Wilhelm II


noun

the German name of William II (def. 2)

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Cultural definitions for Wilhelm II

Wilhelm II
[ (vil-helm, wil-helm) ]

A German emperor, or kaiser, of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. After disagreements with Kaiser Wilhelm in the late nineteenth century, Otto von Bismarck resigned as head of the German government. Wilhelm then made aggressive moves abroad that increased instability throughout Europe. He ruled Germany in World War I and abdicated after his country's defeat. He lived the rest of his life in obscurity in The Netherlands.

The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.