Monthly Archives: March 2013

Prewar Years: Ottoman Empire (Turkey)

Map of Ottoman Empire (1900) in German

Map of Ottoman Empire (1900) in German (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

In the southeast of Europe, the predominantly Muslim Ottoman Empire was still – barely – keeping a toehold in the continent. The Sublime Porte had once extended its influence throughout much of the eastern territories – in the seventeenth century, for instance, Ottoman forces had penetrated so far into Christian Europe that they had besieged Vienna – but that considerable power in Europe was now long gone. Instead, the Empire had for a century been suffering a period of slow decline. In 1798, Napoleon Bonaparte, not yet emperor of the French, had launched an “expedition” to Egypt and Syria, then Ottoman territories, with some 40,000 men, and though outnumbered and cut off from resupply and reinforcement, managed to remain there for a good three years. In particular, the French conquered Egypt, and this conquest was only ended by a combination of local revolts and British intervention; as a consequence of this, though Egypt remained nominally an Ottoman territory, in practice the administration of this vital area fell to the British. Strategically, this made sense for London, since a stronghold in the Levant would safeguard the land route to India. What this meant to the Ottoman Empire, though, was that it was now largely dependent on European – particularly British – support and charity.

Ottoman control over areas of North Africa and into the Balkan areas of southeastern Europe continued to weaken. In 1853, the Russians disputed Ottoman control of the Holy Lands of Palestine, and declared war. The resulting conflict would have devastated the Ottoman Empire, had an unlikely alliance of Britain and France not intervened, dragging the war out until 1856, when Russia finally sued for peace. As it was, the Russians had made impressive gains in the Balkans (reversed, once again, only due to expeditions by Anglo-French forces in support of the Turks), and had devastated the Ottoman fleet at the Battle of Sinop. Moreover, even though the Treaty of Paris, which ended the conflict, ostensibly tipped the balance of power firmly in the favour of the Ottoman Empire – all European powers, for instance, guaranteed the integrity of the Empire, and Russia was forbidden from militarising the Black Sea – in reality it created severe problems. Firstly, the war had demonstrated that the Empire was incapable of defending itself in the face of an opponent as powerful as Russia. Secondly, the demilitarisation of the Black Sea created a trigger between Russia and the Ottoman Empire. With no ability to station a large military force in the region, Russia felt itself to be at a severe disadvantage, and since much of Russia’s international trade revolved around commercial traffic passing into and out of the Black Sea, the ever-present worry in St. Petersburg was that, if it so felt the need or desire so to do, Turkey could close the Dardanelles and Bosphorus Straits to Russian traffic, thus strangling Russian trade. Thus, for the next several years, a key aim of Russian foreign policy was to abrogate the Treaty of Paris, and to establish some form of armed presence in the region. Russia’s hand was made all the stronger by Turkey’s willingness to allow warships from other states to enter the Straits. Finally, in 1870, Russia urged a changing of the treaty terms, choosing that moment to do so because of France’s preoccupation with its own war with Prussia/Germany. While this had no immediate consequence, the muted response from the western powers – and France’s withdrawal from the Black Sea Clauses, once Napoleon III was deposed and the Third Republic founded – demonstrated an unwillingness to defend the Ottoman Empire. When Russia once again went to war with Turkey, in 1877, neither London nor Paris jumped to Constantinople’s defence militarily, and it was only after Berlin applied diplomatic pressure to St. Petersburg that the total annihilation of the Ottoman Empire was avoided.

English: After the attack. Plevna, 1877-1878 П...

Siege of Plevna, 1877. In spite of its inherent weaknesses, the Ottoman Army managed to keep the Russians at bay. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

All these conflicts, and the state of decline, had crucial territorial, economic, and political ramifications. As the name suggests, the Ottoman Empire was an imperial power, with territories stretching beyond its core, Turkish holdings. These territories included Serbia, Montenegro, Bulgaria, Rumania, Syria, Palestine, and Egypt; Greece, which had been an Ottoman imperial state, had won its independence in the 1820s. In all of these areas, a majority of local inhabitants were ruled by a minority of Ottoman elites, installed as foreign rulers. This caused tensions on both ethnic and religious levels. During the 1877 war with Russia, for instance, the Empire found to its discomfort that the Serbians, Bulgars and Montenegrins rose up against their Ottoman rulers, managing to grasp for independence while their imperial master was in the grip of this existential crisis. In Egypt, decades of economic mismanagement led to the bankruptcy of the Khedivate there; the consequences of this were, in the first place, an uprising led by Ahmed Urabi Pasha, an Egyptian colonel who sought to overthrow the Ottoman-placed khedive and replace him with more sober leadership, and in the second place, an invasion and occupation by Britain, ostensibly at the behest of the khedive himself, in order to defeat Urabi’s forces. Britain’s true intent was likely that it wished to avoid Urabi defaulting on the massive loans extended by British banks to Egypt (in 1880, for instance, the khedive personally took a loan for some £100 million). Moreover, British investments in Egyptian infrastructure and manufacturing meant that, by 1881, the British controller-general in Cairo, Sir Auckland Colvin, sent an advisory to Prime Minister Gladstone, insisting that only through total control of Egypt could Britain guarantee returns on its massive expenditure there.

Sick man of Europe

Punch‘s depiction of the “sick man of Europe.” (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

By 1900, then, the Ottoman Empire was almost totally a spent force. Its European territory had been whittled away by war and revolution. Its North African territories, likewise, had been ceded to European powers without a fight. In 1853, Tsar Nicholas I had referred to the Empire – with which he was about to go to war – as a “sick man, a very sick man.” By the twentieth century, his words were certainly ringing true, and the Empire had acquired the unfortunate sobriquet as the “sick man of Europe”, preyed upon by would-be regional empires looking to expand their territories at Ottoman expense. Not only was the Empire weak internationally, but its modernisation was largely dependent, once more, on foreign capital. So, while Britain and France had their own heavy investments in the Ottoman Empire, Germany’s interests began to increase significantly after two German banks – Deutsche Bank, and the Württembergische Vereinsbank – formed a rail cartel in the Anatolian interior in 1888, with the intention of building a rail network; by 1903, the German government had become officially interested, and began planning in consultation with the Turkish government for what would eventually be called the Berlin-Baghdad Railway.

