There are many ideas about how far Germany was responsible for causing the First World War, traditionally all major powers are thought to be equally accountable for the pre-war tensions that accumulated throughout the late 1800’s and early 1900’s, with Germany accepting the majority of the blame for the fatal events that ultimately brought about one of the bloodiest wars the globe has ever seen. Its quest for global power and a strong African colonial empire by a megalomaniacal Kaiser is acquitted as one of the biggest causes of World War I, but how far exactly was Germany responsible?
German historian Franz Fischer believes it was almost entirely responsible, his first major book makes three key points against Germany: The first being That Germany hoped a war would ensue when it backed Austria-Hungary against Serbia, the second that The Kaisers war plans pre-dated the war, and the final being that it was Germany’s domestic position rather than its international position that instilled the strong feeling of expansionism.
Fischer believes the fault lay at Germany’s door since 1890 with the dismissal of Bismark who had been making arrangements to renew the Reassurance Treaty with Russia, the Tsar had been very fond of his policies and ideals, Kaiser William II had other ideas; Bismark lost his position before the treaty with Russia was renewed and his successor General Leo von Caprivi was advised not to pursue it further. Instead he was told to look into forming an alliance which would link Britain to Germany and its allies: Austria-Hungary and Italy. Britain, however, refused this.
In 1897 Germany then began its relentless pursuit of Weltpolitik. The Welkpolitik idea focused on satisfying Germany’s imperial greed by acquiring colonies from Britain which would expand trade and allowed Germany to take, what she believed to be, her rightful place in world affairs. This was passionately pursued until 1912 but ultimately failed to see Germany’s expansionist desires...