“…up to now it has been thought that……myth-building….
was only possible because printing had not yet been invented.
………on the contrary. The press and the telegraph,
which spread their inventions over the whole earth in a second,
fabricate more myths….in one day than could formerly be done in a century…..”
Letter Karl Marx to Ludwig Kugelman July 27th 1871
At the end of July 1914 and the beginning of August 1914, the Austro-Hungarian monarchy declared war on Republican Serbia, imperial (or Tsarist) Russia mobilised against Germany, Germany declared war on Tsarist Russia and its ally Republican France. At 11 pm on August 4th Britain declared war on Germany and Austro-Hungary. Denying it had any secret alliances or understandings which committed Britain to support Tsarist Russia or Republican France, Britain claimed it was going to war to protect the neutrality of Belgium which it had guaranteed under the Treaty of London 1839.
We know, of course, that the First World War was not fought to maintain the Treaty of London any more than it was fought because the Austrian Archduke was assassinated on June 28th 1914 in Sarajevo, or to defend democracy or the rights of small nations. The First World War was an imperialist war fought for imperialistic reasons. It might be thought that little else needed to be said about it. However, as the present British government is currently engaged in a festival of lies to justify and laud WW1 as a part of a propaganda onslaught designed to make Britain’s current and prospective wars acceptable, there is an argument for countering some of the detail of the misinformation being spewed out by all the bourgeois propaganda outlets from the BBC to the school syllabus.
All five of the European powers which went to war in late July/early August 1914 were nominally bourgeois democratic countries – even Russia had a parliament of sorts. – Many rightwing historians describe Britain as a parliamentary democracy as part of a retrospective claim that Britain went to war to defend democracy, but Britain’s franchise, like the franchise of all other countries which had parliaments, excluded women, while also excluded half the adult male population in what was called the three Kingdoms of England, Scotland and Ireland, and all of the Empire
The war declared in July-August 1914 lasted just over four years and brought in many more countries, including the Ottoman Empire and the United States of America. According to the best estimates, the war saw 20 million dead and made casualties (temporary or permanent) of another 35 million. It was a holocaust, mostly of young men.
Although on August 4th 1914 Sir Edward Grey (1), the foreign secretary, claimed Britain was going to war to defend the neutrality of Belgium, the British cabinet did not even discuss the issue of Belgian neutrality until July 29th, some seven days before declaring war. The proposition that Britain actually went to war over Belgian neutrality, rather than pick it up as excuse like a rabbit out of a hat, foreshadows the non-existent weapons of mass destruction story given by the British government to justify its decision to go to war with Iraq in 2003 .
There are other similarities between1914 and 2003.
In 1914 the Liberal government had been in power for some eight years. It had come into office on the usual Liberal platform of peace, retrenchment and reform. The Independent Labour and Labour Parties were in their parliamentary infancy, the Social Democratic Federation was tiny, and while there was a surge of Labour militancy in the immediate years before the war, ‘moderate’ trade unionists were initially pleased with the Liberal government, as it quickly enacted the Trades Disputes Act 1906 (reversing the in famous Taff Vale decision)(2). In 1909, the Liberals introduced old-age pensions and, in 1911, the National Insurance Act, giving medical and unemployment relief outside the workhouse. Despite these pro-working class reforms, the Liberals remained believers in Free Trade and laissez faire. In effect, they sought to position themselves as pro-business, but also sympathetic to the ‘reasonable’ claims of the ‘hard working’, ‘deserving’, working classes (and even Irish aspirations for Home Rule).
The similarities to the 1997 Labour government are obvious, Labour won the 1997 election on a platform of being pro-‘responsible’ businesses and sympathetic to the ‘hard working’ among the working class, while the new foreign secretary, Robin Cook, also promised an ‘ethical’ or ‘pro-peace foreign policy’, and the prime minister set about the peace process in the north of Ireland.