While the plan for the Berlin-Baghdad Railways was a boon for the flagging Ottoman economy, it also opened Constantinople to adverse attention from Britain, France, and Russia, since such a significant German presence in the Levant and Asia Minor could potentially threaten French territories in Africa, British trade routes to India, and Russian interests along the Black Sea shores. Moreover, the potential profits of the commercial aspects of the railway were almost entirely German; the Ottomans would have little to show for their concessions to Berlin.

English: Young Turk revolutionaries entering I...

Young Turks in Constantinople, 1909. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

These weaknesses soon proved too much for the internal political situation in Constantinople. In 1908, a group of secular political opponents to the authoritarian regime of the sultan, known as Committee of Union and Progress (CUP, also known as the “Young Turks”), launched a rebellion that drove them to power. Since 1839, the Empire had followed a programme of civil liberties known as the “Tanzimat Reforms.” These aimed to integrate non-Turkish subjects into the Empire through the extension of rights, thus creating a broadly supportive population. In practice, Tanzimat was rarely achieved, but the fact that the Empire had a public declaration of the granting of rights to non-Turkish non-Muslims was important. The Young Turks, however, advocated a “Turkification” of the Empire, and a racial homogenisation – in essence, jettisoning the liberal elements of Tanzimat. In particular, this brought the CUP into conflict with the large population of ethnic Armenian Christians in the east of the empire. This ethnic struggle had been an ongoing source of unrest for many decades; between 1894 and 1896, a series of ethnic cleansing massacres undertaken by the Ottoman Army had resulted in the deaths of approximately 100,000 Armenians, and had helped foster the growth of the Hunchak and Dashnak Armenian revolutionary organisations, which saw themselves naturally aligned to Russia and its client population of Armenians. The Young Turk Revolution was all too briefly a cause for optimism among the Armenian population, since it removed Sultan Abdul Hamid II, who had presided over the 1890s massacres. However, this optimism was soon shown to be misplaced. As we shall see, the fate of the Armenians in the Ottoman Empire during the First World War acted as a blueprint for some of the worst crimes of the later twentieth century, as well as being an act of profound barbarity in its own right.

The seizure of power of the CUP may have been greeted with some joy by Ottoman subjects who despaired at the weakening of their state, but it did not arrest the downward spiral. In September 1911, Italy, hoping to expand its influence in the Mediterranean, launched an invasion of the Ottoman provinces of Tripolitania, Cyrenaica, and Fezzan. Though costly, the campaign was a successful one for the Italians, and within a year they had captured all of what then became Libya, as well as the Dodecanese Islands. This humiliating defeat only encouraged the small Balkan countries, which formed the so-called Balkan League, and jointly declared war on the Ottoman Empire on 8 October 1912. Once more, the Ottomans were defeated militarily, in spite of a coup of army officers hoping to spark a more vigorous war effort. The Ottomans lost nearly every remaining scrap of territory in Europe to the volatile Balkan states of Bulgaria, Rumania, and Serbia; when, in June 1913, Bulgaria felt aggrieved at its lack of gains from its victorious campaign, and declared war on its own allies, the Empire was able to recover the province of Eastern Thrace.

Constantinople from the Sea

Constantinople, capital of the Ottoman Empire, and regarded as a jewel of civilisation – in spite of the state’s major weaknesses. (Photo credit: paukrus)

By 1914, none of the great powers was in a more parlous state than the Ottoman Empire. In the space of three years, it had suffered three wars, and had been bested by supposedly inferior states. Riven with ethnic tensions and largely bankrupt, Constantinople had to increasingly rely on aid from the other European powers. As a result, the task of modernising the Ottoman Army and Navy had to be left to foreigners. Most notably, the reorganisation of the Ottoman Navy fell under the auspices of Admiral Limpus of the Royal Navy, while the army became the responsibility of the German Lieutenant-General Otto Liman von Sanders, who arrived in 1913. Of these, the most influential, arguably, was Sanders, who worked closely with Enver Pasha, the Ottoman minister for war and former military attaché to Berlin. Coupled with Berlin’s Baghdad Railway project, this indicated that Constantinople had begun gravitating towards Berlin’s sphere of influence.

Limping into the twentieth century, the Ottoman Empire faced an interminable decline. Threatened not simply by fellow great powers, but even incapable of defending its territories from small, upstart, ambitious states, it also suffered from profound internal divisions, and a reliance on other states, particularly Germany. With the decline also came a political fatalism, though. Indeed, within the circle of pashas in Constantinople it was increasingly believed that, in order for the Empire to survive, it would soon be forced to assert itself drastically. It was not at all clear, however, where it would do so, or how.


Further reading

  • Ahmad, Feroz. The Young Turks: The Committee of Union and Progress in Turkish Politics, 1908-1914. Oxford. Clarendon Press. 1969.

  • Ahmad, Feroz. “War and Society under the Young Turks, 1908-18.” Review 11, 2 (Spring 1998): 265-286.

  • Geyikdagi, V. Necla. Foreign Investment in the Ottoman Empire: International Trade and Relations in the Late Nineteenth Century. London. Taurus. 2011.
  • Hanioglu, M. Sükrü. Preparation for a Revolution: The Young Turks, 1902-1908. New York. Oxford University Press. 2001.

  • Kansu, Aykut. The Revolution of 1908 in Turkey. Leiden. E.J. Brill. 1997.

  • Kent, Marian (ed.) The Great Powers and the End of the Ottoman Empire. London. Allen & Unwin. 1984.

  • McMeekin, Sean. The Berlin-Baghdad Express: The Ottoman Empire and Germany’s Bid for World Power. Cambridge, Mass. Belknap Press. 2010.

  • McMurray, Jonathan S. Distant Ties: Germany, the Ottoman Empire and the Construction of the Baghdad Railway. Westport. Praeger. 2001.

  • Medlicott, William Norton. The Congress of Berlin and After: A Diplomatic History of Near-East Settlement, 1878-1880. London. Frank Cass. 1963.

  • Quataert, Donald. The Ottoman Empire, 1700-1922. Cambridge. Cambridge University Press. 2005.

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Prewar Years: Germany

The newest and most precocious of the great powers was Germany. At the turn of the century, the country was not yet 30 years old, but in that time it had achieved a great deal. Germany was, however, insecure in its position as a great power, and sought to catch up to its rivals in Europe, in terms of military power, overseas holdings, and economic prowess – not to mention, world influence. This obsession with staking its own “place in the sun” would have serious consequences.

