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The First World War

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    Posted: 14 Aug 2014 at 04:38
The historian Gwynne Dyer has stated that the First World War was about nothing whatsoever, and was merely an unfortunate and confused confluence of events that resulted in war on a scale never seen before, an industrial slaughter that should have never  come about, but did, due to the shortsightedness and incompetence of politicians and generals of the time.

Further, he stated that if Britain and the empire had stayed out of it, and Germany had won, it would have made slight difference to the world. The war wasn't about democracy, or moral right, but merely hegemony, the ongoing shuffle of who is going to be stronger than the other. Germany may have come up a few notches, but still would have made a reasonable peace, given their relative strength in the world, and probably one more fair than the Versailles treaty that actually happened. Germany was a democratic as other European states, more or less, and  would not have been any sort of existential threat.

That so many young lives were wasted for nothing has required a mythology to be built up around the event, one that insists it was all for something important. Freedom, democracy....something rather than nothing, as nothing would be too hard to bear.

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/world/what-if-the-kaiser-had-won-the-war/article19981204/?page=all
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote toyomotor Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14 Aug 2014 at 05:00
Originally posted by Captain Vancouver Captain Vancouver wrote:

The historian Gwynne Dyer has stated that the First World War was about nothing whatsoever, and was merely an unfortunate and confused confluence of events that resulted in war on a scale never seen before, an industrial slaughter that should have never  come about, but did, due to the shortsightedness and incompetence of politicians and generals of the time.

Further, he stated that if Britain and the empire had stayed out of it, and Germany had won, it would have made slight difference to the world. The war wasn't about democracy, or moral right, but merely hegemony, the ongoing shuffle of who is going to be stronger than the other. Germany may have come up a few notches, but still would have made a reasonable peace, given their relative strength in the world, and probably one more fair than the Versailles treaty that actually happened. Germany was a democratic as other European states, more or less, and  would not have been any sort of existential threat.

That so many young lives were wasted for nothing has required a mythology to be built up around the event, one that insists it was all for something important. Freedom, democracy....something rather than nothing, as nothing would be too hard to bear.

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/world/what-if-the-kaiser-had-won-the-war/article19981204/?page=all
 
I'm not sure about this.
 
Who can tell what the Germans would have done had they won WWI?
 
Having won the war would it have kept on rolling to dominate all of Europe?
 
Would it then have turned its sights on the UK?
 
The Treaty of Versailles which gave parts of Germany to France, etc., would not have happened, thereby the justification for WWII would not have existed, and Germanys domination of Europe would have excluded the need (?) for WWII.
 
But, the whole basis for WWI is remarkable. A Serb assassinates the Austrian Arch Duke-and it leads to a world war?
 
 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote fantasus Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14 Aug 2014 at 21:54
 There is nothing unique about a war about hegemony. That is more or less a usual reason to fight wars.
And for those contesting for hegemony it is no "little thing" or "nothing". Shall we bet: It appears all important. One factor that may have increased the probability of war I can imagine is the "dynatic system" of Europe at that time. The usual head of state being a king or prince of some sort, that most often had very real power. The quality of that "godgiven" leadership seems to have been far from perfect (understatement). And we should not forget that two of the larger states, namely Germany and Italy, was of recent origin, around a half century before they were not on the map. And both were created by using some violent force. Prussia, the absolute dominant leader of the German states, won three wars against its neighbours in not much over seven years, starting 50 years before 1914. That could easily be seen by the german leaders as proof that the use of force was a certain way to succes. On the other hand it could easily see its poor share of overseas possession with dissatisfaction.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote toyomotor Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15 Aug 2014 at 08:25
Originally posted by fantasus fantasus wrote:

 There is nothing unique about a war about hegemony. That is more or less a usual reason to fight wars.
And for those contesting for hegemony it is no "little thing" or "nothing". Shall we bet: It appears all important. One factor that may have increased the probability of war I can imagine is the "dynatic system" of Europe at that time. The usual head of state being a king or prince of some sort, that most often had very real power. The quality of that "godgiven" leadership seems to have been far from perfect (understatement). And we should not forget that two of the larger states, namely Germany and Italy, was of recent origin, around a half century before they were not on the map. And both were created by using some violent force. Prussia, the absolute dominant leader of the German states, won three wars against its neighbours in not much over seven years, starting 50 years before 1914. That could easily be seen by the german leaders as proof that the use of force was a certain way to succes. On the other hand it could easily see its poor share of overseas possession with dissatisfaction.
 
