Even a hundred years later the question of who started the war is able to stir a fair amount of controversy, and we can doubtless expect to hear an increasing amount of punditry about it this year. Josiah Neeley has a good post over at The Federalist on the topic today.
The new year has barely begun, and already there has been an upsurge in World War I-related punditry. Among those itching for a fight over the origins of the First World War is Slate’s Matt Yglesias. On New Year’s Eve, Yglesias offered his own somewhat Slatepitchy take on World War I, claiming that the Great War was “primarily about Russo-Serbian desire to destroy Austria and France’s desire to reclaim Alsace and Lorraine.”Read the rest.
This is, to say the least, a rather curious way to describe the outbreak of the First World War. Sure, the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand by pro-Serb Bosnians may have set the spark for the Great War. But the actual outbreak of hostilities began with an Austrian declaration of war on Serbia, German declarations of war on France and Russia, and a German invasion of Belgium, Luxembourg, and France. So what gives?