THE ORIGINS OF THE FIRST WORLD WAR - the war that started a century of wars by the West
We were talking about the origins of the World War in two halves at Llanrug. Here is a fuller explanation from the history according to me!
The 20th century was the most violent, destructive and horrific in the history of humanity, it seems to me. But we can't blame the Muslims, the Hindus, the Buddhists or the blacks. It has to be us - the Christians and the whites, in my opinion!
It was British imperialist attitudes that led to us joining the other nations of
There was and still is a culture of warfare, after centuries of attacks and invasions by us on our neighbours in
A great world power like ourselves can do nothing but go to war to prove its might to all and sundry.
The Great War was about protecting and extending our Empire from more recent upstarts like Germany.
We Brits love our war fighting or hard power (Tony Blair's phrases). We were tripping over each other to get on out there, thinking it would all be over by Christmas, 1914.
That war and its aftermath led, inevitably to dealing with the unfinished business of 1918/19 that brought such injustice that one of our own European men, Hitler came to dominate Germany and, who clearly, had to be dealt with. But we can't blame the foreigner, or even the blacks or the Arabs for Hitler! Hitler was a manifestation of our own violent past - and present.
Then, the second half of the century saw yet more killings by the mighty victors in 1945 - killings of the inhabitants of
I think we slid into the war to end all wars¹ for all the reasons previously mentioned plus, it was due to our re-armament to keep up with German re-armament. There was also a mistaken belief, it seems, that we were obliged to keep to our alliance - one is attacked and the others in the alliance come to that nation's help. In fact, according to my brother in law, Tony Verduyn – the barrister and historian - we could have broken away from the alliance, not declare war and could have been neutral. On the other hand, it seems to me, our ships could have been attacked, anyway until we were forced to retaliate and declare war against the country sinking our shipping. This was how the
It was the mindset of the time (1914) that failed to put the brakes on the slide towards war, once more in
Some weeks went past after the shooting in
¹ Our so sincere and well intentioned phrase, of course, but in reality, more self-delusion and hypocrisy!