To what extend should Germany be held responsible for the WW1?

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uppladdat: 2007-03-08
Linda Engström

Linda Engström 27 år

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The First World War

The first World War lasted for four years (1914 and 1918.) At that time there were seven countries which can be counted as “Great Powers”, namely France, Russia, Germany, Austria-Hungary, Italy and Britain. Germany was the strongest one, based on its industrial strenght and excellent army. There were a lot of struggles and tensions between these (and other) countries.
Beacause of all these tensions, the situation was pretty disquieting. A lot of countries were involved and several things happend, but who is the one to blame for the outbreak of the war? To what extend should Germany be held responsible for the start of the First World War?

When Bismarck led Germany in the late 19th century, their main aim was its security. The Kaiser (Wilhelm II) wasn’t a peaceful person and he was disappointed with Germany’s inoffensive policy. Therefore he forced Bismarck to resign the Re-Insurance Treaty with Russia which said that Russia would be neutral if Germany attacked France, in 1890.
In 1896, Wilhelm II proclaimed that “Nothing must henceforth be settled in the world without the invention of Germany and the German Emperor.” This was the start of their new policy called Weltpolitik based on three key aims. They wanted to make Germany a major imperial power with a strong navy. They also wanted to create a European economic zone.

Because of Germany alliances had been made and Europe was divided into two blocks with the Triple Alliance on one side and the Entente on the other. This developed into a war in 1914, when country after country declared war on eachother during the “Black Week”.

Germany increased the tension and encouraged Austria-Hungary to take a tough line in 1914. They brought Britain into war by invading Belgium and they mobilized very early.
Ausrtia-Hungary fought a lot in the Balkans and they did what Germany wanted and was the first power to resort to force.

A war was almost inescapable, but since Germany pretty much wanted a war, they should be held responsible. They made Ausrtia-Hungary declare war on Serbia and by that they sort of drag Russia into the war. And since Russia had an alliance with Britain and France, also that countries were dragged into war.

Although they knew what was going to happen, Britain didn’t work that much for peace. Maybe they could have done more, but they are not the ones to blame. Also Serbia, France and Russia acted mainly because of Germany’s actions.

All countries could have done more to avoid war and are because of that partly responsibe for the start of the war, but G...

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Linda Engström [2007-03-08]   To what extend should Germany be held responsible for the WW1?
Mimers Brunn [Online]. http://mimersbrunn.se/article?id=7722 [2017-11-21]

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