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

Was the Kaiser the main influence to start World War1?

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Was the Kaiser the main influence to start World War 1? On the 4th of August 1914, Great Britain declared war on Germany. The Great War lasted 4 years, and its causes date back to 19th century, but was the German leader, Kaiser Wilhelm II the main source in bringing war about. One major cause of the First World War the alliance system. The alliance system first came into being in 1879, when Germany allied with the Austrian Hungarian empire, and in 1882, with Italy, this alliance was called the triple alliance. The triple alliance worried both France and Russia, who were suddenly surrounded by the members of it. The French made an agreement to assist one another if they were attacked; Britain also joined this alliance system. By the beginning of the twentieth century, Europe was split between these alliances. Kaiser Wilhelm II influenced the war directly in many ways. In the years leading up to the outbreak of war, Kaiser Wilhelm, who as the British Empire and its navy fascinated a child, started the build up of the German army and navy, this arm build up resulted in a massive arms race between Britain and Germany. ...read more.

Middle

Russia was one of the world biggest and poorest empires. The country had no major industry, and couldn't export or import for more than half the year, as all the ports were frozen over. Farming was also very difficult as the land was poor and cold, Russia needed year round ports to import food, and to create industry, Russia needed the Balkans to build ports and to move its ships out of in emergencies. The Austrian Hungarians also wanted the Balkans to restore stability to its crumbling empire. When combined with the alliance system, this conflict was the major leading point to war. Tsar Nicholas did not want to fight a war with the Germans, the Kaiser was his cousin, and his country was already suffering. Many different people lived in Russia and revolution was stirring in the country, many people wanted the Tsars to be removed from power, and Nicholas was afraid that if war broke out, Russia would suffer, and become less able to maintain stability. The Russian army was the biggest in the dispute, but was poorly trained and equipped, and some off the troops did not even have rifles. If the Tsar didn't mobilise quickly enough, then the Germans would easily defeat the poorly trained Russians in an invasion. ...read more.

Conclusion

The world war was not caused entirely by the Kaiser but could not have existed without him. This was because Germany made up the most important part of the triple alliance, and the Kaiser caused this alliance to become so important. If the Kaiser had refused to help Austria Hungary then there would have been no war. On this assumption, the Emperor of Austria Hungary could be described as the most major cause, as it was as much his thirst for vengeance, which sparked the war as the Kaisers want for an empire. If Franz Joseph had not been so anxious to control the Balkans then he would not have needed German Support and the war would similarly not have started. The whole world war was sparked by the conflict in the Balkans and while other causes applied they would not have been able to spark a war on their own. The First World War could even be described to have been caused entirely by Slav nationalism, as Franz Joseph's only need for the Balkans was that the Slavs in his own empire were breaking up the empire. If this problem had been taken away then the roles might have been reversed as Russia invading Serbia for the ports, and Serbia calling on Austria Hungary for help, and the same world war resulting. ...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. Why did World War I start in 1914 and not earlier?

    The Dreikaiserbund laid the basis for further alliances, which all contributed to some extent to the outbreak of WWI, as they entangled the involved countries into unmakable and dissatisfying promises and confusing conditions which couldn't be satisfied by them. One example of this is the Triple Alliance in 20th May

  2. Cause of World War 1

    The countries signed treaties and formed alliances to make their nation better, but also to solve disputes. The alliance system of Britain, France and Russia versus Germany, Austria-Hungary and Italy came about because of colonial tensions and treaties to solve international disputes peacefully.

  1. Why has Prussia replaced Austria as the leading Germanic power by 1870?

    the Luxembourg crisis, or while editing the Ems telegram, but in fact he was simply taking advantage of what was given to him to work with. AJP Taylor even goes as far to say that all he wanted was a peaceful agreement with Austria, and that really he was a

  2. Dear Diary, It was the start of the Christmas month and I was ready ...

    There is still a shortage of food to go around the place and so we had to bring some emergency food called an iron ration and this included a can of bully beef, a few biscuits and a sealed tin of tea and sugar.

  1. WW1-planning for war, major battles. War at sea and in the air.

    The shrapnel had not cut the German barbed wire. 4. In places the British line had been cut so the troops had to bunch up to get through gaps. Here they presented excellent targets. 5. The mines were blown ten minutes early which gave the Germans warning of attack.

  2. The airline industry

    Those are the most important questions to be approached and answered. Alternatives Minimize the Alliance member committee on top. At the moment Star Alliance has 15 different airlines in its program and has over 21% in market share. They are still the leaders, but for how long?

  1. Questions on World War One.

    By the Treaty of Frankfurt on May 10, 1871, the Franco-Prussian war was brought to an end. France was obliged to pay heavy indemnities and endure the occupation of German troops until they were settled. More significant were these factors - (1)

  2. To what extent did nationalism within the Austria-Hungarian Empire contribute to the outbreak of ...

    Germany was placed thereby at the pivoted point of diplomatic relations in Europe. All other agreement, ententes and alliances would be dependent on this particular combination. It was founded in two separate stages - with the signing of the Dual Alliance between Germany and Austria-Hungary on October, 1879, and the entry of Italy as the third party in 1882.

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