only protestant empire in history is highly dubious as it depends on your specific idea of what it means (a) for an empire to be "protestant" and (b) on what constitutes an empire. To come up with our own definitions for this is original research, which is prohibited in wikipedia. For a start, even before India was conquered by the British, the area of rule of the British government was much more of an empire than that of the German reich - and it was undoubtedly protestant. The Enlightened 17:33, 29 April 2007 (UTC)

POV in article

Although Imperial Germany had authoritarianism, under Bismarck and especially in its final four years of its existence, the article speaks of the state's negative "legacy" and how it connects to Nazi Germany. It focuses on the elitist power structure which the nation had and ignores many key facts at hand outside of that which show that the state was no clear predacessor to Nazi Germany, for instance Walther Rathenau, a Jewish German, was one of Imperial Germany's key statesmen, and even tutored Kaiser Wilhelm II. Rathenau worked hard to avoid the eruption of the First World War and spoke of the need for an economically-integrated Europe to compete with the United States and avoid war, a policy later adopted to create the European Union. The article says nothing about the international importance of the German education system, science and intellectuals in the imperial era which had large impact on the world. The article lacks information on reforms made after Bismarck and has little about the influence of Kaiser Wilhelm II. This article is vague and a clear understanding of Imperial Germany is not able to be seen in this article.

I have also just noticed that this article mentions the German Empire's similarities to Italy and Japan's development, noting their authoritarian structures. It seems to be portraying the three nations' "destiny" to land into totalitarianism. Certainly the German Empire was authoritarian and committed atrocities of its own, but the links between Nazi Germany and the German Empire have themselves been exaggerated by the Nazis to show historical lineage, even though the German Empire had a number of ideological and governmental differences. I suppose the mentioning of Italy is appropriate, since the early German state did have ties with it and it developed in the same time period with the help of Germany's main predacessor, Prussia. But comparing Imperial Germany to Imperial Japan is out of place for this article and is distracting, Imperial Japan had been long established unlike Germany and Italy. With the mentioning of Imperial Japan, one could easily add a dozen more similar nations in history with similar governments to Imperial Germany. User:R-41
This article definitely needs some work. Your concerns about the link to Italy and Japan also hold for the Unification of Germany article. - 52 Pickup 11:30, 24 July 2007 (UTC)
The modernized Japan which engaged in the Second World War had only come into existence in 1868, around the same time as Germany and Italy. Obviously Japan was one country before that, but its governmental system bore no relation to that which it developed after the Meiji Restoration. john k 21:16, 24 July 2007 (UTC)
Like I said, there are other countries aside from Italy and Japan which adopted governmental systems similar to that of Germany. For instance Tsarist Russia copied Imperial Germany's Reichstag (then more of an advisory body than a real parliament) to create some of the first Russian parliaments, or Dumas, in which real power was retained by the executive branch. Also, one could argue about Napoleon-era French influences on Germany's political system. My only concern is that if too much emphasis is put on the similarities of only Italy and Japan to Imperial Germany in this article, then this article will start to portray what I would call a "predicted history" and perhaps a degree of historical revisionism, in which it gives the image that Germany, Italy, and Japan appeared "destined" to become totalitarian fascist states.User:R-41
There was a strong tendency towards parliamentarism in Germany before 1914. In 1912 elections, the (more or less) democratic parties (spd, catholics, progressive party) gained 63.5% of the votes, and their majority in the Reichstag was impossible to be ignored furthermore by the gouvernment. Political reforms seemed to be only a question of time. Those tendencies were interrupted/disturbed/”poisened” by WWI and the harsh treaty of Versailles. Those events and the resulting economical chaos could well be instrumentalised for propaganda issues by the authoritative right wing opposition during the Weimar period (Stab-in-the-back legend etc.). That’s why Germany’s democratic development (after having triumphed in 1918/19!) failed in 1930. But, if WWI had not taken place, Germany probably would have been a parliamentarian monarchy in 1920. So it was no destiny becoming Nazi dictatorship.
Sorry for my bad English. -- (talk) 17:11, 21 December 2007 (UTC)

hair color

A user from German wikipedia gave me a link to a map of German hair color during Imperial Germany. I thought someone might be able to incorporate it into the article. --Ghostexorcist 22:30, 8 September 2007 (UTC)

There is no trace of a hair colour image over there now. Varlaam (talk) 18:41, 17 July 2011 (UTC)

State list

In the state list, why are the principalities listed below the duchies? Last time I checked, a prince was above dukes and grand dukes. Emperor001 17:36, 24 October 2007 (UTC)

