Georg Leo Graf von Caprivi de Caprara de
(24.02.1831 – 06.02.1899)
place of birth: Berlin-Charlottenburg
KG, General der Infanterie
Former army officer and head of the admiralty who
succeeded Bismarck as German chancellor in 1890. He was a Prussian but
of Italian and Slavic origin. Caprivi took part in the Austrian campaign
of 1866, being attached to the staff of the First Army. In 1870-71,
during the Franco-Prussian War, he was Chief of Staff for X. Army
Corps (part of the Second Army) and took part in battles before Metz
as well as in those around Orleans.
In 1883 Caprivi was made chief of the admiralty, where he
commanded the fleet and represented the department in the Reichstag. He
resigned in 1888 and was appointed commander of the X. Army Corps.
Bismarck had already referred to Caprivi as a possible successor, for
Caprivi had shown great administrative ability and was unconnected with
any political party, and in March 1890 he was appointed chancellor,
Prussian minister president, and foreign minister. Under Caprivi, the
antisocialist law was abrogated and military service was shortened from
three to two years. Favoring industrial over agrarian interests, he
negotiated a series of reciprocal trade agreements to stimulate
industrial exports. The agreements reduced duties on agricultural
products and aroused agrarian opposition to Caprivi, which contributed
to his dismissal in 1894.