This work poses an easy but perplexing question about World War I - Why did it happen? Several of the oft-cited causes are reviewed and discussed.
This work poses a straightforward - yet at the same time perplexing - question about World War I: Why did it happen? Several of the oft-cited causes are reviewed and discussed. The argument of the alliance systems is inadequate, lacking relevance or compelling force. The arguments of mass demands, those focusing on nationalism, militarism and social Darwinism, it is argued, are insufficient, lacking indications of frequency, intensity, and process (how they influenced the various decisions). The work focuses on decision-making, on the choices made by small coteries, in Austria-Hungary, Germany, Russia, France, Britain and elsewhere. The decisions made later by leaders in Japan, the Ottoman Empire, Italy, the Balkans, and the United States are also explored. The final chapters review the 'basic causes' once again. An alternative position is advanced, one focused on elites and coteries, their backgrounds and training, and on their unique agendas.
Table of Contents
1. World wars: definition and causes Richard F.
Hamilton and Holger H. Herwig
2. The European wars: 1815-1913 Richard F.
3. Serbia Richard C. Hall
4. Austria-Hungary Graydon A. Tunstall, Jr.
5. Germany Holger H. Herwig
6. Russia David Alan Rich
7. France Eugenia C. Kiesling
8. The United Kingdom J. Paul Harris
9. Japan Frederick R. Dickinson
10. The Ottoman empire Ulrich Trumpener
11. Italy Richard F. Hamilton and Holger H.
12. Bulgaria, Romania and Greece Richard C. Hall
13. The United States John M. Cooper, Jr.
14. Why did it happen? Holger H. Herwig
15. On the origins of the catastrophe Richard
Appendix A: Chronology
Appendix B: Dramatis personae
Appendix C: Suggested readings.