The Origins of World War I

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Why did World War I happen? Several of the oft-cited causes are reviewed and discussed in this analysis. The argument of the alliance systems is inadequate, lacking relevance or compelling force. The argument of an accident or "slide" is also inadequate, given the clear and unambiguous evidence of intentions. The arguments of mass demands focusing on nationalism, militarism, and social Darwinism are also arguably insufficient. They lack indications of frequency, intensity, and process or influence on the various decisions.
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"...insightful...The Origins of World War I deserves reading by anyone interested in World War I or decision making in conflict situations." History

"This volume presents a new approach to the origins of the Great War.... The authors offer many interesting and original interpretations: the British military had minimal effect on civilian decisions; the alliance systems were defensive rather than offensive; British Foreign Minister Grey was more pro-war than represented in earlier interpretations; and businessmen were generally anti-war, suggesting that economic liberalism was largely irrelevant.... Highly recommended." Choice

"the essays do provide thoughtful analyses of the factors impelling the various nations to war, which, in most cases, prove to have been less the result of aggressive urges than to fear that by not acting, they might lose power and influence, factors that particularly drove Austro-Hungarian and German decision making. An interesting and valuable work." - The NYMAS Review

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780521102186
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press
  • Publication date: 10/29/2008
  • Pages: 552
  • Sales rank: 1,021,446
  • Product dimensions: 5.98 (w) x 9.02 (h) x 1.22 (d)

Table of Contents

1. World wars: definition and causes Richard F. Hamilton and Holger H. Herwig;
2. The European wars: 1815-1913 Richard F. Hamilton;
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. Herwig;
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 F. Hamilton;
Appendix A. Chronology;
Appendix B. Dramatis personae;
Appendix C. Suggested readings.
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