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Who Caused The Great War? Essay

2575 words - 11 pages

World War I, otherwise known as the Great War, was the first war that a significant sector of the globe was involved in, however in its initial stages was concentrated in the European region. A series of events and reasons set the stage for the origin of this war, caused by the actions of various countries and their policies. However, if the blame for the start of the First World War could be attributed to one specific country, Germany would be the nation most responsible for the outbreak of the war, even if they were not quite fully to blame for the entirety of the war. Because of their strategic alliances, their desire to be in a war in the first place with their foreign policies, and ...view middle of the document...

The Triple Entente, signed by Britain, France, and Russia in 1907, acted as a surrounding perimeter for Germany whose leader at the time, Kaiser William II, felt enclosed and possibly threatened by this new threat. This feeling of being threatened could have contributed to Germany's actions within their own alliances, demonstrating to the British and their allies that Germany was not to be dealt with lightly, and that they were a force to be reckoned with. This would explain Germany's strong support of Austria-Hungary during the pre-war months, as well as various other events in the years leading up to WWI. However, Germany was not the only side forming alliances with other nations to form rival blocs. The British, French, and Russians had signed an agreement known as the Triple Entente as a precaution against the growing threat of the Germans. Furthermore, Japan and Britain had signed a naval agreement in 1902, basically stating that Japan would act as Britain's patrol in the seas where the British could not be at all times. This further restricted the movements of the growing German navy, and hampered the views and policies of Kaiser Wilhelm II, which was the aim that was intended by the British. In this light, the British and their allies were equally to blame for the complication of the movements of the chess pieces and the final battle which led to the outbreak of war. Additionally, Germany could not necessarily be blamed most for WWI, as the Serbs and Austro-Hungarians also formed alliances which complicated matters away from the direct interference of the Germans. In 1881, the Austro-Serbian Alliance was signed between Austria-Hungary and Serbia, in order to prevent Russia gaining control of Serbia. However, in 1914, the Austro-Hungarians broke this alliance by directly declaring war on Serbia, which then forced Germany to be involved due to their alliance. In this light, it can be stated that Germany was acting in an honorable fashion in respecting their alliances whereas Austria-Hungary chose to act in an underhanded manner by disregarded prior agreements. Nevertheless, Germany was not forced to support Austria-Hungary in the manner that they did, as Germany provided Austria-Hungary with unqualified support of their actions on 5th July, known as the "blank cheque" provided by Kaiser Wilhelm. Also, the Triple Entente with Britain, France, and Russia was not strictly a military alliance that required military backing in times of crisis of one country; "entente" is defined as a 'friendly relationship' which merely states that the three nations were to cooperate together in their international relations. With Germany and its allies, the choice of name for their agreement was crucial in that it implied a military agreement, or alliance. In any case, analyzing the system of alliances in Europe at the time, it shows that Germany has a significant role in the outbreak of the war due to the intricacies of the alliances.The foreign policies of...

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