*** boys clothing: European royalty -- wars

European Royalty: Wars

Figure 1.--German royals were overhrown at the end of Workd War I, The Kaiswe abdigated and fled to the Netherlands. Ge and the other royal families in Germany were replaced by democratically elected repulics, includung socialist governing parties. This photo was taken during a gathering of Hanover and Mecklenburg royal families. Princess Alexandra of Hanover married Frederick Francis IV (1904). He was the last Grand Duke of Mecklenburg-Schwerin. The photo was taken in Summer 1920, a year after the end of the monarchies. Almost all the boys wear Lederhosen. At the time open-toe sandals were worn as summertime footwear by children from wealthy families.

Mankind throughout history has been ruled by monarchs sometimes with priestly connections. The Greek and Roman experiment with republic and democratic was an aberration to the general pattern. There were limits to the power of monarchy's based on historic feudal traditions and historic developments. Feudal was system that created duties and obligation both ways, up and down the social scale. As powerful nation states coalesced, many of these rights clashed with the the theory of divine right monarchy. The apogee of this theory was France's ruler --the Sun King Louis XIV. Louis famously said, "I am the state." It is the English speaking people that challenged absolutist rule. The English Civil War was the first challenge to divine right monarchy (17th century), Charles I lost his head. Germany was potentially the most powerful country in Europe. The Germans unlike other nationalities did coalesce into a powerful nation state. There were various reasons for this. One was the Holy Roman Empire, a kind of confederation of states in which no one state was powerful enough to dominate and the various states jealously defended their individual prerogatives. The second challenge by the English-speaking people was the American Revolution (1776-83). This was basically a great experiment until the Civil War settled the issue (1861-65). Shortly after the American Civil War, Germany finally unified. The Germans had been deeply divided by the Protestant Reformation (16th century). And then the rivalry between Prussia .and Austria delayed unification. The history of the German states is very complicated. Some like Prussia and Austria are well-known and were at the heart of European history for centuries. Other smaller principalities are virtually unknown outside of Germany. The territory and ruling families were determined in large part by major and smaller military engagements. The German states were in particular affected by the Napoleonic Wars (1800-15), the German Civil War/Austro-Prussian War (1866), Franco-Prussian War (1870-71), and World War I (1914-18). World War I was the end of empires and many storied ruling families. Many Europeans believe that the tragedy of World War I ended the rights of monarchs to rule. The Austrian, German, and Russian ruling families. In Austria and Germany, democratic republic were established. In Russia, totalitarian Communism and eventually a new all powerful emperor -- The Red Tsar, Joseph Stalin.

English Civil War (1642-51)

It was the English speaking people that first first questioned royal absolutism and eventually divine right monarchy. The Tudors did a great deal to strengthen the authority of the monarchy, but were deft politicians and managed Parliament carefully. The Stuarts had a different mindset. They were committed to not only divine-right monarchy, but royal absolutism as well. Rather than attempting to manage Parliament, the Stuarts confronted Parliament's prerogatives. The conflict between the Stuart monarchy and Parliament culminated in the English Civil War. The English stepped back from establishing a republic which they might have done if the War had occurred in the 18th century. The Civil War was, however, a major step in the development of English democracy. It also had a profound impact on American democracy. During this period of turmoil in Britain, the colonists were left largely to their own devices. This meant at an early stage of colonial development, the new colonial legislatures had to exercise considerable authority independent of royal control.

American Revolution (1776-1783)

The next step away from royal rule was the American Revolution. The germ of republicanism was let loose during the English Civil War and then Cromwell's English Commonwealth during which the colonists basically developed a tradition of not only self government, but elected legislatures. It was further nourished by the enlightenment. It was the effort by the Westminster Parliament to reign in the prerogatives of the colonial legislatures that set off the American Revolution. Few in Europe expected this grand experiment to succeed. It was still widely believed that republicanism meant mob rule and that monarchy was necessary to restrain popular passions and for stable government. This was clearly spelled out in towering simplicity by President Lincoln's Gettysburg Address. This issue was not settled until the American Civil War (1861-65).

French Revolution (1789)

The French Revolution also bean as a noble Enlightenment experiment with creations like the 'Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen' (1789). But the French experiment descended into tyranny and and another firm of absolutism. The French Revolution confirmed for many that republicanism meant mob rule and oceans of blood. Louis XVI and his queen Maurie Antoinette were guillotined (1793) . Heads rolled in the Great Terror and not just royal heads. Many private citizens were denounced. This continued until Napoleonic finally restored order and created a new imperial monarchy of his own.

