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World War I: The War That Changed Everything(A Good Read)
WSJ ^ | 20 June 2014 | Margaret MacMillan

Posted on 06/23/2014 10:39:30 AM PDT by US Navy Vet

A hundred years ago next week, in the small Balkan city of Sarajevo, Serbian nationalists murdered the heir to the throne of Austria-Hungary and his wife. People were shocked but not particularly worried. Sadly, there had been many political assassinations in previous years—the king of Italy, two Spanish prime ministers, the Russian czar, President William McKinley. None had led to a major crisis. Yet just as a pebble can start a landslide, this killing set off a series of events that, in five weeks, led Europe into a general war.

(Excerpt) Read more at online.wsj.com ...


TOPICS: Culture/Society; Foreign Affairs; Government; War on Terror
KEYWORDS: ww1
Just WOW!
1 posted on 06/23/2014 10:39:30 AM PDT by US Navy Vet
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To: US Navy Vet

“But in 1917, German submarine attacks on U.S. shipping and attempts by the German government to encourage Mexico to invade the U.S. enraged public opinion...”

And that was reason enough to sends thousands of Americans to die in Europe?

The Zimmerman Telegram was a sideshow joke that should have had us fortifying the southern border if anything, and almost all Americans that died in U-boat attacks were on ships flying the flags of the Allies. The Germans even printed ads in papers here saying that this is what could happen. I think William Jennings Bryan even resigned from the cabinet because it was a shoddy reason to go to war in Europe because some idiots tried to tempt fate.


2 posted on 06/23/2014 10:54:01 AM PDT by VanDeKoik
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To: VanDeKoik

At least five of the belligerent Monarchs had a great-grand-mother named Queen Victoria.


3 posted on 06/23/2014 10:59:27 AM PDT by massgopguy (I owe everything to George Bailey)
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To: VanDeKoik

Chuchill and FDR conspired to get the US involved in that war with the collusion of that Anglophilic idiot Woodrow Wilson.

Everything you said was true.

The same British Government who complained of German War “atrocities” was guilty of the Easter Uprising execution and persecution of Indian Nationals. The same government that did that invented Concentration Camps in the Boer War, initally tried helping the Confederacy, attacked us in the War of 1812 and waged a brutal campaign against us in the Revolution.


4 posted on 06/23/2014 11:09:45 AM PDT by ZULU (Impeach Obama NOW.)
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To: massgopguy

Yeah. The same stupid genes that infect the current Royals.

The Plantagenets were REAL royalty, not the Tudors and Windsors.


5 posted on 06/23/2014 11:11:52 AM PDT by ZULU (Impeach Obama NOW.)
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To: US Navy Vet

It was a war we didn’t need to get involved in. At least not until the British bundled all of their war costs and that of their allies, and sold it as debt the only place were there was enough credit to finance all of it:

Wall Street.

By 1916, the Brits had borrowed so much on the Wall Street credit market that the American banks needed an Allied victory in order to guarantee they’d get their money back.

And so we went to war, too.


6 posted on 06/23/2014 11:27:08 AM PDT by henkster (Do I really need a sarc tag?)
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To: US Navy Vet
Great article, and thanks for posting. Lots of grist for the mill. I was delighted to attend the Borah Symposium earlier this year in which the causes and effects of the war were vigorously debated. Expect more of that sort of study in the upcoming four years.

The Chinese Communist Party was founded in 1920, and many of those who had demonstrated against the West in 1919 became members.

To be more precise, the anger felt at the granting of the Japanese the old German colonial holdings in Shandong was such that the Chinese delegate, a fellow with the delightful name of Wellington Chu (and one heck of an interesting life afterward) telegraphed back the bad news and was mystified at not receiving a single word in reply. The answer was that the students outside the telegraph office, upon reading the cable, burned the office down in outrage. That was the Fourth of May movement, soon to become the Chinese Communist Party.

It is simply not the case that neglect of the Japanese positions was a cause of that country's subsequent militancy; that had been going on for a very long time. The "21 Demands" on China from Japan dated to 1915.

It is ironic that the Serbian Black Hand assassinated the only fellow in the Austro-Hungarian government who might have eased that transition of the empire to independent states. It was clear to him and to most of Europe at the time that the age of empire was coming to an end. The Ottomans knew it but not what to do about it. Kemal Mustafa relieved them of the necessity of learning.

Four empires fell in 1917: the Hohenzollern, Romanov, Habsburg/Austro-Hungarian, and the Ottoman. What is not always appreciated is that the world was already in a progressive frenzy (women's suffrage, internationalist "peace" movements, ethnic nationalism, etc, etc) when Princip put the bullet into Ferdinand. To a very great degree that movement has blood on its hands that it took a great deal of historical revisionism to smear on the shaky imperials. The Russian democratic's movement into Bolshevism was greatly eased with the ground already prepared - the Germans were right that inserting Lenin into it would cause that country to exit the war permanently. What could possibly go wrong?

7 posted on 06/23/2014 11:32:53 AM PDT by Billthedrill
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To: US Navy Vet

The author, a Britisher, doesn’t really address German objections to the Treaty of Versailles—the losses of territory, the exorbitant reparations, and the post-Armistice “hunger blockade” aimed at forcing Germany to sign the treaty. He also implies that the Allies didn’t come down hard enough on Germany.

Had the Allies been less interested in payback and sought to turn Germany into a stable and robust constitutional republic, the rest of the twentieth century would probably have had a happier history.


8 posted on 06/23/2014 11:49:14 AM PDT by Fiji Hill
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To: henkster

“Wall Street.

By 1916, the Brits had borrowed so much on the Wall Street credit market that the American banks needed an Allied victory in order to guarantee they’d get their money back.

