THE Greek historian Thucydides, in his history of that catastrophe to ancient civilization when Spartan militarism triumphed over Athenian democracy, makes the distinction between the more remote or underlying, and the immediate, causes of war.  It is the distinction between the gradual accumulation of inflammable material which has been heaped up through a long period of years and the final spark which starts the conflagration.  The distinction is a good one.  It is equally applicable to the World War.  Failure to observe it has often led to confusion of thought in regard to responsibility for the War, since responsibility for the underlying causes does not always coincide with responsibility for the immediate causes.  One country may for years have been much to blame for creating a general situation dangerous to peace, but may have had relatively little to do with the final outbreak of war—or vice versa.

The question of the causes of the War may be said to have passed through three phases during the past dozen years, each phase being determined to some extent by the material available for judging the question.  During the first two phases the discussion centered largely around the question of the immediate causes, that is, the rapid train of events from the assassination of the Austrian Archduke at Sarajevo on June 28, to the outbreak of war between Germany and England on August 4.  In the third phase, however, scholars have begun to explore more fully and justly the remoter causes of the War.  In each of these phases there has been a change in the angle from which the question has been approached.  At first, during the War, writers sought to fix the “guilt” for having caused this unparalleled “crime” on a few single individuals—chiefly the Kaiser, the Pan-Germanists and the Austrian and German militarists.  Then, with the publication of more complete documents which began in 1919, it was seen that the Entente thesis of the sole responsibility of Germany and her allies was no longer tenable, and writers who demanded a “revision” of the Treaty of Versailles tended to go to the other extreme of fixing the “guilt” upon Entente leaders—M.M. Izvolski, Poincaré, Sazonov, and even upon Sir Edward Grey.  Finally, with the growing realization that all the Powers were more or less responsible, and with the increased attention which came to be given to the underlying causes of the War, more judiciously and historically minded persons were less inclined to accept the easy solution of explaining the War on the scapegoat or personal devil theory—that is, of the “guilt” of this or that individual.[1]  They fell back on the truer explanation that the War was caused by the system of international anarchy involved in alliances, armaments, and secret diplomacy.[2]  But, after all, the “system” was worked by individuals; their personal acts built it up and caused it to explode in 1914.  In the discussion of the future, it will be the work of the historian to explain the political, economic, and psychological motives which caused these individuals to act as they did.  He will also cease to talk about “war guilt,” since no person in authority was guilty of deliberately working to bring about a general European War.  But he will still continue to discuss the “responsibility” which each statesman must bear for acts which ultimately contributed to the catastrophe.[3]  For this reason the present writer has always preferred the term “war responsibility” to “war guilt.” The German phrase, Kriegsschuldfrage, is open to either interpretation.

Let us now look briefly at the various phases through which the discussion has passed, as determined to some extent by the material upon which it has been based.


During the War and the Versailles Peace Conference, the discussion concerning responsibility for the immediate outbreak of the War, so far as it rested on anything more than national prejudice, war hatred, and deliberate propagandist misrepresentation, was based on the public statements of leading officials, and on the public statements of leading officials, and on the collections of diplomatic documents published by each government soon after July 1914.  The first of these was the “Preliminary Memoir and Documents Concerning the Outbreak of War,” commonly known as the German White Book.  It was laid before the Reichstag on August 3, having been, in the words of the German Chancellor, “put together under the pressure of overwhelming events.”Its purpose was to prove to the German people that Germany was fighting a war of self-defense against Russian aggression.  It was a plausible statement.  It was supported by 27 telegrams and letters which were neatly fitted into the argument, but were not given in their proper chronological sequence.  To the German people, to whom the book was primarily addressed, the argument was convincing.  They went through the War, honestly believing that they were fighting a war of self-defense forced upon them by Russia.  Outside of Germany, however, the White Book made the worst possible impression.  It was quickly noted that among the 27 telegrams there was not a single despatch between Berlin and Vienna;yet everyone knew that during the July crisis there must have been a very active interchange of telegrams between the two Central Powers.  Germany had asserted that she tried to exert pressure upon Austria to accept negotiations to preserve peace, but there was not a document in the White Book to prove the assertion.  People naturally concluded that Germany did not dare to publish the truth.  They distrusted the specious argument by which the German Chancellor persuaded the Reichstag to vote the war credits.  In fact, the White Book, instead of convincing persons outside Germany of her innocence, had exactly the opposite effect.  As we now know, however, the German White Book contained a great deal of truth, but not the whole truth.  One reason for the inclusion of so few documents was the physical impossibility of printing within a few hours the great mass of telegrams which had been exchanged during the preceding weeks.  Even could they have been published in time to be laid before the Reichstag, it would have been impossible to read and digest their contents in a short time.  The Chancellor evidently had to make a selection, and he selected those few letters and telegrams which were of greatest significance and which supported his arguments.  He also omitted so far as possible matters which would have offended England and France, with whom Germany was still at peace at the time the White Book was compiled—a fact often overlooked in judging it later.[4]

In contrast to the German White Book was the British Blue Book, which was laid before Parliament on August 6, 1914.  This contained 159 documents.[5]  They were arranged in strict chronological order and left to tell their own story.  Compared with the German publication, the British book seemed to be fairly complete, candid and convincing.  At first sight it appeared that all documents of any importance were included.  They gave the impression that Sir Edward Grey had striven honestly for the preservation of peace, but that he had been thwarted in his efforts by Germany’s rejection of all peace proposals, and by Austria’s precipitate action against Serbia.  Outside Germany, therefore, a host of writers hastily jumped to the conclusion that Germany and Austria had deliberately plotted the War and were solely responsible for it.  This conclusion was strengthened by the documentary publications put forth by the other Governments in the following months.

A Russian Orange Book, published August 7, with 79 documents emphasized Russia’s efforts for peace.  By falsification and suppression of documents (as we now know) it concealed the truth about Russia’s mobilization and placed the war guilt on the Central Powers.  In October, a Belgian Gray Book, with 79 numbers, gave the details of Germany’s flagrant violation of international law in disregarding the neutrality of Belgium.  The Serbian Blue Book of November 18, 1914, recounted in 52 documents what this little country had had to suffer at the hands of Austrian oppression.  It gave no hint of Serbia’s guilty responsibility for the Sarajevo assassination which has recently been revealed.  On the contrary, it asserted Serbia’s innocence and regret.  It pointed out the criminal deceit by which the Austrian Government at first assured Europe of its moderation, then suddenly issued an ultimatum impossible of acceptance, and finally made a general conflagration inevitable by declaring war on Serbia.

Finally, on December 1, 1914, the French Government, after ample time for compiling a collection of documents, published its Yellow Book.  This differed from the collections hitherto published in that it contained a selection of alleged telegrams dating back several months prior to the Archduke’s murder.  These set forth all Germany’s bellicose tendencies and military preparations, and easily convinced readers, who had been hearing exaggerated stories of German atrocities in Belgium and France, that William II “had come to think that war with France was inevitable,” and “believed in the crushing superiority of the German army and in its certain success.”  The rest of the French Yellow Book, like the English Blue Book, appeared to be a fairly complete, candid, and convincing set of documents chronologically arranged;  they are full of suspicions of German and Austrian duplicity and warlike intentions, in contrast to assertions of French desire for peace, as evidenced, for instance, by the order for the withdrawal of French troops ten kilometres behind the frontier.  It was not till many years later that it became evident that the French Yellow Book was neither so complete nor candid after all, since some important telegrams had been suppressed altogether and others had been altered.[6]

An Austrian Red Book, published on February 3, 1915, as a reply to the Serbian Blue Book, contained 69 documents but the most important of these had already appeared in the daily press, and the remainder threw but little light on the secret relations between Berlin and Vienna in connection Austria’s ultimatum to Serbia and the failure of all peace proposals.  The Austrian Red Book evidently had suppressed a large number of essential documents.  By persons outside Austria and Germany, therefore, it was generally thought to be as unreliable and self-incriminatory as the German White Book itself.

As the life and death struggle of the nations went on from month to month and became ever more grim and bitter, war hatred, national prejudice, and poisonous propaganda wrought such devastating results that few persons cared, or were able, to study carefully and critically even such documentary evidence as was now at hand.  Leading officials in all countries had made war speeches asserting the innocence of their own acts, and throwing the responsibility upon the enemy.  The result was that, at the close of the War, a “Commission on the Responsibility of the Authors of the War,” presided over by Mr. Lansing, solemnly reported to the Peace Conference :

The War was premeditated by the Central Powers together with their allies, Turkey and Bulgaria, and was the result of acts deliberately committed in order to make it unavoidable.  Germany, in agreement with Austria-Hungary, deliberately worked to defeat all the many conciliatory proposals made by the Entente Powers.

In the deliberations of this Commission, as one of its members, Mr. J.B. Scott, tardily recognized five years later, “Unfortunately no Germans were allowed to take part.”  A German delegation, to be sure, was officially allowed to present a German White Book Concerning the Responsibility of the Authors of the War,[7] drawn up by Professor Hans Delbrück, the well-known historian, Professor Mendelssohn-Bartholdy, Count Montgelas, and Dr. Max Weber.  “It is an official document whose importance can neither be overlooked nor minimized,” as Mr. Scott correctly observes in the English translation published by the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace in 1924.  It contained valuable new evidence tending to prove that the accusation formulated by the Commission was historically incorrect, and morally unjustifiable.  In spite of this, the Commission paid virtually no attention to it, and Germany was forced to accept the dictum of the victors in Article 231 of the Treaty of Versailles :

The Allied and Associated Governments affirm, and Germany accepts, the responsibility of Germany and her allies for causing all the loss and damage to which the Allied and Associated Governments and their nationals have been subjected as a consequence of the war imposed upon them by the aggression of Germany and her allies.


(a)  New Documents on the Immediate Causes

A second phase of the question of the immediate causes of the War began with the publication of the Kautsky Documents.  These, and other new documents and memoirs to be mentioned below, made it clear that Germany had not plotted or wanted a European war.  Scholars in all countries gradually came to agree that though Germany was responsible for having at first foolishly encouraged Austria to take action against Serbia, Germany supposed (wrongly, as it turned out) that the conflict could be “localized”;  but when it began to appear that “localization” was doubtful and that Russia might intervene, Germany tried to restrain Austria and made genuine efforts to prevent the Austro-Serbian conflict from developing into a World War.  What are these new documents and memoirs upon which this revised view rests?

