The origins of World War One

The origins of World War One

Length: 530 words (1.5 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Excellent

Open Document

Essay Preview

More ↓
The origins of World War One


The Fritz Fisher thesis
Fritz Fisher focuses on the Kaiser, Gottlieb von Jagow, Bethmann Hollweg and Helmut von Moltke. These four were the German leading figures at that time; Fischer is convinced that these people were responsible for the outbreak of World War One. Fischer’s three main claims were:
1.     Germany was prepared to launch the First World War in order to become a great power.
2.     Germany encouraged Austria-Hungary to start a war with Serbia, and continued to do so, even when it seemed clear that such a war could not be localized.
3.     Once the war began, Germany developed a clear set of aims, already discussed before the war, to gain large territorial gains in central and eastern Europe, very similar to Hitler’s later craving for Lebensraum (‘living space’) in eastern Europe

Fischer believes that the First World War was not a preventative war, but that it was planed and launched by Germany aggressively in order to dominate whole Europe. Furthermore Fischer sees Bethmann Hollweg in the role of the main constructor of the German policy during the July Crisis in 1914, and also as a central figure in the development of Germany’s expansionist goals once the war started.


The Egmont Zechlin thesis
Egmont Zechlin thinks that Bethmann Hollweg took a “calculated risk in July 1914 to gain diplomatic victory, or if it failed, to fight a “defensive preventive war” with nearly no objectives. This explains that Germany did not prepare a huge plan for expansion. Zechlin’s three main claims were:
1.     Germany support for a preventative war grew after the Balkan wars had produced vast gains for Serbia.
2.     Bethmann Hollweg lacked the patience to settle matters by negotiation, believed that the Entente powers were paralyzing Germany, and realized that Russia was growing stronger in the Balkans, and Austria-Hungary weaker.
3.     When he gave Austria-Hungary the ‘blank cheque’, Bethmann Hollweg realized that the crisis might escalate into a European war.

It appeared like Germany hoped that the Austro-Serb crisis might divide the big Entente powers and with that give Germany a blood free victory. In addition to that Zechlin accepts the fact that Germany took advantage of the crisis to advance its own plan.


The Gerhard Ritter thesis
Gerhard Ritter supposes that Germany can’t be blamed for the outbreak of World War One. Ritter’s six main claims were:
1.     There is no evidence of a unified German plan for war or world domination.
2.     Germany acted defensively throughout the July Crisis to preserve its position in the existing status quo.

How to Cite this Page

MLA Citation:
"The origins of World War One." 123HelpMe.com. 27 Feb 2020
    <https://www.123helpme.com/view.asp?id=91807>.

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

Essay on Origins of World War One

- Origins of World War One June 28, 1914 was the start of one of the world’s biggest wars. It all seemed to start when Franz Ferdinand was assassinated by Gavrilo Princip, a known member of the Black Hand. The Black Hand was a terrorist group against the military in Bosnia. The Black Hand wanted to try and break up the Austrian-Hungry group connected in Bosnia. It was this attack on a Bosnia leader that World War 1 came about. It was the spark needed to begin the war....   [tags: Papers]

Free Essays
743 words (2.1 pages)

Alliance Origins and Their Effect on the Outbreak of World War One Essay

- Alliance Origins and Their Effect on the Outbreak of World War One The First World War began after a complex series of events, which had distinct roots that can be found in the foreign policies of European countries' governments. It is not easy to explain how a conflict between Austria-Hungary and Serbia developed into a world war but it can be figured out through careful examination of the alliance systems at the outbreak of the war. Rivalries were increasing and quite evident in the twenty years preceding the war....   [tags: Papers]

Research Papers
803 words (2.3 pages)

The Alliance System Led to World War I Essay

- There are many reasons why World War One occurred in 1914, many are complex and remain controversial which is why the matter has been disputed to this day by historians all over the world. My theory is that a lot of those reasons and the trigger factor all links to one thing; the alliance system. The alliance system is what made countries oppose each other and become rivals making it the most significant factor. It had an impact on who supported who when Duke Franz Ferdinand was assassinated. This was only the spark that started war in Europe; there were long term causes that contributed to the war and were the origins....   [tags: World War I, first world war, world war one]

Research Papers
948 words (2.7 pages)

