In 1890, after Russo-German Reinsurance Treaty had lapsed, it was renewed and led to a tighter bond and eventually an alliance between these two monarchies. During the July Crisis, German Empire pressured its ally, Austria-Hungary to agree to Serbian compliance to Austrian Ultimatum, fearing a war between two of its allies. Continued rebellion in colonies and massive strain on budget they caused, combined with the economic crisis, disillusioned Emperor Wilhelm II with the idea of colonialism and between 1916-1924, Germany sold most of its possessions for six billion marks. This led to warming relations with United Kingdom and slightly alleviated tensions with France, which were very strained as result of the war 50 years earlier.
Rapprochement with the west and Italo-German alliance of 1922 led Germany to continue to neglect its eastern allies. This eventually led to war with Austro-Hungarian Empire in 1929 and the world war in 1936, where Germany and Italy (Alliance) pitted themselves against France and Russia (Triple Entente). While the war initially seemed to be going in favour of the Alliance, with massive defeat of the Russians troops but first, French invasion of Piemonte (so called Foch offensive) forced Italy to drop out. What was believed to be a decisive French offensive, lost momentum 30 km into German territory. Eventually, Germany and France signed peace, whose only provision was transfer of last German colony, Samoa to France in exchange for an insignificant sum of money.
In the second half of the 20th century, Wilhelm's successor, Ferdinand made an attempt to peacefully increase German economic and scientific power, raise German standards of living and promote a united Europe. He also gradually abolished traces of aristocratic character of the empire. Today, German Empire is mostly democratic European powerhouse with strong ties to European Federation.