Which of these four European monarchies was most likely to eventually get overthrown in the absence of World War I?

Which of these four European monarchies was most likely to eventually get overthrown in the absence

  • The Hohenzollerns in Germany

  • The Hapsburgs in Austria

  • The Savoyards in Italy

  • The Romanovs in Russia


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Futurist

Ad Honoris
May 2014
15,537
SoCal
#1
Had WWI (and thus WWII) would have never occurred, which of these four European monarchies was most likely to eventually get overthrown?

Choices:

1. The Hohenzollerns in Germany
2. The Hapsburgs in Austria-Hungary
3. The Savoyards in Italy
4. The Romanovs in Russia

As for me, I voted for the Romanovs in Russia. Russia already had a revolution in 1905, and the Romanovs don't appear to have learned much from this revolution--preferring to govern like autocrats after the revolution in large part just like they did before the revolution. This fact, combined with Russia's chronic problems with revolutionary activities and revolutionary terrorism, makes me think that Russia is the most likely candidate for a successful revolution out of the four countries above in a scenario where WWI (and thus WWII) never occur.

I haven't heard of Savoyard Italy being particularly unstable in the pre-WWI years--which might have been helped by the fact that a lot of their population emigrated instead of doing things such as engaging in revolutionary activities and terrorism. Hohenzollern Germany appears to have been very stable in the pre-WWI years and was actually doing extremely well in spite of Kaiser Bill's stupidity. The Hapsburgs could have had some serious problems with Hungary if Franz Ferdinand would have lived due to his plans to implement universal suffrage there. Still, the Hapsburgs appear to have had a large base of support in Austria and implementing universal suffrage in Hungary--assuming that this doesn't trigger a Hungarian secession and thus an alt-WWI--would likely result in additional support for the Hapsburgs among Hungary's minorities. Of course, things in Austria-Hungary could have still eventually gotten heated in this scenario, but the Hapsburgs would have also had Germany's military muscle to back them up in the event of a revolution in their realm/domains. (Of course, such a revolution could have also triggered an alt-WWI, but I don't want any alt-WWIs occurring in this scenario.)

Anyway, any thoughts on this?
 
Mar 2016
725
Australia
#3
The Romanovs, and it's not even close. It's a miracle they even managed to survive till 1917, considering the enormous social unrest that dwarfed anything seen in the rest of Europe. Both the German and Austrian empires were remarkably stable and secure in social and political terms - even the occasional religious/ethnic tension in Austria-Hungary was not an existential threat. It was only the devastating consequences of the war that left the government too weak to defend itself in Germany's case, and in the case of Austria-Hungary the Emperor actually refused an offer of the army to crush the revolutionaries, since he didn't want anymore violence, and so he peacefully abdicated. I don't know enough about Italy during this era to comment on them.
 

Futurist

Ad Honoris
May 2014
15,537
SoCal
#4
The Romanovs, and it's not even close. It's a miracle they even managed to survive till 1917, considering the enormous social unrest that dwarfed anything seen in the rest of Europe. Both the German and Austrian empires were remarkably stable and secure in social and political terms - even the occasional religious/ethnic tension in Austria-Hungary was not an existential threat. It was only the devastating consequences of the war that left the government too weak to defend itself in Germany's case, and in the case of Austria-Hungary the Emperor actually refused an offer of the army to crush the revolutionaries, since he didn't want anymore violence, and so he peacefully abdicated. I don't know enough about Italy during this era to comment on them.
Do you have a source about Kaiser Karl refusing to order the Austrian Army to crush the revolutionaries? Indeed, that would be very interesting if true and it's something that I have never heard about before.

I do agree with you that Hohenzollern Germany was very stable and that Hapsburg Austria-Hungary was likewise pretty stable. As I wrote above, there was a risk of an Austro-Hungarian civil war if Franz Ferdinand would have lived and come to the throne, but if Russia declines to militarily intervene on the Hungarians' behalf (which in itself will likely trigger an alt-WWI), then the Hungarians are going to get crushed very quickly and Hungary is likely to experience a period of Reconstruction similar to what the Southern US experienced after the American Civil War. There is the potential for things in the Hapsburg Empire to deteriorate in subsequent decades, but the Hapsburgs aren't going to go down without a fight--and neither would the Hohenzollerns have allowed them to. Thus, if A-H still eventually implodes in this scenario, it would be very likely to trigger an alt-WWI--which I don't want for the purposes of this scenario.
 

Maki

Ad Honorem
Jan 2017
2,341
Republika Srpska
#5
TBH, I don't see any of them being overthrown without the World Wars, but if I had to guess I would say Habsburgs and the Romanovs.
 