The Kautsky Documents,[8] published in December 1919, were a consequence of the German revolution at the close of the War.  The new German republic made the veteran Socialist leader, Karl Kautsky, Assistant Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs.  He was authorized to edit all the documents in the German Foreign Office which might throw light on the origins of the World War.  He and his assistants carefully copied, arranged, and annotated a mass of papers in eighteen volumes in the archives containing the diplomatic correspondence during the July crisis of 1914.  In contrast with the meager German White Book of 1914, with its 27 documents, the Kautsky publication comprises 1123 documents, of which 937 are given in extenso and the remainder in a sufficiently full summary.  The letters and telegrams are arranged in strict chronological order, and allowed to speak for themselves.  The editors have merely added convenient cross references, indexes, and data as to the exact day, hour and minute when each despatch was sent and received.  This extraordinarily precise and unprecedentedly complete compilation, containing detailed information which was unfortunately lacking in documentary publications issued early in the War, now made it possible to determine with considerable nicety just how much a German official knew when he took any action.  It enabled one for the first time to judge with knowledge and fairness of the motives, the honesty, and the ability of the men guiding the German ship of state in 1914.  It laid the basis for the beginning of a scholarly study of the immediate responsibility for the War.  It showed scholars that during the critical days before the War, Germany had made real efforts to avert it, but that she had been guilty of blunders and mistakes in judgment which contributed to set fire to the inflammable material heaped up in the course of years.  It showed, moreover, that the notion that Germany had deliberately plotted the World War was a pure myth.

In Vienna, Dr Roderich Gooss did for the Austrian Foreign Office what Kautsky had done for the German.  In contrast with the 69 documents of the original Austrian Red Book, Dr. Gooss’s three-volume Austrian Red Book of 1919,[9] contained 352 documents.  They revealed the reckless diplomacy by which Austria dragged Germany into a World War which Austria did not want, but which she was willing to risk in her determination to put an end to the danger which menaced her from the side of Serbia.

In Moscow the Bolshevists had already taken advantage of their advent to power to publish in their newspaper, Pravda, in the winter of 1917-1918, a series of secret treaties and other papers which revealed the imperialist and militarist aims of the fallen Tsarist regime between 1881 and 1917.[10]  To these the Soviet Government added in 1922 a massive and invaluable collection of Materials for the History of Franco-Russian Relations from 1910 to 1914.  This contained, among other things, the complete exchange of telegrams between the Russian Foreign Office and the Russian Embassy in Paris between July 24 and August 2, 1914.[11]  Baron von Romberg took this series of telegrams and printed them in conjunction with the telegrams between Paris and St. Petersburg which had appeared in the Russian Orange Book of 1914.  By using red ink for the former and black ink for the latter, his Falsifications of the Russian Orange Book[12] gave striking proof of the deceptions by which the Russian Government had sought in 1914 to hide its responsibility for the War.  Not only had it completely suppressed half of the telegrams actually exchanged between Paris and St. Petersburg, including some of great importance, but, even in the telegrams which were published, important passages were omitted, and in some cases deliberately forged words were added.  These Russian revelations began to shake the confidence of scholars in the completeness and reliability of the other Entente documentary publications which had been accepted outside the Central Powers as good evidence of Entente innocence and German guilt.

The incompleteness and unreliability of the Tsarist Russian Orange Book was further evidenced in 1922 by the publication in the Bolshevist historical journal, Red Archives, [13] of all the despatches exchanged between St. Petersburg and the Russian Embassy in Berlin during July, 1914.  Accompanying these is a long memoir which Bronevski, the Russian Charge d’Affaires at Berlin, wrote immediately upon his return to Russia at the outbreak of War, in which he recounted in detail the events of his last days in Berlin.

In 1923 Baron Schilling’s Diary of the Former Ministry of Foreign Affairs, which had lain hidden away in a cupboard, was discovered and published by the Bolshevists.[14]  It gave a new and vivid account of the doings and conversations of the Russian Foreign Minister, M. Sazonov, between July 16 and August 1, 1914.  The diary is especially valuable because Schilling was M. Sazonov’s confidential assistant (Chef de Cabinet) at the Foreign Office, and summarized on the spot conversations which his chief reported to him, but of which no other Russian record exists.  Baron Schilling also pasted into the diary the text or summaries of important telegrams which passed in and out of the Foreign Office, but which were suppressed from the Russian Orange Book, and had hitherto remained unknown.  In the introduction to Major Bridge’s English translation of the diary, Baron Schilling, who has been living in London, confirms its authenticity and high historical importance, and gives interesting details of the manner in which it was composed.[15]

From these various Bolshevist publications we now have a fairly complete record of the Russian diplomatic correspondence for the July crisis.  It consists of more than 200 telegrams, instead of the misleading and partly falsified 79 documents in the Russian Orange Book of 1914.[16]

Some Entente sympathizers, like Grelling, Romieu, and Ex-President Poincaré, have sought to throw suspicion and doubt on the honesty and reliability of these new revelations from the German, Austrian and Russian archives.[17]  This is because these new documents have led scholars to believe that Germany was much less responsible, and that Russia and France were much more to blame, than was at first supposed.  But no one has ever satisfactorily proved that the documents just described are in any way fictitious or falsified.  On the contrary, all the new material fits together like a mosaic, and one part confirms another.  Furthermore, one of the best reasons for believing that these documents are genuine and fairly complete, and that the Socialist editors have made no effort to exculpate Germany, Austria, and Russia, is to be found in the fact that the editors have each tried to place the war guilt upon his own former government.  It is curious to see how they have written pamphlets, based on the documents in their own archives, tending to prove that their own former imperialist rulers were mainly to blame for the World War.[18]  According to Kautsky, Germany deliberately and willingly pushed a hesitating Austria into action against Serbia and so into a World War.  According to Gooss, the unsuspecting Emperor William was the sacrificial lamb offered up on the altar of Berchtold’s reckless perfidy and obstinacy.  While according to Pokrovski, the Director of the Archives in Soviet Russia—who is much nearer the truth—the causes of the War are to be found in the century-old Russian imperialist ambition for the control of Constantinople, the influence of Grand Dukes and militarists, the desire of Izvolski for revenge on Austria, and the support to these malign influences which the Tsarist regime felt encouraged to expect from the capitalist governments of France and England.  While the historian may take such partisan conceptions with a grain of salt, he may at least be sure that none of these editors have consciously suppressed documents which would incriminate their former rulers, or have concocted material which would exculpate them.

On the basis of this new documentary evidence, no serious historians any longer accept the dictum of the Allied victors of 1919 that Germany and her allies were solely responsible.  They are all agreed that the responsibility is a divided one;  they differ merely as to the relative responsibility of each of the Great Powers.  Some writers, indeed, not alone in Germany but in other countries, especially in France,[19] have been inclined to push the pendulum to the other extreme.  For various reasons, they tend to relieve Germany and Austria of a large part of the responsibility, and place an increasing amount of the blame upon Russia, Serbia, France, and even England.  One reason for this is that Serbia and France have never made the same complete and frank publication of archive material as Germany, Austria and Russia;  and England did not do so until December 1, 1926.

Finally, however, the British Government, realizing the undesirability of preserving further silence, and yielding to the request of distinguished historians, has at last, after a dozen years, issued an admirable collection of all its diplomatic documents relating to the July crisis of 1914.[20]  It contains some 500 new documents and many important passages which were omitted from the British Blue Book of 1914.  These suppressed passages relate largely to England’s relations with France and Russia, who were soon to become her allies, and show the close solidarity of the Triple Entente Powers.  The addition of private letters of Sir Edward Grey, Sir Arthur Nicolson, and Sir Eyre Crowe, of the British Foreign Office, and their marginal “minutes” upon the documents, enables one to trace with the same accuracy the development of events in London, as was made possible by the Kautsky Documents for Germany.


In addition to these diplomatic documents, there has come a flood of apologetic memoirs and pamphlets from the men who played a prominent part in 1914.  Some of these deal only with the diplomatic crisis immediately preceding the War; most of them also reach back and touch upon the remoter underlying causes as well.  As was to be expected, the stream began to flow from the defeated side.  After the German collapse of 1918, just as after the French débâcle of 1871, the ex-Kaiser’s former officials sought to throw the blame for the War on the late enemy or upon fellow officials.  Austrian leaders soon followed German example.  And more recently the stream has been swollen by Russians in exile, Frenchmen on the defensive, injudicious Serbians, and even by hitherto reticent Englishmen.  A full account of this autobiographical material may be found in Mr G.P. Gooch’s Recent Revelations of European Diplomacy, pubished in 1927, with Supplements, 1928-29.  A few of the more important names may be mentioned at this point.

The Reflections on the World War[21] by the late German Chancellor, Herr von Bethmann-Hollweg, deserve more serious attention than they have received; but they were written before peace was signed, under the terrible strain of war, by a man already broken in spirit and health.  Without the new documentary material at his disposal, Bethmann still clung to the misconception which overtook him early in the War, that England was chiefly to blame.  Herr von Jagow, the German Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, in his Causes and Outbreak of the World War,[22] does not produce an impression of equal sincerity, but is illuminating in regard to the attitude of the German Foreign Office.  Count Pourtales, the German Ambassador in St. Petersburg, gives a very straightforward and reliable account of his last days in the Russian capital, and of his honest efforts to carry out the instructions of his Government to keep Russia quiet and thus preserve the peace of Europe.  His narrative, At the Parting of the Ways,[23] has the advantage of being based on notes which he made on his journey home in August, 1914, while the facts were still fresh in his mind, and on the Embassy telegrams which he appears to have taken with him.  Baron von Schoen, as German Secretary of State from 1907-1910 and Ambassador at Paris from 1910-1914, has left Memoirs[24] which are distinguished for their frankness and breadth of view; he is one of the few German diplomats of whom M. Poincaré speaks with cordiality and praise.  These writers defend and justify the policy of the German Foreign Office.