Napoleonic Wars (1800-15)

Many of the major battles of the Napoleonic Wars were fought in Germany and Austria. It was Napoleon who ended the Holy Roman Empire (1806). Napoleon surrendered the Kingdom of Hanover to Prussia in 1805, but the Prussians had to return it after their defeat at Jena and Austerlitz (1806). Napoleon then combined Hanover with Hessen-Kassel and Braunschweig to form the Kingdom of Westphalia. One of Napoleon's brothers was made king. In the end, Napoleon was defeated. And the Congress of Vienna restored the Ancien Regime.

Latin American Wars of Revolution (1806-26)

With Spain and Portugal dominated by France and the British victory at Trafalgar, the Spanish and Portuguese colonies moved toward independence. Criollos were stronglyb influenced by the Enligtement. Major battles were fought throughout the former Spanish Empire, mostly in the Andes. The Spanish monarchy had powerful adherents, but the British Royal Navy prevented any aid from Spain to reach the monarchists. The result was the birth of many new republics throughout the region--except in Brazil where an imperial regime seized power. Many who fought the revolution, like BolĂ­var had towering liberal aspirations. Tragically for the region, unlike the United States to the north, social reform did not accompany independence. And the social structure establish by the Encomienda and Repartimiento persisted into the 20th century.

Revolutions of 1848

Republicanism did not end with the failure of the French Republic, albeit it was badly tarnished. many Europeans looked to the new American republic for inspiration. And in 1848, monarchies tottered, but did not fall. A new republic was established in France, but did not last ling as Napoleon III established the second empire. More monarchies may have fallen, except Tsarist armies marched west and restored the old order once again. While restored, imprint constitutional reforms were enacted throughout Europe. European monarchs except in Russia were no longer absolutist rulers. Here the English speaking people led the way through the British monarchy. There were important liberal reforms. Queen Victoria and Prince Albert dreamed of helping to promote liberal ideas in Germany which was moving toward unification. They very nearly pulled it off. Their eldest daughter married the liberal-minded German crown prince who became Kaiser Frederick III (1888), Tragically for Europe, he ruled for only a few months before dying from cancer. Their son, Wilhelm II, would have very different ideas about Germany's future.

Crimean War (1853-56)

The Crimean War was a bellicose interlude in a uncharacteristically long period of peace under which Europe flourished and prospered. The war is one of the least studies of the wars between the main European powers. Russian efforts to expand south brought it into conflict with the two great European powers, England and France. Notable is the fact that Prussia abstained from involvement. This was due to Bismark's efforts to separate the Russians and French which was later to lead to German unification. This policy was later was abandoned by Wilhelm II, leading to disaster in World War I. The Crimean War proved to be the first step in changing Prussia (soon to be Germany) from an English ally to an enemy. The Crimea was the only time the British and Russian's fought--although there was tension growing out of the Great Game in Afghanistan and northern India. There was great suffering on both sides. In Russia, war with the European powers brought great strains. Taxes were needed to finance the War. The huge casualties required forced levies. Both mean increased hardship for the already exploited Russian serfs. There were serf uprisings everywhere. Intellectual ferment is often stimulated by war and social upheaval. Fashion and art are often affected. It is at this time that Russian blouse styles begin to appear in Europe. Many styles such as balaklava (ski mask), cardigan sweaters, and raglan sweaters coats later appeared. Russia was also affected. The conditions of Russian serfs worsened from their already exploited condition. The aftermath of war and rebellion appears to have enlivened the previously rather static artistic life of Russia. It is in this period that the new school of critical realism is founded. The founder of critical realism is Vasily Perov.

Pruso-Danish War (1864)

Danish King Friedrich VII died in 1864. Many European royals were the sovereign of more than one kingdom or principality. Often these territories were not united and were separated physically and by different laws, customs, and even language. When Friedrich died, the personal union of Schleswig-Holstein with the Danish crown had to end, because his successor Christian IX was not a direct descend and, as a result, not entitled to inherit the principality of Schleswig-Holstein.

German Civil War/Austro-Prussian War (1866)

The Prussian strategy in the War was masterminded by Wilhelm IV/I's Chancellor, the Count Otto von Bismarck. He used the War as an opportunity to rearrange the map of Germany and establish itself Prussia as the dominant German state. Prussia not only declared war on Austria, but all of the German states in the Federation that had remained neutral. (Some Germans thus call the War the German Civil War or the Prusso-German War.) several German royal houses were dethroned in the process.