Futurist

Ad Honoris
May 2014
15,537
SoCal
#6
TBH, I don't see any of them being overthrown without the World Wars, but if I had to guess I would say Habsburgs and the Romanovs.
You have to pick one; thus, please choose either the Hapsburgs or the Romanovs.

Also, I was thinking within a 100+ year time frame here. I agree with you that none of these monarchies faced an immediate threat of being abolished without the World Wars, but there was 105 years between 1914 and the present-day and things could have significantly changed by the present-day. Indeed, please keep in mind that revolutions and overthrowing of monarchies was not unheard of even before World War I. For instance, France's monarchy was abolished in 1792, 1848, and 1870 (I'm not counting cases where one royal house was replaced by another royal house), Brazil's monarchy was abolished in 1889, Portugal's monarchy was abolished in 1910, and China's monarchy was abolished in 1911-1912. Thus, it's certainly not out of the question that at least one of the four royal houses mentioned above could have lost their throne sometime over the last 105 years in a scenario without the World Wars.
 
Mar 2016
725
Australia
#7
Do you have a source about Kaiser Karl refusing to order the Austrian Army to crush the revolutionaries? Indeed, that would be very interesting if true and it's something that I have never heard about before.
For God and Kaiser by Richard Bassett, p. 533:

It is a common misconception to imagine that the Habsburg army melted away. The Italians manipulated the time of the ceasefire they had agreed with the Austrians on 3 November. They had then used this deceit to 'capture' 200,000 Imperial and Royal soldiers who had already laid down their arms at the so-called 'Battle' of Vittorio Veneto. Even then, they failed to neutralise Boroevič's entire army. Some 80,000 soldiers now retired with Boroevič to Carinthia and Tyrol in good order, ready to defend the crown lands against any incursions.
At the end of the first week of November 1918, Boroevič telegraphed the Emperor twice to offer this force, which was well disciplined and contained many 'crack' regiments, to occupy Vienna and discharge its 'traditional obligations' to the dynasty. Special trains were prepared, and a forward base at Wiener Neustadt was planned with reliable troops. Boroevič confided to the Bishop of Klagenfurt that these troops 'could offer the Emperor the freedom of manoeuvre in his negotiations which he appears to have lost'. But then came the fateful sentence, born of an older respect for law and command: 'I can however only help him if he commands me to.' Boroevič, like every Habsburg commander since 1619, could do nothing without the support of the dynasty.
Caught up in the chaos of November 1918, it is unclear whether Charles ever received Boroevič's message. The sources are divided. We know enough about Charles's character to imagine that he would have done everything he could to avoid further bloodshed. Boroevič was no Haynau, 'a razor to be used sparingly', in Radetzky's phrase, but the arrival of this determined taciturn Croat in Vienna at the head of an army could only have resulted in violence, and the Emperor was determined to avoid this.
On 11 November, a few days after Boroevič's last telegram was sent, Charles issued the following declaration:

I have not hesitated to restore constitutional life and I have opened up for the peoples the path of their development as independent states. Filled now as ever with unwavering devotion to all my peoples, I do not wish to oppose the free government with my own person. I recognise in advance whatever decisions German Austria may make about its future form. I renounce all participation in the affairs of state... the happiness of my peoples has from the beginning been the object of my most ardent wishes. Only an inner peace can heal the wounds of this war.

The last sentence, characteristic of the Emperor's sensibilities and deeply held Christian beliefs, can be read as the formal reply to Boroevič's telegrams.
 

Futurist

Ad Honoris
May 2014
15,537
SoCal
#8
Merci beaucoup for this source!

Anyway, I suspect that had Kaiser Karl actually tried to use Boroevic's forces to crush this rebellion, it would not have made a difference in the long(er)-run due to the military superiority of the Allies in that theater. Thus, the Allies could have simply demanded the disarmament of the Austro-Hungarian military as a precondition for an armistice--with the implication being that the Allies would continue the war if Austria-Hungary refuses to accept this armistice.

Austria-Hungary's only hope of holding out would have been if Germany would have also insisted on fighting on. However, the German leadership was unwilling to actually do this--thus leaving Austria-Hungary to its fate.
 
Jan 2017
48
Italy, EU
#9
The Austrians agreed for the armistice to enter into force the 4th of november. We didn't manipulate anything. I don't know where this idea (that the armistice came into force the third of november) comes from. Only the negotiations began the third of november.
 

Kotromanic

Ad Honorem
Dec 2011
4,437
Iowa USA
#10
I voted Italy since I don't think they had as efficient state police as either Austrians or Russians.

Also I think Nicholas would have been eased into a kind of early retirement around age 60, in the mid '20s. One of the daughter's could have married somebody that might have built a cabinet in waiting around himself. Let the Duma figure out the succession, since Alexei's condition wasn't likely to be a secret through his teens, either.
 
Likes: arkteia

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