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TIL: At the time of WW1, the King of Britain, Russia, and Germany were all first cousins. When asked about WW1, Kaiser Wilhelm of Germany sarcastically remarked, “If my grandmother [Queen Victoria] had been alive, she would never have allowed it.”(r/todayilearned)
Well, as much as people like to think they were autocrats playing a game, they were not. Both of them were conscious of threats to their power by the landed classes, the junkers and the boyars, specifically, who tended to dictate policy in a more real way than the rulers themselves.
Much of the reasoning behind the war, despite personal reservations of the heads of government, was dictated by internal politics as much as external.
Edit: didn’t think I’d get this many upvotes. Recommended reading on “autocratic” power structures and why autocrats are many times less autocratic than you might think.