The Last Great War By Adrian Gregory Analysis
The popular interpretation is that "... British people went to war because they wanted to". Gregory argues against the idea of British society being strongly jingoistic and enthusiastic to go to war and instead describes a more mixed reaction. Leese describes the conflict as "... Seen as regrettable and uncertain in outcome... An intensely moral, perhaps even spiritual battle". British society did not enter the First World War with enthusiasm, but instead with begrudging acceptance of its necessity against the serious and unacceptable threat of German militarism and …show more content…
He writes: "Any consideration of the events of 1914 should start by acknowledging that the very idea of a uniform reaction from the "masses" owes more to contemporary beliefs of the excitability of mass society, widespread amongst Liberals and Conservatives alike, then it does to empirical evidence"
In this vein, it is also important to avoid allowing the public opinion after the official declaration of war change the interpretation of pre-war attitudes. Gregory notes that "Responses before the outbreak of war differed from responses afterwards, and public opinion continued to evolve". The reactions after the outbreak of war cannot be taken as indicative or as evidence prior to the declaration of