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

To what extent was the German government responsible for the outbreak of the First World War in 1914?

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

History Coursework question on WW1 By Amardip Sidhu Q- To what extent was the German government responsible for the outbreak of the First World War in 1914? The First World War was the result of many complex ideas combined that kick-started the war in 1914. It can be justified that there were many different people and countries that all had a part to play in starting the war. However, a large extent of responsibility can be placed upon the German government & ideology in the long and short-term. To analyse the uprising of long-term problems from the start, we can push back until the unification of a powerful German territory/country in 1871. The significance behind the formation of Germany lies as to what the people who gathered to create Germany all wanted from a modern country? Therefore, we need to focus on the major factors such motive and intentions. The motive and intentions behind this country came out to be a creation of German-speaking people in a rich and powerful country, meanwhile, attempting to prevent war. This seemed a difficult task considering that the present superpowers of the world were near enough settled and rid of tensions at that time. We can see that German ideology ran through high status government individuals, e.g. "Welt Politik"- World Politics (Caprivi, new Chancellor after Bismarck), "Social Darwinism"- survival of the fittest, Europeans are the most advanced and can march into any country and take over (Hitler believed in it) and "Imperialism"- wanting to create an empire. As we can see, theories like these were likely to cause disruption amongst other countries and seemed quite physical in terms of needing a powerful army to achieve them. ...read more.

Middle

Germany's immediate response follows with the Triple Alliance in 1882, an agreement which we can comprehend one step earlier that it may strengthen German security and increase France's isolation. This exactly, was intended and once again an alliance was formed involving Italy with A-H and Germany. This shows Germany was slipping away from the motive of European peace, which may have not been deliberate. However, they started to draw in countries to what could have been the actual motive of needing power & expansion. They certainly were provided with security because they had a strong feeling that France and Russia would not attack alone so in the event of a French attack the Triple Alliance would bring support. From these alliances we can see that Germany's responsibilities towards war were starting to show on the outside by focusing more on isolating France and just really thinking about themselves rather than before, when they may have caused unintentional mistakes. Later on however, giving Germany the benefit of the doubt was starting to wear away and they were trying to secure themselves only. Consequently, Germany was increasing their role, especially after securing and later enabling Germany to indulge in the luxury of colonial ventures. Effects of paranoia could be increasing to the next level as the German government increased towards extremely high achievements. As tensions grew between the Great Powers, Germany's high influence on tensions was seen as conspicuous. With the following tensions over the Arms race and Naval race, Germany found themselves creating individual tensions with individual countries. Once again this was not an accident in creating massive competition, however, it was a "natural expression" of Germany's economic power and growing overseas trade. ...read more.

Conclusion

At this stage it seemed A-H took some blame by combining with the idea from the German government to send an ultimatum to A-H consisting of impossible circumstances. We can understand Serbia's actions slightly because they wanted their rights and it will only be a matter of time until they (Black Hand- a Serbian terrorist group) undertook violence. At this stage the countries were running in; A-H undoubtedly declared war on Serbia; Russia's mobilisation was the best news for Germany so that they could get involved due to the Blank cheque; at the same time was their chance to use their Schlieffen plan against France. However, they thankfully made a mistake by marching through Belgium, which Britain had to protect due to an old agreement. By analysing it could be said that Germany was trying to do exactly what the other countries ad done to become superpowers, however, there would be a "natural" sense of paranoia where Germany would reach a level where they would start to threaten the powers. In the beginning it was primarily the misunderstanding of events passed that caused the insecurity/paranoia of countries to misunderstand situations. There was the participation of A-H with Germany's alliances giving them a powerful ally. In addition, they may have brought the trigger upon themselves by not handling disputes with Serbia properly. Seeing as short-term causes are so vital in acting like triggers, the foundations still lie in the long-term causes. Although Germany may not have played a big part in the trigger, they are the ones who have pushed and maybe gathered countries towards the war. This is the case especially after Germany created physical issues i.e. Arms & Naval race. ...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 Other Historical Periods 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 Other Historical Periods essays

  1. Marked by a teacher

    Extended Essay: Bismarck and The Unification of Germany

    5 star(s)

    The economy was developed further due to the introduction of a banking system and the growth of the steel industry. Economy also boomed due to regular artillery orders from Von Moltke's army. In addition to creating an economic, free-trade area, the Zollverien also introduced a single currency, thus stimulating economic growth.

  2. Why Did The Wartime Alliance Break Down?

    As this was now revealed, it could have been said to be a warning to Russia, America had successfully tested the Atomic bomb, therefore Russia would be wise to be weary. They could no longer feel safe while America had this weapon.

  1. In the play king Oedipus, to what extent is Oedipus responsible for his downfall ...

    So yet again I condemn Oedipus to his own responsibility of the tragedy that befell him. I come to the question that if Oedipus had not have left Corinth that none of this would have happened. It was not his fault the his foster parents did not tell him the

  2. In this essay, I shall use primary sources to measure the short term significance ...

    It assumes that Lewis will agree with the cynical intentions ('coerce') of which he will be a compliant agent. However, the fact the president wants to avoid violence is clearly important. As is his belief that trade bring peace rather than war.

  1. To what extent did WW1 cause the collapse of Tsarism?

    The Tsarist regime, already weakening, was failing at this stage and this fatal act illustrated the death of the Tsarist regime and the decreasing support of the lower and working classes. This was an inconsiderate act towards the people who were to trust the Tsarist regime and have trust in Nicholas himself.

  2. To What Extent Was The South African War (1899 - 1902) A Capitalist War

    at the root of the difficulties in the Transvaal' and complained that Uitlander resentment was being abused by 'the capitalist wire-pullers in London'5. However The Standard and Diggers News' radical editor Emanuel Mendelssohn was deemed a nefarious character by Milner and the colonial establishment and so became a powerful pro-Afrikaner voice for Kruger's government.

  1. Which of these judgements best Reflects the State of Imperial Russia in 1914? By ...

    The fact that these calls were ignored by the public points to a stable support base for Nicholas and that the majority of the Russian people were not yet disillusioned enough to follow an opposing force to the monarchy.

  2. How far was the conservative government responsible for the outbreak of the General Strike ...

    However, the Coal Owners were equally responsible. The problem was the conditions of the British Coal Industry. The working conditions in British mines never improved in the early 1920s. The amenities such as pit-head baths were in short in supply, and safety precautions were appalling, as can be judged by injury and death rates in the pits.

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