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Did Bismarck's external policies cause World War One?

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1. Identify the key element of the external reforms of Bismarck. Also address the research question to what extent the policy of Bismarck is responsible for the ww1? Bismarck was extremely careful of his external policies as they played an important role for Germany since they were surrounded by their enemies and could face a war on two fronts since France was also extremely bitter with them after the franco-prussian war. Therefore Bismarck?s policies were all based around the idea that France had to be left isolated. For this aim to be fulfilled he would have to maintain good relations with Russia and Austria which was an extremely hard task as they both were rivals in the Balkans. Bismarck came up with a treaty called the three emperors league or the draikaiserbund with Austria and Russia which would help isolate France and take away one of their potential allies. However the alliance had little substance as they had no military as Austria refused to agree to have any. ...read more.


In Russia suddenly there were pro French feelings and in 1887 the drekaiserbund ended. But finally came Bismarck?s final negotiations his ?final diplomatic masterpiece? a reinsurance treaty? between Russia and Germany.it was a defensive alliance where Germany promised to stay neutral if Russia was attacked Austria and Russia promised to stay neutral if Germany was attacked by France. Therefore it can be said that Bismarck?s external policies were an important long term factor to cause war and not a short term or immediate factor as after this leadership came Kaiser Wilhelm 2 and the many events that took place after Bismarck which could be blamed. Although Bismarck could be simply blamed as he brought along the unification of Germany in the first place which was the nation to bring about the First World War. Also the unification of Germany caused Bismarck to make such aggressive foreign policies to avoid a two front war. Another important factor is the franco-prussian war as even though Germany did win which wasn?t wrong but they humiliated France with the treaty of Frankfort similar to the treaty of Versailles which Germany faced a few years later as well. ...read more.


attacked Germany but Kaiser Wilhelm refused to renew this treaty also he changed most of Bismarck?s policies and made them more aggressive he even fought for colonies unlike Bismarck. Bismarck?s main aim was to prevent a war and he did prevent a war when he was ruling and that?s what matters. He made all the possible treaties to do so as well. Therefore according to me Bismarck can be blamed but not to a great extent as he did everything in his hands to prevent a war and save Germany but on the other hand he started the alliance system and created Germany itself that eventually caused the war but there are also many other reasons that are more apt to be blamed for the war like militarism, imperialism the various events and the attacks at Sarajevo. But Bismarck can be blamed as if he had not introduced the alliance system maybe there wouldn?t have been so many alliances and the war between Serbia and Austria Hungary wouldn?t have become a war between the world. ...read more.

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