Germany And Outbreak Of Wwi Essay

2363 words - 9 pages

Throughout time wars have ended with the defeat of one force and the victory of another, those on the side of defeat almost always being held accountable for the destruction these wars produce. This is undoubtedly the case with post WWI Germany, burdened with defeat and forced to sign the treaty of Versailles, thus taking responsibility for the war. Although blamed for the war, it is still a highly controversial question between historians if the Germans were truly responsible for WWI. However when studying the actions of Germany as a nation and its leaders in the years leading up to the war, one can see it is quite accurate to say Germany was responsible for the outbreak of World War One. Germany had been creating tensions since the days of Bismarck's alliances, and so when Kaiser Wilhelm ascended to the throne in 1888 and wanted to make Germany a great world power and have “a place in the sun” adopting a policy of ‘weltpolitik’1, German creation of pre-war tensions and advocacy of a war drove the rest of Europe into WWI with them in 1914.

The nation of Germany can be held largely accountable for the outbreak of WWI solely because they laid the foundation for this war long before a world war was in view. Throughout the years leading up to the war, Germany's actions contributed to the tensions that would eventually erupt in war. By the year 1914, the countries of Europe had established such alliances with each other so that to ensure any conflict between two countries would result in a collective conflict involving all the great powers of Europe. This extensive alliance system would not have even been conceived if Germany had not initiated it; “The division of Europe into two armed camps took place by slow stages over a period of nearly forty years. It started with the 1879 alliance between Germany and Austria- Hungary, a partnership that, regularly renewed, remained in force until 1918 and was the cornerstone of the Central Powers”.2 The entangled and ever extensive alliance system was one of the most substantial causes for the out break of WWI, and the inclusiveness of the war is due to Germany starting this chain of alliances. Out of all the other great European powers, Germany and France had the most animosity between them and this begun after France’s defeat in the Franco-Prussian Wars of 1871, resulting in Germany taking control of the french region of Alsace- Loraine;”...Bismarck foresaw that France would not rest while she could hope some day to regain these provinces. The very peace therefore, which concluded the Franco-Prussian War laid the foundation of another war in the future.”3 It was enough of a disgrace for France, so grand a country, to suffer such a defeat to the newly created Germany, but with the taking of Alsace-Lorraine Germany accentuated this loss guaranteeing future conflict. In this way Germany gets the ball rolling so to speak, with these early developments paving the way to war. Through their initiating of the...

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