World War I Readings

Here are several readings that describe the feelings and attitudes of people leading up to World War I.  I have also posted several readings regarding the Alliance system that help contribute to the war.  Please answer the following questions and email your responses to

Belleville Manifesto

What were the essential features of Gambetta’s radicalism?
In what ways did his program reflect the French revolutionary tradition?

The Descent of Man

The Plight of the Peasant in Russia

Why was Russia suffering an agrarian crisis?

The Triple Alliance

Under what conditions were the contracting powers obligated to go to war on one another’s behalf?
Was the Triple Alliance essentially offensive or defensive?

The Entente Cordiale

Was the Entente Cordiale a firm military commitment like the Triple Alliance?
What specific Anglo-French differences was the Entente designed to resolve?
Why did the Germans claim the Entente Cordiale completed the “encirclement” of Germany?

The Glasgow Speech on the German Fleet

On what grounds did Churchill claim that Britain’s fleet was a necessity while the German navy was  luxury?

Memorandum on a War with France and Russia

How did the Schlieffen’s memorandum reveal the fears generated by the legacy of the Bismarckian alliance system and the role of a united Germany in the European balance of power?