Countries that had the most and least to gain from WWI

Futurist

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May 2014
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Caprivi would have been right if he'd chosen different balls to juggle.

I don't think it's fair to call Hitler inclusive by any means but it's worth noting that as a dictator(albeit whose dictatorship was technically democratically sanctioned 4 years at a time) he didn't have to worry about the composition of the Reichstag. He also came from said Catholic land and had personal motivations to acquire it. While the Centre Party were the Imperial Germans greatest or second greatest domestic foe, the Centre Party will always have the dishonor of being the only German party(and it's probably the party my ancestors voted for:()to consent to the creation of Nazi Germany(in exchange for religious concessions).
The DNVP also consented to Nazi Germany. :(

Also, Yes, Hitler's Catholic origins did in fact make him sentimental for Austria. Also, due to him being both a nominal Catholic and a Pan-German nationalist, Hitler was able to appeal to both Catholic and Protestant Germans--albeit with this being easier for him to do due to his totalitarian power. What Imperial Germany really needed if it was going to complete the Greater Germany plan would have been some way to appeal to Catholics. Make them feel included in the German Reich instead of being hostile towards them. For instance, by appointing some prominent Catholic ministers--albeit not too many in order not to piss off the Protestants.
 

Futurist

Ad Honoris
May 2014
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I'm very skeptical of this. It wasn't about the merit of individual budget items, it was a more general thing. Am just reciting what my vague memories from a freshman lecture on this were though. Even if you right imagine doing this to get money for every single thing? Having a majority gives you veto power over everything and if you just want to shut down the government, well you just did then.
Shutting down the government would mean that the government wouldn't even be able to pursue pro-Catholic policies, though.

That being said the naval program made no sense even from a war hawks perspective and I can see a lot of socialists being hostile to it.
What about increases in army spending along with a focus on developing new technologies such as cars and airplanes and applying them to the German Army en masse?
 
Jun 2017
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The DNVP also consented to Nazi Germany. :(

Also, Yes, Hitler's Catholic origins did in fact make him sentimental for Austria. Also, due to him being both a nominal Catholic and a Pan-German nationalist, Hitler was able to appeal to both Catholic and Protestant Germans--albeit with this being easier for him to do due to his totalitarian power. What Imperial Germany really needed if it was going to complete the Greater Germany plan would have been some way to appeal to Catholics. Make them feel included in the German Reich instead of being hostile towards them. For instance, by appointing some prominent Catholic ministers--albeit not too many in order not to piss off the Protestants.
Tbh the DNVP were the closest major party to being Nazi's, doesn't really count IMO. Those platforms were pretty close.

In the Weimar era as this happened the Centre Party was a coalition partner and support eroded as it depended on Catholics catholicism being their number one political priority as opposed to something else. So Centre support gradually eroded from around 20% to about 10% not because there were less Catholics(though perhaps the territory taken by Versailles like Danzig was Catholic) but because more Catholics voted for other options as the politics of the 2nd Empire faded into distant memory. The Socialists were not immune from this either, almost from the very start their support was being eroded by splinter parties.

Think the religious distinction was traditionally more important than nationalism and if nationalism existed at all they were usually tied. Identity didn't equal country and most nationalist movements were tied in some way to religion. Bosnians and Croats were slavs just like the Serbs but the Serbians were friendly with Russia and Croats were happier in the Austro-Hungarian Empire. In an Europe where identity wasn't based on ethnicity, religion along with a ruler was a thing people took pride in. Remember a lot of these Catholics in Germany had their own Kings who were subservient to the German Kaiser, so they had their own ethnic identity that was separate from the German identity. Just mathwise a lot of these people were going to have been born in a world or born surrounded by people born in a world with the identity's of their smaller kingdom not a German identity.

Also the German Empire while not a complete recreation of the HRE was only missing only three ethncally German provinces, Austria, Luxembourg and Liechtenstein. There was also the Subetenland but lots of the HRE like the Low Countries and Bohemia do not see themselves as Germany despite having been formerly part of the Kingdom of Germany in the Middle Ages. This logic could even be applied to the Germans being seen as French.
 
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Futurist

Ad Honoris
May 2014
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Tbh the DNVP were the closest major party to being Nazi's, doesn't really count IMO. Those platforms were pretty close.
I thought that the DNVP were Weimar-hating conservatives but not as totalitarian or rabidly anti-Semitic as the Nazis were?

In the Weimar era as this happened the Centre Party was a coalition partner and support eroded as it depended on Catholics catholicism being their number one political priority as opposed to something else. So Centre support gradually eroded from around 20% to about 10% not because there were less Catholics(though perhaps the territory taken by Versailles like Danzig was Catholic) but because more Catholics voted for other options as the politics of the 2nd Empire faded into distant memory. The Socialists were not immune from this either, almost from the very start their support was being eroded by splinter parties.
That makes sense.

