February 2009 Newsletter: The 1900s
February’s newsletter focuses on the world events of the 1900′s. Many events occurred during this time that would shape the future of the world in the coming decades. We hope that you enjoy this month’s newsletter.
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25 June 1900: Lord Mountbatten, born His Serene Highness Prince Louis of Battenberg was the youngest child and second son to Prince Louis of Battenberg and his wife Princess Victoria of Hesse and by Rhine (a granddaughter of Queen Victoria). In 1917 Prince Louis and his family stopped using their German titles and in 1947 Louis was granted the title Earl Mountbatten. In 1922 Lord Mountbatten married Edwina Ashley and they had two daughters. Earl Mountbatten was killed on 27 August 1979 in County Sligo, Ireland by a IRA bomb aboard his boat.
13 October 1900: Ghislaine Dommanget was the daughter of Colonel Robert Dommanget and wife Marie Louise Meunier. She was the Princess of Monaco from 1946 to 1949. Prior to become the Princess of Monaco, Ghislaine was a French comedy actress and married to actor André Brulé. After her divorce Ghislaine married the reigning Prince of Monaco, Louis II in 1946. She is also noted to be the first Grimaldi bride without a dowry. The Dowager Princess of Monaco died in 1991.
28 March 1901: Princess Märtha of Sweden, later known as Crown Princess Märtha of Norway, was the second child of Prince Carl of Sweden and Norway, Duke of Västergötland and his wife Princess Ingeborg of Denmark. In 1929 she married her cousin Crown Prince Olav of Norway, only child of King Haakon VII and Queen Maud (born Maud of Wales). The marriage produced three children. Märtha died in 1954 from cancer and three years before her husband became King.
29 April 1901: Emperor Hirohito (or Emperor Shōwa) was born Prince Michi, the first son of Crown Prince Yoshihito (the future Emperor Taishō) and Crown Princess Sadako (the future Empress Teimei). In 1924 he married his distant cousin Princess Nagako Kuni (the future Empress Kōjun), the eldest daughter of Prince Kuni Kuniyoshi and his wife, Chikako. The marriage between Emperor Hirohito and Empress Kōjun produced seven children. The most notable event that happened during Emperor Hirohito’s reign was that of World War II. Emperor Hirohito died in 1989.
3 November 1901: Prince Leopold of Belgium, Prince of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha, later known as Leopold III, was the oldest son of Crown Prince Albert of Belgium and his wife Duchess Elisabeth of Bavaria. In 1926 Leopold married Princess Astrid of Sweden, daughter of Prince Carl of Sweden and Norway, Duke of Västergötland and his wife Princess Ingeborg of Denmark.. The marriage produced three children. In 1935 King Leopold was driving a car with his wife when he was involved in a automobile accident. The accident caused the death of Queen Astrid and their unborn child. In 1941 King Leopold married for a second time in a secret morganatic religious ceremony to Lilian Baels. The marriage produced three children. The most notable event to happen during King Leopold’s reign was World War II and his abdication in 1951. King Leopold died in 1983.
14 December 1901: Prince Paul of Greece, later known as King Paul of Greece, was the third son of King Constantine I of Greece and his wife Princess Sophie of Prussia. In 1938 Prince Paul married Princess Frederica of Hanover, the daughter of Ernest Augustus III, Duke of Brunswick and his wife Princess Viktoria Luise of Prussia. The marriage produced three children. From 1941 to 1946 Prince Paul was in exile with his brother, King George II. When his brother passed away in 1947 Paul became King. King Paul passed away in 1964.
6 March 1903: Princess Nagako Kuni, later known as Empress Kōjun, was the eldest daughter of Prince Kuni Kuniyoshi and his wife, Chikako. In 1924 she married her distant cousin Crown Prince Hirohito of Japan, the son of Emperor Taishō and Empress Teimei. The marriage between Emperor Hirohito and Empress Kōjun produced seven children. Empress Kōjun died in 2000.
