Why did the newly independent European states after WWI become republics rather than monarchies?

Futurist

Ad Honoris
May 2014
21,059
SoCal
#41
Did he have any real power or was he like George VI appointing Churchill? Only a choice of one? Not my strongest subject but if memory serves Mussolini led his forces on Rome and forced the king to appoint him.

Edit: Looking over the Italian Constitution of 1861, the crown does appear to have had more powers than the British crown although by the time of Mussolini the premier seems to have usurped most royal perogatives.
I'm not an expert on Italy, but AFAIK the Italian King still had an Army that was loyal to him that he could have used to crush Mussolini's forces. AFAIK Mussolini did very poorly in the Italian parliamentary elections and thus the Italian King was under no obligation to appoint him Prime Minister.

Also, when things deteriorated for Italy in WWII, the Italian King was perfectly capable of firing Mussolini at will--an option that he actually utilized in 1943.
 
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Rodger

Ad Honorem
Jun 2014
6,171
US
#42
I do agree that any new monarchies in Europe were likely to be constitutional ones. As for your last sentence here, however, by that logic, why not abolish the monarchies in the UK, the Netherlands, et cetera?
I don't think the UK, Italy, the Netherlands, etc were good models for any new monarchies to emerge in Eastern Europe. The were constitutional monarchies with very weak kings and queens. For all intents and purposes they were all but republics. What is the point of a half measure like constitutional monarchy. Why not go all the way to republic? It's different for an established government like the UK to maintain a traditional form of government, but for a country starting from scratch - don't bother with constitutional monarchy.
Because those nations still had the tradition and traditions are hard to break, thus the U.K. still has a "monarchy" today. These newly formed nations had either broken the monarchical cycle or never had one in the first place.
 
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Rodger

Ad Honorem
Jun 2014
6,171
US
#43
Also, as a side note, in response to Chlodio, the Italian King actually did have some real power back then. After all, it was the Italian King who appointed Mussolini as Italy's Prime Minister.
Also, when things deteriorated for Italy in WWII, the Italian King was perfectly capable of firing Mussolini at will--an option that he actually utilized in 1943.[/QUOTE]
True, but he appointed Mussolini because he, and his government(s) were impotent. And, after appointing Mussolini, he allowed him to create a dictatorship. How much power does this manifest?
I'm not an expert on Italy, but AFAIK the Italian King still had an Army that was loyal to him that he could have used to crush Mussolini's forces. AFAIK Mussolini did very poorly in the Italian parliamentary elections and thus the Italian King was under no obligation to appoint him Prime Minister.
The king could not form an effective government to rule and he feared a communist takeover, thus he deferred to Mussolini.
 

Futurist

Ad Honoris
May 2014
21,059
SoCal
#44
Also, when things deteriorated for Italy in WWII, the Italian King was perfectly capable of firing Mussolini at will--an option that he actually utilized in 1943.
True, but he appointed Mussolini because he, and his government(s) were impotent. And, after appointing Mussolini, he allowed him to create a dictatorship. How much power does this manifest?

The king could not form an effective government to rule and he feared a communist takeover, thus he deferred to Mussolini.[/QUOTE]
Why was Italian politics in 1922 so dysfunctional?

Also, I just remembered something--didn't the Italian King need the permission of the Fascist Grand Council before he could actually fire Mussolini?
 

Futurist

Ad Honoris
May 2014
21,059
SoCal
#45
Because those nations still had the tradition and traditions are hard to break, thus the U.K. still has a "monarchy" today. These newly formed nations had either broken the monarchical cycle or never had one in the first place.
France overthrew one monarchy in 1830 only to replace it with another one. Same thing in 1848. Also, the same thing would have happened in 1870-1871 had the Count of Chambord not been so obstinate in regards to the French flag.
 
Oct 2013
14,533
Europix
#47
Didn't Greece, Bulgaria, Romania, and Albania previously accept German Kings, though?
"Accept" isn't the most appropriate term. More than one new monarchic states wanted a foreign monarchy.

The reason being that in a modern constitutional monarchy the monarch is supposed to represent the entirety of the state and to be neutral. A "local" new king would have necessarily behind a personal/familial history, with sympathies and antipathies, with friends and foes, which could become dangerous, especially in new state.

I think the first case was Belgium, followed later by other states. (It's not for nothing that Romanian and Bulgarian constituents largelly inspired from the Belgian constitution).
 
Apr 2018
979
Upland, Sweden
#48
In some cases, Yes. For instance, Russia was able to get financial pressure to get Kyrgyzstan to sign up for the Eurasian Union in real life. It tried doing the same with Ukraine, but it didn't work out.
Yes, you are correct - but will it work in this case, in the context of founding a country? I am more skeptical. These are existential issues, and these will deal with the populations most fundamental conceptions of the world. Most of the people of these countries have never looked upon the US as a somewhat mysterious place you could emigrate to if you were poor, I'd wager they had little relation to it in their minds the same way they had a relation to France, Britain or Germany. This relation is not just going to appear because of generous loans. How generous loans were they btw? What scale exactly are we talking about? I am aware that the US supported the British government by buying government bonds in the UK, but I don't know much about this particular episode otherwise.