I have answered your question at Talk:German nobility#Confused and Talk:Pretender#German thrones. It varies within different systems (for instance, within Germany it is usually definite but may vary between certain countries like German and France, where a prince is higher but is generally only a noble title, not a ruling one). For territories though, it is almost just a case of "that's the way it is". Charles 17:55, 24 October 2007 (UTC)

Another issue: In the list of successor states, should Denmark not be listed? As the northern part of the province of Schleswig-Holstein was reunited with Denmark as a result of the German Empire's defeat. On the other hand, the actual reunification did not take place after the establishment of the Weimar Republic, but it was dealt with at Versailles. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 23:41, 10 April 2008 (UTC)

When listing predecessor or successor states, it is preferred to only give states that did not exist while the state discussed in the article. That is, Denmark already existed during the time of the German Empire, the Weimar Republic did not. To list absolutely everything would make the box far too big and smaller changes like the gains made by Denmark belong at a lower level: see Province of Schleswig-Holstein, where the changes are given. That said, some of the currently-shown predecessor states (e.g. Kingdom of Bavaria) should not be given as predecessor states since they continued to exist until 1918, albeit now as member states of the German Empire. 52 Pickup (deal) 11:27, 11 April 2008 (UTC)

German or Prussian?

In 1876, would it have been more common to refer to Königsberg as a German city or a Prussian city? I realize it was technically both, but we're trying to decide how to properly refer to the city over in the Emma Goldman article. One editor wants to refer to it as "the Prussian capital of Königsberg" while another perfers just "Königsberg, Germany". Which is the better choice? Please reply here. Thanks! Kaldari (talk) 16:53, 1 April 2008 (UTC)

Prussian capital? That was Berlin. Koenigsberg was the capital of the province of Eastern Prussia. Although you can say both. Depending what you want the emphasis. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 11:54, 12 October 2008 (UTC)

Please give your opinion about Proposal II which will define Central Europe

Give your support or opposition at the Central Europe talk page, since we are looking for a single definition for it. It's very important.⇨ EconomistBR ⇦ Talk 04:31, 24 April 2008 (UTC)

Thank you all that participated and gave their opinion on Proposal II.

Proposal II was approved, 13 editors supported it and 5 editors opposed it. Proposal II is now in effect and it redefined Central Europe. ⇨ EconomistBR ⇦ Talk 23:48, 29 April 2008 (UTC)

Article size

This rather large article could be shortened further by moving more detailed content to German colonial empire and History of Germany during World War I, for those feeling ambitious. Olessi (talk) 20:57, 9 June 2008 (UTC)

National/linguistic minorities

The article doesn't discuss the problem separately, only later in Germanization section.Xx236 (talk) 10:37, 12 December 2008 (UTC)

Indeed the article needs demographics chapter and ethnic map of the German Empire.--Molobo (talk) 17:50, 25 December 2008 (UTC)

Yiddish seems oddly missing from this language list. Was that counted as a German dialect here? (talk) 13:37, 20 March 2010 (UTC)

What is the basis for the apparent assertion that in Great Britain at this time a smaller proportion of the population spoke the dominant national tongue as their first language than in the German Empire? This really doesn't seem credible given the small populations of Scotland, Ireland and Wales compared to England and the even smaller number in each nation speaking a Celtic languag; surely English was the first language for well over 95% of Britons? Erwfaethlon (talk) 16:03, 27 September 2010 (UTC)

furthest extent of the empire

at what point was the empire at it's greatest size, and do we have a map of it? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 21:34, 1 April 2009 (UTC)

* 1.1 Germany emerges as an industrial power

This is TAKEN WORD FOR WORD from a BBC documentary THE GREAT WAR. I mean WORD FOR WORD. I don't know if that is relevant but shouldn't it be cited? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs) 23:05, 26 September 2009 (UTC)

The title of this article is WRONG

"Empire" is a bad translation of Reich. With that translation, the UK by itself (England, Scotland, Wales, Cornwall, Ulster) should be called the British Empire, and we don't call it that. France (Frankreich in German) by itself also would be an empire with this use of the word. Empire for us connotes the same as the German word Weltreich, not the same as Reich. The correct title of this article should be The Second German Reich. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs) 11:16, 27 February 2010 (UTC)

Furthermore, the term Deutsches Reich continued to be used even in the Weimar period. You can see postage stamps from the Weimar period online with Friedrich Ebert's face and the words "deutsches Reich" on them.

The fact that Germany was still self-described as a Reich even when by all accounts there was no "German Empire" is a proof that "empire" is not the correct translation of Reich. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 18:49, 4 March 2010 (UTC)

Please see Deutsches Kaiserreich, the German Wikipedia equivalent of this article. "Empire" is the accepted translation for "Kaiserreich". XXX antiuser eh? 18:54, 4 March 2010 (UTC)

Kaiserreich is not the same word as Reich. Kaiserreich is probably best translated as kingdom. The UK is a Kaiserreich. The German word Weltreich connotes what we normally mean by empire in contemporary English.