2 July 1903: Prince Alexander of Denmark, later known as King Olav V of Norway, was the only child Prince Carl of Denmark and Maud of Wales (later King Haakon VII and Queen Maud). His name was changed to Olav two years after his birth when his father accepted the throne of Norway. In 1929 he married his cousin Princess Märtha of Sweden who was the second child of Prince Carl of Sweden and Norway, Västergötland and his wife Princess Ingeborg of Denmark. The marriage produced three children. King Olav succeeded his father in 1957 and died in 1991.
12 August 1904: Tsarevitch Alexei of Russia was the youngest child and only son and heir of Tsar Nicholas II and his wife Alexandra (born Princess Alix of Hesse). He had inherited hemophilia from his mother Alexandra. The condition was kept a secret from the Russian people. Tsarevitch Alexei and his immediate family were assassinated in the cellar room of the Ipatiev House in Yekaterinburg, Russia in 1918 by forces of the Bolshevik secret police.
17 November 1905: Princess Astrid of Sweden, later known as Queen Astrid of Belgium, was the third child of Prince Carl of Sweden and Norway, Duke of Västergötland and his wife Princess Ingeborg of Denmark. In 1926 Princess Astrid married Crown Prince Leopold of Belgium, son of King Albert I and Queen Elisabeth of Belgium. The marriage between Astrid and Leopold produced three children. On 29 August 1935 Queen Astrid and her unborn child died in an automobile accident in Switzerland.
22 April 1906: Prince Gustav Adolf of Sweden, Duke of Västerbotten was the eldest child and heir of Crown Prince Gustaf VI Adolf of Sweden and his wife Princess Margaret of Connaught. In 1932 he married Princess Sibylla of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha, daughter of Charles Edward, Duke of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha and his wife Princess Victoria Adelaide of Schleswig-Holstein. The marriage produced five children. Prince Gustav Adolf was killed in a plane crash in 1947 in Kastrup, Denmark.
16 August 1906: Prince Franz Joseph of Liechtenstein, later known as Franz Joseph II, Prince of Liechtenstein was the oldest child of Prince Aloys of Liechtenstein and his wife Archduchess Elisabeth Amalia of Austria. In 1943 he married Countess Georgina von Wilczek, daughter of Ferdinand, Count of Wilczek and his wife, Countess Norbertine Kinsky of Wchinitz and Tettau. The marriage produced five children. He succeeded his childless cousin Prince Franz I in 1938, after his own father renounced his right of succession in his favor a decade earlier. Franz Joseph died in 1989.
18 January 1908: Princess Sibylla of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha, later known as Duchess of Västerbotten, was the second child of of Charles Edward, Duke of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha and his wife Princess Victoria Adelaide of Schleswig-Holstein. In 1932 she married Prince Gustav Adolf of Sweden, Duke of Västerbotten, eldest child of Crown Prince Gustaf VI Adolf of Sweden and his wife Princess Margaret of Connaught. The marriage between Sybilla and Gustav Adolf produced five children. Sybilla became a widow in 1947 when her husband was killed in a plane crash Kastrup, Denmark. She died of cancer in 1972.
26 February 1909: Talal bin Abdullah, later known as King Talal I of Jordan was the son of King Abdullah I of Jordan and his first wife Musbah bint Nasser. In 1934 he married Zein al-Sharaf, the daughter of Sharif Jamal ‘Ali bin Nasser and Wijdan Shakir Pasha. The marriage produced six children. King Talal succeeded his father after he was killed by an assassin inJerusalem in July 1951, but was forced to abdicate a year later due to health reasons. King Talal died in 1972.
30 April 1909: Princess Juliana of The Netherlands, later known as Queen Juliana of The Netherlands was the only child of Queen Wilhelmina of the Netherlands and her husband Duke Hendrik of Mecklenburg-Schwerin. In 1937 Princess Juliana married HSH Count Bernhard of Lippe-Biesterfeld, the eldest son of Prince Bernhard of Lippe-Biesterfeld and Baroness Armgard von Sierstorpff-Cramm. The marriage produced four daughters. In 1948 Queen Wilhelmina abdicated the throne in favor of her daughter. Queen Juliana reigned until 1980, when she abdicated the throne in favor of her oldest daughter Beatrix. Queen Juliana died in 2004.