Benz Patented Motorwagon with Karl Benz and Be...

Karl Benz’s Motorwagen. The motor industry was a symbol of German industrial prowess at the turn of the century. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

By 1900, Germany’s was the fastest-growing industrial base in the world. The unification of Germany in 1871 had opened up all of the constituent states to a pooling of resources, which had had favourable consequences for most. The Kingdom of Württemberg, in the southwest, had been resource-poor and mostly agrarian before 1871. Afterwards, however, Württemberg became an industrial powerhouse, hosting the Benz automobile manufactories, the Esslingen Machine Factory (the single largest builder of locomotives in Germany), and other important firms. Elsewhere, the Krupp Steel Works in Essen were the world’s largest producer of artillery pieces. The same was true of many of the other states; the sum of this was that Germany had become highly modern and efficient in its manufacturing sectors. Germany also had one of the most concentrated and efficient rail networks in Europe, and had discovered through experience the great trade and military advantages this afforded. The German General Staff, which oversaw procurement and strategy for the German Army (Kaiserheer) and Navy (Kaiserliche Marine), was a highly professional organisation unlike any other in Europe. Within Germany, too, was a representational political system attached to a semi-constitutional democracy that, while subject to strong monarchical powers, was becoming robust and progressive.

English: Berlin, memorial to Otto von Bismarck...

The Reichstag, or parliament of Germany. In spite of Germany’s authoritarian reputation, democratic representation was a relatively strong force in the young German Empire. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The Sozialdemokratische Partei Deutschlands (SPD, or Social Democrats), campaigning on a ticket of workers’ rights and social justice, was the largest socialist party in the world, having been decriminalised at the beginning of the century. The SPD’s involvement in politics, though not popular with the national elites, aristocracy, and the Junker class of landed gentry, was tolerated, and as a result a wider proportion of the population was actively engaged in politics. With the rise in socialist reform and engagement came an isolation of the traditional, discriminatory parties. Antisemitic parties, which had sprung up on nationalist tickets in the early 1890s, were a spent force by 1900, and by 1914 had little or no representation in the Reichstag. Anti-discrimination laws were enacted by the Reichstag itself, and were constantly updated. In general – and in spite of the later interpretations of historians such as Volker Berghahn and Hans-Ulrich Wehler, who saw Germany’s involvement in the First World War as the desperate act of a government under siege at home – Germans were content with their governance and the direction of their society.

All this was meritorious. But Germany now lacked the leadership of Otto von Bismarck, the Prussian statesman who had led the country to unification, and who had crafted Germany’s intricate foreign policy until his dismissal in 1890. His replacements were a succession of capable politicians – Leo von Caprivi, Chlodwig zu Hohenlohe-Schillingfürst, Bernhard von Bülow, and Theobald von Bethmann-Hollweg – who nonetheless lacked the political acumen or ruthlessness of the Iron Chancellor. Worse, while Bismarck had often been given free reign over foreign and domestic policy by Germany’s first Kaiser, Wilhelm I, his successors were saddled with Wilhelm II, the first Kaiser’s nephew, who was less politically astute and more given to adventure and risk. Wilhelm’s interest in warships and colonies, moreover, neatly dovetailed with his retinue of Colonial Office officials and Naval Ministry admirals. However, it also fed the fears of both Britain and France; Britain worried about threats to its overseas empire, and thus to its global economic hegemony, and France, in perpetual fear of the Germans, became naturally concerned when its neighbour announced its intent to flex its imperial muscles and build a powerful fleet. In 1898, Admiral Alfred von Tirpitz presented the Kaiser with a plan to expand the navy, with the ultimate goal being to build a fleet two-thirds the size of the Royal Navy. This would place Germany in an undisputed second place in terms of fleet power, vastly overshadowing France.

Furst Bismarck -- Germ.  (LOC)

The German battlecruiser SMS Fürst Bismarck was the Kaiserliche Marine‘s first heavy cruiser. Like most others, the Fürst Bismarck was rendered obsolete by the arrival of the HMS Dreadnought in 1906. (Photo credit: The Library of Congress)

Two issues of this fleet-building exercise alarmed London. Firstly, it was conceived of with specific reference to Britain. Tirpitz’s plan measured German power against British power, and the Admiralty in London inevitably came to the conclusion that this meant that the Germans wished for a fleet that could rival Britain’s. Indeed, even though Tirpitz conceded that Britain would still have the larger navy, it was presumed that the makeup of the Royal Navy would still be of a significant number of obsolescent ships, while the Kaiserliche Marine would be made up of only the newest and most advanced vessels. Secondly, while the Naval Ministry in Berlin insisted that their new ships were primarily built to safeguard the small but growing German overseas empire in Africa and the Pacific, a simple overview of the plans at the shipbuilding yards proved the lie in these assurances. The vessels coming off the slipways in Hamburg and Kiel lacked longterm crew dormitory accommodation, indicating that they were intended to be at sea only for short stints. Logically, this could only mean that the principal German battle fleet was being designed and built to fight in the North Sea, close to home ports, rather than in the faraway Pacific Ocean. And, if Germany expected to fight in the North Sea, its expected foes could only be the French Navy and the Royal Navy.

In response to these alarming developments, Britain began a massive shipbuilding effort of its own. Once the Dreadnought launched in 1906, the Germans were forced to revise their battleship designs, since British technology now outstripped anything the Kaiserliche Marine could field. Worse for the Germans, the British were so concerned by Berlin’s intentions that they revised their defensive plans in 1905; now, the Royal Navy had a concrete plan, if war were to eventuate between the two countries, to blockade German sea ports and thus starve the country of imports. In the event, the Anglo-German Naval Arms Race ended in 1912, with a resounding British victory. The Germans could not hope to build a fleet to rival Britain’s, simply because Britain would not permit it. Yet, by attempting so to do, Tirpitz and Wilhelm had challenged Britain on the very issue – sea power – upon which British power was based. Britain could not afford to ignore this. So, while Germany attempted to aggrandise itself in naval affairs, it served mostly to antagonise the most powerful naval force on the globe.

