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German History in Documents and Images
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"Imperial Days" in Dresden: Kaiser Wilhelm I Visits a Provincial Capital (September 14, 1882)
Reinforcing the idea of the new empire as a voluntary union of princes, not something based on the will of the people, required the “performance” of monarchical rule by Kaiser Wilhelm I – above all in Berlin, but also in the capitals of Germany’s individual federal states. This contemporary woodcut from Leipzig’s Illustrirte Zeitung (October 7, 1882) is based on a sketch by Hermann Lüders. It depicts the “Imperial Days” [Kaisertage] in Dresden, specifically the Kaiser’s entry into the city on September 14, 1882. Wilhelm I (seated at the left) is accompanied in the royal carriage by his former battlefield foe from the Austro-Prussian War of 1866, King Albert, who ruled in Saxony from 1873 to 1902.