10 August 1909: Mohammed V of Morocco was the son of Yusef of Morocco and succeeded him in 1927. From 1927 to 1953 he was Sultan of Morocco. During the years 1953-55 he was in exile. When he returned from exile he was still recognized as Sultan. In February 1956 he successfully negotiated with France for the independence of Morocco In 1957 until 1961 he took on the title of King. In 1929 he married Lalla Abla bint Tahar, daughter of Moulay al-Tahar ben Hasan. Lalla Abla bint Tahar was the mother of Mohammed’s successor, King Hassan II of Morocco. King Mohammed died in 1961.
Marriages and Anniversaries
10 May 1900: Prince Yoshihito married 15 year old Sadako Kudo (later Emperor Taisho and Empress Teimei). She had been carefully selected by Emperor Meiji for her intelligence, articulation, and pleasant disposition and dignity – to complement Prince Yoshihito in the areas where he was lacking. The couple had four sons, the Princes Hirohito (the later Emperor Showa), Yasuhito, Nobuhito, and Takahito. The marriage ended in 1926, with the death of the Emperor.
2 December 1900: Prince Albert of Belgium and Duchess Elisabeth in Bavaria (later King Albert I and Queen Elisabeth of Belgium) married in Munich. Elisabeth was a niece of Empress Elisabeth (Sissi) of Austria. They had met at a family funeral. The couple had three children: Prince Leopold (later King Leopold III of the Belgians), Prince Charles (the Prince-Regent) and Princess Marie-José, who would become the last Queen of Italy. The happy marriage ended abruptly on 17 February 1934, when the King died in a tragical mountaineering accident in Marche-Les-Dames.
7 February 1901: Queen Wilhelmina of The Netherlands and Duke Heinrich of Mecklenburg-Schwerin. The couple didn’t have a very happy marriage. They had only one child, the later Queen Juliana. The marriage ended with the death of the Duke in 1934.
15 June 1905: Crown Prince Gustaf Adolf of Sweden (the later King Gustav VI Adolf of Sweden) and Princess Margaret of Connaught, a granddaughter of Queen Victoria. The marriage took place in St George’s Chapel, at Windsor Castle. This was the first marriage for the Crown Prince, which ended very suddenly and unexpectedly when the Crown Princess died in 1920, due to an infection after surgery. The couple had five children: Prince Gustav Adolf, Prince Sigvard, Princess Ingrid, Prince Bertil and Prince Carl Johan.
31 May 1906: Alfonso XIII of Spain and Princess Victoria Eugenia of Battenberg, a granddaughter of Queen Victoria. The couple survive an assassination attempt during the wedding celebrations, which took place at the Royal Monastery of San Geronimo in Madrid. They would have seven children, two daughters and five sons. The marriage began very happily, but soon the spouses grew apart. During their exile, they lived separated.
6 June 1907: Golden wedding anniversary of Oscar II and Queen Sophia of Sweden.
The couple had four sons. Oscar II of Sweden died that same year in December.
29 July 1900: Umberto I of Italy. Umberto I had survived two previous assassination attempts, when in July 1900 he was murdered with four revolver shots by Gaetano Bresci in the city of Monza. Umberto was not very popular after giving his support to the Bava-Beccaris massacre. He was famous, however, for taking a stand against the Vatican, claiming Rome was and would always be Italian. He was buried in the Pantheon in Rome, by the side of his father Victor Emmanuel II, on 9 August 1900. He was the last Savoy to be buried there, as his son and successor Victor Emmanuel III died in exile.
