Kaiser Wilhelm II -||- Wilhelm's Chancellors -||- Admiral von Tirpitz and the Naval Race -||- Alliance with Austria-Hungary -||- Relations with Europe -||- Internal Discontent and new Social Orders -||- Industry and Economy -||- The Schlieffin Plan -||- World War I
~~~~~-Wilhelm II's Germany-~~~~~
World War I
Once it started it happened quickly. Austria-Hungary declared war on the Balkans for the assassination of the Arch-Duke Franz Ferdinand. When that happened, the Balkans appealed to the Russians for help, and so the Russians armed and prepared to invade Austria.
Germany then declared war on Russia and put the Schlieffen Plan into
action, to have France before Russia arrived.
The action had France and Britain declare war on Germany.
This happened in a matter of days.
At first, the European community was excited at the prospect of war.
It brought back memories of the old honorable heroes of nobility and
duty. Add to that, they all
expected to be home by Christmas. Only
a few guessed that the coming conflict would be disastrous.
Included was the socialist Jean Jaures, who said: “From a European war a revolution may spring up and the ruling classes
would do well to think of this. But
it may also result, over a long period, in crises of counter-revolution, of
furious reaction, of exasperated nationalism, of stifling dictatorships, of
monstrous militarism, a long chain of retrograde violence”
It is almost scary how accurate that prediction was.
The World War was a bloody one, leading to great losses of lives but it
had to happen.
I believe it was the transitional period between old day and modern day.
In World War I, Generals were still using horse cavalry, and sending
soldiers out with swords and not guns. The
War would allow great leaps of technology, such as the invention of tanks, new
guns, and improvements on airplanes, battleships, submarines and the technique
of war in general. The only thing
negative about this was that it was progress in learning how to kill each other,
not save one another.
Socially, it brought an end to the absolute power of the old monarchies
and opened up a right for the voices of the people.
Many royal families ‘died’ at the end of World War I.
Even though they have royal blood living in the country today, these have
no claim to any ceremonial throne, nor do they or the people want it. The Hohenzollern’s (the Kaiser’s family), the Romanovs
(of Russia) and the Habsburgs were amongst these.
The was (as Lenin said) ‘a mighty
accelerator of events’ and led to many revolutions.
These were the Bolshevik ones of Russia, and the Fascist ones of Italy
and eventually, Germany.