This blog is dedicated to the memory of my father, Edward W. Bennett, author of Germany and the Diplomacy of the Financial Crisis, 1931, and German Rearmament and the West, 1932 – 1933.
1870 to 1918 explores historical events from the Franco-Prussian War to the end of World War I. It’s an outgrowth of the eccentric range of topics in my Endless Streams and Forests blog.
I have a longstanding interest in the Boer War (1899 – 1902), a conflict that ended with the British Empire nominally the victor but chastened by the surprising difficulties of waging war against the determined citizens of two small South African republics. I made two trips to South Africa to learn more about it, and I wrote a work of narrative nonfiction titled Transvaal Citizen.
I don’t hold myself out as an expert. In college I majored in philosophy, not history. But with my eclectic interest in ideas, I aim to approach historical subjects from unusual angles.
The period of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries holds a fascination for me. It was the time when the world’s major European empires swelled to their largest expanse—only to come to crisis and, for the losers, collapse, in the First World War.
My first two posts are bookends for the period. I start with a small event in Paris in 1871. My second post looks at the Finnish Civil War, 1918.