King William III of the Netherlands dies without issue: a German on the Dutch throne or a Republic?

King William III of the Netherlands, who died in 1890, outlived all three of his sons. His daughter Queen Wilhelmina was born in 1880 and succeeded him in 1890, under a regency of course by her mother. She reigned until her abdication in 1948 and died in 1962. Let's say Wilhelmina is never born or dies in childhood. The future William Ernest, Grand Duke of Saxe-Weimar-Eisenach was next in line for the Dutch throne. So what happens next?

1. Would the Dutch have accepted a German prince as their new King or would they rather have become a republic again?
2. Would Germany try to influence the choice the Dutch government would be facing and, if so, would they consider military means to intimidate the Netherlands, with whom Germany had enjoyed friendly relations until then?
3. If so, would there be anybody willing to come to the aid of the Netherlands given that they were neutral and had no allies? Would either Britain or France care enough?
 
I don't understand the question. What happens next is Wilhelm Ernst inherits the throne as Willem IV, or possibly renounces the throne in favor of his brother Bernhard. That's the way the line of succession works. In no reasonable scenario would anyone expect the Dutch to magically declare a Republic. This was the neo-Imperialist age: the only republics in Europe were Switzerland and France.
 

ahmedali

Kicked
The House of Saxe-Weimar-Eisenach will become the new royal home of the Netherlands, especially the children of Princess Sophie of the Netherlands

Germany, if it tries to influence, risks antagonizing the Netherlands

(The Dutch were paranoid that Germany would try to annex them and make them part of Germany)

So they would oblige the new Dutch king Charles I (Charles Karl of Saxe-Weimar-Eisenach)

By renouncing any rights he had in his duchies and any attachment to the Netherlands he would become wholly Dutch

If he does not, the Dutch may be forced to search for another candidate or impose a republic

(And often the search for another candidate because the republic has not yet become the default remorse)

They may offer the throne to one of the non-German princes (Danish, Swedish or British) so that one of them becomes the King of the Netherlands


(Carl, who became Haakon VII, may consider his candidacy or his brother Waldemar)
 
In the Dutch constitution it was written that the Dutch monarch was not allowed to be in a personal union with another country (besides Luxembourg). So any German would have to renounce all their claims to any Gwerman territory. Since becoming king of the Netherlands is more prestiges than being duke of some German state, they would do it. The potential heirs were actualy learning Dutch in the case they had to become king of the Netherlands. So they were prepared for it. The Dutch did not want to be part of Germany or being heavily influenced by Germany, so they were thinking of limiting the chance of a German inheriting the Dutch throne, but this had not happened yet at the time of Willem III, although they did change the constitution at the time of queen Wilhelmina to avoid it haappening. So I think that if William II+IO had no (surviving) children, a German would inherit the Dutch throne. That said, if he would overstep his boundary, I suspect the Netherlands would be a republic soon.

Would Germany try to influence the Netherlands? Yes, probably, but they would not go so far as going to war with the Netherlands. When Bismarck demanded that Dutch Limburg would become part of Germany, the Dutch simply said no and nothing happened. A friendly Netherlands was far more important than Limburg. It is certainly more important than this. Also this is after the constitution of Thorbecke and even after the Luxemburg crissis, so the Dutch king does not have a lot of power (although is would still be more influential than the current Dutch king). Simply put, the Dutch king would not be able to dominate Dutch politics and be too pro-German and if he tries, the Netherlands would end up a republic (or replace him with a more pro Dutch son).
 
In the Dutch constitution it was written that the Dutch monarch was not allowed to be in a personal union with another country (besides Luxembourg).
Do you know the exact wording on that? Because I could see someone trying to argue that the Netherlands wouldn't technically be in personal union with another country but with a state of Germany. Were German states considered constituent countries like the UK constituent countries are today?
 
Do you know the exact wording on that? Because I could see someone trying to argue that the Netherlands wouldn't technically be in personal union with another country but with a state of Germany. Were German states considered constituent countries like the UK constituent countries are today?
There were actualy discussions about that in the 19th and early 20th century. So it is unclear, but I think since they actualy wanted to avoid German influences they explained it that you could not be the ruler of one of Germanies constituent countries
 
King William III of the Netherlands, who died in 1890, outlived all three of his sons. His daughter Queen Wilhelmina was born in 1880 and succeeded him in 1890, under a regency of course by her mother. She reigned until her abdication in 1948 and died in 1962. Let's say Wilhelmina is never born or dies in childhood. The future William Ernest, Grand Duke of Saxe-Weimar-Eisenach was next in line for the Dutch throne.
No, he was not.