In contrast to them are other Germans who are wise after the event.  Admiral von Tirpitz,[25] in My Memoirs and in his more recent and valuable Political Documents, takes Bethmann severely to task for his optimism in hoping for a friendly understanding with England during the years before the War, and for his diplomatic bungling in the final crisis of 1914.  Prince Lichnowsky’s bitter pamphlet, My London Mission,[26] which was written during the War under a feeling of failure and the fire of criticism at home, is often unjust in its criticism of the German Government and not always well informed.  It has been relied on outside Germany to an extent far beyond what it deserves.  The Memoirs[27] of the ex-Kaiser at Doorn, which ungenerously attempt to lay the blame on everyone else but himself, are full of inaccuracies and misconceptions.  They are of little historical value except for the psychological light they throw upon their author, and tend to obscure rather than elucidate the truth as to the causes of the War.  General von Moltke’s posthumous Recollections[28] consist largely of letters to his wife covering the thirty years before the War.  The brief chapter on the July Crisis, written after the Battle of the Marne and his removal from active command, reflects his consternation at England’s entrance into the War, and his despair at the Kaiser’s delay in deciding for War, which the German militarists believed “inevitable,” but which Bethmann and the Kaiser hoped to avert.

The Austrians, and with very good reason, have made relatively little effort to exculpate themselves.  Count Berchthold, who more than anyone else was responsible for the World War, has long kept silent, except for a few short and tardy exculpatory articles, but his memoirs are now announced for early publication.  Count Czernin, Austrian Minister to Rumania in 1914, and Austrian Foreign Minister during the War, wrote an interesting volume, In the World War.[29]  Though dealing mainly with diplomacy during the War, he gave an excellent picture of the Archduke Franz Ferdinand’s character and views, and expressed the opinion that the German Ambassador at Vienna, Tschirschky, used his personal influence to encourage Austria in her action against Serbia.  Dr. Fraknoi[30] has told us something of Count Tisza’s initial opposition to an Austrian war against Serbia;  not explaining altogether satisfactorily why the powerful Hungarian Premier changed his attitude in the middle of July, 1914.Count Tisza himself, had he lived, might have been able to tell the truth fearlessly, but he lies in a bloody grave, assassinated on his own doorstep at the close of the War;  his lips were sealed forever, and the recent edition of his papers by the Hungarian Academy contains virtually nothing on the immediate causes of the War.  Baron Musulin, who drew up the text of the Austrian ultimatum to Serbia, has published a delightful volume covering the experiences of his diplomatic life and his activity at the Austrian Foreign Office.[31]  He is convincing everywhere except precisely in those chapters which deal with his share in the events which precipitated the World War.  Here he minimizes his own share of responsibility, and his narrative, perhaps through faulty memory, is often contradicted by the contemporary records.

Count Bilinski, whose position as Austro-Hungarian Joint Finance Minister from 1912 to 1914 gave him direct charge of the civil administration of Bosnia and Herzegovina, has much to say in his Polish Recollections and Documents[32] concerning his efforts to ameliorate conditions in these troubled and restless provinces.  But concerning the preparations of the Archduke’s journey thither, and the lack of police precautions at Sarajevo, the alleged “warning” from Serbia, and the preparation of the ultimatum, he tells less than one might have hoped.  These were tragic matters in connection with which he has been severely criticized, and over which in later years he preferred to draw the veil of silence.  A Galician Pole by birth, he joined the Polish cause during the War, and is often regarded as a traitor to his former fatherland, which—in retrospect—he holds largely responsible for the War.  More generous in tone and more readable in form is the volume by his predecessor as Joint Finance Minister, Count Burian, Austria in Dissolution.[33]  Count Burian, who also became Austrian Foreign Minister during the War, makes no effort to shift the blame for the War to other shoulders, but gives an admirable account of the desperate situation in which Austria-Hungary found herself, because of the growing restlessness of her subject nationalities.

The only Austrian diplomatic representatives abroad in 1914, beside Count Czernin, who have left memoirs of importance, were Baron Szilassy at Athens and Baron Giesl at Belgrade.  A broad-minded and intelligent Magyar, with French and English sympathies, whose horizon had been further enlarged in subordinate diplomatic positions in Tokio, St. Petersburg, Constantinople and elsewhere, Szilassy gives the impression in his Fall of the Danubian Monarchy[34] that the appointment of Count Berchtold as Austrian Foreign Minister was a colossal blunder—it gave minor officials in the Foreign Office, and militarists in the General Staff, the chance to seize upon the Archduke’s assassination as the pretext for the “inevitable” war with Serbia.  Baron Giesl, the Austrian Minister at Belgrade in 1914 and formerly at Cettinje, was well acquainted with the Turkish and Slavic languages;  his Memoirs throw interesting light on Balkan conditions before the War and add some details concerning the final diplomatic rupture between Austria and Serbia.[34a]

The most valuable to the historian of all the Austro-Hungarian memoirs is the voluminous work of the Austrian Chief of Staff, Baron Conrad von Hoetzendorf.[35]  It consists in large part of an undigested mass of important documents of all sorts, copies of which he evidently took from the official files and published in chronological order, with a commentary of his own.  It also includes conversations in dialogue form which appear to be taken from a diary kept from day to day.  With extraordinary frankness, he recounts the repeated efforts he made to have Austria make war on Italy or Serbia on what he regarded as numerous favorable occasions between 1906 and 1914.  In July, 1914, it was probably he, more than anyone else, who galvanized the incompetent and hesitating Berchtold into an active advocate of war against Serbia.  Conrad is the best—that is, the worst—example of the militarist mind, which believes that war is “inevitable,” is ever eager to wage a “preventive” war, and throws all its weight in favor of hasty mobilization in a time of diplomatic crisis.  Conrad’s views have been severely criticized by two of his generals.[36]

Another Austrian writer, who was not in an official position, yet who deserves mention because of his caustic criticism of the civilian and military officials whom he observed at close range in Vienna, is Herr Heinrich Kanner,[37] formerly editor of the Vienna Socialist daily, Die Zeit.

The Russian autobiographical material is almost wholly from hands which had been more accustomed to wield the sword than the diplomatic pen.  Sazonov’s Memoirs, written in exile more than ten years after the events, without notes and documents at hand, have been riddled by the reviewers as wholly unreliable.[37a]  Few Russian diplomatic representatives abroad, except Baron Rosen,[38] have left their record of the immediate causes of the War.  But many Russian military officers have left important recollections.  General Dobrorolski, who was Chief of the Mobilization Section of the Russian General Staff in 1914, has revealed in a very frank and reliable pamphlet,[39] how the Russian militarists, upon hearing of the Austrian ultimatum, at once jumped to the conclusion that war was “inevitable,” began secret military preparations, and urged “general mobilization” at as early a date as possible.  From Dobrorolski’s account, it is also clear that “partial mobilization” against Austria was a mere diplomatic “bluff” by the threat of which Sazonov hoped to make Austria back down in her demands on Serbia;  but the Russian military authorities had made no technical preparations for such a “partial mobilization,” and were therefore absolutely opposed to it and insistently urged “general mobilization.”  Dobrorolski thus helps to establish the true facts in regard to the final orders for Russian mobilization, and corrects the falsehoods which were told so freely by General Sukhomlinov, who was Russian Minister of War in 1914, and by others, at the famous Sukhomlinov trial in 1917.  Sukhomlinov’s Recollections,[40] which were published in German in 1924, reveal a man full of loyalty to the Tsar, but very cloudy in his mind as to his own share in the fatal events of July, 1914.  His volume, however, as well as General Polivanov’s Diaries,[41] and the first part of General Danilov’s Russia in the World War,[42] describe authoritatively and fairly satisfactorily the great efforts for the reorganization and increase of the Russian army which they made with a view to an “inevitable” war with Germany and Austria.  Perhaps the most reliable and accurate sources for precise information concerning the Russian military preparations actually made in July, 1914, are the Russian military telegrams which were sent out by the Russian General Staff.  More than a hundred of these were later captured by the Germans in the course of the War, and were published in 1919 in Robert Hoeniger’s Russia’s Preparation for the World War.[43]  Five years later, the telegrams were edited in more complete form and with a more adequate commentary by Gunther Frantz, Russia’s Entry into the World War.[44]  Though primarily a technical study of secret military measures, this excellent volume helps to clear away the legends and misstatements which have long passed current as a result of the Franco-Russian suppression of the truth in 1914 and the false assertions at the Sukhomlinov trial in 1917.

Foremost among French apologias is ex-President Poincaré’s Origins of the War,[45] containing six lectures delivered at the Sorbonne in 1921.  This is a skilful lawyer’s statement of the case for France and a personal defense of his own policy.  By centering attention largely upon Austria and Germany, and by concealing much of the activity of France and Russia, M. Poincaré gives plausible support to the official Entente thesis of German war guilt as embodied in the Versailles Treaty.  In a notable article four years later on “The Responsibility for the War,”  in Foreign Affairs (N.Y., Oct., 1925), he abandons, to be sure, some of the legends concerning German guilt which have been proved to be wholly without foundation.  But in spite of these concessions to a truer view of history, his later article is open to much the same criticism as his Sorbonne lectures.  It is doubtful whether his plausible arguments convinced others than those who need no convincing.[46]  Far more valuable is his magisterial defense of his foreign and domestic policy in the first four volumes of his memoirs which have so far appeared.[47]  These describe minutely, almost day by day, his activities from the beginning of 1912 to August 3, 1914.  Thus they throw light on both the underlying and the immediate causes of the War.  M. Poincaré writes with lawyer-like vigor and perfect confidence in the wisdom and righteousness of all his acts.  He quotes at length from his innumerable speeches in defense of the power and dignity of France, her love of peace and her loyalty to Russia and England.  He uses much unpublished material from the French archives, which makes his volumes of great value to the historian.  But he frequently turns aside, with sarcasm and with overwhelming minutiae of detail, in attempts to confute his critics;  this often makes his work an acrid polemic rather than a calm historical retrospect.

