The Causes of the First World War

1166 Words Feb 18th, 2018 5 Pages
It periodically resurfaces with new theories being advanced such as the Fischer thesis, usually on account of the release of previously unseen documents or because of a shift in the political climate. It has emerged to the fore once again because this year is the centennial of the war’s outbreak and there are plans to commemorate it nationally across the UK.
In order to fully understand how Britain’s decision to go to war against Germany is best explained one must engage into the debate revolving around the question of the extent to which Britain and other countries were responsible for causing war. This helps explain the intention Britain had for war which is vital in understanding their decision making process to cause war in the first place. Some schools of thought have come to the conclusion that it was everybody or nobody- the continent “slithered over the brink into the boiling cauldron of war without any trace of apprehension or dismay.”1 That analysis will be considered in this essay as will the widespread thesis that it was Germany’s aggression which not only created the preconditions for war, but also triggered Britain into war with the political imbalance of power being created from the growing naval and colonial expansion of Germany. Other factors that help explain why Britain went to war against Germany…