George, Nicholas and Wilhelm: Three Royal Cousins and the Road to World War I by Miranda Carter

In the mid to late 19th century, it was thought that if a royal marriage was made between countries, that alliances would be forged and the European continent would be at peace.  So Queen Victoria with the numerous children that she had began marrying them off into other countries, however, things didn't work out as she planned.  Her daughter Victoria was married to the Prince of Prussia (one of the German states) but because of her strong English tendencies, she was never really accepted and her son, Wilhelm, the future Kaiser of  Germany was adamantly opposed to whatever his mother wanted.

Queen Victoria tried unsuccessful to influence German politics but because of long life of Wilhelm's grandfather and short life of his father, Wilhelm came to power early in life.  Some speculate that due to an accident at the time of his birth (he was trapped in the birth canal with one arm completely damaged and possible brain damage) Wilhelm had personality disorders which caused tantrums that last throughout his life  or it could be that he was simply spoiled as the heir and never learned  control.  English influence due to young Victoria's marriage never evolved.

Bertie, while Prince of Wales, was never allowed involvement in the government by Queen Victoria while she was alive.  He was a playboy and traveled extensively and used his charm in efforts to keep the peace in Europe.  When he finally came to throne, his relationship with his cousin Wilhelm was troubled.

Nicolas, the Tsarevich of Russia, wanted nothing to do with governing.  He never understood the plight of the serfs and felt it his due to rule even though he had very little education.

When these 3 lives collided in history with all pomp and protocol required of society of the time, they were unable to handle the changes happening in the world around them - mechanization, communication, war advancements, suffrage.  Though hey professed a desire for peace, they ultimately  part of the cause for escalation.


GENRE: History
CHARACTERS: George V of England, Kaiser Wilhelm II, Tsar Nicholas II
DATE READ: July 3 - July 20
Challenges: 75, Category, TIOLI, AlphaKit
SOURCE: Library Overdrive

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