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azadi

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Unlike most members of this forum, I prefer the Second German Reich to the First German Reich, because the Second Reich was a German nation-state unlike the First Reich, because the Second Reich had a democratically elected Reichstag unlike the First Reich and because the Second German Reich had the best social security system in the world. The First Reich wasn't a nation-state. It was a loose confederation of independent states. In addition, the first Reich was too Austrian. Despite being a Kurd, I'm descended from German nobility from the Prussian province of Saxony (today part of Sachsen-Anhalt in East Germany). I definitely prefer Prussia to Austria. I don't understand, why many monarchists dislike the Second Reich. The Germans weren't less deserving of a united nation-state than other peoples were, and Germany was no more guilty of World War I than Russia, France and Great Britain were. The main culprit of World War I was actually Austria-Hungary, which invaded Serbia, despite Serbia being willing to comply with most of the demands of Austria-Hungary.
I dislike the Second German Reich being called the German Empire in English, because the term empire in English has connotations of colonialism and imperialism. The Second German Reich only had a few overseas colonies, unlike Great Britain and France, and it wasn't a multi-national empire, unlike Austria-Hungary. The Second German Reich had French, Danish and Polish minorities, but the bulk of the population was ethnic Germans except in Lorraine, where the majority of the population were Frenchmen, in Northern Schleswig, where the majority of the population were Danes, and in Posen/Poznan, where the majority of the population were Poles.
In German, a state, whose head of state is an emperor, is called Kaisertum, which means emperordom. The Second German Reich ought to be called the German Emperordom rather than the German Empire in English. 
Peter

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German Empire is a perfectly correct translation of the German name to English. There is no such word as 'Emperordom', nor ought there to be. Like many words in English and other languages, 'empire' has subtle shades of meaning, which one is meant being determined by context. I don't think calling it that shows any misunderstanding of the nature of the German Empire. I think you perhaps misunderstand the nature and value of the Holy Roman Empire, but that is a common failing. I don't have any particular preference for the one over the other; the Holy Roman Empire was an ancient and long-enduring institution whose time had perhaps come, though were it not for the Napoleonic convulsions it would have lasted at least a few decades more. The German Empire in contrast was very short-lived but had its value and I wish had lasted far longer, in fact to the present day.

Assigning the fault for the First World War beginning is a very complex matter indeed and I am not going to attempt it. I will only say that Austria-Hungary deserves its share of blame, as do Serbia, Germany and Russia. France and Britain perhaps rather less so, though neither can be completely exonerated. Finally, you seem to have overlooked the Wends.
azadi

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Originally Posted by Peter
German Empire is a perfectly correct translation of the German name to English. There is no such word as 'Emperordom', nor ought there to be. Like many words in English and other languages, 'empire' has subtle shades of meaning, which one is meant being determined by context. I don't think calling it that shows any misunderstanding of the nature of the German Empire. I think you perhaps misunderstand the nature and value of the Holy Roman Empire, but that is a common failing. I don't have any particular preference for the one over the other; the Holy Roman Empire was an ancient and long-enduring institution whose time had perhaps come, though were it not for the Napoleonic convulsions it would have lasted at least a few decades more. The German Empire in contrast was very short-lived but had its value and I wish had lasted far longer, in fact to the present day.

Assigning the fault for the First World War beginning is a very complex matter indeed and I am not going to attempt it. I will only say that Austria-Hungary deserves its share of blame, as do Serbia, Germany and Russia. France and Britain perhaps rather less so, though neither can be completely exonerated. Finally, you seem to have overlooked the Wends.