Think the religious distinction was traditionally more important than nationalism and if nationalism existed at all they were usually tied. Identity didn't equal country and most nationalist movements were tied in some way to religion. Bosnians and Croats were slavs just like the Serbs but the Serbians were friendly with Russia and Croats were happier in the Austro-Hungarian Empire. In an Europe where identity wasn't based on ethnicity, religion along with a ruler was a thing people took pride in. Remember a lot of these Catholics in Germany had their own Kings who were subservient to the German Kaiser, so they had their own ethnic identity that was separate from the German identity. Just mathwise a lot of these people were going to have been born in a world or born surrounded by people born in a world with the identity's of their smaller kingdom not a German identity.
Yep, that's correct. Of course, the same is also true for Hanoverians--who, in spite of being Protestant, consistently voted for their own party in Imperial German Reichstag elections.

Also the German Empire while not a complete recreation of the HRE was only missing only three ethncally German provinces, Austria, Luxembourg and Liechtenstein. There was also the Subetenland but lots of the HRE like the Low Countries and Bohemia do not see themselves as Germany despite having been formerly part of the Kingdom of Germany in the Middle Ages. This logic could even be applied to the Germans being seen as French.
Yep, that's correct. Indeed, this is why I suggested allying with Russia in order to complete the Pan-German dream of recreating the HRE. :)
 
Jun 2017
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Also, Emperor, if Germany will ally with Russia to dismember A-H, then couldn't a lot of the Germans in Austria become staunchly pro-Germany even if they will vote for Zentrum--thus giving Zentrum more of a German nationalist flavor?
Well Germany didn't want to dismember either. It was in German interests for things to stay exactly the same as in 1870 geopolitically. That was Bismarck was trying to do hence why I call Germany a stabilizing force. Just saying they should have preferred Russia doesn't mean they should concoct a plan with Russia to dismember the Austro-Hungarian Empire, they aren't France;)

Can't see it just because of the added element of the Hapsburgs having been the rulers of the First "Kingdom of Germany". Austria's relationship with the concept was a tad different and just a few short decades before the foundation of the German Empire, it was a question under which power Germany could be united. Austrian united Germany was called Greater Germany(which was why the term was used by Hitler after annexing Austria because that collection of land was completed), Prussian unified Germany without Austria and the former HRE lands in the Austrian Empire like Bohemia would be called "Smaller Germany". Remember Germany was unified by the Catholic states agreeing to join Prussia as opposed to Austria with whom they shared a religion and traditionally were aligned with in the South German Confederation(could be missing the technical name but there was another organization opposite the North one). Of course the Prussians had a fancy ceremony and created an official title that said otherwise but there's nothing besides saying it and people accepting it that makes it a fact. WWI was only 40 years after this.

So they would be likely viewing it from a "we're the real Germans" angle because until 1806 Austria or their leaders had the role the Prussians did. That combined with a pretty close amount of Catholic and Protestants would just make politics more hectic and recreate a pre German unification situation. Cause the Austrian emperor wasn't as clearly subservient to the Kaiser as the other kings. Even the Bavarian King made a very big fuss over being autonomous think they had seperate regiments in WWI just to prove a point. Bavaria was the distant third most prestigious German state, and even they have a pretty sizeable seperate identity imagine the situation with Austria in the 1910s with a Hapsburg King? And if Germany absorbs Austria, that doesn't mean the King of Austria isn't the King of Hungary and said places and that just would create the weird "King in Prussia" situation you had at the end of the HRE where you had German electors who were dukes subservient to a King but also ruled separate territory's where they were Kings(the semantic distinction that caused the Hundred Years War). So that would be very complicated incorporating Austria the same way say Bavaria or Wurttemburg were.
 
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I thought that the DNVP were Weimar-hating conservatives but not as totalitarian or rabidly anti-Semitic as the Nazis were?



That makes sense.



Yep, that's correct. Of course, the same is also true for Hanoverians--who, in spite of being Protestant, consistently voted for their own party in Imperial German Reichstag elections.



Yep, that's correct. Indeed, this is why I suggested allying with Russia in order to complete the Pan-German dream of recreating the HRE. :)
By 1933 seeing how large the Nazis you're probably describing many of the actual Nazi's too. Degrees in rabid anti antisemitism don't seem like a huge distinction. Remember Nazi's didn't run on the Holocaust. It's something I always remind people when they try to use that as a bar for whether you can call someone a Nazi, that's just the most tragic result of the ideology, the ideology is wanting a nation state in the first place when you don't have one. Genocide is just one way to get there, hence the "Final Solution".

