Talk:Causes of World War I

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Matt58 claims that Pan-Slavism was the most important cause of the war. While Pan-Slavism was a contributing factor (among many others), that it was the most important one seems to be a very rare opinion, in both mainstream and revisionist sources on the war. Serbia was influenced by Serbian or Yugoslav nationalism, but not that interested in becoming part of a Russian-dominated Pan-Slavic empire. Even in Russia there were various influential factors other than Pan-Slavism, such as Russian imperialist goals against non-Slavic territories such as control of Constantinople and the outlet from the Black Sea, the humiliation after the disastrous defeat in the war with Japan, the humiliation that would follow if not supporting an ally (Slavic or not), the weakening of geopolitical position that follow if Serbia was eliminated by Austria-Hungary, strong assurances of French support in the case of war ("blank cheque"), etc. Upplysning (talk) 09:12, 10 October 2020 (UTC)

Everything I have added to Metapedia on these subjects is well-sourced and many leading historians cited. In 1909 Imperial Russia whilst assuming the part of the protecting power of Serbia, declined to support her protestations about Austria-Hungary's formal annexation the previous year of Bosnia and Herzogovina (which, after driving the Turks out, she had occupied since 1878). Russia was still recovering from its lost war with Japan. However by 1914 Russia was sufficiently back up to strength to give the same sort of 'blank cheque' support to Serbia that Britain gave to Poland in March 1939. One example of this was Russia attempting to buy time for its secret mobilisations by asking Austria to extend their time-line for the ultimatum served on Serbia in 1914. The adulation of Serbia for Russian support is demonstrated by the large statue in central Belgrade of Tsar Nicholas II. The Austrian Red Book, documents regarding The Great War, is rather essential reading. The Austrian Government states: "the small Serbian State would never have dared to carry on its disruptive agitation in the territories of a Great Power had it not been assured of Russia's protection. Serbia had pledges that in the event of a clash with Austria-Hungary, the powerful Pan-Slav party in Russia would bring the Tsar's government to the active support of Serbia." This is exactly what happened. Matt58 (talk) 16:35, 10 October 2020 (UTC)
The Austrian Red Book from 1915 is very old and obviously has a propaganda purpose. Recent mainstream and revisionist writings do not place the extreme emphasis of Pan-Slavism that you do, although it was one of many causes for the war. You seem to conflate support by Russia for Serbia due to Pan-Slavism with support due to other causes, some of which I listed earlier.Upplysning (talk) 17:02, 10 October 2020 (UTC)

The Austrian Red Book is of course the Austrian position. I made this clear. Matt58 (talk) 10:04, 11 October 2020 (UTC)


You have now changed the particularly problematic heading "War Preparations by the Pan-Slavs" to "Serbia & Russia prepare for war", which makes the anti-Pan-Slavism less explicit in the article, but still emphasizing Serbia & Russia. Upplysning (talk) 18:07, 15 October 2020 (UTC)

Yes, thought I would offer some conciliation. It seems you are in denial about facts, regardless of who states them. Matt58 (talk) 12:23, 18 October 2020 (UTC) There are well over 70 authoritative sources for this page. I urge readers to examine this main page and decide for themselves. Matt58 (talk) 11:10, 21 October 2020 (UTC)
Relatedly, another problematic heading is "Frantic German negotiations to avoid war". Germany may not have wanted a full-scale world war (which the Central Powers would likely lose considering the lesser resources), but Austria-Hungary would not likely have declared war on Serbia without some form of support by Germany for a limited war (which Austria-Hungary would likely win considering the greater resources). At least some mainstream sources seem to think that the German Chancellor Theobald von Bethmann-Hollweg supported a limited war and assured Austria-Hungary of Germany's unconditional support, essentially gambling that the major Allied powers would abandon their ally Serbia. Your text state nothing on this. It should also be noted that the problematic Slavs article has related problematic material on pan-Slavism, for example stating "The gradual obsession of the Pan-Slav movement with the two great Teutonic empires became entwined with Russian government policies which would culminate in The Great War." Also, that Austria-Hungary was a "Teutonic Empire" seems dubious, with 24% of the population speaking German. Upplysning (talk) 15:17, 21 October 2020 (UTC)

