What If WWI/WWII Hadn't Happened?
Figure this would be interesting, especially if people who live in the relevant countries share their views:
How would the monarchies of Germany, Austria, Russia, Hungary, Yugoslavia, Italy, etc. have turned out today if they hadn't been overthrown after World Wars I and II?
Would the monarchs have ended up being purely symbolic figureheads, with a vibrant democracy, as in Western Europe, or would monarchs have kept real power? Would the Czar in Russia have turned out like Putin? If those monarchs had held on to real power, would those countries have still ended up as democracies?
I'd say we know how Romania and Bulgaria would have turned out since their kings are still around and are still active, but how about the rest?
I doubt the Russian monarchy would have survived very long, the WW I was not in it self the reason for the fall of the Romanovs. There was too much internal unrest in the country and a weak monarch unable to or unwilling to make a change towards democracy.
I suspect that in Germany, the idea f equal marriage would have and gemale succession brought in. This would have prevented the extinctions of Mecklenburg Scjwerin say. And the Emporer of Germany would not be Georg Friedrich but his uncle. Friedrich.
Well, I must say that i am probably speaking in the name of all citizens of states that were part of Austria-Hungary, when I say that it is a disaster that it disappeared.
However, I don't want to make here a long post about all good things about A-U, but I can say that there was a plan made by transilvanian Romanian Auriel Popovici about new federal system of the Empire. This was supported by archieduke Franz Ferdinand, who would be the new emperor after Franz Joseph. This new idea was very fair and it would definately please all the nations of the Empire, except maybe Hungary which get a lot of power after Compromise from 1867. However, Franz Ferdinand was killed and it never came true.
Romania would have been a very successful, modern, wealthy nation had the Allies not thrown King Michael under the bus. He wanted the best for his people. Much suffering happened because of his overthrow.
I really can't imagine how Germany would have fared without loosing all those Jewish thinkers and their culture. But OTOH the wars shocked people into thinking about and getting rid of old ways of acting and that was good, so..
I remember the question "What if WWI had not happened" being asked a lot back in 2014 prior to the centennial celebration of the beginning of the Great War. At the time, the answer that I felt made the most sense was that, if WWI had not begun in 1914, it would have at some point shortly thereafter, maybe five or ten years later at most. The conditions that led to the war were still there and the countries that went into it were just looking for an excuse to start it.
Could the outcome of the war have been different though? Specifically, could the monarchies of Germany, Russia and Austria-Hungary have survived the war, or could peace have been such that the events in the 1920s and the 1930s that ultimately led to World War II would have been avoided? I tend to think the answer to former is NO, but the answer to the latter might be PERHAPS.
I wonder, had there been no war, would George offer asylum to the Russian Imperial Family. I think Nicholas II was finished no matter what, but perhaps without the war, the family could have been saved.
Hmm no “special relationship” between UK and USA- so not as many state visits between QE2 and US presidents maybe? Would Edward VIII have been able to cling on without those Nazi sympathiser rumours?
- Russian monarchy was going to collapse, not same way as in ours world but it would be ended probably in ten years. Nicholas II was just too stubborn and reactionary and there was already huge problems which just waited to be solved with way or another.
- Austria-Hungary might survive but it would need much of reforms.
- Ottoman Empire might survive but it not be sure. There too was tons of problems.
- German monarchy is going to survive and probably develope as British style monarchy.
Without WW2 but WW1 still happens:
- Italian monarchy probably would survive. It almost did that even during WW2 and was abolished on referendum only with small margin.
- It is questionable can Yugoslavia even survive. Serbian monarchy might do that but I bit doubt that Yugoslavia would do that when it was such mutlinational nation. Much too depends what its neighbors are going to do. If treaties after WW1 are similar than in ours world, Italy would be still mad about betrayal on treaties and Hungary wants take back regions which it lost on extremely humiliatin Treaty of Trianon.
- Bulgarian and Romanian monarchies would survive easily without WW2 when Soviets not occupy the countries.
- Hungary was actually monarchy without king between world wars so we can include that too. If Horthy manage keep power until his death he might decide appoint Otto von Habsburg as his successor. But that is not so sure.
What about Greece and Spain?
On the flip side, I think it's possible Norway may have become a republic at some point without the massive royal family fusion/love that came out of WWII, but that's just an idle guess.
What an interesting topic, I have never really thought about that before. I am just sitting down to watch a documentary about the Queens lost Family. It is about George V rebranding the royal family.
This is actually rather difficult to do as so mush could have turned on some many things.
