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tv   Margaret Mac Millan The War That Ended Peace  CSPAN  August 12, 2020 6:48am-7:52am EDT

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when he took the direction he have a great deal of power under the german constitution and i think that is what made him so dangerous. >> the imperial presidency doesn't seem to work that much anymore. i was able to dictate semi- different things during the second world war. nowadays he can't even get the parliament to the battle of the well. it seems to be changing in some way.
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did you have that sense? certainly barack obama is an example of a president who is struggling to enact legislation and has struggled with decisions. i have always responded as a lifelong democrat. the first candidate i voted for. i've come to believe that in that time of the 50s i am glad that dwight eisenhower was the president. he have the experience maybe not the articulation but the experience in the reputation to stand up to crucial i think
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that personality matters. i'm getting back to that. i think that the build-up of the german navy which they hunkered after for the reasons that margaret has expressed was not intended as a real challenge to britain it was intended as an add-on to military power. working to be a great world power in the british who depended on that. the british army was tiny. it provided them with the britannica. they policed it. among others for german commercial trade but in the
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evidence of another power, continental power. creating the ability to invade and cross the channel. the liberal government came in in 1976. they like to see their own prism. the real time tables. the question is and robert sees a lot of this. what is your prism for this. probably a very attracted
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prism. i don't think there is one. it's also timing. it was certainly precious as we build it up. there were some real expectations at some point. one of the images that was often used at the time was a thunderstorm. it's very heavy. then we will all feel better and have a quick short more and have peace. what you had is a very dangerous sense.
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and then the series of crisis. we got through all of these we will get through them again. at first people really didn't take it seriously. the headlines are about ireland. enough peace -- enough people were prepared that it could be used through this expectation. on the other hand it's another crisis unit get them. i would say this is true with the british. i spent three years living in
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belgrade. one of my presence. the i'm fascinated with the role that you think that played in all of this. it's been very crucial in the priorities of some of the powers involved. could have occurred without some of the tension in the balkans leading up to all of this. you have great power of a rivalry. they came close to war. in 19 '06. the balkans work particularly dangerous because of where they were. not just a local interest. give a series of very local
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nationalisms. what you also had was great power interest. in the warm water port was much more important. it was hugely important for russia. over half its grain exports went that way. and you have italy you have a combination that was very dangerous. with outside powers been dragged in.
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you can probably respond to this as well. since you first wrote this a quarter-century ago. i had five or six books to read that i know of. to learn what fresher research i've never been asked to this kind of conference or penal on the subject.
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the fellow that things the russians started the war. the war begin ten months ago. they've got five books now. probably that's enough. i don't think publishers as authors would agree with me. i'm going to look what you say i need to rethink. i was that the government in vienna was very worried about
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the influence and the magnetic pole. the pretext was perfect. under the influence he assassinated the heir to the throne. everybody in europe nobody approved of a regicide and then when serbia gave its ultimatums to serbia and said
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along with a lot of other things. they must be a part of the judicial panel which was can interrogate and trace back the connections that they have to serbia and so forth. they were aware that germany was the only ally in europe. we are going to make it as they did. the emperors tried various
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ways to stop the progression of war. i have always seen that not as just a pretext the german general staff had planned for a war against france. as a part of a war against russia. it didn't turn out that way. before we turn to our members i was just agreed with him. the council is known for that.
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i world is facing similar challenges. others coming from the streets between rising and declining nations such as china and the united states. then you continue. they had chosen to work matters out and preserve the peace this clearly failed. what lessons can we draw. they are rising and power you
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have nations who have been there. i think it gets tactic management on both sides. i hope the leaders of the country. it's no longer as powerful as it what -- once was. why did that work. it 70 relationships. george the fifth were all cousins but in the end they identified with their countries. as much as we know it felt
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very much the same. they identified themselves deeply. what you head with national forces pushing its unfortunate one of the we all think wide spread democracy is a good thing. when you have nationalist attention in europe. the spread of mass media. to put pressure on government. even when they would've preferred to be accommodating. another possible lesson is that they can be thrown into their things with lesser allies. serbia for example was being protected by russia. they thought they were there.
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she was a lesser ally of germany. the proceeds of the greater power is tied up. at this time i would like to invite members to join our conversation with their questions.
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some years ago the focus of the book was to say if not for him there would not had been a while. the kaiser was much less focused than that do you agree with that. it is a wonderful book. they would have done with the kaiser told them. they have the constitutional authority to make war and it was rather like the kaiser. they both often pulled back.
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they knew that they were not the man that the uncle had been. they would've had no choice but to agree. a number of the army officers. in the summer of 1914. i'm not backing down this time. there was a dangerous pressure to show that he could be a bold and decisive leader. he was prepared to go to war. in the and there was the kaiser that made the decision. we could go on debating it forever.