Almost a century apart, these supposedly the ‘pro-peace’ Liberals and the ‘pro-peace’ Labourites led the charge to imperialist war, leaving their beguiled supporters utterly confounded.
Historians have generally been anxious to present the war as hugely popular and so have overlooked or ignored the fact that the Liberal British government went to war against the wishes, not only of the great bulk of Liberal voters and supporters, but against the wishes of their own parliamentary party.
The push to war in Britain came from a small inner cabinet cabal, which, by using the age-old expedients of lies, deceit, withholding of information, pleas for loyalty, the offer of pelf and place, or threats and blackmail, ambushed and overwhelmed the surprised and inchoate opposition within their own cabinet, parliamentary party, national party and their voters/supporters.
In the days immediately before the declaration of war some half of the Liberal cabinet threatened to resign. In the end only three of them did. These were:
(1) Lord Morley(3), friend and biographer of Gladstone. An old man of 76, Morley was Lord President of the Council. A fierce opponent of socialism and trades unionism, who even opposed the eight hour day for miners, Morley resigned on the laissez-faire old Liberal grounds that war was bad for business.
It was common Liberal perception that wars came about because politicians ‘got the wrong end of the stick’ and made mistakes. This view was be found in the Liberal anti-war activist Norman Angell’s then recent best-selling book the Great Optical Illusion, where he argued Lord Morley’s laissez faire case perfectly. War was bad for business and sensible civilised governments should give it up as counter-productive and futile. Angell further argued that the imperialist gains that war apparently gave the victors were a mere “optical illusion” – hence the title(4). Angell’s view was common, but it was the opposite of that of his fellow Liberal and anti-war activist J. A Hobson,(5) to whom Vladimir Lenin refers approvingly in his preface to Imperialism, the Highest Stage of Capitalism. Hobson saw war as intrinsic to capitalism, and hence inevitable, if not this year, next, or anyway sometime soon. Despite holding these views Hobson co-operated with Angell in the a Liberal élite anti war organisation, the Union of Democratic Control, which, as its name suggests, demanded that in future (after the war was over) there should be democratic control of foreign policy.
(2) The second cabinet member to resign was John Burns(6), President of the Board of Trade. In direct contrast to Morley, Burns was working class. He was also a one-time socialist. As ‘the Man with the Red Flag’, Burns had been one of the leaders of the Great Dock Strike of 1889; but whereas his fellow leader Tom Mann(7) became a Communist, John Burns had joined the Liberal Party.
To Burns’ credit, a great European war was just one political compromise too many for him and he gave up his grand salary as a cabinet minister. His place was taken at the Board of Trade by the Zionist, Herbert Samuel(8), who later as High Commissioner for Palestine would do so much to establish Israel.
(3) The third actual resignation, rather than a threat of resignation, came from a mere parliamentary secretary for Education, Sir Charles Trevelyan(9), a wealthy scion of a Whig-Liberal landowning family. Trevelyan’s grandfather was the principal civil servant administering Ireland during the famine, and he is famously recorded as seeing The Great Hunger as God-given or “providential”, as the mass deaths and emigration of the Catholic peasantry allowed the land to be converted from subsistence farming to the cash crop cultivation of grain(10).
Without too much difficulty the younger Trevelyan was a far better man that his grandfather; he was also perhaps a better man than Morley and Burns, as Trevelyan was the only one of the three cabinet members to resign who would go on to take any kind of active part in the anti-war movement during the war itself. He would also become a Labour MP and serve as Minister for Education in Ramsay McDonald’s government as one of the many patrician Liberals who would transfer to the Labour Party because of the war.
