Morris, A. J. A., The Scaremongers

The Scaremongers : The Advocacy of War and Rearmament 1896-1914, London: Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1984.

While there is some mention of invasion-scare literature, the main thrust of the book’s argument is that it was the newspapers, and their proprietors and writers, who were responsible for creating an anti-German and pro-war climate. This book covers much of the ground discussed 70 years previously by Francis Wrigley Hirst in his 1913 book: The six panics and other essays (1913), London, Methuen & Co Ltd.

About The Scaremongers:

This revealing book illustrates how the passion for war was fostered and promoted. The author provides detailed evidence of how and why an image of Germany as a nation determined upon world hegemony was deliberately promoted by a group of British newspaper editors, proprietors and journalists. This book examines the role of these ‘scaremongers’. Were they as influential as their critics claimed? Did they influence the minds of their readers and shape events? Were they guilty of creating a climate of opinion that ensured that their prophecies of inevitable AngloGerman war became fact in 1914? [Publisher’s Description]


Part 1: Making Friends and Choosing Enemies: The Diplomats

  • The Kaiser Sends a Telegram and Chirol is Aggrieved
  • The New Tenant at 66 Dorotheenstrasse
  • Leo maxse’s ABC of Better Relations with Russia
  • To League with the Shameless Hun
  • New Friends and Old Enemies
  • Einkreisungspolitik – Encirlclement

Part 2: Alarums and Excursions: the Admirals and the Generals 7. Dies irae, dies illa

  • Is the Kaiser Coming for Tea?
  • Enter ‘the gorgeous Wrickington’
  • A Discordant Band of Brothers
  • The Committee of Imperial Defence Investigates
  • Of Secrets, Spies and Saboteurs
  • Hysteria Navalis
  • The Sinking of Admiral Fisher

Part 3: For National Security and Party Advantage: The Politicians

  • Naval Scaremongering: Garvin’s Election Cannon-Ball
  • Conscription, or How to Lose Friends and Votes

Part 4: ‘And he gathered them in a place called …Armageddon’

  • Collapse of the Triple Entente
  • A Domestic Interlude: Lord Northcliffe Asserts Himself
  • 1911: Annus Mirabilis
  • Priming the magazine
  • Military matters: Repington Fights Real and Imagined Foes22. Over the Brink