M. Poincaré’s most severe critics have been his own countrymen—Pevet, Judet, Fabre-Luce, Converset, Morhardt, Victor Margueritte, Lazare, and a host of lesser lights.  They have charged him with getting rid of cautious ambassadors like M. Georges Louis in St. Petersburg and M. Crozier in Vienna to make way for a chauvinist like M. Delcasse or puppets like M. Paléologue and M. Dumaine, in order that he might be more free to work with Izvolski in bringing about a war which should recover Alsace-Lorraine for France and secure Constantinople and the Straits for Russia.  Many of his replies to their criticisms are sound.  He manages to explain away some of the incriminating remarks that Izvolski attributes to him.  But in many other cases he seems to take refuge in the practice of throwing dust in the reader’s eye by diverting attention from the main point to minor matters.

On the general question of war responsibility, M. Poincaré tries to prove that as Premier and President he in no way deviated from the pacific policy of his predecessors.  He attempts to show that he and M. Georges Louis were in complete agreement as to the nature and interpretation of the Franco-Russian alliance.  To one who has read all the available documents, his arguments are not always convincing.  There was a distinct change during 1912, when he was Premier and Minister of Foreign Affairs, in the direction of tightening the alliance and extending French support to Russian ambitions in the Balkans.  This was not, however, as many of his critics assert, with the aim of bringing about a war by which France should recover Alsace-Lorraine.  It was to establish greater solidarity in the Triple Entente.  In so doing he tended to divide the Powers more and more into two armed and opposing camps, so that the Triple Entente could impose its will on the Triple Alliance; or, if a diplomatic crisis should arise, the former could safely defy the latter, and willingly risk war with superior forces rather than accept a diplomatic defeat.  This is exactly what happened in 1914.  He believed a European war “inevitable”;  in tightening the Entente and in making promises to Russia he did in fact tend to make it inevitable.  Herein lies his responsibility.

After M. Delcassé had occupied the French Embassy at St. Petersburg for a few weeks in 1913, it was handed over to one of President Poincar’s old school friends and most devoted followers, M. Maurice Paléologue.  In the opening pages of An Ambassador’s Memoirs,[48] M. Paléologue describes vividly the gala events and chauvinistic enthusiasm accompanying President Poincaré’s visit to the Tsar, and the situation in Russia on the eve of the War.  Though the facts related by the French Ambassador do not always have the accuracy and definiteness which one would expect if his charmingly written book were really based on a diary written day by day, it is, nevertheless, of much value to the historian.  It reproduces with fidelity the exultant war spirit inspired in Russian ruling circles by President Poincaré’s presence and speeches.  It describes dramatically, for instance, the gala banquet of July 22 at which the two Montenegrin princesses (one of whom was the wife of the Grand Duke Nicholas) joyously told Paléologue how their father had written them that there would be war within a month.  It pictures their ecstasy at the prospect of the ruin of Austria, the French reconquest of Alsace-Lorraine, and the defeat and destruction of Germany.  Three days later, before it was known that Austria had rejected the Serbian reply as unsatisfactory, Paléologue tells how he went to the railway station to speed M. Izvolski on his return to France:  “It is very lively on the platform;  the trains are crowded with officers and soldiers.  This suggested mobilization already.  We exchanged rapidly our impressions and came to the same conclusion:  Cette foil, c’est la guerre.”[49]  The impression that he sympathized with the war spirit in Russia, and encouraged it by his repeated assurances that France would stand firm in the support of her ally, is confirmed by passages suppressed from the British Blue Book of 1914, but now printed in the new edition of British Documents.

Drab in comparison with Paléologue’s vividness is the colorless picture presented by his colleague, M. Dumaine, the French Ambassador in Vienna.[50]  For a man in ambassadorial position, M. Dumaine seems to have been surprisingly lacking in information and influence.  From that trio of most able French Ambassadors, M. Paul Cambon at London, his brother, M. Jules Cambon at Berlin, and M. Barrère at Rome, we have unfortunately no full memoirs.  However, an enterprising French journalist, M. Raymond Recouly, had the happy idea of interviewing them, and others, while their memories were relatively fresh, and has recorded these interviews in an excellent volume.[51]

The Serbian Government always denied that it was in any way directly responsible for the assassination of the Austrian Archduke.  But the celebration of the tenth anniversary of his assassination and the outbreak of the War, which resulted in the creation of the united nation of which Serbian Nationalists had dreamed, inspired some interesting reminiscences which cast doubt on the official Serbian attitude.  Ljuba Jovanovitch, who was Minister of Education in the Pashitch Cabinet of 1914, without perhaps quite realizing the importance of his words, let the cat out of the bag in 1924.  In the Blood of Slavdom,[52] he describes in a vivid but simple way how some of the Pashitch Cabinet were aware of the Sarajevo plot for nearly a month;  and yet, in spite of this guilty knowledge, took no effective steps to arrest the conspirators or to warn the Austrian authorities of the impending danger.  This amazing admission on the part of a leading Serbian official has given rise to other Serbian revelations and denials concerning the part in the Sarajevo plot taken by the secret Serbian military organization commonly known as the “Black Hand,” and especially by Col. Dragutin Dimitrijevitch.  This reckless, generous, idolized, childish hero, who seems to belong to the spirit of the sixteenth rather than of the twentieth century, was the head of the espionage department of the Serbian General Staff.  As the founder and dominating figure in the Serbian “Black Hand,” he was the most influential military officer in Serbia.  These Serbian revelations place the Austro-Serbian conflict in a new light and, if true, greatly increase the burden of Serbia’s share of responsibility.  They tend to confirm what Austrian officials suspected, but could not prove, in 1914.  They help to explain, though they do not justify, Austria’s determination to deal energetically with what was regarded as the Serbian menace to the very existence of the Hapsburg Monarchy.[53]

With characteristic regard for what Mr. Asquith calls the British tradition of being “scrupulously niggardly in imparting information as to the proceedings in the Cabinet,” British officials have long been relatively chary of revealing the part they played.  However, Lord Haldane’s Before the War (1920) described with dignity and authority the failure of his efforts to secure a better understanding with Germany in 1912, and his activity in preparing an English army to fight on the Continent.  Lord Loreburn, in How the War Came (1920), charged Sir Edward Grey with grave responsibility for the War, because of the secret engagements which he had made with France and which virtually committed England to support France and Russia in a European war.  These commitments, he thinks, encouraged France and Russia in aggressive ambitions, but were long kept secret from the British Cabinet, contrary to English constitutional practice.  Mr. Asquith’s Genesis of the War (1924) tells us little of the true origin of the War.  The ex-Prime Minister was still content to write in 1924 as if we knew no more about the causes of the War after a decade than we did in 1914.  To him Germany is still solely responsible.  He writes as a politician making a case, not as a statesman seeking to reveal the truth.  In certain chapters, however, he gives an illuminating account of the splendid preparations for war made by the Committee for Imperial Defense.  He quotes the significant statement which Sir Edward Grey made behind closed doors to the Dominion Premiers in May, 1911:  “What really determines the foreign policy of this country is the question of sea power.”  This dictum is amply confirmed in The World Crisis, 1911-1914 (1923) by Mr. Winston Churchill, First Lord of the Admiralty during this period.  Mr. Churchill gives us much valuable new information as to his strengthening and increasing of the British navy after Germany’s folly in refusing British proposals for the limitation of naval armaments.

The memoirs of Sir George Buchanan, British Ambassador to Russia, add little to our knowledge of the immediate causes of the War beyond what can be learned from the British Blue Book.  But when he says that, with one exception, this “recorded all the communications which passed between me and that Department [the British Foreign Office] during those critical days,”[54] he is guilty of serious misrepresentation;  the new British Documents contain more than a score of such communications not printed in 1914, not even counting the important passages omitted from several telegrams and letters.  Lord Bertie’s Diary, though mainly concerned with events after the outbreak of the War, contains some significant passages on the pacific attitude of the French people until they were stirred up by their newspapers, and by Izvolski.  Of the latter he writes, July 27:  “Izvolski is expected back here today or tomorrow, and he is not an element of peace.”  And on July 28:  “Izvolski told Granville that war is inevitable. . . . . He will do a good deal of mischief in fomenting a war spirit here.”  And later, on November 10:  “What a fool Izvolski is! . . . .  At the beginning of the war he claimed to be its author:—‘C’est ma guerre !’ ” [55]  This attitude is confirmed by several passages now printed for the first time in the new British Documents, in which we learn that Bertie told the French that “public opinion in England would not sanction a war in support of Russia if she, as protector of Slavs, picked a quarrel with Austria over Austro-Serbian difficulty.”  He also at first denounced “the absurd and obsolete attitude of Russia being the protectress of all Slav States, whatever their conduct.”[56]

Most valuable of all the recent memoirs is Viscount Grey’s Twenty-five Years, 1892-1916 (1925).  By charm of style and absence of bitterness, by transparent honesty of intention and nobility of tone, and by the sweet reasonbleness of his retrospective reflections, Grey’s apologia is unique.  Though writing ten years or more after the events, he appears to have a remarkably clear memory.  Furthermore, he has had his friend, Mr. Spender, search the Foreign Office records to refresh his mind on all points where he feared his memory might play him tricks.  His book thus, in a sense, a history based on the archives;  yet the clear flow of his narrative is unclogged by quotations and footnotes.  Admitting, however, Sir Edward Grey’s absolute sincerity in attempting to preserve the peace of Europe and his unquestionable honesty of intent in his memoirs, serious criticisms remain to be made of his conduct of British foreign policy to which we shall return in a later chapter.  At this point it may be merely noted that his great fault was what has been regarded as the great virtue of British constitutional leaders — the preference for practical compromise for the present instead of theoretical perfection for the future.  He did not look far ahead, work out a logical policy, and study all its possible consequences.  He was content in foreign affairs, as the British have always been content in dealing with their constitutional development, to meet situations as they arose and deal with them according to the most practical and common sense needs of the moment.  As Grey himself says, when alleging that Great Britain never pursued a “Balance of Power” policy:  “I suppose that in this, as in most investigations of British foreign policy, the true reason is not to be found in far-sighted views or large conceptions or great schemes. . . . If all secrets were known it would probably be found that British Foreign Ministers have been guided by what seemed to them to be the immediate interest of this country without making elaborate calculations for the future.”[57]  The result of this hand-to-mouth procedure of solvitur ambulando was that he became more and more enmeshed in his secret understandings with France, until he was morally bound by them in 1914.  Though he had always been careful to state to the French that his hands were to remain free, and that it would always be for Parliament to decide whether England would support France in a European war, he had, nevertheless, become gradually so committed that, as he twice admits, he would have felt bound to resign his office if he had been unable to persuade the Cabinet and Parliament to enter the war against Germany.[58]

In his retrospect, Viscount Grey rightly has much to say of the poisonous effect of suspicion as a cause of war, but he also reveals in several passages is own deep-rooted suspicion of Germany.  “It seemed at the time (1914), and still seems true to me, that the military power in Germany chose the time and precipitated the War.”[59]  He seems to have believed that the German militarists even selected the month as well as the year for making war, choosing July in 1914 as they had chosen July in 1870 and were ready to choose July in 1905 and 1911 had it not been that France yielded in the first Morocco crisis, and that England assumed a very firm tone after Agadir.[60]  Though Germany’s actions gave much ground for suspicion, as we shall see, this particular suspicion of Sir Edward Grey’s was wholly incorrect.  But the fact that he harbored it must be accounted one of the immediate causes of the War, because it contributed to the failure of Germany’s eleventh hour efforts to prevent a general European conflagration.  To be sure, Viscount Grey generously and correctly acquits the German civil authorities of planning or desiring war in 1914, but he thinks that Bethmann and Jagow were powerless in the face of the militarists.

