The Outbreak of War in Europe in 1914 Was Due to an Aggressive German Foreign Policy Which Had Been Waged Since 1900

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Whilst the aims of Germany’s foreign policy had changed dramatically from under Bismarck’s rule, it could be argued that it began to lean towards more aggressive policies including Weltpolitik, which has given reason for some historians to lay the blame of the outbreak of war in Europe solely on Germany. Source X by John Moses agrees with this viewpoint, viewing Germany to have been planning to “unleash a continental war” for a extensive period of time, whilst source W by David Blackbourn still agrees that Germany was to blame, it however recognises the possibility that Germany had to act within their best interests and attempt to make the most of a bad situation. However opposed to this opinion Source V by Volker Berghahn disagrees with any opinion that Germany bared responsibility through their foreign policy, but through this belief that Germany believed others “wanted to destroy them” and combined with the “diplomatic isolation” that arose it was viewed that Germany’s foreign policy was once of defensive purposes, rather than being aggressive, which is the forms the main argument within historians as to what formed the true nature behind the actions of German foreign policy. Sources W and X both agree to different extents with the argument that aggressive German foreign policy was to blame for the outbreak of war in Europe in 1914. Both sources agree that following the Sarajevo murder that Germany actively pursued a course which would lead to continental war within Europe. This idea is highlighted by the presentation by the historian Fischer, emphasising amongst other things, the policy of Weltpolitik was consciously working towards expansionism, and German leadership pursuing world power in preparation for fighting a war in Europe. As source X states that the “German plan to unleash a continental war… crystallised a month previously during the Sarajevo
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