And so we went to war, too.”,
Haven’t heard that one, however it does make some sense.


9 posted on 06/23/2014 11:53:24 AM PDT by US Navy Vet (Go Packers! Go Rockies! Go Boston Bruins! See, I'm "Diverse"!)
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To: US Navy Vet

Hew Strachan’s “The First World War” has a very good chapter on how the warring powers financed their war efforts. It’s dry, but illuminating. The cost of the war was staggering and beyond anything they had contemplated being possible before hand. Most countries thought the war would end quickly as nobody could afford to finance a longer war.

Anyway, the British financed their costs, and the costs of France, Italy and Russia, by selling war debt bonds in New York. At that time, nobody in the world had better credit than His Majesty’s Government. And there was enough capital in New York to buy it. And it made sense to buy British bonds, because a lot of that money was coming directly back to the United States for war material. It was good business.

Contrast this to the Germans. They were frozen out of the New York market by the Brits. It made little sense to sell to the Germans; the British blockade meant they could not buy and ship any American goods. So the Germans sold their war debt to themselves, mostly in the form of short five year notes. In 1923 when the notes came due, nobody wanted to buy them since the Germans lost. So they wrote them off through the Weimar hyper-inflation. And it wiped out a lot of middle class Germans. This is what really led to the rise of Hitler.

The argument that the Wall Street bankers led America into war was not directly stated in Strachan’s book. But you can easily follow the trail of bread crumbs and get there.

By the way, if you apply the historical precedent to today, you find something similar. Until 2008, when America’s annual deficits were around $400 billion, there was enough capital in Shanghai, Tokyo and Riyadh to buy up the debt. In return, they had to prop up the American economy to make sure they got their money back. But from 2009 onward, the annual one trillion dollar deficits exceeded the entire world’s capacity or willingness to finance it. So we started “selling” it to ourselves through “Quantitative Easing” and “bond buying stimulus.”

In other words, the United States government shifted from the British debt model to the German one.


10 posted on 06/23/2014 12:13:32 PM PDT by henkster (Do I really need a sarc tag?)
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To: henkster

Makes sense.


11 posted on 06/23/2014 12:21:31 PM PDT by US Navy Vet (Go Packers! Go Rockies! Go Boston Bruins! See, I'm "Diverse"!)
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To: US Navy Vet
From the article: "How, for example, does the world deal with powers whose leaders feel they must have their place in the sun?"

Every time I hear a liberal peacenik say "I dream of world peace, let's all just get along.", I respond that peace will never happen. Too many "aggrieved" parties. Pessimistic, yes, but there will always be war. That's why it's a bad idea for Obama to downsize our military as he's doing now.

12 posted on 06/23/2014 12:25:30 PM PDT by roadcat
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To: Fiji Hill

I wonder how many people realize Germnay finished paying WWI reparatoins in 2010...


13 posted on 06/23/2014 12:35:41 PM PDT by scbison
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To: henkster

I think that WWs 1 and 2 can and should be laid at the Feet of this BUNCH;
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/House_of_Windsor and before them:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/House_of_Saxe-Coburg_and_Gotha
How and WHENEVER has “Great Britain” EVER REALLY been our “Friends”?


14 posted on 06/23/2014 12:39:03 PM PDT by US Navy Vet (Go Packers! Go Rockies! Go Boston Bruins! See, I'm "Diverse"!)
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To: US Navy Vet

The idea that anyone is a “friend” in international diplomacy is absurd. You have rivals and allies. Some countries are both, some are neither.

But nobody is a friend.


15 posted on 06/23/2014 12:44:09 PM PDT by henkster (Do I really need a sarc tag?)
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To: US Navy Vet

Of possible interest...a really GOOD photo series of WWI.

http://www.theatlantic.com/static/infocus/wwi/


16 posted on 06/23/2014 12:45:24 PM PDT by SZonian (Throwing our allegiances to political parties in the long run gave away our liberty.)
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To: Fiji Hill

She is a great-granddaughter of David Lloyd George, the British PM, but apparently was born in Canada. She wrote an important book on the Paris Peace Conference.


17 posted on 06/23/2014 12:56:00 PM PDT by Verginius Rufus
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To: US Navy Vet

Bump for later.


18 posted on 06/23/2014 1:16:34 PM PDT by Ditto
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To: US Navy Vet
Before 1914, Russia was a backward autocracy but was changing fast. Its growth rate was as high as any of the Asian tigers in the 1960s and 1970s; it was Europe's major exporter of food grains and, as it industrialized, was importing machinery on a massive scale.

The war had brutalized European society, which had grown accustomed during the largely peaceful 19th century to think that peace was the normal state of affairs.

Whiskey Tango Foxtrot? Russia was growing in the 1960's and 1970's? The 19th Century was peaceful in Europe? Ever heard of Napoleon? The French Revolution of 1848? The Crimean War? The Franco-Prussian war? The Spanish American War (yes, I know it wasn't fought in Spain, but still . . .).

19 posted on 06/23/2014 1:21:58 PM PDT by Hardastarboard (Please excuse the potholes in this tagline. Social programs have to take priority in our funding.)
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To: SZonian
Excellent find ... very interesting.
I interested in military history and a couple of years ago visited the National World War I Museum in KC, KS. One of the better war museums I've visited over the years both here in the US and Europe.
20 posted on 06/23/2014 3:53:52 PM PDT by BluH2o
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To: Hardastarboard

The article said Russia was growing before WWI, not during the 1970s. Also it said the 19th century was relatively peaceful, not without war.


21 posted on 06/23/2014 8:20:58 PM PDT by SoCal Pubbie
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