WORLD WAR I 5
The debate on which country is responsible for istotally divided and one needs to do extensive research to come intoconclusion. Whereas some scholars argue that German militarism anddiplomacy were solely responsible for the war, others argue that allthe Europe nations which participated in the war had a role to playin the inception of the war. I hold the view that Germany militarismand diplomacy should not be solely blamed for the outbreak of WorldWar I (Evans & Pogge, 1988). All countries that were involved inthe war bear a portion of the blame. It is evident from research thatthe outbreak of the war was as a result of the assassination ofArchduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria-Hungarian at Sarajevo thattriggered the invasion of Serbia by Austria-Hungarian. This is a verycritical point to consider in the determination of the cause of thewar.
European countries such as Britain, France, Germany, Russia, Italyand even Austria were all looking for political power, economic powerand expansion of their territories. This created tensions amongstthese countries which sought to enhance and expand their military inpreparation for the unknown. It is essential to state that it was notGermany alone that expanded and equipped its military with weapons,but also other countries such as Russia and France also engaged inthe same activity (Evans & Pogge, 1988). France, for instance hadits army more than doubled between 1870 and 1914. This was the samecase with Germany. Additionally, Russia had its army size increase by97% within the same period, as well as Britain which had a 117%increase in its army numbers (Fay, 1966). This is a clear indicationthat every country was gearing up towards the war and thereforeGermany militarism cannot be solely blamed for the war. It can beargued that the militarization of Germany was a defense mechanismwhich was justified. Germany needed to protect its citizens and itsterritorial integrity.
Another aspect which puts all the countries to blame is theformation of alliances. The alliance amongst Russia, France andBritain and the one amongst Germany, Austria and Italy made thesituation a recipe for war. Each ally promised unconditional supportin case of an outbreak of war. It is essential to note that eachcountry was gearing up for economic and political power. Germany wasseeking to be a world power and this prompted the other countries toprepare on how to defend themselves against the Germany domination(Evans & Pogge, 1988). Additionally, as much as Germany supportedAustria to attack Serbia after the murder of Archduke FranzFerdinand, it is vital to note that Serbia was interfering with theterritorial integrity of Austria. Therefore, the murder of Franz canbe viewed as just a trigger, but not the main cause of the war (Fay,1966).
All the European countries failed to apply diplomacy ad theirleaders were only focused on war. It is therefore clear that the lackof effective political leadership led to the deaths of over 12million people (Fay, 1966). The issues that were being fought forsuch as economic power and political power would have been resolveddiplomatically.
On the contrary, Germany can also be blamed for the outbreak of thewar. The arguments put forward are that Germany promisedunconditional support for Austria and this made Austria to go declarewar against Serbia (Evans & Pogge, 1988). When Germany gave theblank cheque to Austria, this was the start of the war. Germany alsoinvaded Belgium which was neutral and this attracted Britain into thewar. It is also argued that Germany was extremely aggressive and thishad a great influence on the outbreak of the war.
In conclusion, it is apparently clear that as much as Germany playeda role in the outbreak of the war through the support it offeredAustria other European countries were also involved. The formationof the alliances and the militarization that occurred in the Europeancountries prior to the war created tension amongst the Europeannations. Every European country was expanding its military inpreparation for defense (Evans & Pogge, 1988). Germany would nothave been left out and it had to prepare to defend its integrity.
Evans, R. J. W., & Pogge, S. H. (1988). The Coming of theFirst World War. Oxford England: Clarendon Press.
Fay, S. B. (1966). After Sarajevo: The origins of World War.Vol 2, 2nd Revised Ed. Free press.