Ems Telegram


Ems Telegram
(1870)
   Document that instigated the Franco-Prussian War. The Ems Telegram was a message from the Prussian King, Wilhelm I, to Prime Minister Otto von Bismarck. On July 13, 1870, the telegram was sent from Bad Ems where Wilhelm spent his holidays. It reported an encounter between Wilhelm and the French ambassador, in which the king politely refused to promise that no member of his family would seek the Spanish throne. Bismarck changed the wording of the telegram. By abridgement, Bismarck made it look like outright provocation on the part of France, and he had it published in the newspapers. Bismarck’s intention was to start a war with France. The French considered the doctored telegram a provocation. On July 19, France declared war on the North German Confederation.
   See also <>; <>.
   FURTHER READING:
    Howard, Michael. The Franco-Prussian War. New York: Collier, 1969;
    Wawro, Geoffrey. The Franco-Prussian War: The German Conquest of France in 1870-1871. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2003;
    Wetzel, David. A Duel of Giants: Bismarck, Napoleon III and the Origins of the Franco-Prussian War. Madison: University of Wisconsin Press, 2001.
   MARTIN MOLL

Encyclopedia of the Age of Imperialism, 1800–1914. 2014.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Ems Telegram — (July 13, 1870) Telegram sent from Ems, Ger. , to Otto von Bismarck and subsequently published by him in an edited version designed to offend the French government. The telegram reported an encounter between King William I of Prussia and the… …   Universalium

  • Ems Dispatch — The Ems Dispatch ( de. Emser Depesche), sometimes called the Ems Telegram, is the document that was used by France as a pretext to declare the Franco Prussian War in 1870. It refers to a report about an incident in the town of Bad Ems which is a… …   Wikipedia

  • Ems — /ɛmz/ (say emz) noun 1. a town in western Germany (formerly in West Germany); famous for the Ems telegram (1870), Bismarck s dispatch which was a factor leading to the Franco Prussian War. 2. a river in western Germany flowing north from the… …   Australian English dictionary

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