• 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?

    forced to change his plans after the German attack on Verdun, which began in February 1916. Instead, on 1 July 1916, Haig launched his first great battle began along the banks of the Somme. This was an attempt to take pressure off the French at Verdun, but it was a disaster.

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

    She also gave rise to the so-called Dreadnought Race, in which the Great Powers of Europe, especially the British and German Empires, raced to launch more and more battleships of her class. Until the introduction of the German 'Big Navy' programme headed by Tirpitz, the British navy was relatively unchallenged in naval power.

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  1. To What extent was the German Government responsible for the outbreak of the First ...

    This implies that Alliances were a contributory factor, but they couldn't unaided have caused war. One example is Italy who was committed to defend Germany and Austria-Hungary in a 'defensive' war; arguing that Germany's actions were 'offensive' they instead declared a policy of neutrality.

  2. Africa and the role they played during both of the world wars.

    from the Portugese colony to the south.29 Von Lettow, was outnumbered, but brilliantly kept slipping away from flanking forces, time and time again in the rough African terrain. Basically, the Germans attacked and inflicted many casualties, while being able to slip away.

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

    The continuing air attacks slowly gained the Allies complete air superiority which was key for the D-Day landings in June 1944. These are all the events that lead up to June 6th (D-Day) and all of these links in with the effect of D-Day.

  2. China After World War II

    At the recent Plenum of the Central Committee of the Kuomintang the old Sun Yat-senist slogan of "The Land to the Tillers" was heard. Needless to say, all these promises and declarations are shameless deceptions. Nevertheless they are proof that land hunger is very real.

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