The country also felt threatened as its neighbouring country, Russia was part of the Triple Entente and was itself building up a vast army. Keeping a strong army was important to Germany because it helped to demonstrate to the rest of the world that they were a rising power. In addition, Germany was also in competition with Great Britain. At the time Britain had the largest navy; something Germany envied. Once Britain started introducing their new battleships, named the Dreadnoughts, Germany followed suit.
The war was caused by grudges countries had held against each other from previous wars. Germany, Austria-Hungary and Italy were the Triple Alliance. Britain, France and Russia were the Triple Entente (friendly agreement). These agreements meant that if ever war broke out you would help the country you are in agreements with. Germany was 30-40 years old and wanted to have a bigger empire and navy than Britain, which had the biggest empire and biggest navy out of all of the countries.
Fischer’s argument that the outbreak of the First World War was due to Germany’s aggressive foreign policy, with a harsh focus on annexation, can be regarded as one of much significance. This theory has been backed up by historians such as Berghahn who claims that Germany ‘[tried] to shift the balance of power in their favour’, and did this through a weltpolitik policy of aggressiveness. This, it can be argued, can be shown by The Navy Race, in which Germany attempted to expand their navy in order to compete with Britain. Despite this being regarded by some as an attempt to
Great Britain, France, and Russia all formed the Allies while Germany, Austria- Hungary, and Italy formed the Central Powers. The position of Germany might have led to an early declaration of was because it was surrounded by the allied powers. Nationalism and extreme patriotism towards the country was also a reason for the outbreak of the war. This over-confidence gave birth to a fatal misconception: that in the event of war in Europe, one’s own country would be victorious
There are many events which highlight the importance of this policy no more so than the first and second Moroccan crisis. This event pronounced German military strength as the gunboat panther moored off the coast of Agadir during a minor revolt in French colony of Morocco. Consequently Germany was given land in Congo in order to pacify the growing state. He goes on to say ‘ as early as 1906, Germany had in place a plan for an aggressive war’ which suggests that Germany had planned for war in order to secure assets such as ‘lebensraum’ which would satisfy the desire of the growing pan German movement and raw materials which would satisfy the desire of the ever growing Industrial machine. Fischer strengthens this
‘The outbreak of War in 1914 was due to an aggressive German foreign policy which had been waged since 1900’ Use source on page 46. The notion that Germany played a pivotal part in the outbreak of war in Europe in 1914 is expressed by all three sources, although the belief that it was their aggressive foreign policy which carried the greatest responsibility is voiced especially in Source W. Here David Blackbourn argues that Germany’s naval expansion was highly responsible for increasing international tension. Source V also states that Germany’s foreign policy was to blame for the outbreak of war, focusing on the army’s responsibility. However whilst Source X does suggest foreign policy was involved in the creation of WW1, it challenges the argument to the greatest extent, instead arguing that the Balkans played a crucial part in emergence of war. It can be argued that whilst German foreign policy was a highly significant factor in the outbreak of war, it is important to remember there were many other vital factors, especially the roles of other nations which played a more important role in the outbreak of war.
Both England and France had specific aims for entering the World War One. England wanted to stay and maintain their position as the most powerful country in the world. England desired to expand not only their territories but also their military power even though they had the largest areas under their control and the greatest naval power in the world. Since Germany speedily industrialized and gained power, Britain regarded the rapid development in Germany as the biggest threat to Britain’s aim of staying in the position of great power; thus, through diplomatic channels England claimed to Germany that a large navy or colonies
* Germany was competing with the UK to build battleships. * The British feared an attack on their Empire. * Germany was competing with Russia and France to expand their armies A= Alliances * Agreement with another country. * Competition caused European countries to make alliances with each other (retain peace and increase strenght). * The Triple Alliances was between Germany, Austria-Hungary and Italy.
Why did war break out in the summer of 1914? War broke out in the summer of 1914 due to an international system of alliances which divided the European super powers into two opposing sides under the false impression of rival aggression. One small and inevitable trigger would test these alliances. The Prussian victory over France in 1870 led to the creation of the German Empire. A German diplomat named Bismarck knew that Germany’s neighbouring European Powers’ reaction would be to unite against their new empire.
Radically differing from Bismarck’s approach to foreign policy, Weltpolitik aimed to ensure that the world acknowledged Germany as a new Great Power. The time period prior to 1914, saw Russia, Austria-Hungary, France, and Britain as the dominant powers in the world. With both its economic and military advancements, Germany had grown worthy of the title of a “Great Power”. But William II did not want just the title for