Along with Norman Angell, A.J. Hobson, E. D. Morel, Bertrand Russell, Arthur Ponsonby MP, the Quakers George Cadbury and Arnold Rowntree MP and many other élite Liberals, as well as Ramsay MacDonald and the later anti-Stalinist Konni Zilliacus, Trevelyan would be active in the anti-war Union for Democratic Control. One of the most interesting of these men was Arthur Ponsonby, Liberal MP. He was a son of Queen Victoria’s long-term confidential secretary. Like Trevelyan, Ponsonby after the war transferred to Labour and, like Trevelyan, he also served in Ramsay MacDonald’s government. More immediately germane, however, is that Ponsonby wrote a book after the war, which is still very much worth reading as a deconstruction of British war time propaganda: Falsehood in Wartime, Containing an Assortment of Lies Circulated Throughout the Nations During the Great War .
The Union of Democratic Control and its mostly élite, well-connected and wealthy members are only worth highlighting as the organisation’s very existence demonstrates the powerlessness of the opposition to the war (or wars) of even the most well-connected and wealthy of individuals, who seek to use good will and common sense to stop an imperialist war.
The war was actually decided on by an inner cabal of cabinet ministers. The Prime Minister Herbert Henry Asquith barely matters. Alhough he was also Minister for War, he was a cipher. The barrister son of a Yorkshire woolen merchant, Asquith had gone up in the world and he was so happy at his success that he always did exactly as he was told. At times he seems to be oblivious to what was going on. On July 24th , just eleven days before Britain declared war, he wrote to his current lady love, Venetia Stanley, after a cabinet meeting to tell her that he was sure Britain could stay out – that is be neutral – if there were to be a European war.
The real decision makers for war in the cabinet were Sir Edward Grey, Winston Churchill(11) and to a lesser extent Lord Haldane(12). Sir Edward Grey, like the resigner, Charles Trevelyan, was the scion of an old Whig Liberal landowning family. One of his direct ancestors was Lord Grey, prime minister when the first great Reform Act (1832) and brutal Poor Law Amendment Act (1834) were passed. Grey’s grandfather had been the Liberal Home Secretary during the Great Hunger. And whatever horrors Trevelyan’s grandfather had wrought on the Irish were done with the full support of Home Secretary Grey.
Winston Churchill is best known as a Tory, but from 1904 to 1924, he was a Liberal. It was during his period as a Liberal Home Secretary that Churchill brought in the army to attack the striking miners at Tonypandy(13), and it was as a Liberal Minister for War that he ordered the gassing of Kurds in Iraq(14). In 1914 Churchill was First Lord of the Admiralty. He was also the grandson, nephew and cousin of successive Tory Dukes of Marlborough and, despite his defection to the Liberals, Churchill’s connection to the Tory grandees was so perfectly intact that he would often go straight from Asquith’s cabinet to inform the Tory leadership of what had been discussed. It was Churchill who was able to assure Grey of total Tory support for war- meaning that if half the Liberal cabinet resigned (as was being threatened in the days just before war was declared), a Tory-Liberal coalition could be put in place immediately. This ace in the hole prevented more cabinet resignations. Lewis Harcourt, secretary of state for the colonies, who had been one of the noisiest threatening to resign over the war, now crumbled, either because he knew a Tory would be given his post, or because his famously decadent private life made him easy to blackmail – or because Harcourt’s brother in law, J.P. Morgan, told him not to; but when Harcourt decided not to resign, the cabinet rebellion started by Morley, Burns and Trevelyan ended. And as the three resigners were prevailed on not to make their resignations public until after war was declared, a possible parliamentary rebellion of backbenchers ended with all the confusion of headless chickens.
Grey and Churchill were determined to go to war as they perfectly represented an Imperialism which saw Germany as the major threat to the British Empire and wanted to attack it while Britain had the advantage. The conviction that Germany was the enemy developed after the Franco Prussian war (1871) which saw Prussia unite the German principalities under its hegemony as Germany . Within seven years the Germans managed to acquire colonies at the Treaty of Berlin (1878). The public mind was prepared for war by the press and by the book-publishing trade – the entire media at that time.
Opposition to ‘German militarism’ started with a vengeance in the 1880s and it crossed party boundaries, with W.T. Stead(15) of the Liberal Pall Mall Gazette calling for massive British re-armament, and it was carried on at full throttle by anti-Semite and later anti-Bolshevik, Henry Wickham Steed(16), foreign correspondent of The Times (who rather ironically also hated Germany and Austria as he felt they were both Jew dominated).
