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_KAISER_ is the German word for "emperor ". Like the Bulgarian , Serbian and Russian Czar it is directly derived from the Roman emperors' title of Caesar , which in turn is derived from the personal name of a branch of the _gens_ (clan) _Julia _, to which Gaius Julius Caesar , the forebear of the first imperial family, belonged. Although the British monarchs styled " Emperor
Emperor
of India " were also called " Kaisar-i-Hind " in Hindi
Hindi
and Urdu
Urdu
, this word, although ultimately sharing the same Latin origin, is derived from the Greek : Καῖσαρ (_kaisar_), not the German _Kaiser_.

In English, the term 'THE KAISER\' is usually reserved for the emperors of the German Empire
German Empire
and the emperors of the Austrian Empire . During the First World War
First World War
, anti-German sentiment was at its zenith; the term _the Kaiser_—especially as applied to Wilhelm II
Wilhelm II
of Germany
Germany
—thus gained considerable negative connotations in English-speaking countries.

CONTENTS

* 1 German history and antecedents of the title * 2 See also * 3 References * 4 External links

GERMAN HISTORY AND ANTECEDENTS OF THE TITLE

The Holy Roman Emperors (962–1806) called themselves _Kaiser_, combining the imperial title with that of _King of the Romans_ (assumed by the designated heir before the imperial coronation); they saw their rule as a continuation of that of the Roman Emperors and used the title derived from the title _Caesar _ to reflect their supposed heritage. Main articles: Emperor
Emperor
of Austria and German Emperor
Emperor

In 1806 the Holy Roman Empire was dissolved, but the title of Kaiser was retained by the House of Habsburg , the head of which, beginning in 1804, bore the title of Emperor
Emperor
(Kaiser) of Austria. After 1438, the Habsburgers had provided most of Holy Roman Emperors, so they saw themselves as legitimate heirs to the title they adopted. Despite Habsburg
Habsburg
ambitions however, the Austrian Empire could no longer claim to rule over most of Germany. There were four Kaisers of the Austrian Empire who all belonged to the Habsburg
Habsburg
dynasty.

With the Unification of Germany
Germany
in 1871, there was some debate about the exact title for the monarch of those German territories (such as free imperial cities, principalities, duchies, and kingdoms) that agreed to unify under the leadership of Prussia
Prussia
, thereby forming the new German Empire. The first _Kaiser_ himself preferred either _Kaiser von Deutschland_ (" Emperor
Emperor
of Germany") or _ Kaiser
Kaiser
der Deutschen_ (" Emperor
Emperor
of the Germans"). In the end, his chancellor's Bismarck 's choice _Deutscher Kaiser_ ("German Emperor") was adopted as it simply connoted that the new emperor, hearkening from Prussia, was a German, but did not imply that this new emperor had dominion over all German territories. Especially the _Austrian Kaiser_ would have been offended otherwise. There were only three Kaisers of the (second) German Empire. All of them belonged to the Hohenzollern
Hohenzollern
dynasty, which, as kings of Prussia, had been de facto leaders of lesser Germany.

In English the (untranslated) word _Kaiser_ is mainly associated with the emperors of the unified German Empire
German Empire
(1871–1918).

The Kaisers of the Austrian Empire (1804–1918) were:

* Franz I (1804–1835) * Ferdinand I (1835–1848) * Franz Joseph I (1848–1916) * Karl I (1916–1918)

The Kaisers of the German Empire
German Empire
(1871–1918) were:

* Wilhelm I (1871–1888); * Friedrich III (9 March-15 June 1888), who ruled for 99 days; * Wilhelm II
Wilhelm II
(1888–1918), during whose reign the monarchy in Germany
Germany
ended near the end of World War I
World War I
.

Georg Friedrich Ferdinand , Prince of Prussia, is currently head of the House of Hohenzollern, which was the former ruling dynasty of the German Empire
German Empire
and the Kingdom of Prussia. Karl von Habsburg
Habsburg
is currently the head of the House of Habsburg.

SEE ALSO

* German Monarchy * German nobility * List of German monarchs * Qaisar