You can prove to yourself that Reich does not mean empire by looking at my explanation in the history part of the article. You can find postage stamps from the Weimar Period and into the 1930s that still say "Deutsches Reich" on them, and Germany certainly had no empire at that time. Look:

How much more OBVIOUS can this be? Nobody can make it any more obvious than it is. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 19:03, 4 March 2010 (UTC)

It is not obvious at all, and it is a blatant violation of WP:NOR. Scholarly consensus seems to indicate that the term "German Empire" is most appropriate. We need reliable sources, not stamp collecting theories to justify a change like this. Uncle Dick (talk)

There is no "theory" and no "original research" being introduced here, DICK. It is a document from Wikipedia itself, an image of a postage stamp from the Weimar period bearing the visage of Chancellor Friedrich Ebert and the words "Deutsches Reich."

This conclusively proves to anybody with eyes and a brain that the term Deutsches Reich was also applied to post-imperial Germany. This directly contradicts one claim in the first paragraph, that the term Deutsches Reich ceased to be used in 1918, and is conclusive proof that Deutsches Reich does not mean "German Empire," since Germany after 1918 had no empire and no emperor.

Use that gray matter between your ears just a little bit, please. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 22:55, 6 March 2010 (UTC)

In German the German Empire should definitely be translated with Deutsches Kaiserreich. But Kaiserlich Deutsches Reich doesn't even exist. Apart from that, it is important that is the 2nd German Empire. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 11:20, 18 August 2010 (UTC)

Although this discussion may be stale, I'd like to revive the question. In the English language what we are calling the German Empire was just called Germany. When I was a boy we studied the unification of Germany and Italy--not the creation of the German Empire or Italian Empire. Most of discussion above is about the proper translation of German usage. However, Wikipedia rules state that this is an English wikipedia and common English terms should be used. I check several history books written over a period of 70 years and they just refer to Germany during this period as Germany. Can we re-open this discussion? Jason from nyc (talk) 14:34, 31 March 2012 (UTC)

the English terms "empire", "emperor," and "imperial" are standard among recent scholars. See for example 1) Berghahn, "Structure and Agency in Wilhelmine Germany: The history of the German Empire, Past, present and Future," (2003) the best source on the historiography; 2) Blanke, Prussian Poland in the German Empire (1981); 3) Cecil, Wilhelm II: Prince and Emperor, 1859–1900 (1989); 4) Mommsen, Imperial Germany 1867–1918 (1995); 5) Reagin, "Recent Work on German National Identity: Regional? Imperial? Gendered? Imaginary?" Central European History 2004; 6) Stürmer, The German Empire, 1870–1918 (2000); 6) Wehler, The German Empire, 1871–1918 (1985) Rjensen (talk) 05:14, 5 April 2012 (UTC)
Thanks, Rjensen. I see it is now common usage. I found a few more books using that term. I still find it jarring but it is indeed now acceptable usage in English. Jason from nyc (talk) 12:57, 5 April 2012 (UTC)

Merger proposal

The following discussion is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section. A summary of the conclusions reached follows.
Per this discussion, German monarchy is redirected to German Empire. There is no prejudice against creation of an article on the institution of the monarchy at German monarchy. Cnilep (talk) 14:39, 13 September 2010 (UTC)

I propose to merge German monarchy into German Empire due to overlapping content. (talk) 00:33, 9 April 2010 (UTC)

I agree. All facts in German monarchy already exist in German Empire. We only need to delete German monarchy and to establish a redirect to German Empire. Ufim (talk) 15:45, 12 April 2010 (UTC)
I disagree. Compare with: Monarchy of the United Kingdom and United Kingdom. Seryo93 (talk) 10:06, 22 June 2010 (UTC)
  • 1. The article Monarchy of the United Kingdom is about the monarchical power in UK. The current content of German monarchy is about German Empire (1970-1918), its greatest rivals, its monarchy and so on.
  • 2. There is only one monarchy in the UK. Contrary to this, there were many German monarchies in various times: Kingdom of the East Franks, Holy Roman Empire of the German Nation, Prussia, Kingdom of Hanover, German Empire, Bavaria and so on. So why the German Empire is better than other?
  • 3. Monarchy in the UK exists now. There is no monarchy in modern Germany. Ufim (talk) 13:58, 5 July 2010 (UTC)
German monarchy is an awful article. I do think that one could, conceivably, write a good article about the institution of the monarchy in the German Empire from 1871-1918. It should be redirected without prejudice to the future creation of a useful article. john k (talk) 18:07, 6 July 2010 (UTC)
I agree with John. Don't forget that {{Germany-royal-stub}} and other related templates link to German monarchy, which —in addition to describing the imperial monarchy— lists the constituent monarchies within the empire. I would like to see that page remain independent until some editor finds the time to describe royalty and the style of government as it was in pre-republican Germany. As it is now, the page is useful as a basic redirect page for links to monarchies in Germany. Night w (talk) 06:12, 10 July 2010 (UTC)

The above discussion is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section.