Baghdad Railway train, circa 1910

A German-built train on the Berlin-Baghdad Railway, ca.1910. The railway was a symbol of German financial influence and Berlin’s friendship with Constantinople, but it largely came about because of German diplomatic failures and the loss of Russia as an ally. In any case, it never actually reached Berlin. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Another problem with the post-Bismarckian Germany was that the system of alliances that had been developed by Bismarck was permitted to lapse. In 1873, for example, Bismarck had formed the League of Three Emperors. This was a treaty between the German, Russian, and Austrian Empires, and served as, at the very least, a non-aggression pact. This league had dissolved in 1885, after Russia and Austria-Hungary found themselves with competing interests in the Balkans during the Serbo-Bulgarian War. Even so, Bismarck had been able to secure the partnership of Austria-Hungary with Germany (along with Italy), in the Triple Alliance of 1882, and in 1887 he crafted yet another alliance with Russia – the Reinsurance Treaty. Thus, Germany acted as a mediator; while Austria and Russia were no longer bound to each other by treaty, they were both tied to Germany, and Germany therefore had a prominent bloc of friendly states in Europe. In 1890, however, Wilhelm II refused to renew the Reinsurance Treaty. One of the concessions to be made to Russia was that Russia would be given access and rights to the Dardanelles, and Wilhelm feared that this guarantee would anger the British. Therefore, he reneged. Ironically, this permitted France, Germany’s eternal enemy, to make the same guarantee to Russia, and form its own alliance with the eastern giant. To compensate, Wilhelm attempted to court the Ottoman Empire (Russia’s perennial foe in the south), and also tried to keep Italy in the Triple Alliance. Neither of these were commensurate to the loss of Russian patronage, though; Turkey, the “sick man of Europe”, had been in decline for decades, and was poised to lose all influence in the Balkans. It was riven with sectarian and ethnic conflicts. And, while Germany was able to gain some key concessions, such as the private funding of the Berlin-Baghdad Railway or the seconding of General Liman von Sanders to reorganise the Ottoman Army, these had consequences. Britain and France, it should be remembered, also had enormous financial interests in the Ottoman Empire, and Britain had taken charge of the Ottoman Navy’s modernisation, so the economic and military gains enjoyed by Germany were hardly exclusive. Worse, the appearance of German capital and soldiers in Turkey concerned Britain in particular, which worried about its own interests there. As far as Italy was concerned, it was neither a powerful state nor a reliable one, as Germany would find to its discomfort in 1914.

Thus, German foreign policy at the turn of the century left much to be desired. German attempts to gain economic or territorial ascendency concerned the French, who were already poorly disposed towards their neighbour. But Germany’s actions also caused alarm in Britain, and had the effect of further forcing Britain into the French camp, while Germany hoped that the British would, at the very least, remain a neutral force in Europe. Worse, Germany jettisoned its friendship with Russia in favour of relations with Russia’s enemy, the Ottoman Empire, which was hardly a decent substitute. Moreover, this breakdown of relations between Berlin and St. Petersburg left the way clear for Paris, which, concluding treaties with Russia, therefore maintained a bloc that surrounded Germany. So, while Wilhelm had intended to strengthen Germany’s hand, he had actually made his empire far more vulnerable, with enemies to both the east and west, and with only weak or unreliable allies on whom to count.

One of the most profound and far-reaching consequences of this was that Germany focused more and more on its relationship with the Austro-Hungarian Empire. Austria-Hungary was Germany’s only dependable ally on the continent, and as a result Berlin keenly felt the need to support its southern ally in any diplomatic squabble. In March 1912, Raymond Poincaré had noted to his Russian opposite number, Izvolsky, that a conflict between Russia and Austria-Hungary “would constitute a casus foederis for the Austro-German alliance.” Later, as the July Crisis of 1914 devolved into war, Chancellor von Bethmann-Hollweg insisted that, if Germany had not backed Austria-Hungary in its ultimatum to Serbia (which he must surely have known might necessitate war with Russia), Germany’s inaction would have been an act of “self-castration.” Indeed, though Berlin often viewed Vienna as impulsive and impetuous in its dealings with other countries, such a profound feeling existed that Germany must support its single friend at any cost, that Wilhelm was compelled in July 1914 to issue a “Blank Cheque” to Austria, an assurance that, whatever Austria chose to do in its dealings with Serbia, Germany would guarantee its support and security. The ramifications of this action were to be catastrophic for Europe and the world.

English: Triangle of three emperors, Mysłowice...

Bismarck’s foreign policy aim had been to keep Russia, Germany, and Austria-Hungary united to isolate France diplomatically. However, Germany’s unwillingness to antagonise Britain led it to jettison Russia (Nicholas II pictured at left), leaving Wilhelm II (centre) with just Franz Josef (right) as a dependable European ally. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

One final point should be made about Germany’s relations with other states during this period. Berlin has often been castigated in the historiography of the post-1918 (and, indeed, post-1945) world for provoking its rivals. To the Hamburg historian Fritz Fischer, writing in the 1960s, Germany’s actions in the intervening years between the beginning of the century and the outbreak of the war constituted nothing less than a “Griff nach der Weltmacht”, or a grasp at world supremacy. Instead, Germany’s actions during this time should perhaps be viewed as reactive, rather than provocative. In both 1905 and 1911, during the Moroccan Crises, Germany was arguably not at fault. Indeed, in both cases, it was France that had overstepped its mandate in North Africa, and certainly in 1911 France’s reaction to the arrival of the decrepit Panther was so hysterical as to be high farce. Germany’s continued, unequivocal support for Austria-Hungary was largely dictated by a necessity, since both France and Russia had concluded arguably hostile treaties of their own. Germany’s attempt to build a navy that might rival the British was, of course, its right, but the way it went about doing so caused such concern in London that it forced the British to gravitate towards the Franco-Russian Alliance. None of these were engineered in Berlin, but the key theme was one of naïveté. To force the French hand in Morocco on both occasions would have required British support, but Britain, as isolationist as it was, would hardly have threatened its cordial relations with France over such an obscure and irrelevant territory. Moreover, it seems likely that no one in Berlin recognised that the British would be threatened by Germany’s naval rearmament – and, certainly, once the Naval Arms Race had begun, neither power could easily back down. Finally, Germany’s inability to find a way to deal with the Russians opened the possibility of encirclement, which terrified German policymakers. Thus, as of 1914, Germany experienced a period of paralysing self-doubt, which was largely of its own making. And, when Austria faced a situation in which it required German support, the Germans were quick to provide it, perhaps without totally understanding that that support could spark off a general European war.


Further reading

  • Berghahn, Volker R. Imperial Germany 1871-1918. Economy, Society, Culture and Politics. New York. Berghahn. 2005.

