WI: Karl of Austria without WWI

Suppose Karl of Austria somehow comes to the Austro-Hungarian throne without WWI. Perhaps both Emperor-King Franz Joseph and Archduke Franz Ferdinand die earlier in the 1910s or they die on schedule but alt-WWI is pushed back a few years. How would Karl's rule look without a world war going on? What were his plans for the empire? Can he keep it together and deal with Hungary? He was a peacemaker during the war, involved in the Sixtus Affair, and supporting the Pope's attempts to make peace? Could he delay alt-WWI further? Could he declare Austro-Hungarian neutrality in such a conflict?
 
Even if war doesn't break out in 1914 it is still hard avoid that on future. Austria-Hungary probably is still drawn to the war, no matter want Karl that or not.

On thing is too that ITTL Karl I would live much longer than in OTL.
 
Even if war doesn't break out in 1914 it is still hard avoid that on future. Austria-Hungary probably is still drawn to the war, no matter want Karl that or not.

On thing is too that ITTL Karl I would live much longer than in OTL.
Yeah, I didn't really think he could. Would A-H fare better in the war with Karl on the throne or would it be similar result as OTL?
 
Yeah, I didn't really think he could. Would A-H fare better in the war with Karl on the throne or would it be similar result as OTL?
A-H was really behind in military reforms - they started way too late. Giving them any extra time will significantly improve their army. Also if Conrad is replaced with someone - not even competent, just not an utter fool it would be a huge boon. And even if he isnt what are the chances that Austria can botch its mobilization as much as it did OTL?

So Austria will be much better prepared and have a much stronger army, and if they are really lucky a much improved leadership.
OTOH this also gives time for Russia to continue expanding its military and Serbia to integrate in to its system the recently conquered Macedonia. Though for Russia some of the more serious problems of the Russian army would be exacerbated by further increase of the numbers which may even weaken them (they already had way too few NCO's).

In regards of France the question is did they manage to keep the 3 years service laws? Because if they didnt - and there is a good chance for that - the balance will be + for the CPs. Though seeing how the continental powers have started an arms race im inclined to think they will keep up their numbers. The problem is they cant increase their army further.

Than there was Germany who too was expanding its army rapidly - and had the poential to continue to do so.

To sum it up Austria has a tremendous ground for improvement for its armed forces and were working in a good direction. Germany too had planty of room to improvement and was becoming even stronger. Russia had the most potential though I think it reached the point were it would have been much better to focus on improving the quality rather than the quantity of its forces. France has maxed out its potential and would have to become really creative if it wanted to increase them further. Though the balance of forces tilting in Germany's favour might actually make them adapt a defensive stance for the start of the war which would be a huge boon for them.
All in all if WWI is delayed a few years I think the CP's will be somewhat better off than the Entente. OTOH if in Russia quality of its army starts to catch up to its enormous size - the long run still seems to heavily favour the Entente.
 
Yeah, I didn't really think he could. Would A-H fare better in the war with Karl on the throne or would it be similar result as OTL?
It doesn't matter who's on the throne, the monarch makes no battlefield decisions. WW1 a few years later than OTL means A-H gets to finish its military modernization, which they were the last of the large states to initiate, and by mid 1910s the army will be equipped with now modern rifles, machine guns and artillery raising its lethality by quite a lot, especially artillery was deadly in WW1. Artificial fertilizer production should also be up and running on a large scale in Germany, allowing for easy diffusion of the technology to A-H which has huge ramnifications for the unexpected high munition demand early in the/a WW1 - the side
 
Suppose Karl of Austria somehow comes to the Austro-Hungarian throne without WWI. Perhaps both Emperor-King Franz Joseph and Archduke Franz Ferdinand die earlier in the 1910s or they die on schedule but alt-WWI is pushed back a few years. How would Karl's rule look without a world war going on? What were his plans for the empire? Can he keep it together and deal with Hungary? He was a peacemaker during the war, involved in the Sixtus Affair, and supporting the Pope's attempts to make peace? Could he delay alt-WWI further? Could he declare Austro-Hungarian neutrality in such a conflict?
Well, the reign of blessed king Karl in peace times could go in many ways. In his home rule, at least a support for raising Croatia and Bohemia to the same position as Hungary is likely ( which while angering the Hungarians will probably not result in them revolting). This would solve large parts of nationalist problems, at least for the moment. As for the possibility of federalization, that I think is possible though less likely. This one could lead to a Hungarien revolt, though the strenght of such a revolt is often overestimated, as the minorities that constituted more then half of the Hungarien population and army, would likely rise up in favour of Vienna. To say nothing of a possible revolt in the Hungarien lower classes, who had no real love for the magnate leadership, as seen post-ww1. If a Hungarien revolt occurs, it will probably be swiftly crushed. In that case a full federalization is very real prospect.

