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WAR CAUSED BY GERMAN DESIRE FOR EUROPEAN HEGEMONY
· Germany pursued war in order to become the dominant power
in Europe
· This is shown by the war council, September programme and
Schlieffen Plan
· Up to ww1, Germany intentionally disturbed European peace
and sought confrontation of the entene powers. Eg the Naval
race and Moroccan crises.
· When the summer crisis of 1914 occurred, Germany sought to
capitalise onto this, through encouraging Austria aggression,
hoping to escalate to conflict into a larger war…read more

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`ESCAPE FORWARDS'
· Structuralist Historians such as Wehler agree with Fischer that
Germany planned an aggressive war.
· Added to it that Germany hoped for war in order to resolve
domestic difficulties , to `escape; from these problems they
pushed forward with an aggressive war.
· The government faced the issue of a stalemate caused by
growing power of the SPD, tensions caused by the Zabern
Affair and a budget deficit.
· Conservative elite hoped war would strengthen their own
position by creating national unity and distracting attention
away from the need of reform with the political system.…read more

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WAR CAUSED BY GERMAN FEAR OF ENCIRCLEMENT
· The war was caused by German actions, such as the Schlieffen
plan, but their actions were DEFENSIVE not aggressive.
· They were responding to fears that the alliances between
France, Russian and Britain alongside Russian and French
plans to expand army may mean that Germany could be
crushed by the Entente Powers in the future: Germany felt it
faced an aggressive coalition.
· Many people in Germany excepted this as reasoning for the
war.
· Schlieffen plan was Germanys s only hope of victory if there
was a possibility of France engaging on the side of Russian in a
conflict between Russia and France.…read more

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`CALCULATED RISK'
· They didn't have a long term plan for war but took a
risk on war when the crisis of 1914 developed.
· The German elite took the risk to escalate the
conflict between Austria and Serbia as they hoped
they would gain easy victories.
· If a larger conflicted developed, Germany saw it
that it was better to have a larger conflict sooner
rather than later with they Entente powers, whose
military expansion was not yet at its peak.…read more

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WAR CAUSED BY TENSIONS, RIVALRY AND INSTABILITY BETWEEN EUROPEAN
POWERS.
· Many European powers contributed to destabilising peace in
Europe prior to the war
· Alliances and agreements created tensions and suspicions
· A number of countries took part in the arms and naval races
· In the Balkans, the fallout from weakening of the Ottoman
power caused conflict and ultimately triggered the war. In this
context, European countries did not deliberately seek war but
in the words of David Lloyd George'- Slithered accidently
towards war.…read more

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