Yes the areas that were Kingdoms and large important states pre Germany were going to have some proud identity's. Don't know much about this but the British King ran Hanover all the way up to 1837 over a century so how that effected Hanoverian political life is an interesting topic.

Well while Germany was "small Germany", recreating the HRE wasn't realistic for a country other than Austria who owned the rest of the HRE. Bohemia despite technically having dominated the HRE did not want to be a part of any of it. The Swiss are ethnically German but they split off a very very long time ago. The Low Countries clearly didn't see themselves as German and were forming a separate identity even before Burgundy went in and took over all those individual states. So that leaves three states Prussia didn't have. Austria which would have been a logistical nightmare to incorporate into the empire pre Versailles and Luxembourg and Liechtenstein which while Germany would have taken if given the opportunity(Luxembourg was really the most clear cut thing that Germany could take in WWI in the West) they weren't really large enough to warrant the energy. Luxembourg had been reduced to a territorial shell of itself and the land that composed the original duchy that once dominated Germany had been mostly gobbled up by the surrounding powers long ago, what was/is left is a shell. Preventing this happening to Belgium was probably the intent of the 1839 treaty we've discussed.

It just makes no sense to split up the Austrian Empire. Sure the Italians would have been thrilled by your plan though. That's the issue with that though a German, Italian, Russian alliance would have two members who wanted war. That's the issue with the French and Russian alliance one of the members wanted a war at some point. Also I know we all mostly think picking Russia is smarter but besides Russia, in the 1890s Austria is a less offensive friend. Russia though would ironically be seen as more likely to drag Germany into a fight with the UK they'd otherwise have had no chance of winning. Russia's ambitions had been checked by the international community several times in the 19th century and they'd be trying to use Germany to get their goals achieved. Austria didn't actually want any ADDITIONAL stuff, the stuff they already had was the problem with Russia and Serbia and that's what got the war started. Now those points in favor turned out not to matter at all but that is only because of hindsight.
 
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Futurist

Ad Honoris
May 2014
19,797
SoCal
Well Germany didn't want to dismember either. It was in German interests for things to stay exactly the same as in 1870 geopolitically. That was Bismarck was trying to do hence why I call Germany a stabilizing force. Just saying they should have preferred Russia doesn't mean they should concoct a plan with Russia to dismember the Austro-Hungarian Empire, they aren't France;)
Fair enough. That said, though, if the goal is merely stability, why not ally with Britain instead of with Russia? In fact, this might have actually happened had WWI been delayed long enough or not happened at all.

Can't see it just because of the added element of the Hapsburgs having been the rulers of the First "Kingdom of Germany". Austria's relationship with the concept was a tad different and just a few short decades before the foundation of the German Empire, it was a question under which power Germany could be united. Austrian united Germany was called Greater Germany(which was why the term was used by Hitler after annexing Austria because that collection of land was completed), Prussian unified Germany without Austria and the former HRE lands in the Austrian Empire like Bohemia would be called "Smaller Germany". Remember Germany was unified by the Catholic states agreeing to join Prussia as opposed to Austria with whom they shared a religion and traditionally were aligned with in the South German Confederation(could be missing the technical name but there was another organization opposite the North one). Of course the Prussians had a fancy ceremony and created an official title that said otherwise but there's nothing besides saying it and people accepting it that makes it a fact. WWI was only 40 years after this.

So they would be likely viewing it from a "we're the real Germans" angle because until 1806 Austria or their leaders had the role the Prussians did. That combined with a pretty close amount of Catholic and Protestants would just make politics more hectic and recreate a pre German unification situation. Cause the Austrian emperor wasn't as clearly subservient to the Kaiser as the other kings. Even the Bavarian King made a very big fuss over being autonomous think they had seperate regiments in WWI just to prove a point. Bavaria was the distant third most prestigious German state, and even they have a pretty sizeable seperate identity imagine the situation with Austria in the 1910s with a Hapsburg King? And if Germany absorbs Austria, that doesn't mean the King of Austria isn't the King of Hungary and said places and that just would create the weird "King in Prussia" situation you had at the end of the HRE where you had German electors who were dukes subservient to a King but also ruled separate territory's where they were Kings(the semantic distinction that caused the Hundred Years War). So that would be very complicated incorporating Austria the same way say Bavaria or Wurttemburg were.
Germany would obviously require the Hapsburgs in Austria to renounce their rights to the Hungarian throne. A Hapsburg cadet branch could have took over Hungary in this scenario and renounced their rights to the Austrian throne in the process. The Hapsburgs had a lot of males and thus having some of them renounce the succession in some of their realms would not have been a huge deal for them:

Line of succession to the former Austro-Hungarian throne - Wikipedia

Also, how much people did German Austria have relative to Bavaria? I mean, if Bavaria had more people, then it rather than Austria could have been the leader of the Catholics in a Greater Germany.
 

