The Encyclopedia Americana (1920)/Caprivi, Georg Leo, Graf von
CAPRIVI, kä-prē'vē, Georg Leo, Graf von, sometimes called Caprivi de Caprara de Montecuculi, German soldier and statesman; second Chancellor of the German Empire: b. Charlottenburg, 24 Feb. 1831; d. Skyren, 6 Feb. 1899. He studied in Berlin; entered the army in 1849; fought in the campaigns of 1864 and 1866; and was appointed major and a member of the general staff of the First Army Corps. In the Franco-German War of 1870 he was chief of staff to the 10th Army Corps, served with distinction at Metz and Orleans and in the Loire campaigns. In 1882 he became commander of the 30th Infantry Division at Metz and in 1883-88 he was at the head of the Admiralty. This appointment was made by Bismarck and caused great dissatisfaction among the officers of the navy. Caprivi, however, soon mastered the details of the department, and the successful reorganization of the navy upon its present basis is in great part due to his capable and energetic direction. In 1888 he became commander of his old army corps. Hence he was removed, on the fall of Bismarck, in 1890, to become Imperial Chancellor and Prussian Prime Minister. His principal measures were the army bills of 1892 and 1893, and the commercial treaty with Russia in 1894, in which year he retired. He was made a count in 1891. His position as Bismarck's successor was one of peculiar difficulty and trial, but he showed himself an able and faithful administrator. Like Bismarck he was a man of giant stature, of great mental power and with an incredible capacity for work. Consult ‘Die Reden des Grafen von Caprivi . . . 1883-93’ (Berlin 1894).