Outbreak of World War I: Who Is to Blame?

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Who is to blame and what triggered this minor event to lead into the outbreak of World War 1?

June 28th 1914: the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria-Hungary and his wife by a Serbian nationalist, Gavrilo Princip. Austria-Hungary saw this as an opportunity to take hostile actions against Serbia to get rid of the Slavic Nationalist movement. What started off as a minor dispute in the Balkans ended up as one of the most inglorious wars in history including all major European powers. Now the main question is: who is to blame and what triggered this minor event to lead into the outbreak of World War 1? After the War, Germany was accused as being the main trigger of the war at the Treat of Versailles in 1919. However, even today many historians debate if this was just or not. Isn’t there someone to point the finger to or are there perhaps more players to blame? As Sidney Fay once said: “Each country was, to some degree, guilty of the war. In my opinion, I believe Sidney Fay was correct”. Each power was involved in the war for their own nationalistic reasons, mostly fear. Some were indeed more guilty than others however I find it to easy to blame the war only to Germany. The gunshot of Gavrilo Princip can be seen as a small fire, which unintentionally led to a immense uncontrolled fire.

Albert Einstein once said “ You cannot simultaneously prevent and prepare for war”. However you could argue that the situation in Germany was politically instable to an extent that Germany’s government felt the need to prepare the war outside of their country. By doing this, Germany could prevent an internal political war by which the ruling politicians, in this case Kaiser Wilhelm II and chancellor Bethmann Hollweg, were feared to lose their political powers as the German Socialist Power came to rise. Therefore they directed all their political attention to the foreign politics and became the aggressor in the eyes of historians such as Fischer. By starting the...
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