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Was the Kaiser the main influence to start World War1?

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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.

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