Origins of the First World War summarizes the policies, issues and crises that brought Europe to war in 1914. Examining the strategic and political problems that confronted each of the great powers and the way in which social and economic factors influenced the decision-making process, Martel discusses the position of each power and their place in the system of alliances which dominated international politics.
The fourth edition has been revised and updated throughout to incorporate the body of new scholarship that has appeared since the hundredth anniversary of the outbreak of war. In a clear and accessible manner, it explains:
- how and why the alliance system was created
- how alliances 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 Balkan situation are essential in understanding the outbreak of war in 1914.
This book also includes an updated Guide to Further Reading, Who’s Who of important figures and Glossary of key terms, and the selection of documents has been expanded to include the key treaties as well as evidence of popular militarism and nationalism. Concise, accessible and analytical, it is essential introductory reading for all students interested in the origins of the First World War.
Table of Contents
List of figures
PART ONE ANALYSIS AND ASSESSMENT
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
The July Crisis
PART TWO DOCUMENTS
Gordon Martel is Emeritus Professor of History at the University of Northern British Columbia and Adjunct Professor of History at the University of Victoria. He is a leading authority on war, empire and diplomacy, and his publications include studies on the origins of modern wars, imperialism and diplomacy. A founding editor of The International History Review, he is also Editor-in-Chief of the Encyclopedia of War and the Encyclopedia of Diplomacy. His most recent book is The Month that Changed the World: July 1914.
"Martel has produced an excellent book; it is well-written, concise and balanced. His clear prose as well as the useful selection documents make difficult and still controversial historical events comprehensible to students and general readers alike. This is probably still the best introduction to the question of why peace failed in 1914."
David Kaufman, University of Edinburgh, UK
"Martel’s book, now in its fourth edition, was written with undergraduate readers in mind. Brief, eminently readable, well-researched, and laced with primary source documents, it serves as the perfect springboard for enhanced classroom discussions and student papers."
Stewart Anderson, Brigham Young University, USA