‘German Aggression Was Responsible for the Outbreak of a General European War in August 1914’ How Far Do You Agree with This Judgement?

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Historians such as Fischer have the view that Germany was actively seeking a war and this is shown by his theory in Source 1. Another theory is the shared guilt idea which both Source 2 and 3 have evidence to support. Source 2 also points towards the Fischer theory but also that events spiralled out of control, a ‘War by Timetable’ as A.J.P. Taylor said. It is fair to say however that Germany, in any of these scenarios, was very much responsible which is why their aggression points towards the outbreak of a general European war. German aggression was responsible for the outbreak of a general European War and in Source 1 Corrigan offers the Fischer idea support stated very clearly by the use of the words ‘undeniable’ and ‘aggressive’ to explain some of Germanys actions. He points towards the September Programme as a reason for Germany’s responsibility because ‘Germany’s foreign policy aims were focused on annexation’. Fischer’s argument for this was that as Germany had planned their ‘peace talks’ within a month of the war starting Germany’s leaders must have had these ideas before the war had even started in August 1914. The fact that the September Programme detailed territories in Northern France, Belgium and buffer states between them and Russia (such as Poland) very much show that Germany’s expansionist aims would cause a general European war. Fischer also found later on in Riezler’s diary entries (Bethmann Hollweg’s advisor) the word ‘Kriegswilligkeit’ which translates to willingness for war appears on several occasions. Even Source 3 that argues for shared guilt still shows that German was still heavily involved, because although James Joll argues that von Tirpitz hoped Germany’s naval forces would be so strong that ‘no British government would risk going to war’, it doesn’t mention the War Council meeting of 1912. At this meeting von Tirpitz claimed that it
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