Wednesday, December 6, 2006
The Kaiser and His War
The Kaiser and His War: For the British, World War I was the "Kaiser's War." Upon further investigation into this claim, one will discover that war between Europe's continental powers was the last thing that Kaiser Wilhelm II wanted to have happen. In spite of the Kaiser's apparent headstrong attitude toward foreign affairs, he always saw war as the greatest obstacle to progress, and likewise, the least plausible solution to any diplomatic crisis. Supporting this statement, European historian Michael Balfour (who wrote The Kaiser and His Times) claims the Kaiser could have easily taken Germany to war with France in 1905 over the First Morocco Crisis. Yet the Kaiser restrained himself, as he decided to navigate the crisis through diplomatic means. And some European historians have even concluded that Germany would have won the First World War (decisively), if it had taken place in 1905. That's because Britain would have most likely remained neutral in the event of a 1905 Franco-German War. At the time, British Prime Minister Arthur Balfour was struggling to deal with the growing prospects of Irish separatism.