Bernard von Bulow was the son of the German Foreign Minister and spent his early career as a diplomat with assignment in major European capitals. In June of 1897 he was asked to be the new German Secretary for Foriegn Affairs. Bulow forged an excellent working relationship with Kaiser Wilhelm. Wilhelm instructed Bulow to create a world class naval fleet, but do so without creating too much friction with Great Britain. Bulow worked to expand the German Empire abroad. In October 1900 Wilhelm summoned Bulow and asked him to become the Chancellor of Germany and Prime Minister of Prussia. Bulow accepted.
Bulow worked closely with the Kaiser, visiting him almost every day. Bulow followed a very aggressive foreign policy, one that angered both Britain and France. He expanded the German Empire overseas, but his confrontational manner resulted in significant counter pressure by other world powers. He remained in office until 1909.