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Controversy A: Was Germany responsible
for the First World War?
From Kaiser to Fuhrer: Germany 1900-1914…read more

Slide 2

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Controversy A: Was Germany Responsible for WW1
The European Great Powers and their interests
The European Great Powers
International affairs revolved around the relations between the European great powers
Russia was the most populous of the powers but population was not as important as military power
Warfare had been revolutionised by technology and military strength depended on its ability to equip its forces
Warfare was determined by the powers industrial base so Germany was better placed as the Ruhr was churning out
vast quantities of high quality artillery
Britain , although pre-eminent with their naval power had only a small army and so were not regarded as a key
player in international affairs
France Germany
Under Otto von Bismarck Germany Austria
Frances defeat by Prussia in Was a declining power with
1870-1 left the thirsting for aimed to maintain peace and
stability in Europe in order to aims of self-preservation
revenge Austria's pressing external
There was a widening gap concentrate on nation-building at
home problem was the Serbia and
between France and Germany in Bosnia Herzegovina (An
economic and demographic terms Germany's aim was to keep France
from finding an ally as they were its independent state of Serbia)
meaning that it was not in a Serbia wanted to create a
position to take on Germany main threat
They maintained good Serbian-super state however
alone Austria were in no position to
Frances objective in 1871 was to relationships with Russia and
Austria to keep them out of Frances crush Serbia by force as Serbia
find a heavyweight ally had Russia as an ally
grasp…read more

Slide 3

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Controversy A: Was Germany Responsible for WW1
The European Great Powers and their interests
·Was an expansionist power
·It wanted to expand in the far east and extend its influence to south-east Europe (the Balkans)
·Posed as the protector of Serbia to further its aims in south-east Europe
·Russia's patronage with Serbia brought it into conflict with Austria
·The antagonism between Russia and Austria made it difficult for Germany to stay on good terms with both
·Britains concern was fending off threats to its colonial possessions around the world, it's main threats came
from France and Russia
·Britain wanted to avoid the situation in Europe whereby the continent was dominated by a single power as
one dominant power could invade Britain and close down British trade
·However if no power was seen to be making a bid for supremacy Britain had no reason to involve itself in
European affairs
·Was the weakest of the powers
·It was hostile to France which they saw as a rival for influence in the Mediterranean
·Sought colonies as they saw a colonial empire as a symbol of power
·They joined the dual alliance of Austro-Germany thus becoming the Triple Alliance…read more

Slide 4

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Controversy A: Was Germany Responsible for WW1
Weltpolitik and Flottenpolitik
Colonies and Weltpolitik Flottenpolitik
Germany first acquired overseas possessions Refers to expansion of the Germany navy after the 1898
under Bismarck which became German colonies Naval Law
Bismarck however had no real plan for empire- Naval expansion was popular with German middle classes
building and European affairs remained his the navy was seen as a properly German institution and not a
priority Prussian one
Weltpolitik was Germany's term for building a Officers were solid professionals unlike the army where to
colonial empire to transform into a world power ranks were dominated by Junkers
It was an aspiration as opposed to a detailed
It was a significant turning point in international Consequences of Weltpolitik and Flottenpolitik: the
emergence of Anglo-German antagonism
Britain saw Flottenpolitik as a threat to their navy, there'd
Reasons for the pursuit of Weltpolitik been no Anglo-German enmity beforehand
Weltpolitik owed much to considerations of An Anglo-German naval arms race ensued
status and prestige so Germany could be Technological change gave the Anglo-German race intensity,
recognised as a power Germany had been far behind Britain until HMS Dreadnaught
Working class were heavily influenced by social was built by Britain and Germany began to also build
Darwinism that only the strongest power would dreadnaughts creating a British `naval panic' 1908-9
survive British suspicion of Germany widened, they saw Germany as
It was also pursued for reasons of domestic seeking to establish itself as a world power at the expense of
politics hoping empire building would rally the Britain and continental Europe
middle class behind the Kaiserreich and
marginalise that social democrats…read more

Slide 5

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Controversy A: Was Germany Responsible for WW1
The European alliance system before 1914
The Triple Alliance The Franco-Russian Britains movement How stable were
Wasn't an alliance of equal alliance, 1894 into the Franco-Russian the European
partners, Austria and Italy Bismarck's successors
were inferior to Germany in orbit alliances before
decided not to renew
terms of military power Britain remained 1914?
Germany's reinsurance
Bismarck didn't intend for independent and was There were close
Treaty with Russia
the a permanent alliance unwilling to enter intro dynastic links between
Seeking the
with Austria however it was formal alliances with Germany and Russia
opportunity to secure
continuously renewed France and Russia leaving the French in
an ally France
The Austro-German alliance Anglo-French military fear that there could
befriended Russia
was originally a defensive conversations took place be a reconciliation
Franco-Russian alliance
one, however became which gave rise to between Germany and
was an unlikely one,
offensive during the Bosnian understandings about the Russia
Russia was an
crisis when they collaborated deployment of British British liberal
autocratic monarchy,
to inflict a diplomatic troops in France in the government were
France a democratic
humiliation on Russia event of war against opposed to a close
The two countries made Germany relationship with
The Franco-Russian
joint war plans for the first Britain promised to Tsarist Russia
alliance left Germany
time in the event of conflict defend Frances north coast
open to the prospect of
Germany would attach against German attack
a war on two fronts
France and Austria would Foundations of the Anglo-
launch an offensive into French and Anglo-Russian
Russian Poland ententes were laid by
colonial agreements…read more

Slide 6

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Controversy A: Was Germany Responsible for WW1
European diplomacy, 1900-1914
Event What Happened? Significance
Anglo-Japanese alliance, 1902 Agreed to remain neutral if the other went to war with a Allowed Britain to scale down its navel
third power and to fight together in the event of war presence and concentrate on naval
resources in home waters
Anglo-French agreement, 1904 Britain allowed France a free hand in Morocco in Prompted major reform of Russia's armed
return for acceptance of British control in Egypt forces- a development that alarmed
Russo-Japanese war, 1904-5 Russia was heavily defeated by Japan in a war arising Prompted major reform of Russia's armed
out of the ambitions both had in China forces
First Morocco crisis, 1905-6 France wanted control over independent Morocco . Germany provoked the crisis in order to
William II pledged support to Moroccan independence. destroy the Anglo-French entente, believing
The dispute was referred to at an international that Britain wouldn't stand by France.
conference which allowed it substantial- but not full- However Britain backed France
control of Morocco strengthening the entente.
Britains suspicions of Germany intensified.
Anglo-Russian agreement, 1907 Britain and Russia settled their disputes in Asia Gave rise to an Anglo-Russian entente and
effectively created the Triple entente
Bosnian crisis, 1908 Austria annexed Bosnia-Herzegovina, despite the Annexation was strongly opposed by Russia
1878 agreement that the provinces were to be but Germany weighed in strongly on Austria'
controlled by Austria without becoming part of it s side, forcing Russia to climb down Russia
was left bruised and respectful
Second Morocco crisis, 1911 France moved towards a full takeover of Morocco's, Germany won compensation (French
Germany demanded compensation. Britain intervened Congo)
warning Germany it was risking war Showed Anglo-German relations
Balkan Wars, 1912-14 In the first war (1912-13) Bulgaria, Serbia, Greece and The first war led to a confrontation between
Montenegro set out with Russian backing to force Austria and Russia over the former's
Turkey out of its remaining territory in south-east determination to restrict Serbia's gains.…read more

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Slide 10

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A very detailed Powerpoint with all the key details and theories surrounding the controversy of German responsibility for World War One. Useful for Edexcel Unit 3.

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