I haven't overlooked the Sorbs, but they are a tiny minority, just as the Frisians are. I only mentioned regions of the Second German Reich, in which an ethnic minority formed the majority of the population.
I don't understand, why anybody admires the Holy Roman Empire, which wasn't a centralized state, and which was divided into de facto independent states after the Lutheran Reformation. Why is German unity wrong? I have noticed, that a lot of the members of this forum dislike centralized states. I don't understand why. Centralized states is far from incompatible with monarchy. Monarchists living in the 21th century desiring a return to small feudal principalities makes no sense I prefer modern nation-states to feudalism.
Claiming, that France deserves less blame for World War I than Germany is very wrong, because France desired revenge against Germany because of Alsace-Lorraine. I don't consider Serbia responsible for the outbreak of World War I, because the assassination of Franz Ferdinand wasn't the fault of the Serbian government. Austria-Hungary was the main culprit, because it desired war against Serbia in order to weaken pan-Slavism. Tsar Nikolay wanted to avoid going to war against Germany, but he bowed to pressure from pan-Slavists, who wanted to defend Serbia against Austrian aggression.
Germany made a major mistake by supporting Austria-Hungary against Russia. Austria-Hungary was an anachronistic multi-national empire, which was unfit for survival in a world dominated by nationalism. Germany and Russia ought to have partitioned Austria-Hungary. Germany ought to have annexed Austria (including South Tirol and Slovenia), Russia ought to have annexed Galicia (southern Poland and western Ukraine), Italy ought to have annexed Trentino, Trieste, Istria and Dalmatia and Serbia ought to have annexed Bosnia. Hungary (including Transylvania, Slovakia and Croatia) and Czechia ought to have been made independent Habsburg kingdoms. Archduke Jozsef Auguszt, who belonged to the Hungarian branch of the Habsburgs, ought to have been made King of Hungary, and Maximilian, the son of Franz Ferdinand and his Czech wife, ought to have been made King of Czechia.
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Like I said, you misunderstand the HRE, which was not made up of de facto independent states. All its feudatories submitted to the legislative and judicial institutions of the Empire, including the office of Emperor. Because it wasn't centralised people think it effectively didn't exist, which is not at all true. It was just a different kind of realm to those found in the rest of Europe, which were increasingly becoming centralised nation states. But different doesn't necessarily mean lesser.

Again, I really do not want to get into an argument about the fault for WWI beginning. Professional historians have been debating the matter for all the decades since, with no resolution in sight. But Austria-Hungary's fault was that it was entirely inflexible in its demands towards Serbia. Serbia's fault was in providing refuge and, even if without direct knowledge of its government, assistance to Bosnian terrorists. Germany's fault was in giving Austria-Hungary unequivocal backing, allowing it to be so inflexible. There was also the factor that Germany's military establishment were aware of Russia's long-term and sorely needed programme to upgrade and modernise its forces, and preferred to have the war they saw as inevitable sooner than later. Russia's fault was in giving unequivocal backing to Serbia, due as you say to Panslavism, a noxious force. I'm not aware of any direct involvement of France in the brewing tensions. Or Britain, both countries honoured treaty obligations once the conflict began. Certainly though French irredentism will have made them more willing to do so than they might have been, while Britain's concerns about the German naval build-up so obviously aimed at it worked similarly.

Nicholas II is perhaps the least to blame of the monarchs principally involved. He simply had no choice, such was the popular enthusiasm, and might well have been overthrown three years before he was had he resisted. It is very difficult to determine at any time what the involvement and authority of Wilhelm II was in the affairs of the Empire. Certainly he had more or less lost interest in internal governance years before, but still maintained some involvement in foreign and military matters. But the military were very powerful indeed and utterly determined on war, it is hard to see that he could have successfully resisted them. Franz Joseph I possibly blame the most, he seemed to be aware of the looming calamity but simply not to care. Of the three Emperors, he is the one who could have brought things to a halt by simply accepting the Serbian offers, which were not entirely unreasonable. But he did not.

I would be unable to speak temperately about your proposals for Austria-Hungary, so will refrain from discussing them at all.
azadi

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Originally Posted by Peter
Like I said, you misunderstand the HRE, which was not made up of de facto independent states. All its feudatories submitted to the legislative and judicial institutions of the Empire, including the office of Emperor. Because it wasn't centralised people think it effectively didn't exist, which is not at all true. It was just a different kind of realm to those found in the rest of Europe, which were increasingly becoming centralised nation states. But different doesn't necessarily mean lesser.

