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Lusitania Sinking - ALL IN THE FAMILY

ALL IN THE FAMILY (Illustration) Famous Historical Events Social Studies World History Disasters World War I

During World War I, Britain’s King George V eliminated all German references and titles from the British royal family. This image depicts a Punch cartoon, created by L. Raven Hill and published on 27 June 1917, of the King taking that action. Its title is: "The King has done a popular act in abolishing the German titles held by members of His Majesty's family." Image online via Wikimedia Commons. 

 

Britain entered the war because Germany invaded Belgium. Then the rest of the dominos fell.

Sir Edward Grey, the British Foreign Secretary, expressed his emotions (on August 3, 1914) when negotiations to avoid war failed:

The lamps are going out all over Europe; we shall not see them lit again in our lifetime.

Here is an extraordinary fact.  Many heads of European states, at the time, were closely related:

  • Tsar Nicholas II of Russia and Kaiser Wilhelm II were cousins.  
  • The German Kaiser was Queen Victoria's oldest grandson.

In short, a nasty squabble (among members of Queen Victoria's extended family) got out of control. Ultimately, millions of other people were pulled into the fight.

Diplomatic relations between the United States and Germany broke down in February of 1917. Before James Gerard left the American Embassy in Berlin, he was asked to sign a reworked version of an old (1799) treaty addressing how the two countries would deal with each other's merchant vessels (like the Lusitania) if hostilities broke out.

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Author: Carole D. Bos, J.D. 5124stories and lessons created

Original Release: Apr 01, 2004

Updated Last Revision: Aug 02, 2017


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