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

'Germany started World War One' Do you agree?'

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

'Germany started World War One' Do you agree?' To a large extent I disagree with the orthodox view that 'Germany started World War One.' I believe that although Germany did play a strong role in the factors behind the outbreak of World War One, through creating major tensions in Europe, it was not the only nation which contributed to the causation of the war, other European nations also played a strong part in the factors behind the war. Germany contributed to the outbreak of World War One, as it was solely responsible for certain long-term and short-term causes of the war, and as it contributed to other long-term factors. Firstly, Germany contributed to outbreak of the First World War as, along with the other dominant European powers, formed alliance systems. The alliance system was an important factor in the outbreak of war. The six most powerful countries in Europe were divided into two opposing alliances. Between 1882 and 1907 alliances were formed. The first was formed in 1882 when Germany and Austria-Hungary (as well as Italy) signed the Triple alliance. The second, Triple Entente, alliance, was formed in stages. In 1894 an alliance agreement was signed between Russia and France. Then in 1904 the Entente Cordiale was signed between France and Britain, although only designed to settle Anglo-French colonial differences, it drew the nations closer together. In 1907, Britain and Russia signed the Anglo-Russian Convention. Thus, by 1907 the Triple Entente alliance between Russia, Britain, and France had been concluded, and Europe had been divided into two rival 'armed camps'. ...read more.

Middle

It highlighted how France would no longer back down in diplomatic disagreements with Germany, unlike in the previous Moroccan crisis of 1905. Germany was now in a very weakened diplomatic position. These last two consequences of the crisis made it highly unlikely that either power would face the humiliation of backing down in a future European crisis, thus, increasing the likelihood of war. Germany also played a strong part in the causation of the war as its support for Austria-Hungary in its dispute with Serbia in July 1914 has been viewed as a crucial factor in the outbreak of World War One. Orthodox historians argue that Austria-Hungary would not have waged war on Serbia in July 1914, if it had not have received the support of the German Kaiser. This is supported by the fact that the Austrian Emperor, Franz Josef I, asked the German Kaiser for his support in dealing with Bosnia on 4th July 1914, and only took action against Serbia after the Kaiser had announced his unconditional support. This is seen as an important factor because the dispute between Bosnia and the Habsburg Empire escalated into the First World War, and if Germany had not offered its support, Austria-Hungary may not have took action against Serbia, and World War One may not have occurred. All of these short-term factors initiated by Germany, played a major role in the outbreak of the war, as they brought the countries of the Triple Entente together, united by their suspicions of the Kaiser's ambitions. ...read more.

Conclusion

On 23 July 1914, Austria sent the Serbian government an ultimatum, demanding they allowed the Austrian police to arrest all members of anti-Habsburg terrorist groups. When the Serbian government declined, Austria-Hungary declared war on Serbia. What was intended as a strictly limited war between the accuser, Austria-Hungary, and the accused, Serbia, rapidly escalated into a conflict engulfing the whole continent. Thus, it was a culmination of complex long-term and short-factors which led to the outbreak of war in July 1914. Short term causes or international crises; the Moroccan Crisis, the Anglo-German Naval Rivalry, the Agadir Crisis, the Bosnian Wars, the Bosnia Crisis, and the assassination of the heir to the Austrian throne, all gradually built upon the tensions and enforced the divisions and suspicions which already existed between the countries of Europe, created by the long term factors, the most prominent being: Germany's aggressive foreign policy, Bosnian Nationalism, and the formation of alliances. Which all culminated to produce a deeply unstable European environment which inevitably erupted into a World War. In conclusion, World War One was the product of an unstable European environment, created by the combination of a number of short-term and long-term causes. Germany evidently played a major part in the outbreak of World War One, as it solely created many of the long-term and short-term causes of tension. However, responsibility for the war cannot be assigned to Germany alone, as the conflict would not have occurred through Germany's actions alone; tensions and divisions already had to exist between the European powers for the actions of Germany to cause so much tension, and help to create a World 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 GCSE International relations 1900-1939 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 GCSE International relations 1900-1939 essays

  1. To what extent was the Alliance System responsible for the outbreak of the First ...

    Therefore, German industry started to compete with British manufactures around the world and so German merchant ships threatened Britain's trade. This increasing rivalry and tensions between the Triple Entente and the Triple Alliance, made countries prepared for a war by 1914.

  2. Explain why events in the Balkans contributed to the growth of international tension in ...

    The ascendancy of Kaiser Wilhelm to the German throne resulted in a dramatic change of direction for German foreign policy: he decided to pursue a policy of gaining an Empire (Weltpolitik) and a navy (Flottenpolitik) to rival that of Great Britain's.

  1. "William II's foreign policy contributed greatly to tensions in Europebetween 1890 and 1914." Discuss.

    important: this was the first demonstration of political power (during William II's reign), evidently showing growing tensions between the Powers. Germany was opposed on this count, due to the previous alienation of Britain (numerous interferences in colonial matters before), Russia (refusal of partnership by signing the Reinsurance Treaty and lending money for industrialisation)

  2. The Long Fuse by Laurence Lafore - Chapter Three: The Europe of the Armed ...

    The Austrians feared all of their neighbors, including Germany, but this alliance reduced the threat. The treaty signed was a defense treaty. This was nearly the first time that a treaty was signed during peacetime between major powers. The terms of the treaty were secret and it foreshadowed other secret treaties that were to come later.

  1. Versailles and Hyperinflation, Germany 1919-28.

    Stresemann called off passive resistance in the Ruhr. Since Germany had begun to pay her reparations again, the French and Belgian troops had no real reason to stay in the Ruhr, so began to withdraw.

  2. Examine the relative importance of the reasons why the Bosnian crisis of 1908-1909 and ...

    Also the country didn't have the money to fund a war and they had just lost a humiliating war against Japan.

  1. Questions on World War One.

    respectively Results Cession of all Turkish territories west of the Enos-Midia line and all the Aegean Islands. Albania - independent Internal rifts between Balkan League - quarrel over the spoils of war. Significance : sowed the seeds of World War One?

  2. "The outbreak of the First World War in 1914 grew out of a short ...

    This caused the basis of alliance systems, which were believed to provide security by increased power. Also, this elevated the tension between the colonies, causing there to be friction between them where there was none before. Another consequence of this was increased patriotism (jingoism), and the obsession of Europe with the race for more territory.

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