Section A: Plan of Investigation Word Count: 175
The exact nature of how the First World War not only started, but developed into a global conflict has been debated since July of 1914. This investigation will focus on the question, to what extent did Germany cause the globalization of the Great War? To answer this question, this study will look at various theories and versions of how the war began and turned from a small European dispute to a global conflict. Specifically, this investigation will be exploring how the conflict escalated from demands for retribution after the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand, to a world war. To gain further insight into this, this investigation will not only evaluate historical texts, but will also look at official diplomatic documents and correspondences until the United States’ entrance into the war, which marks the true globalization of the war. The two sources that will be evaluated are The Origins of the First World War: Controversies and Consensus by Annika Mombauer and Official Diplomatic Documents Relating to the Outbreak of the European War by Edmund van Mach.
Section B: Summary of Evidence Word Count:
Tension was rising in Europe as the newly unified German Empire began to feel that it deserved a place among the colonial powers of Europe. Germany saw the success of France and Britain’s overseas empires and had begun to compete with them for colonial and naval strength. (Joll 18-20). This made the leaders of the British and French empires nervous. This lead to the formation of the alliances mentioned above as a way to ensure their dominance in the world. One of the first issues occurred with this during the first and second Moroccan crises. These crises were sparked by Frances increased influence in Morocco, which was negotiated without German’s consent. The German Government decided to respond to this by sending a ship to the port of Agadir to intimidate the French and show that Germany deserved to be involved in colonial negotiations. However, after making an exorbitant demand, France, with the support of Britain, denied Germany’s position and rejected their demand.(German White Book 17-18) This lead to a strengthening of the alliance between Great Britain and France. (Mombauer 3-12) The situation was further aggravated by Germany’s intention to build a navy equal to that of Britain. These German ambitions lead to an arms race between the two empires that ended when the Royal Navy launched the Dreadnaught class capital ship ending Germany’s hopes of a superior navy.
The political and diplomatic situation in Europe in the early nineteenth century was a highly complex web of alliances and relations that created a very precarious environment. A quick overview of alliances is as follows, the Triple Alliance, between Germany, Austria-Hungary,...