The Origins Of The World War I Essay

- Introduction Tragically between July 1914 and November 11, 1918 over 17 million lost their lives in the First World War. Approximately among this staggering number it included 100,000 gallant American troops. For years, scholars have engaged in never-ending debates as to what might have caused this war, the outcome varies and very complicated in nature. Ideally, there were several interconnected events resulting to the grand fight but the real causes of the fight are deemed to be deeper and forms part and parcel of this perpetual discussion and debate....   [tags: World War I, Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria]

Research Papers
1137 words (3.2 pages)

An Analysis of Gaddis' Book, The United States and the Origins of the Cold War, 1941–1947

- The Cold War was a clash over ideological difference and control over the sphere of influence. Although the Cold War is technically over; many scholars are still fascinated with the events that could have started WWIII, and its impact on U.S. foreign policy. Professor Gaddis thus wrote an impressive book which deals with the origins and revisionist theories which gave the reader and exceptional background knowledge on the topic. However, he suggested that without accurate research materials, it would be impossible to know what took place in the Kremlin....   [tags: The United States and the Origins of the Cold War ]

Research Papers
725 words (2.1 pages)

Essay about Origins of World War II

- Origins of World War II World War II was much more than battles, statistics, politics, and opinions. The things that contributed to its beginning, what happened during the war, and the effects of the war are still being debated and discussed. Patrick Finney assembles some of the best writings for a number of subjects relating to World War II. First the reader is introduced to the basic views, where they originated, and why they are still discussed today. The truth is, even fifty years after the end of the war, it is still very much part of our lives....   [tags: World War II History]

Free Essays
937 words (2.7 pages)

Essay on The Origins Of The Vietnam War

- The origins of the Vietnam War can be traced back to the Cold War and Word War II. In short, one of the main reasons the United States entered the Vietnam as in outcome of U.S strategy of containment during the Cold War, which aimed to prevent the spread of communism throughout the world. If wee look at the United States national interest it is defined by four basic principles: securing American power, building economic prosperity, promoting democratic principles, and seeking international peace....   [tags: Cold War, Vietnam War, Korean War, World War II]

Research Papers
882 words (2.5 pages)

Causes of World War One Essay

- Causes of World War One In the introduction to a recent survey of the origins of World War I, the author begins with a quote from British scholar C. V. Wedgwood: "The war solved no problems. Its effects, both immediate and indirect, were either negative or disastrous. Morally subversive, economically destructive, socially degrading, confused in its causes, devious in its course, futile in its result, it is the outstanding example in European history of meaningless conflict." Although Wedgewood was not writing on the 1914-1918 War, but on the Thirty Years' War in the Seventeenth Century, the sentiment expressed is relevant....   [tags: Papers]

Research Papers
2292 words (6.5 pages)

Essay on Causes of the First World War

- The twentieth century was a time period characterized by conflicting ideologies and great dissension among countries; it also marked the onset of World War One in 1914. The origins of the "Great War," as the First World War has been called are open to a myriad of insightful and distinct interpretations. However, one interpretation which many historians alike have affirmed is that decisions were made by human beings; "They made them in fear and in trembling, but they made them nonetheless" (Stoessinger 2)....   [tags: World History]

Research Papers
1240 words (3.5 pages)

Exploring the Causes of World War One Essay

- Exploring the Causes of World War One The long-term origins to World War One start back in 1870 with the Franco-Prussian War. In the Franco-Prussian war France lost to Germany which lead to the two countries never being in an alliance with one another. Once the war was over it lead to the forming of the triple Alliance which was one of the main alliances during the first world war. The Triple alliance was made up of the countries - Germany, Austo-Hungery and Italy, and it was first formed because Germany needed help to guard Alsace-Lorrain from France as France wanted to get back its stolen land....   [tags: Papers]

Research Papers
905 words (2.6 pages)

Related Searches


3.     The main German aim was to support Austria-Hungary, Germany’s only firm ally.
4.     The German government realized too late that the conflict could not be localized.
5.     The German government put to much reliance on military planners, who decided war plans which were bound to lead to an escalation of the crisis.
6.     Bethmann Hollweg tried honourably and desperately to disentangle his country form being drawn into war at the end of the crisis, and became a victim of the military planners.

Ritter believes that Germany was pulled into the war because it gave too much power to the leaders and military planners, and additionally because of its close alliance with Austria-Hungary.










Return to 123HelpMe.com