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

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

Extracts from this document...


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.


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.


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.

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?

    * Many of the troops in the first wave at the Somme were members of 'Pals' Battalions'. They had been recruited from the same areas in big cities or towns and put into the same units to increase morale. But this meant that they were all cut down at the same time, with devastating effects on their locality.

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

    Britain for example in response to the German's 'Big Navy' programme, commissioned eight 'Dreadnought' class battleships in a single financial year. HMS Dreadnought was the first in a new class of fighting ships, which she gave her name to. Effectively the first modern battleship, she was launched in 1906.

  1. To What extent was German Foreign Policy responsible for the outbreak of general European ...

    Austrians on 5th July 1914 that not only said Germany would stiffen its alliance, but also that it would guarantee Austrian security, thereby giving the Austrians the confidence to act against Serbia. There was no obligation for the Germans to issue such strong support, however if war did break out

  2. American economic foreign policy and the origins of the cold war

    Nonetheless, all too often these historians forget that economic issues played a very important role behind American interests in that part of the world.29 Already in 1941, Stalin had constantly made his demands that Roosevelt and Churchill recognize the Soviet right to control large parts of Eastern Europe explicit.

  1. Consider How Far Gladstone And Disraeli Differed In Their Policies Regarding The British Empire ...

    Gladstone and Disraeli had differing opinions over Russia. Disraeli regarded her as more of a threat than Gladstone did, perhaps due to the fact that disliking Russia was a traditional British view, which were the views that Disraeli tended to follow.

  2. To what extent can Britain's policy towards Germanybefore Munichbe defended?

    The Ten Year Rule has been described as 'infamous', 'notorious' and 'calamitous',8 but this seems unjust. A shorter initial period might have been wiser, but it was not the introduction of the rule that is open to criticism but more its extension which doesn't strengthen Chamberlain's appeasement.

  1. Indian History. To what extent did large dams built before 1990 fulfil Nehru's ambitions?

    a social displacement dilemma and caused widespread environmental destruction (Biswas & Tortajada, 2001, p. 11). Consequently, dams were somewhat detrimental to India and, more significantly, came to be viewed negatively by the Indian people. This lessening regard for large dams meant that, as is now consensually agreed, they failed to fulfil Nehru's second aim (Mehta, 2001, p.

  2. Reasons for the increasing support given to NSDAP by the German people in the ...

    ideal included the preservation of the sanctity of German soil and protection of the farmer who was to be the backbone of the German people. Reminding them of their economic predicament the NSDAP promised agrarian reform (ie redistribution of land), end of reparations, end of depression and protection against foreign competition.

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