To what extent was Germany responsible for the outbreak of war in 1914?

Essay by dark_emperor87High School, 11th gradeA-, October 2003

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The German empire might have provoked the ignition of the First World War also known as the "Great war" by their invasion of France via Belgium this being the initial act of confrontation. Would this make Germany guilty in sparking the war of all wars? Being a controversial topic still amongst historians today the majority agrees that a series of events resulting in triggers began the war involving all parties not just the German empire.

Whilst Bismarck wanted Germany to stay as a land-based European power with a strong army, Wilhelm wanted Germany to follow "Weltpolitik" a world policy. This world policy meant turning the German Empire into a world power with a large colonial empire and a powerful navy to protect it.

Germany in an industrial revolution challenged Britain's world economic domination. The German population was also increasing and till 1914 had risen more than 50 percent providing an even larger work force.

Apart from the ever more growing race for arms both on land and sea the Kaiser also had the ambition to imperialize more than the two colonies in Africa he already had, he was after and empire like the one of France and England. Ever since the Battle of Trafalgar Britain had ruled the seas without competition but it changed in 1898 when Wilhelm announced intentions to build a powerful German navy, Britain felt threatened. Why would the German empire build a navy for what needs, Britain did not see any reasons except that they were being threatened, The Kaiser on the other hand claimed to be construction this navy to protect Germany's ever so growing trade routes. This then started a massive naval race which reached its climax when Britain launched their HMS Dreadnought a massive destroyer this raised the stakes in the naval race,