Contra Johnson’s thesis.
Let’s consider Johnson’s absurd thesis that WWI (and II!) had nothing to do with petty nationalistic competition between European nation states, but instead was due to “empires.”
I will now consider this, excerpts follow (emphasis added) with some comments:
The early years of the 20th century saw tremendous growth in Europe of both population and prosperity. With arts and culture flourishing, few believed a general war possible due to the peaceful cooperation required to maintain increased levels of trade as well as technologies such as the telegraph and railroad. Despite this, numerous social, military, and nationalistic tensions ran beneath the surface. As the great European empires struggled to expand their territory, they were confronted with increasing social unrest at home as new political forces began to emerge.
Nationalistic tensions. Well, everyone seems to recognize this reality except Johnson and his band of liars. The idea that “empire” was a major driving factor is ludicrous. Consider: In WWI, the British, French, and Russian empires were allies, even though in past decades and past centuries, these empires were in conflict. What changed? Simple – the national interests of the states in question. The fact that they were empires were incidental. There were conflicts of national interests, and imperial considerations were just one manifestation of those national conflicts of interests. By 1914, the rise of Germany was the threat that brought together the convergence of British, French, and Russian interests. Empires or no empires, the shifting constellations of national interests would have existed and led to war.
Rise of Germany
The main issue.
In the resulting Treaty of Frankfurt which ended the war, France was forced to cede Alsace and Lorraine to Germany. The loss of this territory badly stung the French and was a motivating factor in 1914.
Indeed. A territorial dispute – local European territory not colonial – was a motivating factor in the rush to war. Petty nationalism, conflicts between neighboring states, historical enmity and revanchism – all in the mix.
Building a Tangled Web
As we’ll see, the “tangled web” of alliances – Johnson’s vaunted “temporary solutions to temporary problems” – led to the war that helped wreck the White world.
With Germany united, Bismarck began setting about to protect his newly formed empire from foreign attack.
Empire? Johnson starts breathing heavily. Unfortunately for him, “empire” in this context is the modern German nation state, cobbled together from an amalgamation of smaller entities. So, at what point is today’s ethnonationalism merely a current interpretation of past imperialism? Freedom for Bavaria!
“A Place in the Sun” and the Naval Arms Race
An ambitious leader and the grandson of England’s Queen Victoria, Wilhelm sought to elevate Germany to equal status with the other great powers of Europe. As a result, Germany entered the race for colonies with the goal of becoming an imperial power.
In other words, Germany’s pursuit of a real empire was a result of petty nationalist competition with Great Britain and France.
These efforts to obtain territory overseas brought Germany into conflict with the other powers, especially France, as the German flag was soon raised over parts of Africa and on islands in the Pacific.
Petty nationalism started the process. Overseas conflicts were a manifestation of this.
A global power, Britain moved in 1902 to form an alliance with Japan to curtail German ambitions in the Pacific. This was followed by the Entente Cordiale with France in 1904, which while not a military alliance, resolved many of the colonial squabbles and issues between the two nations.
Suddenly, “colonial squabbles” lost their importance in light of the German threat. If the nations of Europe had been confederated, none of this would have occurred. Instead we got Johnson’s “temporary alliances.” Followed by a world war.
This pan-Slavic sentiment was backed Russia who had signed a military agreement to aid Serbia if the nation was attacked by the Austrians.
Yet we are told by some (commentators at Amren) that pan-Slavism is an acceptable alternative to pan-Europeanism.
Turning to their ally, the Austrians inquired regarding the German position on the matter. On July 5, 1914, Wilhelm, downplaying the Russian threat, informed the Austrian ambassador that his nation could “count on Germany’s full support” regardless of the outcome. This “blank check” of support from Germany shaped Vienna’s actions.
Always the troublemakers.
Behind the scenes in Berlin, German officials were eager for a war with Russia but were restrained by the need to make the Russians appear as the aggressors.
The Dominoes Fall
While the German military clamored for war…
I’m shocked, shocked I say.
Early on July 31, Russia began a full mobilization of its forces in preparation for war with Austria-Hungary. This pleased Bethmann-Hollweg who was able to couch German mobilization later that day as a response to the Russians even though it was scheduled to begin regardless.
My being shocked continues.
Though it was unlikely that Britain could have remained neutral if France was attacked, it entered the fray that next day when German troops invaded Belgium activating the 1839 Treaty of London.
Those pesky treaties and alliances again.
On August 6, Austria-Hungary declared war on Russia and six days later entered into hostilities with France and Britain. Thus by August 12, 1914, the Great Powers of Europe were at war and four and a half years of savage bloodshed were to follow.
Thank you, petty nationalism.
Comment left at Counter-Currents:
Posted September 29, 2019 at 12:59 pm | Permalink
(Health warning: The first 30 minutes of this podcast contains a large dose of WW1 Entente propaganda.)
I wish Western nationalists would stop pontificating about and lecturing Eastern Europe. We take care of our corner of the white world, and you take care of yours, that should be the rule in nationalist politics.
They should stop pontificating about Southern Europe as well, a topic about which they clearly know nothing.
We take care of our corner of the white world, and you take care of yours, that should be the rule in nationalist politics.
You would think that “ethnonationalists” would inherently understand that, but, you see, in reality they are ethnoimperialists. For example, the British-Saxon hybrid John Morgan believes he has the right to live in Hungary, despite not being an ethnic Hungarian, while pontificating about Hungary and lecturing to Hungarians, all the time lauding the alleged virtues of “ethnonationalism.” It’s “ethnonationalism for me but not for thee” for these imperialistic invasive hypocrites.