‘the Outbreak of War in Europe in 1914 Was Due to an Aggressive German Foreign Policy Which Had Been Waged Since C.1900.’

1156 Words5 Pages
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. With the Kaiser believing that foreign policy and civil war was increasingly the same, it can be assumed that aggressive foreign policy may have been set to distract the German public away from things at home and more onto how to become a strong world power. A factor that both strengthens and weakens the argument of aggressive foreign policy being the reason for the outbreak of war in 1914 is that of encirclement. Source V mentions ‘They felt encircled not merely by the Triple Entente, but also by the forces of change.’ First of all, Germany became sceptical about the alliance between Britain, France and Russia, the Triple Entente, they thought it was not going to work and did not fear it until they tried to cause problems between France and Britain with the ownership of the Balkan islands, which was unsuccessful. When Germany realised that the entente was a
Open Document