Mate, the text I've highlighted in RED is totally incorrect. What are you really on about?
 
Rome and the Italian state both existed well before Worl War I, as did Germany.
 
Unfortunately, your posts are often hard to dissemble due to your misinterpretation of fact or your lack of English language.
 
Sorry, it simply just doesn't make sense to me.
 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote fantasus Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15 Aug 2014 at 08:45
Originally posted by toyomotor toyomotor wrote:

Originally posted by fantasus fantasus wrote:

 There is nothing unique about a war about hegemony. That is more or less a usual reason to fight wars.
And for those contesting for hegemony it is no "little thing" or "nothing". Shall we bet: It appears all important. One factor that may have increased the probability of war I can imagine is the "dynatic system" of Europe at that time. The usual head of state being a king or prince of some sort, that most often had very real power. The quality of that "godgiven" leadership seems to have been far from perfect (understatement). And we should not forget that two of the larger states, namely Germany and Italy, was of recent origin, around a half century before they were not on the map. And both were created by using some violent force. Prussia, the absolute dominant leader of the German states, won three wars against its neighbours in not much over seven years, starting 50 years before 1914. That could easily be seen by the german leaders as proof that the use of force was a certain way to succes. On the other hand it could easily see its poor share of overseas possession with dissatisfaction.
 
Mate, the text I've highlighted in RED is totally incorrect. What are you really on about?
 
Rome and the Italian state both existed well before Worl War I, as did Germany.
 
Unfortunately, your posts are often hard to dissemble due to your misinterpretation of fact or your lack of English language.
 
Sorry, it simply just doesn't make sense to me.
 
Sorry for my bad english.
But I wrote that neither Italy nor Germany was "on the map" more than about 50 years before the first world war.  What is wrong about that statement? I meant that none of them (the nation-states Germany and Italy) had been there for much longer than 50 years before 1914. Germany had even not been there so long as it was unified (though excluding Austria) in 1871 in Versailles. How did You read my post?  I could instead say "500 years ago there was no  Australia and no United States", since they did not exist as political entites at that time.. The same for Germany and Italy.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote fantasus Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15 Aug 2014 at 08:56
Another example: England and Scotland has been separate independent kingdoms, and scottish nationalists want the same for the future. Is it wrong instead to say those nationalists want "to remove Great Britain (or the UK) from the map"?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote toyomotor Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15 Aug 2014 at 17:07
Did the countries of Germany and Italy, as we currently understand them, not exist by 1850 or there abouts?
 
When did they come into existance? Can you show me some source reference please?
 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Captain Vancouver Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15 Aug 2014 at 18:52
I think fantasus is referring to the confederation of both German and Italian principalities- the amalgamation of these into the nation states we see today, in the late 1860s, I believe. Germany and Italy of course existed before that as geographical entities, but not as modern, unified nations. There was the Roman Empire in antiquity, along with the much looser Holy Roman Empire, but in modern times both countries existed as separate discrete, decentralized political entities until I think 1867, or so.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote fantasus Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15 Aug 2014 at 19:01
Germany was finaly united in 1871. Before that there was several states, but Prussia was the all dominant. In 1864 Prussia and Austria defeated Denmark in a war about the Schlesvig Holstein. In 1866 Prussia and Austria fought over the prize, but really over dominance over the coming German state. Finally in 1871 Prussia and allied german states defeated France, and a new German Empire was created with prussias King declared German emperor in the French Palace of Versailles. The french provinces of Alsace and Lorraine was lost to the new German Empire (REech) and France had to pay huge reparations.
During all three wars Otto von Bismarck was chancellor and the strong man of Prussia and later the united Germany.( See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/German_unification).
Italy was united about 10 years earlier - the first italian parliament being assembled in 1861 (see:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Italian_unification). Before that there was several italian states, amongst them Venice, Piemont and there even was a "papal" state in central Italy. Also Austria had a big part, and there was fought for independence. Garibaldi being the most famous champion of the new italian nation state. 
And we should not forget that now, 2014, Germany and Italy are among the "old" european independent nations. Countries that became fully independent during the 20.th century: Norway (1905), Finland, Poland, Chekoslovakia (Now divided further to chech and Slovak republiks), Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania, Belarus, Ukraine, Albania, Iceland etcetera. In addition the borders of Germany and Poland changed a lot, germany was divided and reunited, and most countries changed from monarchies to republic and msot were dictatorships even until the 1970´s (amongst tjhem Spain, Greece, Portugal and all the eastern Bloc countries, plus Yugoslavia and Albania.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote fantasus Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15 Aug 2014 at 19:35
Originally posted by Captain Vancouver Captain Vancouver wrote:

