German Aggression as a Cause of World War One

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‘The outbreak of war in Europe in 1914 was due to an aggressive German foreign policy which had been waged since c.1900.’ How far do you agree with this opinion? Explain your answer using the evidence of Sources V, W and X and your knowledge of the issues relating to the controversy. When considering the outbreak of the First World War and who bore responsibility, there are certain factors that must be considered. These factors are German aggression through military and individual aggression, whether Germany engaged in a defensive war, the responsibility of other countries, the idea of calculated risk, and the domestic tensions that had arisen in Germany around the time. Sources V, W and X provide evidence for most of these issues with the exception of calculated risk, and domestic tensions. Source V appears to be a diverse source as it takes into account all the various factors that should be considered, with the other two sources only missing out one factor each. This implies that the judgement that can be reached after weighing up the sources alone is a rounded, informed judgement. One of the main pieces of evidence for German aggression is military aggression. Source V says the German military were “trying to shift the balance of power in their favour” by rearming “as strenuously as they might”. This would suggest that the German military were trying to rearm to enable them to wage a war that would give them greater power worldwide. This view is also supported in Source X which refers to “the German plan to unleash continental war.” Both of these sources seem to agree that Germany were trying to bring about a war through aggressive means. Source W also implies that German aggression was responsible for the war as Source W says “German actions…had done much to create international tensions.” By the time of the outbreak of war Germany had been desperately trying
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