• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Are you more convinced by Structuralism or Intentionalism explanations for the causes of World War 1?

Extracts from this document...


Are you more convinced by Structuralism or Intentionalism explanations for the causes of World War 1? The main causes of World War 1 can be roughly divided into Structuralist, long-term forces and attitudes, and Intentionalist, where individuals make premeditated acts, explanations. I think that Structuralism is a more convincing explanation for the causes of World War 1, as I do not personally believe that any individual was solely to blame for the First World War. I do not believe that any individual went out of their way to purposely cause the First World War. However I believe that a mixture of both is the cause of the outbreak of war in 1914, but think that structuralism is more to blame than imperialism. I think that no individual set out to cause a war and thus that no individual is solely to blame for World War 1, likewise I believe that no one structuralist idea was solely to blame, or that either structuralism or intentionalism could of caused the war without the aid of the other. Thus I think that the War would not have occurred if either structuralism or intentionalism had been absent. But I think that structuralism played more a part in causing the war than intentionalism did. ...read more.


While it is true that no African crises were severe enough to start an instant war, the friction created could account for behaviour in dealings with future affairs, for example, the Russian handling of Austria-Hungary in regard to Bosnia. There were also incidents in Europe which caused tension that could be classified as a structuralist argument. Austria-Hungarian and Russian interest in the Balkans also increased tension between the two empires, as did the Balkan League and Balkan wars. The previous examples were of foreign Structuralist arguments, but there were also domestic structuralist causes for the war. Prior to the war several governments were experiencing domestic difficulties. Russia had experienced a revolution in 1905 and Great Britain's Liberal government were also having problems with Ireland. A 'Brisk Jolly War' would have been perfect for restoring faith and popularity in the shaky governments. Germany's militaristic heritage also played a part in causing the war. During the unification of Germany the nation became accustomed to war as a means of achieving goals or settling disputes, as opposed to as a last resort, which made war seem more acceptable and thus the government would have been less hesitant to join the war in 1914. ...read more.


Some people may argue that the 'wobble' was staged to make an individual appear innocent, but I think this is unlikely as they did not expect the war to last as long or be as many deaths, so there would be no need to stage elaborate cover ups. Some historians may believe that Bethmann Hollweg was to blame for the war. But I think, again there was no premeditated decision to go to war. Although he wasn't consulted by the Kaiser over the blank cheque and he publicly approved of the proposal, personally I feel that he opposed it but felt obliged to support it to promote unity of the German government. In my opinion the outbreak of war in 1914 was caused by long-term structuralist causes. I think individuals cannot bear the majority of the blame for the war, but in different circumstances with different officials war may have been averted, or it possibly could have come sooner. However I think that no official made any attempt to create a reason for war or accelerate the process, but I think that is either was absent war ma not have occurred. However, after analysing the structuralist causes I believe that the war was caused more by structuralism than intentionalism, but no one structuralist cause was to blame. I think the war was a result of a majority of varied structuralist causes and a minor intentionalist influence. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level International History, 1945-1991 section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level International History, 1945-1991 essays

  1. Explain how the Schlieffen Plan was meant to work?

    However, the language used shows that this source is very biased, 'stubborn as a donkey and as unthinking as a donkey'. This is not the language usually used in history books and clearly shows the author's opinion. Source G is taken from the official German history of the First World War, published in the 1930.

  2. Why did tension increase in Europe between 1900 and 1914?

    * In the 1920s there was a revival of traditional Japanese ideas. * In the 1920s the population of Japan began to rise quickly and prices for rice and silk began to fall * In 1931 the Japanese army invaded Manchuria, which was a province of China, claiming that they were acting in self-defence.

  1. Was the alliance system responsible for the outbreak of World War 1 in 1914?

    The personality of Kaiser Wilhelm II may well have contributed to the cause of war, as his unpredictability "battleship with no rudder" (Sir Edward Grey) and lack of tact will have influenced major political decisions, such as Weltpolitik, which was the primary cause of Britain's reconciliation with Russia and France.

  2. The Cold War was a big rivalry that developed after World War II.

    It became impossible for either Josef Stalin (Soviet leader) or Harry Truman (US President) to agree on any political matter. A mutual fear grew between the two, each afraid that the other would gain more power. After the German defeat in 1945, the three major-allied leaders, the USSR's Josef Stalin, Great Britain's Winston Churchill and US President Franklin D.

  1. The Causes of World War Two.

    and navy; prohibited conscription; dissolved the grand general staff, and forbid Germany to have any air force at all. It also made Germany pay reparations, over and beyond damages, and impose dramatic limitations on German armaments and trade. Obviously, Germany resented the treaty, and the seeds of trouble for the next twenty years were sown in those articles.

  2. Causes of World War II Many historians have traced the causes ...

    By the early 1930's, it had halted Europe's economic recovery. The Great Depression caused mass unemployment, wide spread poverty and despair. It weakened democratic governments and strengthened extreme political movements that promised to end the economic problems. Two movements in particular gained strength.

  1. The Prelude to the 1975 War and the Cairo Agreement.

    to other barracks in various parts of the country, especially in the south and the Beqa. For Syria, the rebellion was directed against its 'stabilising role in Lebanon'. Two days later the army underwent yet another split. This time it was led by Colonel Antoine Barakat, who declared loyalty to Frangieh.

  2. “The First World War was the result of a badly mismanaged Balkan Crisis in ...

    By expanding too greatly and too fast it would interrupt the balance in Europe: Kaiser Wilhelme's views were differing to Bismark's. The two main objectives of Wilhelme was to build a strong German Empire and Navy. He extended his willingness to do this by appointing B´┐Żlow as Foreign Minister, with

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work