I think fantasus is referring to the confederation of both German and Italian principalities- the amalgamation of these into the nation states we see today, in the late 1860s, I believe. Germany and Italy of course existed before that as geographical entities, but not as modern, unified nations. There was the Roman Empire in antiquity, along with the much looser Holy Roman Empire, but in modern times both countries existed as separate discrete, decentralized political entities until I think 1867, or so.
You are right both Italy and Germany, or at least the germans (Deutsche) was known before in the geographical, or in Germanys case rather the "ethnical" sense, but not as political entites. (Though there were German Kings far back in the middle ages).  
In the Holy Roman Empire there was huge territories with non German populations, and on the other hand many germans were living outside its borders. It ceased finally to exist in the beginning of the 19.th century, and Napoleon Bonaparte was behind that. On the other hand its existence had for a long time been more a formality. Italy was simply divided into several states, like the two Sicilies and many others, until the mid 19,th century. 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Captain Vancouver Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16 Aug 2014 at 08:59
Originally posted by toyomotor toyomotor wrote:

 
 
I'm not sure about this.
 
Who can tell what the Germans would have done had they won WWI?
 
Having won the war would it have kept on rolling to dominate all of Europe?
 
Would it then have turned its sights on the UK?
 
The Treaty of Versailles which gave parts of Germany to France, etc., would not have happened, thereby the justification for WWII would not have existed, and Germanys domination of Europe would have excluded the need (?) for WWII.
 
But, the whole basis for WWI is remarkable. A Serb assassinates the Austrian Arch Duke-and it leads to a world war?

Germany was not big enough to dominate the world in 1914. Britain still ruled the seas, the US had risen to the largest economy in the world, and France had a world empire and considerable military forces. In fact, Germany was more than eager to keep Britain and the empire out of the war. It made emphatic claims that it would withdraw from Belgium at the end of hostilities, and not occupy the country. Dyer makes the point that a peace flowing from a much smaller conflict might have looked a lot more like 1871, were concessions were made, colonial possessions traded here and there, and then military forces withdrawn, and life returned to normal. The fact that it did not happen this way was a colossal miscalculation, one that we have still not come to terms with historically.
 
 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Captain Vancouver Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16 Aug 2014 at 09:43
Originally posted by fantasus fantasus wrote:

 There is nothing unique about a war about hegemony. That is more or less a usual reason to fight wars.
And for those contesting for hegemony it is no "little thing" or "nothing". Shall we bet: It appears all important. One factor that may have increased the probability of war I can imagine is the "dynatic system" of Europe at that time. The usual head of state being a king or prince of some sort, that most often had very real power. The quality of that "godgiven" leadership seems to have been far from perfect (understatement). And we should not forget that two of the larger states, namely Germany and Italy, was of recent origin, around a half century before they were not on the map. And both were created by using some violent force. Prussia, the absolute dominant leader of the German states, won three wars against its neighbours in not much over seven years, starting 50 years before 1914. That could easily be seen by the german leaders as proof that the use of force was a certain way to succes. On the other hand it could easily see its poor share of overseas possession with dissatisfaction.

