Sydney Professor G.A. Wood and the Great War 1914-1918

John A. Moses

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


The purpose of this paper is to highlight the views of Professor George Arnold Wood, a leading Australian scholar at the University of Sydney, concerning the involvement of the British Empire in the Great War of 1914-1918.
The author has examined all of Professor Wood’s extant commentaries on the Great War which are held in the archives of the University of Sydney as well as the biographical material on Professor Wood by leading Australian scholars. The methodology and approach is purely empirical.
The sources consulted revealed Professor Wood’s deeply held conviction about the importance of Christian values in the formation of political will and his belief that the vocation of politics is a most serious one demanding from statesmen the utmost integrity in striving to ensure justice and freedom, respect for the rights of others and the duty of the strong to protect the weak against unprincipled and ruthless states.
The paper highlights Professor Wood’s values as derived from the core statements of Jesus of Nazareth such as in the Sermon on the Mount. And as these contrasted greatly with the Machiavellian practice of the imperial German Chancellors from Bismarck onwards, and of the Kaiser Wilhelm II. It was necessary for the British Empire to oppose German war aims with all the force at its disposal. The paper illustrates the ideological basis from which Wood derived his values.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)228-238
Number of pages11
JournalHistory of Education Review
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2016


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