Was Germany Responsible For Ww1

1016 Words5 Pages
Germany was one of the major players in the First World War that started in the year 1914. The Treaty of Versailles, a peace treaty published after the war in 1919, largely blamed Germany for the war, forcing the country to disarm and pay a generous sum of reparation to the victorious side. Many historians still argue over whether this blame was justified or not; while most claim that Germany was the inexcusable cause, some counter that there were other factors to blame, such as Austria-Hungary. I believe that Germany was indeed responsible for WW1, not solely but for the majority of it, because they were what started the war in the first place. In 1914 a Serbian youth, encouraged by the secret military society in Serbia called the 'Black…show more content…
It can be argued that the willingness of Austria-Hungary, the incapability of the authorities, and the tension and pressure regarding militarism and imperialism in Europe are factors that led Germany to make the decisions that it has. One historian Strachan claims that (2001), "What it seems fairly clear that Germany did not want was war" (p.15). His argument was that in 1905, the German military had no plans for war. It's position within the international community was much more favorable then than at 1914; thus, the way the events unfolded were unintentional on Germany's part. While I do not agree entirely that their actions were 'unintentional', I do believe that the negligence of the German authorities in which they did not consider the possibilities and consequences of a world war, and the incapability of them not being able to find a better solution as the situation grew worse contributed to the war. In addition to this, other countries also carried partial responsibility as well. McEvedy mentioned in his work that (1982), "And at the same time the Germans made sure that France would fight by asking for guarantees of neutrality that the French couldn't possibly give" (p.46). The Franco-Prussia War in 1870 resulted in a German victory, and France lost some of its land to German territory. Because of this recent wound, France was not willing keep neutrality against Germany. If France had decided to remain…show more content…
Bethmann, the Chancellor of Germany, was against this idea out of the fear that the U.S. would enter the war taking the operation of submarines as a threat. However, the government had built up propaganda that the admirals were a figure of great authority in order to encourage patriotic enthusiasm; thus, despite the difference in rank, in reality Bethmann had little power over the two. "His only hope was to secure a peace satisfactory to Germany before the submarines began to operate," Taylor wrote, "yet the peace had to be as good as victory" (Taylor, 1966, p.154). Within a short amount of time the submarines were introduced as an addition to Germany's military power. In response the U.S., which had remained neutral until that point, joined the Allies in opposition to Germany. This fact made the scale of war much larger than it was before, earning its name 'World War 1'. This was due to Germany's original tactics for prestige backfiring, allowing the balance of power to shift and letting rash and unnecessary decisions pass. Therefore Germany not only started the war, but it continued to fuel the war for the next four years while it
Open Document