A Healthy Baby Boy
It all begins in 1859. Prince Friedrich Wilhelm Viktor Albrecht, Prince of Prussia, scion of the second Emperor of Germany, is born without complications. It is a normal birth with the baby prince in perfect health.
This is important because years down the line, Prince Friedrich Wilhelm Viktor Albrecht, will become Kaiser Wilhelm the Second. That has yet to be realized, however, due to the young Prince being a baby. While the young prince is simply lying in his swaddling clothes, the ideal of what a European monarch should look like, perfectly normal.
As the young prince grows up, there is a noted intelligence about him that astonishes his parents as well as those around him. The young prince (hither noted to avoid confusion with his father, the elder Friedrich) teaches himself to read, becomes fascinated with the new innovations that are coming about in this time, and shows an active interest in applications of military as well as government for the people. By the time the Austro-Prussian War is ended (1867) and Chancellor Bismarck’s position is approved of by the people within that realm, it can be said that the young prince has promise in all the avenues that fortune can give.
Through out the 1870’s and 1880’s, the young prince becomes infatuated with the military, due to the defeat handed over to France in the Franco-Prussian War. Although it is looked down upon by his parents, the young prince takes a visit to the victorious battlefields that are now constituted in the German Empire, and safe from any threat to his person. The young prince also becomes a noted presence within his grandfather’s court, as well as the Chancellor’s (never seen together due to political purposes) quasi-allies, learning the ropes as it were, for this new entity.
In 1879, the Long Depression hits Europe, although its actual existence as a economic downturn can be debated later on in the future. As encouraged by his grandmother to the north (Queen Victoria), the young prince is not seen in the exact political circles that would give a tremendous boost to the National Liberal Party. However, he is ‘heard’ through the subtle “conversations” he has indirectly with the Chancellor on the ideas of socialism (although not set in such terms) as well as the future of the German Empire.
As a young boy, it should be observed, the young prince becomes interested in German Economic/Social/Government Philosophy, with the most noted of the writers being Hegel and Humboldt, although not exactly in its purest form due to the other influence hailing from his mother’s English background.
This bent to socialism does provide conflict with the Chancellor upon the matter of what to do with the effects of the Long Depression. The Chancellor is set on protectionist policies. The Chancellors one time ally, the National Liberal Party, is dependent on free trade. If the Chancellor blows one way, the National Liberal Party’s dominance will falter.
Thus it is in 1879, just at his twentieth birthday, that the young prince makes his first move as a political player. He puts forth the notion through his contacts that a compromise should be made. Although the effects of the Long Depression are quite evident, the principle of a just society (borrowed from his mother) should be implemented. Thus it is that the tariffs on key economic sectors should be implemented but the notion of free trade in other avenues retained.
The Chancellor doesn’t know what to do with this idea. As it were, the Chancellor doesn’t like the very nature of socialism; in fact he is quite direct in his rule. It is only through the control of those skilled and experienced that government can function. Yet what the young prince has “shown” through his “suggestion” is interesting to say the least.
Then there is the matter of the banning of the Social Democrat Party. The young prince did not make a move; rather he was more preoccupied by the Imperial Navy, and the possibility of the submarine. His parents did have a word with him. It was surprising that the parents didn’t make it a large issue.
The Chancellor looks upon this suggestion. The Socialists have begun to rise into power because of their repression, reads the note from the young prince, heavily disguised underneath the papers. I do note, dear Chancellor that we are at odds with each other, but perhaps this could be appealing to your eye. Why not let the Poles go on with their lives, enact social reform within the economic structure, but leave the power of the said sectors of the economy unto your devices? Surely in that we can reach a compromise.
Of course, at the moment that the Chancellor is reading this, the young prince has been accompanying British Ambassador, as required by his mother, a strong Anglophile to say the least. The British Ambassador is absolutely flabbergasted by the sharp pointed questions that the young prince has on a possible Anglo-Germanic Alliance. This tour was mainly about seeing the status of the Princess Royal in Prussia. Now it’s all about the technical aspects of a shared technical bond between the two nations, a possible sharing of power over imperialistic gains, and the matter of China.
The Chancellor, in a strange moment of opinion, agrees with the young prince’s compromise.
It is in 1880 that the policies are implemented. Most unfortunately, the National Liberal Party isn’t quite as strong as it would have liked. The conservative parties accept the compromise with many of the positions in the sectors going to them as a price in which they pay for the said legislation. Socialists see the compromise as a victory, somewhat, and suddenly become observant that it was mainly through the young prince’s move that their issues were granted.
