To start: a little more in what I started discussing yesterday (Thursday) regarding World War I on the occasion of the hundredth anniversary of the outbreak of hostilities in 1914. Today, I will be discussing the causes of World War I, that war, the purported “war to end all wars” as a major cause of the Second World War (September 1st 1939 to September 1st, 1945). Let’s see how far we get.
In a future JuicyLesson, I will look at a brief history of warfare beginning with WwI and ending with the nature of fighting in the 21st century in terms of determining the major changes that violent military action pitting one group against another has undergone during the last century.
Above: The assassination of heir to the Austrian throne, Archduke Franz Ferdinand and Sophie, his wife, as illustrated by Achille Beltrame of the Italian newspaper Domenica del Corriere, 12 July 1914.
A major cause of World War I was a system of secret and entangling alliances which ensured that if two major powers went to war, the rest of the so-called Great Powers would have to follow suit serving, in effect, to broaden the scope of the fighting considerably. It was the Triple Alliance composed of Germany, Austria-Hungary and Italy squaring off against the supposed “good guys”, at least in this dispute, – Britain, France and Russia. Associated with the Triple Alliance was the country of Bulgaria as well as what remained of the Ottoman Empire, while the United States was classified as an Associated Power of the Entente. (The USA only actually entered the fighting in 1917.)
Initially, the conflicts leading to the outbreak of hostilities occurred between the Serbs and the Austro-Hungarians. In the wake of the assassination of the heir to the Austro-Hungarian Empire, Francis Ferdinand and his wife by Serbian separatist-terrorist Gavrilo Princep, and when the Serbs, leaders of Pan-Slavic nationalism which was aimed primarily at the achievement of independence from the Austro-Hungarian Empire, refused to accept the Austo-Hungarian ultimatum demanding that the latter take over Serbia’s judicial system in order to try, convict and execute Princep, Austro-Hungary declared war on Serbia.
This declaration was quickly followed by Ruusia’s declaration of war against Austria-Hungary, eventually dragging Italy, France, Great Britain, and Germany into a massive, bloody quagmire which was to result in the deaths of some 25 million people, mostly in the trenches of France. Once two powers confronted each other, four additional powers plus three Associated Powers also become involved. Automatically.
Woodrow Wilson, American President, Lloyd George the British Prime Minister, and Daladier, the President of France tried to fix that problem based on the Wilsonian notion of “collective security and collective action” whereby an attack against any one member of an international organization – for example, the League of Nations or that paragon of virtue and bipartisanship, the United Nations – would be regarded as an attack against all members with ensuing of consequent collective action – anything from international condemnation to the imposition of sanctions against an aggressor-nation through military action against the offending state or states.
Nice notion but too idealistic as it turned out because countries were hesitant to actually step in and take action when their own national interests were not directly threatened. For example, in the inter-war period (1919 to 1939), when Mussolini, in an attempt to bestow a degree of legitimacy on his Fascist regime attacked Ethiopia in 1935, League members (which did not include the United States, which in itself may be perceived as a major cause of the League’s ineffectual behaviour between the two World Wars, and thus, also, indirectly, as another reason for the re-commencement of hostilities in 1939, so soon after 1919) – League members refused to take action against the Italian dictator.
England and France, in midst-Depression, refused to close the Suez Canal which would have made the Italian invasion much more difficult if not inconceivable as it would have involved a trip around the African continent rather than using the canal to get through it. But France and Britain, which did not at this point perceive that their respective national interests were directly involved and which also needed the toll money paid by ships using Suez just stood idly by as the Ethiopian King, Haile Selassie, a League member,literally cried and begged for help from the Assembly of the League of Nations.
Therefore, even though the countries composing the League of Nations had theoretically endorsed the notion of “collective security” rather than the system of entangling alliances which had characterized the conduct of international relations in the pre-WW I period, when it came down to brass tacks, individual countries still refused to truly embrace collective security and collective action as the new foundation for relations among the countries of this world. And so it would go until war broke out in 1939.
TO BE CONTINUED
Second today, we have a comment from a reader:
Just a little follow-up on toddlers in Shul. My daughter has been going to Shul with us since she stopped having colic, about 4 months old. She has been a staple in Beth Tikvah in D.D.O ever since. She learned to walk down stairs there during the Rabbi’s speech. She thinks the Rabbi and the Chazzan are rock stars, as when she bursts into Shul they are performing up “on the stage”.
At first she was shushed but I am a bit of a different character. I asked how they expect young families to feel welcomed in Shul if babies and toddlers get shushed, and parents get dirty looks. Since I asked them that, they have stopped even looking at me out of the corner of their eyes but have learned to smile when my daughter yells out: “there is Yossi!” or “look daddy, it’s the Torah!”
A friend of mine is a lot more sensitive and was asked to take her son into the hallway if he was going to be disruptive. Well, she took him out into the hallway, put him in his stroller and walked out the front door. She only comes back for the high holidays and on special occasions, where before they were there every week.
That is the old mentality of Shul goers and since we can agree that the young family demographic does not naturally gravitate or feel comfortable in the Shul, this needs to change.
When the new Rabbi started, Rabbi Mark Fishman, his first part of the high holiday speech was during a baby crying. He asked the mother to please not leave, as what he has to say, he feels she should hear, but also that the sound of the baby crying is just an indication that our community is growing and it should be embraced. I hope this is a start because there there are very few people in Shul regularly my age and even fewer my daughter’s age.
- END OF COMMENT
An excellent way of looking at things.
And lastly, this little tidbit:
- Auction house apologizes to Don Cherry over mansion mistake
BY THE CANADIAN PRESS, POSTMEDIA NEWS AUGUST 5, 2014
Don Cherry called it “ridiculous” for anyone to think he would live in a 975-square-metre (10,500-square-foot) home.
TORONTO — An auction house is apologizing to Don Cherry for erroneously promoting a mansion as having belonged to the hockey commentator.
Ritchies Auctioneers says in a statement the “trusted” owner had told them Cherry previously owned the home in Mississauga, Ont.
Cherry took to Twitter Tuesday to say he never lived there, calling the auction house “liars” and saying it was “pretty low” to use his name to sell a home. The television personality called it “ridiculous” for anyone to think he would live in a 975-square-metre (10,500-square-foot) home.
Ritchies issued a retraction and removed any mention of Cherry from the listing for the mansion — up for bid Aug. 17.
The home is described as having five plus three bedrooms, 12 bathrooms, a tennis court and a pool on a hectare (2.5-acre) lot overlooking the Credit River ravine.
END OF ARTICLE
Cherry is a true twit but regardless of his motivation for doing so has really done good in this case. At least I think so.