30 July 1900: Alfred, Duke of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha (also Duke of Edinburgh, Earl of Ulster and Earl of Kent). Alfred was the second son of Queen Victoria. He became reigning Duke of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha after the death of his uncle, Duke Ernst II. He was married to Grand Duchess Maria Alexandrovna, the only surviving daughter of the last Russian Tsar. The Duke died of throat cancer at Schloss Rosenau, his summer residence outside Coburg. He was buried at the ducal family’s mausoleum in the public Glockenburg Cemetery of Coburg. He was succeeded as the Duke of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha by his nephew, Prince Charles Edward, Duke of Albany, the posthumous son of his youngest brother, Prince Leopold, Duke of Albany because Alfred’s other brothers had renounced the rights to the throne of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha.
22 January 1901: Queen Victoria of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland. She was born in 1819 as the only child of the Duke of Kent, fourth son to George III. At birth she was fifth in line to the British throne, after her father and his three older brothers. She became Queen only a few months after turning 18. She married Prince Albert of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha in 1840. The couple would have nine children. Victoria reigned until her death in 1901. She died from a cerebral hemorrhage and declining health at Osborne House on the Isle of Wight, surrounded by her son Edward and her eldest grandson, the German Emperor William II.
5 August 1901: Victoria of the United Kindom, German Empress and Queen of Prussia. Born as the eldest child of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert in 1940, she married the German Emperor and King of Prussia, Friedrich III, in 1858. The couple would have eight children. Victoria was diagnosed with breast cancer in 1899. By the autumn of 1900, the cancer had spread to her spine. She died at Castle Friedrichshof, less than seven months after her mother, Queen Victoria. She was buried in the royal mausoleum of the Friedenskirche at Potsdam. Next to her lies her beloved husband. Two of her eight children, Sigismund (died age 2) and Waldemar (died age 11) are buried in the same mausoleum.
1 April 1902: Francis, Duke of Cádiz, the king-consort of Spain. He was born as the second son of the Infante Francisco de Paula of Spain, the Duke of Cádiz, and his wife, Princess Luisa Carlotta of Bourbon – Two sicilies. He married his first niece, Isabella II of Spain. They had twelve children together, only six of which reached adulthood. He died at the castle of Epinay-sur-Seine, where he lived since 1881.
11 June 1903: King Alexander and Queen Draga of Serbia murdered in their palace. The King and Queen had been married for three years, but the marriage was fiercely opposed to by the Dowager Queen and the people, who saw the King as a besotted fool under the spell of a wicked seductress, who was fifteen years his senior. When rumours started flying about that the King was to proclaim his brother-in-law as the heir to his throne, this caused an uproar. A group of army officers invaded the royal palace and savagely murdered the couple, who had tried to hide themselves in a cupboard. They were shot, mutilated and disembowelled. Their mutilated bodies were thrown from a second floor window afterwards. The King was only 26. They were buried at St. Mark’s Chapel in Belgrade.
9 April 1904: Queen Isabella II of Spain. She was the first Queen regnant of the Kingdom Spain, but exiled. In 1870 she was induced to abdicate in favour of her son, Alfonso XII. She lived separated from her husband from 1869 onwards, and continued to live in France after the restauration in 1874. During her exile, she grew closer to her husband Francis, the Duke of Cadiz, and maintained an close friendship with him until his death in 1902. She is buried in El Escorial.
29 January 1906: Christian IX of Denmark. He was born in Gottorp, the fourth son of Friedrich Wilhelm, Duke of Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg-Glücksburg and Louise Caroline, Princess of Hesse. Prince Christian had been a foster “grandson” of the childless royal couple Frederick VI and his queen consort Marie (Marie Sophie Friederike of Hesse). Though not first in line for succession to the Danish throne, he was chosen to succeed Frederick VII as the country’s next reigning monarch in 1852 by the Danish legislation. He married Princess Louise of Hesse in 1842. The couple had six children, four of whom became reigning monarchs or consorts to reigning monarchs. Christian died peacefully of old age at 87 at the Amalienborg Palace in Copenhagen and was buried in Roskilde Cathedral.
