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View Diary: The war that (almost) never was: why World War I was NOT inevitable (26 comments)

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  •  Your scenario is certainly plausible. It had a ... (6+ / 0-)

    Your scenario is certainly plausible. It had a strong proponent in the man slated to become Prime Minister of France in August 1914, Joseph Caillaux, following the acquittal of his wife for shooting a newspaper editor opposed to Caillaux's policies.

    As Prime Minister in 1911 Caillaux had worked with German Chancellor Bethmann to defuse the Agadir Crisis (over French control of Morocco), and he was expected to pursue detente with Germany. That he had greater Franco-German cooperation in mind is proved by his planned choice for Foreign Minister: none other than the anti-war apostle and Socialist hero, Jean Jaures.

    As it was Caillaux's promotion was canceled by the advent of war the week of his wife's acquittal; his career was destroyed thereafter by his secret attempts to negotiate peace with Germany.

    •  One fascinating result of that speculation (3+ / 0-)

      is that you'd end up with the Eurasian power blocs pretty much as post-1945 except for the USA & (most likely) Britain, which would either continue to be embroiled in an Irish mess of its own making, or continue to play the role of swing-man on the Continent between a Western European Entente & a rising Slavic alliance led by Imperial Russia (it being one of the Brits' basic tenets that no one power be allowed to dominate Europe).

      My guess is that war would still have broken out & it would've started in the same geographic region-- as soon as the Rooskies felt feisty enough to have a go at the Ottomans over their longstanding interest in seizing Constantinople & the Straits there would be immediate pushback from the WEE, augmented by the Brits as another front in the Great Game that pitted them against the Romanovs for control of central Asia. Think of a third Balkan War--essentially a Crimean War II moved a few hundred miles southeast, with the West again supporting the Turks--in the early 1930s.

      In the Far East, the Anglo-Japanese naval treaty of 1902 might have remained in force with the two nations combining to fall on Vladivostok. And in yet another wild card, the Brits might have come awfully close to hostilities with a USA that (officially or not) was supplying the insurrectionists in Ireland with weaponry. (Or not--in which case you might have had the Imperial Russian Fleet rather than the Kaiser landing arms in Connaught!)

      No nukes (even presuming someone performed the Hahn-Meitner experiments & got fission to occur, no nation would have had the urgency or the cash to indulge in what bid fair to be a wild goose chase). No independence for European colonies--at least not in a peaceful manner. Weapons very little advanced beyond 1914 (though automobile-driven development of ICEs might have pushed forward 300-mph airplanes & tanks). No Holocaust, just the usual Russian pogroms...

      And dogonlynose what other reverberations...

      The bumpersticker I want: THE LEFT IS RIGHT! THE RIGHT IS WRONG! THE FAR RIGHT IS FAR WRONG!

      by Uncle Cosmo on Sun Aug 10, 2014 at 11:42:58 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

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