World War I

The Spirit of 1914: Militarism, Myth, and Mobilization in by Jeffrey Verhey

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By Jeffrey Verhey

It is a booklet which seeks to problem a huge fable concerning the first global warfare, and to explain the results of that fantasy through the struggle. That fantasy is that the hundreds of the eu international locations vigorously and expectantly applauded the announcement of conflict in August 1914. Uncounted textbooks and middlebrow documentaries have mentioned this primordial chauvinism and naivetee. yet is it true?

Verhey's booklet is set Germany, and in what's approximately the 1st half his ebook, he solutions no. The demonstrations that happened in past due July 1914 have been principally heart category and concrete, with collage scholars taking part in a very well known half. The operating sessions confirmed little enthusiasm, the marches have been smaller than many past Socialist demonstrations (as good as Socialist calls opposed to war), and the geographical region and smaller facilities have been principally quiet. Verhey demonstrates those evidence by means of copious resources resembling newspapers, the big secondary literature, and no matter what archival assets he can locate. an issue develops the following. whilst the conflict started the German govt concluded that the warfare was once sufficiently renowned adequate that it will now not trouble its brokers with reporting renowned opinion. So Verhey needs to search for different assets. One resource is underdeveloped for my part. It has lengthy been argued by means of the supporters of German Social Democracy that they voted for warfare credit simply because they feared being deserted via the operating type. Verhey argues that German Social Democrats actually have been hardly inspired by means of this resource, no longer strangely given his thesis of operating category unenthusiasm. yet i think there's not enough awareness paid to the papers of Social Democratic leaders for you to learn the way their reviews developed.

As for the second one half the publication, approximately how the parable of 1914 percolated all through society, it really is relatively bland and relatively trouble-free. There are a few attention-grabbing bills of the failure of pro-war teams to pass classification divides, and there's a fascinating deflation of the Rightist homeland occasion, which in keeping with Verhey used to be no longer a proto-Nazi populist circulate, yet one other unsuccessful political mobilization by means of the elites. differently, there's a lot speak about fantasy and propaganda and the final failure of the parable of 1914, which provides the second one part a slightly padded feeling.

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Extra resources for The Spirit of 1914: Militarism, Myth, and Mobilization in Germany (Studies in the Social and Cultural History of Modern Warfare)

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30 Berlin C, Tit. 94, no. 11360, p. 13. “In der Reichshauptstadt,” Hamburger Montagsblatt, 27 July 1914, no. ” “Kundgebungen in Berlin,” Ingolstädter Zeitung, 28 July 1914, no. 172, p. 3, claims there were 4,000 paraders. The police report by the “I. Schutzmannschaft,” 26 July 1914, BLA, Rep. 30 Berlin C, Tit. 94, no. 11360, p. 17, states that the largest parade that evening had 2,000 people. “Die Berliner Demonstration,” Volksblatt für Hessen und Waldeck, 27 July 1914, no. 172, citing the Berliner Lokal-Anzeiger.

11360; and the description in Pastor Falck’s diary, BLA, 92 Sachthematische Sammlung, no. 266. 70 Spectators in the expensive cafés on both sides of Unter den Linden shouted “hurrah” and waved their hats as the paraders passed by. Upon reaching the empty palace (the Kaiser was on his ship on the Baltic sea) the paraders paused. They sang more patriotic songs and listened to each other’s speeches. Then they returned back down Unter den Linden, marching through the Brandenburg Gate to the statue of Bismarck in front of the Reichstag.

Zum Verständnis psychologisch-historischer Grundfragen der modernen Politik (Leipzig und Berlin, 1912). ), Die Massenstreikdebatte. Beiträge von Parvus, Rosa Luxemburg, Karl Kautsky und Anton Pannekoek (Frankfurt/Main, 1970). For a brief summary of the SPD’s position on mass psychology, see Bernd Jürgen Warneken, “‘Die friedliche Gewalt des Volkswillens,’” pp. 99 ff. There is a superb discussion of this literature in McPhail, The Myth of the Madding Crowd, pp. 13 ff. Eric J. Hobsbawm, Primitive Rebels: Studies in Archaic Forms of Social Movement in the 19th and 20th Centuries (1958; reprinted New York: Praeger, 1963); George Rudé, The Crowd in History.

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