The Outbreak Of World War One and Germany

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The Outbreak Of World War One and Germany August 4th 1914 marks the date on which Europe fell into what has become known as "the Great War". What started as a minor squabble between Austria-Hungary and Serbia, in the space of six weeks, escalated into total war between Europe's biggest powers. Almost one hundred years later we are no closer to answering the question of who or what was to blame for it's outbreak. It is easy to assume that Germany were solely to blame, however this assumption would be incorrect. Germany did, at times have an overbearing influence, and with many factors, the underlying fault lies with Germany. However, influence of other nations, states and individuals were also significant in pulling Europe into World War One. In 1871, following a series of Prussian wars, a new nation of Germany was created which significantly altered the politics of Europe. The new Kaiser, Wilhelm II, determined the direction that this nation took, and it was his attitude that created so much fear of the new state. At times, understandably, they felt threatened and vulnerable. Already, she had found enemies in neighbours France after their crushing defeat of them in 1870, and this was to prove crucial in the next few years. On other fronts, Germany had large powers Russia and Austria-Hungary as neighbours. It is understandable, therefore, that Germany would want to secure their position. They did this hastily, comprehensively and most importantly, aggressively. The "Weltpolotik" of Germany meant consolidation and increase of power. They wanted an empire, and to achieve this they needed economic stability and subsequently milita... ... middle of paper ... ... united Germany, then there would not have been the desire which plagued them and Europe, and ultimately started war. However, it would be unfair not to recognise the other factors. Nationalism significantly altered the political structure of Europe; the unstable Balkans were both unknown and feared; and probably all the leaders of all the major powers have some blame for the war. There is little doubt, however as to where the greatest share of responsibility falls. Germany willed on Austria-Hungary; misinterpreted Britain's loyalty; projected an aggressive image with their strong modern army that scared many; and some say even deliberately faced the risk of conflict with France and Russia. Germany was by no means the only reason for the outbreak of war in 1914 but are, without a doubt, the biggest single reason.
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