World War I
Kaiser Wilhelm II

Kaiser Wilhelm II
Reading Level
     edHelper's suggested reading level:   grades 6 to 8
     Flesch-Kincaid grade level:   7.03

     challenging words:    keye, offensive, destruction, abdicate, military, leadership, particularly, archduke, surrounding, emperor, toll, criminal, refused, finance, breakdown, revolution
     content words:    Wilhelm II, Frederick III, Queen Victoria, Great Britain, Edward II, World War I., War I., United States, In November, Adolf Hitler

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Kaiser Wilhelm II
By Jane Runyon

1     At one time in the past, the leader of Germany was called a kaiser (keye zer). It is a word that comes from the Latin title Caesar, or emperor. Wilhelm II became the kaiser of Germany in 1888 after the death of his grandfather. He was then twenty-nine years of age. His father was Frederick III of German descent. His mother, however, was from England. Her name was Victoria, and she was the daughter of Queen Victoria. Wilhelm grew up respecting his ties to the English crown, but he was always German through and through.
2     Wilhelm grew up with very strict military rules. As an adult he believed that having a strong military force was the only way to have a strong nation. He was particularly interested in creating a strong German navy. Although he was part British, he was also very competitive. He wanted the German navy to be stronger and more respected than the British navy. He wanted the German navy to be the best in the world. Soon after becoming Kaiser, he convinced the German government to finance a plan to completely rebuild the German navy.
3     When it came to world events, Wilhelm teetered back and forth between his support of Great Britain and his opposition to their efforts. He once even announced that he thought the king of England, Edward II, was really Satan. Trying to keep everything equal between his British family and German citizens took its toll on Wilhelm. In 1908, he suffered a nervous breakdown. After this, he took less and less of a lead in the German government. He still made his ideas known, but he gave the military leaders of his country more power to make decisions.

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