Meaning of WILLIAM in English

WILLIAM

n.

German Wilhelm Friedrich Ludwig

born March 22, 1797, Berlin

died March 9, 1888, Berlin

King of Prussia (1861–88) and German emperor (1871–88).

Son of Frederick William III of Prussia, he fought in the war against Napoleon (1814) and thereafter devoted himself to the Prussian army and military affairs. He advocated the use of force against the rebels in 1848. The military governor of Rhineland province from 1849, he succeeded his brother on the Prussian throne in 1861. A conservative and a supporter of military reform, William insisted on a three-year term of military conscription, which the liberal lower chamber rejected in 1862. William was ready to abdicate but was dissuaded by Otto von Bismarck , whom he had installed as prime minister (1862). He cautiously supported Bismarck's policies in the Seven Weeks' War and the Franco-Prussian War . Proclaimed German emperor in 1871, he oversaw the continued rise of Germany as a European power.

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