To further whip up the masses, from the 1870s onwards there was a whole popular genre of invasion literature. It gained even more ground at the beginning of the 20th century with the publication of the bestselling 1903 Riddle of the Sands by the maverick Erskine Childers and William Tufnell Le Queux’s(17). The 1910 The Invasion of Britain was the most popular of all. Yet just as Ian Fleming’s James Bond books were best sellers and whipped up suspicion of the Soviet Union, they did not make people want to have a war with the Soviet Union. Pre-1914 invasion literature was similar: the genre created a mood which would help people accept a war against Germany, but it did not actively make them want to have one. Other factors had to come into play.
In 1904 Britain signed an Entente Cordiale with Republican France, in 1907 a ‘convention’ with Tsarist Russia, yet neither was publicly admitted to be an alliance and Sir Edward Grey would deny he had any alliance or understanding with France or Russia until the very moment he declared war on Germany on the side of France and Russia.
Imperialist wars do not necessarily break out when all parties want one; logically they break out when one side thinks it has the advantage. And in 1914 Britain was looking for war with Germany, as it had been for some time. There is no doubt that the assassination of the Archduke of Austro Hungary, or rather the events afterwards, were allowed, or rather encouraged, to develop in a way that led inexorably to war. In this Britain was helped especially by Raymond Poincaré(18) president of France
Raymond Poincaré is not a familiar name in Britain. However, in 1913 Lenin did not underestimate his bourgeois viciousness and, on Poincaré’s elevation to the presidency of France in 1913, Lenin remarked:
“Poincaré’s career is worthy of note …(he is) a typical bourgeois businessman who sells himself in turn to all parties in politics, and to all rich men ‘outside’ politics.
Poincaré has been a lawyer by profession since the age of twenty. At twenty-six he was a chef de cabinet and at thirty-three, a Minister. Rich men and the big-wigs of finance in all countries think highly of the political connections of such dexterous careerists.
“A “brilliant” lawyer-deputy and a political trickster are synonyms in the “civilised” countries.” (19)
Poincaré was an imperialist to his marrow. He was also a nationalist and, hailing from Lorraine, he had a visceral hatred for Germany as he was obsessed by France’s loss of Alsace Lorraine to Germany after the Franco-Prussian War, a loss which Lenin understood as “the deal bourgeois France (brokered) in 1871 (when it) sold its country to Bismarck in order to crush the revolt of the proletariat (the Commune of Paris)”(20). No matter, when Poincaré came to the presidency he, like Britain, was looking for an opportunity for war with Germany. Unable to contemplate a war without allies, France had had a formal alliance with Russia since 1892. It was outwardly defensive: they each committed to defending the other if Germany or Austria Hungary attacked, and Poincaré wanted Russia committed to war before committing France. While hoping for an opportunity for war with Germany, Poincaré prepared, and in 1913, conscription in France was increased from two years to three for all male citizens. Driant’s Law, as it was called, was opposed by Jean Jaurès(21) and the socialists and by the leader of the radicals, Joseph Cailloux(22). In 1911 to 1912, Cailloux had been prime minister, where his opponents had seen him as pro-German during the Second Moroccan Crisis. Poincaré ignored Jaurès for a while, but he set out to destroy Cailloux by scandal and vilification -mostly published in Le Figaro(23) .
Assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand
The imperialist tinder box was lit by the Archduke’s assassination. Political assassinations were not daily events but they were not uncommon, and the Archduke’s could not have ended up in a world war without real encouragement. King Alexander and Queen Draga of Serbia had been assassinated by dissident Serb nationalists in 1903. Earlier Tsar Alexander II had been assassinated by the People’s Will in 1881. The Empress Elizabeth of Austro Hungary had been knifed to death in 1898 by an Italian anarchist; President Cánovas of Spain was assassinated by an Italian anarchist in 1898; King Umberto of Italy in 1900(24) by another Italian anarchist; President McKinley of America(25) by a Polish-American anarchist in 1901; again much earlier Lord Frederick Cavendish was knifed to death in Phoenix Park by the Irish National Invincibles in 1882. Assassinations might result in mass arrests and repression but they did not lead to war, granted none of these previous assassinations were government sponsored. The Irish immigrants to America, not the American government, funded Irish revolutionaries; neither were Italian anarchists funded by the Italian government.
The Archduke’s assassination in 1914 was different. The assassin, a Bosnian Serb, Gavrilo Princip(26), had as his handler the Chief of Serbian Military Intelligence, Dragutin Dimitrijević(27), generally known as Apis. Apis had led the assassination of King Alexander and Queen Draga and he had the support of the current prime minister of Serbia, Nickoli Pašić(28) . Princip would languish in jail for the rest of his life while Apis would remain at large until 1917 when he was executed after his failed assassination attempt on the Prince Regent.
Austro-Hungary knew the head of Serbian Intelligence had masterminded the assassination of the Archduke, and it demanded the right to take part in the investigation. As the Serbs knew what this would reveal, they procrastinated and asked Russia to intervene to help them if they refused Austria’s demand. Russia, wanting to expand in the Balkans, had positioned itself as the protector of the small Slav nations emerging from Ottoman rule and, desiring to reduce Austro-Hungarian influence in the Balkans, it could normally be expected to side with Serbia. However, Austro-Hungary, and Germany especially, believed it would not do so in this case. Kaiser Wilhelm convinced himself that his cousin Nicholas II would, his own grandfather having been assassinated, be so horrified by the assassination of another royalty that he would sit back allowing Austro-Hungary to put pressure on Serbia up to and including an incursion. Kaiser Wilhelm was so sure of this that he promptly went away on his annual holiday.
Nicholas II got advice against war from many at his court, including notorious priest Grigori Rasputin(29), who correctly saw that a major European war would result in revolution in Russia and the overthrow of the Romanovs. Rasputin is always presented as a great influence at court, especially with the empress, who was German and did not want a war with Germany anyway. However, just two weeks after the assassination of the archduke, Rasputin was hospitalised after an attempted assassination allegedly by a madwoman and, apart from a telegram from Rasputin to the Tsar advising peace, he was not present when the die for war was cast.
The dogs of war assemble
Between 20th and 23rd July 1914, President Raymond Poincaré made a state visit to Russia. Amazingly no record of any of the conversations they had or the conversations of their entourages survives in either the French or Russian archives. All that is known is that when Poincaré left for France, Nicholas II had committed himself to war against Germany and Austro Hungary in alliance with France.
Events now moved quickly
Thursday 23rd July – The British fleet had finished its own manoeuvres, but on Churchill’s orders, without sanction of the cabinet, the fleet was told not to disperse. This was a move towards war.
Friday July 24th – Austro-Hungary issues an ultimatum to Serbia demanding to oversee an investigation into the assassination of the Archduke. This was the very evening that Asquith wrote to his light of love Venetia Stanley telling her that that there was ” no reason for Britain to get involved in the trouble brewing in the Balkans”
Saturday July 25th – Serbia only partly accepts the Austro-Hungarian ultimatum. Austro-Hungarian ambassador leaves Belgrade. The partial mobilisation of Russia against Austro-Hungary takes place.
Sunday July 26th – Churchill informs Asquith that he has ordered the fleet not to disperse on his own authority. It is decided to report this in the papers on Monday. Grey mulls over whether the ambassadors of small countries not involved in the dispute might mediate.
Monday July 27th – the Kaiser returns from summer holiday, horrified at Russian partial mobilisation
Tuesday July 28th – Austro-Hungary declares war on Serbia, Churchill orders fleet to battle stations – again the cabinet is not informed, only the inner cabal. The positioning of the British fleet is reported in the press and noted by Russia and France (who anyway have their own spies and informants)
The International Socialist Bureau meets in Brussels to discuss the threat of war and to decide on effective opposition to it.
