Senate The World War I Thread

Discussion in 'Community' started by Point Given, Mar 25, 2014.

  1. Barkey Foreman Jedi Padawan

    Member Since:
    Mar 10, 2014
    While Wilhelm did glorify war and militarism,recent research into his diaries and such show he actually was quite nervous to go about war. To the point just before the armies clashed each other he tried to send telegraph to other European leaders to stop before its too late.

    In fact he attempted to demobilize the army but by that point all sides' military were so damn prepared to fight there was nothing the politicians could have done to preent a clash.

    There is also evidence majority of German males were so damn nationalistic they were eager to fight the war.

    Case in point, remember despite our modern notion European monarchs had absolute power and could do whatever they want, in reality there was a lot of checks and balances as early as the Middle Ages. Not enough to match our modern democracies notion of check and balances, but such that European monarchs had to yield to others authorities like nobles and the pope.

    Assuming he did have absolute power and wanted war (which I already said modern discoveries dispel as overrated), had Germans been anti-militaristic and weary of war, I doubt he would have sent entered into the war so recklessly. There is only a limit our much a monarch can keep pushing people to war and even armies mutiny when they get sick of it as happened on the French side no matter how nationalistic they are.

    Even older sources like Alistair Horne's The Price of Glory states Wilhelm's responsibility for the war and how it went is overrated.
  2. Barkey Foreman Jedi Padawan

    Member Since:
    Mar 10, 2014
    Honestly nationalism is such a poison. It wouldn't matter if the conquered were given everything they want including freedom, it isn't always enough.

    Case to point right after the war, the Greeks sent an invasion into mainland Turkey in hopes of winning new land. Got themselves kicked out. It wasn't enough to finally have freedom from the Ottomans back in the 1800s, they had to invade homeland Turkey.

    The treaty of Versailles could have favored the Germans greatly and it still wouldn't be enough. Their probably still would be a future war for some pointless thing or another.

    Nationalism is such a poison.................
  3. Goodwood Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    May 11, 2011
    star 4
    I agree completely, and it was a nationalistic power structure divvying up the world amongst itself that resulted in the conditions that made the First World War inevitable. Through all the halls of the ambitious nations rang cries of "our deserved place in the world" and getting their share of empire, often carved out of nations that had existed before the "new wave colonists" had even been conquered by Rome (read: China)! It really is quite silly to think of it that way, but there it is.
    Likewater likes this.
  4. Point Given Mod of Literature and Community

    Manager
    Member Since:
    Dec 12, 2006
    star 5
  5. Darth Guy Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Aug 16, 2002
    star 10
    Last edited by Darth Guy, Jun 28, 2014
  6. GrandAdmiralJello Moderator Communitatis Litterarumque

    Manager
    Member Since:
    Nov 28, 2000
    star 10
    BBC pretend liveblog: http://www.bbc.com/news/live/world-27978407

    The official Sarajevo commemoration is pretty weird -- it's a concert by the Vienna Philharmonic using Habsburg-era songs and the like, with a bunch of EU leaders (inc. the president of Austria) attending.

    The Habsburgs are holding a private ceremony in Vienna.
  7. Lord Vivec Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Apr 17, 2006
    star 7
    I'm imagining internet comments (like reddit or yahoo or even the jcc) existing during this and shuddering.
  8. yankee8255 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    May 31, 2005
    star 6
    Bosnian Serbs had their own event yesterday, celebrating the assassin.
  9. Point Given Mod of Literature and Community

    Manager
    Member Since:
    Dec 12, 2006
    star 5


    The assassin was Sunil Tripathi!
  10. Point Given Mod of Literature and Community

    Manager
    Member Since:
    Dec 12, 2006
    star 5
    Today is the 100th anniversary of the beginning of the war.
    Force Smuggler likes this.
  11. Force Smuggler Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Sep 2, 2012
    star 6
    Almost forgot about this from when Archduke Franz Ferdinand was killed.
  12. Jabbadabbado Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Mar 19, 1999
    star 7
    I can't help thinking none of this would have happened if Franz Ferdinand hadn't married beneath his station.
    GrandAdmiralJello likes this.
  13. GrandAdmiralJello Moderator Communitatis Litterarumque

    Manager
    Member Since:
    Nov 28, 2000
    star 10
    Morganatic marriages are just the worst.