Thus, there is at present a wealth of documentary and memoir material, unprecedented in quantity and quality, at the disposal of historians seeking to find the immediate causes of the War.  Never before in history have archives been so quickly and freely thrown open by so many Great Powers;  never before have so many statesmen hastened to tell at such length the part they played.  In this respect, as in so many others, the World War has outstripped all precedents and surpassed all expectations.  In the case of former wars, at least a generation or two passed before satisfactory accounts of their causes could be written.  Today, only fourteen years after the outbreak of the War, it may safely be said that the materials are now at hand on which to base a fairly exact statement of the course of events between the murder of the Archduke at Sarajevo on June 28, and the advent of war between England and Germany on August 4.  This is the main subject of my second volume.


Though it is now possible, in a single volume to treat in detail and somewhat definitively the immediate causes of the War, this is by no means true in the case of the underlying causes.  These are so complex and reach so far back into the past that any attempt to describe them adequately would involve nothing less than the writing of the whole diplomatic history of Europe since 1870, or rather from 1789;  some questions go back to the age of Louis XIV, and even to that of Charlemagne.  It would also involve the difficult technical study of the military and naval forces of the various countries, their plans of campaign, the relation of the military to the civilian authorities in each country, the psychology of fear, and all the other factors which go to make up the somewhat vague conceptions of “militarism” and “navalism” as causes of war.  No less important would be the analysis of that complex force which first began to be a powerful, disruptive agency during the French Revolution, and which steadily gathered strength for a century and a quarter, which we call “nationalism.”  This in turn is closely bound up with psychological and political question of race, religion, democracy, education, and popular prejudice.  Still more important, in many minds, as underlying causes of the War are the intricate political and economic problems which have arisen from the transformation of society during the past hundred years by the modern industrial system which began in England and subsequently penetrated more or less all the great countries of the world—problems of excess population, food supply, foreign markets and raw materials, colonial possessions, and the accumulation of capital seeking investment abroad.  Finally, the influence of the newspaper press is a factor much greater than commonly supposed in causing the World War.  For decades it fed the constant undercurrents of irritation of one country against another, and by its clamor and misrepresentations often made difficult or impossible the peaceful settlement of sources of conflict.  How far government officials controlled newspaper opinion, and how far they themselves were hampered in their freedom of action by it, is a subject which greatly needs further careful historical investigation.  Obviously, no single volume can hope to deal thoroughly with all these complex and interrelated factors which constitute the underlying causes of the World War.  They may be conveniently grouped under five heads:

(a) the system of secret alliances;
(b) militarism;
(c) nationalism;
(d) economic imperialism; and
(e) the newspaper press.


The greatest single underlying cause of the War was the system of secret alliances which developed after the Franco-Prussian War.  It gradually divided Europe into two hostile groups of Powers who were increasingly suspicious of one another and who steadily built up greater and greater armies and navies.  Though this system of alliances in one sense tended to preserve peace, inasmuch as the members within one group often held their friends or allies in restraint for fear of becoming involved in war themselves, the system also made it inevitable that if war did come, it would involve all the Great Powers of Europe.  The members of each group felt bound to support each other, even in matters where they had no direct interest, because failure to give support would have weakened the solidarity of the group.  Thus, Germany often felt bound to back up Austria-Hungary in her Balkan policies, because otherwise Germany feared to lose her only thoroughly dependable ally.  Similarly, France had no direct political (only financial) interests in the Balkans, but felt bound to back up Russia, because otherwise the existence of the Dual Alliance would have been threatened, the balance of power destroyed, and the best guarantee of French safety from a German attack would have been lost.  Likewise, the officials of the British Foreign Office became increasingly convinced that England must support France and Russia in order to preserve the solidarity of the Triple Entente as a check to the Triple Alliance.  In the crisis of July, 1914, it was not, merely a question of Austria, Serbia and the Balkans; it was a question, of the solidarity and prestige of the two groups of Powers into which Europe had become divided.  As one reads the new British Documents, one is struck by the emphasis on this necessity of preserving the solidarity of the Triple Entente.  As Sir Eyre Crowe noted in a “minute” early in the crisis:  “It is clear that France and Russia are decided to accept the challenge thrown out to them.  Whatever we may think of the merits of the Austrian charges against Servia, France and Russia consider that these are the pretexts, and that the bigger cause of Triple Alliance versus Triple Entente is definitely engaged.  I think it would be impolitic, not to say dangerous, for England to attempt to controvert this opinion, or to endeavour to obscure the plain issue, by any representation at St. Petersburg and Paris. . . . Our interests are tied up with those of France and Russia in this struggle, which is not for the possession of Servia, but one between Germany aiming at a political dictatorship in Europe and the Powers who desire to retain individual freedom.”[61]  It was stated more bluntly by Herr Zimmermann to the British Ambassador in Berlin on August 1, when he saw with excited regret that Germany, France, and perhaps England, would be drawn into a war which none of them wanted:  “It all came from this d——d system of alliances, which was the curse of modern times.” [62]

In view of the fatal consequences of this system of secret alliances in 1914, and of the fact that there has recently appeared much new material throwing light upon it, an attempt to sketch in outline its development will be made in the three following chapters.  As indicated above, many of the documents and memoirs dealing with the immediate causes of the War contain also material on the earlier period.  But the most important single contribution to our fuller knowledge of the growth of the system of secret alliances is the great set of new German diplomatic documents covering the years from 1871 to 1914.[63]  This consists of the most secret instructions sent by Bismarck and his successors to the German Ambassadors abroad, their reports to the German Foreign Office, and the secret papers exchanged between the German Emperor and his Foreign Office officials.  It includes exceedingly interesting marginal notes on documents from the hand of Bismarck, and later from that of William II.  Bismarck’s notes reveal the Iron Chancellor’s innermost thoughts on foreign policy.  They formed the basis of instructions sent by the German Foreign Office to the ambassadors abroad.  William II’s marginal notes, which are more numerous, more emotional, and often merely indicative of the mood of the moment, are interesting as a study of the psychology of the imperial mind, but exercised somewhat less directive influence upon the German Foreign Office than did Bismarck’s masterly notes.  From this collection of documents one sees that the German Foreign Office did not always completely inform William II on all matters and often made its will prevail over his preferences.  So far as one can judge, Die Grosse Politik is fairly complete within the limits set by the editors, and aims at giving the basis for an honest and detailed picture of German foreign policy from the Franco-Prussian War to the World War.[64]  But we still lack any equally comprehensive publication from the archives of France, Russia, and the other countries, which may be used to check and balance these German documents.  Very recently, however, similar admirable collections of documents have been, or are being, officially issued:  Austria-Hungary’s Foreign Policy, 1908-1914;  British Documents on the Origins of the War, 1898-1914;  and the French Diplomatic Documents, 1871-1914.[64a]

Professor Pribram’s invaluable edition of The Secret Treaties of Austria-Hungary, 1879-1914, [65] made possible for the first time a satisfactory study of the Triple Alliance treaties and their evolution from a purely defensiv system into one which was used for agressive purposes by Italy and Austria.

The Bolshevist Materials for the History of Franco-Russian Relations from 1910 to 1914, mentioned above, contains much of the correspondence between the Russian Foreign Office and the Russian Embassy in Paris during the four years before the War.  It enables one to see how Izvolski and Poincaré were transforming the Franco-Russian alliance from its originally defensive character into a potentially aggressive combination to support Russian ambitions in the Balkans.  Much of this material has been made easily accessible to Western readers in Rene Marchand’s Livre Noir.[66]  It has been further completed by some five hundred additional letters and telegrams of Izvolski’s correspondence, which have been published in German translation by Friedrich Stieve.[67]  Parallel to this Paris-St. Petersburg correspondence, supplementing and confirming it, is the London-St. Petersburg correspondence of Count Benckendorff for the years 1908-1914.  His letters and other secret papers were clandestinely copied by B. von Siebert, a counsellor in the Russian Embassy at London.  They were apparently sold or conveyed to German authorities, and published by von Siebert in a German edition in 1921.[68]  They have been conveniently rearranged and published in English translation by G.A. Schreiner, Entente Diplomacy and the World (1921).  They show the efforts of Russia and France to strengthen the friendship with England and to tighten the bonds of the Triple Entente into a combination which should be firm and powerful enough to defy the Triple Alliance, if necessary.

From the French archives, a few documents were published by Professors Bourgeois and Pages, as a French Senate Report on Les Origines et Les Responsabilites de la Grande Guerre.[69]  But these French documents are few and meager as compared with the German, Austrian and Russian publications, and are selected to prove a case, rather than to furnish historians with material for study.  More valuable are the French Yellow Books containing documents on such special subjects as the Franco-Russian Alliance and Balkan Affairs, 1912-1914, though these are clearly far from complete.


A second underlying cause of the War, closely connected with the system of secret alliances, was militarism.  The word is often used vaguely.  But usually it includes at least two definite conceptions.  First, the dangerous and burdensome mechanism of great standing armies and large navies, with the attendant evils of espionage, suspicion, fear, and hatred.  Second, the existence of a powerful class of military and naval officers, headed by the General Staff, who tend to dominate, especially at a time of political crisis, over the civilian authorities.

