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Wolff, Theodor

(305 words)

Author(s): Cornelissen, Christoph
Wolff, Theodor (August 2, 1868, Berlin – September 23, 1943, Berlin), German journalist and politician. For more than 25 years, 1906–1933, the Berliner journalist was editor-in-chief of the Berliner Tageblatt, marked by his decidedly liberal orientation. Before 1914 Wolff already numbered among the most renowned representatives of his profession. Since 1894 he had been serving as the Tageblatt’s Paris correspondent, prominent as a knowledgeable critic of the Wilhelminian political scene. In foreign policy he advocated especially for a German-English r…

Churchill, Winston Leonard Spencer

(631 words)

Author(s): Cornelissen, Christoph
Churchill, Winston Leonard Spencer (November 30, 1874, Blenheim Palace – January 24, 1965, London), British politician. Churchill’s political development in the years leading up to World War I was significantly shaped by the events of the Second Moroccan Crisis of 1911, in the wake of which he was named first lord of the Admiralty. Churchill held several ministerial posts after switching from the Conservatives to the Liberal Party in 1904: from 1905 to 1908 he served as under-secretary of state for …

Oncken, Hermann

(271 words)

Author(s): Cornelissen, Christoph
Oncken, Hermann (November 16, 1869, Oldenburg – December 28, 1945, Göttingen), German historian. A lecturer in history at Heidelberg University before the war, in the years before 1914 Oncken was also well known to the public as an advocate of the foreign- and domestic-policy directions taken by Bethmann Hollweg’s government. This manifested itself in his publications promoting German-English conciliatory efforts. It also explains why Oncken was so extremely disappointed over the British declarati…

North Africa

(2,498 words)

Author(s): Cornelissen, Christoph
North Africa Geographical area stretching from the Atlantic coast of present-day Morocco in the west to the Suez Canal and the Red Sea in the east. The territories in question experienced various phases of political and military subjugation by the European colonial powers before the outbreak of the First World War. The North African territories were subject to differing external and internal political arrangements, and were then administered under direct and indirect forms of rule. France claimed formal sovereignty in Al…

Social Policy (Germany)

(1,215 words)

Author(s): Cornelissen, Christoph
Social Policy (Germany) In 1914–18 this was understood as including all legal and administrative measures of the German Reich, the federal states and the communal administrations for the regulation of the labor market and the welfare of soldiers’ relatives, war victims and surviving dependents. In addition, social policy extended in the war years to ensuring food supplies, regulating the residential property market, and amending previous social security conditions. After the outbreak of war, German…

India

(1,806 words)

Author(s): Cornelissen, Christoph
India In August 1914, the Indian subcontinent was the most important pillar of the British Empire. After the start of the First World War India’s importance to the war effort was apparent in the considerable numbers of Indian soldiers employed on the Allied fronts in Europe, Africa, and Asia. By the end of 1918, some 1.5 million Indians had been mobilized for the war. Of these, almost 900,000 belonged to fighting units. More than 60,000 Indian soldiers died in the war and about the same number suffered wounds. It was originally envisaged that only restricted use should be made of I…

Delbrück, Hans

(333 words)

Author(s): Cornelissen, Christoph
Delbrück, Hans (November 11, 1848, Bergen [Rügen] – July 14, 1929, Berlin), German historian and political commentator. Delbrück had become known before 1914 as an advocate both of Germany’s world role, and of internal and socio-political reform. Politically, the historian was identified with the Free Conservative Party. Appointed to Berlin University as successor to Heinrich von Treitschke in 1896, he achieved particular distinction with his four-volume History of Warfare in the Context of Political History 1900–1920 ( Geschichte der Kriegskunst im Rahmen der politische…

Lloyd George, David

(667 words)

Author(s): Cornelissen, Christoph
Lloyd George, David (January 17, 1863, Manchester – March 26, 1945, Llanystumdwy [Gwynedd]; from 1945 First Earl of Dwyfor), British statesman. This Welsh politician was one of the dominant figures on the British political scene during the First World War. Thanks to his extraordinary rhetorical talent, from the time of his first election to the House of Commons (lower house of parliament) in 1890 Lloyd George quickly made a name for himself as one of the leaders of the radical wing of the Liberal P…

Schlieffen Plan

(985 words)

Author(s): Cornelissen, Christoph
Schlieffen Plan Right up to the outbreak of the war in August 1914, the memorandum submitted by Count Alfred von Schlieffen in the winter of 1905/1906 outlined the basic strategic conception with which the German Reich entered the First World War – albeit in a version that had been modified several times by Helmuth von Moltke (the Younger). Although the significance of the Schlieffen Plan has been radically challenged in recent historical research (Zuber, 2002), the plan’s offensive strategy has r…