Which of these three rulers would you have preferred to be?

Which of these three rulers would you have preferred to be?

  • German Kaiser Wilhelm II

  • Austro-Hungarian Kaiser Franz Joseph (or, alternatively, his nephew Franz Ferdinand)

  • Russian Tsar Nicholas II

Results are only viewable after voting.
Feb 2019
Pennsylvania, US
Also, Franz Ferdinand could have also outlived Willy had he survived his assassination attempt in 1914 (I specifically said in my original post that you can replace Franz Joseph with his nephew Franz Ferdinand if you want).
If you go for Franz Ferdinand (my pick), all you have to do is throw in the towel after someone lobbed a bomb at your car and missed, get your driver to get you out of the thick of it, or get police to clear the area before disembarking... or tell your driver to drive farther away from the parade route and turn around in a quieter area whe. he makes a wrong turn.

Or, you could be rather fatalistic like me, and figure why not die with your spouse (who you have described as “your life”) in the back of a pretty nice car and never see the oncoming war and disintegration of your empire.
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Feb 2019
I vote for Franz Joseph. He had the most beautiful capital to live in, a fair degree of power so I could actually do things and his mistakes aren't hard to undo. I get an extremely long reign and a healthy body with a long life. With the power of hindsight we know what these mistakes were but I would do this: I would try to keep the German Confederation decentralised as long as possible, if that is not possible I would let Prussia do their thing if I don't get France or Britain to support me.

I would dismiss Hotzendorf, Brechtold and all other imperialists that aimed for more than they could reach and instead I would give more power to people like Archduke Albrecht. (The most successful Austrian general of the German unification and one of the most successful in the 19th century, while nowhere near as good or understanding of war as his father he was still great.) I would try to reform the military based on the Prussian 19th century model.

If the army is reformed I would not try to get into aggressive wars I can not win such as a war with Sardinia, France and Prussia simultaneously.
I would aim to expand by joining the Crimean War on Russian side, gaining a Russian ally and expanding into the Balkans, my aims being to get Bosnia and eventually Serbia and Montenegro.

Finally I would grant Home Rule to minority territories and constituent realms of Austria, keeping them happy but small so they can not overpower Austria. Social reforms and liberalism that were in order would be implemented faster in a manner similar to Gladstone with greater rights for the individual, a free market economy and lower taxes.
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Likes: Niobe
Mar 2019
I voted for Tsar Nicholas

My to do list

- Throat punch Rasputin repeatedly

- Write a new constitution (Start moving towards a constitutional monarchy)

- Dont try to command the army from the field......it will end badly

- Lie through my teeth about the Russo Japanese war - Note to self. Dont send ships.......it will end badly

- Send all possible aid to Serbia, but dont mobilize. It wont end well.

- Attack Spain. No one will expect that. Should be able to win........their military is even worse than even ours

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