Dyer's point is that the war was exactly that. It was not fight of good against evil, a battle for democracy, or a resistance to world domination. It was just another imperial bit of friction, as those with small minds and outsized uniforms jockeyed for power and position. Britain worried that Germany was building too many Dreadnoughts, and Germany worried there were too many large armies around it's borders. Others found no shortage of things to worry about.

Britain stepped in when Germany violated Belgium's neutrality, but this was not exactly a moral outrage in historic terms. In WW2, Britain and it's allies would occupy Greenland and Iceland for strategic purposes, browbeat Egypt for the same reasons, and attack and sink a number of French warships for deemed necessity. Necessity is the mother of invention one might say, but not for Germany in the case of Belgium.

Although the world has come to terms with other historic disasters, for some reason WW1 is still wrapped in myth, as though admitting such a colossal misadventure and tragedy would be too much to bear.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote toyomotor Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17 Aug 2014 at 06:14
So, encapsulating all of the comments made, the First World War was much ado about nothing?Dead
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote fantasus Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17 Aug 2014 at 07:12
Why the first world war startet has been very much debated, and I doubt there is much consensus.
We should not forget how much a situation may change, particularly immediately before and during a war.
What seamed reaonable to do a short time ago, often made no sense shortly after. And goals and aims may change very much. The same is still often the case. In 1914 Germany had a much stronger position in Europe than France, and had much more territory than today.Then its armies invades Belgium and parts of France. Is it so strange the british get worried?  In the same way the situation could be seen from all participants point of view, so we in a sense give them a defense, like anyone else before judgement(even the devil has advocates?).
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote Captain Vancouver Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18 Aug 2014 at 02:38
Originally posted by toyomotor toyomotor wrote:

So, encapsulating all of the comments made, the First World War was much ado about nothing?Dead

Much ado about the incredible folly of humanity, and an argument that psychologists might be of more value to us that politicians and generals.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote toyomotor Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18 Aug 2014 at 03:13
Originally posted by Captain Vancouver Captain Vancouver wrote:

Originally posted by toyomotor toyomotor wrote:

So, encapsulating all of the comments made, the First World War was much ado about nothing?Dead

Much ado about the incredible folly of humanity, and an argument that psychologists might be of more value to us that politicians and generals.
 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote fantasus Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18 Aug 2014 at 04:56
Originally posted by Captain Vancouver Captain Vancouver wrote:

Originally posted by toyomotor toyomotor wrote:

So, encapsulating all of the comments made, the First World War was much ado about nothing?Dead

Much ado about the incredible folly of humanity, and an argument that psychologists might be of more value to us that politicians and generals.
On the other hand, historical interest should not be lost in exchange for "preaching". Abnd when we say it is the fault of "humanity" and its "folly" we really say something that gives very little information about what eventual errors or even "wrongdoings" were made.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote toyomotor Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18 Aug 2014 at 06:55
Originally posted by fantasus fantasus wrote:

Originally posted by Captain Vancouver Captain Vancouver wrote:

Originally posted by toyomotor toyomotor wrote:

So, encapsulating all of the comments made, the First World War was much ado about nothing?Dead

Much ado about the incredible folly of humanity, and an argument that psychologists might be of more value to us that politicians and generals.
On the other hand, historical interest should not be lost in exchange for "preaching". Abnd when we say it is the fault of "humanity" and its "folly" we really say something that gives very little information about what eventual errors or even "wrongdoings" were made.
 
1. I haven't seen any preaching on this thread;
2. Was the thread ever intended to rehash the brutality and horrors of the war?
 
I see no need to go over this yet again, it's beeen covered ad nauseum on documentaries, movies and many different fora.
 
Or are you simply sticking a needle to the Captain?
 
 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote caldrail Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18 Aug 2014 at 11:18
The First World War has become an allegory for mindless violence, but then, it always had left a deep impression. It was after all termed the "War To End All Wars". There was a film made between the wars ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Things_to_Come ) that extrapolated the sort of total conflict dramatically, and indeed, such predictions were a feature of the post-WW2 era, especially with the Cold War and threat of nuclear exchange.

