Essay On Origins Of World War

Essay On Origins Of World War

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The thesis in the article ‘The origins of the World War’, by Sidney B. Fay, can clearly be stated as the explanation for World War I. Fay states that no one country is responsible for the creation of the war. Furthermore, he goes on to explain that each of the European country’s leaders did, or failed to do ‘certain’ things to provoke the other countries into a war. Fay states, “One must abandon the dictum of the Versailles Treaty that Germany and her allies were solely responsible. It was a dictum exacted by victors from vanquished, under the influence of the blindness, ignorance, hatred, and the propagandist misconceptions to which war had given rise.” (Fay, The Origins of the World War). His main arguments are his explanations of how each country was responsible for the creation of the war. His first explanation is that of how Serbia was partly responsible. Fay explains that Serbia knew that by not co-operating with the Austrian government over the implications of the Archduke Francis Ferdinand assassination they were indirectly preparing for a war they would fight but did not want. Fay says that Austria was more responsible for the war than any other power but not in military attack, but more in the form of self-defence. He makes it clear that Austria was justified in their battle and that they didn’t have to, “sit back and await the dismemberment at the hands of its neighbors.” (Fay, The origins of the World War). Fay believes that Berchtold wanted a local war with Serbia but knew and was content with the fact that the rest of Europe could very easily become involved with the war. Fay’s third country’s explanation was that of Germany. He believed that Germany did not want a war and tried to avert one completely. It is his belief that since Austria was Germany’s only dependable ally, they were dragged into the war. Furthermore, he explains that Germany’s geographical location, being in the middle of the conflict between France and Russia, they had little choice in the matter and had to defend their territory as well as Austria-Hungary’s. Fay’s fourth country and major power discussed, was Russia. He believed that Russia supported Serbia because of the frequent guidance and encouragement given at Belgrade, and if a war were to break out they would more than happy to fight along with the belief of France and Britain helping out. Furthermore, at the same ...


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...to win this continental war, if it was to come to that. They also in turn had the belief that ‘France may panic, and advise peace’. This would have been a diplomatic win in the German’s books. This would have ‘split Russia from France and isolate both without war’. Although this second point was believed to be unlikely by the German’s it still was a happy, and reassuring possibility. Fischer then went on to say that Hollweg told Bulow that any war that was to occur would last at the most three to four months. Hollweg then went on to explain the possibilities of a ‘friendly relationship’ with England, and then through England, a similar friendship with France. He then stated that this would bring forth a triple alliance with England, France, and Germany all extinguishing the existence of Russia, which would easily threaten the civilization of Europe. Fischer then concludes his essay in Hollweg’s address to the Central Committee of the Reichstag at the beginning of October during the ever increasing debate on the unlimited submarine warfare. Fischer states that, “ … this outlines Germany’s real guilt, her constant over-estimation of her own powers, and her misjudgment of realities.”

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