To What Extent Was the Nature of the Schlieffen Plan Responsible for the Outbreak of a General European War in August 1914?

913 WordsApr 17, 20124 Pages
There are three main factors that would be considered as the cause of the outbreak of war in August 1914, these including; the nature of the Schlieffen Plan, Russian mobilisation and the arms race. The Schlieffen Plan was produced in order to defeat Germany’s allies without having to be in conflict with them all at once, this was extremely important for Germany as it was surrounded by it’s powerful allies, with both France Russia on its borders. The plan itself stated that Germany were to defeat France at its, moving quickly before Russia were able to mobilise, expecting the French to surrender within 6 weeks. Many have argued that the Schlieffen plan was the sole cause of the outbreak of war as whilst the mobilisation of other countries…show more content…
It’s important to consider, this point as not only a possible cause of war, but in addition the causes of the nature of the Schlieffen plan. Source 2 once again puts a lot of blame of Germany stating “Germany had really decided to force a war”. As we know, this war was forced despite negotiations between the Kaiser and the Tsar, where the Kaiser attempted to prevent Russian mobilisation in order to carry out the Schlieffen plan. This really emphasises the aggressive nature of the plan, in addition with the deception of the Kaiser. Overall, this source mainly agrees with Taylor and the ideas he has put forward, however Martel goes further by suggesting that the Alliance system also played a significant part in the cause of war. Martel states that Germany “could not permit Austria-Hungary to be defeated”, in reference to a war that Germany were not involved in, but Austria, Germany’s one close ally was, introducing the extremely important Dual Alliance. This shows that Germany had no choice but to be drawn into this war, where tensions between the Dual Alliance and Russia could occur due to the issues German issues with Slavism. Therefore, it could be interpreted that the Schlieffen plan was in response to ongoing wars and potential conflicts that could result. Furthermore, Martel also suggests that Germany chose this time for was as it was “the best time” in

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