It also may be possible to argue that WWI was an accident because the Great Powers took action in order to try to avoid war. The great powers tried to through down anchors but Sir Edward Gray stated that in reality it was not safe because in a year’s time war would come. (Doc g). Sir Edward Gray, the Foreign Secretary for the UK, tried to hold Great Powers meeting on the 26 July 1914 and again on 30 July
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. L.F.C Turner’s opinion arises somewhere between the two other historians’ arguments, and states that Germany was aggressive during Europe’s last month of peace before war, but there were other factors that should be considered equally. On the one hand, it was German aggression that was responsible for the outbreak of a general European war in August 1914. One example of suggested German aggression can be seen in their long term foreign policy, ‘weltpolitik’ (world politics), which had been implemented in 1897. The aim of this foreign policy was to spread German influence throughout the world, the meaning of which is interpreted differently by different people.
‘German aggression was responsible for the outbreak of a general European war in August 1914.’ How far do you agree with this judgment? Whether German aggression was responsible for the outbreak of a European war in August 1914 is one that is widely debated by historians up till today. Many historians, for example Fischer, agree, as sources 1 and 2 will show. Others, however, suggest that the Germans’ actions can be seen as a form of defense against the rest of Europe – the arms race with Britain, for example - as talked about in source 3, due to the fact that they felt encircled and only had one ally. In this essay I will argue both sides of this argument using sources to back up my points, however ever maintaining the fact I agree.
Russia also feared the growing German threat and sought to ally itself with Great Britain, France, and even Germany itself for protection. The British, for their part, tried hard to remain out of the conflict, but found that having the world's most powerful navy made that impossible. Rebellious provinces within the Austro-Hungarian Empire made central Europe extremely unstable, and the leaders of the Ottoman Empire in the Near East sought to expand their power. Historians have generally noted that the European powers had managed to avoid war for so long, that when it did
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.
World War 1 World War 1 began between the years of 1914 and 1918. World War 1 disappointed the European Continent putting France, Russia, and the United Kingdom against Germany and the Austro-Hungarian Empire. During this disagreement and war it spread through and into the Colonies of European empires. The war caused major destruction and many people in the world was stated to revise their opinion that they may have against Europe and how they was going to make Europe the center of progress and enlightenment. World War 1 there was a lot of fighting and a lot of people going against each other for their own beliefs and what they may have wanted that they couldn’t get so they had to fight in order to get what they want.
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.
How did WWI start? The simplest answer is that the immediate cause was the assassination of Franz Ferdinand, the archduke of Austria-Hungary. His death at the hands of Gavrilo Princip – a Serbian nationalist with ties to the secretive military group known as the Black Hand – propelled the major European military powers towards war. The events that led up to the assassination are significantly more complicated, but most scholars agree that the gradual emergence of a group of alliances between major powers was partly to blame for the descent into war. By 1914, those alliances resulted in the six major powers of Europe coalescing into two broad groups: Britain, France and Russia formed the Triple Entente, while Germany, Austria-Hungary and
This was most prevalent in Europe, where all the nations scrambled for colonies in Asia, Africa and the Pacific. Interestingly, colonies were most sought after at the height of industrialization. As the European countries were discovering more about the benefits of mass production, the demand and competition for more land, raw materials, markets and produce escalated quickly thus creating the tension that triggered the World War 1. The way most historians portray this cause shows that the imperialistic rivalries magnified in 1871, when France had to give up her resourceful provinces of Alsace and Lorraine to Germany as per the peace Treaty of Frankfurt. Thereafter there were many such imperialistic rivalries.
The second world war was different as it had ideological (Nazism v Communism) as well as racial (Aryan v Slav) elements, but even many other countries were involved, the 'central' theme of both World Wars is Russo-German conflict. It seems strange to say it, but the result of the WWI was unsatisfactory for both Russia (revolution, political withdrawal from the conflict) and Germany (defeat, internal political turmoil that stopped short of revolution) and so it's almost like they ended up having a rematch. * The failure of the League of Nations as an organisation, principally over aggressive Italian imperialism in Ethiopia in the mid 1930s but also during the Spanish Civil War later in the decade. Because the League of Nations failed to act in those cases, Italy and Germany thought they could do what they liked: that lesson wasn't lost on Russia and Japan either. * Along the same lines as the failure of the League of Nations, the short term failure of the appeasement policy of British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain in the late 1930s was a contributory factor, especially after Hitler invaded Czechoslovakia in 1938/39.