8 December 1907: Oscar II of Sweden. He succeeded his brother Charles XV as King of Sweden in May 1972, and was crowned King of Norway in July 1872. He was married to Sofia of Nassau. He did his best to learn Norwegian, but soon realized the maintenance of the union between the two countries would be very difficult. Thanks to his tact and patience, the dissolution of the union between the two countries in 1905 was peaceful. He died in Stockholm and was succeeded by his eldest of four sons, Gustav V.
1 February 1908: Portuguese Regicide, murder of King Carlos I and Crown Prince Luiz Felipe of Portugal. The royal family was travelling back from the palace of Vila Viçosa to Lisbon. As they made their way through the city in an open carriage, they were shot while crossing the Terreiro do Paço. TheKing died immediately, the Crown Prince was wounded mortally and died not half an hour later. The Queen was miraculously spared any injury, while her second son and the later King of Portugal, Manuel, was shot in the arm.
17 December 1909: Leopold II of Belgium. He was born the second (but eldest surviving) son of King Leopold I of Belgium and Queen Louise Marie. He married Marie-Henriette, Archduchess of Austria, niece to the Austrian emperor, on 22 August 1853. The couple had four children, three girls and one son, who died in Laken on 22 January 1869, from pneumonia, after falling into a pond. Leopold was internationally known mostly for his disgraceful reign in Congo. Leopold also had two sons by Caroline Lacroix, a prostitute he married five days before his death, even though the marriage held no validity under Belgian law. He was succeeded by his nephew Albert, the second son of his brother Philippe, the Count of Flanders.
Accessions, Enthronements, Jubilees, and Abdications
22 January 1901: Accession of Edward VII. Edward became King of the United Kingdom at the age of 59 when his mother Queen Victoria passed away. He decided to use the name Edward instead of Albert Edward which was the name that his mother wanted him to use.
17 May 1902: Enthronement ceremony for King Alfonso XIII of Spain. Alfonso was declared King at birth but his mother Queen Maria Christina, was appointed regent during his minority. In 1902 he was declared an adult at the age of 16 and could assume control of state affairs. During his reign, Spain lost their colonies in America and the Philippines, and endured the dictatorship of Miguel Primo de Rivera, which ultimately cost him the throne. In 1931, King Alfonso left Spain but did not abdicate the throne officially until 1941.
9 August 1902: Coronation of Edward VII and Alexandra. The coronation was originally scheduled for 26 June but had to be postponed because the King had appendicitis and needed to undergo emergency surgery. King Edward was crowned by the Archbishop of Canterbury, Frederick Temple, and Queen Alexandra was crowned by the Archbishop of York, William Dalrymple Maclagan. King Edward reigned for 9 years until his death in 1910.
24 June 1903: Peter I of Serbia. Peter Karađorđević became King after his rival, King Alexander Obrenović, and Queen Draga were murdered in their own palace. Peter I reigned for 18 years until 1921 when he passed the throne over to his son Alexander I.
6 June 1905: Storting chooses Prince Carl of Denmark to be King of Norway. In 1905 the union between Sweden and Norway ended. A committee from the Norwegian government picked several members of Europe’s royal houses as candidates to become their first king in several centuries. Eventually, Prince Carl became the leading candidate, due to the fact that he was descended from previous independent Norwegian Kings. The fact that he had a son also boded well for him to be picked as the future King.
18 November 1905: Accession of Haakon VII of Norway (previously Prince Carl of Denmark). Prince Carl would not accept the throne without a referendum to show whether monarchy was what the Norwegian people wanted. The referendum was passed with 79 percent in favor of retaining a monarchy and Prince Carl accepted the throne from the Storting and changed his name to Haakon. .
29 January 1906: Accession of Frederik VIII of Denmark. Frederik succeeded his father, Christian after he died peacefully in his sleep at the age of 87. Frederik reigned for only six years.