1. it is unlikely the Saxa-coberg- Gotha's would have changed their name - but then again they might have faced an a communist revolution later. It must be remembered that WW1 and WW2 halted communism. Also WW1 and WW2 both cemented the monarchy in the UK at least, as a shared rally point of nationalism.
2. We might still have a monarchy in Germany and several other countries. However it is more then likely that we would have had localized if not ethic conflicts that kicked them out. So we might have several small German states and princes. It must be remembered that royals families have bound ethic groups together in unlikely friendships. This about Belgium and Spain. No wars - might have resulted in the families unable to bind those regions together.
3. It is very likely that the royals would have continued to marry into each other and we might have been something like a Scandinavian country emerge and not the 5 that exist today.
4. Another thing about WW1 especially is that it destroyed the structured class system that existed in Europe - titles nobles were essentially knocked off their pedestals. So if communism hadn't engulfed the whole of Europe and possible the world - we would still have a rigid class system.
Women would have remained in the home - so universal suffrage and there would only be men in work force and Empire would remain. As many of the countries only broke off the various empires due to their weakened state after the wars and surges of independence
Mind you that you are only saying no wars - not no raise of Fascism. Fascism might have engulfed Europe and if Germany was anything to go on - the royals would have joined up.
However my guess is most if not all the royal families would have been executed or gone into exile with the spread of communism into the Europe.
I think WWII could have been avoided. There were several ways to do that.
A different Versailles Treaty.
A more lenient and inclusive policy by the former Allies.
An economic blokade as late as 1938.
An ultimatum before Sudentenland was annexed.
Hindenburg staying alive and well, preventing Hitler from becoming Führer, rather than "just" chancellor. Hindenburg despised Hitler. Hitler, like most of his generation, had an immense respect for Hindenburg.
Hitler being killed in 1916, when his regiment was thrashed in battle.
Hitler losing his sight permanently in 1918 from mustard gas.
One of the assassination attempts on Hitler succeeding before WWII broke out.
The Reichstag-fire being contained with limited damage.
A reverse "Night of the Long Knives" where Ernest Röhm wasn't shot, but instead it was Hitler and his allies who were executed.
Etc., etc., etc.
I don't think WWI could have been prevented.
It was like a coiled spring, just waiting to be triggered.
The idea of mutual deterrent worked fine, in theory, but all Continental powers had build up a huge military capacity and the patriotic/nationalist public sentiment had grown as well.
But the most important thing was Germany's fear of Russia. In 1914 Germany could defeat France or Russia waging a war on a single front. The plans were ready and had the plan (the von Schlieffen Plan) not been modified, it might have knocked out France, simply by investing Paris and thereby taking control of the vital railway hub Paris was.
No later than by 1920 Russia was expected to be on par with Germany. It was Russia, not USA, that in 1914 had the largest industrial growth in the world.
After 1920 Germany could no longer win a major war in Europe. That was the assessment of the very competent German general staff.
At the same time Britain in particular feared Germanys growing navy strength, which was aimed at Britain.
The pact at the time ensured that France would guard the Mediterranean. While Britain would protect the French ports to the Atlantic and the English Channel, while at the same time blockading Germany with the Home Fleet.
By the 1920's Britain would no longer be able to guarantee that, without launching a massive and very expensive battleship building programme. The money for doing that would have to come from somewhere - taxes and that was most unpopular! And not necessarily politically possible.
Russia feared a German preemptive strike. The old Russian fear: An invasion from the West.
France was militarily falling behind Germany and they knew it.
Austria-Hungary were scared witless over Russia and they knew a strong Russia would make the Slav peoples of the Empire even more unruly.
Russian saw the Ottoman Empire ripe for the plucking = Control of the access to the Black Sea. Something Britain feared, because of the Sues Canal.
So, there were quite a number of reasons to start a short, sharp war, sooner rather than later.
And things were volatile! Britain and France almost got into an armed conflict over the colonies in Africa.
Russia almost started a war with Britain in 1905, the Doggerbank Incident.
All major European countries had a strong military and all were ready to use it!
I'd actually have said the opposite. Without the First World War, would there have been a communist revolution in Russia? Nicholas II was so pig-headed about not agreeing to reforms that I think he'd have been overthrown come what may, but a more moderate government, led by Kerensky, may have been able to hold things together.
And communism then didn't spread - OK, there were attempts in Hungary and other places at the end of the First World War, but they didn't last - until after the Second World War.