Franco-Prussian War (1870-71)

The Franco-Prussian War is the 1870-71, conflict between France and Prussia that permitted the unification of a united Germany under the Prussian kingdom, overwhelming the more liberal traditions of some other German states. The War was largely provoked by Chancellor Otto von Bismarck (the Iron Chancellor) as part of his carefully crafted plan to unify German under Prussian leadership. This result was a huge, powerful state imbued with Prussian militarism and with the power to aggressively pursue the new Germany's imperial ambitions. This fundamentally changed the European power balance. The resulting defeat of Louis Napoleon by the Prussians in 1870 brought the Third Republic to power in 1871. One of the reforms they introduced were smocks for schoolboys, part of the new Republican ideal to reduce the influence of class and privilege. The two northeastern provinces of France, Alsace-Loraine, were ceded to Germany in the Treaty of Frankfurt. These were both border provinces and there were already large numbers of German-speakers in both provinces, especially Alsace. The population was, however, largely French oriented--even some of the German families. The loss to France was so heart-felt in France that it almost made another war inevitable. One impact on boys' clothing was that when the Third Republic in 1871 mandated smocks in French schools, Alsace-Loraine were no longer part of France.

Russo Turkish War (1877-78)

Russian and the Ottomans fought a series of Balkan Wars. In each the Russians gained ground. The Ottoman Empire would have collapsed early in the 19th century, had the major European powers not differed on how to carve it up. Concerned about the Russian successes, Britain and France intervened in the Crimean War to support Turkey. The last Russo-Turkish War occurred in 1877-78. It was also the most important one. Tsarist Russia in 1877 came to the aid of its fellow Christian Orthodox ally Serbia as well as Bosnia and Herzegovina and Bulgaria in local rebellions against Ottoman rule. The Russians attacked directly through Bulgaria toward Turkey and gained considerable success. After completing the Siege of Pleven, the Russians advance into Thrace, taking Adrianople (now Edirne, Turkey) in January 1878. The Ottomans conceded and in March 1878 agree to the Treaty of San Stefano with Russia. This treaty liberated Romania, Serbia, and Montenegro from Ottoman rule. It granted autonomy to Bosnia and Herzegovina, and created a Bulgaria (much larger than modern Bulgaria) under Russian protection. The great powers, especially Britain and Austria-Hungary, were concerned with the massive Russian gains confirmed by the treaty. Here the British were conflicted. Public opinion had been aroused against Ottoman atrocities against Christians in the Balkans, yet Queen Victorian was strongly anti-Russian and many officials were concerned about the Russians moving south toward Suez. The great powers this compelled Russia to accept more limited gains under the Treaty of Berlin (July 1878). Russia's gains from the war were sharply reduced.

World War I (1914-18)

Terrorism was at the heart of World War I in a chilling reminder to our modern age. War had been brewing in Europe for decades. It was a terrorist act that was the actual catalyst. Serbian nationalist Gavrilo Princip (June, 28, 1914) assassinated Archduke Franz Ferdinand, the heir to the throne of Austria-Hungary. The Austrians were incorporating Bosnia into their Empire and had chosen the most sacred day in Serbian history, their defeat by the Ottoman Turks on the plains of Kosovo, for the Archduke's visit. The Austrians decided to punish the Serbs. The German Government (July 6) gave its support for Austro-Hungary's plan to punish the Serbs. Germany and Austria-Hungary became known as the Central Powers. When Austria-Hungary with German backing declared war on Serbia, Russia and France began to mobilize its troops. As a result of Kaiser Wilhelm's bumbling, France had succeeded in signing a mutual defense treaty. Germany felt impelled to strike at France before Russia could mobilize. Germany declaring war on Russia (August 1) and France (August 3). The German Army entered neutral Belgium (August 4), in an effort to go around the strong French border defenses. Britain declared war on Germany over the violation of Belgian neutrality. Britain, France, and Russia became known as the Allied countries. The Germans were convinced they could take Paris before either th British or Russians could intervene. Miraculously the French Army managed to stop the Germans at the Marne and the Western Front became a brutal war of attrition. Italy had signed a treaty with Germany and Austria Hungary, decided not to honor it and later entered the War. Turkey had signed a defensive alliance with Germany in July 1914 and seeing an opportunity to make major gains against their historic enemy Russia joined the Central Powers. Making another effort to win the War, Germany in 1917 renewed unrestricted submarine warfare, bringing America into the War. Despite German victories on the Eastern Front against Russia, the added resources and man power America provided enabled the Allies to break the German's on the Western Front. The Kaiser was forced to abdicate and a new government had to seek an armistice. World War I ended with the removal from office of the German and Austrian ruling families.


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Created: June 6, 1998
Last updated: 5:41 PM 11/20/2022