Possible Bias

In the section: Bismarck's founding of the empire, the author makes the judgment that "rural areas are over-represented." When government representation is based on population alone, less-densely populated areas never have a voice in government, because they always outvoted. This is the reasoning behind the House of the Senate in the United States. Each state elects two senators, regardless of population. Canada, in contrast, has no elected senate, and consequently the less-densely populated areas like the West and the North have had no real voice in Government for generations.Landroo (talk) 14:05, 16 May 2010 (UTC)

That there might be legitimate reasons to overrepresent rural areas does not mean that what is going on is not over-representation. john k (talk) 18:06, 6 July 2010 (UTC)

ALL the german historians call the German Empire '2.Deutsches Kaiserreich'. Kaiserreich is also OK, but Kaiserlich Deutsches Reich is completely wrong. Greetings from Germany ( (talk) 10:55, 12 August 2010 (UTC))

Germany pronounced as "HE" & others as "SHE"?

hey, Is it true that germany is called as "HE" and all other countries are called "SHE"? — Preceding unsigned comment added by Hannibal.neer (talkcontribs) 09:57, 7 February 2011 (UTC)

No. The German words 'Deutschland' and 'Vaterland' are both neuter, so they get pronouned as 'it'. The United States is plural in German so it gets pronouned as 'they'. France, 'Frankreich' is also 'it'. Ekwos (talk) 07:43, 15 February 2011 (UTC)
In German, "Land" and "Reich" are both neuter. (Amateur World War II historians will remember that the SS panzer division was Das Reich. Neuter.) In German grammar, the gender of the base noun sets the gender of the compound noun.
So, "Motherland", if it were German, would be neuter, because "Land" is a neuter noun.
Varlaam (talk) 18:38, 17 July 2011 (UTC)
I think the question refers more to the somewhat outdated custom of referring to countries in the feminine form in English (as in "France and her colonies" or phrases like that). Having said that, I've never heard of Germany being in any way special in this respect. SchnitteUK (talk) 17:34, 23 December 2012 (UTC)
I know this is a stale thread, but Germany is indeed referred to as a male, whereas it is customary to refer to a country as feminine in the English language. Vaterland cant very well be "neuter" when translated into English as the word is literally "Fatherland". All other nations refer to themselves as the Motherland. These words, no matter how they are treated for purposes of conjugation in their native tongues, are gender specific in English. (talk) 20:00, 21 August 2014 (UTC)
But you still say "Germany and her allies" (in diplomatic language) or "Germany and its allies". Dulce et decorum est pro patria mori. --Boson (talk) 23:38, 21 August 2014 (UTC)

German as first language

I have to take exception to the following statement from the article:

Because of the multicultural and multilingual history of Central Europe, the population of the German Empire consisted of people with different mother tongues. However 92.5% of the population had German as their first language,...

Standard German (which is the language being referred to) is still learned as a second language by many Germans with a local Germanic dialect being their first language. These can be rather different than Standard German. I imagine at the time of the German Empire rather more Germans were in this position. Ekwos (talk) 07:47, 15 February 2011 (UTC)

That is all true.
However that is not widely known in the English-speaking world. I, for example, studied German for 4 years in the 1970s and won the German Language Contest for my city. The contest was sponsored by the Goethe-Institut.
My teacher, a refugee from East Berlin, never mentioned this linguistic issue. Neither did my textbook, or our educational films ("Listen, and you will understand German") made in West Germany, or the student magazine we received, published in West Germany. The magazine had articles about Turks in West Germany, not regional dialects.
So, in the specific context of this article, this subtlety is too subtle. It is a case of splitting hairs.
The sentence quoted above is concerned with ethnic minority groups, and not with people who consider themselves to belong to the Deutsches Volk, whether they come from Silesia or Baden.
Varlaam (talk) 18:28, 17 July 2011 (UTC)

Dialects are still part of the standard language if they don´ t have an own grammar like e.g. Plattdeutsch. (talk) 21:47, 7 February 2012 (UTC)

Suggestion from Denmark

[this was added by anon, who probably can read Danish better than the rest of us in en.Wikipedia -- the English version; the Danish article seems unaware of the English language literature. Rjensen (talk) 05:18, 13 April 2011 (UTC)


