To what extent was Germany responsible for World War 1

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To what extent where Germany responsible for WW1

 The vast majority of the responsibility for the outbreak of world war in 1914 has to lie with Germany because of its aggressive foreign policy with Germany’s empirical ambitions, the use of War by timetable with the Schleiffen plan and the view amongst German politicians that war could solve their domestic problems. However the reasons as to why the First World War started generally fall into one of two main ideas. The first of these is the Fischer thesis, which puts the entirety of the blame onto Germany’s shoulders. The other main theory is the consensus theory that shares the blame between all the major world powers, and how they “slithered over the brink into the boiling cauldron of fire.”

The Fischer thesis of 1961 stated that Germany had gone to war to achieve European and worldwide domination and that Germany hoped that its “blank cheque” to Austria in support of the evolving situation in the Balkans would result in war. This Thesis is based on the largely theorised “war council” of 1912 that talked about the advantages of war, the fact that Wilhelm II allowed the Reassurance treaty with Russia to lapse, and then had Schleiffen draw up a plan to prevent war on 2 fronts. The fact that this plan existed before the outbreak of war and documents written by Reizler, Hollweg’s secretary, about plans for peace negotiations before the outbreak of war only strengthen Fischer’s thesis.

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Wehler’s twist on the Fischer thesis provides a more complete picture of why Germany would be planning a war, in that it was part of Innenpolitik instead of Ausenpolitik. This means to say that the war was planned as a way to remove domestic pressures inside of Germany and was not really a true foreign policy plan. The destructive impact of industrialisation caused tensions in Germany’s social and economic structure, including the tension for constitutional change and social change. These tensions were diverted outwards in order to maintain the status quo. War with Russia was also seen as inevitable to ...

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