Wednesday July 29th (one week to war) – the issue of Belgium is brought up in cabinet for the first time. Germany seeks discussions with Britain on what terms it would agree to be neutral in the event of a Russian-French attack on Germany; and also the issue of Belgium’s neutrality (the German military plans to invade France through Belgium in th event of war were an open secret)
Thursday July 30th – In Britain the Inner cabal reject Germany’s overtures without consulting the cabinet.
Friday July 31st – Total mobilisation of Russia against Germany. The assassination in Paris of the French socialist Jean Jaurès at a restaurant where he was dining, with, among others Karl Marx’s grandson Jean Longuet (30). Jaurès had returned that day from the International Socialist Bureau meeting Brussels where he had been discussing the organisation of working-class opposition to the war with, among others, Rosa Luxemburg and Kier Hardie. It is said that just two hours before his assassination he had met with the under-secretary of state, Abel Ferry (31)(nephew of the execrable Jules Ferry(32) of the Third Republic) and that Ferry had said point blank that if Jaurès tried to oppose the war once it had started ” C’est ce que vous n’oserez pas, car vous seriez tué au prochain coin de rue !(33) [“Which you would not dare to do because you would be killed on the next street corner”]
Saturday August 1st – Germany declares War on Russia. German ambassador in London Lichnowsky again approaches Grey to discuss Britain’s terms for what the Times foreign correspondent, Steed described as “a dirty German-Jewish international financial attempt to bully us into advocating neutrality“.
Sunday August 2nd – sees a labour and socialist demonstration in Trafalgar Square. The weather was miserable even by the low standards of a British summertime. It was cold and wet and only 20,000 turned up to show solidarity for what The Daily Herald dubbed the demonstration as “The Workers War on the War”. The speakers include Kier Hardie and George Lansbury (editor of the Daily Herald). They call generally for peace, failing that for British neutrality and failing that the crowd gave “Cheers for proposed General Strike to oppose it: There was no doubt as to the spirit which animated the thousands of London workmen and women who stood in the pouring rain in Trafalgar Square yesterday. In unmistakable terms, they told the Government that the workers would not consent to be pawns of European financiers, and that England should not be involved in war” (34)
Eighty- nine years later, 15th February 2003 was a gloriously warm and dry early Spring day and at least a million men and women came to march from the Embankment to Hyde Park to demonstrate their opposition to the then impending war against Iraq; which rather suggests that the visible size of domestic opposition makes no difference at all when the bourgeois élite has determined its interests are best served by war, and that something quite different to mere words is required to stop the warmongers in their tracks.
Robert Cunningham, previously a Labour MP, but in 1914 president of the Scottish Labour Party, addressed the Trafalgar Square meeting, just two days before Grey declared war with a long speech encouraging the hope of neutrality for Britain, as
” The Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs (Sir Edward Grey) has stated repeatedly that we have no entanglement or treaty, written or unwritten, binding us to move a single man of this country in defence of France …”(“defence of France” because defending Belgian neutrality would effectively protect and defend France from Germany) “…. It must be the earnest wish of every man and woman that not later than four o’clock to-morrow afternoon the Prime Minister will rise in his place in the House (of Commons) and declare neutrality. If (British neutrality) had been declared two days ago, I think Russia would not have taken her present attitude (Russia’s “present attitude” being total mobilisation against Germany)”.
The day after the Labour and socialist demonstration, France and Germany declared war on each other. And Grey told the cabinet that Britain had just, and only just, given guarantees to France. The following day, August 4th, Britain declared war on Germany. Despite Churchill already having the Fleet at battle stations, the British Expeditionary Force was not yet mobilised and Britain’s first moves in the war were made against German colonies in Africa.
