‘the Outbreak of War in Europe Was Due to an Aggressive German Foreign Policy Which Had Been Waged Since C.1900’. How Far Do You Agree?

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‘The outbreak of war in Europe was due to an aggressive German foreign policy which had been waged since c.1900’. How far do you agree? It has been a matter of fervent controversy that Germany went to war with aggressive or defensive intentions. Source V suggests that Germany went to war solely for defensive reasons due to the extensive array of alliances that encircled her as well as diplomatic tension. 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. In 1904 Britain created the entente with France, and Russia joined three years later resulting in the Triple Entente. Although it could be argued that Germany felt threatened by this alliance system as it seemed to encircle Germany, it is essential to note that an ‘entente’ does not have the same status as an official treaty and many historians render it to be a mere ‘handshake’ or an ‘expression of good will’. In contrast, Germany seemed to maintain a more secure treaty as she was a member of the triple alliance with Austria- Hungary and Italy. These countries had officially declared their allegiance towards each other so therefore it could be argued how Germany did not feel encircled as she was in a stronger position due to her secure alliance
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