The Roots of the War: A Non-Technical History of Europe, 1870-1914 A.D

The Roots of the War: A Non-Technical History of Europe, 1870-1914 A.D

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The Roots of the War: A Non-Technical History of Europe, 1870-1914 A.D

The Roots of the War: A Non-Technical History of Europe, 1870-1914 A.D

Read FREE!

Excerpt

This history has been written during the stressful period since the United States became a participant in the great World War. It is not, however, merely a "war book." It is an attempt to relate in a non-technical fashion the history of the development of the various forces that led up to the catastrophe of 1914. The leader of the American Republic, himself a historian as well as a statesman, has stated that "you can explain most wars very simply, but the explanation of this war is not so simple. Its roots run deep into all the obscure soils of history." It is to discover some of these roots and their fateful growths that this book is written.

By general consent the period of history which ended in 1914 saw its beginning in 1870 when the Prussian militarists won their original triumph over France, thereby establishing a precedent for the use of armed force as a wise supplement to flagging diplomacy, a precedent that was to be applied with incalculable effect upon a much greater field of action forty-four years later. During this interval many national and international forces were at work simultaneously, which all together helped to produce the climax of Armageddon. Of course, however, not all the factors that were very prominent in the history of the period contributed directly to this terrific end. For example, socialism, potent as it was, does not seem to have helped to bring about the final war, except indirectly, by making the junker lords of Prussia fearful at its progress, and therefore the more willing to try desperate remedies to wean the German people from the new heresy by the counter-excitements and joys of a great military victory. The many colonial and domestic questions of Great Britain also, although of large historical importance, did little directly to hasten the war, save by making the Pan-Germans believe that their island rivals were so beset with internal . . .

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