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Causes for World Battle One

Causes for World Battle One

Connor Sweeney

Q1) The incitement of Globe War One was the consequence of different factors set in motion by various political scenarios with various believing Germany pursued war for aggressive reasons. Also, historians illustrate that Germany pursued war as a solution to domestic issues such as the rise of socialism.

Many historians assume that Germany pursued war through aggressive means such as for example policies and diplomatic decisions. Between 1890-1914, Germany used a fresh aggressive foreign plan that focused on territorial expansion known as Weltpolitik. The German Foreign Minister, Bernhard von Bülow once explained “Only an effective foreign policy can help to reconcile, pacify, rally, unite.” Germany, consequently of the new policy, required a new larger naval fleet so that you can force their expansionist ambitions which in turn threatened Britain’s status as the world’s ‘colonial power’. Consequently, Germany’s Navy Regulations of 1898 and 1900 upset Britain and sparked the Naval Competition, a competition to build the major & most advanced naval fleet which deteriorated Anglo-German relations. Because of this, Britain entered into alliances with France in 1904 and Russia in 1907 respectively, creating what was known as the Triple Entente, indicating war with one nation could escalate into a European conflict. On top of that, Germany pursued foreign fascination in Morocco, in that which was to be known as the Moroccan Crisis, where he publicly declared Germany’s backing of Morocco’s independence. This is at that time France was hoping to colonise Morocco with British backing through the Anglo-French Entente and therefore Germany hoped to disrupt this relationship, feeling that it posed a danger to Germany’s world impact.

Towards the end of the 19th century, Germany was going through rapid mass industrialisation with coal and metal production increasing. Subsequently German society was starting to politically shift as mass urbanisation commenced with various flocking to locations to work, where there were greater inequalities between your growing working course in the towns and the rural aristocrats in the countryside. Discontent spread as employees working extended hours for poor pay out and conditions led improvements for increased democracy and privileges. This led to a rise in Socialism within German contemporary society that challenged the conservative and classic Kaiser Wilhelm and the German authorities. This go up in socialist opinions was exhibited by the go up of the Social Democratic Get together (SPD) who, representing the growing working class, pursued interpersonal and political transformation. By 1912 the SPD had 110 seats in the Reichstag instead of 35 seats in 1890. The German government and the Kaiser found the SPD as a risky threat and wouldn’t normally let them the opportunity to govern despite their majority in the Reichstag. As the SPD grew, the right-wing functions in the Reichstag on whom the Kaiser’s government relied were dropping support. Thus the Kaiser introduced Sammlungspolitik, a domestic motion to support Weltpolitik. This was to make sure political and domestic unity in rallying collectively Germany’s interpersonal elites (landowners, new industrialists, and the army) and encouraging patriotism and loyalty to the Kaiser and the federal government whilst encouraging opposition to socialism.

Q2) As Europe entered the period of June – August 1914 it became a diplomatic hotbed known as the “July Crisis”. The July Crisis coins the political and diplomatic circumstances following a assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand, the heir to the Austro-Hungarian Empire, a close ally of Germany. The assassin, Gavrilo Princip, was an associate of a Serbian terrorist organisation fighting for Slav Independence from Austria-Hungary. Consequently Austria saw this as a primary strike from the Serbian government and consequently directed them an uncompromising ultimatum or war. Germany noticed this as an opportunity to drive their expansionists aims and offered Austria their complete backing. This “Blank Cheque”, as it was known, became an integral stage into outbreak of the battle as with Germany’s total backing, Austria could force on into battle with Serbia. Germany with their issue of the “Blank Cheque” believed Austria was ready to ignite an immediate and rapid war against Serbia despite their wariness of Russia’s Dual-alliance with Serbia, probably escalating the war right into a European conflict with the Franco-Russian Alliance creating France to aid Russia. However, Theobald von Bethmann-Hollweg, the German Chancellor, imagined should a European battle occur, that it had been easier to happen in 1914 than years afterwards when Russia will be at a greater military potential. Although Serbia agreed to meet a few of the needs of Austria’s ultimatum, it did not fulfil all the conditions and Austria with the “blank cheque” of Germany in it, declared war on Serbia on the 28th July. During these last couple of days in July, the European political condition heightened to breaking point with Tsar Nicholas signing motions for plans to both partial and standard mobilise the Russian troops despite firm warnings from Germany. On the 29th July 1914 there was telegram exchanges between the Tsar and the Kaiser regarding the newly erupted war in the Balkans. Kaiser posting” Of course military measures on the part of Russia will be looked after by Austria as a calamity we both wish to avoid”[i], showing Germany’s unrelenting stance. This is adopted up by the Tsar’s reply “I am hoping from all my heart these measures won’t in any how to write a summary essay way interfere with your part as mediator that i greatly worth.”[ii]. From these how to solve vertical angles telegrams both the Tsar and the Kaiser conveyed an unwavering stand that illustrates an inevitability between both countries involvement in the Balkan war. As July drew to a close, events accelerated towards battle with Austria-Hungary ordering basic mobilisation on the 30th July 1914 with Russia doing the same. News pass on to Berlin and by the 1st August Germany possessed declared battle on Russia and started out general mobilisation, activating the Franco-Russian Alliance which meant that Germany on the 3rd August declared battle on France. Part of Germany’s military technique against France was the Schlieffen System that involved marching through Belgium, a neutral nation. So that you can help shield Belgian neutrality, Britain had no decision but to declare war on Germany on the 4th August and so Europe was plunged into war.