William III's heir presumptive would be his sister, Princess Sophie of the Netherlands (1824-1897).

Next after Sophie was her eldest son, Charles Augustus of Saxe-Weimar-Eisenach (1844-1894).

Then the eldest son of Charles Augustus, William Ernest of Saxe-Weimar-Eisenach (1876–1923).

Given his mother's age and the general preference for male inheritance, Charles Augustus was the de facto heir presumptive to William III before 1880 and to Wilhelmina after 1990. His succession was considered very possible, and he went to the trouble of becoming fluent in Dutch, just in case. He was allegedly popular with the people of Saxe-Weimar-Eisenach, and very probably would have been accepted as King.

However, Charles Augustus predeceased his mother, and after her death, William Ernest was indeed the heir presumptive to Wilhelmina. He was not popular; his personal life was unsavory, and he was suspected of driving his first wife to suicide. Also, his succession would have brought the nation under excessive German influence. There were moves in the Netherlands to remove him from the succession. In 1922, Dutch law was amended to restrict the succession to descendants of Wilhelmina.

However - Wilhelmina was William III's only child, and she had only one child (Juliana, 1909-2004). Juliana had no children until 1938, when the future Queen Beatrix was born. (Juliana had three additional daughters.) So there was a very long "bottleneck" for the House of Orange-Nassau.

Several possible PoDs appear.'
  • Wilhelmina dies of typhoid circa 1905. (OTL she survived.)
  • Wilhelmina and Juliana die in a failed childbirth in 1909. The Dutch proclaim a republic to keep William Ernest out.
  • Wilhelmina miscarries in 1909 (as she did on three other occasions), and remains childless. At her death in 1962, rather than have an obscure German cousin succeed, the monarchy is abolished.
  • Wilhelmina miscarries in 1909 (as she did on three other occasions), and remains childless. Wilhelmina is killed in a train crash in 1917 (OTL no one was killed). Germany insists on German cousin succeeding (William Ernest was expected to abdicate in favor of his cousin Heinrich XXXI of Reuss-Kostritz). Instead, the monarchy is abolished.
  • Juliana dies without children. Under the 1922 law, only descendants of Wilhelmina can succeed. At Juliana's death (or Wilhelmina's, if Juliana predeceases her), the monarchy is abolished.
 

ahmedali

Kicked
No, he was not.

William III's heir presumptive would be his sister, Princess Sophie of the Netherlands (1824-1897).

Next after Sophie was her eldest son, Charles Augustus of Saxe-Weimar-Eisenach (1844-1894).

Then the eldest son of Charles Augustus, William Ernest of Saxe-Weimar-Eisenach (1876–1923).

Given his mother's age and the general preference for male inheritance, Charles Augustus was the de facto heir presumptive to William III before 1880 and to Wilhelmina after 1990. His succession was considered very possible, and he went to the trouble of becoming fluent in Dutch, just in case. He was allegedly popular with the people of Saxe-Weimar-Eisenach, and very probably would have been accepted as King.

However, Charles Augustus predeceased his mother, and after her death, William Ernest was indeed the heir presumptive to Wilhelmina. He was not popular; his personal life was unsavory, and he was suspected of driving his first wife to suicide. Also, his succession would have brought the nation under excessive German influence. There were moves in the Netherlands to remove him from the succession. In 1922, Dutch law was amended to restrict the succession to descendants of Wilhelmina.

However - Wilhelmina was William III's only child, and she had only one child (Juliana, 1909-2004). Juliana had no children until 1938, when the future Queen Beatrix was born. (Juliana had three additional daughters.) So there was a very long "bottleneck" for the House of Orange-Nassau.

Several possible PoDs appear.'
  • Wilhelmina dies of typhoid circa 1905. (OTL she survived.)
  • Wilhelmina and Juliana die in a failed childbirth in 1909. The Dutch proclaim a republic to keep William Ernest out.
  • Wilhelmina miscarries in 1909 (as she did on three other occasions), and remains childless. At her death in 1962, rather than have an obscure German cousin succeed, the monarchy is abolished.
  • Wilhelmina miscarries in 1909 (as she did on three other occasions), and remains childless. Wilhelmina is killed in a train crash in 1917 (OTL no one was killed). Germany insists on German cousin succeeding (William Ernest was expected to abdicate in favor of his cousin Heinrich XXXI of Reuss-Kostritz). Instead, the monarchy is abolished.
  • Juliana dies without children. Under the 1922 law, only descendants of Wilhelmina can succeed. At Juliana's death (or Wilhelmina's, if Juliana predeceases her), the monarchy is abolished.
Holland becoming a republic before 1918 very difficult (Norway did not)