According to all the archival materials the Germans were frantically trying to avoid a general European war, right up to the last moment. They were the very last country to mobilise. The article clearly points this out plus it makes clear that the German and Austro-Hungarian Empires had a long-standing mutual defence treaty which bound each of those empire to support each other in the event that one or both were attacked. When Austrian-Hungary decided they had to deal with Serbia Germany made it clear to all other powers that this was a local matter and that everyone else should stay out of it. This also can be found in archival diplomatic correspondence. Bethmann-Hollweg's position is given in the page. Austria treated the agitation against her and finally the murder of their heir to the throne, and his wife, as a deliberate attack against her. Germany naturally supported Austria, as a Great Power, in dealing with it but felt everyone else should stay away. The only "ally" Serbia had was Russia, which I thought you were previously denying? The comment on the Slavs page is historically correct. The Habsburg Empire is considered a Teutonic or German Empire regardless of its composition. Also, German was the official language throughout the Empire (read Horthy's Memoirs on this) notwithstanding that local languages were also used.Matt58 (talk) 08:35, 22 October 2020 (UTC)

If one declares war on a country allied to other countries, one may want the other countries to not interfere, but it is questionable that this implies no responsibility for a larger war. Regarding Serbia having no ally except Russia, France is stated to have given strong assurances to Russia regarding supporting Serbia against Austria-Hungary, making France at least in indirect ally of Serbia, despite absence of any Pan-Slavism. Regarding Austria-Hungary as a "Teutonic Empire", the name itself and the "Austro-Hungarian Compromise of 1867" contradicts this. Official or semi-official language status do not necessarily indicate current dominance of a particular ethnic group but more past history, some examples being English, French, Portuguese, and Spanish as official or semi-official languages in former colonies. You could argue that the German minority (again, only 24% of population) had disproportionate influence, but the same applied to the Hungarian minority (and the Jewish minority). Thus "Austro-Hungarian Empire" seems more accurate than "Teutonic Empire".Upplysning (talk) 15:49, 22 October 2020 (UTC)

You are expressing opinions. I am providing facts. Therein lies the difference. Serbia only had as an ally Russia and this is amply explained and sourced. Russia, from 1892 onwards, had an ally in France. The two are quite different and I have yet to see documentation showing France was an ally of Serbia. France was using Russia for her own means - being a war which if won would provide them with German provinces and lands in the west. Russia had firmly adopted a Pan-Slav position on behalf of all Slavs (whether they particularly wanted that or not) and because Russia sought hegemony in the Balkans the only way they were going to get that was by war with Austria-Hungary. The French were therefore bound to support Russia by treaty if Russia started a war. I am not arguing semantics with you about the Habsburg Empire. Andrew Wheatcroft's book is entitled The Habsburgs - Embodying Empire in which he presents the way in which the Habsburgs saw themselves and the centuries of their dominance. As the monarchs the Empire follows them, not visa versa.Matt58 (talk) 17:16, 22 October 2020 (UTC)

Further to the percentages you gave, the Census Returns for the empire had a column for ethnicity. Austrian was not an ethnicity listed in the notes or columns, only German. Alexander Watson (Ring of Steel - Germany & Austria in WW1, 2014) states that Austrian Cisleithania and Hungarian Crown Lands together totalled 45.4% Germans. So you are again wrong. (Plus, Hungarian Horthy said (in a sweeping comment) "all my generation could speak German". Doubtless this is only the educated ones.) The Russian Empire was regarded at the time Slav yet they only constituted 66% of the population in the 1897 Census. Matt58 (talk) 07:30, 23 October 2020 (UTC)

