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July 1914: Revisited and Revised—or The End of the German Paradigm

Samuel Williams Jr. discusses and reevaluates German and Russian actions in 1914.

Date & Time

Mar. 19, 2012
4:00pm – 5:30pm ET


4th Floor, Woodrow Wilson Center
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The issue of German responsibility has long dominated discussions about the July 1914 crisis. That paradigm is now eroding. Recent research shows a more aggressive Franco-Russian alliance, a more placid Anglo-German relationship, a more assertive Austria-Hungary, and internal crises among all of the great powers on the eve of Sarajevo. This presentation will address this paradigm shift, note findings that suggest different approaches to 1914, and suggest new, comparative ways to conceptualize the July crisis.

Samuel R. Williamson, Jr. has taught at West Point, Harvard, UNC-Chapel Hill, and the University of the South. He has written frequently about the origins of the First World War. His books include The Politics of Grand Strategy: Britain and France Prepare for War (1969) and Austria-Hungary and the Origins of the First WorldWar (1991). He has often argued that Russian actions in 1914 require reevaluation and that German actions should be judged from a comparative, rather than unilateralist, perspective.

Woodrow Wilson Center, 4th Floor Conference Room
Ronald Reagan Building, Federal Triangle Metro Stop
Reservations requested because of limited seating: or 202-691-4166


Hosted By

History and Public Policy Program

The History and Public Policy Program makes public the primary source record of 20th and 21st century international history from repositories around the world, facilitates scholarship based on those records, and uses these materials to provide context for classroom, public, and policy debates on global affairs.  Read more

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