1914-1918: The History of the First World War by David Stevenson

By David Stevenson

In the summertime of 1914 Europe exploded right into a frenzy of mass violence. The battle that had international repercussions, destroying 4 empires and costing hundreds of thousands of lives. Even the effective nations have been scarred for a new release, and we nonetheless at the present time stay in the conflict's shadow. during this significant new research, released a few 90 years after the 1st global struggle started, David Stevenson re-examines the motives, path and impression of this 'war to finish war', putting it within the context of its period and exposing its underlying dynamics. His e-book presents a wide-ranging foreign heritage, drawing on insights from the newest study. It deals compelling solutions to the main questions about how this poor fight opened up: questions that stay disturbingly suitable for our personal time

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Industrial recession and American grain imports drove up customs tariffs after the 1870s, but still on the eve of the First World War tariffs were lower than they would be again for decades. From the 1890s the European powers (with America and Japan) were linked in a de facto currency union, the international gold standard, 12 by whose unwritten rules their currencies were freely convertible with each other and with gold at a fixed rate. Yet this system too was established by a series of individual decisions rather than by binding multilateral agreements.

The Belgrade government’s reply, delivered just within the forty-eight-hour deadline, accepted nearly every demand but consented to Austrian involvement in a judicial inquiry only if that inquiry was subject to Serbia’s constitution and to international law. 25 The ultimatum impressed most European governments by its draconian demands, although if Serbian complicity was indeed as alleged the substance of the document was arguably moderate. But the summary time limit gave the game away, as did the peremptory rejection of Belgrade’s answer.

North-western Europe was the epicentre of this phenomenon, which rested on the Victorian communications revolution – the railway, the telegraph, and the steamship – as well as on massive productivity increases in agriculture and manufacturing. By 1913 exports accounted for between a fifth and a quarter of British, French, and German national output. 11 Governments signed international postal, telegraph, and wireless conventions and harmonized cross-border railway timetables, but their most important contribution to the new economy was not to obstruct it.

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1914-1918: The History of the First World War by David Stevenson
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