22 June 1906: Coronation of Haakon VII of Norway. Haakon and Maud’s coronation took place in Nidaros Cathedral in Trondheim. Their coronation was the last coronation of a Scandinavian monarch Haakon reigned for 51yrs.
8 December 1907: Accession of Gustav V of Sweden. Gustav became King after the death of his father Oscar II. Gustav reigned from the age of 49 until his death in 1950.
1 February 1908: Accession of Manuel II of Portugal after the assassination of his father and elder brother. Manuel succeeded his father, Carlos, as King of Portugal after he was assassinated and the assassination of his older brother and heir to the throne, Crown Prince LuÃs Filipe. His mother, Queen Amélie, was unharmed during the attack and helped save her son. Manuel served from 1908 until October 1910 when a military coup overthrew his rule. Manuel lived out the rest of his life in England
15 November 1908: Leopold II of Belgium cedes rule of Congo Free State to the Belgian government. Leopold was the personal owner of the Congo Free State from 1876 until 1908. He was using the Free State to extract rubber and ivory using slaves. During Leopold’s reign the people of the Congo Free State were subject to a terror regime which included mass killings and maimings. In the early 1900s international outrage sparked the Belgian government to ask the King to cede the Congo Free State to Belgium in 1908.
2 December 1908: Enthronement of Pu-Yi, the last emperor of China. Pu-Yi became Emperor at the age of two years and ten months after the death of his uncle. His father was to serve as regent until he came of age, but in 1911 his grandmother Empress Dowager Longyu took over as regent during the Xinhai Revolution. Empress Dowager Longyu would sign the act of abdication which would spell the end of Pu-Yi’s reign.
23 December 1909: Albert I of Belgium. Albert took the oath to become King of the Belgians after the death of his uncle. He was the first to do so in both French and Flemish. Albert and his wife were popular rulers, compared to his uncle. One of the things Albert is noted for during his reign was the implementations of reforms that he enacted in regards to the Belgian Congo. Albert ruled for 24 years.
Major World Events
1 January 1901: Creation of the Commonwealth of Australia. Australia was founded as a series of British colonies in the 18th and 19th centuries, some (like New South Wales) as penal colonies and some (like South Australia) as free colonies. In the second half of the 19th century the colonies adopted a parliamentary form of government, and on 1 January 1901 they became a federation. The Commonwealth of Australia is part of the British Commonwealth with Elizabeth II as Head of State.
10 December 1901: Award of the first Nobel Prizes. The Nobel prizes were established by the Swedish chemist and inventor of dynamite, Alfred Nobel (1833-1896). In his will (dated 1895) he left money to be used to give annual cash awards to persons making outstanding contributions in the fields of physics, chemistry, physiology or medicine, literature, and peace. The awards are presented every year in Stockholm (with the exception of the Peace Prize, which is presented in Oslo). The award ceremonies are very lavish occasions, attended by the royal families (threads may be found here and here). The recipients of the 1901 Prizes were Wilhelm Röntgen (physics), Jacobus van’t Hoff (chemistry), Emil von Behring (physiology or medicine), Sully Prudhomme (literature), and Henry Dunant and Frédéric Passy (peace).
31 May 1902: End of the Second Boer War. After conventional warfare led to defeats by the end of 1900, the Boers turned to guerilla warfare. The British Army responded with scorched-earth tactics, concentration camps, and a massive increase of manpower. Eventually by 1902, with the African natives turning against the Boers, the Boers finally surrendered. South Africa was part of the British Empire and then the British Commonwealth until its independence in 1961.
10 February 1904-5 September 1905: Russo-Japanese war. At the turn of the 20th century Russia and Japan were at odds over control of Manchuria and Korea. Japan was prepared to cede control of Manchuria to Russia in return for being granted control over Korea, but the Russians did not agree to this compromise. Japan therefore attacked the Russian fleet and declared war (in that order). The Japanese laid siege to Port Arthur, which the Russians wanted to control in order to have a warm-water port. In January 1905 the town fell to the Japanese. For much of 1905, Russia and Japan were fighting for control of Manchuria. Eventually the Russian army was defeated, and by the terms of the peace treaty Russia had to give up its ambitions in Manchuria, as well as allowing Japan to take control of Korea. The unexpected defeat of the Russian Army was a contributing factor in the 1905 revolution.
