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

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Introduction

Coursework assignment How far do the sources support the idea that Germany was warlike and aggressive in its foreign policy in the years 1899-1914? This essay aims to examine the rather controversial view the Great War, was a result of Germanys aggressive and warlike foreign policies. The period under examination is 1899-1914, and this time period is crucial for understanding the origins of the First World War. A main area focused on, and will thoroughly discussed, using relevant sources from that particular time period, is how Germanys warlike and aggressive policy created and unstable environment, which it could be argued had led to war. But what this essay will try and determine, is whether or not world war one was the collective responsibility of all the European powers, or whether the war was solely the accountability of Germanys attitudes to other European powers in the years leading up to the war. Germany was built, one may argue, from war and hostility between France and Prussia. Before it was formed as a country with united states, it was once a large state (Prussia), which had smaller disunited states littered around Prussia. Later, due to the direct influence of Otto Von Bismarck (German chancellor forced to resign by Kaiser Wilhelm in the year 1890), Prussia then joined with the smaller states to form one nation; Germany. ...read more.

Middle

However, some may argue that Germany was very threatening and was so abrasive in its foreign policies because they wanted to become all-powerful (even more so than any other of the powers). Another argument could be that Germany constantly wanted to go to war. A good example (some may argue) that Germany wanted to go to war was the vast amount of money that was going on building German armies and navies. Germany was gearing all of its strength on the investment and building of arms, in a desperate attempt to win the arms race. However, Britain was winning, because although Germany had the best raw materials to produce good quality arms. Germany did not have a good as manufacturing process as the British. The building up of arms, armies and navies are clearly evident in sources one and six, which both show that Germany was putting capital into building up arms. Source six is a table of army and Naval money investment (as an estimate), which were possibly published in a school textbook). Source six shows how German money spent on the army and navy had doubled in the years 1910-1914. Germanys investment on army and navy had possibly intensified because of the Von schleiffen plan, which intensified relations between, Germany, France and Russia. Germany thought that without a strong army and strong navy; Germany would be a weak power. ...read more.

Conclusion

After analysing all of the relevant sources for the study of the origins of the First World War, the conclusion drawn, would be that Germany was certainly warlike and aggressive in its foreign policies. However, the feeling is that Germany was not the only European nation who was warlike and aggressive. After reading the available sources, it would appear that the First World War was not solely the responsibility of Germany, but a collective responsibility of all the European powers. Each nation was as wary of the other. If one nation made a slight advance, then the other nation would feel threatened or suspicious. The main issue is that, Germany was only warlike and aggressive because they felt vulnerable as a newly formed successful nation, and that they were as paranoid as the other powers were. The paranoia and vulnerability is noticeably evident in the studied sources (one and three). The suspicion and threat felt by the other powers (mainly Britain) at Germanys power are plainly apparent in the sources considered (two and three). The powers were only suspicious of Germany because Germany had immense supremacy to other throw other nations, and they were to some extent frightening as a fighting force. Germany was only warlike and aggressive as a means of self-defence and retaliation, not as a means to beat and gain a larger empire. But as the other nations grew more suspicious, an even more unstable nature was created which lead to war. ...read more.

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