Q3) There are several varying interpretations on who was sensible and culpable for the origins of WW1 with two of the primary differing theories getting from historians Fritz Fischer and Christopher Clark. Fischer will take the stance that sole responsibility for the war lies with Germany while Clark on the other hand, looks at the origin of the battle as a collective responsibility where all countries must take a talk about of the blame.

Fritz, on one hand, believes that Germany’s quest for war was only a progression of their huge, expansionist aims. He claims that Germany, in the interest of becoming a worldwide great power, was prepared to release WW1 and that once the war had started, it’s aims were exact and pre-determined especially in areas of territorial gains in Central and Southern European countries. Furthermore, Fischer thought that it had been domestic elements that drove Germany’s international policy as opposed to the orthodox look at that it had been external factors. At the moment Socialism threatened the previous, traditional empirical German culture while industrialisation/urbanisation possessed caused growing inequalities between sociable classes which Fischer believed the Kaiser and the federal government wanted to resolve this through the quest for war. Fritz believed Germany was actively going after war to fix their domestic problems in the home and fulfil their expansionist aims in one swoop. In this, he believes the blame lies exclusively at the stage of Germany. On the other hand, Clark’s thesis believes that a collective responsibility must be placed on all nations “There is absolutely no cigarette smoking gun in this tale; or, rather there is usually one in the hands of each major character”[iii]. Clark claims that the outbreak of the war was an accumulative result of political scenarios and diplomatic manoeuvres that metaphorically stumbled right into a war. There is significant evidence to aid this thesis such as for example Russia’s and Germany’s unwavering relentlessness to get involved in the Austro-Serbian conflict as exhibited by the “Willy-Nicky” telegrams.

Personally, the Fischer thesis supplies the more convincing theory as it is supported by extra significant evidence. In my opinion, Germany’s adoption of Weltpolitik, an expansionist insurance policy, forced other countries into alliances such as for example Britain who formed alliances with France following a Naval Race that was subsequently due to this policy. Additionally, this aggressive foreign plan led to diplomatic manoeuvres like the “blank cheque” to Austria – Hungary, a guarantee of complete support, that using its absence may have prevented the Austro- Serbian conflict that began the war. It appeared that Germany manoeuvred themselves into a position where war was inevitable as a way to progress their expansionist aims and even though many nations must take their show of the blame, it is in my opinion that Germany must consider sole responsibility for the outbreak of World War 1.


[i] The “Willy-Nicky” Telegrams, July-August 1914, Kaiser to Tsar (29th July 1914), History A: German Foreign Plan 1890-1914, Pg. 40.

[ii] The “Willy-Nicky” Telegrams, July-August 1914, Tsar to Kaiser (30th July 1914) Background A: German Foreign Policy 1890-1914, Pg. 40.

[iii] Christopher Clark, The Sleepwalkers: How Europe Visited Battle in 1914(London: Harper Collins,2012).

http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history/kaiser-wilhelm-of-germany-and-czar-nicholas-of-russia-exchange-telegrams

http://encyclopedia.1914-1918-online.net/document/germanys_blank_cheque_to_austria-hungary

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