The system of great armies, embracing the larger part of the male population capable of bearing arms, began with the French during the Revolution and under Napoleon.  It was extended and efficiently developed by the Prussians in the War of Liberation.  As a result of its success in the victories of Moltke and Bismarck in the Wars of 1864, ’66 and ’70, it came to be esteemed and imitated in the rest of Continental Europe.  From the Franco-Prussian War onwards the military and naval armaments of all the Great Powers tended to grow larger and larger, and the financial burden became heavier and heavier.  Armaments were alleged to be for defense and in the interests of peace, according to the fallacious maxim, si vis pacem, para bellum.  They were intended to produce a sense of security.  That was the argument used in getting from legislatures the necessary grants of money.  What they really did produce was universal suspicion, fear, and hatred between nations.  If one country increased its army, built strategic railways, and constructed new battleships, its fearful neighbors were straightway frightened into doing likewise.  So the mad competition in armaments went on in a vicious circle.  This was especially the case during and after the Balkan Wars of 1912-1913, when it seemed that the Great Powers might be involved.  It was also accentuated by the system of alliances.  Germany and Austria, uncertain of Italy’s loyalty, believed they must increase their armaments to secure their own safety.  France urged Russia to increase her army and build strategic railways against Germany, and readily loaned her half a billion francs on condition that it be spent for these purposes.  Russia urged France to extend the term of French military service from two to three years.  “Russia is ready;  France must be also,” declared the Russian Minister of War in an alarming newspaper article early in 1914.  So armaments were increased, not only to give security to an individual country, but also to strengthen the alliance to which it belonged.

Militarism implied also the existence of an influential body of military and naval officers, whose whole psychological outlook was naturally colored by the possibility, if not the “inevitability,” of an early war.  To these professional fighters war held out the prospect of quick promotion and great distinction.  It would, however, be a grave injustice to them to imply that they urged war for selfish motives of personal advancement.  Nevertheless, the opportunity to put into practice the results of the work of preparation for war to which their lives were devoted cannot have failed to have its psychological effect.  Quite aside from any personal motives, the military officers in all countries had a high sense of national honor and patriotic duty, as they understood it.  It was their supreme duty to be ready at any moment to protect the state by force of arms.  It was the constant preoccupation, day and night, of the General Staff in every country to be ready to make or meet an attack in the shortest possible time.  To this end every General Staff drew up or revised every year the most minute and complete plans for mobilization and march to the frontier to satisfy all possible contingent situations.  Military officers generally held to the theory that it was advantageous to take the offensive.  This meant striking the foe before his mobilization was complete—at the moment, therefore, when the enemy country was in the most vulnerable process of transforming itself from a peace to a war footing.  It meant also that the war, with all its frightful economic devastation and demoralizing political and psychological effects, would be carried on in the enemy’s country instead of within one’s own frontiers.  In a political crisis, therefore, the military leaders were always quick to conclude that war was “inevitablee,” and exerted all their influene to persuade the ruling civilian authorities to consent to an order for general mobilization at the earliest possible moment, in order to gain the advantage of the offensive.  But a general mobilization, according to prevailing military opinion, actually did make war inevitable.  It was a process virtually impossible to halt when once begun.  This was one of the greatest evils of militarism.  It is always at a crisis, precisely when it is most difficult for diplomats to keep their heads clear and their hands free, that militarist leaders exert their influence to hasten decisions for war, or get the upper hand altogether.

Another evil of militarism was the fact that the plans of the General Staff were technical and were worked out and guarded in such absolute secrecy.  Not only were they unknown to Parliament and the public; they were often not even known to the Minister of Foreign Affairs, or at least their details and significance were not grasped by him.  Sir Edward Grey says that between 1906 and 1911 he knew nothing of the plans which the English and French military authorities were working out for Anglo-French military cooperation in Northern France.  As to the negotiations between the Anglo-Russian naval authorities in the spring of 1914, he likewise writes:  “I never enquired at the Admiralty afterwards, but I imagine the practical result of the consultations between the two naval authorities was not great. . . . [In the Siebert documents they] are constantly referred to as ‘conventions.’  How the military and naval authorities themselves described them, I do not know.”[70]  Similarly, in Russia, it is clear that M. Sazonov did not at first grasp the fact that the plans of the militarists made a “partial mobilization” against Austria a piece of folly, if not a downright impossibility.  And in Germany Herr von Bethmann-Hollweg never envisaged clearly the implications of the Schlieffen-Moltke plan to attack France through Belgium, although he was probably aware of it, according to Ludendorff, as early as 1912.

This then was another evil of militarism.  The General Staffs worked out in absolute secrecy the plans which they calculated to be best adapted to bring military victory, regardless of the political implications which they might thereby impose on the civilian authorities.  And when war became “inevitable,” there was tremendous pressure upon the civilians to accept the arrangements which the militarists had long planned in secret.  The militarist mind was much the same in all the countries, but there was a difference as to the extent to which the military and civilian authorities exercised control.  General Joffre, in 1912, precisely like the German strategists, urged the strategic necessity of disregarding Belgian neutrality;  but while Moltke was allowed to build his whole plan of campaign upon this violation of a treaty which Bethmann was helpless to avert if war came, M. Poincaré was strong enough and shrewd enough to veto General Joffre’s views.  He realized the bad effect it would have on public opinion in England, and the danger that it might cause the British Government to make use of its stipulated freedom to withhold armed aid.

Closely akin to this influence of military and naval officers was the pressure exerted on civilian authorities by munition makers and “big business.”

Some militarists believed in “preventive” war—the waging of a war upon a neighbor while he was still weak, in order to prevent him growing stronger later on.  So it is often alleged that Germany wanted war in 1914, in order to have a final reckoning with Slavdom before Russia should have completed her “Great Program” of military reorganization in 1916 or 1917.  M. Poincaré and his associates are alleged to have wanted war in 1914 before Germany grew any stronger by reason of her rapidly increasing population, wealth, and naval force, and also before French Socialists, revolting against the burden of French military expenditure, should repeal the recently voted three-year term of service.  For the same reasons Russian militarists are said to have wanted war sooner rather than later.  England even is often said to have been glad of the opportunity to crush the growing German navy before it should become a greater menace to that of England.  Though here and there some individual military and naval officers in most countries may have held such views, the present writer does not think that the militarist doctrine of preventive war was a decisive factor in causing the World War.  Only in Austria-Hungary did it exercise a strong influence on state policy;  here it was generally felt that a conflict with Serbia must come sooner or later, and, as Baron Conrad repeatedly urged, the sooner the better.  The murder of the Heir to the Throne was eagerly seized upon as a good excuse for trampling upon the Greater Serbia danger.

Nor is there any more substantial truth in the common assertion that the German authorities welcomed war as a means of crushing the rising tide of socialism, than there is in the similar assertion that Russia welcomed war as a good way of putting an end to workingmen’s strikes and revolutionary unrest.

Generally speaking, it may be said that this aspect of militarism—the influence of the military upon the civilian authorities—was a serious matter in the three eastern monarchies of Germany, Austria, and Russia.  It was much less in France, and virtually non-existent in England, where civilian ministers were ordinarily in charge of the army and navy.[71]

We shall have something more to say about militarism and navalism in connection with the system of alliances.


Nationalism, whose essence and development have recently been so admirably analyzed by a distinguished American historian,[72] must be accounted one of the major underlying causes of the War.  In its chronic form of Pan-Germanism, Pan-Slavism and revanche, it nourished hatred between Germany and her two neighbors on the East and West.  It worked in curious and devious ways.  It had contributed happily to the unification of Germany and Italy.  On the other hand, it had disrupted the Ottoman Empire and threatened to disrupt the Hapsburg Monarchy.  In its virulent form, it had contributed for a century to a series of wars for national liberation and unity in the Balkans.  It was such an important factor in the Balkan situation and led so directly to the immediate occasion of the World War that some account of it in this corner of Europe will be given below in the chapter on Balkan Problems.


Economic imperialism embraces a series of international rivalries which resulted in large part from the Industrial Revolution in England and its subsequent introduction into the other great countries of the world.[73]  It led to quantity production of goods which in turn involved the struggle for new markets and new sources of raw materials.  It resulted in a great increase of population, part of which sought to emigrate to the still unoccupied regions of the world, thereby sharpening the colonial rivalry of the Great Powers.  It brought about the accumulation of capital which sought investment abroad, thus leading to economic exploitation and political competition.  In consequence of these and other factors, the Great Powers began to partition Africa among themselves, to secure territory or exclusive spheres of influence in China, and to build railroads in Turkey and elsewhere.  This struggle for markets, raw materials, and colonies became more acute during the last quarter of the nineteenth and the beginning of the twentieth century, owing to the fact that Germany and Italy entered the competition.  Hitherto politically weak and divided, they had now secured national unity and wished to come forward to share with the other Powers in the partitioning of the world.  It can hardly be said that any one of the Great Powers was more responsible than another for the international jealousies and friction which arose out of this economic imperialism.  By 1914, all the Great European Powers had secured slices of Africa.  In China, Italy only had failed to gain something for herself.  In the matter of railway construction, which was one of the most important forms of economic imperialism because it involved political as well as economic interests, one sees the English building the Cape-to-Cairo railway, the Russians the Trans-Siberian, and the Germans the so-called Bagdad Railway.  The first of these came into conflict with German, Belgian and French ambitions; the second was partly responsible for the Russo-Japanese War;  the third caused endless suspicions and friction between Germany and the Triple Entente.

Protective tariffs which usually accompanied the modern industrial system, except in England, were another form of economic imperialism.  “Tariff wars” and retaliatory measures caused irritation between countries, especially in the mind of the man in the street and in newspaper discussion.  There was always the danger that great merchants and industrialists would use official government support to secure economic advantages for themselves.  This tended to bring governments into conflict with one another.

