The Open UniversitySkip to content
 

Sir Edward Grey, Germany, and the Origins of the First World War: A Re-Evaluation

Mombauer, Annika (2016). Sir Edward Grey, Germany, and the Origins of the First World War: A Re-Evaluation. The International History Review, 38(2) pp. 301–325.

Full text available as:
[img]
Preview
PDF (Accepted Manuscript) - Requires a PDF viewer such as GSview, Xpdf or Adobe Acrobat Reader
Download (235kB) | Preview
DOI (Digital Object Identifier) Link: https://doi.org/10.1080/07075332.2015.1134622
Google Scholar: Look up in Google Scholar

Abstract

Historians have variously condemned British Foreign Secretary Sir Edward Grey for contributing to the escalation of the July Crisis of 1914, and praised him as an heroic advocate of peace. Addressing this conundrum, this article first assesses historiographical debates around the significance of Grey’s policy towards Germany in the events that led to the outbreak of the First World War. It then traces Grey’s foreign policy vis-à-vis Germany on the one hand, and the Entente on the other. Finally, it provides an innovative analysis of Grey’s policy from the vantage point of Berlin, arguing that in July 1914 decisions taken by the governments of other countries escalated the crisis and were taken regardless of Grey’s position. The article concludes that current historiography overestimates British agency in July 1914 and that Grey was not as important to the outcome of the crisis as both his critics and his defenders have claimed. His actions could not change the minds of those on the continent who were bent on war.

Item Type: Journal Item
Keywords: Sir Edward Grey: First World War; historiography; war-guilt
Academic Unit/School: Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (FASS) > Arts and Humanities > History
Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (FASS) > Arts and Humanities
Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (FASS)
Item ID: 45198
Depositing User: Annika Mombauer
Date Deposited: 27 Jul 2017 15:57
Last Modified: 06 Aug 2019 14:39
URI: http://oro.open.ac.uk/id/eprint/45198
Share this page:

Metrics

Altmetrics from Altmetric

Citations from Dimensions

Download history for this item

These details should be considered as only a guide to the number of downloads performed manually. Algorithmic methods have been applied in an attempt to remove automated downloads from the displayed statistics but no guarantee can be made as to the accuracy of the figures.

Actions (login may be required)

Policies | Disclaimer

© The Open University   contact the OU