Monday, January 18, 2021

German Empire 150

Today is the 150th anniversary of the proclamation of Wilhelm I (1797-1888) as German Emperor at Versailles. I celebrated by wearing my new Wilhelm I shirt and German imperial flag mask and making brownies decorated to resemble the German imperial flag. 

I'm not entirely without sympathy for those who (whether at the time or later in hindsight) have regretted the smaller German states' loss of independence (though the Kingdom of Bavaria managed to retain some trappings of sovereignty, including its own military apparatus and consulates in foreign countries). However, at least unlike in Italy the local rulers (except for Hanover's) kept their thrones. I can't help admiring what Germany as a dynamic unified nation achieved between 1871 and 1914, and don't see why Germany should have been perpetually denied the cohesiveness that nations like Great Britain, France, Russia, and Spain had achieved much earlier. Changes in borders and of the balance of power between different monarchies are an inevitable aspect of History, with stronger states
having overpowered weaker ones for as long as states have existed. What is intolerable however is the fact that Germany has not had any monarchies at all since 1918. Here is my new chart of all the rulers of the monarchical states of the German Empire and their wives and heirs at the time of its establishment 150 years ago today, in order of seniority. I haven't been able to find suitable images for all the individuals who were still fairly young at the time, especially heirs. Maybe I will eventually. This is why I tend to get more upset about Germany being a republic than some other countries: it wasn't just one monarchy that fell in 1918, but nearly two dozen. And all the adorable little ones, whose lineages and traditions went back to the Middle Ages, should not be forgotten.

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