Was Weltpolitik a cause of World War One?

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“Was Weltpolitik a cause of World War One?” 28 June 1914. Archduke Franz Ferdinand, the heir to the throne of Austria-Hungary, was assassinated at Sarajevo, capital of Bosnia. Austria saw the hand of Serbia behind the assassination and served her with an ultimatum. Serbia refused to accept but one of the listed demands of the ultimatum. 28 July 1914. Austria declared war on Serbia. Russia had promised full support to Serbia and began full scale preparations for war. By August 3, Germany had declared war against both Russia and France. On August 4 German troops marched into Belgium to press on to France, and on the same day Britain declared war on Germany. The pandemonium of the 4 years that follow has been accounted for by many historians. Having long been regarded as the raison d’etre of the First World War, German Weltpolitik truly set the stage, for the happenings of 1914. The 1850’s saw the German industry growing exponentially. Factories began to emerge all across the country, while the textile and iron industry saw remarkable developments in regards to production. Germany, who had for centuries been economically backward in comparison to Western Europe, had finally caught up in less than two decades. Having the second largest navy and the fastest growing economy in the world, Germany believed itself to be a power to be reckoned with. It was this belief and desire for recognition that gave birth to the new German foreign policy; Weltpolitik. Radically differing from Bismarck’s approach to foreign policy, Weltpolitik aimed to ensure that the world acknowledged Germany as a new Great Power. The time period prior to 1914, saw Russia, Austria-Hungary, France, and Britain as the dominant powers in the world. With both its economic and military advancements, Germany had grown worthy of the title of a “Great Power”. But William II did not want just the title for
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