Even if Russia actually wanted a large-scale war, it would arguably have been better to wait just a few years, with the “Great Programme for Strengthening the Army” (and railways) planned to be completed in around 1918.[1][2]. As another point, pro-German revisionists do not seem to put the main blame on Russia as you do, there are also, for example, Britain and France, see for example this. [3] Regarding the percentage number in Austria-Hungary, you are apparently only including certain limited parts of Austria-Hungary, with for example the "Lands of the Hungarian Crown" not being synonymous with the larger "Lands of the Crown of Saint Stephen", which itself was only one part of Austria-Hungary. Exclusions of certain territories may be appropriate if the excluded territories were not parts of Austria-Hungary, such as due to being occupied territories or something similar, but also Bosnia had been officially annexed. Upplysning (talk) 16:15, 23 October 2020 (UTC)
Austria-Hungary populations.jpg

You can find all kinds of arguments and opinions on the internet. However instead of just giving you my personal opinion I AM a historian and have provided the facts with over 80 sources many of them primary sources. Are you suggesting everyone who does not agree with the Versailles Treaty is a "revisionist"?? I am sure there are lots of hypthosises out there but it has been consistently argued by a very great many authorities (some of whom I have cited) that there is no evidence of any substance for Germany wanting a two-front war which, numerically, they could not win (as in WWII) especially if drawn out. It was exceptionally risky. Their ally Austria-Hungary was an unknown quantity militarily in 1914 despite their modernisations. The facts show us that Serbia lit the flame and expected Russia to support them, which they did. I agree that the railways and even the military could have done with a few more years preparations but this is immaterial in the circumstances which all found themselves in. Worth remembering that the Germans were not ready for war in 1939 particularly as far as the navy was concerned and expected that if there was a war it should be in 1942/3. Matt58 (talk) 08:57, 24 October 2020 (UTC)

Spare me silly straw men, no one is today citing the Versailles Treaty "war guilt" claims as evidence. The mainstream view on Germany as the primarily guilty country seems to be based on the views of Fritz Fischer, although there are now also mainstream criticisms of this.[4] Regarding recent views in revisionist sources, no one seems to be mainly blaming Russia among the Great Powers as you do, instead stating more complex views. Regarding your image, not sure what it is supposed to prove, there is nothing there on the population composition of all of Austria-Hungary, and all numbers regarding Germans are lower than your previous claims of 45.4% Germans. You are apparently just adding the two percentage numbers for Germans together, which is completely incorrect, since if adding all the percentage numbers together the sum is far greater than 100%.Upplysning (talk) 10:20, 24 October 2020 (UTC)

You constantly talk about what you see as "mainstream" and think we should be adhering to it, yet I understood Metapedia was for alternatives to things like "victor's history" whether it be WWII or WWI. Fischer is the classic example of a left-wing German who hates his own nation. We have these people in most countries. While considering why a majority of Germans today have become so Liberal-Left and self-hating we need to look no further than the disgusting plutocratic 'democratic' occupiers of their country after WWII. The Transitional Agreement (Article 7) of 1954 enforced by the Western victorious powers states that the presentation of pre-war and WWII history must reflect the views of the four victorious powers (includes the communists) and this must be binding for public institutions (such as schools) in the Federal Republic of Germany. As part of the "Two Plus Four Contracts" of 1990, Article 7 was reaffirmed and confirmed in writing by the pathetic politicians on the German side. The question of real guilt is erased; a nation's culture of guilt embedded in its psyche. It seems to me you are a disciple of the Allies. Matt58 (talk) 08:28, 25 October 2020 (UTC)

Another silly straw man, disagreeing with your anti-Slavic smears (in this and other articles) does not mean that one is "a disciple of the Allies". There are criticisms regarding all the Allies regarding the causes of World War I, not just mainly Russia and Serbia, which is your own pet theory, apparently shared by no one else. See also the Metapedia:Mission statement, Metapedia is a pro-European web resource.Upplysning (talk) 08:44, 25 October 2020 (UTC)