"the unhindered completion of her Cape to Cairo pursuits"
Yes, Britain and Germany conflict here over Tanganyika and a transcontinental railway line.
But unhindered? No.
Britain had already come to blows with France in 1898 at the Fashoda Incident in the Sudan over France's plan for a transcontinental rail line running horizontally out of Dakar.
Varlaam (talk) 18:11, 17 July 2011 (UTC)

Constituent States of the Empire

The text in this section states that there were 27 constituent states which comprised the German Empire. However, only 26 states are listed in the (very nice) table. Which figure is correct? (And, if in fact 27 is the correct number, then the table will need to be modified by adding the 'missing' state to it, and placed in the appropriate category, i.e. duchies, principalities, etc). Gaussgauss (talk) 18:12, 23 July 2011 (UTC)

Sonderweg section violates NPOV - it is focused on presenting the German Empire as creating Nazi Germany

As said in the headline, the Sonderweg section is biased. There are many historians who dispute the Sonderweg claims.--R-41 (talk) 22:24, 28 April 2012 (UTC)

Wiki's NPOV rules require representation of all major positions -- and the position supporting Sonderweg comprises many leading scholars. R-41 should add equally reputable scholars who oppose it, letting readers see the debate themselves. the "bias" rules apply to editors, not to the RS (Reliable Sources.) Rjensen (talk) 23:58, 28 April 2012 (UTC)

Nobel Prize sentence needs revision

The wording of the following sentence suggests that the German Empire has existed for only 47 years, i.e., since 1965.

During its 47 years of existence, the German Empire operated as an industrial, technological and scientific giant, receiving more Nobel Prizes in science than Britain, France, Russia and the United States combined.

Also, the graph on the cited page doesn't clearly indicate (to me) that Germany has received more prizes than the other countries "combined," nor does the article accompanying the graph. While this fact may be true, I wasn't easily able to verify it.Wikem (talk) 10:39, 8 December 2012 (UTC)

Infobox - dispute

At the bottom the infobox (the right hand sidebar that contains country data etc) is a note regarding the use of the word Reich. I propose DELETING this note.

The note refers to a Harper's New Monthly Magazine article in Volume 0063 Issue 376 (September 1881) called: "The German Empire" [pp. 591-603] by Professor Herbert Tuttle (full text at Cornell University digital archive here). The page number given for the matter the note refers to is correct but the summary given of what professor Tuttle wrote is unhelpful.

The point prof. Tuttle made in his article revolved around his particular definitions for the use of the term "empire" in:- the German language in respect of a particular timeframe; as opposed to in the English language and over a different timeframe. However, notwithstanding its accuracy, the point is such a fine and complex one that its inclusion by way of a brief footnote in an infobox creates a misleading impression.

I propose its deletion
1) because the linguistic distinctions being made are academic and moot,
2) because the point itself is debatable - consider, for example, the use of the word "Reich" in:- Großdeutsches Reich or "The Third Reich"; and in Heiliges Römisches Reich or "Holy Roman Empire" (the term adopted from 1157 under the rule of Frederick I for the first German Empire 962–1806), and previously known simply as the Heiliges Reich or "Holy Empire", and
3) because imo these matters are highly pertinent to the article and should be included within the body of the article where the above matters can be addressed in a NPOV manner.

LookingGlass (talk) 14:24, 15 December 2012 (UTC)

I agree. The infobox is for a summary of salient facts and figures, not for a discussion of arcane linguistic points.--Boson (talk) 16:26, 15 December 2012 (UTC)


What is this supposed to mean?

"there was a row file level of mutual distrust"

Peter Flass (talk) 20:31, 18 January 2013 (UTC)

It was inserted by this edit.--Boson (talk) 20:57, 18 January 2013 (UTC)
it was my typo so I fixed it. (to "high level of mutual distrust") Rjensen (talk) 21:00, 18 January 2013 (UTC)

Removed meaningless statement that American civil war was 1st example of total war.

See article on Total War, as linked to immediately prior to removed statement.1812ahill (talk) 20:57, 25 January 2013 (UTC)

please delete or edit the following hyperbolic sentence from the lede. The source does not support anything other than the number of nobel prizes, which proves nothing more than that the prize committee gave prizes to citizens.... (nobel prizes are not awarded to countries) "During its 47 years of existence, the German Empire operated as an industrial, technological and scientific giant, receiving more Nobel Prizes in science than Britain, France, Russia and the United States combined.[10]"

Not done: {{edit semi-protected}} is not required for edits to semi-protected, unprotected pages, or pending changes protected pages. RudolfRed (talk) 17:42, 17 March 2013 (UTC)

Date of the end of the German Empire?

