“the First World War Did Not Arise Primarily as a Result of Planned German Aggression” How Far Do You Agree with This Opinion?

Topics: World War I, World War II, German Empire Pages: 3 (1290 words) Published: December 3, 2012
“The First World War did not arise primarily as a result of planned German aggression” How far do you agree with this opinion? Explain your answer, using sources 1, 2 and 3 and your own knowledge of the issues related to this controversy. There has been some controversy as to what or who was to blame for the outbreak of the First World War. Some people have taken the opinion that the war arose as a result of “planned German aggression” such as sources two and three, whereas source one is of the opinion that the Germans went to war with “defensive” intentions and that they didn’t have any “special plan to dominate Europe”. It can be argued that the Schlieffen Plan was openly rigid and brittle which meant that the Germans had no choice but to attack and violate Belgian neutrality. There was also the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand or the naval arms race which was taking place between Britain and the Germans can also be considered factors as to why the First World War arose in 1914. Never the less, we can also argue that the war in 1914 arose primarily as a result of German aggression because the war was planned in order to achieve “great power status”. It is source two that presents the theory of Fritz Fischer, in which he states that “Germany bore full responsibility for the war”. Fischer is enforcing the point that Germany was indeed aggressive and power hungry, this would suggest a suitable motive for them to go to war and therefore disagree with the opinion above. Further on, source two once again refers to the power hungry nature of Germany. “War was the only final mean by which the ruling elites could seek to maintain their power”, you could interpret this quote in two ways, you could say that this suggests the Germans were in fact trapped and they could only see one way to go on, through war. However I think that the source in fact is suggesting that they wanted to expand throughout Europe to gain a greater power status, to do this they had to go...
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