Κωνσταντίνος Ράπτης, Αναπληρωτής Καθηγητής Νεότερης Ευρωπαϊκής Ιστορίας, Τμήμα Ιστορίας και Αρχαιολογίας, ΕΚΠΑ
Μαρία Παπαθανασίου, Επίκουρη Καθηγήτρια Νεότερης Ευρωπαϊκής Ιστορίας, Τμήμα Ιστορίας και Αρχαιολογίας, ΕΚΠΑ
Έλλη Λεμονίδου, Επίκουρη Καθηγήτρια, Νεότερη και Σύγχρονη Ελληνική και Ευρωπαϊκή Ιστορία, Τμήμα Διαχείρισης Πολιτισμικού Περιβάλλοντος και Νέων Τεχνολογιών, Πανεπιστήμιο Πατρών
First World War marks a turning point in world history as it caused a seminal material disaster and massive casualty rates. From the very beginning (1914) contemporaries attempted to search for the causes that led to the Great War. Until today this particular question continues to concern historians with unabated interest. The purpose of the present thesis is to explore and incorporate the most important historiographical approaches regarding the origins of the First World War. Following two research channels, time and historiographical approach, this thesis attempts to highlight the historiographical contributions that promoted and enriched the dialogue for the origins of the Great War.
In particular, spans into four chapters, each one is dedicated to a specific chronological period. Consequently in the first chapter, the beginning of which is placed in 1914 and its end in 1939, are presented the official histories of the belligerent states and the official interpretations for the outbreak of the war. Furthermore various approaches, which were left to the brink of the official interpretations are explored, like the genesis of war as a result of disputes over trade agreements, while the argument of the outbreak of the war as a result of imperialism, which after 1917 thrived in Soviet Union is analyzed. In the second chapter, which covers the period from 1939 until 1980, the point of view that the First World War caused by the politically abnormal evolutionary course of the German Empire, which followed a "special road" (Sonderweg), is discussed. An extensive part of the chapter is occupied by the analysis of the Fischer thesis, which sparked intense dialogue in regard to the issue of the "Primacy of Domestic Politics", a view that the war constitutes, in the case of Germany, an externalization of the domestic social tensions. In the third chapter, extending from 1980 until 2000, the findings of cultural history are explored as well as the movement of questioning the "Primacy of Domestic Politics". In the fourth chapter, which extends from 2000 till today, reference is made in two historiographical approaches; firstly in some revisionist approaches and secondly to the movement of transnational history.
The present piece of research attempts to assess the contribution of the basic historiographical movements reported in the present thesis, to point out the most important objections that have been made against them and to formulate some questions that remain unexplored and demand thorough historical research.