Chapter One. The War Imagined: 1890–1914

  1. John Horne Professor member
  1. Gerd Krumeich Professor Vice-president

Published Online: 19 MAR 2010

DOI: 10.1002/9781444323634.ch1

A Companion to World War I

A Companion to World War I

How to Cite

Krumeich, G. (2010) The War Imagined: 1890–1914, in A Companion to World War I (ed J. Horne), Wiley-Blackwell, Oxford, UK. doi: 10.1002/9781444323634.ch1

Editor Information

  1. Trinity College, Dublin, Ireland

Author Information

  1. University of Düsseldorf, Germany

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 19 MAR 2010
  2. Published Print: 23 APR 2010

ISBN Information

Print ISBN: 9781405123860

Online ISBN: 9781444323634



  • World War I - the war imagined;
  • national enmities - animosity between political and military elites of Europe;
  • military misperceptions of future war - failure in predicting reality of warfare in 1914–18;
  • social Darwinism, future nature of combat - social theories and political values determining place assigned to war in moral and political thinking;
  • Germany and the next war and social Darwinism;
  • Germany and the fear of encirclement - specter of hostile encirclement of Germany by major powers;
  • socialist views on future war;
  • rearmament in eastern Europe - alliance between nations;
  • the July crisis (1914) - German support for Austria-Hungary in attacking Serbia


This chapter contains sections titled:

  • National Enmities

  • Military Misperceptions of Future War

  • Social Darwinism

  • Germany and the Fear of Encirclement

  • Socialist Views on the Future War

  • French and British Perceptions of Germany

  • Rearmament, Eastern Europe, and the Meanings of War

  • The July Crisis, 1914

  • References and Further Reading