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‘German Aggression Was Responsible For The Outbreak Of A General European War In August 1914.’ How Far Do You Agree With This Judgement?

1246 words - 5 pages

It is heavily debated that the display of German aggression inevitably contributed to the outbreak of general European tensions, and war in 1914. The use of strategies such as the Anglo-German Naval Race, as stated in Joll’s source, highlighted the aggression by Germany prior to war. Moreover, this type of tactic also demonstrated the desire and hunger Germany obtained for continental power, another factor towards European tensions. The sources in question both support and contest the set statement, to an extent. Sources 1 and 3 by Corrigan and Joll, respectively, argue how Germany’s use of tactics agitated European powers, thus causing war. However, Source 2 by Turner disagrees with the ...view middle of the document...

Moreover, Corrigan and Turner also demonstrate Germany’s support to Austria-Hungary in war with Serbia; “pushing Austria-Hungary into premature declaration of war”. However, Corrigan fully conforms to the statement, arguing how Germany indeed caused general war through continuous aggression, whereas Turner argues that as well as Germany, other nation contributed to the outbreak of war. An example of German aggression that inevitably contributed to the outbreak of war was the Agadir Crisis in 1911. The crisis demonstrated European tensions between the UK and France against Germany for using naval power to invade Agadir Port. As a result, this led to Britain and France threatening to use violence upon Germany, causing an expansion in European tensions. Another example that is evident of Germany aggression is the German policy of Weltpolitik. The 1891 policy sought German expansion, becoming confrontational towards other European nations. Again, this demonstrates how Germany would confront and agitate other nations, contributing to the tensions between European countries before sparking a general war.
On the other hand, Turner argues how German aggression did not contribute to the outbreak of general war. Turner states that Germany provoked Austria-Hungary to declaring war on Serbia. Nevertheless, Turner also argues how other nations contributed to war. Turner states “The crisis got out of control because Bethmann pushed Austria into premature war with Serbia. French General Staff drove Russia along the fatal path of mobilisation”. The quote infers how despite that Germany may have provoked Austria-Hungary into “premature war”, they were not the only nation causing general war. The fact that France forced Russia into “fatal mobilisation” suggests that most people ignored other nation’s flaws and their contributions to war, scapegoating Germany in the process. Furthermore, this also argues how Germany’s aggressive Schlieffen Plan was not fully responsible for general war. Furthermore, the 1905-06 Moroccan Crisis was also evident of how other nations as well as Germany were to blame for war. The crisis led to a Russian betrayal of Germany, prioritising the Triple Entente instead. As a result, Germany vowed revenge, leading to aggressive strategies to take place. Despite this indicating that German aggression was at hand, it is implied that Russian betrayal was a cause of this aggression – evident that other nations were not just at blame for war, but also the consistent aggression by Germany. Despite this, Joll supports Turner, also arguing how Germany had a concrete determination of being involved in war despite the efforts of other nations. However, Turner states how Germany wanted to “avert crisis” whereas Joll contests this, using the arms race as an example of how German aggression inevitably led to general war. On the other...

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