I have not made anti-Slavic smears at all. They are not the saints in this matter as you would apparently like people to think. I have said nothing untrue. Nor are the reasons set forth for the causes of the outbreak of The Great War my "pet theory". There are well over 80 references on this page, many of them primary. No serious historian would contest this page. It is a matter for people to read it and contest the factual course of events which, in my opinion, are incontrovertible and unquestionable as set forth.Matt58 (talk) 13:32, 25 October 2020 (UTC)

Still another silly straw man, I have never claimed that Serbia and Russia had no responsibilities for the war. On the other hand, a rather prominent view in revisionist sources is the responsibility of influential anti-German British individuals, such as Edward Grey. See, for example: [5][6] There are also extended theories, such as on the influential Milner Group, the Rothschilds etc: [7][8][9] Not saying that everything claimed is correct, but your article is conspicuously ignoring any possible British responsibilities for the start of the war, with Britain instead depicted as simply having been forced into the war by the invasion of Belgium.Upplysning (talk) 15:37, 25 October 2020 (UTC)

The article here sets forth exactly what happened step by step in 1914 without the various hypothesisis and conspiracy theories. It is factually-based. Matt58 (talk) 10:17, 26 October 2020 (UTC)

I see that you very selectively cite the well-known historian Niall Ferguson regarding a naval race not being a cause for the war, giving the impression that he has supported a British no-responsibility for the war, when he in fact instead has argued for the significant responsibility of British diplomacy and Edward Grey. Upplysning (talk) 16:13, 26 October 2020 (UTC)

As said previously, this is an opinion, not a fact. Had you carefully read the main page here you would see that in fact ALL the Great Powers were engaged in the so-called "naval race". As for the diplomacy, particularly that from 1912 until the outbreak of the war, this is all now in open archives and published. It is patently self-evident from the British correspondence that they saw the Austro-Serbia issue as one which did not concern or interest them at all. This was essentially a war of the continental powers which the British entered reluctantly. Matt58 (talk) 10:45, 4 January 2021 (UTC)

Still yet another one of your many misleading straw men, which seems to be a common tactic used by you. I have not made any claims regarding the naval race or who was involved in it. I pointed out your misleading selective citation of the well-known historian Niall Ferguson. Historians like Ferguson disagree with you regarding a British no-responsibility for the war. You own little pet theory, that the Slavs and Pan-Slavism were the main perpetrators, apparently related to some extremely emotional personal issue(s) you have, is apparently absent in all recent mainstream and revisionist writings on the war. In Talk:Slavs you cited a source as evidence for this pet theory [10], despite the source strongly contradicting it. Apparently your confirmation bias is so strong that you could not see, and possibly still cannot see, that the article contradicts your own opinions. You obsession with writing anti-Polish and anti-Slavic smears is harming Metapedia's pro-European mission and likely Arktos also, but you apparently do not care, the smearing is more important. You are clearly emotionally unable to deal with these topics rationally and should stay away from them. Upplysning (talk) 21:40, 4 January 2021 (UTC)

As I have said countless times previously absolutely everything I have put up on Metapedia is exceptionally well-sourced and true. You cannot handle that. You appear to want to present "acceptable" history or muddled theory history, in fact much like the enemies of Metapedia want. The only real danger to Metapedia is yourself as you cannot accept facts. Metapedia's mission statement includes the presentation of history. Matt58 (talk) 13:00, 5 January 2021 (UTC)

You avoided making any concrete responses to what I stated. Your anti-Polish/anti-Slavic smearing is not "exceptionally well-sourced and true", as discussed here and elsewhere. Upplysning (talk) 16:09, 5 January 2021 (UTC)

Yes, all historic entries made are well-sourced. I am not anti-Polish (I have many Polish friends) or anti-Slavic. But as a historian I have a duty to truth and fact. Your comments are so ridiculously repetitious that they defy description. I have made perfectly adequate responses to anything you have said, and you know it. Matt58 (talk) 10:01, 6 January 2021 (UTC)

