Theories as to why WWI happened.

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  • Created by: Alice
  • Created on: 11-05-13 18:47
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  • Theories as to why WWI happened.
    • Fischer
      • German Weltpolitik aimed for expansion
      • Germany hoped for war in order to achieve european and worldwide domination
      • Social, economic and political tensions in Wilhemine Germany contributed toward German expansionism.
      • 'Blank cheque': Germany hoped it would result in war
      • September Programme 1914-outlines Bethmann's plans for war gains. Fischer argues this was continutaion of expansionist policy before the war broke out.
    • Slither/Stumble:David Lloyd George
      • Fitted with post-war desire to build better relationships with Germany.
    • Structuralists/escape forwards/Wehler
      • Emphasis importance of domestic factors in influeencing German foreign policy
      • Budget deficit/ growing power of Social Democrats/Zabern affair. Prusso-German elites pursued agressive foreign policy to deflect political opposition and preserving their position in society.
      • Some go as far as to say that the Kaiserreich was an ungovernablepolycracy.
      • Calculated Risk/ von Strademann
        • Germany did not deliberately pursue war, but considered the risk in rode to strengthen Germany both domestically and democratically.Germany in 1914 saw war as inevitable, but most likley to be won at that stage.
    • War by timetable (AJP Taylor)
      • All Great Powers had ability to mobilise-hoped this would act as deterrent for war.
      • Need to moblise faster than potential rivals created an inexorable movement toward war.
      • Critics highlight his involvement with the CND as a bias.
    • Encirclement
      • 'Offernsively conducted defensive war'. Germany resorted to war in response to diplomatic pressure caused by encirclement.


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