    Missa ab iPhona mea est.
  14. Darth Guy Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Aug 16, 2002
    star 10

    [face_party]
  15. Jabbadabbado Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Mar 19, 1999
    star 7
    a mere countess! He might as well have married one of the scullery maids. Served them both right. I almost wrote Serbed them both right.
    Last edited by Jabbadabbado, Jul 28, 2014
    New_York_Jedi and Sarge like this.
  16. yankee8255 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    May 31, 2005
    star 6
    I didn't realize that Franz Joseph signed the declaration of war at his summer residence in Bad Ischl. That's my father-in-law's home town and we spend alot of time there.
  17. GrandAdmiralJello Moderator Communitatis Litterarumque

    Manager
    Member Since:
    Nov 28, 2000
    star 10
    Or worse, an American.


    (But don't worry, that's for the interwar period. Sorry for the spoilers.)


    Missa ab iPhona mea est.
  18. Darth Guy Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Aug 16, 2002
    star 10
    Gasp.
    Last edited by Darth Guy, Jul 28, 2014
  19. Ewok Poet Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jul 31, 2014
    star 2

    Not sure if I should laugh or be really uncomfortable with that typo...

    ...then again, I make it the other way round all the time, which probably says a lot...
  20. GrandAdmiralJello Moderator Communitatis Litterarumque

    Manager
    Member Since:
    Nov 28, 2000
    star 10
    It's clearly not a typo :p

    Didn't see this earlier, but I'm not sure that I'd agree. Nationalism was spawned in the 18th and 19th centuries, and it was in many ways a move against colonialism and empire. The dismembering of the still quasi-medieval Austro-Hungarian and Ottoman Empires is what precipitated the powder keg of the war, and they were dismembered by national groups who were driven by the era's version of identity politics. What made it even messier is that other great powers used nationalism to try to undermine their colleagues, which made the fires spread further.

    And the Wilsonian notion of nationalism is what created problems that continue to this day, as did the awakening of nationalism in the Middle East (which was at the time rather contrary to traditional Islamic thought).

    As for "nations that had existed" before, such as China, that is not a good way of putting it. China was not a nation and had no sense of nationhood before the nationalist Chinese (and perhaps even more effectively, the Maoists). Chinese political thought was sui generis of course, but it's really anachronistic to refer to any ancient civilization as a "state" or "nation" -- in the West, the Romans were the first to really have a sense of the former and the Byzantines the latter, but only in their final days before they basically lost it. In the East, my knowledge is not as secure but I could feel comfortable equating the Han bureaucracy with a state in the same sense. Either way, in most cases the notion of nationhood is a distinctly modern phenomenon.
  21. G-FETT Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Aug 10, 2001
    star 7
    I've been reading some stuff about former British Prime Minister and Liberal Party leader Herbert Asquith.

    What a disaster he was! Pretty much everything he touched fell apart. He entered the British Empire into a World War thinking it would all be over quickly (I personally think even the reason's for the Great War were pretty dubious and flimsy. When you look back at that time it's kind of hard to believe that the British and German Empire's couldn't have reached an accommodation that would have been mutually beneficial to both side's)

    It turned out as a war leader he wasn't up to it! He spent most of the first half of the Great War dithering and seemingly bewildered. In the end he had to be removed by his Chancellor Lloyd George and the Tory side of the coalition war government.

    Instead of just going away and spending the rest of his life quietly as the failed leader who got Britain involved in the Great War and started the demise of it's Empire, he stayed around and split the Liberal Party in two (Lloyd George deserves his share of the blame for this as well, to be fair, but at least Lloyd George was able to win the war) thus virtually single-handedly destroying 200 years of Whig/Liberal tradition and allowing The Labour Party to take over as Britain's other party of government.

