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

To What Extent Can GermanyBe Held Responsible For The Outbreak Of The First World War?

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Bagmanov Artur 01/02/03 To What Extent Can Germany Be Held Responsible For The Outbreak Of The First World War? In the Paris peace settlement Germany was forced to accept sole responsibility for causing World War I. This was an obvious demand on the part of the victorious powers. The Treaty of Versailles was signed in June 1919 with the participation of 32 countries and the representation of three quarters of the world's population. The outcome was that Germany was forced to accept sole responsibility for causing World War I. Since then there has been much debate concerning the war and even today historians still cannot fully agree upon who is to blame for the tragedy. A theory that Germany was completely responsible for the war still exists, but there is some very important evidence that contradicts that theory. World War I had a direct connection with a series of decisions and courses of action taken by several European nations prior. And also the following assassination of Franz Ferdinand, heir to the Austrian-Hungarian throne which did have a direct effect upon World War I. ...read more.

Middle

Germany became involved when asked for help by Austria- Hungary and so Russia decreased it's support for Serbia. Finally two wars developed in the Balkans. The first Balkan war in 1912 was between Turkey and the Balkan countries (Serbia, Bulgaria, and Greece) with Turkey being driven back out of the Balkans. The second Balkan war in 1913 occurred between Bulgaria, Serbia, and Greece. Serbian victory strengthened the Serbs position and their confidence, so this gave Austria-Hungary concern regarding its influence in the Balkans. The main significance of the Balkan wars was the position of Britain and France placing limits on Russia and Germany and also securing Austria-Hungary. Also the two Balkan wars resulted in renewed conflict between Bulgaria and the other Balkan states especially Serbia and caused major disputes because of the interference of the Great Powers in Balkan politics. The Balkan crisis revealed the extreme tensions and suspicions between the great powers and fuelled the "arms race" which in effect prepared nations for World War I. The "arms race" which involved Britain, Italy, France, Russia, Austria- Hungary and Germany began in 1896 when Germany started to significantly expand its navy. ...read more.

Conclusion

Though it is suggested that the events leading up to the July crisis such as the arms race, alliances, and the Balkan wars had some affect, but it is not considered to be the major reason. I consider that there was no single major cause for World War I, but there were several major events associated with its beginning. For example the assassination of the Austrian-Hungarian heir, Franz Ferdinand was an extremely important event because it triggered off a series of events that caused the July crisis. Blame can also be shared by Russia, Germany and France over their mobilization plans. And finally Germany was further to blame for its totally pointless support for Austria-Hungary, who was the aggressor in the Serbian war. It seems that Germany expected war to stay within the Balkans. Military alliances resulting in Germany surrounded by it's enemies, diplomatic mistakes, the "arms race", and immediate causes combined to cause World War I. A significant factor is, Germany wasn't responsible, everyone was responsible for the beginning of WWI. It is clear that the Treaty of Versailles, claiming complete German responsibility for causing World War I was unfair, as it was a shared responsibility by all the European powers for the causation of World War I. ...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. Explain the importance of the war at sea to the final outcome of WWI

    There were rows within Germany over this matter also. Shortly after these events, the German submarine campaign was called off. The Battle of Jutland was the only major sea battle between the two sides' sea fleets throughout the war at sea, occurring on May 31st 1916.

  2. To what extent was Germany responsible for causing the First World War?

    Backing this view is Ramsey RD; "Among the causes of the war were rising nationalist sentiment (manifested both in the chauvinism of the great European powers and in the unrest among the subject peoples of the multinational European empires), colonial and economic rivalries, the formation of hostile alliance systems, and

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

    This suspicion made diplomats to find suitable solutions for many of the crises that presented before the war, and these solutions were not always the best. Moreover, alliances always made on a war footing and this created tension, which then lead to an arms race between the European Powers, especially Britain, and Germany who competed mainly in the Naval Race.

  2. To What Extent Were Germany To Blame For The Outbreak Of World War One?

    Bismarck provided Germany with a strong position in Europe by allying with Austria-Hungary in 1879, which encouraged military expansion. In the early 1900's, Germany's military expanded to greatly and demonstrates their aggressive nature. The German army and navy could be seen as a means of defence, but whatever the function of the system, it was intimidating to say the least.

  1. 'The rise and decline of the great powers can be explained by their relative ...

    In fact, America had previously been part of the British Empire. Japan controlled Korea, Taiwan and part of Manchuria after her war with China. She also benefited from Russia's loss of Chinese territory and from Germany's colonial losses in china following the Treaty of Versailles.

  2. To what extent was Austria the main obstacle to the unification of Italy in ...

    Where the revolutions had been successful the provisional governments had not cooperated, for example in Naples and Sicily where the Neapolitan provisional government tried to withdraw the independence that was declared to Sicily in 1848-1849 reinforcing personal interest ahead of cooperation and unity.

  1. Who Was Responsible for The Tragedy at Gallipoli in 1915?

    Much of this can be labelled as bad planning, and an extreme amount of bad luck for the allies. C) Evaluation of Sources (4 marks) Two of the sources I used were: Peter Weir's Film: "Gallipoli", released in 1981 by Australian Film Distribution Company.

  2. Did Serbia benefit from the Balkan Wars?

    Furthermore, Serbia divided the Sanjak with Montenegro, acquired Kosovo and Metohija, and took the lion's share of Macedonia. Its area was expanded by some four-fifths and its population by more than half. Turkish possessions in Europe were confined to a small area of eastern Thrace.

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