8 April 1904: Signing of the Entente Cordiale. This agreement between Britain and France, two long-term enemies, was made in the face of increasing threats from Germany, especially after Germany, Russia, and Italy had entered into an alliance. It was made particularly necessary by the outbreak of the Russo-Japanese war in February 1904, since France and Britain supported different sides. The documents signed by the two countries dealt mostly with colonial affairs, but the agreement held throughout the 20th century and ensured that Britain and France would be allies in the two World Wars.
7 June/26 October 1905: Norwegian independence from Sweden. Norway had been under Swedish influence since 1814, but by the beginning of the 20th century the Norwegians were demanding the right to set up their own consuls independent of Sweden, as well as the right to control their own interests. On 7 June, after King Oscar of Sweden refused to recognise the vote in the Norwegian Parliament to set up individual consular offices, the Norwegian government resigned and a constitutional crisis resulted. A plebiscite in Norway in August showed overwhelming support for dissolution, so negotiations were set up to agree the terms of the dissolution. The Norwegian Parliament voted on 9 October and the Swedish Parliament voted on 14 October, in both cases supporting the terms. On 26 October Sweden recognised Norway’s independence and King Oscar stepped down as King of Norway. In November of that year, the Norwegians voted to establish their own monarchy rather than become a republic, and Prince Carl of Denmark was invited to become King of Norway, taking the throne as Haakon VII. His grandson, King Harald, is the present King of Norway.
22 January-18 December 1905: Russian Revolution of 1905. Unrest throughout Russia, combined with the unexpected and humiliating defeat of the Russian Army by the Japanese in the Russo-Japanese War, led to a series of strikes, terrorist attacks, and uprisings by groups of workers demanding a more representative form of government and protesting against the autocracy of Tsar Nicholas II and the influence of the church. The unrest escalated, and the Tsar’s uncle, Grand Duke Sergei, was assassinated after his heavy-handed response to protests in Moscow. Slight concessions were offered by the Tsar but were refused by the leaders of the protests. In October, the Tsar was presented with the October Manifesto, detailing the demands of the people for a representative government. He reluctantly signed the Manifesto, and apart from some extremist socialists, the revolution came to an end. The result of the revolution was the setting up of the State Duma, an expansion of the franchise, and eventually a new Constitution.
31 March 1905-31 May 1906: First Moroccan Crisis. In response to the Entente Cordiale, which provided for Britain to recognise and support France’s influence in Morocco, the German government decided to provoke an incident to test the British-French alliance. On 31 March 1905 Kaiser Wilhelm arrived in Tangier and gave a speech supporting Moroccan independence from France. The situation worsened throughout 1905, until the Algeciras Conference opened in early 1906 in order to settle the dispute. The agreement was signed on 31 May and was favourable to the French although with some face-saving provisions for Germany. This incident created more tension between the French-British-Russian alliance and the German-Austrian-Italian alliance, a situation that contributed to the eventual outbreak of World War I.
3 July 1908: Young Turk Revolution. In 1878 Sultan Abdul Hamid II suspended the Ottoman parliament in the face of a threat of war with Russia, and tried to make an alliance with Germany. The Young Turks were a coalition of groups who wished to overthrow the monarch and create a more demcratic system. Increasing interference in Macedonia by Russia and Austria led to discontent with the Ottoman rulers and gave the Young Turk leaders an opportunity to demand that the Constitution be restored. The 3rd Army in Macedonia sided with the revolutionaries and began a march to the capital, and the Sultan capitulated and restored the Constitution and the parliament.Filed under The Royal Forums
- January 2009 Newsletter: The 1890s
- Death of George VI (6 February 1952)
- Accession of Elizabeth II (6 February 1952)