Is this edit correct? it changed the date of the end of the German Empire from 18 to 28. Can we check it to make sure it's not vandalism? Χρυσάνθη Λυκούση (talk) 01:39, 26 March 2014 (UTC)

Wilhelm abdicated AS EMPEROR on Nov 9. He abdicated as king of Prussia on Nov 28 (but the kingdon was already defunct, he only had a title left). see for details The American Year Book: A Record of Events and Progress. 1919. p. 153.  Rjensen (talk) 01:58, 26 March 2014 (UTC)

Reich vs. Empire

Was the official name the German Reich or the German Empire?--that annoying guy who shows up sometimes because he's bored, and has absolutely, positutely nothing else to do, whatsoever. (talk) 21:32, 7 May 2014 (UTC)

Native languages of the citizens of the German Empire

The list of languages does not include Yiddish, but seems to be an accurate transcription of the source. My guess is that this was counted as a sort of German and included in that total. However, its absence form the list does distort the figures and possibly a note should be added in the article to that effect. Gravuritas (talk) 22:22, 5 July 2014 (UTC)

Possible Bias

"The war was over; the history books closed on the German Empire. It was succeeded by the democratic, yet flawed, Weimar Republic.[79] Those opposed, including disaffected veterans, joined a diverse set of paramilitary and underground political groups like the Freikorps, the Organisation Consul, and the Communists, and Germany headed towards troubled times.[80]"

This writing style of the World War I section seems slightly biased/romanticized. "The history books closed on the German Empire" seems too romantic and less objective. Also, "was succeeded by the democratic, yet flawed, Weimar Republic" is a very biased statement. Not only is this suggesting that democracy is a preferable system, but that the Weimar was inherently "flawed". We are supposed to give a user the facts and let them determine if things are "flawed" or not and we are also not supposed to preach a preferred governing system. Finally, the statement "Germany headed towards troubled times." is similarly biased. I'm not denying that the post-WWI era was a hard time of economic down turn for Germany but we are again, supposed to be an objective source of information. "As a result of the war Germany experienced a depression."

Wording Issues in WW1 paragraph

The article says "This failed, and by October the armies had been in retreat since August". There are two date references. Which one is it, and can we perhaps clean it up so that it is easier to understand? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 18:55, 2 January 2015 (UTC)

Linguistic maps

Percentage of linguistic minorities of the German Empire in 1900 by Kreis

It doesn´t make sense to have maps on every single linguistic minority while at the same time having one map representing all of them. There is no extra value for the reader to have this multiple information. It also blows up the article unnecessarily and distracts from the text. Thats why the collection of maps seem to be dispensable. Greetz Matzkalt2 (talk) 09:07, 29 April 2015 (UTC)

The maps do not duplicate any information in the text. Instead they add specific information, so that if a person is interested in one group (Like my own Danish ancestors) he can readily spot it. People uninterested in the topic very easily skip over it and are not slowed down our troubles or hindered in any way. The one overall map is very difficult for anyone to handle unless they have an excellent grasp to begin with of German geography. We cannot expect that level in the average reader to the English Wikipedia. If we have the specialized map doing the view overall map-- yes that shows where German imperialism was adding groups (like the Poles and the French) who did not like what happened to them. The French hatred of the Alsace-Lorraine seizure was a major factor in French foreign-policy leading to 1914. These areas were sliced off Germany in 1919, in large part because of issues of language and minorities. Rjensen (talk) 09:48, 29 April 2015 (UTC)

The maps in their entirety duplicate the single map "Sprachen Deutsches Reich 1900.png" were ALL minorities can be found. The collection of single maps clutter the article and can therefore be considered as spam. Another argument for the removal is the minor relevance of displaying every single minority language. Greetz Matzkalt2 (talk) 11:48, 29 April 2015 (UTC)

it's too hard to understand the single map, which comprises multiple overlays. Groups overlap in complex ways that get lost in the composite map, and there is no need here to "save" space or paper. Rjensen (talk) 12:08, 29 April 2015 (UTC)

Incomplete song recording

The recording of "Das Lied der Deutschen" in the sidebar does not contain any text


Are you sure, Czechoslovakia is successor state of German Empire and GE is to day part of Czech republic? I have doubts, Czechoslovakia was successor of Austo-hungary and the borders seems pretty clear from map. However i am not sure about Silesia, so i do not edit.-- (talk) 14:44, 11 August 2015 (UTC)


The template there seems to block the possibility to enlarge the thumb of the map with the administrative districts. Anyone have a solution for that? Zwerg Nase (talk) 11:29, 23 October 2015 (UTC)

Do you mean this one Template:German Empire States? I suppose you would have to change everyone of the captions. Uncle Doj (talk) 12:02, 23 October 2015 (UTC)


