Did German Ambitions for World Power Make War in 1914 Unavoidable?
The First World War was the biggest and bloodiest war to have been fought with modern technology and caused wide spread chaos and tragedy that until that date was unparalleled in Europe. Of the 65,038,810 people mobilized to fight from all the countries involved 8,556,315 died, 21,219,452 soldiers were injured, and 7,750,945 were reported missing/P.O.W. Because the war was fought on such a massive scale, and caused such wide spread tragedy, all within living memory, it makes it both an interesting and controversial subject, and because of this there are many different theories about what the cause of WWI was. The most blamed party for the outbreak is Germany. There were
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Britain had wished to have good relations with Germany, but did not want its hands tied by continental commitments, or, as Prime Minister Lord Salisbury put it: Britain wished to avoid the “encumbering engagements of an alliance”. Relations with Britain did improve, thanks to the gestures by Germany, such as the Helgoland-Zanzibar Treaty of 1890, which neutralized colonial tensions in East Africa and provided Germany with a naval base in the North Sea. Russia aided by the fear of an Anglo-German alliance, allied itself with France in 1892, putting an end to decades of French isolation, which had been one of the aims and greatest achievements of the Bismarck system. Germany made minimal gains, while an embittered France had now gained a powerful ally on Germany’s eastern flank, something which Bismarck had sought to avoid for his entire time as chancellor. Had Germany not wanted to cause conflict that could end in war then they would have tried to gain lands by political means, purchase or just settling for land that was yet unclaimed. However Germany decided to try to take French and British lands in Africa, not only alienating them from Germany but also driving them together and forming their political friendship and support that would later lead to the triple alliance. During the Boer war Germany started to support the Boers and providing them with the latest rifles to fight the