Source 1 state’s that ‘as early as 1906, Germany had in place a plan for an aggressive war.’ Suggesting that the plan was put in place to start a war when the time was right. Source 2 says, in agreement, that ‘as a reaction to the German war plan’ the French told the Russians to start mobilizing. This suggests that the Schlieffen plan pushed for war and also suggests that the French were being aggressive. Furthermore, this shows how the French - amongst other countries - had ‘confidence in victory’ as said in source 2. Many historians like Fischer, who’s also mentioned in source 1, believe, that if the Schlieffen plan was not aggressive then why would a war plan need to be devised in a time of peace?
Considering that Realpolitik focused on preventing a war within Europe and Weltpolitik aggressively asserted German dominance, it can be validly argued that this direct change in German foreign policy played a major role in bringing about the First World War. Another reason that German foreign policy was so greatly scrutinized was because of the Anglo-German naval rivalry which was creating tension within Europe. As long as Germany built, Britain would be a German enemy. The German government dramatically increased the development of German Ships. [i] This arms race and change in German foreign policy, believing they needed to control the seas was seen as a definite and direct cause
‘German aggression was responsible for the outbreak of a general European war in August 1914.’ How far do you agree with this judgement? The above judgement outlines a clear debate among historians as to whether German aggression was the main reason the First World War began in August 1914, or whether it was due to various other factors. Gordon Corrigan claims that it was due to German aggression and therefore represents the closest argument to the one made in the question. Corrigan also references Fischer to support his argument, and so supports the Fischer Theory, which holds Germany to be responsible for the outbreak of the First World War due to their aggressive foreign policy. Contrastingly, James Joll suggests that Germany’s defensive offensive war rooted from a fear of encirclement from the countries that it borders, and so presents the opinion most opposing to that of the question.
They argued that Imperialism played a major role in the war. Lenin stated that “Imperialism is the highest stage of capitalism”, this thesis was further supported by Emil Ludwig which stated that war was caused due to incapable leaders. On the other hand, many revisionist historians argue that the war was caused by nationalism, imperialism, militarism and the system of alliances. In Britain, the historian A.J.P. Taylor wrote a book called “The Struggle for Mastery in Europe”, in this book A.J.P.
‘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.
Although German signed the Treaty of Versailles, much to the disgrace of many Germans, admitting they were to blame it is undeniable that aggressive German foreign policy had a lot to do with the outbreak of war in Europe in 1914, but this neglects other factors that may have additionally added to the tensions leading up to the war. Many historians debate whether it was mainly Germany to blame or whether other dominant powers led them into a no-win situation. Source V, ‘Modern Germany’ by Volker Berghahn suggests that the Kaiser no longer saw foreign policy and civil war as separate issues and that they were now seen to entwine together. The mention of the 1913 Army bill that had aggravated many within the German society due to the growing distress over money and the status quo within the German political establishment, the argument over the tax burdens grew with every bill passed. These tensions started to disrupt their dual alliance with Austria-Hungary, even with a ‘Blank Cheque’ being given to them.
Hitler's pursuit of Lebensraum resulted in Germany exhibiting ultranationalism towards its neighbours. The ultranationalism that Germany was demonstrating led to expansionism and ultimately led the world to a second world war. Hitler created a distorted version of Darwin's Theory of Evolution, known as Social Darwinism. This principle stated that a nations strength was measured by its ability to fight and win wars; any nation displayed to be weak or unable to fight was a target for conquest. Hitler displayed ultranationalism when he put Social Darwinism into action, he was creating a master race.
I disagree with the statement “ Increased militarism was the main cause of the second world war.” Due to the fact that it was one of the many reasons why the second world war started. I think that Appeasement was the main cause of the start of the second world war. Firstly , Britain and France followed the policy of appeasement. Appeasement was by chamberlain to satisfy Hitler’s demands. This gave Hitler confidence that Britain and France would not stop him when he invaded other countries.
So to me other nations invading the Great Britain are impossible. 2. How did the naval arms race encourage the development of the alliance system the way it did? Be sure to refer to Great Britain, France, Germany, and Russia, as well as each of the alliance groups specifically. In the naval arms race, Germany wanted to have a naval army as strong as the Great Britain since the strong naval army brought the Great Britain the control right of the oceans.
All motivated the U.S. to declare war on Germany and help the war torn Allies and defeat the Central Powers. The first major influence in America's push for war with Germany was the German naval policy during the war. This caused extreme strain between the two nations and would