History can often turn on the actions of a single individual, either singly or over a period of time. Personality traits and the whims, especially of absolute monarchs, for either ill or good, can shape our world. Such could be said of Kaiser Wilhelm II of Germany.
We tend to think of the Dark Ages as a period of unending European misery. A period after the fall of the Roman Empire of cultural and technical stagnation. However there was at least one high point humanity in Europe raised it’s head out of the ‘darkness’ to witness something truly remarkable.
On the 1st of April 1815 a little boy was born in Kniephof, Prussia, a little boy destined to be known by history as “The Iron Chancellor”. A man around whom history would pivot, a man who would be the subject of many historical “What Ifs” with regard to his demise at the hands of the unstable “Kaiser Bill” and the path to World War I.
Wednesday the 18th of January 1871 was a bitter cold day. At noon, with the smell of smoke in the air from nearby Paris, burning under the Prussian siege and bombardment, a fateful gathering took place in the Palace of Versailles. An event that would play on the minds of the French 43 years later and help to propel Europe’s slide into World War I.
The period know as the Reformation came about largely due to the actions and corrupt practices of the medieval Catholic Church. The split started when a German Monk named Martin Luther, who was so disgusted with the behaviour of Catholic clerics, initiated what we would call today a ‘Back to Basics’ campaign. In this article we look at what happened at this seminal moment in Church history.