The Outbreak ON THE First World War

The First World Warfare is definitely considered a landmark event in the history of the modern world and many historians track the roots of 20th century assault to the fallout induced by the First World Warfare. The immense impact of the First World Battle on 20th century incidents, has often led scholars to research and try to identify the main one ability that eventually induced the war. However, the final results of such studies have been definately not conclusive and have given rise to numerous considerable yet highly paradoxical theories.

According to the 1919 Treaty of Versailles and the 'War-Guilt' Clause within it, all responsibility of the fantastic War was positioned on Germany and no other country was considered dependable in any way. It was assumed that Germany brought on the warfare by pushing Austria to attack Serbia and the clause, therefore, asked Germany to accept full responsibility for the damages of the warfare. However, this theory lost its trustworthiness over time & most historians announced that the conflict guilt clause was only an Allied try out at humiliating Germany. This became greatly accepted until the Fischer controversy. In 1961, 43 years following the end of the conflict, a German scholar called Fritz Fischer reopened the battle guilt issue by submitting "Griff Nach Der Weltmacht", in which he revealed Kaiser Wilhelm II and other German politicians as lawyers of a European war as a means for Germany to gain more power in continental Europe.

"The Hamburg Historian levelled three critical charges at prior interpretations of the roots of the First World War: that continuity in German goals and policies could be found from Wilhelm II to Adolf Hitler; that Germany does, in fact, keep the main responsibility for the outbreak of warfare in 1914; which the next Reich's vast annexationist strategies and downright racism in the First World Battle presaged the darker chapters of the Third Reich. "

Fischer's thesis received a whole lot of criticism from colleagues at home and in foreign countries and it was finally resolved that despite the evidence that focused blame on Germany, the battle had been caused by impersonal forces that were beyond real human control. Matching to David Lloyd George, "the countries slithered on the brink into the boiling cauldron of war'. Most critics concur that while Germany performed bear significant responsibility for the outbreak of warfare, it cannot be assumed that that they had been planning the warfare all along. However, with the circumstances in European countries, it isn't difficult to believe war had become unavoidable. F. H. Hinsley thought that "In the event the Sarajevo crisis hadn't precipitated a particular great war, some other crisis could have precipitated a great conflict at no faraway time. "

Several other theories have been looked into to explain the complexities for the fantastic War. The most common of the revolves around the thought of collective responsibility. Collective responsibility takes into account long-standing rivalries and alliances that may have been a major factor in the outbreak of warfare rather than single power.

The Alliance system started in 1881 as something of cover against risks from and rivalries with an increase of powerful countries. This is the reason why Austria-Hungary allied against Russia and then grew to include Germany anticipated to dangers from, not only Russia, but also Britain and France. Therefore, a highly volatile and aggressive environment developed in Europe a long time before the hostilities of the First World War broke out.

Many of the world powers before the battle were employed in long-standing rivalries that predated the battle by over a decade. The nature of these rivalries and their impact seriously contribute to the sources of the Great Warfare. The most visible of the rivalries place between neighbouring capabilities, Germany and France, brought on by the Franco-Prussian battle in the past due 19th century. Another dominant rivalry that existed at that time was the naval contest between Great Britain and Germany. Because of this, these countries remained aggressive toward the other person for a major area of the pre-war period. Amid these striking rivalries, one must not your investment animosity that experienced produced between Russia and Austria-Hungary as well as the overall hostility among strong European nations within the scramble for African territories.

In light of these strained relationships and plaguing hostilities, it's important to look at Europe's political landscape in the years prior to the Great War in order to determine the amount of Germany's role in creating it and the participation of other Western european powers in adding to the "inevitable" conflict.

In 1914, a common pressure of thought among political and armed forces elites in European countries seemed to be the inevitability of battle and the belief that the results may be favourable rather than destructive. The German unification in 1871 is considered an important event in the timeline of pre-war issues and occurrences. Once Germany was unified into a single, strong status, she immediately challenged Great Britain's economical supremacy and naval superiority in Europe. In terms of colonial conquests, Germany lagged behind both Britain and which was a great blow to German national pride that drove these to work harder at carving out a distinct segment for themselves in continental European countries. German naval and military development was worrisome to the English and the People from france which heightened the perceived German threat within European countries and disrupted Western peace and finally resulted in a speedy biceps and triceps race thus making warfare inevitable. It really is highly debatable whether the arms race was caused by Germany or by the recognized hazard from Germany but once the ball was placed rolling, it was very hard for the procedure to slow down. Each region feared unpreparedness for conflict and increasingly sped up their creation of forearms and military strength resulting in a hostile and uninhibited environment primary for war.