    I mean, maybe Labour would have taken over as Britain's second Party anyway, but if the Liberals had had effective leaders and remained united during WW1 and the 1920's, it's not inevitable that Labour would have taken over.

    You can even lay WW2 partly at Asquith's door, as without the German humiliation of WW1 and the economic decline in the years after, it's probable Hitler wouldn't have been elected.

    Lion's lead by donkeys - And never was there a bigger donkey than HH Asquith.

    Terrible, terrible leader.
    Last edited by G-FETT, Aug 2, 2014
  22. Mr44 VIP

    Member Since:
    May 21, 2002
    star 6
    Except I would say that it was the corruption of Wilson's ideals which carried forward, not Wilson's ideas on their own. Wilson wasn't a nationalist, he was an anti-colonist. Maybe there is a small difference there, but the difference itself is a major one. Wilson wouldn't have carried if all national borders disappeared, as long as the countries involved did so with an organization that all agreed with. I don't think Wilson would have cared if a country organized itself as a loose collection of individual tribes, as long there was a small single authority where they all came together to trade and act with other countries. Wilson was very much a small central/federal government type of guy. And while he delivered it toward the end of WWI, it's the height of irony that Wilson outlined his plans for the EU before the concept was even thought of in Europe.

    If any criticism could be levied against Wilson's ideals, it's that they were almost too detached. They were very much authored by a nation looking at the entire situation from afar, which, at the time, is exactly what Europe needed. However, once the European powers who were actually involved in WWI got their hands involved in Wilson's framework, things like the treaty of Versailles and crushing German reparations were authored. Wilson himself never mentioned anything about punishment, and it was the vindictive nature of how things unfolded which would lead to the 20 some years.

    Countries like Egypt, India, China, and Korea took Wilson's broad ideas and made them nationalist paths to self-determination, which in turn, lead to the "Balkanization" type of hyper-extreme nationalism and the internal conflict that developed. Not at all anything based on the points that Wilson was awarded the Nobel Prize for.
  23. Darth Guy Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Aug 16, 2002
    star 10
    Wilsonian policies were racist. Admittedly he was better than many western Europeans at the time because he didn't hate Slavs and his oft-repeated praise of Birth of a Nation may be apocryphal, but his ideas of self-determination applied only to Europeans. For example, a group of Vietnamese nationalists including Ho Chi Minh was encouraged by Wilson's rhetoric (as well as supposed American ideals) and went to the Paris peace conference to ask the American delegation to support Indochina's independence from France. The Americans' response was basically "lol, no." Oh well, it's not as though ignoring colonial subjects' desire for fair treatment bit the West on the ass or anything.
    Last edited by Darth Guy, Aug 2, 2014
  24. Mr44 VIP

    Member Since:
    May 21, 2002
    star 6
    How does that translate to racism? Wilson's outline was tailored to the specific conflict raging across Europe at the time. Considering that Wilson and the US were isolationist, and WWI was the only thing that brought the US to get involved, Wilson wasn't concerned with every single movement outside of that context. Wilson didn't address race either way, at least officially (or as you said, not including apocryphal items.)

    That's kind of the point. Wilson basically said "Europe get your *&^% together- Here's how you do it." Wilson was not concerned that other groups took his outline an ran with it, because those colonies were between them and the European countries to sort out.
    Goodwood likes this.
  25. Goodwood Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    May 11, 2011
    star 4
    Besides that, I doubt the American delegation at the time really had any grasp of what might or might not have been going on in that corner of SE Asia.

    To be able to call racist, I think one should have to prove intent on the part of the accused, that they either demonstrated racist sentiments or confirmed racist opinions by their own hand or (recorded) tongue. Translating that to Wilson, it would then be necessary to show any direct acts he performed that any reasonable person could see as being motivated by racism (indirect shouldn't count, because then you have 'unintended consequences' to think about), and/or at least two or three writings and/or recorded speeches where he expressed a sentiment equal to racism. Speaking for myself, I think that being a man of the times that he lived in, he may have had a few racist leanings, but there is little that could overtly brand him as a full-on racist.