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How far do the sources support the idea that Germany was war like and aggressive in its foreign policy in the years 1899-1914?

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Introduction

How far do the sources support the idea that Germany was warlike and aggressive in its foreign policy in the years 1899-1914? The six sources give very contradictory views on the idea that Germany was warlike and aggressive. The German chancellor, Von Bulow (source 1) and the Kaiser (source 4) strongly feel that it was not Germany who was being aggressive, but the other European powers. Germany was merely protecting itself from the increasing threat cast upon them through the "envy" and jealousy other countries felt against them; they needed a strong army and navy to survive. They were either to become the "hammer or the anvil", and so increasing their military was done only so they could direct the power, not become dominated by it. ...read more.

Middle

As they are given from a German governmental perspective, they are not going to show themselves to be aggressive and therefore in the wrong. For example, although source 1 claimed only that Germany was protecting herself, Von Bulow was actually largely involved in the aggressive Weltpolitik policy. So the sources are biased, and can only be used to give the German opinion of the situation. These sources give a reliable account of the Germans opinions, but not of the situation as a whole. Source 6 is neither unreliable nor biased, as it is factual, not giving a point of view or opinion, making it a good source to use. Source 6 can also be used for the other side of the argument, as it shows that Germanys army more than doubled between 1910 to 1914, a huge feat! ...read more.

Conclusion

Although this source is extremely aggressive, it is not very significant or reliable because it has been purposely written to rally the German soldiers when they are already at war and therefore cannot be blamed for having an aggressive attitude. Along with source 6, source 3 gives an overall view, showing that there is truth to both sides of the debate; Germany was both looking for peace, and was a warlike country. Germany could be very diplomatic and helpful, but as very tight bargainers, if things did not go their way, this would become "intensely disagreeable", selfish, arrogant, and manipulated all countries against each other. It was this attitude that was seen to be aggressive. As it was written in 1907, this opinion did change in the build-up to war, as the relationships between countries grew stronger and weaker. So in conclusion, the sources give a mixed opinion about whether Germany was warlike and aggressive, or defensive and peaceful in its foreign policy. ...read more.

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