Before the outbreak of the First World War, a nationalistic fervour swept across Europe with the populations within countries strongly determining themselves along national lines. "Governments could not prevent or control causes which produced this transfer" toward nationalism and it created sort of patriotism that helped boost the domestic governments' reputation among its people. The consequences of nationalism were widespread and led to the decision for the Kaiser's deposition after German beat in the second Moroccan crisis. European leaders started out to realise that neither diplomatic defeats nor military defeats could not be risked any longer without concern with losing power. Furthermore, the idea of Social Darwinism led people to believe that war had not been something to be ashamed of but instead "God's test of your nation's heart". The impact of these ideas of nationalism and Community Darwinism gave go up to a general public approval of war and with the growth of the press they threatened government authorities and market leaders therefore raising the stakes and making countries more susceptible to war.

The alliances, rivalries, growing feelings of nationalism, approval of war just as one alternative to diplomatic beat, the arms race and the emotions of encirclement and danger within Europe had created the perfect climate for warfare by 1914. Everything that was necessary to light the fireplace of war was a tiny spark that emerged in the form of the events immediately preceding the conflict.

That very small spark came by means of the assassination of the ArchdGuke Francis Ferdinand, heir to the Austro-Hungarian throne in the Bosnian capital of Sarajevo on June 28, 1914. Archduke Ferdinand's assassination was the effect of a Serbian nationalist key population call the Black colored Palm and it set in place some occurrences that eventually culminated in the First World Conflict.

The Austro-Hungarian a reaction to the assassination with their heir came in the form of an ultimatum that comprised an extended list of requirements upon the government in Serbia, positioning blame for the assassination on the Serbian federal. Serbia conceded to all of Austria-Hungary's requirements except a few slight clauses. Yet, despite Serbia's cooperation, Austria-Hungary declared war on July 28, 1914 with confident the help of her ally, Germany.

Even though a warfare between Austria-Hungary and Serbia seems inconsequential, it got significant implications that finally led up to the First World Conflict. While both these countries were small and far less powerful than their neighbours, they were backed by strong allies who were destined by treaties to mobilise armies in conflict. Serbia acquired Russia as its ally and within six weeks of the conflict, Russia possessed mobilised its soldiers to guard Serbia. Germany, who was allied to Austria-Hungary, used Russian mobilisation as a justification for declaring battle on Russia. Another alliance between France and Russia saw France at warfare with Germany and therefore, Austria-Hungary. At the same time, Britain 'moral obligation' to defend France caused Britain to declare warfare on Germany on August 4 1914. Britain was also bound to guard Belgium by a 75 calendar year old treaty and German invasion in Belgium needed British intervention and so further participation in the war. Britain's entry in to the battle with Germany and by extension, with Austria-Hungary meant the involvement of most her colonies including Australia, Canada, New Zealand, India and South Africa. Britain's participation also induced Japan to type in the battle against Germany scheduled to a military arrangement. Italy's alliance to Germany and her access into the war in 1915 was perhaps the final toenail in the coffin of peaceful Europe. With all the great European powers at warfare, a conflict between two small countries converted into one of the worst wars the planet has ever observed.

In 1947, historian A. J. Give composed that the "factors behind the Great War will take up the pens of many researchers perhaps for the decades to come". Even today, the debate over which country triggered the Great War has continued to be an unresolved one. Although it may seem like Germany had an important role that can be played in triggering the war, it is impossible to place the entire blame on just one single country or one event. When a domino theory does exist, it is the best theory to make clear the causes of the First World War since each event and each nation's effect built up to another and lastly culminated in the Great War.


Fischer, Fritz. Germany's Goals in the First World Warfare. Chatto & Windus, 1967.

Mombauer, Annika. The Origins of the First World War: Controversies and Consensus. Harlow,

Eng. : Longman, 2002.

Martel, Gordon. Modern Germany Reconsidered, 1870-1945. London: Routledge, 1992.

George, David L. Conflict Memoirs. Vol. 1. London, 1924.

Wilson, Keith. Decision for Conflict. St. Martin's, 1995.

Setton, Kenneth Meyer. , and Henry Ralph. Winkler. Great Problems in Western Civilization. Englewood Cliffs, Nj: Prentice-Hall, 1966.

Fischer, Fritz. Warfare of Illusions. Chatto & Windus, 1975.

Merriman, John M. A History of Modern Europe: from the French Revolution for this. NY: W. W. Norton, 1996.

Grant, A. J. European countries, the Story of the very last Five Ages. London: Longmans, Green, 1947.

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