Fischer Thesis! by Sophia Lennon on Prezi

The Fischer Thesis Research Paper Sample

The Causes of the First World War: The Fritz Fischer thesis

Historiographical Overview: This information sheet outlines the essential historiographical debate – namely, the Fischer Thesis, which suggested that both World Wars were essentially caused by the same consistent factor – namely, German aggression. The task of students will be to decide how far they agree with this idea.

Fischer Thesis!

Fischer Thesis - Revision Cards in A Level and IB History

Fischer was the first German historian to champion the negative version of the "Sonderweg" or "special path"' interpretation of German history, which holds that the way German culture and society developed from the Reformation onwards (or from a later time, such as the establishment of the German Reich of 1871) inexorably culminated in the Third Reich. In Fischer's view, while 19th century German society moved forwards economically and industrially, it did not do so politically. For Fischer, German foreign policy before 1914 was largely motivated by the efforts of the reactionary German elite to distract the public from casting their votes for the Social Democrats and to make Germany the world's greatest power at the expense of France, Britain, and Russia. Furthermore, the same German elite that caused World War One also caused the failure of the Weimar Republic and ushered in the Third Reich. This traditional German elite, in Fischer's analysis, was dominated by an irrational racist, imperialist, and capitalist ideology that was no different from the beliefs of the Nazis. For this reason, Fischer called Bethmann-Hollweg the "Hitler of 1914."

Fischer thesis revision cards

Bloomberg News also reports that Fischer is the frontrunner for the job, citing a "person familiar," but says the White House has declined to comment on the reports.

Fischer thesis revision cards


Fischer sought the cause of the war not “in the lack of ‘crisis management’ by the states involved,” but in the social interests of the ruling elites. He recognised that the other imperialist powers bore responsibility for the outbreak of the war, but that did not moderate the responsibility of the ruling class in Germany.The image of the Habsburg Monarchy as a relatively fragile anachronism on the international stage long informed the historical literature. Because the First World War seemed to have hastened the inevitable end of the empire, Austria-Hungary's foreign policy after 1914 has remained comparatively underexplored or been subject to misinterpretation. An aggravating circumstance concerned the prevalent German-centric take on events: the Dual Monarchy appeared as an appendage of its more powerful ally, while the Fritz Fischer thesis on German war guilt likewise made Austria-Hungary appear largely irrelevant. In consequence, its war aims have been among the least understood of those of the greater, and even some of the lesser powers. The study under consideration here offers an essential corrective based on exhaustive primary research in the monarchy's foreign and military archives now housed in Vienna, as well as in relevant manuscript collections in Hungary, the United Kingdom, and the United States. Austria-Hungary emerges from its pages as a still-vigorous great power that, … In the 1960s, Fritz Fischer initiated the first great Historikerstreit (historians’ dispute) in post-war West Germany. It concerned German responsibility for the First World War, as well as the continuity of German war aims in the First and Second World Wars. The second historians’ dispute arose in 1986, when Ernst Nolte tried to play down the crimes of Nazism and presented them as an understandable reaction to Bolshevism.The Fischer Thesis reawakened the controversy surrounding the and argued that in July of 1914 Germany took advantage of the Sarajevo incident to begin a “defensive” European campaign. This, in contrast to the traditional German stance, which continued to maintain that Germany’s entry into the war was accidental and nothing if not defensive, coming on the heels of an unanticipated Russian mobilization; also, the ensuing invasion of was made because of Germany’s fear of being encircled by the other European powers, and as a result of the Schlieffen Plan. Bloomberg News also reports that Fischer is the frontrunner for the job, citing a "person familiar," but says the White House has declined to comment on the reports.The Fischer Thesis reawakened the controversy surrounding the and argued that in July of 1914 Germany took advantage of the Sarajevo incident to begin a “defensive” European campaign. This, in contrast to the traditional German stance, which continued to maintain that Germany’s entry into the war was accidental and nothing if not defensive, coming on the heels of an unanticipated Russian mobilization; also, the ensuing invasion of was made because of Germany’s fear of being encircled by the other European powers, and as a result of the Schlieffen Plan. In his work, , David Hackett Fischer assumesthe monstrous task of determining similarities between customs in variousEnglish regions and customs immigrants brought with them upon settlingin the “New World.” Fischer’s aim is to demonstrate not only regionalmigratory patterns, but also bonds tying American culture to England. What results is a massive work that deconstructs colonial society, providingdetailed glimpses into English colonies.The programme focused on a number of different aspects of Fischer’s theses, and of the debate, including war aims, the Anglo-German naval race, and decision-making on the eve of the war. The 50th anniversary of the publication of Fischer’s path-breaking book served also as an occasion to invite a number of Zeitzeugen who had worked with Fischer in the 1960s and were able to illuminate how the book was written, and how the ensuing controversy was experienced by contemporaries.