Futurist

Ad Honoris
May 2014
19,797
SoCal
By 1933 seeing how large the Nazis you're probably describing many of the actual Nazi's too. Degrees in rabid anti antisemitism don't seem like a huge distinction. Remember Nazi's didn't run on the Holocaust. It's something I always remind people when they try to use that as a bar for whether you can call someone a Nazi, that's just the most tragic result of the ideology, the ideology is wanting a nation state in the first place when you don't have one. Genocide is just one way to get there, hence the "Final Solution".

Yes the areas that were Kingdoms and large important states pre Germany were going to have some proud identity's. Don't know much about this but the British King ran Hanover all the way up to 1837 over a century so how that effected Hanoverian political life is an interesting topic.

Well while Germany was "small Germany", recreating the HRE wasn't realistic for a country other than Austria who owned the rest of the HRE. Bohemia despite technically having dominated the HRE did not want to be a part of any of it. The Swiss are ethnically German but they split off a very very long time ago. The Low Countries clearly didn't see themselves as German and were forming a separate identity even before Burgundy went in and took over all those individual states. So that leaves three states Prussia didn't have. Austria which would have been a logistical nightmare to incorporate into the empire pre Versailles and Luxembourg and Liechtenstein which while Germany would have taken if given the opportunity(Luxembourg was really the most clear cut thing that Germany could take in WWI in the West) they weren't really large enough to warrant the energy. Luxembourg had been reduced to a territorial shell of itself and the land that composed the original duchy that once dominated Germany had been mostly gobbled up by the surrounding powers long ago, what was/is left is a shell. Preventing this happening to Belgium was probably the intent of the 1839 treaty we've discussed.
I wasn't actually planning on asking the Czechs for their permission to incorporate them into a Greater Germany. Germany could have taken them in by force in order to prevent a huge pro-Russian salient from being created within its territory. A pro-Russian Czechia would be a dagger pointed towards Germany's heart. :( Plus, it would simply be inconvenient for logistical purposes.

It just makes no sense to split up the Austrian Empire. Sure the Italians would have been thrilled by your plan though. That's the issue with that though a German, Italian, Russian alliance would have two members who wanted war.
Would Russia have actually wanted war?

That's the issue with the French and Russian alliance one of the members wanted a war at some point. Also I know we all mostly think picking Russia is smarter but besides Russia, in the 1890s Austria is a less offensive friend. Russia though would ironically be seen as more likely to drag Germany into a fight with the UK they'd otherwise have had no chance of winning. Russia's ambitions had been checked by the international community several times in the 19th century and they'd be trying to use Germany to get their goals achieved. Austria didn't actually want any ADDITIONAL stuff, the stuff they already had was the problem with Russia and Serbia and that's what got the war started. Now those points in favor turned out not to matter at all but that is only because of hindsight.
Fair points, I suppose.

Also, what about a British-German-Austrian-Ottoman-Japanese alliance against Russia, France, Serbia, and Montenegro?
 
Jun 2017
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Shutting down the government would mean that the government wouldn't even be able to pursue pro-Catholic policies, though.



What about increases in army spending along with a focus on developing new technologies such as cars and airplanes and applying them to the German Army en masse?
Remember Germany was a federation. You'd just be stopping the German government Catholic Bavaria and Wurrttemburg were Kingdoms(not an empire:(). as were Protestant Prussia and Saxony. For example doing research for this thread on wikipedia apparently the Bavarians tried to independently annex Antwerp to get access to the sea. So guess I was partially proven wrong the Germans didn't want to annex Belgium though that doesn't mean the Bavarian King would have gotten his way. So in the eyes of these people wouldn't be a huge deal. Bavaria had it's own military remember(though the others didn't)? Also what exactly is a pro Catholic policy that would need funding approval from the Reichstag?

Reichstag remember at least in the German Empire only had the power to veto funding for stuff the government wanted. It's not like Congress where you elect people and vote on their agenda. The government has the role of introducing legislation, and the executive branch(at least in the German Empire) was not elected. So in that context if the government is ran by someone who's enemies with Catholics and Socialists just voting no on everything is a bit different. It's not like they are shooting their own interests in the foot because unless a bill they want is introduced it can't be passed. I know the Kaiser wanted some would be pro Socialist policies enacted over Bismarck's objection I do not recall if the Socialists voted yes because they agreed, no because they were committed to obstruction or a mix of both(remember Socialist Party contained both Marxists and reformists at this time with very different motives). With Catholicism not sure if there was a specific government policy that would induce the Centre Party deputy's to vote yes.
 
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