The Telegrams Exchanged between Kaiser Wilhelm II of Germany and Tsar Nicolas II of Russia

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The telegrams exchanged between Kaiser Wilhelm II of Germany and Tsar Nicolas II of Russia between the dates of 29 July and 1 August, are merely a small section of the vast array of telegrams exchanged between the two, ranging more than 2 decades (from 1894 to 1914). While the early volumes of the telegrams were attempts by the Kaiser to “(stir) up the Czar’s monarchical instinct against the French Republic ” and to appear congenial, the final telegrams between the Kaiser and the Tsar were cautious warnings against mobilising and the threat of war. The telegrams between Wilhelm and Nicolas are directly weaved into the events of the July Crisis and the eve of World War 1. The tension between the two rulers is reflected through the firm and stern tone of the conversation, and the hidden animosity between the two. The Kaiser and the Tsar, related through Maria Pavlovna by blood and through marriage as the Tsar’s wife was the Kaiser’s first cousin, often close their telegrams with either “Willy” or “Nicky”, however the hidden conflict between the two is observed when considering their position towards the Sarajevo assassination. When viewing the correspondence between the Nicolas and Wilhelm it is important to note the vastly different opinions towards the assassination of the Austro-Hungarian heir, Franz Ferdinand. Russia’s ties with Serbia meant that is was profoundly important for them to either prevent a war declared on Serbia or defend them at all costs. However, Russia
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