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The Blame Debate


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#1 omnitom

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Posted 15 March 2007 - 01:40 AM

In Honors Word History, we are preparing for our annual World War One debates. Students spend two weeks preparing for a three-day debate (40 min. class period). We are to argue which of these countries was responsible for WWI: Great Britain, France, Germany, Serbia, Austria-Hungary, or Russia. I feel I have done adequate research and understand the facts that preceded the war. What I am looking for are other people's perspectives as to how these facts - the assassination, alliances, militarism, nationalism - fit into the big picture and ultimately blame a singal country for World War One. Any help would be appreciated.

#2 MrJohnDClare

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Posted 15 March 2007 - 10:49 PM

http://www.johndclar...WWI_Answer1.htm

#3 pam617

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Posted 17 March 2007 - 04:19 AM

Wow, that sounds like a really interesting debate... If only our school had that too.

Well, for me, there are many different causes of World War 1 was the Austrians. Since the Serbs wanted freedom and I guess that's what made them want to murder Franz Ferdinand. That's my point of view, since it was the Austrians who declared war on the Serbs first. And I highly don't agree to the Treaty of Versailles, where they blamed Germany for the whole war. And it was that certain Treaty that was one of the main causes of World War 2. :)

That's my point of view, but there are many others too, of course. :D

#4 MrJohnDClare

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Posted 17 March 2007 - 11:22 AM

Thanks Pam
That's a really good comment, and I'm sure it would be useful as a quote in an essay!!!
However, you need to distinguish between importance and sequence.
The FIRST event in the causation sequence is not necessarily the most important.

So - e.g. - OK, so the Austrians were the first to attack the Serbs - but what had the Serbs been doing to lead to a situation where the Autrians felt they had to attack Serbia.
And - countries fight all the time - what had been happening which led to a situation where, when two countries had a spat, the whole world set to a four-year slaughter of humanity?

Quite frankly, I think it would be possible to portray the Austrans as the only ones who went to war validly!!! I mean - compare what the USA did when Al Quaeda wrecked the two towers ... they attacked Afghanistan and Iraq. How would we feel if somebody assassinated the Queen, or the Prime Minister ... the Autrian heir to the throne had been assassinated.

There's lots to talk about in a debate like this!!

#5 Miss Buxton

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Posted 18 March 2007 - 09:28 PM

For a Masters assignment I looked at the question 'Was the outbreak of war inevitable in 1914? I examined the causes to pinpoint the time it became inevitable.

Today scholarly work on the origins of the war is inclined to be the reworking of earlier writings or if they offer new thinking or fresh research, to centre on single areas of study. The studies on the origins of the war make the task of covering the origins apparently endless.

During my research I read the telegrams that were sent between Tsar Nicholas II and his cousin Kaiser Wilhelm during the July crisis of 1914, they make interesting reading: You can read the telegrams online:
http://militaryhisto...willynilly.html

#6 omnitom

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Posted 18 March 2007 - 11:55 PM

Thanks guys. Also, for the debate my team is Serbia. Any defense of the assassination would be helpful.

#7 MrJohnDClare

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Posted 19 March 2007 - 08:26 PM

Easy.
No Serb did it. The assassination was done by a citizen of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. Gavrilo Princip was a Bosnian, and lived in Sarajevo, in the Austro-Hungarian Empire. Austria blaming you for the assassination is akin to a New Yorker assassinating Bush, and America attacking us because the killer spoke English. Strikes me that Austria needs to to look to itself about the assassination - why were some Austrian citizens so angry that they had been driven to such a measure? Why were the security arrangements so pathetic?

And as for the Ulitmatum, you have agreed to 9 out of the 10 demands, even though all ten are clearly outrageous (Serbian schools to teach that the A-H Empire is great/ Serb newspapers not to criticise Austria etc.) You have only questioned demand 6 (Austrian police to come in and judge Serbs aacused of terrorism) because it takes away your sovereignty - it is part of your constitution that Serbs have the right to be tried by a jury of their peers (the British constitution has the same rule).

All this is quite clearly a ruse by Austria to do what they have always wanted to, and which the Austrian army has proposed (???) 20 times in the last (???) decade - to invade and destroy Serbia. Ask the Austrians outright - telling the truth, before God and befre man, can they look you in the eye and deny that the demands of the ultimatum were set deliberately outrageous so that Serbia would refuse them and then they would be able to invade?
And has Germany given the Austrians a 'blank cheque' to do whatever they want to you and Germany will support them whatever?

You are the victim here, not the culprit.

#8 omnitom

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Posted 22 March 2007 - 01:48 AM

Thank you so much, it really helped. Today I was instrumental in the elimination of France, Russia, Austria-Hungary, and Germany from the debate. Now only Great Britain and Serbia remain. As it is, some "dirt" on Britain would be helpful. Also, it would be nice to have this information ASAP!!!

