Was the outbreak of the war in 1914 was due to German Agression?

Topics: World War I, German battleship Tirpitz, Bosnia and Herzegovina Pages: 3 (1059 words) Published: April 14, 2014
‘The outbreak of the war in Europe in 1914 was due to an aggressive German foreign policy which had been waged since c.1900.’ It has been a matter of fervent controversy that Germany went to war with aggressive or defensive intentions. Source V seems to be of the opinion that Germany went to war solely for defensive reasons due to the extensive array of alliances that encircled her as well as diplomatic tension. On the whole, Source W seems to take the opposite approach deeming how Germany’s aggressive actions since the turn of the century resulted in war. Source X seems to be the synthesis for both these approaches and admits how it is a matter of great controversy but points towards the fact that Germany had always wanted colonial expansion. Indeed there is an array of information that supports this. Therefore, I maintain that outbreak of war in Europe was due to an aggressive foreign policy which had been waged c.1900. Source states that Germany, ‘felt encircled not only by the triple entente but also by the forces of change’. Indeed an extensive alliance system did surround Germany but the question is how much of a threat were they. In 1904 Britain ended her policy of ‘splendid isolation’ creating the entente cordiale with France, Russia joined three years later resulting in the Tipple Entente. Although it could be argued that Germany felt threatened by this alliance system as it seemed to encircle her, it is essential to note that an ‘entente’ does not have the same status as an official treaty and many historians render it to be a mere ‘handshake’ or an ‘expression of good will’. In contrast, Germany seemed to maintain a more secure treaties as she was a member of the triple alliance with Austria- Hungary and Italy. These countries had officially declared their allegiance towards each other so therefore it could be argued how Germany did not feel encircled as she was in a stronger position due to her secure alliance system. Indeed the alliance was as...
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