Hello ,can somebody puut the provence names on the map they should be ,i cant do it becoause cluebot ng thinks everything i do is vandalising — Preceding unsigned comment added by Parshdarsh57 (talkcontribs) 22:43, 24 October 2015 (UTC)

help with map

im new to this ,cann you fix the edit i made please i dobnt know how to fix it — Preceding unsigned comment added by Parshdarsh57 (talkcontribs) 11:50, 27 October 2015 (UTC)

I rolled back your edits for now. Zwerg Nase (talk) 11:56, 27 October 2015 (UTC)
Would you mind at least giving a reason for reverting my rollback? The article is not acceptable in the state you leave it in, so if you don't fix this in the next minutes, I will revert once again. Zwerg Nase (talk) 12:06, 27 October 2015 (UTC)
Also, I have no clue what you are trying to fix... Zwerg Nase (talk) 12:07, 27 October 2015 (UTC)

1871 to 1918 is not correct

The term German Empire (Deutsches Reich) is the official Name who is used by the german nacional state since 1871 to 1945 and not since 1871 to 1918. The history of the German Empire can be separate in three stages; the Kaiserreich 1871-1918 (federal monarchy with an Emperor/Kaiser as head of state), the Weimar Republic 1918-1933 (federal republic with an President/Reichspresident(!) as head of state) and the so called Third Empire/Drittes Reich 1933-1945 (absolute Nazi-Dictatorship with an so called Leader/Führer as head of state). Sorry for my english (talk) 11:13, 28 February 2016 (UTC)

"Reich" does NOT mean "empire. Reich it means "realm". The terms Kaiserreich (literally "realm of an emperor") and Königreich (literally "realm of a king") are used in German to refer to empires and kingdoms respectively. Rjensen (talk) 15:03, 28 February 2016 (UTC)
Actually Reich can mean either, but more importantly...
...what is the opening sentence implying in saying "The German Empire, officially the German Reich..." Surely the "official" name was Deutsches Kaiserreich? "German Empire" and "German Reich" are just the common English names for it. Unless the German government issued a statement that "German Reich" was the official name to be used in English, which seems unlikely. My suggestion is we just change it to "The German Empire or German Reich..." --Bermicourt (talk) 08:25, 26 March 2016 (UTC)

Conventional_long_name is not an English word

The description of it in the Template:Infobox former country says "Full name in English, displayed as the title at the top of the infobox" instead here I see a German word??? Alexis Ivanov (talk) 04:12, 31 August 2016 (UTC)

The names used in (at least some) treaties are "Deutsches Reich" (in the German version) and "German Empire" (in the English version), so it seems reasonable to treat these as the official long names unless reliable evidence to the contrary can be provided.--Boson (talk) 22:08, 11 September 2016 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── I think we can assume that treaties use the official names rather than the common names. The evidence seems to indicate that the official English name used (in treaties etc.) as early as 1894 and as late as 1913 (when there was still an emperor) was "German Empire". Later (after 1918), of course, there was no emperor, and the official English name used (in treaties etc.) was changed to "German Reich". This article is explicitly about the period up to 1918, during which the official English name was patently "German Empire". The official English name was changed to "German Reich" after 1918.

Treaties up to 1918

This 1894 treaty has the text in German and English Article IV of the treaty has in German

  • "Antrag auf Ablieferung der beanspruchten Person nach dem Gebiete des Deutschen Reiches ..."

The English reads

  • "application ... for the transfer of the person inquestion to the territory of the German Empire ..."

This 1911 treaty between the UK and Germany has the text in both languages. The German reads

  • "Seine Majestat der Deutsche Kaiser, Konig von Preussen, im Namen des Deutschen Reichs" ,

The English reads

  • "His Majesty the German Emperor, King of Prussia, in the name of the German Empire "

Similarly, this 1913 declaration also has the text in both languages. The German reads

  • "Zusatzerklärung zu dem Übereinkommen vom 27. Marz 1874 zwischen Grossbritannien und dem Deutschen Reiche über die gegenseitige Anerkennung ... "

The English reads

  • "Declaration Additional to the Agreement of March 27th, 1874 , between Great Britain and the German Empire respecting the Reciprocal Recognition of ..."

This 1923 convention has the text in French and English. The English text has

  • "The former properties of the German Empire ..."
Treaties after 1918

This 1929 convention has the text in German and English. The German has "Der Deutsche Reichspräsident..." The English reads

  • "The President of the German Reich"

This 1938 agreement has the text in German and English. The German has

  • "Regierung des Deutsche Reiches"

The English reads

  • "Government of the German Reich"

Since this article is explicitly about the period up to 1918, the official long name in English is "German Empire". --Boson (talk) 11:30, 27 September 2016 (UTC)

Deutsches Kaiserreich vs. Deutsches Reich

There is some confusion about these two terms.

