To what extent were the decisions made by Germany's leaders responsible for the outbreak of the First World War?

Topics: World War I, World War II, German Empire Pages: 3 (899 words) Published: November 3, 2014
All of the sources give different impressions as to wether Germany's leaders are responsibe for the outbreak of the First World War. Source 1 seems to strongly suggest that German leaders and the German Government did in fact push for the war with Hewitson blaming the Army and suggesting that Germany was looking for an opportunity to start war however he does not fully support the view that German leaders were responsible.Porter and Armour (Source 2) strongly supports this view by again pointing to the millitary and prime minister Bethmann Hollweg looking for an opportunity to wage war but again not fully placing the blame on Germany but looking at the threating actions of Russia and Britain. In contrast to both Source 1 and 2 Norman Stone ( Source 3) does not blame Germany, instead he suggest that the tension in Europe for the last decade finally reached an ultimatum in the July crisis and the war was the fault of all Great powers.

Mark Hewitson argument that " German army and the government pushed for war before 1914 " is reasonable and puts the blame on the German leaders, this view is also supported by ficher who said that Germany was making plans for annexation before the July crisis which suggest that Germany hoped to quickly win the war. It is also supported by the Council meeting in 1912 which held that it was Germany's consious decision to wage war for its own gain. This view is supported by Porter and Armour ( source 2), they say " Bethmann Hollweg government deliberatly provoked a diplomatic crisis which it knew might lead to war." This strongly suggest that German leaders were actually responsible for the outbreak and the statement might be true, because if Hollweg knew that the war would be a certain victory, he would certainly be very pro-war, this due to him carrying about German wellfare which can be seen through certain reforms he passed, such as the 1911 imperial insurence code. Norman ( Source 3) does not fully accept the argument that the...
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