So a new royal dynasty
 
Holland becoming a republic before 1918 very difficult (Norway did not)

So a new royal dynasty
I don't know. The Netherlands has a tradition of republicanism. If the previous German king did not work out somehow and was removed from the throne, they are not going to look for some other German who could be king. The Dutch will decide to make the country a republic.
 

ahmedali

Kicked
I don't know. The Netherlands has a tradition of republicanism. If the previous German king did not work out somehow and was removed from the throne, they are not going to look for some other German who could be king. The Dutch will decide to make the country a republic.
Italy has much more republican traditions than Holland

It still unites Italy as a kingdom

There are a thousand royal dynasties other than German

(Scandinavian royal dynasties are attractive to the Dutch, and the British are attractive too)
 
Italy has much more republican traditions than Holland
in reality, no not realy. Several Italian states were republics, but not Italy as a whole. Simply because there was no Italy at that time. The Netherlands actualy started as a republic. Also a major reason Italy became a monarchy was because it wase unified by a monarchy. There realy was no other option than a monarchy.

There are a thousand royal dynasties other than German

(Scandinavian royal dynasties are attractive to the Dutch, and the British are attractive too)
I realy doubt they are going to randomly pick another noble family to be king. If the Netherlands has to be a kingdom it will be an Orange-Nassau or someone directly descended from an Orange-Nassau*. If not it will turn into a republic.


*obviously when talking about a POD post congress of Vienna. With an earlier POD other things are possible (like descendents form Louis Napoleon).
 

ahmedali

Kicked
in reality, no not realy. Several Italian states were republics, but not Italy as a whole. Simply because there was no Italy at that time. The Netherlands actualy started as a republic. Also a major reason Italy became a monarchy was because it wase unified by a monarchy. There realy was no other option than a monarchy.


I realy doubt they are going to randomly pick another noble family to be king. If the Netherlands has to be a kingdom it will be an Orange-Nassau or someone directly descended from an Orange-Nassau*. If not it will turn into a republic.


*obviously when talking about a POD post congress of Vienna. With an earlier POD other things are possible (like descendents form Louis Napoleon).
Norway chose a random Danish prince

When the dynasty that ruled Norway as a real kingdom was the Swedish Bernadotte

(When Norway was part of Denmark it was a colony so you can't infer this period)

And Belgium is the same
So even the Netherlands will do it


The Roman Republic (which was BC and which was in 1848) is also Italian

So Italy, it has a very republican history


And the Dutch Republic, as you say, was everything but a real republic

It was hereditary and there was no president, but the position of the pregnant woman and inherited by the same family

This looks very royal compared to Venice or Genoa
 
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Norway chose a random Danish prince

When the dynasty that ruled Norway as a real kingdom was the Swedish Bernadotte

(When Norway was part of Denmark it was a colony so you can't infer this period)

And Belgium is the same
So even the Netherlands will do it


The Roman Republic (which was BC and which was in 1848) is also Italian

So Italy, it has a very republican history
@King of Danes can correct me if I’m wrong but I don’t think you can say Norway was a colony. As it was ruled as a co kingdom
 
It definitely was not a colony of Denmark. The peoples of Norway were treated as equal citizens of the realm and had all the same rights as the Danes. Until 1660 and the introduction of absolutism, Norway also had seperate laws and a seperate chancellery afair, but afterwards all power was centralized in Copenhagen. Norway also had governor-generals throughout all of their union with Denmark, who ruled there while the king was absent, so there was always a form of independence from the Danish kingdom.
 
Italy has much more republican traditions than Holland

It still unites Italy as a kingdom

There are a thousand royal dynasties other than German

(Scandinavian royal dynasties are attractive to the Dutch, and the British are attractive too)
Because in Italy a unification under a king was the movement, that got the foreign support. The republican tradition tried several times to unite Italy, only to be defeated again and again by the Austrians, because of lack of that same foreign support.

