In the Context of 100 Years, to What Extent Was the Unification of Germany Responsible for the Start of the First World War?

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In the context of 100 Years, To what extent was the Unification of Germany responsible for the start of the First World War? _____________ The claim that the 'Unification of Germany' was the largest contributing factor to the cause of the First World War is a common sentiment held by many Historians. However there are many that challenge this opinion on the grounds that it is a "crude generalisation1" to exclude the plethora of contributing factors just to shift the blame to Germany and its leadership. In reality, the startling growth of Nationalism did lead to discrepancies between the great powers; the culture clashes and differences in tradition proved to be almost alienating and provocative to neighbouring nations which is a huge factor when considering the start of a war of this magnitude. Furthermore, the intricate system of alliances spawned during this era meant diplomacy became an impossible task that only the most expert politicians could manoeuvre. Despite the factors that could contradict the popular belief that it was Germany and it's unification that caused the First World War, the contrast of Bismarck's expert leadership with Wilhelm II's youthful and naive approach is also a huge factor, incorporated with this school of thought is the idea that the growth of Militarism, especially in Germany, made the idea of war vogue. This study will attempt to provide an alternate view point on the issue. In 1871, Otto Von Bismarck amalgamated the German States through subtle diplomacy and a series of military victories. However, the nature of their victory incited bitter indignation from the French and unsettled the European balance of power. Because of this, the act of 'German Unification' is credited widely as the cause of the First World War. Due to the economical excellence of the Zollverein, Prussia (who were first to abolish the domestic tariff
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