‘German Responsibility for Wwi Was No Greater Than That of Any of the Other Great Powers in Europe'. Assess the Validity of This Statement.

Topics: World War I, World War II, German Empire Pages: 3 (877 words) Published: April 14, 2006
The causes of the First World War (1914-1917) are, as proven by historians, exceedingly complex and a topic of great debate. For instance, some believe that Germany simply created conditions for war, while others argue her long planned war of aggression. Therefore, to assess the validity if the above statement, it's vital to consider the long-term causes of imperialism, nationalism and militarism as well the short-term origins of war from all those Great Powers.

Looking back upon the statement, it would be helpful to analyze just how much responsibility Germany carried. In the long term, back in the early 1870's, it is noteworthy to remember Bismarck's Policies, mainly that of isolating France. With several conflicts between Russia and Austria-Hungary, Germany managed to create the ‘Three Emperor's League'. Such exclusion obviously embittered France and caused strain between the two Powers. Furthermore, this Bismarck's Legacy was rejected with the coming of Kaiser Wilhelm II and the newly formed Weltpolitik (World policy) can be deemed a contribution to WW1. It was very aggressive and carried a lot of emphasis upon colonial overseas expansion and in 1897 the German Foreign minister Bullow declared: ‘We don't want to put anyone in the shade, but we too demand a place in the sun'. Such abrupt demand from the German's possibly intimidated the others, creating nationalist tension. In terms of militarism, the navy in 1898 and 1890 laws were passed on increasing the German Navy which further on in 1906 sparked of a Naval Race between Germany and Britain, rooting from Germany's desire for power.

The first Moroccan Crisis (1905-06), where Wilhelm intervened against the French and declared he was prepared to uphold Morocco's independence, resulted after the Algeciras Conference in Germany strengthening the Anglo-French alliance against her. Consequently, a part of the imperialist policy, the Second Moroccan Crisis in 1911 only edged the situation; German minister...
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