  • Clark, Christopher. Iron Kingdom: The Rise and Downfall of Prussia 1600-1947. London. Penguin. 2007.
  • Conrad, Sebastian. German Colonialism: A Short History. Cambridge. Cambridge University Press. 2012.

  • Craig, Gordon A. Germany 1866-1945. New York. Oxford University Press. 1978.

  • Eley, Geoff, and Retallack, James (eds.) Wilhelminism and its Legacies: German Modernities, Imperialism, and the Meanings of Reform, 1890-1930. New York. Berghahn. 2004.

  • Evans, Robert John Weston, and Standmann, Hartmut Pogge von (eds.) The Coming of the First World War. Oxford. Clarendon Press. 1988.

  • Hagen, William W. German History in Modern Times: Four Lives of the Nation. Cambridge. Cambridge University Press. 2012.

  • Mommsen, Wolfgang J. Imperial Germany 1867-1918: Politics, Culture and Society in an Authoritarian State. London. Arnold. 1997.

  • Steinberg, Jonathan. Yesterday’s Deterrent: Tirpitz and the Birth of the German Battle Fleet. New York. Macmillan. 1966.

  • Wehler, Hans-Ulrich. The German Empire, 1871-1918. Leamington Spa. Berg. 1985.

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Prewar Years: France

An unwillingness to be involved in Europe was not a consideration for the French government. Indeed, it could be argued that, whereas British problems largely stemmed from malaise and inaction, French weaknesses were exacerbated by a certain bias for action. The end result of this was that, to some degree, we can point to France as the instigator of many of the dangers that began to circle Europe on the eve of the First World War.

France entered the twentieth century in yet another of its episodic periods of unrest and upheaval. The Third Republic was neither loved nor respected, as it had been formed in 1871 upon the defeat of the Second Empire at the hands of the Prusso-German forces during the Franco-Prussian War. Thus, the Republic was born of a chaotic period of humiliation, not just in military terms, but also in terms of territorial loss. As reparations for France’s role in the war against it, Germany had, in 1871, annexed the French provinces of Alsace and Lorraine (Elsaß and Lothringen), including the important cities of Strasbourg, Mülhausen, and Metz. Restoration of the two provinces became the rallying cry of French honour, and a thorny issue for decades was that the Republic was unable to build France up to challenge Germany for their return. Indeed, by the turn of the century, German industry was outstripping French quite considerably, and the German population was growing nearly twice as fast. French art at the time, typified by the works of Alphonse de Neuville, emphasised the hopeless situation in which France found itself; Neuville’s paintings usually depicted heroic, yet doomed, last stands of French soldiers during the Franco-Prussian War.


Alsace-Lorraine/Elsaß-Lothringen. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

In order to mitigate the growing threat on its eastern border, France sought to isolate Germany. To that end, in 1894 the Quai d’Orsay signed the Franco-Russian Alliance into the statutes; this united Russia and France in a military treaty designed to surround the Germans and thus cause them to remain passive. Ultimately, Paris hoped that the alliance would permit it to reoccupy Alsace-Lorraine, reversing the humiliation of 1871.

Yet the Franco-Russian Alliance was a dangerous move for Paris. For one, it demonstrated a clear, hostile intent against Germany, which Berlin would not necessarily countenance. Overt belligerence was also likely to alienate the British who, though avoiding continental affairs, still held dynastic ties with Germany, and were not about to permit another Europe-wide conflagration. Of immediate concern, though, were the terms that made the treaty so attractive to the Russians. Russia had long coveted the Bosphorus and Dardanelles Strait, which permitted entry to the Mediterranean from the Black Sea. Russian access to the Straits, however, was regulated by the 1878 Treaty of Berlin, since Russian control was seen as an intolerable threat to Ottoman national security (the Bosphorus, of course, bisecting the Turkish capital, Constantinople.) Any negotiation permitting Russian control of the Straits would therefore enrage the Ottoman government. So, too, would it once more anger the British, whose financial investments in Turkey – and holdings in India – would be threatened by the prospects of the Russian Navy’s Black Sea Fleet being able to break out of the Black Sea. Furthermore, France itself had invested heavily in Ottoman infrastructure; a threat to the Ottoman Empire by Russia, facilitated by France, would therefore directly endanger France’s balance of payments.

It was this schizophrenic approach to foreign affairs that largely defined France throughout the early years of the twentieth century. This, too, was the result of a curious disconnection and divestment of power among French policy-makers. Supposedly, foreign policy was to be crafted at the Centrale, the French version of Britain’s Foreign Office, or Germany’s Auswärtiges Amt. In practice, however, French governments were notoriously short-lived, and foreign ministers barely had time to install themselves in their offices before they were dismissed. As a result, a succession of top diplomats, all with differing agendas, entered the Centrale. None of them stayed long enough to have a direct bearing on events. Because of this, foreign policy was often divested to the ambassadors and consuls in the various cities of Europe. That is to say, junior diplomats would privately negotiate their own deals with their host states, without direction from Paris. This often led to wildly divergent policy. Between 1910 and 1914, for instance, the French ambassadors to Germany and Britain, Jules and Paul Cambon, advocated French rapprochement with Germany, arguing that nothing favourable could come of alienating Germany. Often, however, they were contradicted by their compatriots in St. Petersburg or at home, in Paris. At the same time that Jules Cambon was assuring the Germans, in 1912, that France had no ill will towards Berlin, in Paris his new superior, Raymond Poincaré, was announcing that France would do everything within its power – including going to war – to return Alsace-Lorraine.

Another effect of this decentralised diplomacy was that, when the Centrale did make policy, it often endangered other French diplomatic efforts. The Franco-Russian Alliance, for instance, jeopardised the enormous French loans to Constantinople. In 1912, at the same time that France was preaching calm in the Balkans and attempting to defuse Austrian agitation against Serbia, Paris also approved a rearmaments loan to Belgrade that was the equivalent of twice the value of Serbia’s entire annual budget. In large parts, France also encouraged Russia to follow its aspirations to unite the Slavic people of the Balkans, while also providing assurances to Austria-Hungary and its client states that it was not doing so. Meanwhile, despite the incompetence of the Centrale, which nearly brought France to war with Britain over Fashoda, the astonishing work of Jules Cambon’s brother Paul in London led to the signing of the Entente Cordiale, an agreement between the two empires, in 1904. Ultimately, this would resolve into the Triple Entente, between France, Britain, and Russia, signed in 1907.