Generally speaking, however, this economic imperialism is usually exaggerated as one of the underlying causes of the War.  It is often said, for instance, that the industrial development of Germany, and the jealousy with which it was regarded by England, made a war between these two countries “inevitable” sooner or later.  This, however, is an unsound view.  It arises from the fact that economic rivalry tends to become exaggerated in the mind of the public, because it is a subject which touches the pockets of wide classes, and is more generally discussed and perhaps understood than other questions like secret treaties, militarism, or nationalism.  It often happens that great merchants or industrialists own or control newspapers which are selfishly interested in contributing to the exaggeration of these economic questions.  But if one reads the diplomatic correspondence of the years before the War, one is struck by the relatively slight importance which is given to these economic rivalries which haunt so largely the mind of the average business man and newspaper editor.  It is not so much questions of economic rivalry as those of prestige, boundaries, armies and navies, the Balance of Power, an possible shiftings in the system of alliances, which provoke reams of diplomatic correspondence and raise the temperature in Foreign Offices to the danger point.


Another underlying cause of the War was the poisoning of public opinion by the newspaper press in all of the great countries.  This is a subject which is only beginning to receive the careful investigation which it deserves.[74]

Too often newspapers in all lands were inclined to inflame nationalistic feelings, misrepresent the situation in foreign countries, and suppress factors in favor of peace.  In the diplomatic correspondence of the forty years before the War there were innumerable cases in which Governments were eager to establish better relations and secure friendly arrangements, but were hampered by the jingoistic attitude of the newspapers in their respective countries.  Ambassadors and Cabinet Ministers frequently admitted the senseless attitude of the leading newspapers in their own country, apologized for it and promised to exert themselves to restrain it, if only the other Government would do the same toward its press.  These were often quite genuine efforts and may frequently be seen in Anglo-German relations in the quarter of a century before the War.  At other times, however, Ministers sought to score an advantage or to defend their attitude by alleging that their freedom of action was restricted because of the press and public opinion—that if they yielded the point under dispute there would be such a howl from the newspapers and the public that they would be turned out of office.  Such allegations are sometimes true, but more often they are not, particularly in the countries of Central and Eastern Europe, where the Government was generally able to exercise a greater control over the press than in England.  It is, nevertheless, true that the newspapers of two countries often took up some point of dispute, exaggerated it, and made attacks and counter-attacks, until a regular newspaper war was engendered, which thoroughly poisoned public opinion, and so offered a fertile soil in which the seeds of real war might easily germinate.  A particularly good example of this is to be seen in the press feud carried on between Austria and Serbia in the weeks following the murder of the Archduke Ferdinand.  Here was a case in which the Governments of both countries, instead of apologizing for their press or trying to restrain it, deliberately allowed the newspapers to incite public opinion and fire it to an indignation and enthusiasm for war.  It would, perhaps, be too much to say that, had it not been for this Austro-Serbian newspaper feud, the War might have been averted.  But it is true that the violence of the Serbian press was one of the determining factors which led Count Tisza to change his opinion and to accept war with Serbia, whereas at first he had been stubbornly opposed to it;  and without his consent Count Berchtold and the militarists could not have made war on Serbia.

There is a vast literature on freedom of the press, censorship of the press, slander and libel, and the professional aspects of journalism, but there is very little sound writing on the relations of the press to governmental control and on its influence in fomenting national hatreds and war.  Yet there is abundant material for the study of this in the newspapers themselves;  in Die Grosse Politik, and other diplomatic documents;  and in the writings and biographies of men like W.T. Stead, Wickham Steed, Spender, and Northcliffe;  of Busch, Hammann, and Theodor Wolff;  of Lauzanne, Gauvin, and Tardieu;  of Blowitz and Suvorin;  and of Godkin, Ogden, Villard, and Lippmann.  It is to be hoped that some careful scholars will turn their attention to this problem of the influence of the newspaper press as one of the underlying causes of the War.  Bismarck’s oft-quoted remark is even more true for the generation immediately preceding the World War than for his own:  “Every country is held at some time to account for the windows broken by its press;  the bill is presented, some day or other, in the shape of hostile sentiment in the other country.”

to chapter 2

1 Cf. M.H. Cochran, “New Phase of War Guilt Controversy,” in Current History, XXVI, 71-76, April, 1927.

2 Mr. G. Lowes Dickinson gives a scholarly, effective, and charmingly written exposition of this view: The International Anarchy, 1904-1914, London, 1926.

3 Cf. G.P. Gooch, Recent Revelations of European Diplomacy (London, 1927), pp. 206-214. This volume, which he describes as “a causerie, not a bibliography”, is an admirably fairminded and well informed summary review of some three hundred of the most important documentary publications and other first-hand material appearing since the outbreak of the War and dealing with the period 1890-1919.

4 Cf. A. Bach, “Das erste deutsche Weissbuch,”in Die Kriegsschuldfrage, III, 768-776, Nov., 1925.

5 Two other documents, Nos. 160 and 161, were added in a later edition. Cf., B.D., pp. vi-xiii. Further bibliographical details concerning this, and the other documentary publications mentioned below, may be found in the list of abbreviations above.

6 The most complete and severe criticism of it is by G. Demartial, L’Évangile du Quai D’Orsay, Paris, 1926. The German edition, Das französische Gelbbuch von 1914, Berlin, 1926, prints conveniently such French documents as have been made public since 1914, and contains valuable footnotes on others.

7 Deutschland schuldig ?  Deutsches Weissbuch über die Verantwortlichkeit der Urheber des Krieges, Berlin, 1919. (Eng. trans. published by the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, 1924).

8 Die deutschen Dokumente zum Kriegsausbruch, ed. by Karl Kautsky, Graf Max Montgelas and Prof. Walter Schuecking, 4 vols., Charlottenburg, 1919, new enlarged edition, 1927;  Eng. ed., Outbreak of the World War, German Documents Collected by Karl Kautsky, New York, 1924 (Carnegie Endowment for International Peace).

9 Diplomatische Aktenstücke zur Vorgeschichte des Krieges 1914:  Ergänzungen und Nachträge zum Österreichisch-Ungarischen Rotbuch, 3 vols., Vienna, 1919 (Eng. trans. 1920).

10 Rearranged and translated in Dokumente aus den russischen Geheimarchiven soweit sie bis zum Juli 1918 eingegangen sind, Berlin 1918.

11 Materialy po Istorii Franko-Russkikh Otnoshenii za 1910-1914, Moskva, 1922, pp. 513-526.

12 G. von Romberg, Die Fälschungen des russischen Orangebuches, Der wahre Telegrammwechsel Paris-Petersburg bei Kriegsausbruch, Berlin and Leipzig, 1922 (Eng. trans., 1923).

13 Krasnyi Arkhiv, I, 163 ff.

14 “Nachalo Voiny 1914:  Podennaia Zapis b. Ministerstiva Inostrannykh Del,” in Krasnyi Arkhiv, IV, 1-62.

15 Major W. Cyprian Bridge, How the War Began in 1914, Being the Diary of the Russian Foreign Office (London, 1925), pp. 11-17;  cited hereafter as “Schilling’s Diary,” but the present writer does not always follow the wording of the English translation which is sometimes inaccurate;  for instance telegrams Nos. 1504-1509 (p. 36 f) belong under July “26” instead of “25.”

16 A convenient German edition of them has been published by A. von Wegerer, Das Russische Orangebuch von 1914, Berlin, 1925. There appear to be still lacking some of the despatches exchanged by the Russian Minister of Foreign Affairs with Russia’s representatives in London, Vienna and the Balkan States;  for his despatches to his representatives in Turkey, Bulgaria, Rumania, and Italy from July, 1914, until the entrance of these states into the war, see Das Russische Orangebuch ueber den Kriegsausbruch mit der Türkei, ed. F. Stieve (Berlin, 1926);  and Das Zaristische Russland im Weltkriege, ed. M. Pokrovski (Berlin, 1927).

17 R. Grelling, La Campagne “Innocentiste” en Allemagne et le Traite de Versailles, Paris, 1925;  J. Romieu, The Bolshevist Publications and French Policy, Paris, 1922;  R. Poincaré, “The Responsibility for the War” in Foreign Affairs (N.Y.), October, 1925, pp. 10-11;  Au service de la France, I, 186 f., 308, 310, 360, 374; II, 336; III, 92 ff.

18 K. Kautsky, Wie der Weltkrieg entstand, Berlin, 1919;  R. Gooss, Das Wiener Kabinett and die Entstehung des Weltkrieges, Wien, 1919;  M. N. Pokrovski, Drei Konferenzen, Hamburg, 1920;  and Pokrovski’s articles in various Russian periodicals which are summarized by A. von Wegerer, “Aus Russischen Quellen.” in Die Kriegsschuldfrage, III, 159-177, March, 1925.

19 E.g., Pevet, Demartial, Dupin, Morhardt, Victor Margueritte, Lazare, and others; and in America, Judge Bausman, Mr. J. S. Ewart, and Mr. H. E. Barnes.

20 Foreign Office Documents, June 28th-August 4th, 1914, collected and arranged with introduction and notes by J.W. Headlam-Morley, London, 1926 (forming vol. XI of British Documents on the Origins of the War 1898-1914 edited by G.P. Gooch and Harold Temperley). Among the numerous criticisms and reviews of these British Documents the following are especially noteworthy:  H. Lutz, Lord Grey and der Weltkrieg (Berlin, 1927), pp. 171-261, 346-408 (Eng. trans., 1928);  Count Montgelas, in KSF, 97-140, 443-448 (Feb. Mar., 1927);  Count Montgelas, British Foreign Policy under Sir Edward Grey (N.Y., 1928);  H. Delbrueck, in Zeitschrift f. Politik, XVI, 561-570 (May, 1927);  H.E. Barnes, in (N. Y.) Nation, CXXV, 161-163 (Aug. 17, 1927);  B.E. Schmitt, in Current History, XXV, 844-851 (Mar 1927);  and other American scholars in The Saturday Review of Literature III, 729 f., 750f., 781 f. (April 16-30, 1927) Vols. I-VI of these British Documents, covering the years 1898 to 1912 in part, and the new Documents Diplomatiques Français (3 vols., Paris, 1929-30) will form, when completed, together with the new Austrian Documents (9 vols., 1930), invaluable counterparts to Die Grosse Politik mentioned below in notes 63-64.

