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Friedrich Wilhelm Viktor Albert (1859-1941) known as William II, emperor of Germany and Prussia, was largely instrumental in his policies of bringing about the events that led to the First World War. (William II)He was born in Berlin in 1859 and received his educated at the University of Bonn.
He was son of Prince Frederick William, who became German emperor as Frederick III, and Victoria Adelaide Mary Louise, eldest daughter of Queen Victoria of Britain. William became emperor in 1888 after the death of his father. (William II)His ancestry played an important role in many of his decisions and some researchers suggest that inherited traits could also have been a factor in terms of certain psychological aspects of his character.
William II is seen by many commentators as a central instigator of the First World War due to his polices. In order to gain insight into the character of William II it is important to summarize some of the main historical facts that led to the First World War.
The main events that led to the war can be simplified as follows. In thefirst place growing nationalism was one of the fuses that were to ignite the First World War. This was particularity the case in the Balkans, where the many different ethnic groups posed a problem for Austria-Hungary. (The Great War: Causes.) This was also complicated by the fact that "….Russia’s willingness to support its Slavic brother conflicted with Austria-Hungary’s Pan-Germanism." (The Great War: Causes)
Another related factor was the rise of various forms of imperialism in Europe. This in turn was exacerbated by the competition for foreign markets as a result of the Industrial Revolution.Furthermore, friction between Britain and Germany was also fomented by the actions of William II; for example, when he sent a telegram to congratulate the Boers on defeating the British in 1896. (The Great War: Causes)

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