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

Did Germany cause World War One?

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Did Germany cause World War One? The polarities of the question on War origins can be summed up in two phrases: Germany planned and caused the War and The nations of Europe stumbled into War. Between these two extremes is a broad central position which, historians have been debating for years. While no one nation can entirely hold responsibility for the War, some nations hold more responsibility than others. For centuries, historians have had swinging opinions on the matter. In the 1920s and 30s, German historians managed to turn the page and succeeded in proving the 'War guilt', announced in 1919, at the treaty of Versailles, as being unfair. Naturally, later in the 1940s British historians found ways to prove the German historians of the 20s and 30s wrong. More recently, in the 1960s a German historian, Fritz Fischer, renewed accusations for German responsibilities for War, basing them on German expansionist aims from early in the century. At no point is Germany the sole carrier of responsibility for the War, but from all perspectives, Germany is by far the most contributing. ...read more.

Middle

Fischer says that the decision was taken in late 1912 that Germany should launch a war at the first favorable opportunity. 'Its main objectives would be to achieve expansionist goals in Europe and overseas. Germany would expand her power base in Europe by annexing territory in the east and possibly in the west as well.' A German perspective was that a successful War would enable Germany to become a colonial power in Africa by acquiring French and Belgian colonies - the "Mittelafrica" policy. By this, Fischer emphasizes the German desire for War and "Weltpolitik". German efforts during the July 1914 crisis were consistent with this aim. Firstly, Germany put pressure on it brother Austria-Hungry to act against Serbia even if it meant an outbreak of a general War. Hence the 'blank cheque' of July 5th, when Austria-Hungry was sworn alliance and full support by Germany. Secondly, the German Chancellor was not seeking a peaceful solution but was adapting to create the most favorable situation for a German victory. ...read more.

Conclusion

This pride was a constantly emphasized by the Kaiser. He was preparing his country for war and showed it naturally through his pride in his accomplishments. The idea of colonizing is very much related to this idea. Historian, Dr. J. Winter, states that a German mentality was that 'They deserved'. What they deserved; saying there country was good and therefor more land was what they deserved, more power, "Weltpolitik". Germany was mentally ready for war, and according to the Kaiser Wilhelm II, war was the only possible next step. Under no conditions would it be historically correct to take either one of the polarities of the question whether Germany caused World War One or not. There is no doubt that Germany carries a major weight on its back, on which guilt is printed, but there were other causes, not German related, that contributed. The cause of outbreak of war is directly related to the incident on the 5th of July 1914, whose causes were ruling decisions made, who by themselves were influenced by rise in international tension from about 1905, which was generated grossly by Germany. ...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. Why did tension increase in Europe between 1900 and 1914?

    9,000 Allied soldiers were killed. Early respirators were clumsy and only fitted into the shirt collar. Later designs proved very effective. * Gas was terrifying, but did not prove to be a decisive weapon. It could blow the wrong way and attackers had to wear respirators, which hindered visibility and movement.

  2. How far was Germany responsible for the outbreak of war in 1914?

    British became, the closer they grew to the French and the Russians - and the more the Germans complained of 'encirclement' " Encirclement may have just been the Germans being paranoid about the potential enemies that were to the West and East of them, or perhaps the fear was well founded.

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

    He had overcome the hostile attacks of the 80th Congress, threats from Josef Stalin, the takeover of Czechoslovakia, the blockade of Berlin, strikes and economic reconversion problems at home, and a public image of a not-very-serious president. Most importantly, he listened to his advisers, especially George Marshall, and supported their hard-line advice and policies.

  2. To What extent was Germany Responsible for the outbreak of World War One?

    Despite his English heritage he was fiercely jealous of Britain and was determined to become a power on the same scale. To do this he believed that British naval mastery would have to be challenged.

  1. What Were the Cause of World War One?

    Austria-Hungary saw Serbia becoming friendly with Russia a threat and Italy needed help from Germany and Austria-Hungary to extend its empire, which it wanted to do. Another thing was the Empires. Both Germany and Italy were looking to set up colonies and build up an overseas empire.

  2. How Significant were the Normandy landings in Defeating Germany in World War Two?

    But they still would have had a war on two fronts with USSR, too. Therefore, if they hadn't declared war on USSR in 1942 then they would have had more troops to give resistance on D-Day. In general, Germany didn't stand a chance as the British were sending messages to

  1. "The main long term cause of World War I is nationalism." Discuss this statement.

    History was a contributing feature of French nationalism after 1871 when the territories of Alsace and Lorraine were lost in the Franco-Prussian War of 1870-71. Heated hostility between France and Germany resulted, and their unfriendly history was carried into the battlefields of World War One.

  2. China After World War II

    concept of "good" and "bad" capitalists in other lands, is widespread in China today, thanks to Stalinist propaganda. The stratum which the Stalinists designate as "bureaucratic" consists in reality of the finance-capitalists who have close ties with the big landlords, on the one hand, and with Wall Street on the other.

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