21 Th. v. Bethmann-Hollweg, Betrachtungen zum Weltkriege, 2 vols., Berlin, 1919-20 (Eng. trans., 1920).

22 G. v. Jagow, Ursachen and Ausbruch des Weltkrieges, Berlin, 1919.

23 Graf Pourtales, Am Scheidewege zwischen Krieg und Frieden, Berlin, 1922. This is amplified in his more recent volume, Meine letzten Verhandlungen in St. Petersburg Ende Juli 1914, Berlin, 1927.

24 Freiherr von Schoen, Erlebtes:  Beiträge zur politischen Geschichte der neuesten Zeit, Berlin, 1921 (Eng. trans., 1922).

25 A. v. Tirpitz, Erinnerungen, Leipzig, 1919 (Eng. trans., 1921);  also Politische Dokumente:  Der Aufbau der deutschen Weltmacht;  Deutsche Ohnmachts-politik im Weltkriege, 2 vols., Hamburg and Berlin, 1924-26.

26 Prince Lichnowsky, Meine Londoner Mission, 1912-1914, Eng. trans. edited with notes by Amer. Assoc. for International Conciliation, No. 127, June, 1917, pp. 227-404. For criticisms of Lichnowsky, see G. von Jagow, Remarks, ibid., pp. 352-367;  and M. Ritter, Der Ausbruch des Weltkrieges nach den Behauptungen Lichnowskys und nach dem Zeugnis der Akten, Munich and Berlin, 1918. Of much greater value is Prince Lichnowsky’s large, more recent work, Auf dem Wege zum Abgrund, 2 vols., Dresden, 1927, covering the whole period of his London mission and containing unpublished documents (Eng. trans., Heading for the Abyss, 1928).

27 Wilhelm II, Ereignisse and Gestalten, 1878-1918, Berlin, 1922 (Eng. trans., 1922). Equally unreliable are his “Comparative Tables,” which were neatly dissected by Ch. Appuhn and P. Renouvin, Introduction aux Tableaux d’Histoire de Guillaume II, Paris, 1923. Much more trustworthy and informing is his most recent volume, My Early Years, London, 1926.

28 Helmuth v. Moltke, Erinnerungen, Briefe, Dokumente, 1887-1916;  Stuttgart, 1922.

29 Ottokar Czernin, Im Weltkriege, Berlin and Vienna, 1919 (eng. trans, 1919).

30 W. Fraknoi, Die ungarische Regierung und die Entstehung des Weltkrieges, Vienna, 1919.

31 Freiherr von Musulin, Das Haus am Ballplatz, Munich, 1924.

32 Leon Bilinski, Wspomnieriia i Dokumenty, 1846-1922, 2 vols., Warsaw, 1924-1925.

33 Stephan Graf Burian, Drei Jahre aus der Zeit meiner Amtsfuehrung im Kriege, Berlin, 1923 (Eng. trans., 1925).

34 Baron von Szilassy, Der Untergang der Donaumonarchie:  Diplomatische Erinnerungen, Berlin, 1921.

34a Baron Wladimir Giesl, Zwei Jahrzehnte im nahen Orient, Berlin 1927.

35 Aus meiner Dienstzeit, 5 vols., Vienna, 1921-25.

36 A. Krauss, Die Ursachen unserer Niederlage, Vienna, 1920;  Auffenberg-Komarow, Aus Oesterreichs Hoehe und Niedergang, Munich, 1924.

37 Heinrich Kanner, Kaiserliche Katastrophenpolitik, Vienna, 1922;  also Der Schluessel zur Kriegsschuldfrage, Munich, 1926.

37a S.D. Sazonov, Fateful Years (N.Y., 1928), has been confuted in numberless passages by F. Stieve and M. Montgelas, Russland und der Weltkonflikt (Berlin, 1927), and by others in Rings um Sazonoff (Berlin, 1928).

38 Baron Rosen, Forty Years of Diplomacy, 2 vols., N.Y., 1922. His memoirs deal more with the period preceding July, 1914, as do also A. Nekludoff, Diplomatic Reminiscences (1920), and A. Savinsky, Recollections of a Russian Diplomat (1927).

39 S. Dobrorolski, Die Mobilmachung der russischen Armee, 1914. Berlin, 1921.

40 W.A. Suchomlinow, Erinnerungen, Berlin, 1924.

41 Gunther Frantz, Russland auf dem Wege zur Katastrophe:  Tagebücher des Grossfürsten Andrej and des Kriegsministers Poliwanow; Briefe der Grossfürsten an den Zaren, Berlin, 1926.

42 J. Daniloff, Russland im Weltkriege, 1914-1915, Jena, 1925.

43 R. Hoeniger, Russlands Vorbereitung zum Weltkrieg, Berlin, 1919.

44 G. Frantz, Russlands Eintritt in den Weltkrieg, Berlin, 1924.

45 R. Poincaré, Les Origines de la Guerre, Paris, 1921.

46 Cf. the present writer’s article, “M. Poincaré and War Responsibility,” in The New Republic, Oct. 14, 1925.

47 R. Poincaré, Au Service de la France, 4 vols., Paris, 1926-27, (abridged Eng. trans. of vols. I and II, 1926).

48 M. Paléologue, La Russie des Tsars pendant la Grande Guerre, 3 vols., Paris. 1922 (Eng. trans. 1924-26).

49 M. Paléologue, La Russie des Tsars pendant la Grande Guerre, I, 27

50 Alfred Dumaine, La Dernière Ambassade de France en Autriche, Paris, 1921.

51 Raymond Recouly, Les Heures Tragiques d’Avant-Guerre, Paris, 1923.

52 Ljuba Jovanovitch, “After Vidov-Dan, 1914,” in Krv Slovenstva, Belgrade, 1924.

53 Some of these Serbian revelations were discussed by the present writer in Current History, Oct., Nov.,1925.

54 Sir George Buchanan, My Mission to Russia and other Diplomatic Memories (2 vols., London, 1923), I, 211.

55 The Diary of Lord Bertie of Thame, 1914,-1918 (2 vols., London, 1924), 1, 2, 3, 66.

56 B.D. 129. 192.

57 Grey, I, 6.

58 Grey, I, 303, 316.

59 Grey, I, 90.

60 “Had the [Agadir] crisis led to war, this would have come at the very season that we know was favoured for the purpose by German military leaders in 1870, and that was selected for the menace to France in 1905, and that we believe was decided by the military authorities for war in 1914.”  Grey, I, 231. For other passages indicating Grey’s suspicion that the German militarists had fixed upon war for 1914, see I, 313-314;  H, 23-31, 56, 144, 278.

61 B.D., 101.

62 B.D., 510.

63 Die Grosse Politik der Europäischen Kabinette, 1871-1914:  Sammlung der Diplomatischen Akten des Auswärtigen Amtes, edited by Johannes Lepsius, Albrecht Mendelssohn-Bartholdy und Friedrich Thimme, 40 vols., Berlin, 1922-27;  cited hereafter as “G.P.”

64 A further account of Die Grosse Politik is given by the present writer in the Amer. Hist. Rev., XXVIII, 543-548;  XXX 136-141;  XXXI 130-132;  XXXIII. 126-134.  Cf also the appreciations by various scholars in KSF, IV, 900-946. Dec 1926;  the criticisms of M. Lhéritier in Rev d’Hist. de la Guerre Mondiale, IV, 97-116, April, 1926, and of E. Bourgeois in Revue Historique, CLV 39-56, May-June 1927;  and the replies to these criticisms by Albrect Mendelssohn-Batholdy and by F.Thimme in Europäische Gespräche, IV, 377-390, July, 1926, und V, 461-479, Sept., 1927 A french translation of Die Grosse Politik under the editorship of A. Aulard, in which the documents are arranged chronologically instead of topically and in which the German editorial notes are omitted, is now being published, and is discussed by F. Thimme in KSF, V, 897-907, Sept., 1927.

64a For the full titles of these recent documentary publications, see “Oe.—U.A.,” “B.D.” and “D.D.F.” in the List of Abbreviations above.

65 A.F. Pribram, Die politischen Geheimverträge Oesterreich-Ungarns, 1879-1914, Vienna and Leipzig, 1920 (Eng. trans., ed. by A.C. Coolidge, 2 vols., Cambridge, Mass., 1920-22).

66 Un Livre Noir:  Diplomatie d’Avant-Guerre d’Après les Documents des Archives Russes, ed. by R. Marchand, 2 vols., Paris, 1922-23.

67 F. Stieve, Der Diplomatische Schriftwechsel Iswolskis, 1911-1914, 4 vols., Berlin 1924.

68 B. von Siebert, Diplomatische Aktenstücke zur Geschichte der Ententepolitik der Vorkriegsjahre, Berlin and Leipzig, 1921.

69 Published in the Journal officiel, Jan 9, 1921;  republished in book form with some material from the Kautsky Documents, Paris, 1921.

70 Grey, I, 91, 274-277.

71 On these aspects of militarism, cf. H.N. Brailsford, The War of Steel and Gold, London, 1914;  Karl Liebknecht, Militarism, New York, 1917;  Munroe Smith, Militarism and Statecraft, New York, 1918;  [F.C. Endres], Die Tragödie Deutschlands 3rd ed., with abundant bibliographies, Stuttgart, 1924;  and the admirable volume of G.L. Dickinson, The International Anarchy, 1904-1914, London, 1926.

72 C.J.H. Hayes, Essays on Nationalism, New York, 1928; and “Contributions of Herder to the Doctrine of Nationalism,” in Am. Hist. Rev., XXXII, 719-736 (July, 1927).

73 For an excellent recent discussion of this whole subject, see Parker T. Moon, Imperialism and World Politics, New York, 1926;  and A. Lumbroso, Le origini economichi e diplomatichi della guerra mondiale, Milano, 1927.

74 Cf. E.M. Carroll, “French Public Opinion in the War of 1870,” in Amer. Hist. Rev., XXXI, 679-700, July, 1926;  J.F. Scott, Five Weeks:  a Study of the Surge of Public Opinion on the Eve of the Great War, New York, 1927;  I.C. Willis, How We Went into the War, London, 1918;  L.M. Salmon The Newspaper and Authority (N.Y., 1923), chs. xii-xiv;  F.R. Flournoy, Parliament and War—The Relation of the British Parliament to the Administration of Foreign Policy in Connection with the Initiation of War, London, 1927.