Factors Driving Germany To War Essay

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There are four main factors that could have driven Germany’s decision to go to war; firstly due to fear of ‘encirclement’, secondly that she was pulled into war by a web of alliances, thirdly that she entered war for imperial reasons, and lastly that she entered war as a result of social pressure. However one must consider the degree to which each of these factors effected Germany’s decision to go to war, and that the principle reasoning is a conjunction of both social pressure and fear of encirclement. The entrenched isolation within which Germany existed, to some degree alongside Austria-Hungary and lesser so with Italy, and the growing threat that she posed to Britain both financially and militarily, can be said to have driven the web…show more content…
Furthermore, Gerhard Ritter has argued that German aims in 1914 were ‘essentially defensive and that what Bethmann Hollweg hoped for was at best a diplomatic victory which would split the entente , showing her desire to break the encirclement. The intent of German policy was to drive a wedge between Britain and France, whom together were a great check against German power in Europe. Yet the Russian threat from the east compounded the fears of the Anglo-French alliance, and as Otto von Volderndorff stated, ‘we must confine ourselves to securing our country against the two neighbours [France and Russia]’ . Further historiographical support for this theory comes from Andreas Hillgruber , who argues that Germany sought to break the Triple Entente by encouraging Austria to invade Serbia and provoke a crisis that concerned only Russia, and in doing so hope that neither Britain nor France felt compelled to enter the conflict, leaving Russia isolated and to eventually reach an agreement with Germany. This theory is quite compelling as it serves both to explain Germany’s quick support of Austria, and to match Germany’s concern of the Triple Entente. Yet this idea is not concurrent with Germany’s actions towards France. If keeping France out of the war was a goal, then antagonizing her seems

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