Again, I really do not want to get into an argument about the fault for WWI beginning. Professional historians have been debating the matter for all the decades since, with no resolution in sight. But Austria-Hungary's fault was that it was entirely inflexible in its demands towards Serbia. Serbia's fault was in providing refuge and, even if without direct knowledge of its government, assistance to Bosnian terrorists. Germany's fault was in giving Austria-Hungary unequivocal backing, allowing it to be so inflexible. There was also the factor that Germany's military establishment were aware of Russia's long-term and sorely needed programme to upgrade and modernise its forces, and preferred to have the war they saw as inevitable sooner than later. Russia's fault was in giving unequivocal backing to Serbia, due as you say to Panslavism, a noxious force. I'm not aware of any direct involvement of France in the brewing tensions. Or Britain, both countries honoured treaty obligations once the conflict began. Certainly though French irredentism will have made them more willing to do so than they might have been, while Britain's concerns about the German naval build-up so obviously aimed at it worked similarly.

Nicholas II is perhaps the least to blame of the monarchs principally involved. He simply had no choice, such was the popular enthusiasm, and might well have been overthrown three years before he was had he resisted. It is very difficult to determine at any time what the involvement and authority of Wilhelm II was in the affairs of the Empire. Certainly he had more or less lost interest in internal governance years before, but still maintained some involvement in foreign and military matters. But the military were very powerful indeed and utterly determined on war, it is hard to see that he could have successfully resisted them. Franz Joseph I possibly blame the most, he seemed to be aware of the looming calamity but simply not to care. Of the three Emperors, he is the one who could have brought things to a halt by simply accepting the Serbian offers, which were not entirely unreasonable. But he did not.

I would be unable to speak temperately about your proposals for Austria-Hungary, so will refrain from discussing them at all.

It's true, that the Holy Roman Empire was a real state, despite being very decentralized, during the Middle Ages, but the states of the Holy Roman Empire became de facto independent states after the Thirty Years' War. After the Thirty Years' War, the Holy Roman Empire de facto were the Austrian Empire claiming nominal sovereignty over the German states. I repeat, that I prefer the Second German Reich to the Holy Roman Empire, because the Second German Reich was a German nation-state. I don't understand, why many monarchists prefer decentralized feudal empires to modern nation-states. Modern nation-states are far from incompatible with monarchy. 
My proposed partition of Austria-Hungary is a counterfactual scenario, in which Germany refuses to support Austria-Hungary against Russia during the crisis of July 1914. Russia still go to war against Austria-Hungary in order to defend Serbia from Austrian aggression, and Italy quickly joins the war on the side of Russia. When Austria-Hungary has been decisively defeated by Russia and Italy, Germany occupies Austria and Czechia. France won't join the war, unless Germany goes to war against Russia, and Great Britain won't join the war, as long as Germany doesn't threaten France and Belgium.
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Originally Posted by azadi
...the states of the Holy Roman Empire became de facto independent states after the Thirty Years' War. After the Thirty Years' War, the Holy Roman Empire de facto were the Austrian Empire claiming nominal sovereignty over the German states.

Simply untrue, though it is a common misunderstanding. I suggest you read up on the facts. I will not discuss your counterfactual.
azadi

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Originally Posted by Peter

Simply untrue, though it is a common misunderstanding. I suggest you read up on the facts. I will not discuss your counterfactual.

I don't understand, why many monarchists dislike nationalism, because monarchism is closely tied to nationalism. A monarch embodies the history and traditions of a nation. In addition, most Germans wants Germany to stay united, and advocating partition of Germany in order to restore the small monarchies of the Holy Roman Empire will harm the cause of monarchism in Germany. Despite monarchism being insignificant in Germany, restoration of the Hohenzollern monarchy in Germany is far more likely to happen than Germany being partitioned. I cherish my German ancestry, and I will never accept partition of Germany. 

