WW1/Origins

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Event.png WW1/Origins  Rdf-icon.png
Date - 1914
Description The dominance of the British Empire at the turn of the 20th century and the way Empire was viewed by its architects and beneficiaries is fundamental to understanding how the war came about

Official Narrative

Wikipedia's graphic of European alignments

As of September 2016, Wikipedia had an appealing graphic of "European diplomatic alignments shortly before the war" , though it does admit that the causes of WWI are still debated.[1] This admission is somewhat remarkable, considering the unprecedented destruction of the War.

Background

The last quarter of the nineteenth century saw the British Empire at its absolute zenith. This context, and the manner in which the Empire was viewed and promoted by its architects and beneficiaries, is fundamental to understanding how the war came about. The dominance of the British Empire over much of the planet and its peoples had been achieved and was sustained by the ruthless application of naval and other military power. Any perceived threat to that dominance - and its further expansion - was always going to be met with at least equal ruthlessness, together with the finely tuned, deceptive intelligence and diplomatic trade-craft that historically had always accompanied it.

As the nineteenth century drew to a close, it was Germany above all other countries, that was viewed as a developing threat to the Empire's dominance and careful secret alliances and plans were continuously honed and developed to deal with it. Outward manifestations of these plans were the 1904 Entente Cordiale and subsequent Anglo-Russian and French-Russian alliance agreements - the so-called Triple Alliance. But what these alliance agreements did not reveal, either to Parliament or the general public, were secret codicils committing Britain to military action in support of France and giving France uncontested suzerainty over Morocco at the (secret) expense of Germany - much of the surviving documents confirming these secret agreements are still withheld from public scrutiny, but the basic facts about them are proven beyond doubt. [2]

Alternative Explanation

Charlotte Dennett notes the importance of the little remarked upon Berlin-Baghdad Railway and suggests that the main motive for WW1 (and WW2) was the control of oil supplies in the Middle East.[3]



References


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