William Simpson examines the nature and characteristics of the German empire, and the policies pursued by its governments, from the foundation of the empire in 1871 until its collapse in 1918. Two areas are given particular attention: the failure of Imperial Germany to develop into a stable parliamentary democracy; and the increasingly aggressive foreign policy pursued by Germany after 1890.
Introduction; 1. The creation of the German Empire; 2. Bismarck’s rule at home; 3. Bismarck’s foreign policy; 4. The imperial regime at home 1888–1914; 5. German foreign policy 1890–1914; 6. Germany and the First World War.