It's normal to see or hear people getting quite moral about warfare when WW1 or nukes get mentioned - just the other day there was an impromptu meeting of CND members in my local library moaning about the human need to dominate and the Japanese desire for weapons of mass destruction (their understanding of politics and military affairs was pretty woeful of course, but that won't stop meetings with the local MP - poor bloke - who simply has no say in the activities of foreign powers). Sometimes I wonder about this. Is it just people getting moral about what was a terrible war, or is it a means to express what they see as a 'superior attitude'?
http://www.unrv.com/forum/blog/31-caldrails-blog/
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote fantasus Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18 Aug 2014 at 16:22
One of the important reasons people can have to post in such threads are to give and take , to exchange point of views and bits of insight. Is "Preaching" an inappropriate word? Perhaps, but sometimes it is hard to find the rigjht word. What I wanted to point at is something like this: I find it a bit rash to judge all those at the tiome that had any influence of being completely irresponsible or worse, at least without any sott of questioning or defense. that is not the same as to say not many of them may have been so.
An important question is simply "why"? That is the question for those eventually participating. For others it may be "why not"? - as for the Scandinavian countries that stayed out, though they certainly felt some consequences too. With hindsight some of us mayu be tempted to say that was a "good decision" by the later (the neutrals), except I am not so sure the men in charge in the neutral lands  were more "clever" or "better" than many of their counterparts in those countries that were directly involved.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote Captain Vancouver Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18 Aug 2014 at 20:34
Originally posted by fantasus fantasus wrote:

Originally posted by Captain Vancouver Captain Vancouver wrote:

Originally posted by toyomotor toyomotor wrote:

So, encapsulating all of the comments made, the First World War was much ado about nothing?Dead

Much ado about the incredible folly of humanity, and an argument that psychologists might be of more value to us that politicians and generals.
On the other hand, historical interest should not be lost in exchange for "preaching". Abnd when we say it is the fault of "humanity" and its "folly" we really say something that gives very little information about what eventual errors or even "wrongdoings" were made.

It's true that there is little specific information in easy statements such as the above. However, I do agree with Dyer's piece linked above. All war is madness, but initiating factors that lead to war can vary enormously. In some cases, there is just no way around it. After Japanese planes bombed Pearl Harbour for example, it is hard to see what alternative course of action could have possibly occurred. 

In the case of WW1, there actually was no cause, as hard to accept as that might be for some, and so the madness was total. That's a sobering thought: 20 million or so died, the cream of a generation, for nothing other than a bit of imperial hubris at best, and merely an unfortunate string of mistakes at worst. That, I'd say, is folly on a grand scale.

True, one cannot see the future, and can only go by the information and established paradigm of the times. But here too, there is guilt to go around. There was cheerleading going on if favour of war at the time, but there were also anti-war protesters. There were enough people around who had either seen war firsthand, or had read enough to disabuse the idea of cheerleading. Nations were industrializing, and were able to mobilize and arm huge forces, much more so than in the past. This was understood. Specific weapons, such as the machine gun and exploding shells, had been in use for years, and well comprehended by military strategists. It was clear, even going back to the example of the US Civil War, that industrialized conflict could take an horrendous toll of life.

Politically, there was no reason whatsoever for the conflict. Yes, Germany was rising, but so were other countries, and Britain (or France) could hardly insist that they all put a plug in it, as they preferred to be the top dogs for an indefinite period into the future. There was a mindset of petty nationalism, ethic hubris, and an adolescent posturing and posing replacing educated and informed diplomacy. Even in 1914, there were many who could have, and should have done better.


