As predicted, the new state soon assumed its place among the world’s great powers. In fact, by 1900, Germany was the second largest industrial producer in the world (after the U.S.A). Its accomplishments in the fields of science, technology, the arts and social policies were nothing short of dazzling.
But the young nation also developed a dazzling military. Not all Germans were caught up in militarism, but the military did enjoy widespread respect in the new Germany and exercised considerable, if not excessive, influence. German military leaders, like their Prussian forebearers, did not flinch at getting involved in political affairs whenever they believed their interests to be effected.
Soon, the conservative, imperialistically-minded political leaders who dominated Germany in its first decades started to pursue policies of steady military build-up and expansion of German power. Jumping into the colonial game rather late, the German leaders went at it with true Prussian zeal, and the new nation had amassed a string of colonies by the beginning of the 20th century.