“The outbreak of war in Europe in 1914 was due to an aggressive foreign policy which had been waged since c.1900”. How far do you agree with this opinion? Explain your answer using sources V, W and X and your own knowledge relating to the controversy. The implication that Germany’s use of an aggressive foreign policy led to the outbreak of the First World War is an extremely controversial topic, and has ultimately caused great debates amongst historians. Fischer, the provoker of this controversy, expresses this concept of German aggression by stating that since c.1900 Germany planned, and then was able to execute a war, due to their aggressive weltpolitik; based purely on expansionism.
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.
Why did Germany go to war in 1914? There are many reasons as to why Germany went to war in 1914 such as fear of encirclement, various alliances formed, internal policies and domestic and military factors. I personally think the most important reason was due to their internal politics. Germany was formed as a country in 1871 and so felt like they had to prove themselves as a nation to the rest of Europe. They did this through aggressive policies, which they hoped would achieve their aim and build up their empire.
On the one hand, German aggression held the greatest responsibility for the outbreak of a general European war in august 1914. This aggression falls primarily under foreign policy. In the late 1900’s the policy of ‘weltpolitik ‘was introduced in order to secure colonial territories abroad and contend with the European powers such as Britain and France. Corrigan supports this by saying ‘Germanys foreign policy aims were focussed on annexation’. There are many events which highlight the importance of this policy no more so than the first and second Moroccan crisis.
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.
Overall, Source W challenges source V, as it indicates that Germany’s aggressive actions since the turn of the century resulted in war. Source X implies how it is a matter of great controversy however leads more towards the fact that Germany had always wanted colonial expansion. Although it could be argued otherwise, it is evident that outbreak of war in Europe was due to an aggressive foreign policy which had been waged c.1900. Source V states that Germany, ‘felt encircled not only by the triple entente but also by the forces of change’. Although it is true that Germany was surrounded by an alliance system, indeed an extensive alliance system did surround Germany, whether they posed a threat or not is questionable.
Was Germany to blame for the start of world war one? Germany was to blame for the First World War, but only to a certain extent. Germany was not solely to blame, but did contribute greatly to the sequence of events that led to war. Germany were a major contributor to the Arms Race, caused tension between many European countries, made alliances, were extremely nationalistic and encouraged Austria – Hungary to declare war on Serbia. In 1904, Germans were encouraged to become nationalists.
There were many reasons how the Nazi Soviet Pact played a greater part in causing war in 1939 than the policy of appeasement such as an important factor, which let Hitler invade Poland without having to fight a war on two fronts. Also, after the failure of appeasement, the British had guaranteed polish security. Once Germany invaded, the British would be forced to declare war. The Nazi Soviet Pact can be considered major causes of World War Two, however the policy of appeasement was the most important reason for the war. The Nazi-Soviet pact was responsible for the outbreak of war because France and Britain had decided to finally intervene.
In this essay I will be arguing how far I agree with the opinion ‘the outbreak of war in Europe in 1914 was due to an aggressive German policy which had been waged since 1900?’ The outbreak of war I Believe to a large extent The outbreak of war in Europe in 1914 was due to an aggressive German policy which had been waged since 1900.This is shown in The Second Moroccan Crisis (1911) when in April there were disturbances in Fez which led to French military intervention and also Germany’s intervention. Germany sent a gunboat, attempting to bully France into Giving Germany the French Congo in return for Germany giving up all interests in Morocco. This shows how to a large extent the outbreak of war was due to German aggressive policy as they had aggressive intent using the gun boat and attempting to bully France. This statement The outbreak of war in Europe in 1914 was due to an aggressive German policy which had been waged since 1900 is supported by Fischer who says ‘war in 19154 was a bold leap forward to establish German dominance’. This is true as Germany tried to establish German dominance in Fez using aggressive policy to govern France.
Causes of WW 11 Who, or what was to blame in causing WW 11? The Versailles Treaties have been blamed for fillnig the Germans with bitterness and the desire for revenge. The League of Nations has been for failing to secure general disarmament and collective security. The Great Depression has been mentioned because without it Hitler would never have come to power. While these factors created tension, something more was needed to create the war.