Causes of World War 1

Topics: World War I, Otto von Bismarck, German Empire Pages: 4 (1400 words) Published: May 19, 2013

World War 1 was fought between the allied and the central powers from 1914 to 1918. It was fought between the central powers consisted of Germany, Austria- Hungary, Turkey and Italy and the allies consisting of U.K , France, Russia and U.S.A. The war in itself is considered a notable example of a total war as all the belligerents used every means of warfare including chemical warfare to try to win.

The war ended with an allied victory after the armistice in 1918. The war was followed by several treaties imposed on Germany and her allies, the most infamous of these being the Treaty of Versailles. The treaty of Versailles contained a very important war guilt clause which stated “The Allied and Associated Governments affirm and Germany accepts 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.” the importance of this clause was that it blamed the war solely on Germany. Thus we see how the official primary sources blamed German aggression as the main and only cause of the war.

However the causes of the war are now widely debated by historians with some going as far as blaming U.K. for the war. One such historian is American Paul.W. Schroeder. He says that the cause of the war was what he called Britain's “encirclement" policy which was directed at Austria-Hungary. Schroeder argued that British foreign policy was anti-German and even more anti-Austrian as Britain never took Austria-Hungary seriously. It was British policy to always force concessions on the Dual Monarchy with no regard to the balance of power in Central Europe. Schroeder claimed that world war 1 was thus a "preventive war" by Germany to help maintain Austria as a power, in the face of the crippling British "encirclement policy" which would have otherwise...
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