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Germany should bear the responsibility for the outbreak of a general war in 1914 - How far do you agree?

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Introduction

Germany should bear the responsibility for the outbreak of a general war in 1914.How far do you agree? In my honest opinion, I believe that Germany played a vital part in the outbreak world war one, though she was not solely responsible. After the end of the First World War, in 1919, then Allies met and, as part of the treaty of Versailles, forced Germany to accept complete responsibility for starting the Great War. Though, whether or not Germany was to blame is a lot more complicated. Germany's invasion of France via Belgium was the initial act of war that brought about the actual commencement of war but many people would argue that a series of events led to the German invasion of Belgium, but to what extent is Germany responsible? Before one can really answer the question as to Germany was responsible, it is important to look at the situation in Europe before the war started. Europe was divided by two alliances at this time, the Triple Alliance, of Germany, Austria-Hungary and Italy, and the Triple Entente, consisting of Great Britain, France and Russia. The Triple Entente countries had been established for a long time and Britain and France had many overseas colonies and huge empires. ...read more.

Middle

In the end, war did not come over the naval race, or commercial competition, or imperialism. Nor was it sparked by the institutional violence of the armed states, but by underground terrorism in the name of an oppressed people. Nor did it come over the ambitions of Great Powers to become greater, but over the fear of one Great Power that unless it took vigorous action it might cease to exist altogether. It began in the Balkans. In 1897 Austria-Hungary and Russia had agreed to put their dispute over the Balkans on ice. When the agreement ran out in 1907, the Ottoman Empire still ruled Macedonia, ringed by Greece, Montenegro, Serbia, and Bulgaria. But everything else had changed. For now Austria-Hungary's only reliable ally was Germany, who's Weltpolitik had led it to join the competition for influence at Constantinople. Russia was looking again at the Balkans for foreign policy advantage and enjoying, for the first time, a measure of British tolerance. In Serbia, the state most threatening to Vienna because of its ethnic tie to the Serbs and Croats inside the Dual Monarchy, a fundamental political shift had occurred. In previous years Vienna had neutralized Serbia by bribing the ruling Obrenovic dynasty, but in 1903 the rival Karageorgevic clan seized control in Belgrade in a bloody coup d'�tat and shifted to a violently anti-Austrian policy. ...read more.

Conclusion

Serbia asked for time to consider and Austria-Hungary declared war immediately. Germany was drawn into the war because of her alliance with Austria-Hungary and, in a matter of days; troops from all over Europe were happily setting off to war. In conclusion, Germany can certainly be blamed for causing the hostile atmosphere that had developed by 1914 due to the alliance system, and also for giving Austria unconditional support during the Balkans crisis. Germany was very aggressive in the build up to the war and disrespectful of the longer-established countries of the Triple Alliance. However, to simply blame Germany for the outbreak of war would be not to consider all the facts as there were four other major powers involved. The Allies were suspicious of Germany's actions before the war, in my opinion this only increased the tension as they should not have been. Austria's loss of status, and subsequent wish to restore itself as a great power throughout the war led to a spark igniting, and the actual outbreak of war could be blamed on Austria's desire for war an revenge on Serbia. The unfortunate practicality of fully mobilising Russia's troops was also important in the outbreak of war. Germany can certainly be blamed partially for contributing to the outbreak of war, but other factors and other countries played a more pivotal role in Germany's invasion of France in 1914. Andr� Hyde-Braithwaite 12.2 ...read more.

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