To what extent was German Aggression Responsible for the First World War?

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  • The Extent to which German aggression was responsible for the First World War..
    • Strandmann
      • "A Calculated Risk"
        • Germany never estimated or planned for a long-term war, however, when the July Crisis arose, Germany saw it as an opportunity to strengthen its position.
          • Manipulation of the July Crisis
            • The Blank Cheque to Austria-Hungary
          • The Blank Cheque to Austria-Hungary
          • Understanding that if Germany had to go to war, then 1914 would be the best year to go.
    • Treaty of Versailles
      • Clause 231: The War Guilt Clause, put emphasis onto the idea that war was entirely Germany's fault.
        • Germany did sign the Treaty, accepting the responsibility.
    • Fischer
      • Germany Responsible- Germany was looking for an aggressive and expansionist war, and exploited the July Crisis when it came.
        • Schlieffen Plan 1905
          • Why else would Germany  create a plan which explained how Germany could fight a war on two fronts? This was published in 1905, emphasising Fischer's thesis
        • War Council Meeting of 1912
          • Pro-German British Foreign Minister informs Germany that if war were to break out, then Britain would stand by France unconditionally.
        • The Blank Cheque 1914
          • The Blank Cheque,  in which Germany pledged unconditional support in whatever Austria chose to do.
            • Germany banked on Austria-Hungary starting the war for them.
        • Untitled
        • September Programme
          • A programme drafted by a top-level cabinet minister  during World War One, which described how Germany would put to use the territories they had won during the conflict. This included "crippling" France.
        • Plans to further Weltpolitik
          • Moroccan Crises
          • Kruger Telegram
          • Naval Laws
          • Arms Race
    • Wehler
      • The 'Escape Forwards'
        • Germany sought war with Europe, however, not from an aggressive perspective, but more as a diversion from the internal political and social tensions in Germany.
          • Tensions caused by Industiralisation
          • Embarassment following the Zabern Affair, 1913
            • Bethmann took the side of the Kaiser and the military. The Reichstag gave Bethmann a vote of no confidence, which he ignored- emphasisingthat he need only the approvalof the Kaiser.
          • Traditional elites trying to stop the growth of middle-class power in the Reichstag.
          • 1912 Election - SPD gain 110 seats.
            • Traditional elites trying to stop the growth of middle-class power in the Reichstag.
    • Sturmer
      • "Fear of Encirclement"
        • Germany and the Major Powers stumbled into war in 1914, as a result of Germany's quickness to take action, combined with the appearance of an "Allied Encirclement" that surrounded Germany.
          • The Schlieffen Plan was the only way in which Germany could ensure a rapid defeat of France.
          • Germany's suspicion of the Entente powers was justified- the Alliances "circled" Germany- on both sides.
        • AN OFFENSIVELY CONDUCTED DEFENSIVE WAR
          • Germany and the Major Powers stumbled into war in 1914, as a result of Germany's quickness to take action, combined with the appearance of an "Allied Encirclement" that surrounded Germany.
            • The Schlieffen Plan was the only way in which Germany could ensure a rapid defeat of France.
            • Germany's suspicion of the Entente powers was justified- the Alliances "circled" Germany- on both sides.
    • Lloyd George
      • "Slide to War"
        • The Great War was an inevitable outcome of the diplomatic situation in 1914.
          • Alliance System-
          • Arms Race
          • Austria initiated hostility towards Serbia
            • The power-vacuum of the Balkans war was not initiated by Germany.
              • The Great War was an inevitable outcome of the diplomatic situation in 1914.
                • Alliance System-
                • Arms Race
                • Austria initiated hostility towards Serbia
                  • The power-vacuum of the Balkans war was not initiated by Germany.
                  • All major powers were suspicious and jealousof one another's empires.
            • All major powers were suspicious and jealousof one another's empires.

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