Although German signed the Treaty of Versailles, much to the disgrace of many Germans, admitting they were to blame it is undeniable that aggressive German foreign policy had a lot to do with the outbreak of war in Europe in 1914, but this neglects other factors that may have additionally added to the tensions leading up to the war. Many historians debate whether it was mainly Germany to blame or whether other dominant powers led them into a no-win situation. Source V, ‘Modern Germany’ by Volker Berghahn suggests that the Kaiser no longer saw foreign policy and civil war as separate issues and that they were now seen to entwine together. The mention of the 1913 Army bill that had aggravated many within the German society due to the growing distress over money and the status quo within the German political establishment, the argument over the tax burdens grew with every bill passed. These tensions started to disrupt their dual alliance with Austria-Hungary, even with a ‘Blank Cheque’ being given to them.
The peace of the mighty proved that to be wrong. The German Army in the field, although battered was still formidable in the eyes of the German leadership. They had gone to the peace table hoping for scraps and got the business end of the newspaper. The German Peace Delegation was forced to assume blame for the war, and then sit helplessly by as territories it felt were largely inhabited with Germans were made part of other states. The Germans had come to the table hoping to hear Wilson saying, “the equality of nations upon which peace much be founded on if it is to last must be an equality of rights..” (German Peace Delegation, p. 76) Instead they were hit with several Billion reichmarks in reparations, a reduced military and many other limitations politically, economically, militarily and territory wise (The Versailles Treaty, 1918).
Source W is very similar due to the fact that it blames Germany’s strengthening of the military and navy to a large extent, however proclaims their ‘peaceful intentions’; whereas source X dwarfs Germany’s contributions as a state, placing more responsibility for the outbreak of war on Austria-Hungary. Even though I believe that aggressive German Foreign policy was a huge and significant factor as to why the war grew so much geographically and became so violent, like source X, I believe that the real cause of the outbreak of the war in 1914 was Austria-Hungary and their policies in the Balkans. Aggressive German foreign policy is considered by many historians the main cause of the outbreak of war in 1914 due to their military and naval expansion which had taken place since the early 1900s. As source V suggests, the Germans ‘felt encircled’ by members of the triple entente, their only ally being revealed as Austria-Hungary at the Algeciras Conference where they were the only other country (aside from Morocco) to vote in their favour. Germany’s relations with other Great Powers had started to deteriorate since the battle for expansion of
Both soldiers and civilians blame the defeats in the war and the growing crises on the home front on Tsar. Even the Tsars only army stated it wouldn’t support him if a revolution occurred. Explain the importance/significance of World War 1 to the downfall of the Tsar WWI was a very significant event on the rule of Tsar Nicholas 11. Although it initially bolstered his position, it then became a large factor that contributed to Nicholas’ downfall. The Country was ecstatic when the Tsar made the announcement that Russia was going to fight against Germany in WWI.
However despite this, these conservative elites had both positive and negative impacts on German politics. Conservative parties included DNVP (German National People’s Party), DVP (German Conservative Party) and the Nazi Party, and the conservative elites included the judiciary, the army, the education system, the bureaucracy, industry, the police and agriculture. Conservative elites had a major impact on German politics in the period 1918-1934. The establishment of a Democracy was at best tolerated by conservative elites of Germany who had always blamed the democracy for the loss of war and the Treaty of Versailles in what became known as the “stab in the back” legend. Despite this, the German army established a reluctant acceptance of the democracy through the Ebert-Groener Pact of 1919.
However, structuralists have argued that towards the end of this period, and the start of the War in 1914, the Kaisers power was being slowly degraded from mass political movements (particularly socialist,) which would suggest that the authoritarian nature of Germany was not entrenched and subject to change from below. The constitution of the 2nd Reich gave key powers to the Kaiser, allowing him the de jure right to rule in an autocratic nature. The Kaiser was also the King of Prussia. He could also appoint or dismiss the chancellor whenever he pleased, dissolve the Reichstag with consent from the Bundesrat, and had control over foreign and military policies. Weltpolitik or “world policy” was the Kaisers attempt at dominating the political scene worldwide, a policy which is often cited as one of the reasons behind WWI.
Clemenceau resented Wilson’s generous attitude towards Germany and Lloyd George’s desire to not treat Germany too harshly. He said “if they British are so anxious to appease Germany they should look overseas and make colonial, naval or commercial concessions”. These disagreements left the big three unsatisfied and ultimately left them with a weak mere shadow of a perhaps great treaty due to their own arrogance and. It contained many faults and weaknesses. The treaty of Versailles greatly humiliated Germany forcing it to accept soul responsibility for the war.
Ernst Roehm had a different view of a successful Germany and Hitler was on different path (A3). Apparently Roehm and Hitler have butted heads before and Hitler came on top (A3). Hitler was growing very afraid of the Brownshirts, so he felt the only way to keep power was to put the S.A on leave. Hitler was thinking that another revolution could have happened with the S.A in power (D2). Hitler paid attention to what happened with Russia and was able to not make the same mistake.
On the 6 July 1914 Germany had given Austria a “blank check”, which stated the support of Germany towards Austria. The “blank check” enraged the UK, which sent a telegram to Germany declaring that the UK would support France. The “blank check” was no accident, therefore, the tensions and ally system of WWI began before the war, meaning that war was yet to come. Although, Austria was crippled from past events solely wanted to destroy Serbia. Massie states that Austria believes it’s fractured and disintegrated state will be cured by annihilating the source of all of its problems, Serbia.
e) Out of the Volkish Movement came the Thule Society, a Volkish movement that dotted German Landscape. This became useful to the early founders of NSDAP. f) Thus instead of NSDAP being a direct reaction to being betrayed or to the Treaty of Versailles. The NSDAP may be traced to the attempt by German Military and Industrial leadership to manipulate labor in support of the war effort. 2) 1915: Hugenberg established the Petitions of The Six Associations and of the Intellectuals who represent the war