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The Germans must bear the major responsibility for the outbreak of World War One - Discuss.

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Introduction

"The Germans must bear the major responsibility for the outbreak of World War One. Discuss" There are many complex reasons for the causes of the Great War. Any historian would agree that there cannot be one single conclusive cause however there are a lot of theories as to what really caused the outbreak of World War One. Although each one of them presents a plausible view there isn't a sufficient amount of evidence to throw the blame at any one source. However in spite of that, I will argue that the majority of the blame lies with Germany. As Germany was looking to get some flexibility on the international stage and exercise its power to obtain an empire, the argument that 'The Germans must bear the major responsibility for the outbreak of World War One' is substantial. The victory of Prussia over France in 1871 provided the incentive for the unification of all the German states. The new state began to rise quickly in the economic and industrial fields. The economy grew rapidly and the industry went from strength-to-strength. Due to the Industry, the military was strengthened and fortified. Germany was also granted a dominant position in International Affairs through ingenious diplomacy by its leaders, namely Bismarck. Owing to systematic and carefully planned alliances and treaties, Germany was perceived as a "satisfied power" by its rivals. ...read more.

Middle

However, the policy, didn't accomplish a lot apart from creating more tension in international relations and prodding the major European powers to start make alliances. Germany's perceptible support for Austria-Hungary during the Balkan Crisis led to amiability between France and Russia and concluded in a military alliance. The sole power without any participation in treaties was Britain. After observing the international situation, Britain was, actually, first inclined to sign a treaty with Germany. There were negotiations initiated in 1898 to develop some sort of understanding between the British and the Germans. However, the naval race ended any sign of friendship between the two. Eventually Britain formed an alliance with the French and Russians called the Triple Entente or the coming together of three great powers. Due to the alliances being formed, military schemes were being made all over Europe. Each country had a precise idea of what to do. The Germans had been building on military plans since the reign of Bismarck and had a lucid plan ready. It was the 'Schlieffen Plan' and entailed Germany using a concise attack to incise France and then launching an all-out assault against Russia on the western border. There were many flaws with this plan but the German leaders believed that if executed correctly, it would be successful. The plan relied heavily on time and a number of factors which were out of the hands of the Germans, such as the speed of the Russian mobilization and the reliance of Austria-Hungary. ...read more.

Conclusion

However, he refuted any second-thoughts and told the Austro-Hungarians to declare war on Serbia. On 29 July, 1914, the Russians engaged in their mobilisation and declared their espousal for the Serbs. To conclude I would like to restate my thesis: 'The Germans must bear the major responsibility for the outbreak of World War 1'. As I have stated in my essay, the rise of Germany was the foundation for tension and hostility in Europe. The Germans were able to maintain a valuable foothold in international relations due to crafty diplomacy and due to that they sustained a 'satisfied' appearance. While doing so, the Germans were able to build a powerful military on the basis of conscription. After that, they engaged in a naval race with Britain which highlighted their overseas expansion ambitions and provided the incentive to the British to keep their naval superiority. The Germans cold-blooded desire to seek territorial gains was one that they were fully determined to achieve. Moreover, the situation was exacerbated by the 'blank cheque' offered to Austria which confirmed the German position and eliminated any doubt that they were willing to settle for peaceful negotiations and lessening the anxiety. After presenting all this information, I believe that it is plausible to reason that the Germans were the main power to blame due to their desire to seek an overseas empire and establish themselves as a major world power. Anas Rafi Grade 11 ...read more.

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