The agreements with Britain and Russia, both formerly enemies but arguably, in their own rights, the most powerful states in Europe, gave France a new confidence in European affairs. Depending on one’s interpretation, this either led to a new lease of self-assurance, or else of reckless aggression. In a series of diplomatic gambles, the French threatened Germany with war, knowing that Berlin was unready and supposing that its new allies would support it; in fact, the entente agreements were merely understandings rather than alliances, and the Centrale presumed a great deal. In 1905, for example, Kaiser Wilhelm II visited Morocco, formerly an Ottoman province but now (nominally) independent, albeit under French protection. The German emperor called for an international conference, in which he would announce his support for total Moroccan sovereignty, and insisted that the French should withdraw their influence from the region. In response, the Centrale, under Foreign Minister Theóphile Delcassé, threatened war. The French Army mobilised along the German border. Ultimately, though, Delcassé’s premier refused to risk armed conflict, though at the resulting conference the French were supported in their claims by Britain, and Germany was forced to back down.

Six years later, Morocco again became a flashpoint, after the French deployed significant numbers of troops to “safeguard” their interests in the country. Seeing this as a breach of the treaty terms from 1905, the Germans sent a warship, the SMS Panther, to Agadir, as a symbolic show of force. Once more, France threatened war, declaring the German ship to be a hostile influence. In fact, the Panther was a decrepit, pre-Dreadnought cruiser, due to be scrapped; even so, the French arguments swayed the British into pressuring Berlin to back down.

Gen. Joseph Joffre - The French Commander-in-C...

Joseph Joffre, commander-in-chief of the French Army.(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The belligerent French responses to these admittedly provocative acts by the Germans were the worrying result of an extraordinary rise to power of the French Army’s General Staff, under the leadership of General Joseph Joffre. The Centrale’s position in French policy-making was somewhat erratic, owing to the strangely weak and changeable nature of French government; Poincaré, who wrecked the Cambon brothers’ attempts at mediation with the Germans, was one of the longer-lived of the French foreign ministers, but even he lasted only a few days longer than one year in the role. The army leadership, on the other hand, was a steady constant. By outlasting every one of the ministers who supposedly had oversight over him, Joffre was able, in his own right, to fashion and influence policy himself. Joffre had been a young officer when Paris was besieged by the Germans in 1871, and thereafter had served as a military engineer in French overseas colonies, where the solution to most threats to French rule was the use of overwhelming force. With a background in a new cult of the offensive, Joffre saw military power as the only guarantee of foreign policy. Thus, French policy – certainly between 1900 and 1914 – centred largely on rearmament and bolstering France’s would-be allies in the event of a war with Germany. It was French money, for instance, that financed Russian Prime Minister Sergei Witte’s Trans-Siberian Railway, designed from the outset to shuttle large numbers of troops rapidly from one end of the country to the other. As we have seen, France financed Serbia’s massive rearmament, which would surely bring it into conflict with Austria-Hungary, Germany’s single reliable ally on the continent. This was precisely the point. To Joffre, war with Germany was an inevitability, but it was a fight that France could not win by itself. Thus, France needed to guarantee that, in the event of war, it would be supported. But by whom? It was unlikely that a war confined to the west would bring Russia into play, and Joffre’s plan to give the French a strategic advantage in the west – named Plan XVI – involved invading Belgium to get to Germany’s industrialised Ruhr Valley. If this were to happen, the least France could expect was that Britain would renege on any defensive agreement with France, since Britain had guaranteed Belgian neutrality. At worst, it might compel the British to declare war on France. Thus, Plan XVI was unworkable, but this would place the French at a severe disadvantage.

If, however, the Balkan region was the trigger of the conflict, then Russia would almost certainly enter the war, given its interests in the area, and its guarantees to Serbia. Thus, if Joffre’s “inevitable” conflict required that France have a dependable ally, France’s best hope was to militarise a region – namely the Balkans – in which Russia had vested interests.

Thus, the French Republic entered the twentieth century in a position of serious insecurity. The fragility of governments led to a multivocal diplomatic system which did not easily permit longterm agreements to be created. Yet there were some constants in French decision-making. One was that Germany was the eternal enemy, and the recovery of Alsace-Lorraine was a preoccupation of most of the successive governments. Most French officials believed that this would require another war with Germany, but they were also keenly aware that France would be incapable of defeating Germany by itself. France thus allied with Russia, and came to an agreement with Britain. These agreements, however, were themselves weak and often counter to other French policy. The one, clear direction provided by anyone in power in France was given by Joseph Joffre, commander-in-chief of the French Army, and arguably, it was this direction that contributed, to a great degree, to the rising, simmering tensions that threatened to boil over – and would do so in 1914.


Further reading

  • Andrew, Christopher. Théophile Delcassé and the Making of the Entente Cordiale: A Reappraisal of French Foreign Policy, 1898-1905. New York. St. Martin’s Press. 1968.

  • Fitzpatrick, Matthew P. (ed.) Liberal Imperialism in Europe. Basingstoke. Palgrave Macmillan. 2012.

  • Hayne, M.B. The French Foreign Office and the Origins of the First World War 1898-1914. Oxford. Clarendon Press. 1993.
  • Hovde, Brynjolf J. “French Socialism and the Triple Entente, 1893-1914.” Journal of Political Economy 34, 4 (August 1926): 458-478.

  • Keiger, John F. V. France and the Origins of the First World War. New York. St. Martin’s Press. 1983.
  • Williamson, Samuel R. The Politics of Grand Strategy: Britain and France Prepare for War, 1904-1914. Cambridge. Harvard University Press. 1969.

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Prewar Years: Great Britain

English: The World in 1897. "The British ...

The world in 1897. The territories coloured pink belonged to the British Empire. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Arguably the most influential of all the great powers was the British Empire. Despite its relatively small population, Britain had been able to expand across the globe, with direct or indirect rule of over a quarter of the landmass of the globe, stretching to Canada, Australasia, the Subcontinent, and various African colonies. In order to maintain this influence, Britain relied upon its preponderant position in global finance, as well as the Royal Navy. Britain had been the first industrial power, and, by dint of imperial control, had access to the greatest wealth of natural resources, including precious metals, cotton and linen, coal, oil, and fine gemstones. In turn, the Bank of England, which was semi-autonomous from the government, nonetheless acted as a de facto arm of British foreign policy. During the late 1890s, for example, Britain largely bankrolled the infrastructure modernisation projects of the Ottoman Empire, in return for expanded influence within the Sublime Porte’s Middle Eastern holdings. Britain’s control of Egypt (and, more specifically, the Suez Canal) meant that it regulated shipping that wished to bypass the Horn of Africa. British money also assisted Japanese rearmament at the beginning of the century, and would later bolster the French and Russians.

