The founding of the German Empire was proclaimed precisely on this day in 1871. Wilhelm I of the House of Hohenzollern declared himself the first German Emperor. It is interesting that this happened in the famous French Palace of Versailles.
The German Empire was founded on this day in the Hall of Mirrors at the French Palace of Versailles, near Paris. Wilhelm I from the House of Hohenzollern, until then the King of Prussia, declared himself the first German Emperor.
This declaration was made possible by the victory of the Prussian army in the Franco-Prussian War that year. Namely, French Emperor Napoleon III represented the last obstacle to the unification of Germany and proclamation of the empire, so these goals could be achieved only after Napoleon III was defeated and captured in the fateful Battle of Sedan.
The new empire was formed by the unification of 27 previous states, of which four were kingdoms (Prussia, Bavaria, Saxony, and Württemberg). Winning the war against France, the newly-created empire included even the provinces of Alsace and Lorraine, and became one of the world’s greatest superpowers. To the Germans, who had conquered the northern part of France, it seemed appropriate to declare the establishment of the German Empire precisely in the luxurious Palace of Versailles, the former seat of the French rulers.