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did they want them. the german mobilization plan. was forewarned. it is a beautiful plan. it is extraordinary. i would blame the civilians who equate themselves with that plan. in the final crisis. can we just mobilize against russia. in fact i think it could've been done. the could've been done and i tend to believe him but he
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didn't had and the nerve to stand up to the generals and expertise. stephen bleich. two words associated with the war is poor and inevitability. what it been possible at any moment up to the actual beginning of the work for it not to have happened? >> i think so. when austria decides to issue the ultimatum. the germans give a blank step. is still not inevitable. without russian mobilization. it would've been possible to start. and they have done this before and in a way i think it was
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just the time they went over the break. they hadn't used mobilization as a way to put pressure on the other side. once the germans went over the frontiers. i think it was too late. i think that was really one of the great flaws. you called up the soldiers. you got them moving. and they just went seamlessly across the board. then i have it built in the proper stopping points. i think once the fighting started it was impossible to stop. do you think they really expected those across the way. i think once the german started rolling they feared
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it. i gave him an ultimatum. they wanted to switch them from the west to the east. they were not afraid of the british army. one hand was tied behind the backs. the one empire whose aftershocks are still being felt with new tremors every day can you explore for us a bit what was their stake
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several countries have and have been their adversary before. they had been doubled away at. you've asked me a question that i have not entirely answered. i think they have made a calculation that the central powers were in a stronger position. data very close relation with germany. they will train the forces. in the process we are constructing the railways. but also in the black sea.
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that would of course be a terrible bowl -- blow. the best bet was at the conflict broke out. it was a terrible burden. what is always amazing to me is that they manage to stay in the war as long as they did. it seemed like there working to be okay. stephen eisenberg. now and that that you had written this book doesn't make you think anything different about the conduct of the war
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itself if you are asked to do another addition of paris 1919 would you say new things. >> and i don't know if i would do another addition of paris 1919. it is one of the things that i just referred to. just how long they kept going. it's held together until 1917. incapable of maintaining proof in the field. in the second thing that strikes me as more and more why couldn't they have stopped it. what was it that kept them going on and on.
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the war was consuming them all. both of them would make subjects a very interesting books. >> in 1967 fisher brought out wars of germany. it's really taken advantage of a small crisis. it snowballed. he did not had access to many of these in east germany. do you agree the germany was the major cause of the war. and i had don't had access to it because i wrote my book 22 years ago.
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and i have the strength to do all of the work. the war wouldn't have happened without germany. it would've happened in some form without all of the other confidential powers the germans ignored the treaty in 1838 or 39 which created belgium. also austria france and britain. the british behind that. the two determinants of british policy the royal navy must always be superior to any other power or group of
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powers. that's all we've got. and there must be no continental launching pad adjacent to the british isles that could be used as a stepping stone or a launching pad for an invasion. i think that the british stuck to those rules comes exceptionally. there was a chill in british army. various british officials including churchill try to draw down and taper off and stop building so many.
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why did we need these. nobody tells germany what to do. the british built their navy we are going to build ours. it would became in the asian. britain did that for two reasons. they didn't want anybody that close napoleon had stood and looked across the channel and hitler did. and this was an absentee app. they have to fight to preserve
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the home islands. i don't know if that answers your question. britain could have stayed out the understanding with friends. if the germans have it invaded belgium. i don't know that. and that's another thing. it raise an interesting point. to why they didn't stop in 1415. they have already seen germany defeat the months. they cannot have tolerated that. the trouble was when one side felt like stopping the other side did it. i think what also happened as
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you get those hideous losses. some of the worst losses are taking in those battles. this is actually a mistake. we all know what happens once the killing starts. david i want to ask one question i want to buy in. margaret, where there any peace feelers during the war for either side. there was the thing through the pope. i think there are some suit -- through sweden there was a growing feeling that there should be peace in the different countries.
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they had voted enthusiastically for world credits. let's go to the back of the room right there. this is really a parlor game question which i'm sure you had been asked before. if the plan have indeed worked in the germans did take them in six weeks how do you think the rest of the 20th century would've played out. >> it's actually isn't actually an interesting new book. that's overstating it a bit. it came from a german general who was there. you can roll up i think the
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french would have fought on. at the what a mean -- remained largely intact. it's more than likely that they found that they were dealing with the low-grade war that is the invasion of occupation. i'm not sure the victory would have been necessarily settled things quickly. i think the russians may have fought on. there is still a huge amount of russia. it have a great asset of land and the capacity to retreat within the interior. just to go back to your original assumption. it would have been i think a very unhappy continent of europe if germany had one.
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it probably would have taken a big chunk of the belgian and french coast. you would've have a germany which in i would've think -- thought it would of been strengthened. there was pacifist. in the liberal forces in germany. the reactionary circles. in getting rid of the constitution dissolving the big unions. they would've have the upper hand. i think europe would have been dominated by an unpleasant germany. sooner or later i think they would have had to do something. it was always a very bad thing.
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i think they made a very sound point. understood gorin how commonplace the prospect of war came. how ordinary the thought of war came to the statesman. in the time of bismarck. europeans got their heads together and stayed out of war. they put it at a much higher level.
