Outbreak of the War in Europe 1914

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‘The outbreak of the war in Europe 1914 was due to an aggressive German Foreign Policy which had been waged since c.1900’ How far do you agree with this opinion? Discussions over the causes of the outbreak of war in Europe in 1914 have caused much controversy due to the breadth of events in multiple countries which took place over a short period of time, concluding in war. The evidence within source V, W and X refer to some of these events, thus hold different countries and individuals to blame to different extents. Whilst source V suggests that aggressive German Foreign policy did hold a considerable proportion of the blame, it places the Germans in a sympathetic position due to their encirclement leaving them no other option. 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
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