Wilhelm I (1797-1888) was the seventh King of Prussia and the first German Emperor or Kaiser. He asceeded to the Prussian throne in 1861 after his older brother Frederick William IV died. He was instrumental with the assistance of of the Iron Chancelor, Count von Bismark, and other advisors in founding the German state in the modern sence--uniting a great diversity of prinipalities under the martial leadership of Prussia. William was crowned Emperor in 1871 after defeating Emperor Napoleon III in the Framco Prussian War. He and his descendents retained the crown of Prussia.
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