To what extent Germany was a cause of World War I
In the beginning of twenties century, our world become very unstable. The cause of world war one cannot be primarily attributed to any single act of any one nation. It was not only Germany’s fault, butt still Germany and her foreign policy was on of the most important causes of this outbreak. This war was caused by long-term causes like euro arms race, militarism, nationalism, different regional crisis’s and colonial rivalry of world powers and alliance systems between those powers. All this things gathered and were boiling until some short –term causes just blow up, and the war started. Before one can really answer the question as to Germany was responsible, it is important to look at the situation in Europe before the war started. Europe was divided by two alliances at this time, the Triple Alliance, of Germany, Austria-Hungary and Italy, and the Triple Entente, consisting of Great Britain, France and Russia. The Triple Entente countries had been established for a long time and Britain and France had many overseas colonies and huge empires. They were quite happy with the situation in Europe and would not have much reason to start a war, although France was quite keen to regain the industrial Alsace-Lorraine area, lost to Germany in a recent war so were looking to retaliate and gain more land for themselves. However, this does not necessarily mean that Germany was solely to blame. None of the countries in the Triple Alliance were happy with the status quo at this time. The Alliance system was supposed to make sure that a war did not happen, because the risks involved would be too great. Instead, it made sure that, when two countries became involved in a dispute, the whole of Europe was drawn into war
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Short term reasons.
In 1914 June 28 The assassination of Archduke, Franz Ferdinand ocurred, heir to the throne of Austria-Hungary. This crisis was seen as the key event that meant the start of World War I. Austria-Hungary using the assassination, moved against Serbia, to resolve it's Balkan problems. Germany agreed to support Austria-Hungary resulting in unconditional support. Austria-Hungary issued an ultimatum to the Serbian prime minister, which contained impossible demands, provoking war with Serbia. However Serbia agreed to most of the demands. Germany advised Austria-Hungary to negotiate, but instead they declared war on Serbia on the 28th July 1914 (also known as the July crisis). Russia immediately mobilized its troops, with Germany making the same actions. By August 1914 all major European powers except Italy, had become involved in that conflict. It was Germany fault that it promised support to Austria without it Austria wouldn’t attack Serbia.
Long Term reasons.
Nationalism played a major role in Europe and in Germany in particular. And also the main cause of the world war I. Pride in ones country was exercised regularly. Parades and huge fares were almost habitual in Europe. For world powers population nationalism played huge role, they want they own country to be the best. That produced a lot of problems like alliances system and especially arms race between those powers. Media played role of advertising nationalism among the people, righting stories about war and other things. Also nationalism took plays in small countries that was trying to become independent (Serbia, Bosnia) and for Slav countries that tried to unite Slav people. Germany took much pride in itself and in its army, and showed it regularly. This pride was a constantly emphasized by the Kaiser. He was preparing his country for war and showed it naturally through his pride in his accomplishments. The idea of colonizing is very much related to this idea. Germany was mentally ready for war, and according to the Kaiser Wilhelm II, war was the only possible next step.
The alliance system failed to prevent war, perhaps only because Europe did not think it would spread outside the Austria-Hungary and Serbian borders. The alliances were made in secret and so produced much distrust and suspicion among the European powers. Their general suspicion prevented their diplomats to devise a suitable solution to many of the crises preceding the war. With the formation of the Triple Entente, Germany began to feel she was "encircled" by hostile powers. However the most important effect that the alliances was that since all the powers had made alliances with each other meant that a small dispute concerning only two powers might lead to war involving all the powers hence causing a "domino effect." (Same as spread of communism last year, my own opinion) For this reason the alliance system was a one of the main causes of the war. The purpose of Russian mobilization might have been to end the ongoing crisis by showing its "numbers" and scarring Austria- Hungary into peace talks. All the European countries mobilized so fast so theirs no time left for negotiations. Though it is suggested that the to stay within the Balkans
Conflicts were the product of colonial rivalries and interests of super powers, alliance system. There had been several crises during the period of 1905-1913. First was the Moroccan crisis that involved France and Germany in 1905 and in 1911. No wars took place only tensions and fears regarding Germany's aggressive expansionist policies. Britain supported France being involved in Morocco, but Germany still managed to get some French territory in Congo. Second, the 1908 Balkans crisis happened because of the collapse of the Ottoman Empire, in other words a vacuum of power has been created. Austria-Hungary acquired the provinces of Bosnia-Herzegovina. Serbia was an aggressor trying to increase its territories and sought Russian assistance. Germany became involved when asked for help by Austria- Hungary and so Russia decreased its 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. Balkan states especially Serbia 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 started 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. Britain saw German "arms race" as a threat and also started to expand its army. The intensity to expand its army was only stimulated by each following major crisis, which developed during the period 1905-1913. Britain hardened its position towards Germany. Due to the large increase in expenditure on navies and armies together with transport and equipment Britain and the European nations were in fact preparing for a war, that they expected to happen at some stage
Yes by my opinion Germany was more responsible for the outbreak of war that others, but still if we look at the war, and discuss why this thing are happened we can see that all war not only because of Germany. All the powers are responsible for that with their foreign policy, nationalism, militarism, and conflicts. But Germany was one of those countries that started to do that. Bismarck’s foreign policy, Germanys weltpolitik and at last theirs population opinion, they wanted to be the best.
Erkin Berdalin, 11 october.