I think the Habsburgs would have lost the Slavic areas of their Empire, but whether Slovenia, Croatia and Bosnia-Herzegovina would have come under the auspices of the Serbian monarchy is a moot point. And I think Hungary would have demanded full independence at some point, leaving the question of what to do about having the same person as Emperor of independent Austria and King of independent Hungary.
:previous: No WWI might have meant that Lenin would have remained in Switzerland, politically impotent. Or just as importantly: Have arrived too late.
It was very much the deprivations of WWI that led to the (relatively limited) rise of the communists. The communists/bolsheviks were extremists who didn't have that wide a political public appeal and without the suffering of the war a more moderate (Social-Democrat) government might have cemented their power and reduced the power of the Tzar - something that at the time had a wide public appeal.
A democratic Russia sure would have had its fair share of challenges, but still...
Not to mention the Baltic mercenaries who got close to blocking the Communist coup.
Oooooohhhhhhh I love alternate-history :)
Let me see...if WWI and WWII didn't happen.
Honestly, I'd say that Austria-Hungary would've balkanized even if Archduke Franz Ferdinand's United States of Greater Austria plan was implemented mainly because of so many languages and a few religious differences within the Danube Realm. I think the Habsburg monarchy would've remained in German Austria and/or Hungary so we would've seen an Archduchy of Austria, Imperial State of Austria, or the Kingdom of Hungary but whether the Habsburgs would still be the royal family to this day because of those circumstances, I can't say for certain.
I think the Ottoman Empire would've balkanized too because of the exact same problems that Austria-Hungary was facing and we still probably would've seen the Republic of Turkey in my opinion.
I think the German monarchy easily could've survived if WWI never happened, as long as it modernized and kept up with the times.
As long as the 1914 act was honored, I think Irish Independence could've been avoided.
I think the Russian Empire would've balkanized too considering how backward, diverse, and despotic the regime was in that nation. I honestly think that Tsarist Russia was a ticking time bomb by 1914.
I think a royal Yugoslavia might've had a chance had surviving if a proper conclusive Yugoslav identity was established and all of the ethnic and religious groups were respected.
Albania, Bulgaria, Greece, and Romania's monarchies could've easily survived without both World Wars.
I think Otto von Habsburg could have been asked to take the Hungarian throne overtime or maybe a new Hungarian royal dynasty might have been established. Heck, I think a royal restoration could've happened if the 1956 revolution was successful and Prince Otto pressed for a restoration afterward.
Japan's imperial family would probably be a lot more revered assuming if WWII never happened. I think Japan probably could've held onto Taiwan, Southern Sakhalin, the Kuril Islands, and Micronesia without issue but Korea is a whole different matter. I suppose a Korean monarchy restoration is possible in the events of independence and depending on the circumstances and the timing of said independence.
There is no way that an independent Manchuria/Manchukuo, let alone as a monarchy under a restored Qing Dynasty, could've survived easily because of Manchu nationalism being so artificial and the old Qing monarchy being unpopular unless Emperor Puyi really tried and succeeded at being one heck of a statesman and the Japanese actually letting him do what he needed to do in this situation.
Considering that Mongolia was between Russia and China, Mongolia as a monarchy could only survive if Mongolian independence is fully respected, which isn't too likely in my opinion.
An independent Lao and Vietnamese monarchy could still be around and probably be like Cambodia and Thailand depending on how independence happened and how complacent the local monarchies were with the Third French Republic.
The Italian monarchy would probably still be around assuming if the kings were competent and popular.
Spain, this depends on what happens between the wars, and assuming if Franco still came to power, the monarchy might now be restored.
If World War One had not occurred, I can see Germany/Prussia remaining a monarchy. However, I see each separate kingdom, principality, duchy, and grand duchy in the German Empire keeping a royal ruler. That way, each place is uniform with each having royalty rule them.
a) Australia and New Zealand had universal suffrage before WWI so I see no reason why other countries wouldn't have still moved towards universal suffrage.
b) A lot more women were in the workforce than a lot of people realise pre-WW1. Most working class women were working. It was middle and upper class women who weren't expected to work.
Other areas that I think would be slower or not have happened:
1. The massive technological and medical advances of the 20th century wouldn't have happened as the wars sparked a lot of that - largely to come up with either better weapons or better ways to treat the wounded.
2. The increase in the educational standards around the world which were sparked from the above - if everyone is still working on the factory floor then no need for them to stay at school beyond primary school.
3. I am not convinced that the Empires would have continued. There were already calls for decolonisation in many colonised countries before WWI. I doubt it would have happened in the rush it did in the 50s and 60s but I do think the world would be decolonised or well on the way today.
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