Thursday, July 10, 2014
Impact of the Great War & Loss of Monarchy
World War II in Europe would have easily been averted had the German Kaiser retained his throne. Less clear cut is World War II in Asia but evidence points to the answer being the same. Much of the motivation for Japanese involvement on the Asian mainland was, after all, the result of the expansion of the Soviet Union with Soviet-backed communists taking control of Mongolia and supporting a growing subversive element in the Republic of China. Were it not for these communist threats, all of which came about as a result of the Bolshevik Revolution in Russia, there may have been no need for Japanese intervention in China. Similarly, for the wider war, it all started because of the provocations of the Roosevelt administration aimed at forcing Japan to take aggressive action which would turn public opinion in favor of American intervention in World War II, specifically in Europe. If there had been no war in Europe, there likely would have been no application of American pressure against Japan leading to war. There would also have not been the antagonism between Japan and the Western Allies that grew as a result of the Japanese delegates to Versailles being ignored and the later naval arms reductions agreements which treated Japan as a second-class power to Britain and America. But, to stay on course, this about the results of monarchies falling, not the war itself.
Lord Mountbatten, the last Viceroy, tried to bring both sides together but it was to no avail and one by one the parts of the former Empire of India abandoned the status of Commonwealth Realms to become republics. Independence was to be welcomed as it would benefit both sides but if the Empire of India could have been maintained, whether with a Viceroy in personal union with the British Crown or under a restored Indian monarch, so much terror and bloodshed might have been avoided, not only in the conflicts between India and Pakistan but as a result of the support from radical elements inside Pakistan to terrorist forces and rogue regimes around the world. If there had been no World War I and thus no World War II, this might have been possible.
Looking across a wider area, if there had been no Great War, there would have been no Soviet Union, thus no Soviet invasion of Afghanistan, thus no Taliban militia and possibly no 9-11 and “War on Terror”. If there had been no Great War there would have been no Soviet Union to bring down the monarchies of Romania, Bulgaria and Serbia (without the Great War there would have been no Yugoslavia as there would have still been an Austria-Hungary or perhaps the “United States of Greater Austria” as some federalists envisioned). There would have then been no crackdowns and massacres such as were seen in every country of the Eastern Bloc. There would have been no division of Germany and just imagine how much more prosperous Eastern Europe, including Russia, might be today if they had not spent so many decades in the shackles of Soviet communism. The possibilities are almost endless.
Whether Europe, Asia or Africa there are few major, modern conflicts that have not been a direct or at least indirect result of the First World War. Australia was affected as was North America with South America probably having been the least impacted, though even there the case can be made that the economic consequences played a part in the revolutions that caused so much warfare and turmoil. If World War I had never happened the world would be a much better place and even if it had happened, at least to some extent, people all across the globe would have been spared considerable suffering if the monarchs of Germany, Austria-Hungary, Turkey and Russia had not lost their thrones in the process.