World War Essay

1381 WordsSep 2, 20146 Pages
World War I King, Kaiser, Tsar is a compelling comparative biography of the formative lives of George V of Great Britain, Wilhelm II of Germany, and Nicholas II of Russia, who would lead their countries into World War I. The three future leaders grew up knowing each other since early childhood in a vast extended family overseen by Queen Victoria and Prince Albert. At times, it is hard to believe that the first cousins — who affectionately called each other Georgie, Willy, and Nicky throughout their lives — could not have found a way to avert the march to war. The book details the grandeur and dysfunction of each of the three royal courts that molded each of the men on both sides of the turn of the century. As the narrative unwinds, the reader learns not only to decipher the individual personalities but also how their roles as a constitutional monarch, a defacto autocrat, and an absolute monarch formed the way in which they dealt with each other and their respective governments. Each in their own way was unsuited to hold together a crumbling empire, let alone lead their countries into war. Regardless of their family connections, the three rulers were playing the game of international politics on a world stage, and power was the more motivating factor than family World War I, also called First World War or Great War, an international conflict that in 1914–18 embroiled most of the nations of Europe along with Russia, the United States, the Middle East, and other regions. The war pitted the Central Powers—mainly Germany, Austria-Hungary, and Turkey—against the Allies—mainly France, Great Britain, Russia, Italy, Japan, and, from 1917, the United States. It ended with the defeat of the Central Powers. The war was virtually unprecedented in the slaughter, carnage, and destruction it caused. The introduction of modern technology to warfare resulted in unprecedented

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