The day after the war was declared, August 5th, The Daily Herald declaimed:
“WHAT WORKERS CAN DO Begin A General Strike Against The War…..The workers of the countries involved can make a strike against war- the holiest of all the worthy strikes of history. In Great Britain the Triple Alliance could be called together- railmen, miners, transport workers…..The Trades Congress could be called at once; failing that, the joint committees representing the Labour Party, the Trades Union Congress, and the Federation of Trades could meet and determine upon calling a National Conference to protest against the war. The Trades Councils throughout the country could meet and protest, could call local meetings of protest, protest through the affiliated membership; the whole of the Unions could co-operate, with national and local organisations, and do splendid service for the cause of peace…. Get a move on and will do our best to assist.” (35)
Unfortunately this stirring piece was put on page 6, not page 1 and the history of WW1 is one of the failure of the British working class to mobilise effectively against the war.
This failure needs a longer discussion than is possible in this short article which was written merely to counter the refrain now constantly heard in the media that noble Britain had the First World War thrust upon her and that she could do nothing else than defend Plucky Little Belgium, omitting to mention that, despite its small size, Plucky Little Belgium held the Congo in such horrific thrall that even other imperialist powers were appalled when E.D. Morel(36) and Roger Casement’s Congo Reform Association revealed the full horrors inflicted on the enslaved Congolese.
E.D. Morel, active in the Union for Democratic Control would be imprisoned in 1917 for his “traitorous” anti-war activities while, as we all know, Roger Casement was executed in 1916 for his abortive part in the Easter Rising. The warmongers did rather better, except in Russia.
(1) Sir Edward Grey (1862-1933) foreign secretary from 1905-1916, scion of the Grey family which produced Lord Grey prime minister during the Reform Act 1832 and the Poor Law Amendment Act 1834, Grey was also a kinsman of Mrs Josephine Butler (née Grey) tireless campaigner against the Contagious Diseases Acts . Grey was a member of Sidney and Beatrice Webb’s elite Coefficients Club
(2) Taff Vale Railway Co v Amalgamated Society of Railway Servants (1901), known as the Taff Vale case. House of Lords ruling at appeal that unions could be liable for loss of profits to employers caused by taking strike action.
(3) John Morley, 1st Viscount Morley of Blackburn ( 1838-1923) one time editor of the Fortnightly Review and Pall Mall Gazette as well a Liberal politician
(4) Angell won the Nobel Peace prize in 1933, To his credit he struggled more for peace than some of its other recipients, which laughably include Henry Kissinger, Menachem Begin, Lech Walesa, Mikhail Gorbachev, Yitzak Ravin, Shimon Peres and Barack Obama to name only the very worst
(5) J .A Hobson (1858-1940)
(6) John Burns (1859-1943), socialist and trades unionist, but became a Liberal M.P. in 1892
(7) Tom Mann (1856-1941) joined CPGB in 1920, but also interested in Syndicalism, a unit of the international Brigade the Tom Mann Centuria, was named in his honour
(8) Herbert Samuel, 1st Viscount Samuel (1870-1963)
(9) Sir Charles Trevelyan (1870-1858)
(10) See C. E. Trevelyan, letter to Lord Mounteagle 9 October 1846 Treasury Archives
(11) Winston Churchill (1874-1965)
(12) Lord Haldane, Richard Burdon Haldane (1856-1928), Scots, barrister, Liberal Imperialist, Secretary of State for War 1905-1912, Lord Chancellor 1912-1915. A member of the co=Efficients a dining club set up by Sidney and Beatrice Webb for elite “reformers.”, joined Labour Party and became Labour Chancellor in 1924. He was also said to have been instrumental in getting Oscar Wilde’s prison conditions improved
(15) W.T. Stead (1849-1912) journalist and editor, an Imperialist Liberal, pro Russia at one time he was a good friend of Anne Besant
(16) Henry Wickham Steed (1871-1956_)The times, foreign correspondent and briefly editor
(17) William Tufnell Le Queux (1864-1927)
(18) Raymond Poincaré (1860-1934)
(19) Lenin Pravda No 11, January 15, 1913Lenin Collected Works, Progress Publishers,, Moscow, Volume 18, pages 487-488. Marxist Internet Archive http://www.marxists.org/archive/lenin/works/1913/jan/15.htm
(20) Lenin Pravda No 11, January 15, 1913Lenin Collected Works, Progress Publishers,, Moscow, Volume 18, pages 487-488. Marxist Internet Archive http://www.marxists.org/archive/lenin/works/1913/jan/15.htm
(21) Jean Jaurès (1859-1914) Jaurès’ assassin, the appropriately named Raoul Villain (1885-1936) was caught at the scene and at a time when murderers were always tried and executed within weeks of their crimes, Villiain was not tried until 1919. He was acquitted by a packed jury, he then went to live in Ibiza, Spain, where he was assassinated by French Republicans in September 1936.
