Was there a way to defuse those tensions between European powers previous to WWI and avoid war?

Jul 2017
334
Argentina
#1
So, a lucky or bad lucky phenomenon, those Saragevo guys finding the nephew of the AH emperor a couple of blocks away from the real place the had planned to kill him started the great war.
There was a very fragile balance between the militaristic countries. Plus, lots of mutual defense alliances. Some trace it all back to Bismarck's hand.
So, if some other anti Bismarck fellow, or some international board had seen the need to make relations between countries a bit cooler, WAS THERE A WAY TO DO SO??
 

Futurist

Ad Honoris
May 2014
13,833
SoCal
#2
You could start by having Germany be more willing to restrain its Austro-Hungarian ally. Also, it would help if Germany didn't strip France of Alsace-Lorraine back in 1871; that set the stage for decades of Franco-German hostility.
 

Futurist

Ad Honoris
May 2014
13,833
SoCal
#4
Also, Germany didn't have to threaten Britain's control of the sea.
Yep.

Actually, Bismarck did a pretty good job of keeping the peace. Things only fell apart after Bismarck left the scene. I suppose we could blame Bismarck for failing to design a system that could survive him.
Bismarck chose Austria-Hungary over Russia whereas he should have chosen Russia if he wanted to permanently maintain the peace.
 
Jun 2017
2,552
Connecticut
#6
Let France keep Alsace and Lorraine. France was the main destabilizing force that set the alliance system in motion. From there on other parties had blame, almost all of them except maybe the Italians but almost none of it could have happened without the French and their animosity over their lost provinces/demographic fears. The demographic fear thing also was the main motivating factor behind the Treaty of Versailles being as insanely punitive as it was.

UK's paranoia over Germany's navy was important too. Guess Kaiser Wilhelm not building a navy cause the British were always paranoid about that.
 

Nemowork

Ad Honorem
Jan 2011
8,232
South of the barcodes
#8
So, a lucky or bad lucky phenomenon, those Saragevo guys finding the nephew of the AH emperor a couple of blocks away from the real place the had planned to kill him started the great war.
There was a very fragile balance between the militaristic countries. Plus, lots of mutual defense alliances. Some trace it all back to Bismarck's hand.
So, if some other anti Bismarck fellow, or some international board had seen the need to make relations between countries a bit cooler, WAS THERE A WAY TO DO SO??
If by international board you mean taking Kaiser wilhelm out the back of a quiet building and adjusting his attitude with a length of two by four?

The whole of europe would have been improved by getting that man a good therapist or getting him to give up on the military and go off to be a theatrical costumier!
 

sparky

Ad Honorem
Jan 2017
3,393
Sydney
#9
willem was certainly a few cards short of a pack ...still
the tensions between Britain and Germany on economic competition ,
France and Germany on Alsace -Lorraine ,
Germany worries of Russia fast industrialization making it's army a danger in the medium term
those were real and growing

Austro-hungary was internally unstable with Franz Joseph too old to keep a grip on his generals
they saw an external war as a stabilization effort

in the Whole of Europe the socialists parties were growing in power and influence through the ballot box
the conservative aristocracies muttered it would be good to have a "sharp blood letting" to purge those humors