Article 231 in the Treaty of Versailles says the First World War was “the responsibility of Germany and her allies for causing all the loss and damage to which the Allied and Associated Governments and their nationals have been subjected as a consequence of the war imposed upon them by the aggression of Germany and her allies”. Survey the causes of the First World War. Was the wording of article 231 an accurate assessment?
The wording of article 231 in the treaty of Versailles is an accurate assessment on the causes of the First World War. The First World War was due to the acts of aggression that Germany and her allies were responsible for. The loss and damage to which all allied and associated governments were subjected to, was a consequence of the war imposed by Germany and her allies. The root causes of the war begin with Otto Von Bismarck’s renowned goals of unifying and maintaining of Germany through alliances, Germany’s quest for world power, and the Austro-Hungarian determination to impose its will upon the Balkans. The earliest causes of the war began with Otto Von Bismarck’s creation of a unified Germany in 1871 through the victorious war against France, which produced great tension between the two which were never resolved. His desire to maintain stability in Germany through a network of alliances was of direct relevance to the war that broke 43 years later. (FirstWorldWar, 2009) Acutely aware of France’s humiliation and need for redemption after the loss of Alsace and Lorraine, (FirstWorldWar, 2009) Bismarck’s foreign policy to isolate France was demonstrated by the construction of a network of alliances excluding France which created great tension between the two powerful nations. Victor Hugo spoke for most Frenchmen when he wrote “France will have one thought … to become again a great France, the France of 1792, and the France of an idea with a sword. Then one day she will be irresistible. Then she will take back Alsace-Lorraine.” (Mills, 1983,...
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