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what happened to european statements statement ship. that's a very good question. i think partly you will request that. and what you have in the generation of israeli and what does have done to europe. and how they had damaged european society. there was a willingness to invest a lot of peace insecurity by the time you rate -- a reach reach the second half of the century. they come out of the second world war. and want to try to build a new world war. that generation was from the scene. then i have the same reactions.
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i think with the passage of time and made a difference. sometimes it is just coincidence. you course bismarck who was an accord extraordinary statesman. he left the system behind only he could operate. it made it so problematic after his removal from office. i don't link there think there was a same willingness in appreciation of what it can mean. this is a deeply human characteristic. it was plenty of evidence.
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with that neither side strong enough to overcome the other side. because of the growing power of defenses. they tended to ignore the evidence. those attacking took terrible losses. they can still do the attack. we have this time and time again. i think there was a general -- genuine unwillingness. you have a younger generation we are so tired from hearing from them. we would like to have our own adventure our own excitement. in the younger generation scene we've missed out on all of these glorious wars. it's very easy to see it glorious when it was seen as a glorious conflict.
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the initial reaction. not everyone greeted it with excitement. these are ways we haven't have this up until now. i am the executive editor of opinion. the happy little more. also talking about the allies. is there any comparison to been made with the neocons who
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helped create a drumbeat of war. i should let the american answer this one. i have already said. i am a lifelong middle-of-the-road democrat. that said. i feel like they can idealize it. generations that haven't themselves fought and more. i think they have a very different attitude.
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they do have that in the neocons. but you also found elsewhere. you sought in the canadian government at the moment. who was in the new york times at that time. that's what they thought a lot about. but one footnote, his father
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was not like his son. he married an english woman he was a liberal if he have died of cancer after 99 days and handed the throne to this tormented child in a tormented young man who needed to prove his manhood et cetera i think given the german constitution and the power of the kaiser which we have all cited as being a major factor frederick could of what. he could have changed germany. he had plans to make a much more constitutional form of government. he wanted to strengthen it so that the civil society would live peacefully with his neighbors.
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it's one of the tragedies really. they really wanted to do everything in the opposite direction. it's on its way. i wanted to ask myself -- my friend margaret. the rising power is the united states and it was visible even at that time could the united states or any other outside party have played a role in stopping this war have they wish to do this. they scared each other. it's a very successful example of how changes can be managed.
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i don't think the united states could have stopped the war. it felt like it was not it's more. it have no interest in it. the atlantic was dividing it. the perspective had very little at stake. i think that's what people thought at the time. it's not yet apparent that apparent that it was way to become. the growing economic power into military power. it was beginning to build a big navy. the army was really very small. it was a much smaller power. didn't have the capacity at this stage to intervene. and it didn't have the world. as far as we can tell from american public opinion they have gone crazy over there. we don't want to get involved. only the irish living in the
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united states they were not going to bracket -- back britain. a quarter of all americans were german dissent at this time. the u.s. would come down on it. the loyalties were divided in november 1913 the united states was mobilizing against mexico. they had plans to raise an army of 500,000 americans. they were distracted i think. they have to worry about the great military pilots of the north. let me and something. woodrow wilson ran for a second term on the team. he kept us out of war. it was the american entry into the war which made germany quit after that.
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the naval staff they agreed to let them put everything they head into summary. they started unrestricted war for -- warfare. who came within a very large blockade area. during the fall of 1916 after his election and the winter i'm trying to decide what to do. if you don't stop doing this something this can happen. they kind of talk to him wilson took its congress.
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they would precipitate an american response. they are 2 million in france. in 2 million more in the united states training. we have to quit. we had time for one more very quick question. the question for you as have we entered the age only of
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opinion with respect to have this war began. his every archive now available. can you determine what the real facts are. or shall we always be disputing these issues. some things we know have been destroyed. a lot of them were destroyed in the second world war. they pretty much released everything they have. i thing it's very clear within the serbian government. otherwise i think there aren't any other great and discovered caches of arguments. it is such a complex event.
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i think you can see very clearly how that unfolded but i think it's such a complex collection of events. and what they had been doing i think is deep in keeping the context. what were people learning in their schools because the older generation wants him to learn something. we know more about what men were thinking. a lot of information down there. i think we will keep on shifting and gathering more information.
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i can't think of a better way to end this. i want to think from all of our authors. it is is available for purchase outside. [inaudible conversations] weeknights this month we feature book tv programs as a preview of what's available every weekend on c-span two. beginning at eight eastern. the theme is technology. the first wired magazine editor. reports on the creation, growth in future of facebook. then princeton university professor and the university
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of pennsylvania professor roberts on how some new technologies reinforce racial discrimination. and later the authors on the impact of the rise of artificial intelligence in virtual worlds. enjoy book tv on c-span two. every sunday this summer at 6:00 p.m. we are opening up our archives to look at programs with well-known authors into night it in tonight it is margaret mcmillan next she takes part in a favorite sis historical subjects.


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