To What Extent Was Germany Responsible For The Outbreak Of War In 1914?

981 words - 4 pages

The German empire might have provoked the ignition of the First World War also known as the "Great war" by their invasion of France via Belgium this being the initial act of confrontation. Would this make Germany guilty in sparking the war of all wars? Being a controversial topic still amongst historians today the majority agrees that a series of events resulting in triggers began the war involving all parties not just the German empire.Whilst Bismarck wanted Germany to stay as a land-based European power with a strong army, Wilhelm wanted Germany to follow "Weltpolitik" a world policy. This world policy meant turning the German Empire into a world power with a large colonial empire and a powerful navy to protect it.Germany in an industrial revolution challenged Britain's world economic domination. The German population was also increasing and till 1914 had risen more than 50 percent providing an even larger work force. Apart from the ever more growing race for arms both on land and sea the Kaiser also had the ambition to imperialize more than the two colonies in Africa he already had, he was after and empire like the one of France and England. Ever since the Battle of Trafalgar Britain had ruled the seas without competition but it changed in 1898 when Wilhelm announced intentions to build a powerful German navy, Britain felt threatened. Why would the German empire build a navy for what needs, Britain did not see any reasons except that they were being threatened, The Kaiser on the other hand claimed to be construction this navy to protect Germany's ever so growing trade routes. This then started a massive naval race which reached its climax when Britain launched their HMS Dreadnought a massive destroyer this raised the stakes in the naval race, but not surprisingly Germany responded by the construction of their own Dreadnoughts. The expenditure of both Governments was well in the millions in the arms sector.The alliances did play a major role in the lead up to the outbreak of the First World War, even though these alliances cannot be entirely blamed for war they did contribute. Germany was part of the triple alliance with Austria and Italy, at the same time the Reinsurance treaty resulting in a Franco-Russian alliance that then turned into the Triple Entente when Britain joined also existed. These defensive alliances were responsible for the hostile environment and could be purely blamed on Germany as they were vital in the eventual war. Seeing that the atmosphere was very tense the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand did not lead to war immediatly but did trigger the already hostile enough mood to turn even tenser. The present crisis in the Balkans and then Austria's unacceptable ultimatum to Serbia had a chain reaction between the alliances. Because the ultimatum was not acceptable Austria would go to war with...

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