See Talk:Poland#Still disputed, other anti-Polish articles regarding a partial list of anti-Polish smears. Upplysning (talk) 16:40, 6 January 2021 (UTC)

Do tell us what your last utterly repetitious post has to do with the immediate causes of World War One. You are obsessed. Matt58 (talk) 09:28, 10 January 2021 (UTC)

This article presents you own little pet theory, that the Slavs and Pan-Slavism were the main perpetrators. This presentation, one part of much wider anti-Polish/anti-Slavic smearing in Metapedia (see Talk:Poland#Still disputed, other anti-Polish articles), is apparently related to some extremely emotional personal issue(s) you have. This pet theory is apparently absent in all recent mainstream and revisionist writings on the war. In Talk:Slavs you cited a source as evidence for this pet theory.[11] This despite the source actually strongly contradicting it. Apparently your confirmation bias is so strong that you could not see, and possibly still cannot see, that the article contradicts your own opinions. You are clearly emotionally unable to deal with these topics rationally and should stay away from them. Your obsession with writing anti-Polish and anti-Slavic smears is harming Metapedia's pro-European mission and likely Arktos also, but you apparently do not care, the smearing is more important. Upplysning (talk) 17:06, 12 January 2021 (UTC)

More entirely unfounded repetition which is horribly boring. I fear history is not your subject and something you should avoid at all costs. Matt58 (talk) 18:51, 15 January 2021 (UTC)

Please could we concentrate the discussion upon this page only, which states clearly that it concentrates mainly, but not exclusively, upon the chronology of what took place following the assassination of the Austrian Archduke Franz Ferdinand, with some background relating to alliances. Unless there are seriously credible reasons for dissent on a page with over 110 sources cited and which is absolutely factual I shall remove the disputed tag and if you replace it I shall continue to remove it ad infinitum. I will also delete your arguments above and shall also contact the proprietor of this website about your behaviour. Matt58 (talk) 15:17, 9 March 2021 (UTC)

I would already pointed out various problems with your anti-Slavic little pet theory regarding Pan-Slavism and Slavs as the main cause of the war, such as it apparently being absent in all recent mainstream and revisionist writings on the war, and the source that you cited as evidence for it instead strongly contradicting it. Upplysning (talk) 16:01, 9 March 2021 (UTC)

No you have failed to answer my questions. You obviously know little about the subject. Either point out exactly want is false with appropriate sources or go away. Matt58 (talk) 16:56, 9 March 2021 (UTC)

As you have been told repeatedly, Pan-Slavism was a minor influence, not the main cause of the war. See, for example, your own source: [12] Your crank pet theory, related to your anti-Polish/anti-Slavic obsession, is a disputed theory, to say the least. Upplysning (talk) 17:20, 9 March 2021 (UTC)

As I have been told repeatedly? Who by? You? With your withering lack of real historical knowledge. Sorry, but that won't do. Once again you cannot dispute the facts. You have nothing to offer. You are wrong. Matt58 (talk) 17:33, 9 March 2021 (UTC)

Everyone except you are wrong regarding Pan-Slavism? Upplysning (talk) 17:35, 9 March 2021 (UTC)

On this page numerous leading historians and others have all concurred on Pan-Slavism. This is nothing to do with me. Just fact.Matt58 (talk) 09:34, 12 March 2021 (UTC)

Recent mainstream and revisionist sources view it only as a minor influence, not the main cause of the war, which is your own pet theory, related to you anti-Polish/anti-Slavic obsession. See your own source [13] You furthermore describe your personal views as if it they have proven to be the TRUTH, and there being no other views at all, which is just ridiculous. Upplysning (talk) 16:41, 12 March 2021 (UTC)

You talk in circles. This page has over 150 sources and a brilliant bibliography. Many are original source materials. You are simply in denial of the facts. Matt58 (talk) 08:44, 3 April 2021 (UTC)

You are in denial of, for example, your own source: [14] Upplysning (talk) 08:46, 3 April 2021 (UTC)