Then the young prince takes an interest in Clauswitz, the Napoleonic Wars in Spain, and the execution of democratic ideals in the USA….
You should really take a gander in our Grandmother’s lands. Although it would be bad form – Mother again – it would be good to hear of them. Sadly, duties as the elder restrict me from exploring such as you. Could you do it for me? I would be most happy if you could visit South Africa upon the matter of our 'cousins’ [FN1]. Their policies …are interesting.
Also; could you get me an Italian version of the Prince?
Your Brother, Friedrich.
[FN1] - Poland
It is 1885.
The young prince is 26 years old. Although the Crown Prince has been educated at the University of Bonn with top honors in History, many professors at that institution state that he can be Kaiser any time he wished. Many regard the Crown Prince as the better heir to the Empire than his father, who has been experiencing medical problems as of late.
What has been the main focus of the young prince is the matter of the network of Continental Powers. In his first summer of his junior year, the young prince was spotted in German controlled Poland, talking to the native leaders there. In the summer of his senior year, the young prince was spotted taking a tour of Southern Germany, Bohemia, and Austria, managing to have a nice chat with Crown Prince Rudolf of Austria, as well as other royal members of various families scattered throughout Austria/Germany.
The main focus, however, is the sudden ‘accord’ that the young prince has managed to gain in Russia and Britain. Although this is highly in opposition to the Chancellor’s own personal position, the effects of his ‘charming personality’ cannot be denied. One key action that the young prince has made is convincing Queen Victoria to “lay off” Germany and to suggest a firm friendship with the two navies.
This matter is quite sensitive just to encapsulate in one sentence. This accord has been a major policy in the young prince’s growing aspirations towards the realm that he may or may not inherit. In the famous conversation he had with the Ambassador that one evening five years ago, the young prince put it to the Ambassador that all matters of the submarines could be assigned to Germany while the advantage of the capital ships could be given unto England. The Ambassador, at the time, was quite unprepared for this, and was surprised by the scope of the young prince’s technical knowledge of the British fleet, although limited for national security, of course.
This obsession is shared by his brother, Prince Heinrich, known better as the Sailor King. For many years now, the two brothers have been thicker than peas, as the saying goes, although the elder is more diverse in his thinking than the former. The elder is noted for the application of the navy. The young is in the Royal Naval Academy. The danger, as shared by many within England, is on the elder, who has managed to be successful in his suggestion that there should be a bond between the two navies.
The Young Prince’s position within Queen Victoria’s circle is not welcomed by many, to say the least. As The Telegraph tells in its March 4th, 1885 edition;
…The matter of which our dearly beloved friends to the south is mainly invested in the person of the young prince Freidrich, sometimes called ‘Freddy’ by our beloved Royal Family. He is confident, strong, and wise. He is too confident. He is too strong. He is a danger.
It would be far more welcome if he were to be born with an ailment; at least that would bespeak of plain aggression that the threat Germany has on the Continent. This prince is crafty as Shakespeare might place it in the Scottish play; we know naught his plans. The sheer suggestion of an Anglo-Germanic Alliance is laughable. If truly his suggestions of kindness are to be believed, then we would be victims and not the strong power that we are in the modern day!
There is the matter of the colonies.
As noted from the excerption from The Telegraph’s opinion, not many citizens of British origin were fond of the young prince’s influence over his grandmother. An exact negotiation with the Royal Navy and the Imperial Navy has not been reached. It is a thorn in the young prince’s side that he does not have total support from the populace at hand. Thus, the young prince takes a vacation with his sister, the Princess Sophia, the more beloved relative.
The matter is of course, about submarines. The Royal Navy has been tinkering with some models, but is pushed down for more capital ships. The rule of thumb is destroyers, massive descendents of the ships of the line, and quite possibly the reason why the dreams of the German Empire have been stillborn for so long (apart from the Chancellor of course).
The young prince does attend the vacation but is constantly diverged in various libraries and military institutions. It is noted that he visits the grave of the noted crackpot Marx, meets up with his collaborator Engle, and the two have a debate on what the ideal state means. Engle, after having this brilliant discussion, notes in his diary... We may have a chance yet!
The young prince is noted to have submarines on the brain. He has met up with the leading designers of such inventions. The problem is that while some of the Royal Navy admirals agree with his proposal, others state that they would like finer details. The young prince is seen in libraries, reading up on the Anglo-Dutch wars, and the late Napoleon.
