||Eulogy service in honor of Wilhelm I of Germany (March 22, 1797 – March 9, 1888), German Emperor (Kaiser), ruled January 18, 1871 – 1888 and king of Prussia, ruled 1861–1888. His full name was Wilhelm Friedrich Ludwig. As second son of Friedrich Wilhelm III, Wilhelm I had no expectations to ascend to the throne and thus he received only little education. He served in the army from 1814 onward, fought against Napoleon, and was reportedly a very brave soldier. He also became an excellent diplomat by engaging in diplomatic missions after 1815. In 1848 he successfully crushed a revolt that was aimed at his elder brother King Friedrich Wilhelm IV. In 1857 Friedrich Wilhelm IV suffered from a stroke and became mentally disabled for the rest of his life. In January 1858 Wilhelm became Prince Regent for his brother.
On January 2, 1861 Friedrich Wilhelm died and Wilhelm ascended the throne as Wilhelm I of Prussia. He inherited a conflict between King and the liberal parliament. He was considered a politically neutral person as he intervened less in politics than his brother. He nevertheless found a conservative solution for the conflict: he appointed Otto von Bismarck to the office of Prime Minister. According to the Prussian constitution, the Prime Minister was responsible solely to the king, not to parliament. Bismarck liked to see his work relationship with Wilhelm as that of a vassal to his feudal superior. Nonetheless it was Bismarck who effectively directed the politics, interior as well as foreign; on several occasions he gained Wilhelm's assent by threatening to resign. In his memoirs, Bismarck describes Wilhelm as an old-fashioned, courteous, infallibly polite gentleman and a genuine Prussian officer, whose good common sense was occasionally undermined by "female influences".
In May 11, 1878, anarchist Max Hödel attempted to assassinate Kaiser Wilhelm I in Berlin, but his attempt failed. This attempt became the pretext for the institution of the Anti-Socialist Law, which was introduced by Bismarck’s government with the support of a majority in the Reichstag on October 21, 1878, for the purpose of fighting the socialist and working-class movement.