Fischer, the provoker of this controversy, expresses this concept of German aggression by stating that since c.1900 Germany planned, and then was able to execute a war, due to their aggressive weltpolitik; based purely on expansionism. However, although many historians have agreed with, or adapted this argument, such as the view it was a ‘calculated risk’, or an ‘escape forward’ in order to relieve Germany from their domestic pressures, many have also criticised the approach. For instance, it is interpreted by some that Germany stumbled into a defensive war in order to protect themselves, and their ally; Austria-Hungary. However, considering these aspects, it could be argued that it is most conceivable that that Germany had planned the war and their aggressive foreign policy aimed to provoke a war in order to help their plans of annexation. Fischer’s argument that the outbreak of the First World War was due to Germany’s aggressive foreign policy, with a harsh focus on annexation, can be regarded as one of much significance.
Great Britain, France, and Russia all formed the Allies while Germany, Austria- Hungary, and Italy formed the Central Powers. The position of Germany might have led to an early declaration of was because it was surrounded by the allied powers. Nationalism and extreme patriotism towards the country was also a reason for the outbreak of the war. This over-confidence gave birth to a fatal misconception: that in the event of war in Europe, one’s own country would be victorious
They clashed with the main powers of Europe over territory like morocco, which ultimately strengthened Franco-Anglo relationships. Weltpolitik was a huge political risk and in the end the risks outweighed the positive factors, which resulted in the failure of the plan and ultimately was a great cause of WW1 In 1893 the Franco-Russian alliance was formed which meant that it allowed the possibility of encirclement of Germany, which made them paranoid. The Kaiser at the time was Wilhelm II and he surrounded himself with military figures so had a very militaristic point of view. So his response to the possible encirclement was to come up with a new plan called the Schliffen Plan. This stated that if a possibility of a two front war with France and Russia was ever to arise they would mobilise their troops quickly and beat the French within six weeks and then march back in time to meet the Russian army.
‘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.
With politics being a major part of Italian depression it had also taken great affect on Germany as well. With the Germans very upset about the outcome of the Treaty of Versailles and what they had to face they soon realized that their economic and political instability was not as great as it once was. With Hitler’s powerful use of words and the support of the Nazi party they soon began to persuade the people of Germany to
The world was left in a bipolar power struggle between the two main superpowers, America and the Soviet Union. Stalin, then the leader of the SU wanted to spread communism in order to strengthen the Unions hold on satellite states in Eastern Europe. The US were afraid of the threat of communism, fearful it would spread and cut all ties with their onetime allies. The Soviet Union hardened its attitude towards the West when NATO was formed in 1949 to battle the USSR. One of the major causes of tension was the Berlin blockade which caused an accelerated involvement of the US in Europe.
France might have also been frightenend by the progressing German unification. There were other more politically domestic long term reasons for the war. These were that Bismarck wanted to unify the land that he had won as a result of the Austrian and Prussian war in 1866. Bismarck also used France as a common enemy of Germany all together so that unification could take place much more easily. France thought the war would not only help by stopping Germany’s increase in power.
Since Russia and France were allies and France didn’t like Germany due to the lost war against them in 1870, they declared war on Germany on August 3rd 1914. Germany wanted to start
If it hadn’t been for Germany, Austria-Hungary would not have been confident enough to start a war with Serbia and Russia. France and Britain were allied with Russia and therefore had to protect it. This is frequently referred to as a Domino effect. On the 3rd of August Germany declares war on France, this is when the Schlieffen plan comes into play. The Schlieffen plan also lays a lot of the blame on Germany.
The policy of appeasement, embraced in vain by Great Britain and France in the 1930s, was ultimately a bid to reach a peaceful understanding with Germany. However this was only a failed policy which directly would lead to war as it encouraged Hitler, abandonining policy would have prevented such a brutal war, Hitler was an unreasonable dictator and that had always intended to fight a war and that he would not be appeased. These crucial factors ensured that appeasement policy would Utltimlty the appeasement directly resulting in the Second World War Brittan and France With the rise of Hitler Germany sought to revise the terms of paris peace settlement through aggression as he stated in mieng kamf he would “break the unjust terms of the treaty of versallies”. The memories of WW1 were still alive and Britain and France were disenchanted with the idea of using force to solve European disputes as they were economically. The feeling swept especially throughout Britain that the Treaty of Versailles had been too harsh, and Germany should be able to make some amendments to its more extreme elements.