The strict neutrality policy of the Netherlands makes a candidate from a major power near impossible. Secondly a story must be created to bind a new monarch historically to the country. That will be tough with a scandinavian candidate. A Republic becomes because of that, a more and more viable outcome.
Norway chose a random Danish prince

When the dynasty that ruled Norway as a real kingdom was the Swedish Bernadotte

(When Norway was part of Denmark it was a colony so you can't infer this period)

And Belgium is the same
So even the Netherlands will do
The choice of Belgium was pragmatic and there was also a strong republican tradition, that was not glad the country became a Kingdom, but they swallowed the principle for diplomatic reasons.
And the Dutch Republic, as you say, was everything but a real republic

It was hereditary and there was no president, but the position of the pregnant woman and inherited by the same family

This looks very royal compared to Venice or Genoa
That was the end of a long proces, with some considerable intervals where there was no Stadholder. The Stadholder started out as a civil servant appointed by the Estates.

What isn't mentioned yet is that Willem III was not a popular monarch. His nickname (among critics) was King Gorilla. Although he did rule within his constitutional boundaries, his relationship with parliament and many prime ministers was uneasy and at times even hostile. When republicans in the Netherlands would use the argument that an elected head of state would work better, many in the Netherlands would agree with that assesment.
 

ahmedali

Kicked
Because in Italy a unification under a king was the movement, that got the foreign support. The republican tradition tried several times to unite Italy, only to be defeated again and again by the Austrians, because of lack of that same foreign support.

The strict neutrality policy of the Netherlands makes a candidate from a major power near impossible. Secondly a story must be created to bind a new monarch historically to the country. That will be tough with a scandinavian candidate. A Republic becomes because of that, a more and more viable outcome.

The choice of Belgium was pragmatic and there was also a strong republican tradition, that was not glad the country became a Kingdom, but they swallowed the principle for diplomatic reasons.

That was the end of a long proces, with some considerable intervals where there was no Stadholder. The Stadholder started out as a civil servant appointed by the Estates.

What isn't mentioned yet is that Willem III was not a popular monarch. His nickname (among critics) was King Gorilla. Although he did rule within his constitutional boundaries, his relationship with parliament and many prime ministers was uneasy and at times even hostile. When republicans in the Netherlands would use the argument that an elected head of state would work better, many in the Netherlands would agree with that assesment.
That's why I mentioned the Scandinavian dynasties

It is true, but you cannot deny that Italy has a more republican history than the Netherlands

Yes, he was hostile, but Wilhelm II was also like him, and Nicholas II was even worse

No one thought of overthrowing them before the First World War

So before ww1 I see another candidate after ww1 yes will become repbulic
 
That's why I mentioned the Scandinavian dynasties

It is true, but you cannot deny that Italy has a more republican history than the Netherlands

Yes, he was hostile, but Wilhelm II was also like him, and Nicholas II was even worse

No one thought of overthrowing them before the First World War

So before ww1 I see another candidate after ww1 yes will become repbulic
And i pointed out the problem with a scandinavean candidate, if it were up to the Dutch themselves. Another problem such a candidate will face is that the most outspoken monarchists are the small minority of orthodox calvinists. They will insist on a born and bred (Dutch) reformed candidate. Even with a conversion, they will have trouble trusting a former Lutheran. I only see a scandinavean happening if the Great Powers start interfering.

I never denied it, but the italian republican tradition was just too revolutionairy to gain international support. That's why it didn't win.

Nicholas II was an absolute monarch, and Wilhelm II was bound by a constitution, but not really leading a parliamentairy democracy. If their dynasties would suddenly die out, that would be more shocking to the political equilibrum of their countries, certainly leading to major unrest over the future of the country. And that creates a major crisis and an international response.
A change to a republic in the Netherlands would be much easier to achieve. Quietly through parliament without a need for revolution. That makes such a transition also acceptable to the major powers.
 

ahmedali

Kicked
And i pointed out the problem with a scandinavean candidate, if it were up to the Dutch themselves. Another problem such a candidate will face is that the most outspoken monarchists are the small minority of orthodox calvinists. They will insist on a born and bred (Dutch) reformed candidate. Even with a conversion, they will have trouble trusting a former Lutheran. I only see a scandinavean happening if the Great Powers start interfering.

I never denied it, but the italian republican tradition was just too revolutionairy to gain international support. That's why it didn't win.

Nicholas II was an absolute monarch, and Wilhelm II was bound by a constitution, but not really leading a parliamentairy democracy. If their dynasties would suddenly die out, that would be more shocking to the political equilibrum of their countries, certainly leading to major unrest over the future of the country. And that creates a major crisis and an international response.
A change to a republic in the Netherlands would be much easier to achieve. Quietly through parliament without a need for revolution. That makes such a transition also acceptable to the major powers.

I don't believe in that

The Netherlands is by no means a small country, it is a middle power

So a Norwegian scenario is the likely outcome
 
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