2014 | 2 | 61-71
Article title

Russisch‑deutsche Beziehungen nach der Thronbesteigung Wilhelms II.

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The study analyses the German foreign policy after ascension of the German Emperor and Prussian King Wilhelm II, in detail its relations with the Russian Empire and the transformation of the alliance system. It analyses the causes of the deterioration of the German‑Russian relations through observing the foreign‑political, economic and personal aspects. It answers the questions, why the German leadership did not continue in Bismarck’s alliance system, why it refused a treaty relationship with Russia based on the Reinsurance Treaty, and who specifically was responsible for that decision in the ranks of the German governing elite. The author claims that the German foreign policy was not able to timely notice the Russian shift of interest from the Balkans to Middle Asia. At the same time the author points out that even before Bismarck’s departure the German‑Russian trade war had raged, the significance of the Reinsurance Treaty had declined and the later cancelling of the treaty was not the beginning but the end of the disrupted relations between Petersburg and Berlin. The false impression of German diplomats that Great Britain wanted to give up its ‘splendid isolation’ and join the Triple Alliance can be seen as the other important impulse leading to the breakdown of the treaty.
  • Institute of World History, Faculty of Arts, Charles University, Prague Nám. J. Palacha 2, 116 38 Prague, Czech Republic,
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