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The Goal of War is Death
First World War Casualties
The figures below are from Chris Trueman's
Once having read the multitudinous “histories” of the First World War—and posited possible causes—one turns to the empirical data.

The result or outcome appears to the right. This table summarizes what occurred: the conclusion, or final solution.

Based on studying this table, one may put forth two alternative hypotheses:

  1. The outcome occurred more or less accidentally —by chance.
  1. The outcome was the result of some intention.
Assuming the first hypothesis is not correct, the next step—the future of historical research on the First World War—is to seek to understand the outcome: to identify the precise nature of the intentions or motivations or desires that led to this result.