As for the foreign affairs, I would expect a continous alliance with Germany, mostly to counter Russia and its Balkan expansion. If a war starts up, Habsburgs are likely to be drawn in no matter what, though with domewhat better army and much more stable domestic situation. Though, if the war started to drag out, with mounting casualties, I wouldn't be suprised by Karl going for a separate peace, if Germany is unwilling to negotiate.
 
Prussian politics will insist the Germany support the Germans in Austria if only that they don't want a bunch of Austrian Catholics in Germany, if Austria were to break apart and the Germans need protection, adding them would reduce Prussian domination in Germany.

So I suspect Germany will continue to back up Austria in what ever troubles it gets itself into.
 
Most likely German becomes the official language but something akin to a United States if Austria occurs with perhaps seven states instead of seventeen. The Italian areas are still likely to want to return to Italy but a core Czch-Austrian-Hungarian-Croatian area remains that could flourish under the right circumstances. Sort of a tighter-knit version of a mini-EU with German (or later perhaps English?) as a common trade language, maybe?
 
Most likely German becomes the official language but something akin to a United States if Austria occurs with perhaps seven states instead of seventeen. The Italian areas are still likely to want to return to Italy but a core Czch-Austrian-Hungarian-Croatian area remains that could flourish under the right circumstances. Sort of a tighter-knit version of a mini-EU with German (or later perhaps English?) as a common trade language, maybe?
Since the empire is majority Catholic and Karl himself is very devout, could he try institute Latin as a common language?
 
Esperanto might be a possibility
Almost Zero, though.
It would be German. Why pick a language that no-one speaks? Latin, though a dead language, would have some speakers in every town.

You could see a simplified High German over gender, adjective endings, plural endings of nouns and cases
 
Also, if you look at the language distribution maps of the old Empire, there were Germans scattered everywhere... not to mention that in the cities the Jewish populations were rather strong, and they were classed as "German" as well due to linguistic affinity.
I could see an Empire-wide "multi-linguistic" policy emerging, where German was official throughout, and certain areas being bilingual, trilingual, etc depending on the population distribution. The Hungarians would be irritated if their "Magyarisation" agenda was blunted, but so long as they continued to hold the balance of power in the Empire, they could probably be appeased.
I would have concerns about Karl's general competency though, if he had a longer reign... his performance OTL was rather lacklustre - of course, he was under considerable duress during his short life...
 
Almost Zero, though.
It would be German. Why pick a language that no-one speaks? Latin, though a dead language, would have some speakers in every town.
No one speaks it thus it favors no one - everyone has to learn it
 
Here's a best case scenario for Austria Hungary in the early 20th century:
- gradual reapproachment between the central Powers and England and France. This is a possibility and AH would benefit from a more stable Europe
-cutting a deal with Italy, preferrably keeping the city of Trieste, but leaving them Trentino and influence over Albania. This would effectively satisfy anyone but the most hardline nationalists in Italy, thus turning them from a potential threat to a closer partner.
-cutting a deal with Serbia. Many people seem to forget that the Serbian government wasn't entirely made up of ultra nationalists, and there were serious talks regarding a custom union between AH and Serbia, which would have benefitted the states and private actors that had interests over a railroad connecting central Europe and the ottoman empire.
-Federalization of the Empire. This would stabilize the internal situation. If they can give further authonomy to the romanians living in Hungary they might stop Romania's drift into the Russian sphere.
If Karl can achieve some of these objectives then Austria Hungary might turn into a serious European Power, second only to Germany, which I imagine would be a close partner.
 
It would be German. Why pick a language that no-one speaks? Latin, though a dead language, would have some speakers in every town.

You could see a simplified High German over gender, adjective endings, plural endings of nouns and cases
Making everyone speak German would be a recipe for the empire's dissolution. The Hungarians and the other minorites would actually be united for once in their complete opposition to such a policy.
 
Making everyone speak German would be a recipe for the empire's dissolution. The Hungarians and the other minorites would actually be united for once in their complete opposition to such a policy.
Most of the other minorities found learning German useful, unlike the Magyarization that they had been case with the areas under Hungarian domination. Austrians allowed Polish language schools in Galicia, but a Pole there realized that if he was going to be talking to someone in Dalmatia, it would be in German, unless he knew Croatian or Italian.

They wouldn't be enforcing German only, that was never in the cards
 
Most of the other minorities found learning German useful, unlike the Magyarization that they had been case with the areas under Hungarian domination. Austrians allowed Polish language schools in Galicia, but a Pole there realized that if he was going to be talking to someone in Dalmatia, it would be in German, unless he knew Croatian or Italian.

They wouldn't be enforcing German only, that was never in the cards
Fair enough, my post was mostly concerning an attempt at Germanisation rather than a more optional program. I can definitely see some sort of German language program being implemented in the Austrian half of the empire, although Hungary would be far too nationalist to allow it in their territory.
 
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