Germany and Austria caused the War purposefully not accidentally. The intentions of Austria were to destroy Serbia with the help of Germany. Conrad von Hotzendorff, Chief of General Staff for Austria, asked Moltke, Chief of German General Staff, if Austria could count on German support. (Doc B). On the 6 July 1914 Germany had given Austria a “blank check”, which stated the support of Germany towards Austria.
This was because the new middle class that had emerged in the 'German states', from industrialisation, wanted political representation, and felt that it could only be achieved in a united Germany. The Congress of Vienna wanted to make sure that no country could take over Europe in the way that France did in the early 1800s, it aimed to do this by allocating more land to Prussia and creating a 'barrier' that would block any attempts of French expansion and also war from Russia in the east. The German Confederation divided Germany into thirty-nine states, as Napoleon did during the French occupation. A reduction in the number of German states may seem like a move towards nationalism and in turn unification, however it was in fact a direct move against it, as can be seen in the second amendment of the confederation. This is known as 'particularism', the principle of leaving each state in a federation free to govern itself and promote its own interests.
At Plombieres meeting of 1858 Cavour and Napoleon III agreed to work together which the agreement was Nice and Savoy are going to belong to France(so there would be no complete unification) and fought the war of 1859 against Austria. France also help weekend Austrian power and turn a blind eye when Cavour moved Piedmont’s troops through the Papal States in order to head off Garibaldi. However France has been a positive factor too. Napoleon signed a secret treaty with Bismarck prime minister of Prussia in 1866 that in the Austrian-Prussian war France would remain neutral but at the end of the conflict France would receive Venetia if Austria was defeated. In addition Napoleon with great diplomatic skills made sure that Venitia would be ceded to France even if Austria won and then passed on to Italy.
Weltpolitik could be argued to be a factor relating to the breakout of the First World War in August 1914. Although, it could be said that the war was avoidable and not inevitable, supported by Geiss in source 2 and Mombauer in source 3. On the other hand there are a two other main views which the sources suggest could be accountable for the outbreak of the war, with Deist source 1 mainly pushing for the political decision makers in the Kaiser and his military cabinet, such as Molkte and Tiripitz. The final factor that all three sources partially suggest is the impact of the tensions in the Balkans, mainly between the Austro-Hungarians and the Russians. Altogether, the idea that Weltpolitik made the First World War inevitable by August 1914 is short sighted as this is not entirely accountable for the war but was a contribution.
France longed to avenge its defeat in Franco-Prussian War, Bismarck signed treaties with other powered thinking they wouldn’t attack Germany alone. Emerged to triple alliance with Italy and Austria-Hungary. In 1914, Germany, Austria-Hungary fought on same side- became known as central powers. Rival bloc took shape when France and Russia formed alliance by signing an entente (nonbinding agreement to follow common policies led to close military and diplomatic ties). Britain signed similar agreement with Russia.
World War 1 was a ticking time bomb waiting to happen. Countries throughout Europe had agreements of consolidated alliances which would pull European countries into battle. Therefore, if one country were to attack another, a domino like effect would come into play and the allied countries were bound to defend the attacked country. Since Austria-Hungary decided to declare war on Serbia for the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand, Russia was bound to join the war because of cultural ties and alliances with Serbia. Germany saw that Russia was starting to mobilize troops so Germany decided to declare on Russia which leads to France joining the war because of being drawn against Germany.
None the less, Bismarck was no fool; he took advantage of a situation which he hoped would never come. If he could strike an alliance with the Centre party in some way, he would be able to strengthen his political position elsewhere. For example, he was confusing the Austrians with his anti Catholic policies and as Bismarck wanted to make stronger links with Austria, by ending the Kulturkampf he could bring Austria and the Papacy both on his side. This is what Bismarck was able to do as in 1879 he agreed an alliance with Austria, showing his end to the Kulturkampf as a cleverly thought out political strategy. Despite this, the Kulturkampf coincidently came to an end the same year Pope Pius IX died and was replaced with Pope Leo XIII.
Frederick also participated in the War of Bavarian Succession in 1778, stopping Austria from trading the Austrian Netherlands for Bavaria. Taking a part of Poland to unite Eastern Prussia with Western Prussia was a very advantageous
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