German Opinion on National Policy Prior to July 1914: Part I


In preparation for the peace conference that was expected to follow World War I, in the spring of 1917 the British Foreign Office established a special section responsible for preparing background information for use by British delegates to the conference. German Opinion on National Policy Prior to July 1914: Part I is Number 155 in a series of more than 160 studies produced by the section, most of which were published after the conclusion of the 1919 Paris Peace Conference. The book consists entirely of short excerpts, translated from German into English, from books, speeches, and other statements by prominent German intellectuals and political leaders. The selected passages are presented mainly as reflections of German ambitions and political designs in the period leading up to World War I. A prefatory note by the anonymous translator discusses the importance of three concepts used by German opinion leaders: Weltpolitik (world policy), Weltmacht (world power), and Weltherrschaft (world domination). The individuals whose writings and statements are quoted include Field Marshal Count von Moltke, Chancellor Otto von Bismarck, Kaiser Wilhelm II, and the nationalist historian Heinrich von Treitschke. The excerpts are grouped according to 47 topics, which are listed in alphabetical order by their English-language titles. Among the topics covered are German policies in Europe; German views on colonies and colonization, the balance of power, and international legality; and German attitudes toward and policies regarding Austria-Hungary, France, Great Britain, Russia, and other powers. An index of authors—37 in all—is provided. The book is continued by another study in the series, Number 156, German Opinion on National Policy Prior to July 1914: Part II.

Last updated: February 18, 2015