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Old 08-28-2020, 07:26 PM   #5001
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One of the things that brought on the first world war was the simple fact, widely noted among historians, that Europe simply won a nasty jackpot. All the major powers had mediocre statesmen at the same time. Or at least mediocre in terms of diplomacy.

This suggests that simply having a solidly competent figure running the diplomacy of one or more major players on the European stage could easily delay the war. World War one was sort of baked into what the European state system had become. But the war needed a supply of second rate diplomats or statesmen who were focused on internal issues, in order to come to pass.

Competent statesmen focused on internal issues is more than enough to cause disaster. Example: Propose a fairy nutty "Good Fairy" bespelled me and made me President of the USA for the next twenty years with no escape. I get all the talents and skills needed for the job at epically high levels, a magic knack for picking great appointees, and perfect health and fitness all the time I'm on the job, but I focus all my attention on America's many problems and issues and pretty much remove America from the world stage.

Many nations which are seriously unhappy with the status quo would do what they want to take what they feel entitled to. War would eventually result. If not a world war, still vast amounts of pain and loss.

So, to delay or speed up WWI, either focus or remove competent plays from the diplomatic sceen.
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Old 08-28-2020, 11:18 PM   #5002
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One possibility would be if Harmon had successfully defeated Wilson during the 1912 Democratic National Convention. A modestly progressive Midwestern governor, he would have likely still won when TR divided the vote with Taft. A much less racist indivudual, he would have likely been too involved in domestic racial tensions during his second term to bother with WW1, as he would have likely not implemented the segregationist policies of Wilson. Without the US involvement, the war would have ended in late 1917, likely with Germany losing its oversees territories but gaining the territories that it took from Russia, Austria-Hungary surviving for a couple more decades before falling apart, and Turkey collapsing a couple years later.
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Old 08-29-2020, 09:13 AM   #5003
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One possibility would be if Harmon had successfully defeated Wilson during the 1912 Democratic National Convention. A modestly progressive Midwestern governor, he would have likely still won when TR divided the vote with Taft. A much less racist indivudual, he would have likely been too involved in domestic racial tensions during his second term to bother with WW1, as he would have likely not implemented the segregationist policies of Wilson. Without the US involvement, the war would have ended in late 1917, likely with Germany losing its oversees territories but gaining the territories that it took from Russia, Austria-Hungary surviving for a couple more decades before falling apart, and Turkey collapsing a couple years later.
This would set up a radically different WWII. The German Imperial state would still be around. That would prevent the rose of Hitler, although both anti-Semitism and German chauvinism would still be likely to grow in Germany (if for no other reason than the Prince Imperial, if I read correctly, was a bigot). Germany would be stronger, but there would be more hostility directed towards them. Willy boy wanted to make the Ottoman Empire and Iran German colonies. The loss of Germany's overseas territories would only make this desire stronger. As a German India was the final goal, Willy boy's desires mean he'd force WWII early. Maybe the late 1920s would see Germany making a grab for the near East and getting an alliance of Britain, France, Russia, the Ottomans, the Arabs, and others all aligned against them.
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Old 08-29-2020, 10:08 AM   #5004
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Germany would likely be fairly exhausted by the end of the war, and they would be dealing with a Communist Russia on its borders, so I am not sure if they would feel secure enough to start another war in the 1920s. You might end up with a Cold War situation between Germany and Russia, along with constant small civil wars crippling the Austrian-Hungarian Empire. With the collapse of the Ottoman Empire though in 1920 though, there would be a free-for-all for its territories, meaning that you could have ended up with a scramble between France, Greece, Italy, Germany, Russia, and Iran. With a weaker Russia, Iran might have also been able to recover some of the territories that is lost to Russia during the 17th-19th centuries.
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Old 08-29-2020, 11:38 AM   #5005
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Germany would likely be fairly exhausted by the end of the war, and they would be dealing with a Communist Russia on its borders, so I am not sure if they would feel secure enough to start another war in the 1920s. You might end up with a Cold War situation between Germany and Russia, along with constant small civil wars crippling the Austrian-Hungarian Empire. With the collapse of the Ottoman Empire though in 1920 though, there would be a free-for-all for its territories, meaning that you could have ended up with a scramble between France, Greece, Italy, Germany, Russia, and Iran. With a weaker Russia, Iran might have also been able to recover some of the territories that is lost to Russia during the 17th-19th centuries.
Perhaps Georgia and Armenia end up as buffer states and Azerbaijan is fully reincorporated in the Iranian state.
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Old 08-29-2020, 05:50 PM   #5006
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I dunno. Without Wilson's idealism driving self-determination and the League of Nations, I imagine the French ambition to contain Germany and Italian aims in the Balkans would be strengthened. The Japanese may have gotten the Racial Equality Proposal through. Without Japanese & Italian Disillusionment and a well contained Germany, WW2 may have been put off for even longer.
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Old 08-29-2020, 06:08 PM   #5007
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Strangely enough, I think that Germany may have supported colonial independence after being deprived of oversees colonies. Without anything to lose and new markets to gain, I could see Germany being a supporter of decolonization efforts across the globe. With new markets opened for the price of leftovers from WWI, Germany could gain commercial footholds across Africa and Asia.
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Old 08-30-2020, 10:13 AM   #5008
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Strangely enough, I think that Germany may have supported colonial independence after being deprived of oversees colonies. Without anything to lose and new markets to gain, I could see Germany being a supporter of decolonization efforts across the globe. With new markets opened for the price of leftovers from WWI, Germany could gain commercial footholds across Africa and Asia.
The Weimar Republic could be very progressive, the German Empire, taking a lesson from Bismarck, could steal the Left's thunder by offering pragmatic reforms. Still, there was strong romantic anti-modernism in German society cultivated by the elites as a means of holding control. So, if the old elites aren't weakened somehow, why would they reject colonialism, an ideal which supported elite values and agendas.
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Old 08-30-2020, 10:24 AM   #5009
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The Weimar Republic could be very progressive, the German Empire, taking a lesson from Bismarck, could steal the Left's thunder by offering pragmatic reforms. Still, there was strong romantic anti-modernism in German society cultivated by the elites as a means of holding control. So, if the old elites aren't weakened somehow, why would they reject colonialism, an ideal which supported elite values and agendas.
Because it weakens the enemy? It's not like the Soviets were all that anti-imperial in general (Russia still has a significant empire after all), but they played the role well on the world stage for decades anyway.

Well it *appears* to weaken the enemy anyway. There's some doubt about how much benefit an empire really provides compared even to investment at home, never mind neo-colonialism where you let the locals take the heat of providing government and just collect the monetary profits.
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Old 08-30-2020, 01:59 PM   #5010
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I think that the main benefit is that it denies old markets to your enemies and opens new markets to you. For example, the main utility of India to the UK was that the UK could force India to purchase their manufactured goods by forbidding the sell of non-UK manufactured goods in India. Having an independent India would allow the German Empire a share of the Indian market, which would have been better than their nonexistent share when India was under UK control.
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