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To what extent was Germany to blame for the outbreak of War in 1914?

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Introduction

To what extent was Germany to blame for the outbreak of War in 1914? Whether Germany really was to blame for the World War has been a source of debate for historians for many years. The general consensus of opinion is that Germany was the main aggressor and has been held in the eyes of the victorious nations to be the cause of war in 1914. However, contrast to popular opinion, the original catalyst of war appears to have not been Germanys fault at all. The assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand, heir to the Austrian throne, left Austria fuming with anger. ...read more.

Middle

However, by doing this, Germany put itself in a very compromising position. Beforehand, Kaiser Willhelm II had let the reinsurance pact between Russia and Germany run out. This allowed Russia to hold talks and form treaties with France. With Russia and France allied, Germany was liable for a war on two fronts, something that could cripple Germany. On top of this, Russia would have been annoyed by the fact that Austria-Hungary was moving in on the Balkans for two reasons. Firstly, The Russians wanted the Balkans for a gateway to the Mediterranean. Secondly, there were many Slavs living in Russia and so it would be expected to help Serbia if it got in trouble. ...read more.

Conclusion

Britain and Germany were on relatively good terms and they were discussing colonial interests such as Angola and Mozambique. It was the assassination of Archduke Ferdinand that ultimately sparked war. The war may not have happened but for the actions of the terrorist group 'the Black Hand'. It could also be argued that it was Austria-Hungary's desire to not let ethnic groups inside of Austria determine themselves and the ensuing aggression that led from this that eventually caused the war. In conclusion, although Germanys desire for expansion and security were a major contributing factor towards the outbreak of war in 1914, I feel it wrong to place the blame exclusively on Germany. There are other dynamics that come into play such as Austria-Hungary's aggression and Germanys underlying attachment to Austria-Hungary. ...read more.

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