Synopses & Reviews
The Origins of the First World War summarizes and analyses the policies, issues and crises that brought Europe to war in 1914. The position of each of the great powers is clearly explained, including their place in the system of alliances that dominated international politics. The strategic and the political problems that confronted each power is considered, as is the way in which society and economics influenced the decision-making process.
In a clear and accessible manner, the book demonstrates:
- how and why the alliance system was created
- how it led to a network of complicated strategic commitments
- how an escalating series of international crises from the turn of the century fuelled preparations for war
- why the peculiarities of the Balkans are essential in understanding why war broke out in 1914
As well as being revised throughout to incorporate the latest scholarship on the subject, this third edition provides a completely new Guide to Further Reading and an expanded selection of Documents that includes key treaties, crises and representations of popular militarism and nationalism. It provides students with the clearest, most concise, accessible and up-to-date account of the Origins of the First World War available.
Gordon Martel is Professor and Chair of History at the University of Northern British Columbia and Senior Research Fellow, De Montfort University
A concise, reliable, readable and up-to-date account for students of the origins of the First World War.
- The study of the First World War is key to all courses in Modern European History.
- Written to be a clear, concise introduction, without being simplistic.
- Suitable as an introduction for those new to the subject, or as a quick source of reference for more advanced undergraduates who may be struggling with early twentieth century geo-politics.
- It includes a particularly helpful guide to further reading divided by geographical region and by topic to support essay writing.
- Also offers a section of documents that includes key treaties, crises and representations of popular militarism and nationalism, as well as a chronology, glossary and whos who.
This essential introduction provides an invaluable study aid to students. The book deals with the policies and the issues that brought Europe to war in 1914. The position of each of the great powers within the international framework is concisely explained. The problems confronting them are also carefully analysed, as is the influence of political and economic structures on the decision-making process. Professor Martel shows how and why the confrontational alliance system came into being and considers the impact upon it of the series of crisis that brought the major powers close to conflict in the opening years of the twentieth century. He outlines the terms and obligations that these alliances entailed and discusses the extent to which they were responsible for the outbreak of war.
About the Author
Gordon Martel, Professor & Chair of History at the University of Northern British Columbia and Senior Research Fellow at De Montfort University, has published widely on the international history of the twentieth century. His books include Imperial Diplomacy: Rosebery and the Failure of Foreign Policy and the edited collections, The Origins of the Second World War Reconsidered, Modern Germany Reconsidered and American Foreign Relations Reconsidered.
Table of Contents
Introduction to the Series
1. THE PROBLEM
The outbreak of war
2. THE GREAT POWERS TO 1900
The triple alliance
The dual alliance
3. THE EUROPEAN CRISIS
The diplomatic revolution
The vortex of south-eastern Europe
GUIDE TO FURTHER READING