The Effect of Monarchs on World War One

Essay by SpoonJunkieHigh School, 11th gradeA, March 2004

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Did the European monarchies of Britain, Russia, and Germany help to lead the

world into the first world war of 1914? I've investigated this question through the use of a variety of texts and resources available to me: I have examined the actual documents, statements, and treaties released by these leaders during, and leading up to, this time of crisis. I have examined the actions of the monarchs before them, and how these choices would affect their own decisions. I have read exposes and in-depth examinations of the war itself, and I have drawn from these documents the information I need to prove that these monarchs, through attempts to further their own personal desires or beliefs, led the continent and the world into a global conflict.

Right wing follower of divine right and born with a severe overcompensation complex, Kaiser Wilhelm II had ascended to the position of emperor of the German empire in 1890, and embarked on a path to destruction.

One could say it all started with the publishing of a book, "The Influence of Sea Power" upon history, by Alfred Mahan, a failed sailor, but successful professor, who taught at the American naval war college. The book's theme was the necessity of a naval force in the recipe for world, and it became the favorite novel of the Kaiser. He went as far as to make it mandatory reading for his naval officers, and quickly acquired German publishing rights. Then, following the advice laid forth in Mahan's book, he proceeded to create what he expected to be Europe's largest navy, and acquire as many colonies as he could to help support this new naval power. Having thus created dissent with other nations, he continued to force his arms race with England; eventually giving them reason enough to...