帝国的傲慢自大

一直声称自己属于例外情况的美国,通常被认为不适于进行历史的类比。但是与过去帝国命运的比较正在变得越来越普遍。

最近一个与德国历史的类比深深地打动了我:那就是德国领导人在一战当中遇到的灾难,代表人物是威廉二世皇帝。威廉二世于1888年29岁时登上了皇帝的宝座,他开明的父亲在执政88天后最终屈服于喉癌的命运。他的祖父威廉一世执政期间普鲁士在军事上取得了一系列胜利,最终使俾斯麦在1871年成功地建立了统一的德意志帝国。在短短两年的时间内,威廉二世解除了俾斯麦的职务。

威廉二世成为国家的领袖是在欧洲霸权的鼎盛时期。到19世纪90年代为止,德国已经成了欧洲大陆上最强大的国家。但权力同样伴随着反抗,德国惊疑不定的欧洲邻国开始成立了防御联盟。

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