(22) Joseph-Marie-Auguste Caillaux (1863-1944)
(23) In 1911 to 1912, Cailloux had been prime minister, where his opponents had seen him as pro German, Cailloux’s politics meandered and he made himself unpopular with the rich by advocating progressive taxation, (a policy which pleased the socialist). How genuine Cailloux was in this demand for progressive taxation is unknown. He may just have been playing to the gallery as he was fabulously wealthy himself and he was married (a second time) to an equally fabulously wealthy women.
Caillioux’s anti militarism is also far more ambiguous than Jaurès’, but Caillioux was genuinely against a war with Germany, apparently on the sort of bourgeois pacifist grounds understandable to Lord Morley and Normal Angell, Cailloux just didn’t see war as good for business, but to his credit, Cailloux’s opposition to Driant’s Law was genuine. Cailloux a good speech maker and he had a considerable middle and lower middle class following, but he had no roots in the working class movement s and as he was a businessman he was not uniting with the socialists and calling for general strikes, so it was not necessary to silence Cailloux by assassination, Instead Cailloux was silenced by a campaign of vilification mostly carried out by Le Figaro. In March 1914 this campaign took an amazingly melodramatic turn when Cailloux’s second wife (Henrietta Cailloux (1874-1943) went into Le Figaro’s office and shot the editor, Gaston Calmette (Gaston Calmette (1858-1918) dead. Madame Cailloux was tried for his murder, but acquitted on July 28th 1914 just days before the war began, on the grounds that she had committed a crime passional. No matter, her husband was politically finished and he was soon easily imprisoned on a trumped up charge of treason
(24) Gaetano Bresci (1869-1901)
(25) Leon Frank Czolgosz (1873-1901)
(26) Gavrilo Princip ( 1894-1918) Died of TB in prison April 1918 ( too young for the death penalty he had been sentenced to twenty years imprisonment)
(27) Colonel Dragutin Dimitrijević (1876-1917)
(28) Nikola Pašić (1845-1926) Leader of the People’s Radical Party of Serbia, intermittently prime minister of Serbia and then Yugoslavia from 1891-1926 In 1899 when he was out of office Austria intervened to save him from execution for his involvement in the attempted assassination of ex King Milan, but Pašić was always pro Russia. Supposedly not involved in the actual assassinations of King Alexander and Queen Draga, but only the People’s Radical Party benefitted from it
(29) Grigori Rasputin(1869-1916)
(30) Jean Longuet (1876-1938) eldest surviving son of Karl Marx’s daughter Jenny.
(31) Abel Ferry (1881-1818)
(32) Jules Ferry (1832-1893-assassinated)
(33) Rosmer, Alfred Le Mouvement ouvrier pendant la guarre (Paris 1936), pp. 91-2. Rosmer gives as his source for this Charles Rappoport, Jean Jaurès, Paris, 1915.
(34)Daily Herald 3rd August 1914 page 1
(35) Daily Herald 5th August 1914 page 6
(36) Edward Dene Morel (1873-1924)