Character(s) or Pairing(s): Germany, Prussia, Russia, Hungary, Austria, France, England
Warnings: HISTORY AHEAD. BE WARNED.
Summary: European history focusing mostly on Germany's relations from 1871-1914
Germany, as a new country, rapidly industrialized. Many people didn't like it, and were confused by new inventions.
Germany's population also exploded over the next 43 years. Between 1871 and 1914, Germany's population went from 41 million to 68 million.
France, by comparison, started out with 41 million in 1871, and had 40 million by 1914.
Germany also became much better at building stuff than England, much to England's chagrin.
Then, in 1888, Kaiser Wilhelm II comes to power. He's kind of a jerk, but it's because his parents didn't love him (no really, he was raised by his tutors), one of his arms was shorter than the other, and he's only 32 when he becomes kaiser.
Germany's youth, in the meantime, decides to reject most all of Victorian ideals that the older generations, the old Prussians, held in high favor. The older generations didn't like this.
And as the start of World War I came around... there wasn't a whole lot of competence in the ruling class. Russia's boss was rather weak (though he was smart enough to admit he had no idea what he was doing), Germany's was an ass, France's died as WWI started while having sex with his mistress (heart attack), Austria-Hungary's emperor was old and rather senile, and England's old boss, Queen Victoria, caused a lot of inbreeding and hemophilia!
But because of the Triple Alliance of Russia, England, and France, Germany was kind of surrounded by enemies. So he became pals with Austria-Hungary.
Though this was a bad idea, because inside strife was causing a lot of headaches. Austria-Hungary was being ripped apart.
And then the whole war started because the government of Austria-Hungary decided to publish EVERY SINGLE MINUTE DETAIL of Archduke Franz Ferdinand's visit to Sarajevo.
And he was shot basically point blank by a Serbian student named Gavrilo Princip after leaving a hospital to visit the people injured by the bomb he'd deflected with his arm during a parade earlier that day.