Long Fuse Notes

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“Truth and the Historian”
Main argument
This is both an introduction to the book and an essay about the causes of World War I, as seen by other historical writers and Lafore himself. He states that “World War I has become a fashion and a fad,” and, while there is nothing wrong with the topic being widely discussed, historians should be careful in using research and analyzing historical topics. The introduction outlines the sources of the conflict that later was known as the Great War. All of the events: hostilities between the great powers, competition for the sea, and expansionism: were what has led to that conflict. But Lafore also argues that no cause can be singled out as the most important, because they all contributed to the relations between European countries before 1914. Main People

Luigi Albertini: an Italian journalist and politician, who studied the causes of World WarI Fritz Fischer: a German historian who published a history of German policy before and during the war Helmuth von Moltke: the German chief of staff who was afrain of a European war, but nevertheless “prepared to urge measures that he knew would bring a general war.” Outline

A. World War I is among the most widely discussed topics in history 1. Myopia in history: historians see the past from the present (relativism) a. Not always the correct way of examining it
b. This indicates some sense of bias
2. What happened after 1945 gives a new perspective on the events before 1914 and the war itself a. The relations of European powers led to the war
b. No single country was to be blamed the most for the causes 3. Terms such as “revisionism” proved to have little significance to the evaluation of the causes of war a. They have not been guilty of planning a world war

b. Historians found all the countries to be guilty in some way B. Historians like Albertini and Fischer had opposing views on the war and its participants 1. Albertini did extensive research on Germany’s role before and in the war a. He found the Germans “unquestionable guilty” of urging Austrians to attack Serbia b. He was a supporter of revisionism, but his interpretation proved to be objective 2. Fischer published a book about Germany’s role after the war a. He agreed that Germany was partially responsible

b. He and Albertini both accused Germany of pressuring Austria to go to war with Serbia, although there was a danger of a world war 3. At present time, the “war guilt” could be viewed much more objectively, not necessarily with blaming Germany a. Some Germans, like Moltke, feared and did not support a “general war”

Chapter 1: The Lost Utopia
Main Argument
Omnipresent European sovereignty was a flaw in the plan for ubiquitous peace: as the country was left to make its own decisions, there was no guarantee that there would be overuses of that power. European stubborn adherence to the idea of independence caused great disputes as the international law could not deliberately enforce its rules of what an independent state could and could not do: the nations were sovereign, and thus they should be allowed to do what they believed was right. There were many different ethnic groups throughout Europe, specifically the eastern areas. With the creation of new modern states united by ethnicity, such as Germany, other ethnicities began to desire an independent state for themselves, putting Europe in a state of disagreement. Main People

Giuseppe Mazzini: An Italian liberator who, like many other Liberals and Napoleon III, profoundly believed in the veracity of the notion of freedom John Stuart Mill: an English liberal who felt that the recent advance in society gave too much power to the upper class Bismarck: The emperor of Germany. He believed that Europe was unified enough after the formation of Germany and Italy Gladstone: prime minister of great Britain. He felt that many groups, such as the Irish, the Poles, and the Italians, should have their own state Outline

Treaty of...
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