German Policies In 1914 Essay

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In 1914, the First World War commenced. The outbreak of war was a result of a number of factors, however, many historians argue that German policies were the main feature for the start of the war. Therefore, this essay will address the question: to what extent did German policies lead to WWI?

Firstly, it is extremely unjust to state Germany as the only country to blame for the war and make it pay the harsh punishments the Treaty of Versailles forced them to. However, it is reasonable to say that Germany is obviously one of the nations who had the most impact on the War, if not the most.

There were a number of factors in which Germans can blame one of the main characters of this era who, together with Kaiser Wilhelm II, might have been the
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Wilhelm thought that the only way of Germany becoming a world power was if war occurred. However, Germany was unprepared, so they could not force a war with those conditions, and this was why the policy of Militarism was used, to strengthen this belief of becoming a greater nation. The naval race between Germany and Britain is one example of how Germany strengthened it’s military, but also increased the chance of a probable war. Germany defied Britain to see what nation had the best navy. In order to challenge Britain, Germany augmented its battleships from nine to twenty four cruisers between 1898 and 1900. This made Britain feel challenged as at the time Britain had the best Navy system by far comparing with the other great powers, forcing them to act.

Another Kaiser Wilhelm’s action that made the war inevitable was the controversial “blanck-cheque for war”. Everything started when Franz Ferdinand (successor of the Austria-Hungary throne) was shot by Serbians in June 1914, a month before the actual beginning of the War. Wilhelm, instead of encouraging a careful response, approved an Austrian attack on Serbia and assured Austria that, if Russia (former German ally but now a Serbian ally) decided to intervene, Germany would support Austria. Once more, Germany fed
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