Assess the Impact of German Foreign Policy Bringing About World War One

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Assess the impact of German Foreign Policy bringing about World War One There are different views and interpretations, regarding the major influences, of the First World War which broke out in 1914. Due to differences in ideas combined with newer pieces of evidence, there are still many different perceptions and not one clear cut answer. There are different historians, being traditional, revisionist, post revisionist or anti-post revisionists, who all have alternate ideas surrounding the main causations of World War One. The traditional view surrounding the First World War is that Germany was totally at fault in bringing about World War One. The victorious nations, after the war, agreed that Germany were the cause of the war and this was because of their ideas of Weltpolitik. This idea of Weltpolitik involved German expansion in order, as Bulow said “to claim our space in the sun”. Another aspect of this policy was to expand and enlarge their navy and the motto, “Our future lies on the sea” was etched in 1900 onto a German building in Paris. These ideas, when put into practise, were extremely aggressive and were the polar opposite of Realpolitik which was the previous foreign policy. Considering that Realpolitik focused on preventing a war within Europe and Weltpolitik aggressively asserted German dominance, it can be validly argued that this direct change in German foreign policy played a major role in bringing about the First World War. Another reason that German foreign policy was so greatly scrutinized was because of the Anglo-German naval rivalry which was creating tension within Europe. As long as Germany built, Britain would be a German enemy. The German government dramatically increased the development of German Ships.[i] This arms race and change in German foreign policy, believing they needed to control the seas was seen as a definite and direct cause
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