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The First World War

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Interpretations: The causes of the war

The Treaty [treaty: A formal agreement between two or more countries. of Versailles which ended the war blamed Germany for the outbreak of war (Clause 231).

During the 1920s, however, American historians such as Sydney Bradshaw Fay blamed forces such as nationalism and alliances.

After the Second World War, historians such as the British historian AJP Taylor (1954) and the German historian Fritz Fischer (1961) blamed Germany – they said there was a 'will to war' in Germany.

However, the debate goes on – recent historians have blamed Austria, Russia, and even Britain.

What is your interpretation of the causes of the First World War? Who – or what – do you blame? Was war avoidable?

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