German Responsibility A Satisfactory Explanation Of The Great War

2189 WordsNov 10, 20149 Pages
Is the notion of German responsibility a satisfactory explanation of the causes of the Great War? The notion of Germany being wholly responsible for the Great War is far from a sound explanation for the cause of the Great War, mono causal explanations should be avoided at all times where possible because it ignores the complexity of the Great War. The notion Germany caused the Great War blatantly rules out other major powers actions that escalated the Great War. Even the Historian Peter Hart who is for the notion concedes that ‘there was an absence of any real attempts by statesmen on either side to resolve their difficulties through compromise and meaningful negation.’ Under these circumstances it is hard to blame if not all…show more content…
Serbia posed a realistic threat of independence in the Austro Hungarian controlled region of Bosnia. However Russia Foreign policy was obsessive over The Balkans. Peter Hart argues that ‘Russia had her own distinct territorial and geo political ambitions. Firstly she had an interest of propagating the nebulous idea of pan Slavism which propounded the cultural and political unity of Slavs.’ This idea of pan Slavism had led Russia into having invested interests in Serbia. In the past Russia had been embarrassed by Austro Hungary in 1909 when it annexed Bosnia and Herzegovina, as well as its defeat to the Japanese in 1905 only severed to speed up its rearmament and it modernisation, Russia could never again concede to Austro Hungary as its reputation as the protector of the Slavic nations was at stake. Russia actively went out of its way to entice war, this was evident because Russia had no formal alliance with Serbia, thus did not have to get involved with the Balkans crisis of 1914. Arguably Russia 's excessive interest in rearmament and modernisation programme was partially responsible for causing the war. The Chancellor of Germany Bethmann Hollweg highlighted Germany’s apprehensions when he stated to the Reichstag, 'Russia grows and grows, she lies on us like a nightmare. ' The threat of Russia to Germany was very real. By 1917 Russia was expected to have 2.2 million regular soldiers, triple that of Germany’s numbers. According to Sean
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