Book Festival: To End All Wars - World War One: Mainstream histories, liberal forecasts – and lessons for today
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WW1’s origins are variously attributed to the Habsburg Empire’s collapse, the complicated international alliances that preceded 1914, the German army's sticking to the Schlieffen Plan's strict railway timetables, or the unreadiness of old dynasties to move with the times.
All these accounts miss the point. Before 1914, British liberals thought Britain and German’s investments in each other would prevent war. Yet it turned out to be precisely the very 2014 phenomenon of Foreign Direct Investment that bound WW1’s participants into long-run, spiralling tensions, and made WW1 a truly worldwide conflict.

Talk by James Woudhuysen, De Monfort University.

Location: Roland Levinsky Building, Plymouth University.

Tickets: £6.60, Concessions £4.50.

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