Peter

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I never said anything about disliking nationalism. I am a nationalist, I don't dislike nationalism. And I respect other people's nationalism, just as I expect them to respect mine. Actually your answer seems like a complete non sequitur. Including the second part, it seems to have escaped your attention that the German Empire itself contained small monarchies, a slew of kingdoms, grand duchies, duchies and principalities, as well as a Free City or two. In the past I have argued against people supporting local dynasties in the cause of restoring local monarchies, acknowledging that the latter will never happen, and urged support for the Hohenzollerns as the only dynasty associated with Germany as a whole rather than a particular region.

I still feel that is a valid argument, unlikely as any restoration might seem. I really don't recall anyone here arguing for Germany to be broken up entirely into small monarchies with no federal element at all, it was more that people were saying maybe the Wittelsbachs for example should be the dynasty backed for Germany as a whole. Which wouldn't work, for all their merits they were regional not national.
azadi

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Originally Posted by Peter
I never said anything about disliking nationalism. I am a nationalist, I don't dislike nationalism. And I respect other people's nationalism, just as I expect them to respect mine. Actually your answer seems like a complete non sequitur. Including the second part, it seems to have escaped your attention that the German Empire itself contained small monarchies, a slew of kingdoms, grand duchies, duchies and principalities, as well as a Free City or two. In the past I have argued against people supporting local dynasties in the cause of restoring local monarchies, acknowledging that the latter will never happen, and urged support for the Hohenzollerns as the only dynasty associated with Germany as a whole rather than a particular region.

I still feel that is a valid argument, unlikely as any restoration might seem. I really don't recall anyone here arguing for Germany to be broken up entirely into small monarchies with no federal element at all, it was more that people were saying maybe the Wittelsbachs for example should be the dynasty backed for Germany as a whole. Which wouldn't work, for all their merits they were regional not national.

I wasn't attacking you. I know, that you don't support partition of Germany. I was speaking of other members of the forum. Some members of the forum have actually advocated restoring the Holy Roman Empire. I know, that the Second German Reich was a federation, and that most of the member states of the Second German Reich were monarchies. I support amending the Basic Law of the Federal Republic of Germany in order to allow the states of Germany to be monarchies.
I suspect, that some members of the forum oppose a Hohenzollern restoration because of lingering Anglosphere Germanophobia. A lot of people in the Anglosphere don't distinguish sufficiently between the Second German Reich and Nazi Germany, because they consider World War II a continuation of World War I. But that's utterly wrong, and I expect you to agree with me on that issue. The Second German Reich was a civilized state, which treated Jews well, and which didn't plan a genocide of Slavs in Eastern Europe. It's true, that the Treaty of Versailles, which was unfair to Germany, was an important cause of the rise of Nazism, but that doesn't mean, that Nazi Germany was a continuation of the Second German Reich in any way.
azadi

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Germany allying with Austria-Hungary against Russia was a mistake. Germany ought to have been allied to Russia. If Germany had been allied to Russia, World War I would likely have been averted. Great Britain and France would likely never have dared to attack a Russo-German alliance. Germany and Russia had no overlapping territorial claims, unlike Germany and France and their political systems were more similar to each other than they were to the political systems of USA, Great Britain and France. A lot of German intellectuals, including Thomas Mann, wanted Germany to make a separate peace with Russia during World War I, while continuing the war against France and Great Britain. Bismarck established an alliance between Germany and Russia, but the Reichstag foolishly refused to renew it in 1890. That decision paved the way for World War I.
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In the sense that if Germany and Russia had remained aligned the whole scenario would have been different, certainly. But that could be said of a lot of things. While it is correct that the formal alliance ended in 1890, its continuation since the dissolution in 1887 of the Dreikaiserbund had been secret. The Reichstag knew nothing of it, and certainly weren't responsible for its not being renewed. The decision was actually made by Leo von Caprivi, who had recently replaced Bismarck as Chancellor, and endorsed by Wilhelm II. The public at large first learned both of the agreement's existence and its termination when Bismarck let the cat out of the bag in 1896, causing a considerable sensation.
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