For the period between 1871–1918 he nation was officially called Deutsches Kaiserreich, but also synonymously "abbreviated" with Deutsches Reich and also offically used that way, as sourced by the references.

But the during the Weimarer Republik (1918-1933) and even during the Nazi Regime Deutsches Reich was also used synonymously, but not anymore Deutsches Kaiserreich! Therefore Deutsches Kaiserreich is exclusively distinguishable for the period of this article's period (1871-1918)!

The confusion becomes probably even more problematic, since both, Deutsches Reich, as well as Deutsches Kaiserreich are translated to German Empire in English!! And in order to distinguish the period between 1871-1918 from the Weimarer Republik (1918-1933), the German long version was used! Therefore I will reverse the previous change. -- ZH8000 (talk) 11:45, 12 September 2016 (UTC)

Hello there, I have reverted your changes as you seem not to have noticed Boson's edit summary and his post in the previous section of this talkpage. The Template:Infobox former country does indeed state that the name in English ought to be used. Which Deutsches (Kaiser)Reich is not.
Furthermore, it looks like you have removed a link to the 1871 constitution, which I believe explicitly labels the entity as the Deutsches Reich, while only adding your own claims without sources.
Going back to the topic of the name, some cleaning up does appear to be in order, however. Right now some of the references in the lead appear to be leftovers from a previous article version which apparently included the various Reich/Realm/Empire English labels (e.g. discussing the Realm/Reich translation). --CCCVCCCC (talk) 14:31, 12 September 2016 (UTC)

"The Americans are a very lucky people..."

In November 2011 this passage was added:

Bismarck once contrasted his nation's foreign policy difficulties with the easy situation of the United States (the only strong power in the Western Hemisphere), saying "The Americans are a very lucky people. They're bordered to the north and south by weak neighbors, and to the east and west by fish."

Trying to source this quote I can find only one attribution of it to Bismarck on Google Books, and that comes from a 2014 book which cites no reference and so might have got it from Wikipedia. The earliest appearance of it in Google Books, dating from 1954, attributes it to ambassador Jules Jusserland (I think that must be Jean Jules Jusserand). Since there seems no way of sourcing this quote to Bismarck, and since reattributing to Jusserand would leave it pretty well irrelevant to this article, I'm going to remove it. Anyone is welcome to put it back, of course, if they can show it has some business being there.--Antiquary (talk) 19:32, 24 September 2016 (UTC)

Prussian and German influence

This sentence:

Although the Kingdom of Prussia contained most of the Empire's population and territory, it played a lesser role. As Dwyer (2005) points out, Prussia's "political and cultural influence had diminished considerably" by the 1890s. not really correct. Prussian culture became essentially German culture since 1871. Thoughts?Ernio48 (talk) 19:46, 27 January 2017 (UTC)

Agreed. I suggest some wording about the essence of Prussia being one of the many kingdoms constituting the empire leads to some split of power, but just its sheer size would guarantee its place as the powerhouse of the empire. Bertdrunk (talk) 21:32, 27 January 2017 (UTC)


I'd like to set up automatic archiving, probably just using the default parameter set, on this very long and rather out-of-date page. Feel free to comment if you wish. Thanks DBaK (talk) 11:22, 31 January 2017 (UTC)

Name changes

Do these changes by @Cirolchou need discussion? It looks like the article has already been round the houses a bit on this, and I'm slightly nervous about the HTML note being changed without consensus. But maybe it's OK? Not my specialist field! Best wishes DBaK (talk) 11:28, 31 January 2017 (UTC)


The article talks about Frisian. The respective articles are West Frisian language and Frisian languages. Hence the wording Frisian should be replaced.Sarcelles (talk) 08:23, 26 August 2017 (UTC)

The lead section

How is it that some 40% of the lead section is dedicated to World War I, when the German Empire was about much more than its participation in the war? It should be rewritten.Ernio48 (talk) 12:43, 26 August 2017 (UTC)

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I deleted "largely sanctioned" from the sentence "This left a post-war, largely sanctioned federal republic to manage a devastated and unsatisfied populace." The reason is that "sanctioned" in this context appears to mean "approved", one of the two contradictory meanings of "sanction". If it means "penalized" or "punished", it appears out of nowhere. I don't think it's necessary or useful here anyhow, but if it were to be retained it would have to be explained.

Besides that, the article still needs a lot of copyediting to improve poorly written sentences. I did some (up to "Religion", inclusive) but time constraints stopped me there. Zaslav (talk) 02:24, 17 October 2017 (UTC)

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