Was the main cause of the first world war German aggression?
Prior to the outbreak of war in 1914, tension began to grow from 1904 onwards as war looked increasingly likely. One can make a strong case that it was indeed German aggression that was the main cause of the war as many sources of evidence would suggest. Source C is quite explicit and echoes this idea: “Germany is deliberately preparing to destroy the British Empire” which clearly portrays the overwhelming British opinion that Germany was threatening them; such was the case as the Moroccan Crisis of 1911 when a German gunboat was sent to Morocco to showcase German presence on an international stage, it was seen as a direct threat by the British and French. Source B is an interview with the Kaiser, who describes Germany as a “great nation” and compares the English as being “mad, mad, mad as March hares”. This reinforces the idea that Germany saw itself as a great nation, which was worthy of colonies of its own although this was only perceived by many as a challenge to Britain and France. Source C also depicts Germany aggression, as it shows “The Kaiser rocking the boat” implying that Germany is the European nation that is displaying aggression and tipping the other European countries into the ocean( symbolising war) whilst the other European nations back into a corner, as they attempt to steady the boat. One can therefore assume that German aggression is what pushed the other European powers into the war as Germany refused to settle down despite the many attempts that were made to maintain peace such as at the Algeciras conference in 1906.