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Ð''German Responsibility For Wwi Was No Greater Than That Of Any Of The Other Great Powers In Europe'. Assess The Validity Of This Statement.

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The causes of the First World War (1914-1917) are, as proven by historians, exceedingly complex and a topic of great debate. For instance, some believe that Germany simply created conditions for war, while others argue her long planned war of aggression. Therefore, to assess the validity if the above statement, it's vital to consider the long-term causes of imperialism, nationalism and militarism as well the short-term origins of war from all those Great Powers.

Looking back upon the statement, it would be helpful to analyze just how much responsibility Germany carried. In the long term, back in the early 1870's, it is noteworthy to remember Bismarck's Policies, mainly that of isolating France. With several conflicts between Russia and Austria-Hungary, Germany managed to create the Ð''Three Emperor's League'. Such exclusion obviously embittered France and caused strain between the two Powers. Furthermore, this Bismarck's Legacy was rejected with the coming of Kaiser Wilhelm II and the newly formed Weltpolitik (World policy) can be deemed a contribution to WW1. It was very aggressive and carried a lot of emphasis upon colonial overseas expansion and in 1897 the German Foreign minister Bullow declared: Ð''We don't want to put anyone in the shade, but we too demand a place in the sun'. Such abrupt demand from the German's possibly intimidated the others, creating nationalist tension. In terms of militarism, the navy in 1898 and 1890 laws were passed on increasing the German Navy which further on in 1906 sparked of a Naval Race between Germany and Britain, rooting from Germany's desire for power.

The first Moroccan Crisis (1905-06), where Wilhelm intervened against the French and declared he was prepared to uphold Morocco's independence, resulted after the Algeciras Conference in Germany strengthening the Anglo-French alliance against her. Consequently, a part of the imperialist policy, the Second Moroccan Crisis in 1911 only edged the situation; German minister Kinderlen hoped to get territory in the French Congo however his miscalculation about Britain's support resulted with Britain being prepared for war with Germany. Germany hence spoiled international relations further. The Bosnian Crisis in 1908-9 could also be seen as partially a German error, because she agreed to support Austria-Hungary in her struggle for Bosnia and only wrecked relations with humiliated Russia, who was left seeking revenge.

Finally, a great deal of German responsibility lies in the July Crisis, and as was noted by a historian Fischer, Germany hoped that war would spark off if she supported Austria-Hungary. Fischer claims that Holloweg, the Chancellor, had far-reaching war aims: Ð''Ð'...France must be so wakened, that she cannot again rise as a Great Power, Russia must be pushed as far as possible from the German frontier, and her rule over non-Russian subject peoples must be broken'. It is also important to outline the significance of the Blank Cheque signed by the Kaiser, which simply supported Austria-Hungary in any of her actions. Therefore, if Germany wouldn't have given her consent to Austria's desire for war and the Ultimatum

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