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Caprivi, Leo Graf von

Subject History

DOI: 10.1111/b.9781405189224.2011.x


(1831–99), Chancellor of the german empire (1890–4). Of Italian origins, Caprivi was a professional soldier who achieved high rank in the franco-prussian war . Administratively talented, he served as chief of the Imperial Admiralty (1883–8) and was Kaiser william ii's choice to follow bismarck in 1890 as Reich chancellor and prime minister of Prussia. His appointment marked a shift from the previous regime. Domestically he strove to appease the social democratic party of germany , while abroad he sought reconciliation with the British. He achieved an agreement over relative spheres of influence in Africa, yet also extended Germany's colonial ambitions and obtained the so-called “Caprivi strip” which linked German South West Africa with the Zambesi. In 1892 he resigned as prime minister, and two years later stood down as chancellor following bitter power struggles. Caprivi always labored under the shadow of his illustrious predecessor, and has been described as the “caretaker of imperial Germany” before William II embarked on a policy of weltpolitik . ... log in or subscribe to read full text

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