Please keep in mind, though, that U.S. forces are going to be necessary to crush Germany in the event that Germany will refuse to accept the Versailles Treaty and instead insist on fighting on. Yes, the U.S. ultimately withdrew from Europe, but this wasn't reasonably foreseeable until after Wilson's stroke. Before Wilson's stroke, there was still the hope that the U.S. could be a participant in preserving the new, post-WWI order in Europe.
You might well be militarily correct, but I am not sure this reflects the perceptions of the average European (let alone Eastern-European) on the ground in 1918 or the early 1920s. I think a common opinion was that the US had entered the war relatively late, done relatively little fighting and tipped the balance, but was hardly a heavy hitter in the sense that France and the UK were. It was still percieved as being if not second-rate (that I am unsure of), but perhaps more of a wildcard, or an unknown quantity.


Wilson didn't die from his 1919 stroke in real life. I proposed him having a more severe stroke in 1919 that kills him right than and there.
Oh right. Sorry, silly of me. Well, in that case. Sure, maybe. Still, we're getting into lots of maybies here. I think unless you can change the underlying reasons for why the US never fulfilled Wilson's League of Project dream (it's inherent political isolationism) then I am unsure that it would make a difference in the end. Perhaps the US would have played a larger role. Why would it though? Has anything changed fundamentally, in the average American's self-conception of the world.


Hard to say, to be honest. Wilson appears to have been an idealist whereas Hughes might have been more of a realist.
Well there you go. Doesn't that support my side of the argument, that if you combine those circumstances with a more monarchically inclined French Kingdom, the Hohenzollerns might perhaps have remained on the throne? It doesn't have to of course, and the Kaisers in both the Central Powers could well have abdicated anyway, but the whole situation seems a lot less clear cut.


If the U.S.'s withdrawal from Europe after WWI would have already been foreseeable, then I would agree with you.
I once again think you overestimate the perception of the US in the eyes of the average European at the time. I don't see the US being looked upon as a "heavy hitter", even if the US military contributions to WW1 were, in actual fact quite important. While the US did intervene in the Russian Civil War for example, the French actually supplied more troops, and the natives of the various Eastern European Countries supplied even more. The US help was important, but it was hardly as crucial as after WW2. The United States was still percieved as a relatively "far away" actor by most Europeans on the ground,I would wager (although, of course, I could be wrong).

To get back to the original question somewhat, if you look at the constitutions of the inter-war Central/ Eastern-European republics, to what degree where they influenced by the US? Were they about maintaining "inalienable rights" and creating a liberal utopia, or were they about guaranteeing cultural and ethnic sovereignty? This is my point. The US is not a natural political example to look to for an ethnically defined European nation that wants to create its own state. Some inspiration might be had, certainly, but I believe its kind of republicanism would be percieved of as more remote than even the French kind, which has similar (if not as convincing) claims to universalism. Here is an interesting article I found (admittedly after 5 seconds of Googling) on the Czechoslovak constitutions, and the principle of national self-determination.

Also, though, as a side note, an Orleanist monarchist France is likely to have a British-style constitutional monarchy. Thus, the monarch there won't be making the major decisions like they would have in, say, Tsarist Russia or the Kaiser's Germany. Are French politicians really going to want to make good ties with the newly independent Eastern European states dependent on the installation of monarchies in these countries? I mean, as I wrote above, even absolutist Tsarist Russia didn't demand that France install a monarchy as a precondition for a Franco-Russian alliance !
France is a great power that is almost an entire continent away, Russia was hardly in a position to demand anything (I take it you are talking about the period after Bismarck but prior to 1914).

I agree that France would have been a constitutional monarchy, and I don't think it would have made monarchy conditional for deeper diplomatic co-operation with the Eastern European countries (that is a very strange thing to do, and would probably be percieved as grossly offensive). What I am saying is that 1) The East-European perceptions of what is a natural form of government would be more slanted towards Monarchy, as there are no local European examples outside of Switzerland and San Marino that have been working Republics for almost half a century 2) the French government would try to help the existing monarchical movements in these countries, which I think would be much more powerful. The British would have a similar interest.

In fact, in the scenario we speak of I can see both the major Western allies (not the US, but as I said, I don't think their opinion matters as much as the French and English) making the case that "the real threat" is political extremism and lack of this "golden mean" that is tradition/contunity+adaption. The Kaiserreich was one extreme (because it wouldn't change) and now Soviet Russia is another one. Ergo, the French and English might want to make the burgeoning nationalist movements in these new countries connect to their older, pre Prussian/ Austrian/ Russian royal/ feudal traditions, if only on paper.
 
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Futurist

Ad Honoris
May 2014
21,059
SoCal
#49
"Accept" isn't the most appropriate term. More than one new monarchic states wanted a foreign monarchy.

The reason being that in a modern constitutional monarchy the monarch is supposed to represent the entirety of the state and to be neutral. A "local" new king would have necessarily behind a personal/familial history, with sympathies and antipathies, with friends and foes, which could become dangerous, especially in new state.

I think the first case was Belgium, followed later by other states. (It's not for nothing that Romanian and Bulgarian constituents largelly inspired from the Belgian constitution).
Interesting point.

Were there any available neutral candidates to become Kings of Czechoslovakia, Poland, Finland, and the Baltic countries?
 
Oct 2013
14,533
Europix
#50
There would also be the option of importing Romanov princes (there were a lot of them) to be the new monarchs in Eastern Europe
I very much doubt it in the case of countries like Poland, Hungary, Romania: Russia was the constant threat, the most "reliable enemy" for at least 2 centuries.

And BTW Poland: it was in fact the most prepared to become a republic, as "old" Poland was a republic, inspite being ruled by kings: monarchy wasn't hereditary, but elective.