Bernhard von Bülow on Germany's “Place in the Sun”

(1897)

About the Author

Bernhard von Bülow was born in 1849 in what at the time was the Danish-German duchy of Holstein; he was born into an aristocratic German family, but in the newly united Germany the family was not of the highest aristocratic order. Von Bülow graduated from law school at the University of Mainz in 1872, but he briefly left school in 1870 to fight in the Franco-Prussian War as an officer. Through his military pedigree, he achieved the highest social status in Germany, where he came into contact with the kaiser's social court. He was generally described as ingratiating, unprincipled, and fawning, which made his career possible. Although his diplomatic contemporaries referred to von Bülow as “the eel,” Kaiser Wilhelm II liked the way von Bülow parroted his political and diplomatic opinions. In the beginning, he was made available for diplomatic postings; later, he occupied a series of embassy positions in the capitals of Europe for the new German Empire. A...

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Bernhard von Büow (Library of Congress)

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