The declarations of war in 1914 were received with a sense of shock which was soon replaced by enthusiastic patriotism on all sides. Political parties in most countries laid aside their differences. Crowds in the streets of the great European capitals cheered the mobilisation orders and accompanied their uniformed compatriots, flower-and flag-bedecked and singing, to the trains that would carry them away to war and early victory. Half a century and more of vigorous political and economic expansion among the great powers of Europe had created a widespread degree of national confidence and a sure sense of the identity of the cause of right with that of the national interest. ‘The spirit which animated the troops, the ardour of attack, the heroism, the loyalty which prevails amongst them, justify the highest expectations.’ The words were those of a German, but the same sentiment was expressed in many European languages. Swift offensives and early victories were confidently expected by both sides.
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Books for Further Reading
- Cruttwell, C. R. M. C., A History of the Great War, 1914–18 (1934).Google Scholar
- Fischer, Fritz, Germany’s Aims in the First World War (1967).Google Scholar
- Guinn, P. S., British Strategy and Politics, 1914–18 (1965).Google Scholar
- Keynes, John Maynard, The Economic Consequences of the Peace (1920).Google Scholar
- Marwick, Arthur, The Deluge: British Society and the First World War (1965; Penguin, 1967).Google Scholar
- Nicolson, (Sir) Harold, Peacemaking, 1919 (Boston, Mass., 1945).Google Scholar
- Ryder, A. J., The German Revolution of 1918: a study of German Socialism in war and revolt (Cambridge, 1967).Google Scholar
- Taylor, A. J. P., The First World War: an illustrated history (1963).Google Scholar
- Thompson, J. M., Russia, Bolshevism and the Versailles Treaty (1965).Google Scholar
- Woodward, Sir E. Llewellyn, Great Britain and the War of 1914–18 (1967).Google Scholar
- Zeman, Z. A. B., The Break-up of the Hapsburg Empire 1914–18: a study in national and social revolution (1961).Google Scholar