General Georges Boulanger (often nicknamed "General Revenge") was a French officer and Minister of War in 1886 and 1887.
In 1888, he managed to group an anti-governmental coalition of monarchists, Bonapartists and radical conservative to oppose the ruling republican coalition. While the members' opinions varied on any future government, they joined up due to some or all of the following reasons:
- a desire for revenge against Germany.
- preference for a strong single leader instead of a democratically elected coalition.
- subordination of all to the country irrespective of class or occupation.
- eventual restoration of some type of monarchy (Bourbon or Bonarparte).
On the 27 of January 1889, he was elected representative of Paris and his supporters of the League of Patriots asked him to overthrow the government during his victory celebration. He did so, simply by marching on the Assembly at the head of his followers and declaring himself "Interim President of the Constituent Assembly". Fearing for their safety, many of the representatives resigned or simply fled. Part of this fear came from the immediate support the General received from the lower echelons of the army, some of which spontaneously converged on the Constituent Assembly to defend it against a possible backlash.
Now in control, the General began his reforms. A Constituent Assembly is called that lacks any legal power. Laws are passed curbing the freedom of the press and of assembly.
Bismarck is removed from office by the Kaiser who prefers a "treaty-less" based foreign policy.
Italy renews its membership in the Triple Alliance.
Russia, for its part, had tried to renew its treaty of defence with Germany, but its rejection had made it fear a secret treaty with Austria-Hungary (a fear purposefully heightened by the French). Through aggressive diplomacy, France and Russia end up signing a secret treaty of mutual support in the event of an aggression by Germany on France or Austria on Russia.
In France, anarchist attacks rise.
In Germany, Alfred von Schlieffen becomes the army's chief of staff. He devises a plan whereby in the event of a war with France, German troops would disregard Belgium's neutrality and go through it to attack the French.
The secret Franco-Russian treaty is changed into a public convention of immediate mobilisation in case of conflict and promise not to sign a separate peace treaty.
In Russia, Jews lose the right to vote in the Duma. While de jure considered equal citizens, Jews in France are victims of antisemitic attacks.
After signing a concordat, the Pope send a bull requiring French Catholics to support the current regime.
With France and Russia seen as clear threats, the German Reichstag agrees to raise the army's effective size to 80,000.
A fight between French and Italian workers in Aigues-Mortes (France) results in over a hundred injured and dozens of deaths. Violent demonstrations in Italy, often instigated by members of the Fascist Movement, calls for reparations from France. Giovanni Giolitti, the president of the council, uses this crisis to take attention away from a scandal in which he has been implicated. Anti-French sentiments are on the rise.
3rd International Congress of Socialists in Zurich (Switzerland).
In the USA, the stock market crashes, causing an economical depression. The anti-trust law is invoked to curtail workers strikes.
France send an expedition to the Sudan to take control of Fashoda.
Germany passes a law against groups dubbed "revolutionary parties".
"Nations' Congress" is held in Hungary by the representatives of various minority groups.
Nicolas II becomes Tsar of Russia.
Sadi Carno, a member of the the Constituent Assembly, is assassinated by an Italian anarchist in Lyon. The Chancelor declares a state of emergency, and orders the deportation of all non-native born Italians from the departments.
As a countermeasure for the deportation, the Italian president of the council declares French citizens to be personna non grata in Italy.
The Italian government sends troops into various part of the country to quell revolts by the fascists. The French government demands that the concentration of troops be withdraw from the the north, otherwise their presence will be considered an act of beligerence.
The Italians refuse to back down, seeing the French ultimatum as ingerence into the internal affairs of Italy. The French government calls up troops.
Italy declares war on France, followed by Germany and Austria. As per their treaty, Russia declares war on Germany, Austria and Italy and proceedes to call up its army.
In China, a pro-Japanese Korean envoy is assassinated. With the western powers distracted, Japan decides on a punitive expedition, thus starting the First Sino-Japanese War.
Japan defeats China thoroughly, and the peace treaty results in China ceding Taiwan, the Penghu Islands and the Liaodong peninsula to Japan. Korea and Manchuria are granted independence, and the remaining rump China becomes a protectorate of Japan in all but name.
Russia, France and Great Britain protest at the imperialist designs of Japan, but the first two find themselves unable to back-up their words with any show of strength due to their forces being involved in the Coalitions War. Great Britain, for its part, signed a secret treaty with Japan, recognising the latter's gains if it agreed to resist militarily any Russian incursion into Manchuria. It also agreed to intervene if any other great power (such as France) were to get involved. In exchange, Japan allows Great Britain concessions in Shangai and Hong Kong.
Following its show of strength, Queen Liliuokalani of Hawai'i petitioned the Japanese government to help her retake her throne lost the previous years to republican forces. With the US having offically proclaimed neutrality in the matter, Japan agrees.
In answer, the republicans requested the help of the US to maintain control.
Bulgaria joined Russia against the Central Powers
Abyssinia easily manage to repel an Italian invasion. Backed by the French, the Abyssinians then set their eyes on conquering Eritrea and Somalia.
The first Olympics are canceled due to the Coalitions War.
- In Canada, Wilfrid Laurier is elected on a platform of staying out of the War even should Great-Britain join in.
- During the 4th International Socialist Congress in London, the congress adopt an anti-war platform.
Montenegro join the Central Powers
- Following a suggestion from Colonial Minister Joseph Chamberlain and to protect its colony against a possible French invasion, the British encourage Jewish immigration to Kenya in view of turning it into a zionist homeland.
- Due to the Sudanese conflict, there are anti-British uprisings in Egypt. Fearing they might turn to France, the UK crack down savagely on the insurgents.
- A few US naval officers are killed in Hawaii when the republican ship they were onboard is sunk by a Japanese warship. Some in the US senate call for a formal declaration of war with Japan.
- In Japan, the government is force to borrow money to cover the war with Hawai'i due to increasing military expenditures.
- Narodnik revolution in Russia