#9 MrJohnDClare

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Posted 22 March 2007 - 08:26 AM

Easy.
Britain owns a fifth of the land mass of the world.
Much of it has been acquired by a simple process of beg, borrow and steal in the last years.
Britain sits there with this pompous 'isolationist' 'we-want-peace' hat, when really - in reality - they are the most aggressive, militaristic, imperialistic nation in the History of the world.
Look how aggressive they got when Kaiser Wilhelm ventured to suggest that maybe they weren't 100% right in the Boer War (the war when the British invented concentration camps and systematically starved and diseased the Boer civilin population into submission, by the way).
AND they are racists - did you knowhat Hitler's racist ideas were all based on the ideas of an Englishman named Chamberlain.
AND they have created the present situation! It was Britain, in 1905, who put France up to contest Algericas, and pioneered the Triple Entente as an anti-German force ... France was wanting to back down.
AND they are militaristicly anti-German - think of the Daily Mail and all those novels that imagine a German invasion and The 39 Steps and all that kind of thing. The British population are jingoistic and bellicose in the extreme.
Just because they entered the war last doesn;t mean that they didn't create the tensions which caused the war - remembe what they are: Nationalism, Imperialism, Militarism and Alliances. If you look, ou will see that Britain virtualy invented ALL of them at the end of the 19th century.

#10 gidgeygurl

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Posted 13 April 2007 - 05:19 AM

I have a history debate due next week. I need help. I need to defend Austria and prove that Serbia did it. I've been doing research but I really can't find my answer. Can you help me?

#11 MrJohnDClare

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Posted 13 April 2007 - 01:21 PM

Easy.
Serbia has been causing trouble for years - the Black Hand have been assassinating Austrian officials for years, and the Serb Prime Minister has openly declared that, having destroyed Turkey, Austria was next on his list. Serbians didn't actually assassinate FF, but the Black Hand supplied the weapons and there were Black Hand observers watching to see what happened!
Secondly, does anybody undertand what has happened? FF has been assassinated. In Britain the murder of Prince Charles would cause a huge national outcry, but Austria-Hungary is a monarchy - Emperor Franz Josef is the absolute ruler - the government - and FF was his heir. The assassination of FF wasn't just the murder of a prominent public person, it was a direct strike at the government - an act of war.
Thirdly, whatever anybody says about your ultimatum and how harsh it was and how unreasonable you are being to contemplate war when all Serbia is refusing is point 6, ignoring the Serb propaganda machine, the TRUTH of the matter is that - after this act of war in which the Black Hand (which Serbia protects) were fully complicit, you didn;t just go to war, but issued a considered ultimatum AND NOW SERBIA HAS REJECTED THAT ULTIMATUM. You have a cast-iron justification to declare war on Serbia.
Fourthly, what pushes the world to war is NOT your declararion of war on Serbia, but Russia's mobilisation against you AND Germany, whch forces Germany to deploy the Schlieffen Plan. Russia doesn't NEED to mobilise. Russia could see the justification in your cause. And if Russia didn;t mobilise, all that would happen would be that there wuld be a little war for a few days, and then there would be a peace treaty an the world could go back to what it was.
And finally - while you won't want to slag off your ally Germany - I would point out that it was Germany that pushed the Austro-Serbian War into a WORLD war when they pre-emptly attacked France through Belgium.

The world war was nothing to do with you, and the key proving fact, surely, is that most of the fighting took place on the Western Front.

#12 gidgeygurl

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Posted 14 April 2007 - 08:16 PM

In the debate i have to ask questions and answer with a rebuttle. Do you have any advice on how to make the other team look bad in a sense. Also, Did Serbia assasinate anyone else besides Francis Ferdinand and if so who and why? Thank you so much for you help! You are a life saver or I should say grade saver.

#13 MrJohnDClare

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Posted 15 April 2007 - 09:46 PM

Ask Britain what proportion of thw rold's surface they own (one fifth), and how many wars they have fought in te last hundred years (40+) - and then ask them how they DARE tut-tut you for retaliating when FF was assassinated.
Ask Germany if they have had a Naval 'War Cabinet' meeting when the words: 'war the sooner the better' were spoken (yes 1912)
Ask France if a number of their Cabinbet ministers have not openly said that they want revenge for Alsace Lorraine.
And ask Russia if there is any strategic reason why they have to mobilise, or is this just because they let Serbia down in 1908 when Austria annexed Bosia.

Hmmm, the Black Hand tried to assassinate Emperor Franz Josef and Potiorek, governor of Bosnia, but I donlt know the names of anybody they actually assassinated.
You need to read this - http://www.spartacus...WWblackhand.htm - it gives clear details how Serbia was deeply involved in the assassinated of FF.

#14 emem12

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Posted 17 April 2007 - 02:07 AM

i was reading the info about serbia and i was kind of confused about the part of who provided the weapons. i also am doing a debate where i have to make serbia look giulty of stating the war by using questions and rebuttles, and i was interested on using that information to come up with a question. do you think this would be a calid question, and if it is not, do you have any suggestions about this info that i could use to come up with a better question to make serbia(gov't if you can) look guilty?
thanks so much for your time.

#15 gidgeygurl

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Posted 17 April 2007 - 03:02 AM

Do you why Serbia moblized before Austria-Hungary declared war on Serbia?




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