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Chapter 3: German Leaders Went To War In 1914 With Eyes Wide Open (Essay Sample)


1. What perspectives tend to see World War I as a “blind blunder?” Which ones see it as an unintended or undesired consequence? What concepts do they use to support their arguments?

2. Which perspectives would emphasize each of the factors Lieber lists?

3. After reading this passage, what level of analysis do you expect Lieber will use in his argument?

4. How great a role did Germany play in the origins of World War I? How would arguments from different levels of analysis see Germany’s role differently?

5. What does Lieber see as the relationship between theory and history?

6. What issues does his critique point out regarding the use of history to formulate theory? Is it important for analysts of international relations to be conscious of new interpretations offered by historians?


Chapter 3 Answers
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Chapter 3 Answers
1. A perspective that sees the World War as a “blind blunder” is the time when Italy, Japan, and Germany caused a lot of catastrophic mistakes at the height of the war. All of these 3 countries committed blunders that are writer in history.
2. However, he argues, “the evidence suggests that German leaders went to war in 1914 with eyes wide open. They provoked a war to achieve their goal of dominating the European continent, and did so aware that the coming conflict would almost certainly be long and bloody. They neither misjudged the nature of modern military technology nor acted out of fear of Germany’s enemies moving first.”
3. The argument of Lieber is that it is wrong to have the cult formed by offensive school because preemptive attack was not the cause of World War I. Due to the fact that top military planners from Germany could understand what advantage the defensive has in terms of tactics. In addition, planners were ready for a long war.
4. By the year 1914, Germany was ready to lead a big war. They made a decision that after the June 28 assassination, they were to start battling against Serbia because they were believed to be responsible for the murder. Furthermore, on July 5 to 6, their government gave a ‘blank cheque’ to offer unconditional support to Austria, even if it could lead to a war with Russia.
5. Lieber’s ideas regarding prison reform were concentra...
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