So – what will but done about his precious submarines? The young prince is surrounded by advisors from the military thinking that they (too) have an opportunity in the young prince. He looks at the etched drawings of Cold Harbor, that amusing little war that the Americans had when he was all but 3/4/5 years old, with the noted innovation of this thing called a machine gun. The young prince drops by noted scientists who have come with variations on such a weapon. He sends cables over to the Military Headquarters on several notes on British arms being involved in the German Army. It will probably be suppressed by the Chancellor, not wanting to disturb the network of pseudo-allies that the Empire has. There has been arguments that he and the Chancellor has through notes (again, indirectly) on if a war could be instigated with Russia and the ramifications thereof.
It is of no matter. The young prince did send a dispatch to the Russian Ambassador on procuring information about the Napoleonic times. It is very fascinating on how the Russians catapulted the French into the gutter. While the young prince was quite young, just the pointed tactics that the Prussian Army did upon the French was profound to his young mind. The young prince draws a picture of a possible war with France and Russia. With his cousin (several degrees apart) weak, there is a distinct possibility that a revolution could come about (Engle would be right in those areas), and England – which would never be fought against. His sister, Princess Sophia, has constantly pointed that a vacation is not studying old books – enjoy England, Britain, the glory of civilization, and so on. The young prince takes a tour of Oxford, Cambridge, and even to the US Embassy, quizzing the Ambassador on how the Indians (Native Americans, the young prince associates with them to deviate from India) could best several generals, and be so swiftly rounded up. The young prince takes care to coat his questions else –their- attention is caused as England.
It is 1887.
The young prince is 28 years old. His family is growing apart. His father has been crowned Kaiser Friedrich III although he could have died so many years ago. His mother is completely daft. The one thing that started it all was his travels and the discarding of the middle man.
The initial thing was of his visiting of Russia. It was the power behind the throne, really. He met his cousins, the man in the big brown beard, and that contemptible monk that seems to be on the edge every second of the hour. The power behind the throne, which shall remain nameless for security reasons, did agree to an exchange of technologies. The Poles looked at him with curiosity when he visited Danzig and random farms in the countryside. He even took part in a Polish Catholic ritual. It was not expected but he learned just as he did in Austria.
The young prince’s shining achievement was with Crown Prince Rudolph of Austria. It was quite evident that his counterpart was quite taken up with this woman who could rival Sophia in her Anglophile attitudes. The only problem was that she was destructive. Upon one hunting trip in Bavaria (taking sight of that noted castle which rivaled any conception that the follies in England could do), the young prince took his counterpart to the side and outlined his ideas of an Empire that was not quite militant but not quite dead. The talk took three hours, almost to the point that the young prince grabbed his rifle and shot a rabbit that darted in front of him. He took the rabbit and shook it in front of Crown Prince Rudolph on the signs of weakness.
Nether the less, the Crown Prince Rudolph of Austria learned his lesson.
Just to hide that incident, the young prince visited Emperor Franz Josef. The main incident was Poland. The young prince went to a Polish whore in disguise, talked to her in the middle of the night, and came back suddenly aware of what Bismarck said about the chances of the Empire as a solid entity. He even managed to get one of the noted leaders of the ill-fated late rebellion in the U.S. to come to the Empire, talk to him about his experiences, and even one of the aides of the famous General Grant, who may or may not be President, since the young prince’s mind is altered with that singular experience with that Polish whore.
The young prince even gave her a state pension. The ideals of socialism are not to improve society as to balance the two sides of life; the poor and the rich. It is the duty of the rich to help out the poor. The middle class serves as a balance; even though Marx dictated that it would be destroyed (along with all the other classes), there is a lesson to be learned from Rome; that is, only reforms along Marius merged with the late originator of the very title Kaiser, can an Empire rise.
It helps that the young prince is tethered in Berlin. Kaiser Friedrich III is ill, diagnosed with some viral infection that makes him cough up blood. The young prince had his grandmother send her household doctor. The young prince devours any books that would help his father. Although he is not the perfect son, he sees the logic on Bismarck’s comment that weakness breeds sin. It also helps that the young prince had a bitter argument with his mother on ‘stirring the pot’ with his push for the Anglo-Germanic Alliance.
The young prince has been to Austria-Hungary, Russia, Britain, Poland, and Norway. It’s nice up there for sailing. Then the young prince was tempted by…_it_.
"Money talks; Merit walks"