William I Biography, Life, Interesting Facts
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Childhood and Early Life
King of Prussia and German Emperor William I was born William Frederick Louis of the House of House of Hohenzollern on the 22 March 1797 in Berlin, Prussia. He was the second son of Prince Frederick William, son of King Frederick William II; and Louise of Mecklenburg-Strelitz. King Frederick William II died the same year William was born, and his father became King Frederick William III. William had an older brother Crown Prince, Frederick William, who would assume the throne as King Frederick Willam IV.
William I was privately educated, and when he turned 12, he became an officer in the Franco-Prussian Army.
Rise to Fame
William I entered the army in 1814 and fought in the Napoleonic Wars. He rose to the rank of captain and won the Iron Cross for bravery.
King of Prussia
After his old brother, King Frederick William IV was incapacitated by a stroke in 1857, William I assumed the role of Royal Regent (1857-1861). King Frederick William IV died without issue in 1861, and William became King of Prussia (1861). A series of campaigns against Denmark, Austria, and France were carried out.
After victory in the Franco-Prussian War (19 July 1870 – 28 January 1871), William became Kaiser William I of the united German state. He was responsible for appointing Ott von Bismarck as the Minister President, and with his assistance, William I modernised Germany into a military and economic powerhouse in Europe.
William I married Princess Augusta of Saxe-Weimar-Eisenach on the 11 June 1829. The couple had two children: Prince Friedric (1831) who would later reign as Emperor Frederick III of Germany and Princess Louise (b.1838). William lived to be 90, dying in 1887. His son, Emperor Frederick III died the same year.