What Extent Is Germany to Blame for Ww1
2. To what extent was Germany to blame for starting WWI? After a massive war, it easy to see why a lot people would point fingers at the country that lost the war. However, is this always correct; or do people Jump to conclusions much too quickly? By doing this, do they also create a whole new kind of trouble for themselves to come in later years? Some may suggest that it is more productive to look at the events leading up to the war to determine who was at fault. The blame attached to World War One (WWI) is not exclusively German, but may lie with the concepts of militarism, imperialism, nationalism, and alliances.
Militarism played an immense part in the start of WWI and without it, there was a chance WWI would have never have lasted as long as it did. Militarism is when an entire country is in love with the idea of war. Soldiers were considered to be very god-like, and citizens only focused on the favorable aspects of war: serving one’s country, being honored, and having women fall all over them. In the late 1800s and early 1900s, both France’s and Germanys armies had nearly doubled in size due to militarism. Germany was in competition with France to obtain Europe’s”some might even argue the world’s”largest army.
Keeping a strong army was important to Germany because it helped to demonstrate to the rest of the world that they were a rising power. It also helped show other countries”who once wrote Germany off”that if they dared challenge them, they would pay dearly. In addition, Germany was also in competition with Great Britain. At the time Britain had the largest navy; something Germany envied. Once Britain started introducing their new battleships, named the Dreadnoughts, Germany followed suit. Soon afterwards they widened their canals, making it easier for battleships to pass hrough them.
Great Britain, meanwhile, started setting up new naval bases in Scotland. Since Germany no longer had a small army and navy, France and Britain both felt threatened. They felt they had to keep up Germanys growing military. Great Britain and France were in an arms race before they knew it! An arms race is a competition between countries to acquire the largest military, translating into the greatest force. The army and naval arms race were Just the first few steps towards WWI, the war Germany was blamed for. Imperialism was another one of the reasons WWI started.
Imperialism is when a country controls the economic, social, and political aspects of another country. All across England countries were fighting for the right to rule other nations. These nations were unprepared for the fight against the Englishmen and usually lost. The white men felt it was their duty to rule these “savages. ” After all, how could people of different colored skin be of the same intellect as white men? This type of “saving” people was called Whiteman’s Burden. Imperialism also happened when other countries wanted another nation’s natural resources.
Other times mperialism happened to show natives the “right” kind of religion. When countries imperialize, they also get a new market to sell to. In the 1800s, Europe began to imperialize Africa. During this time, France and Britain had control of large areas of Africa. The rise of industrialism had increased the need to imperialize. Because of rivalry with Germany. Germany only “owned” a small proportion of Africa. This was because they had started to colonize later than the rest of Europe. Imperialism, although not as big as part as the others, did play a role in WWI.
Nationalism was basically the ticking time bomb that would start WWI. Nationalism mean being proud of one’s country or ethnic group. Although nationalism can bring a country closer, it can also tear a country apart, and”in some cases, like WWI”start a war. For example if a country is made up of many different ethnic groups nationalism can divide a country (India had to be made into two separate countries: India and Pakistan). If a country is made up mostly the same ethnic group, it will be brought together (Germany). When Napoleon was sentenced to exile in Elba, The Congress of Vienna was held.
The Congress of Vienna was supposed to sort out all of Europe’s problems in a nonviolent way. Countries from all over Europe sent their delegates to represent them. The big countries were Britain, France, Austria, Prussia, and Russia. Their delegates decided on a new Europe, a Europe that left both Italy and Germany divided into states. In 1861 Italy was unified, as well as Germany in 1871 due to strong nationalist movements. France lost the Alsace-Lorraine to Germany which had a lot of natural resources in the Franco-Prussian war and were now eager to take it back.
In Sebria and Austria-Hungary lived large areas of differing nationalist groups, all enthusiastic to become free from the states in which they lived. Franz Ferdinand can be said to be the reason that WWI happened. An archduke, he was the heir to the Austro-Hungarian empire. Ferdinand, with his wife, decided to make an inspection of troops in the capital of Bosnia. While there, a Sebrian terrorist group of seven, The Black Hand, was going to try to assassinate him. The first two assassins were unable to kill him, but the third was able to throw a grenade that landed under the car in which they were traveling in.
Although it did not injure him or his wife, Sophie, it did harm some of his attendants. After this point, no one knows for sure what happens. Some say he went to make sure his attendant were all right after the attack, others say he tried to escape the country. The only known fact is that he and his wife were killed by the fourth assassin, Gavrilo Princip, who died in prison later of TB. On June 28, 1914, Europe waited for a time bomb to go off. Alliances often help countries in their time of need.
When all hope is lost and it looks like the chance of winning is long gone, a countrys ally will sweep in and save the day. In WWI, however, it had the opposite effect. An alliance is an agreement between countries to come to one’s aid if they are attacked by another country. In 1879 Austria-Hungary and Germany made a pact to protect themselves from Russia, called the Dual Pact. In the year 1881 the Austro-Serbian Alliance was made. Austria-Hungary wanted to make sure Russia would not gain control of Serbia and the Balkans; hence the pact.
The following year in 1882 Germany, Italy, and Austria-Hungary signed a pact that created The Triple Alliance. This pact was to keep Italy from siding with Russia and turning on Austria- Hungary and Germany. Russia finally formed an alliance in 1894 with France called the Franco-Russian Alliance; this was to protect Russia from Germany and Austria- Hungary. The nineteenth century rolled around and four more alliances were made. The first of these alliances was made between France and Britain, and although not was called the Entente Cordiale. Three years later in 1907, two pacts were made.
The first pact was between Russia and Britain creating an alliance called the Anglo- Russian Entente. The second pact was called the Triple Entente and was between Russia, France, and Britain. This was in order to counteract the growing threat from Germany. By the time 1914 came, Britain, Russia, and France were determined to have peace. They all signed a treaty together”the Triple Entente”and made a pact ot to sign for peace without one another. Due to all these alliances, each country was pulled into this war, in essence causing a domino effect of varied allegiances.
This became problematic, because it caused a massive escalation in the size of the war! When one country was declared war on, the alliances came into effect. In the end, most of Europe was pulled into a war because of their alliances. The first country to be declared war on was Serbia by Austria-Hungary. Germany decided to seize the moment and declared war on Russia. France, because of its alliance with Russia, was drawn into the war. France was to fght against Austria- Hungary and Germany. Germany later tried to attack France through Belgium, dragging Great Britain into the war.