James Joll's Theory Of World War 2

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James Joll was a follower of the Fisher school of thought in that he believed that the opening of the German war guilt clause in the Treaty of Versailles was relevant in the discussion of the origins of World War II, but that it allowed for there to be a humanization of the actors in World War I. In his study of History is focus is not on only the political and diplomatic issues that arise from war but the impact that individuals have on the system. In the case of WWI there was many countries whose base of power was concentrated in one central person. If one person is the basis of all foreign affairs it is safe to assume that their proceeding actions are a result of their own political ambitions and are thus open to bias. Fishers view on the …show more content…
In the case of Ritter he is staunchly against the idea that the wars were fought on a scale of continuation since in the first World War, Germany was acting on the defense instead of the defense. In this argument if Germany was simply reacting to the actions taken by it’s surrounding nations than it would be unjust to blame World War I on Germany and that Hitlers reign was an anomaly in the annals of Germanic history. What his theory tends to lack is a historical hindsight. In the contemporary sense, Germany has already taken responsibility for their part in the events leading to the July Crisis, what the true question is did their lack of complete acceptance lead to the hole in nationalism that allowed for Hitler to take rise. In a sense Levin agrees with Fisher that the German military initiative was essentially an act of agression upon the other nations. In other words even with the militarism of the Franco- Russian alliance, as well as their mobilization it was not enough of a direct threat for the level of weapons stockpiling and advancements that took place in Germany before the war. Furthermore there is blame that Ritter places on Britain for their choice to practice non agression in the early stages of the war. In other words the whole war started because Britain had no desire to place itself in a war that truly would not benefit them in any fashion by entering. Ritter being a nationalist and being around to see the depletion of German nationalism, his main argument is clouded with his desire to assert Germany as a nation of civil minded people. In looking at his criticism, it is crucial to maintain the mentality that most of what is being said is to serve the purpose of not only making Germany appear better but to also change the language of the historical debate. Ritter states that a historians task is to boosts the national identity of the nation at hand while also

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