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Germany's resonsibility in WWI and WWII

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Introduction

In what ways should Germany be held responsible for bringing about World War I and World War II? Germany had taken part in both World War I (1914- 1919) and World War II (1939- 1945) as a major power, and in fact, to a large extent, Germany was responsible for bringing about the two World Wars by her aggressive foreign policies. Kaiser William II's global policy and Hitler's expansionist policy created international tension which finally led to the outbreak of the two world wars. I shall first discuss about Germany's responsibility for bringing about World War I. The Alliance System started by Bismarck after Germany defeated France in 1871 until the formation of Triple Entente of 1907 showed the first way of how Germany was responsible for bringing about World War I. The original aim of Bismarck was to isolate France. However, the alliance system caused international tensions. Eventually, the alliance system divided Europe into two armed camps, namely the Triple Alliance (1882) which consisted of Germany, Austria and Italy and the Triple Entente (1907) ...read more.

Middle

The armament race hence further strained the tense relations between the two rival camps and made war likely. In addition, Germany's extreme nationalism and expansion was undoubtedly a cause for the outbreak of World War I. The Pan- German Movement aimed at uniting all the Germans of Central Europe under one German state. However, the Pan- German Movement clashed with Pan- Slavism. Since Germany supported Austrian expansion in the Balkans, she came into conflicts with Russia as well. This further enlarged the conflicts between the two armed camps. Other than the underlying causes, Germany also contributed to the immediate causes of World War I. In the Bosnian Crisis of 1908 and the Balkan wars of 1913, Germany strongly supported Austrian expansion in the Balkans. It increased Austria's ambitions. After the Sarajevo assassination, Germany gave Austria a "blank cheque", this unlimited support towards Austria strengthened Austria's determination to crush Serbia and made the conflict between Austria and Serbia localise impossible. Germany's militarist policy was also one of the immediate causes for the outbreak of World War I. ...read more.

Conclusion

When Sudetenland of Czechoslovakia was annexed by Germany, Hitler's spirit of invasion was much strong. The direct outcome was the occupation of the rest of Czechoslovakia in March, 1939. Then after signing the Non- aggression Pact with Soviet Russia in August, 1939, Germany invaded Poland on 1st September, 1939 and this directly brought the outbreak of World War II. Forming co- operation and alliances with other aggressive powers actively was also another German responsibility. To help create fascist Spain as a hostile neighbour of France, from 1936 both Germany and Italy jointly intervened the Spanish Civil War. The combined German and Italian forces helped General Franco to capture Madrid and set up a Fascist dictatorship in Spain. This stimulated Mussolini's intention in further territorial expansion. The Berlin- Rome Axis, the Anti- Comintern Pact and the Berlin- Rome- Tokyo Axis aggravated the situation. Finally, the Nazi- Soviet Non- Aggression Pact which agreed to divide Poland between Germany and Soviet Union set the prelude of World War II. Al in all, the outbreak of the two World Wars was to a great extent due to Germany's aggressive expansionist policies. Both Kaiser William II's ambitious policy and Hitler's aggressive moves heightened international tensions and finally contributed to the two World Wars. 1 ...read more.

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