Edited by Captain Vancouver - 18 Aug 2014 at 20:35
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote fantasus Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18 Aug 2014 at 22:20
So far as we are discussing the result I will probably agree that seems even more absurd and meaningless than most other wars. What is more open to discussion at least is wether the "average" decisionmaker acted stupid or cynical or otherwise was to blame, more than at so many other times. And what is a bit interesting about that war is that there was so many decision makers and actors. So to understand as much as possible it is not enough to deal only with the german, the british and french, but at least the austrian and russian side as well, since the whole story was very much about alliances, and how to get new members (U.S.A and Italy) and avoid  old ones to leave(Russia, later the Bulgarians and Austrians).
"There was no cause" may mean: None of the participants had any cause at all. Alternatively "There was no single cause". The later leaves open the possibillity of many causes. 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote toyomotor Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19 Aug 2014 at 07:43
fantasus wrote:
Quote None of the participants had any cause at all. Alternatively "There was no single cause". The later leaves open the possibillity of many causes.
 
I agree with your first sentence here-there was no real cause which should have drawn so many countries into the war.
 
Would you care to elucidate on the possibility of many causes-and what they may have been?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote fantasus Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19 Aug 2014 at 09:03
Originally posted by toyomotor toyomotor wrote:

fantasus wrote:
Quote None of the participants had any cause at all. Alternatively "There was no single cause". The later leaves open the possibillity of many causes.
 
I agree with your first sentence here-there was no real cause which should have drawn so many countries into the war.
 
Would you care to elucidate on the possibility of many causes-and what they may have been?
First: I am very far from being an expert on the subject, or even from being familiar with its details.
But because of the multitude of "players" I find it would be lstrange if they all played excactly the same role.
For France, the loss of its eastern provinces of Alsace and Lorraine (German Elsass-Lothringen) in the war of 1871 no doubt was still a factor. A desire for revenge, or simply for getting those territories back, that still no doubt was memorised by many french, combined with a view of Germany as a threat, because of the laters bigger population, economy, and military strength.
Germany on the other hand had experienced many years of succes as a rapidly growing european power, but on the other hand fearing being "encirkled" by France and Russia, not least because the later had even more growth of population and economy, and therefore, so it appeared, future military power. for the germans also their late experiences with use of military power seemed very succesful, naturally leading them to consider using force again(here I also include the three prussian victories of the 1860´s and 1870/71, since Prussia was so dominant). It was the most populated and productive country west of Russia, and also amongst the leading in science and technology, but had a relatively little colonial empire compared to the more western european powers, leading them to think they should play a greater role at sea and outside Europe too.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote toyomotor Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20 Aug 2014 at 06:31
I still don't understand how a Serb assassinating an Austrian Emporer roped in so many countries.
 
Had Austria believed that Serbia was behind the assassination, OK, go to war against Serbia.
 
I don't see a convergence of national interests creating the conditions for so large a conflict.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote caldrail Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 21 Aug 2014 at 10:39
Austro-Hungary was having trouble with Serbia. A serbian assassinated the Archduke so Austro-Hungary declared war on Serbia. Russia supported Serbia and declared war on Austro-Hungary in support.Germany decided to take the opportunity it was looking for to expand its interests and declared war on Russia. It also declared war on France. Britain declared war on Germany because Germany invaded France through neutral Belgium after Belgium refused permission to allow German forces to march through. Japan declares war on Germany (I don't know why) followed by Austro-Hungary two days later. Seems a bit odd since they were antipathic to the Russians following a war the previous decade.

http://www.unrv.com/forum/blog/31-caldrails-blog/
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote toyomotor Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 21 Aug 2014 at 12:25
Originally posted by caldrail caldrail wrote:

Austro-Hungary was having trouble with Serbia. A serbian assassinated the Archduke so Austro-Hungary declared war on Serbia. Russia supported Serbia and declared war on Austro-Hungary in support.Germany decided to take the opportunity it was looking for to expand its interests and declared war on Russia. It also declared war on France. Britain declared war on Germany because Germany invaded France through neutral Belgium after Belgium refused permission to allow German forces to march through. Japan declares war on Germany (I don't know why) followed by Austro-Hungary two days later. Seems a bit odd since they were antipathic to the Russians following a war the previous decade.

 
Thanks for that, I've never really got into WWI.
It's not that I was born in Ireland,
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