Royal Cousins At War

In May 1910, the monarchies of Europe came together in London, in an opulent show of strength, for the funeral of Edward VII. War and revolution in the ensuing decade heaped assassination, defeat and exile upon them. Theo Aronson portrays the European Royal Families at War.

The Great War began as the War of the Cousins. This family feud was between cousins Georgie and Nicky on one side, and cousin Willi on the other. In their youth they all used to get together with their grandmother for family events and celebrations.

“Queen Victoria was sometimes called the Grandmamma of Europe, and there was hardly a Continental court that did not boast at least one of her relations. During World War One there were no less than seven of the old Queen’s direct descendants, and two more of her Coburg relations, on European thrones. Before it happened, can anyone blame this family of kings, or their subjects, for assuming that a war between these crowned cousins was all but impossible?”

Ultimately, more than 70 million military personnel including 60 million Europeans, were mobilized in one of the largest wars in history. The total number of casualties in World War I, both military and civilian, was about 37 million: 16 million deaths and 21 million wounded. The total number of deaths includes 9.7 million military personnel and about 6.8 million civilians.

Cousins At War, by Theo Aronson

The First World War began with the June 28, 1914 assassinations of Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria, heir to the throne of Austria-Hungary, and his wife, Sophie, Duchess of Hohenberg, in Sarajevo by Gavrilo Princip, one of a group of six assassins (five Serbs and one Bosnia Muslim) coordinated by Danilo Ilić. The political objective of the assassination was to break off Austria-Hungary’s south-Slav provinces so they could be combined into a Yugoslavia. The assassins’ motives were consistent with the movement that later became known as Young Bosnia. The assassination led directly to the First World War when Austria-Hungary subsequently issued an ultimatum against Serbia, which was partially rejected. Austria-Hungary then declared war, marking the outbreak of the war.

Royal Cousins At War (Part I) A House Divided

Examines what impact the relationships between cousins Nicholas II of Russia, Kaiser Wilhelm II of Germany and George V of the United Kingdom had on the outbreak of the First World War. This episode focuses on the story of the emerging divisions and rivalries between the inter-related royal houses of Europe during the 19th century.

Royal Cousins At War (Part 2) Into the Abyss

The realignment of the European powers and the emergence of the alliance system in the years following the death of Queen Victoria, played a significant role for the three monarchs in the frantic, desperate days of July and August 1914.

People’s Century: 1914 Killing Fields — Documentary

I Didn’t Raise My Boy To Be A Soldier — Popular Song Before American Intervention In World War I

World War I: The American Legacy — Documentary

Trench Warfare — Documentary

World War I: Tactics And Strategy — Documentary

The World at War (Ralph Raico) — Video Lecture

Heritage of the Great War — Comprehensive WWI Website

World War I as Fulfillment: Power and the Intellectuals — Murray N. Rothbard article

War Collectivism in World War I – Book by Murray N. Rothbard

More than any other single period, World War I was the critical watershed for the American business system. It was a “war collectivism,” a totally planned economy run largely by big-business interests through the instrumentality of the central government, which served as the model, the precedent, and the inspiration for state corporate capitalism for the remainder of the twentieth century.

Merchants of Death: A Study of the International Armament Industry — Book by H. C. Engelbrecht and F. C. Hanighen

Here is the archetype of all post–World War I revisionism of a particular variety: the hunt for the people who made the big bucks off the killing machine. The Merchants of Death was, in many ways, the manifesto of a generation of people who swore there would not be and could not be another such war.

But here is the kicker: it was co-authored by the founder of Human Events, the conservative weekly. So this is no left-wing screed against profiteering. It is a careful and subtle, but still passionate, attack on those who would use government to profit themselves at the expense of other people’s lives and property.

Here is a sample of the ideological orientation: “The arms industry did not create the war system. On the contrary, the war system created the arms industry.… All constitutions in the world vest the war-making power in the government or in the representatives of the people. The root of the trouble, therefore, goes far deeper than the arms industry. It lies in the prevailing temper of peoples toward nationalism, militarism, and war, in the civilization which forms this temper and prevents any drastic and radical change. Only when this underlying basis of the war system is altered, will war and its concomitant, the arms industry, pass out of existence.”

This book is a wonderful example of what Rothbard called the “Old Right” in its best form. The book not only makes the case against the war machine; it provides a scintillating history of war profiteering, one authoritative enough for citation and academic study. One can see how this book had such a powerful effect.

Why re-release this book now? The war profiteers are making money as never before. They are benefiting from conflict as never before. Everything in this book has not only come to pass but as been made worse by a million times. So this treatise is more necessary than ever.

This is the real heritage of the American Right.

Merchants of Death Revisited: Armaments, Bankers, and the First World War — T. Hunt Tooley article

The year 2004 marked the seventieth anniversary of the publication of Engelbrecht and Hanighen’s Merchants of Death: A Study of the International Armament Industry, a book that made it into the general consciousness of most thinking Americans by the mid-twentieth century. The stark language of the title no doubt contributed to its fame. Moreover, the theme of arms merchants pushing for war is both easily understood and easily discussed, even by those who have not read it.

World War I (The Great War) — Amazon book/DVD list


9:58 am on November 11, 2022