While British finance was largely responsible for the creation of British control around the world, this control was maintained by the Royal Navy. Since its defeat of the Spanish Armada in 1588, and its exploits during the Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars of 1789-1815, the British Royal Navy had built a reputation as the most formidable naval force in the world. This position was no idle boast; by 1914, the Royal Navy’s ranks included some 209,000 men – nearly 250% more than that of its nearest rival, the Imperial German Navy, as well as double the number of ships. This force was vital in order to defend Britain’s overseas territories; to that end, RN ships could be found, at any given moment, in every ocean around the world. In addition, under the leadership of First Sea Lord Admiral Baron John Fisher (better known as “Jacky” Fisher), the navy underwent a massive modernisation programme in the mid-1900s, culminating in the scrapping or sale of some 150 ships to free up funds for newer vessels. Fisher’s brainchild, the HMS Dreadnought, put to sea in 1906.

English: Photograph of British battleship HMS ...

HMS Dreadnought, Jacky Fisher’s pet project, rendered all other battleships obsolete when it was launched in 1906. It sparked a new phase in the Anglo-German Naval Arms Race. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Dreadnought was the first of a new type of battleship: heavily armoured, armed only with large-calibre guns to deliver massive amounts of firepower, and powered by steam turbines that propelled her at an unprecedented 21 knots. At a stroke, the Dreadnought rendered all other battleships in any fleet obsolete. This technical advantage, added to the construction expertise of Britain’s great shipbuilding yards, meant that the Royal Navy could clearly argue that, on the eve of war in 1914, it was not only the largest navy in the world, but also the most advanced.

For all this, however, Britain was uneasy with its obligations as a world power. Since the end of the Napoleonic Wars in 1815, Britain had been a participant in the so-called “Concert of Europe.” This idea held that, in order to maintain peace and avoid another war on the scale of that wrought by Napoleon, a balance of power should be held between the European great powers. What this meant in theory was that these great powers (here being Britain, France, Russia, Prussia, Austria, and the Ottoman Empire) would hold their positions and not attempt to gain more geopolitical power. If one were to do so, it would be incumbent upon the other powers to find some means of compensation. In this way, no one power or bloc would gain an advantage over another, thus mitigating the chances of war.

In practice, however, Britain ignored the Concert of Europe. Indeed, its foreign policy at this time was one of “splendid isolationism”, arguing that it should not entangle itself in European continental affairs. On a handful of occasions, it had bent or broken its own rule. In 1839, Britain signed the Treaty of London, in which it guaranteed the territorial sovereignty of the newly-formed Kingdom of Belgium. By doing so, Whitehall had promised that, if Belgium were to be attacked by another country, Britain would act as Belgium’s protector. More directly, in order to safeguard its investments in Ottoman Turkey, London had sided with Constantinople and Paris in 1853 after Russia launched a campaign against the Ottoman Empire, thereby sparking the 30 month-long Crimean War. Britain had courted controversy during the Boer War in South Africa, when its war against the Boer settlers (i.e. of Dutch background) caused considerable unease in both the Netherlands and Germany. And, in 1898, British forces in Egypt intercepted a French expedition along the Nile at Fashoda, nearly sparking a war between the two colonial powers. But, in general, if London saw an issue as a purely European affair, it took great pains to stay out of it as much as possible. In spite of French appeals for assistance in 1870, for instance, Britain remained assiduously neutral as the Prussian Army beat the forces of Napoleon III, in a war that led to the formation of united Germany. Britain also kept silent during France’s war with Austria in 1859 over the independence of Italy, and in Austria’s ill-fated war with Prussia in 1866.

Britain’s malaise regarding the European balance of power had largely come about as an unintended consequence of its own expansion. In particular, Britain became preoccupied with two areas of its empire: India and, increasingly, Ireland.

India was the British Empire’s “jewel in the crown.” With its massive stores of expensive spices, dyes and precious metals, the British Raj was one of the major reasons why the British economy was in such a dominant position at the turn of the century. Britain held a monopoly on the Subcontinent, and this was only enhanced by India’s enormous population, which could be employed to work for British interests at little expense. Yet it was this importance that made India the weak point in the Empire. Britain had often been forced to act when it felt India was threatened; its support of the Ottomans during the Crimean War was also predicated on the assumption that, were Russia to defeat Turkey, it would be able to secure a land route to threaten India. Furthermore, while much of the Indian population was largely compliant, there was a nascent but growing movement for independence. British rule had been strengthened after the mutiny of the Indian sepoy regiments in 1857, but the British presence in India stood at roughly 200,000, compared to a native Indian population of some 300 million.

English: British India. Corpses of famine vict...

Victims of the Indian Famine. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Discontent was exacerbated by British economic policies that were founded principally on exploitation. In many cases, overenthusiastic British exports of food from India led to terrible shortages among the native populations. In 1899, for example, a largely avoidable famine cost the lives of up to 10 million Indians. This, coupled with the discriminatory and often brutal legal position of the natives, and their marginalisation in society, led to festering resentment, and the slow rise of Indian nationalist or religious particularist movements.

The matter was even more acute in Ireland. Ireland had been part of the British Empire since the sixteenth century, but had been the centre of a relatively strong resistance movement since Oliver Cromwell’s bloody genocidal campaigns there in the seventeenth century. By the twentieth century, Ireland had become a dangerous powder-keg on Britain’s doorstep, and Whitehall was acutely preoccupied with the question of whether Ireland could be granted home rule (i.e. autonomy within the Empire). Adding to the urgency of reform debate was the emergence of Irish nationalist armies, such as the Irish Republican Army (IRA), as well as the Land Wars of the late 1800s; these were waged by Irish reformists who hoped for fairer distribution of land and goods, since British rule and trade priorities had resulted in numerous famines in Ireland, most recently the Great Famine of 1845-1849, which halved the Irish population.

Italiano: Il Ministro degli Esteri britannico ...

