Did Germany have the sole responsibility for World War One?
The First World War lasted for four years and resulted in the catastrophic deaths of millions. Germany is responsible for it, there’s no doubt in it. Yet whether Germany should be held the sole responsibility for World War one is something that led to endless debates among people for ages. In my point of view, all participating countries should be held responsible, only to different scale. I agree that Germany should be held a greater proportion of responsibility, comparing to other involving countries such as Russia, Serbia and Austria, as Germany was the main combatant and certainly caused the most fatalities. Yet it would be unjust to make Germany bare all “war guilt” as there are still other factors leading to such destruction war.
Due to the influence of extreme nationalism, Germany sought to be recognized as a world power and had imperialistic ambitions on expanding territories. It scrambled for colonies to show off its national strength, and refused to make concessions in economic and diplomatic rivalries with other European powers because it believed that making compromises implied weakness. These upset the other countries and harmed their diplomatic relationship, furthermore the likeliness of war. Take the First Moroccan Crisis as an example: Under the terms of the Dual Entente in 1904, Britain recognized Morocco as a French sphere of influence. This offend Germany, William Second therefore demanded an international conference on the question. However it relentlessly undermined the relationship of Anglo-French entente, almost all countries (except Austria) supported France. Despite Germany failed to get Morocco, it strengthen the ally relationship with Austria as Germany regarded Austria to be its only reliable ally. Due to the strong bonding between the two countries, Germany encouraged Austria-Hungary to be completely off track when dealing with Serbia after the Sarajevo Assassination....
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