Sir Edward Grey, British foreign secretary. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The sum total of all this was that, by 1900, Britain had largely marginalised itself from European politics. This was reinforced by the tenure of Sir Edward Grey as Foreign Secretary. As Britain’s chief diplomat, Grey outlasted two cabinets, and served as Foreign Secretary for an unprecedented 11 years. Grey, as the only continuous element in British affairs in these crucial years, introduced a predictability to the British Foreign Office; Britain would focus on its internal affairs and those of the dominions, rather than on its supposed position as a European power. This, then, meant for two key characteristics of British foreign policy. Firstly, it was clear that Britain would act if and when it felt that its own predominance was threatened. Secondly, and perhaps more importantly, it created an expectation amongst Britain’s would-be rivals that Britain was unwilling to involve itself in any continental affairs.


Further reading

  • Clark, Christopher. The Sleepwalkers: How Europe Went to War in 1914. London. Allen Lane. 2012.

  • Hinsley, F. Harry (ed.) British Foreign Policy under Sir Edward Grey. Cambridge. Cambridge University Press. 1977.

  • James, Lawrence. The Rise & Fall of the British Empire. London. Abacus. 2005.

  • Kennedy, Paul M. The Rise of Anglo-German Antagonism, 1860-1914. London. Allen & Unwin. 1980.

  • Kennedy, Paul M. The Realities behind Diplomacy: Background Influences on British External Policy, 1865-1980. London. Allen & Unwin. 1981.

  • Metcalf, Thomas R. Ideologies of the Raj. Cambridge. Cambridge University Press. 1994.

  • Steiner, Zara. The Foreign Office and Foreign Policy, 1898-1914. Cambridge. Cambridge University Press. 1969.

  • Steiner, Zara. Britain and the Origins of the First World War. New York. St. Martin’s Press. 1977.

  • Wilson, Keith M. The Policy of the Entente: Essays on the Determinants of British Foreign Policy 1904-1914. Cambridge. Cambridge University Press. 1985.

  • Wilson, Trevor. The Myriad Faces of War: Britain and the Great War, 1914-1918. Cambridge. Polity Press. 1986.

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Prewar Years: United States of America

At the midpoint of the twentieth century, the United States would become unquestionably the most powerful state in the world. As of the beginning of the century, however, this was not the case. Nor was it likely to happen. The USA was still an isolationist country of fairly limited means, with not insignificant territorial disputes and a flagging economic situation. American industry, which had begun to grow in the aftermath of the US Civil War (1861-1865), was capable, but Washington’s policy of isolationism meant that US military modernisation stagnated. By the early 1900s, US servicemen were still armed with weapons that were surplus from the Civil War, for instance, and in any case neither the army nor the navy was particularly large. Furthermore, a renewal of tensions with Mexico over the status of Texas and California as American territories meant that the US Army was often required for extensive border patrols in the south. In 1910, an uprising in Mexico against the US-backed autocrat Porfirio Diaz led to the outbreak of the decade-long Mexican Revolution; American forces would be called upon on numerous occasions within the next ten years, in order to support Diaz, and the US thus became the target of many campaigns by the infamous Mexican rebel commander, Pancho Villa, who would often audaciously strike targets well inside US borders. The United States also suffered strained relations with Great Britain, with which it endured a love-hate relationship that occasionally threatened war. The US’ position viz. other European powers was just as ambiguous, though Washington was generally amenable to Berlin, given the large German migrant population living in the United States.

A page from the Chamber of Commerce's official...

The “Great White Fleet”, celebrated in this Chamber of Commerce pamphlet, was a crowning achievement of Theodore Roosevelt’s foreign policy. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Despite these issues, the United States’ position in world affairs was bolstered by some important foreign policy successes. The Spanish-American War of 1898, for instance, had resulted in a decisive victory for the United States, and the acquisition of a number of small, formerly Spanish imperial holdings, such as Cuba, Puerto Rico, the Philippines, and Guam. America’s purchase of Alaska from Russia in the latter years of the nineteenth century gave it access to untapped natural resources, and it also ceded a number of small islands, including the Hawaiian island chain in the Pacific. In 1907, President Theodore Roosevelt dispatched the famed “Great White Fleet” – two squadrons of American battleships and battlecruisers, to circumnavigate the globe. Not only did the United States Navy benefit from these manoeuvres, by providing bluewater experience to its crews, the tour also “flew the flag” for the United States in many of the far-flung reaches of the world. The Americans arrived to rapturous welcomes in Sydney, Melbourne, and Yokohama, among others, and their visit to Italy coincided with the terrible Messina earthquake of 1908; the rescue efforts conducted by US seamen did much to improve the American image abroad. Moreover, the American dollar had begun its rise to prominence on foreign markets, become a strong, “safe haven” currency, rivaling the pound or the franc as a “universal” currency. This position of economic surety was bolstered by the lenient regulations governing the stock exchange on Wall Street; with many more amateur investors, Wall Street quickly surpassed London as the stocks and shares capital of the world.

Woodrow Wilson takes the oath of office for hi...

Woodrow Wilson is sworn in as president of the United States in 1913. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Many of these reforms came about under the early presidency of Harvard-educated New Jerseyite Woodrow Wilson, who, as an evangelical, saw the United States as having a solemn, heaven-sent duty to guide the world through darkness. Deeply anti-imperialist, Wilson reflected many of the sociopolitical leanings of Americans in general at the time. Nonetheless, Wilson also drew on the examples of his predecessors, who had largely kept America far removed from European affairs. By 1914, therefore, as Europe began its descent into war, no credible diplomat imagined that the United States would involve itself in any way in the crisis. This conception of American isolationism would hold true until 1917.


Further reading

  • Greenberg, Amy S. Manifest Manhood and the Antebellum American Empire. Cambridge. Cambridge University Press. 2005.

  • Renda, Mary A. Taking Haiti: Military Occupation & the Culture of U.S. Imperialism, 1915-1940. Chapel Hill. University of North Carolina Press. 2001.

  • Watt, Donald Cameron. Succeeding John Bull: America in Britain’s Place 1900-1975. Cambridge. Cambridge University Press. 2008.

  • Weinberg, Albert K. Manifest Destiny: A Study of Nationalist Expansionism in American History. Baltimore. Johns Hopkins Press. 1935.

  • Wexler, Laura. Tender Violence: Domestic Visions in an Age of U.S. Imperialism. Chapel Hill. University of North Carolina Press. 2000.

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